Brick thrown through window of Christian Liberty Academy
In the early morning hours, on the eve of a banquet designed to expose the homosexual activist agenda, security cameras on the campus of the Christian Liberty Academy, a school run by the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights, Ill., captured what may be a prominent example of an anti-Christian "hate crime."
An unknown vandal or vandals threw chunks of concrete bricks through the school's entryway with a message protesting the banquet, which was planned byAmericans for Truth about Homosexuality, or AFTAH, to honor pro-family activist and author of"The Pink Swastika,"Dr. Scott Lively.
Upon the concrete bricks were written the words "Shut down Lively," and the vandals included a note theatening more violence if the church and school didn't stop hosting such "homophobic" guests.
"This is just a sample of what we will do if you don't shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH," the note reads. "F--- Scott Lively. Quit the homophobic s---!"
Hours later, a "press release" was sent by email to AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera, Church of Christian Liberty Pastor Calvin Lindstrom andthe Chicago Independent Media Centerclaiming responsibility for the attack.
"In the early morning hours of October 15th, we put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian Liberty Academy," claims the author of the release, identifying himself only by a vulgar nickname. "We did this because at 6 p.m. today they will be hosting an event organized by the homophobic hate group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, that [sic] will be presenting an award to Scott Lively."
The statement continues, "These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down. If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian Liberty Academy will continue to be under constant attack."
"In my 20 plus years of pro-family activism," Lively told WND, "I have never seen such a brazen act of 'gay' militancy."
"We see the homosexual agenda is becoming so arrogant in its growing power," LaBarbera added, "but we've never seen this before, what we would call 'homofascism' being raised to the level of domestic terrorism."
The Christian Liberty Academy has hosted several events for Americans For Truth over the years, including last year's three-day Truth Academy, which drew a large protest led by the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, or GLN. The GLN has also announced that it will protest the AFTAH banquet.
"The GLN has always targeted us," LaBarbera told WND. "But right now we don't know who did this. It could be just a rogue activist. It could be just one person. We don't know, and I wouldn't want to link the attack to any group unless we had evidence linking it."
Investigating the attack has been turned over to the police, but Pastor Lindstrom told WND the church has no plans to cancel the banquet.
When asked how the church would respond to the attack, Lindstrom answered, "In prayer. The Lord is our ultimate defender, and we trust the Lord will give us safety and will bring whoever did this to justice."
"A lot of Chistians cower in fear before the power and influence of the homosexual lobby," LaBarbera added. "It's not helpful. If you demonstrate you can be intimidated, you reward the bully. The 'gay' bully has been rewarded enough times, so many times they think they can get their way. We hope more churches will refuse to be bullied and will stand up to tell the truth about the homosexual agenda."
Lindstrom told WND he wasn't comfortable labeling the attack as a "hate crime," since such legislation is "typically used against Christians," but did say the police had intoned the attack may be investigated as such.
Matt Barber, AFTAH's board chairman and vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, however, wasn't so hesitant.
When asked if the attack could be grounds for an FBI investigation, he answered, "Absolutely: anti-Christian hate crime, civil rights violation, terrorism and potential others."
Barber also released a statement about the attack: "AFTAH is called in love to share God's truth about homosexual sin. This courageous Christian organization is also tasked with exposing the lies of the political sexual anarchy movement. Homofascist organizations and hard-left extremist groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center lie and smear Christian organizations like AFTAH as 'hate groups.' We will not compromise on God's truth. Neither will we be terrorized into silence. God's Word says that there is no fear in love because perfect love (Christ) casts out fear. Although we are beginning to see a sharp rise in left-wing extremism and violence across our nation, we will not be intimidated. We will continue to fearlessly respond to hate with truth in love. 'Gay' activists: Your terrorist tactics have failed."
Animosity toward Dr. Lively
Lively is the founder and president of California-based Abiding Truth Ministries and its subsidiary, Defend the Family International. Lively developed the ministry to respond to the deterioration of family life and the decline of Christian influence in America and many other countries.
The author of five books, Lively has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV programs and travels around the United States speaking at churches, seminars and conferences on issues of family life and the "culture war." He also travels around the world meeting with foreign religious, media and civic leaders, lecturing in universities and holding seminars for churches, seminaries, social organizations and Christian political parties.
While AFTAH is planning its banquet to honor Lively, Lindstrom told WND many homosexual groups have "a special place of hatred" for him.
The press release claiming responsibility for the attack on the Christian Liberty Academy even blamed Lively for murder:
"In 2009, Lively and other American homophobes spoke at a conference in Uganda called 'Exposing the Truth About Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda,'" the release asserts. "This conference stirred the anti-gay atmosphere that already exists in Uganda, a country with laws that punish homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. As a direct result of this conference, participants have drafted a bill that, if passed, would increase the sentencing for homosexual acts to life sentences and execution and make it a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community.
It continues, "On Jan. 26, 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kisule was murdered after being outed in a newspaper ad that listed names and photos of queer people in the community as a part of an anti-gay campaign that is a result of Scott Lively's visit."
The GLN took up a similar complaint about Lively's time in Uganda in a letter to prominent Chicago pastor Erwin Lutzer, urging Lutzer to decline speaking at the AFTAH banquet because Lively and LaBarbera allegedly "support violence [against homosexuals] outright."
Lively, however, made public a letter to LaBarbera in which he countered claims about fomenting "hate" and "violence" in Uganda:
"I am a Bible-believing Christian who abhors violence against anyone, and has never advocated violence or hatred against homosexuals," Lively asserts. "During my 2009 trip [to Uganda] I also addressed members of the Ugandan Parliament in their national assembly hall. My advice to the MPs regarding the law they were contemplating but had not yet drafted was to focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. I urged them to become the first government in the world to develop a state-sponsored recovery system for homosexuality on the model we have in the United States for alcoholism.
"In contradiction to my advice, a few months after the seminar an MP introduced a bill to criminalize homosexuality," he continues. "The terms of the bill were harsh, as is very common in African countries, including capital punishment. … I do not support capital punishment for any sex crimes, let alone simple homosexuality, which I view as a treatable behavioral disorder, and so I opposed the bill. I was nevertheless accused in the international media of not only endorsing the bill, but of advocating for it."
As for the murder of David Kato Kisule, Lively points out there's no cause to blame him for the crime.
"Not once, but twice, when supposed homosexual activists in Uganda were killed, it was implied by the liberal Western media that I was responsible," Lively asserts. "In both cases the deaths were later proved to be unrelated to the passions surrounding the Ugandan bill. The first turned out to be the work of pagan witch doctors involved in some bizarre ritual. The second, involving the grisly murder of Ugandan homosexual activist David Kato [Kisule], turned out to be a crime of passion by a male prostitute whom Kato had bailed out of jail and taken to be his houseboy."
He concludes, "I must, however, exhort my fellow Christians not to allow themselves to be influenced by the propaganda nor intimidated by the harassment tactics. It has always been the case that the cause of Christ is advanced only through selfless courage in the face of determined opposition."