It’s not often that I agree with Gary Randall, the retired televangelist from Oregon who has dedicated his golden years to vilifying Washington’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and undermining the security of our families. Today, however, he posted a diary in praise of Governor Gregoire and the Washington state Legislature for their passage this session of an anti-human-trafficking law. On this, we agree.
The new law “mandates significant increases in the penalties faced by those convicted of pimping children while preventing those accused of paying children for sex from simply claiming they thought the child was of age.” The bill also mandates a hefty minimum sentence for pimps, and “require[s] that child prostitutes not be criminally charged on their first arrest, and enable authorities to hold them as juveniles in need of services.”
No surprise that the bill passed with a unanimous vote in the Legislature. This is excellent legislation that people from across the political spectrum can get behind. Gary Randall writes:
I am personally impacted by this in that I have seen, first hand, the resulting devastation to families and children, during the years I served as a youth minister in Seattle, Salem, Or. and North Hollywood, Ca.
I am often critical of both Governor Gregoire and the majority in the State Legislature, however, I take heart that sometimes, not often, but sometimes, good things can come from them.
Thank you to the Legislature for passing this bill, to Governor Gregoire for signing it and for law enforcement who will enforce it.
Considering the source, this is high praise indeed. And I give Gary Randall a lot of credit for saying it, because he could have ignored the legislative history of the bill and just focused on the support given it by some of his religious-right colleagues. I would venture to guess that Randall’s willingness to show honest appreciation to his otherwise-political rivals indicates how sincerely this issue really does touch his heart. I therefore implore Gary Randall to reflect on his own actions and examine how his unrelenting vilification of LGBT people is a likely contributing factor to the very issue of sex trafficking that so affects him.Estimates are that 20-40% of homeless youth are LGBT. Considering that only 3-5% of Americans identify as LGBT, the incidence of LGBT youth homelessness is of epidemic proportions. And here is where Gary Randall comes in:
Family conflict is the primary cause of homelessness for all youth, LGBT or straight. Specifically, familial conflict over a youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a significant factor that leads to homelessness or the need for out-of-home care. According to one study, 50 percent of gay teens experienced a negative reaction from their parents when they came out, and 26 percent were kicked out of their homes. Another study found that more than one-third of youth who are homeless or in the care of social services experienced a violent physical assault when they came out, which can lead to youth leaving a shelter or foster home because they actually feel safer on the streets.
Once on the street, youth are at heightened risk of turning to prostitution to survive. Undoubtedly the lowered self-esteem resulting from being emotionally and/or physically brutalized by parents whose love is conditional may also a factor in falling into prostitution, not to mention drug abuse and theft.
If Gary Randall would spend even an hour in earnest discussion with a group of self-accepting LGBT people, he could learn first-hand the reality of these statistics. Instead he spends his energies fanning the flames of parental and societal rejection and vilification of LGBT people and families. Besides co-sponsoring anti-gay ballot measures and lobbying for anti-gay legislative and judicial candidates, Gary Randall keeps up a consistent stream of anti-LGBT blog diaries. Below are a few examples. In light of the information above and his deep concern for child prostitution, I hope Randall will read his own words again and ask himself, “could these words be a contributing factor to the distressing problem of youth homelessness and prostitution?”
People of faith can oppose homosexuality and it’s advancement to deconstruct society by redefining marriage, without hating anyone, including homosexual advocates or those who practice it. …Remember homosexuality is an act. It does not equate with race or ethnicity. …
If you feel empathy toward people and their families and are conflicted about denying or taking something from them, keep in mind that there are reasons why natural marriage has been honored and given special considerations. Marriage is not simply about people who love each other, but it is about providing a genetically connected mother and father to birth and raise children, caring and providing for the next generation. Should we reject the wisdom of history regarding marriage as being only between a man and a woman?
And should we compromise our belief in very clear biblical teaching on the matter of homosexual acts, in the spirit of trying to be fair and good?
Clearly we should not. However, that is not the true question. The proper question is, “Can I oppose the acts of homosexuality and its advancement in our culture without hating or rejecting a person?”
Yes. You can do both. You can reject the acts of homosexuality and their advancement, while caring and praying for those who commit the acts.
A pastor asking his followers to ignore empathy is a very sad thing to see, especially when the recipients of his advice are parents. But empathy must be jettisoned before one can stomach the dehumanization of LGBT people by reducing them to a sex act, as Randall does here.
I know of no self-accepting LGBT person who feels loved by people who see them as a sex act and label them sinners for being born as the people they are. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a ruse intended to make the LGBT-vilifying person fell holier-than-thou and justified in the cruelty they are inflicting. There’s no love involved in encouraging parents to loathe their LGBT child or in encouraging LGBT children to loathe themselves by calling them sinners.
I have provided a link to a brief overview or summary of what the Bible actually says about homosexuality.
With the strong push by homosexuals to change the minds of people within the church, the constant favorable drum beat of the press, the activism of the entertainment industry toward the matter and the extreme activism in public education to normalize this lifestyle, it is the responsibility of parents to know the truth and share it with children and grandchildren.
(n.b. from Lurleen, the link takes you to fake “data” like this, that clearly is not a “summary of what the Bible actually says”, but rather was ginned up from the discredited Family Research Institute headed up by the scientist impersonator Paul Cameron.)
The best available evidence indicates that those practicing homosexual behavior have a 20% to 30% shorter life expectancy than the rest of the population, not even accounting for death from AIDS.
25% to 33% of people in the homosexual lifestyle are alcoholics compared to 7% in the general population.
Most people in the homosexual lifestyle are loving and caring. But we cannot merely sweep under the rug the statistics that indicate that homosexuals are 16 times more likely than heterosexuals to molest a child and 15 times more likely to murder.
In addition to increased molestation, empirical research shows that children of a homosexual couple have more frequent harms such as social difficulties, emotional turmoil, gender role disruption, etc.
For further statistics, see the educational pamphlet Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do. (This pamphlet, as well as others available from the Family Research Institute, are excellent to distribute at your workplace if you are forced to attend an indoctrination on homosexuality!) They are available at this website:
The blatant anti-LGBT lies and the expressions of moral disapproval coming from someone in the esteemed position of pastor amounts to bullying and abuse, and can only be expected to incite parents to abuse or reject their LGBT children, not love them them for who they are.
Gary Randall’s own words and actions contribute to a problem that he is sincerely concerned about. I very sincerely hope that he will have the courage to reflect on his own roll in increasing the pool of youth vulnerable to homelessness and prostitution. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is an empty slogan meant to absolve oneself of the crimes of emotionally raping youth by branding them sinners and turning their parents against them. It’s time for Gary Randall to stop vilifying lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and start helping parents love their LGBT children as they are so that they don’t end up on the streets servicing johns.