The Americans for Truth annual dinner-banquet was held on Saturday, October 17 at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL. The Church of Christian Liberty, Calvin Lindstrom, pastor, provides oversight for the Academy as one of its ministries, though students and parents are not required to be members or attend the church. Pastor Calvin Lindstrom succeeded his dad, Dr. Paul Lindstrom, in 2002, who was the founder of Christian Liberty Academy and the Church of Christian Liberty.
Peter LaBarbera is founder & president of “Americans for Truth”, a non-profit group, founded as a part-time venture in 1996, but later reorganized in August of 2006. AFT remains a rare single issue group that seeks to apply the same single-minded determination to opposing the radical homosexual agenda and standing for God-ordained sexuality and the natural family, as countless homosexual groups do in promoting their agenda.
John Kirkwood, Pastor at Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville Illinois, and a weekly contributor for Clash Daily, was on hand to assist Peter LaBarbara in the night’s activities.
In his opening remarks, Peter LaBarbera informed attendees that his organization, “Americans for Truth” will be moving from its Illinois headquarters to Washington D.C. where there is a greater media platform to get his message out. Despite the change of name, the group’s purpose will not change. LaBarbera used to work in Washington, D.C., so he has a network of friends to draw upon. LaBarbera, however, did promise to come back to Illinois every year hold the annual AFT banquet at Christian Liberty Academy.
Following the “Pledge of Allegiance” by Peter LaBarbara and the prayer by Pastor Carl Linstrom, two short clips were shown prior to dinner being served. By far the most disturbing one was a clip about Emily who is now Emmett. View here the imbalanced 6-minute segment on the sad story of a 17-year-old teen from Gurnee, Illinois. “Emmett” Paschal (née Emily), who attends Warren Township High School, is a girl who wishes she were a boy. “Emmett” recently underwent a double mastectomy and began taking the cross-sex steroid testosterone in her quest to conceal her objective biological sex.
Peter LaBarbara reasoned that medical decisions requiring body disfiguring operations should be delayed until adulthood. Further comments by LaBarbara mentioned 1) the existence of a Chicago Leather Archives which is referred to in tourist guides as a museum, even though this facility contains pedophile information, and 2) the sponsorship of this year’s gay parade in New York City by Walmart to which many children viewed when brought by their parents.
Linda Harvey of “Mission America” condemns “Inequality and Justice Act”
Linda Harvey, founder of “Mission America”, was introduced by Peter LaBarbara as the night’s first speaker. LaBarbara used the occasion to announce that Ms. Harvey would be the keynote speaker at next year’s “Americans For Truth banquet.”
“Mission America” is an American Christian organization based in Columbus, Ohio founded in 1995 that seeks to “cover the latest cultural and social trends in our country and what they might mean for Christians. This media ministry of Linda Harvey is an outgrowth of her Christian faith and a successful career in journalism, marketing and public relations. Her articles have appeared in national publications, including the Internet news site “World Net Daily.”
Ms. Harvey spoke about the “Inequality and Justice Act” which cannot be permitted to pass. Its purpose is to change the 1964 Civil Rights codes. The bill in the House is designated as HR 3185, while in the Senate it is listed under S 1858. So far there are 170 sponsors in the House, no Republicans, but they are vulnerable to caving in. If enacted, the deceptively titled Equality Act would punish dissenters who disagree with same-sex marriage by using the enforcement tools of the amended Civil Rights Act of 1964, but with even greater force and scope. The Equality Act seeks to weaponize Obergefell, moving with lightning speed from a contentious five-to-four victory on same-sex marriage to a nationwide rule that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are privileged classes that give no quarter to Americans who continue to believe and seek to exercise their millennia-old religious belief that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman.
Ms. Harvey highly-acclaimed book was available for purchase: “Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality.” Harvey’s book takes an in-depth look as more and more young people are announcing their new “I’m gay” identity, by questioning whether their new profound declaration is a new civil right (as they are being told), or is it really who they are? Contrary to several reports posted online, the major online Amazon.com retail website did not pull Harvey’s book in 2014. It was Linda Harvey who asked that her book be removed from the website after she saw the rotten reviews which amounted to a smear campaign by those who had not read the book.
Peter LaBarbara introduces Robert Reilly
The keynote speaker of the night was Robert R. Reilly. Reilly is a writer and senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He has published books on topics of US foreign policy and “war of ideas“. From 1981-1983 Reilly served as a Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan.
One of the many book published by Reilly, this one in April of 2011, is relevant for today’s world: “The Closing of Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis”. Reilly’s most recent book, “Making Gay OKAY: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything”, was published September 11, 2015. This book served as the basis for the topic of Reilly’s keynote address: “The Case Against Sodomy: How to Use Reason and Natural Law to Argue Against Homosexual Acts and ‘Gay Marriage.”
Reilly drew attention to the cover of his book. Pictured is the White House in two different ways. The top half is of a White House ablaze in rainbow colors celebrating the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. The bottom half shows a White House turned upside down, reflective of the direction of this nation since Reilly served in the Reagan administration.
