Senior Pastor McCall indignant about League and Mike Heath ridicule on church bulletin board.
|The Rev. Dr. McCall|
Approximately two hundred fifty people attended the screening of "For the Bible Tells Me So" at the First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) of South Portland on Friday evening, November 30.
The crowd was overwhelmingly supportive of the pro-homosexual film, which was shown in the sanctuary of the church. The local Maine Forecaster and South Portlander publications both publicized the League's opposition to the event.
The church further publicized the event within their congregation by conspicuously posting a clipping of the Forecaster news article on their Diversity Committee bulletin board, located just outside of the church sanctuary. Also prominently shown on the church's Diversity Committee bulletin board was a commentary and photo of League Executive Director Michael Heath from early 2007 opposing homosexual marriage.
When asked about the bulletin board after the event, the senior pastor of the church, Rev. Dr. John B. McCall, was indignant about the matter.
|Heath Church Bulletin Board|
He stated that the church was making a statement by the personal display against the League and Heath on the bulletin board. McCall said he found nothing wrong with posting the articles in his church alongside materials from gaychurch.org and the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign.
McCall gave opening remarks before the film. No invocation or prayer was held at any time before or after the event. McCall did, however, show three homosexual-friendly commercials prior to the film. The national United Church of Christ denomination created the commercials in 2006 to make inroads into the lucrative, but small, homosexual community.
The church's Diversity Committee leader, Deb Theriault, spoke briefly from the pulpit of the sanctuary before the event about her own experience coming out publicly as a lesbian. The Diversity Committee, in collaboration with the radical homosexual group EqualityMaine, organized and led the event.
In addition to Theriault, the members of the First Congregational Church (UCC) of South Portland's Diversity Committee include: Mrs. Joan Carrier of Cape Elizabeth, Mrs. Dolores M. Broberg of South Portland, John Howard, Esq. of South Portland, Mrs. Carol Scheffler of Cape Elizabeth, Sally Sutton of South Portland (Senior Policy Analyst, Muskie School of Public Service), Lois F. Hill of South Portland, Terry Lapointe, Kathy Cotter, and Rev. Elsa A. Peters, Associate Pastor of the church.
Daniel Lee and four other men from the First Baptist Church of South Portland attended the event, despite opposing the film's message on biblical and scriptural grounds. He wrote a seven-page Reasoned Response to the movie shortly after the event.
In it, Lee writes, "Before leaving [the church to attend the movie], we prayed for God's wisdom, guidance and protection."
One of the men who was with Lee wrote of the experience, "We didn't know what to expect, but we knew we were going into Satan's territory. Contrary to how [the movie] portrayed Christians, we deeply care about [homosexuals] salvation and relationship with God."
|EqualityMaine Table at Church|
Radical homosexual lobby groups the Gay and Lesbian Activists & Defenders (GLAD) and EqualityMaine provided pro-homosexual marriage DVDs, bumper stickers, buttons, and written material for the largely homosexual-friendly audience. EqualityMaine's Public Policy Director, Darlene Huntress, attended the film screening, as did Southern Maine's transgendered Miss Alex Roan of Maine's Transgendered Network.
The church considers itself open to active, practicing homosexuals and the transgendered, and does not consider homosexual behavior to be sin. According to the church's "open and affirming" statement: "[The languages of our scriptures] refer to homosexual acts by heterosexuals, which were condemned as idolatrous, exploitative, or pagan practices.
"...we reject homophobia because it is incompatible with Jesus's commandment to love one another. We affirm that God created [homosexuals] in the divine image...
"We will continue to witness to the simple truth that...one particular way of living is not necessarily superior to others.
"We will begin to break down walls of prejudice as we learn to accept each other...and honor one another for our God-given differences. No child is too young to understand that each [homosexual] belongs to God's family."
|Church Movie Crowd|
The statement of the church, adopted in 2000, seems to be at odds with their own church pew Bibles (New Revised Standard Version). Scripture from the Bibles that are found in the church sanctuary pews include:
Lev 18:22 "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."
Rom 1:26 - 27 "For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error."
1 Cor 6:9 - 10 "Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers -- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God."
Copyright by Christian Civic League of Maine. Used with permission.