BY MICHAEL AVRAMOVICH:
Earlier this week, I posted a blog about a federal court decision to proceed in a lawsuit against Pastor Scott Lively of Massachusetts. The lawsuit, brought by a group of Ugandan homosexuals, claimed that Pastor Lively’s advocacy in Uganda of a biblical standard of human sexuality constituted a “crime against humanity.” In one of the comments in response to my blog, “John” observed the following:
Michael Avramovich: “Thus, under the judge’s theory of liability, if you oppose homosexual marriage, or have worked or contributed in opposition to such a “marriage,” or disfavor any special rights for homosexuals in the workplace, etc.” Scott Lively is not simply opposing same sex marriage. He is the most extreme of extremists and a sick and dangerous man. Among his fever dreams are that gays helped mastermind the Holocaust and were responsible for the Rwandan genocide. He has been active in stirring up hatred in a situation already charged with violence. Judge Ponsor initially had doubts about allowing the case to go forward. As I understand it, all Ponsor has done is allowed the case to go to discovery. He states that, according to the complaint, “the Defendants actions have fallen well outside the protections of the First Amendment.” Ponsor acknowledged that the “protection of ‘thought we hate’ is a centerpiece of our democracy,” but added that the complaint “sets out plausible claims to hold Defendant liable for his role in systematic persecution, rather than merely for opinions that Plaintiff finds abhorrent.” I suspect that, because of ATCA, the plaintiffs will probably not prevail. However, if Lively indeed encouraged “systematic persecution,” it is important that this comes out in discovery. This will allow us all to come to educated conclusions, regardless of the outcome of the case (which may be limited on technical grounds.)
I do not know Pastor Lively and have actually never heard of him until this lawsuit was well underway, so I cannot opine as to whether he is the “most extreme of extremists and a sick and dangerous man,” as “John” contends. Moreover, “John” seems to have some inside knowledge about the Honorable Judge Ponsor, as “John” suggested that the judge had some initial doubts about allowing this case to go forward.
I have had the privilege to live and travel throughout the world, and those who have had the privilege to know Africans, and African Christians in particular, know that they are traditional and conservative, and oppose homosexual (and other non-matrimonial) sexual practices. (I have heard one Sunday morning a Nigerian pastor, for instance, warn strongly that some of the women in his congregation were “whores” for taking up with both unmarried and married men. It was not the typical message one hears on Sunday morning in the American heartland.) In the lawsuit by the Ugandan homosexuals, they attributed Pastor Lively’s sermons in Uganda to be the primary impetus for Ugandan government restrictions on homosexual practices. If true, this is an interesting attestation of Pastor Lively’s strong persuasive abilities, and may explain why the Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights targeted Pastor Lively. But I remind my American readers that criminalization of sodomy statutes in the United States were not struck down by the Supreme Court until 2003, so perhaps for at least one American federal judge, the Ugandan government is not “evolving” as quickly as he thinks it should.
In any event, I wanted to take the time to respond to “John’s” thoughtful comment, but my original blog warned that Judge Ponsor’s decision could have a chilling effect on Christian pastors, missionaries, and devout believers to preach from the Bible. The fact that this case is going forward in federal court federalizes and criminalizes viewpoint discrimination against Christians. From comments made on pro-homosexual and Leftist blogs about this case, one reads vehement anti-Christian comments. A small, unedited sample includes the following:
Mr. Pink: I thought I would have to wait decades to see this day. Literally, decades. There is justice in the world after all !!!!
Marcus Adams: Christianity is a Crime Against Humanity.
Jon Bond: Crimes against humanity, aid in the persecution and murder of fellow men the world over, unprovoked, unwarranted and out-of-the-way fanaticism to murder and kill GLBT peeps the world over; all perpetrated, accepted, sanctioned, blessed and justified in the NAME OF GOD?
David L. Martin: Terrific! We need to see more individuals and institutions that have advocated the persecution of gays sued. The catholic church which has taught anti gay hate from pulpits and in schools for centuries for comes resulting in much violence and discrimination against gays.
We can clearly see a trend by homosexuals and their allies who seek to silence and intimidate anyone who rejects affirmation of their “lifestyle.” Moreover, I can expect that the anti-Christian rabble will increasingly use the legal and criminal justice system to extract high costs for proclaiming biblical truths. So, you have been forewarned for such things have happened before. (We must never forget what was done to my dear brother in Christ, Joseph Scheidler, by the forces of evil. In case you have forgotten, please read here.)
As the legal issues in this case are clear, in normal times, I think that Judge Ponsor’s decision will be overturned sooner rather than later for his complete disregard of the Supreme Court’s recent decision restricting the use of the Alien Torts Claim Act in this type of case. But, sadly, these are not normal times, and I can easily imagine appellate judges refusing to follow the law for fear from Leftists and their allies, and for Messrs. Obama and Holder intervening in this case to make sure that Pastor Lively’s views will be forever suppressed, and that he will be destroyed financially. If you want to read the Honorable Judge Ponsor’s Opinion in this case, you can read it here. I hope that this clarifies things more fully for you, my friend “John.”