Rationalization, a way to make something bad seem good
Reilly offered this quote written by Aristotle in the “Politics”: “Men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives.” The same is likewise true when the revolutionary changes are cultural. Moral failure is difficult to live with because of the rebuke of conscience, but if moral failure is habitual it must somehow be justified. Rationalization is therefore the path to making a heretofore forbidden desire permissible. It then takes on the appearance of being good. Although some people do recover from their rationalizations when remorse and reality return, rationalization can also turn into a prison from which an individual cannot escape.
It used to be said that because sexual choices are private, homosexuals should be left to their own predilections. “Stay out of my bedroom” was a phrase commonly heard and honored. In “coming out of the closet”, the homosexual community achieved a means to advance its desire to be tolerated in terms of their private sexual behavior and to further sell their behavior to both the government and society that sodomy is normal and morally equivalent to the marital act
And it is working! Although homosexuals make up less than 2% of the population, a growing numbers of Americans find nothing amiss with the homosexual lifestyle. The underlying dynamic has now become: “If you’ll rationalize my sexual misbehavior, I’ll rationalize yours.” As such rationalization becomes an engine for revolutionary change that affect society as a whole. All that must happen is that bad becomes good for the rationalization to be secure in itself. In so doing sodomy is transformed into a highly moral act.
Aristotle’s Laws of Nature vs. the Rousseauian Anthropology
Of importance is how we perceive reality. Who is man? What makes him flourish? Although opponents of same-sex marriage say it’s against Nature, proponents claim same-sex marriage is according to Nature. They have a right to it.
The Aristotelian anthropology claims that “Nature is a cause that operates for a purpose.” As such the laws of Nature are preexisting, immutable, and universal, such as an acorn will develop into an oak tree. Natural law conveys the principle of development that makes any living thing what it is and, given the proper conditions, what it becomes when it fulfills itself or reaches its end. The eye’s function is to see; the ear to hear. Aristotle also perceived man, by Nature, as a rational, political animal for whom the basic societal unit is the family. Human beings are born into and live in families, which in turn exist as part of larger social units that are necessary to man’s fulfillment.
The Rousseauian anthropology of the 18th century is odds with the writings of Aristotle, with its claim that man is not a rational, political animal, that he is essentially complete on his own and in himself. It is obvious which anthropology the homosexual community embraces. For if the family is artificial in its origin, as Rousseau claimed, then it can be changed and rearranged in any way the state or others may desire. The same for human relations. Whoever has sufficient power is then able to make these alterations in human relations to suit themselves. For without a standard in Nature that must be adhered to, and absent judgment, how could there be a problem with sodomy? It matters not that there has never been such a thing as homosexual marriage in history. If social arrangements can change or evolve in accordance to ones desires, it matters not that there has never been such a thing as homosexual marriage in history.
In that the laws of Nature are preexisting, immutable, and universal, there is a problem with the Rousseauian fantasy. If acting reasonably is acting in accord with Nature, can sodomy be considered reasonable? The obvious answer stems from the act itself. Human bodies are better designed for heterosexual intercourse than for homosexual. A child soon learns that trying to connect two peg-shaped objects doesn’t work. They don’t fit! Furthermore, although the sex act produces pleasure whether in a heterosexual or a homosexual relationship, just because something can occur doesn’t make it natural. According to nature, men are potentially meant to be fathers and women mothers. The end result is to make as “one flesh.” Same-sex relationships exchange potency for impotency.
The Road to Victory
On June 26, 2013, in the “United States v. Widsor” case, Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the court that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional. Kennedy’s message claimed that before the DOMA ruling “a stigma had been placed on all who entered into same-sex marriages.” Kennedy’s ruling does not jib with reality. The homosexual marriage is not equivalent to the family and to the enduring existence of a political order. It denies the foundation of society.
The rationalization of homosexuality reached its legal consummation in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision on June 26, 2015, which mandated homosexual “marriage” for the nation. It was a betrayal of the nuptial meaning of the body, a denial of reality, and a triumph of Rousseau over Aristotle. Thus Obergefell can be viewed as a victory of Rousseau’s thinking of a Nature without ends, in contrast to Aristotle’s of a Nature with ends. Accordingly, the same-sex marriage ruling is more profound than a difference over the Constitution, as it denotes a difference over what constitutes reality. Chief Justice Roberts rightly objected to the ruling and wrote: “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right conferred has no basis in the constitution or this Court’s precedent.”
Kim Davis was praised by Reilly. She could have said that this is the law; that the law is wrong and resigned; or, as she did, remain in office and refuse to say that homosexual marriage is wrong.
Words of Caution and Concern
These final words of caution were expressed by Paul Reilly as he answered submitted question. The Supreme Court in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision didn’t make a moral argument, just a procedural issue. Lincoln treated slavery for what it was, a moral issue. The pro-life movement acts like a retreating army. Why aren’t there more people fighting instead of just giving in? As is attributed in the 20th century to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Our forefathers pledged everything to fight, even their lives. We are also called to defend what is not only a denial of the laws of nature but also of God. But instead of arguing from the point of natural law, we allow the other side to win with its argument that “love is love”. Surely no one wants to get between two people who love each other, but it’s all a matter of who you love.
Final words from LaBarbara took the church to task, in general, for failing miserably in pushing back against the actions of those who are actively changing the moral fabric of our society. It is time for the church to wake up. What happened in Germany is not milder than what is happening now.