Anti-gay extremist Scott Lively, has been invited to visit the Draper Park Christian Church in Oklahoma City for three days of “teaching and preaching,” from April 27-29, 2012.
His visit happens to follow both the Holocaust Day of Remembrance and the Day of Silence, which is timely, since much of Lively’s career has been built around attempting to mis-educate and confuse people about the lives of LGBT people and making frankly absurd claims about gay people within the Nazi Party.
One has to wonder what sort of “teaching and preaching” will happen within these three days.
Will the truth (or any truth) come from his presentations? Will there be any thoughtful dialog? Will there be any teaching from Isaiah 58: “loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke to set the oppressed free?” We can safely assume not.
Lively is not your run-of-the mill anti-LGBT activist. He is even more dangerous. His attacks on LGBT people are well documented in GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project. He is the former state director for the California branch of American Family Association, which Southern Poverty Law Center named a hate group.
Most notably, Lively is also the author of “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” which purports that the “Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.”
Yes, as the country remembers the Holocaust and the millions of people who lost their lives and their livelihood, including LGBT people, Scott Lively will be telling anyone who will listen that gay man created such an atrocity.
Lively’s attacks on LGBT people are not limited to bizarrely revising history. He has called for the criminalization of “the public advocacy of homosexuality,” both in the United States and especially abroad. He is directly linked to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda, which aims to make simply being gay punishable by death.
In 2009, he held an anti-gay conference in Kampala, which he called a “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” Because of his intense influence and the hatred he inflamed in Uganda, Lively has been blamed for the death of equality advocate David Kato.
Lively is now advocating for anti-gay activism in Moldavia.
As hard as it is for some of us to take him seriously, Scott Lively’s words and actions bring real harm to real people. His message to the unwitting parishioners at Draper Park Christian Church will portray him as the victim.
In reality, has been on a hunt to demonize LGBT people to the point that members of the LGBT community have been brutally killed following his talks. This is no Christian message. It incites unspeakable acts, and brings harm to others.
Thankfully, there are Christians out there who do not want to be associated with Lively’s lies and revisionism.
In response to Lively’s visit to Draper Park Christian Church, the Cimarron Alliance Foundation in Oklahoma City is arranging a press conference featuring several LGBT-affirming groups, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, The Center for Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance and the ACLU.
These faith leaders will demand that Lively speak the truth, rather than “Holocaust revisionism.” Several Oklahoma City churches will open their doors for a special time of reflective prayer for LGBT people and their supporters.
Sadly, these Christians are underrepresented in the mainstream media, while harmful messages like Scott Lively’s are routinely featured.
GLAAD recently released ‘Missing Voices’, a report that highlights the mainstream media’s overreliance on anti-LGBT religious voices, while ignoring people of faith who love, support, and affirm LGBT people. Instead of focusing attention on the dangerous messages coming from people like Scott Lively, the media would be better to share the stories of the people of faith who are gathering to voice their love and support for LGBT people.
These Christians who are gathering in Oklahoma City are trying to stem the harm brought forth by Scott Lively. They recognize the harm that he has inflicted on those who endured the Holocaust, the families of those whose lives were lost to it, LGBT people and supporters who are fighting for their lives in Uganda and Moldavia, and those who want to live and worship in peace in Oklahoma.
Their witness is powerful and their ministry is needed, especially in trying times such as these.