By J. Matt Barber
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”
– John 15:20
Christians, pastors, take heed. In case you haven’t noticed, times are a-changin’. Whether at home or abroad, if you follow God’s command to speak biblical truth in all things, most especially, it seems, on matters of sex and sexuality, you will be persecuted.
“A servant is not greater than his master.”
I don’t presume to compare my friend Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries to Jesus Christ. None of us can compare, even remotely, to the one and only God-man – to the Lord of the universe and exclusive path to eternal salvation. That said, Pastor Lively is one of the most “Christ-like” people I’ve had the honor to know.
As did Christ, Scott Lively speaks absolute truth, in absolute love, with absolutely no fear of personal destruction or even death. He loves everyone, whether friend or foe, Christian or pagan, straight or “gay.”
For example, Scott and his family took into their home and nursed, both physically and spiritually, the late Sonny Weaver, a former homosexual who died, as so many have, from AIDS – a natural consequence of unnatural behavior. Sonny became homosexual after being raped at 7 years old by a “gay” man in a local YMCA. He became a former homosexual after accepting Jesus as Lord of his life.
Lively loves those who seek to defend him just as he loves those who seek to destroy him – and, make no mistake about it, precisely because Pastor Scott Lively has chosen to both obey and emulate Jesus Christ, there are people, very powerful people, who seek to destroy him. These people, unless and until they come to know, accept and surrender to the Lord Jesus, are, and will remain, enemies of God.
And so Scott Lively prays for them.
Remember those pastors in Houston who were told to turn over their sermons to radical lesbian-activist mayor Annise Parker? Remember the national outrage over this blatantly unconstitutional act of governmental abuse?
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Pastor Lively, you see, has, in the spirit of Saul Alinsky, been “Hitlerized” by a left-wing extremist group ironically calling itself the “Center for Constitutional Rights” (CCR). CCR is a George Soros-funded organization with, I kid you not, the beastly street address of 666 Broadway, New York, NY.
Because Lively exercised his God-given First Amendment rights, as well as his free-speech rights afforded by the laws of Uganda, and spoke biblical truth about homosexual sin after having been invited there by a number of Ugandan pro-family groups, homosexual activists set-out to make an example of him.
In March of 2012 CCR sued Lively in a Massachusetts federal court for “crimes against humanity” – the same charge filed against Nazis who stood trial in Nuremberg – on behalf of another moonbat organization called “Sexual Minorities Uganda,” which, and again, you can’t make this stuff up, prefers the moniker “SMUG.”
And so Lively enlisted the pro-bono legal services of Liberty Counsel, one of America’s fastest-growing civil rights organizations.
Lively explains: “With full knowledge that these are bald-faced lies, SMUG asserts that 1) I masterminded the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, which they call the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’ [in fact, Lively publicly opposed the bill, which has since been struck down by Ugandan courts], 2) inflamed passions against homosexuals in Uganda by characterizing all homosexuals as irredeemable genocidal child molesters, and 3) introduced to Uganda the heretofore unknown strategy of criminalizing public promotion of homosexuality as a means of opposing the rise of a homosexual movement in Uganda. The proof that these are lies is found in the very same documents they misuse against me.”
CCR and SMUG also tried to blame Lively for the murder of Ugandan homosexual David Kato, a murder he also publicly condemned, making it the centerpiece of their lawsuit until, and as was noted in Liberty Counsel’s Motion to Dismiss, it was revealed that, as Lively predicted, Kato was actually murdered by his “gay” lover who confessed to the crime, was convicted and is now in prison.
But all of this is incidental. It’s a smokescreen. Keep in mind; we’re talking about protected speech here. Lively is being tried for “crimes against humanity” for merely uttering, publicly, millennia-old biblical orthodoxy relative to sexual morality.
So how could such an Orwellian lawsuit – clearly designed as a weapon to both harass and intimidate Lively and anyone else who might dare challenge the global homosexual activist political agenda – even make its way into a U. S. federal court?
Well, CCR and SMUG’s angle was to circumvent that pesky ol’ First Amendment, as well as Ugandan free-speech laws, through a gross misapplication of the Alien Tort Statute. Normally, this would have been laughed out of court and, in fact, just last year, even as this case was ongoing, the U.S. Supreme Court unequivocally ruled this very tactic to be unlawful.
But there’s nothing normal about this case.
Meet federal Judge Michael Ponsor. Ponsor, who thumbed his nose at the Supreme Court and denied Liberty Counsel’s slam dunk Motion to Dismiss, is the textbook example of a judicial activist. He has admitted as much, once saying in another context that, “At some point I realized that judges are the unappointed legislators of mankind, and what we do is just as creative.”
But for this judicial activist, the case would seem personal. At his inauguration to the federal bench he crowed, for instance, “We have a proud, vibrant gay and lesbian community.” Presumably he knows this because one of his ex-wives reportedly later “married” another woman, while his daughter once revealed publicly on social media that she, too, was a lesbian.
And so, to keep afloat the demonization of Scott Lively (of all Christians, really) despite the Supreme Court’s torpedo, and to keep alive this judicial abuse, harassment and intimidation – Ponsor, as promised, got “creative.”
Still, the case will eventually be tossed. It’s inevitable. But in the meantime, and as Harry Mihet, Pastor Lively’s lead attorney, points out, “Because the Court denied Mr. Lively’s Motion to Dismiss, we are now forced to go through many months and years of expensive and protracted discovery on two continents. Literally thousands of pages of documents are changing hands, and dozens of depositions will be taken. This makes the subpoenas to Houston pastors look like small potatoes.”
“SMUG’s and CCR’s end game is clear: Make war criminals out of anyone who encourages any legislative body to pass any legislation upholding the traditional family. If Scott Lively is guilty of the Crime Against Humanity of Persecution, then so are the Houston pastors and anyone who has ever tried to influence legislation against the homosexual juggernaut. There is no limiting principle,” concluded Mihet.
Yet, either way, for these anti-Christian extremists, the damage is done. The process is the punishment.
This was never about winning or losing.
It was always about intimidation.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).