I've said it many times: Radical “Christian” activists can be just as nasty as radical gay activists in the culture wars. The Westboro Baptist Church certainly proves my point with its bona fide hate speech and repulsive funeral protests.
If this Kansas pastor's claim is true, though, traditional marriage supporters have gone way too far—way, way too far.
Jackie Carter, a pastor at First Metropolitan Church in Wichita, Kansas, says she's getting death threats for performing gay weddings. Carter has been holding the ceremonies since a federal judge struck down gay marriage there in November.
Let's be clear. I strongly stand against Carter's decision to perform same-sex marriages, but breaking windows in her church and making literal death threats are not the way to share disagreement over her choice to officiate these sinful ceremonies.
“When you're here and the phone rings, and there's heavy breathing and two seconds later the doorbell rings and then somebody's throwing rocks through the windows,” Carter told ksn.com. “All those things combined create fear.”
That's what death threats are supposed to do, but such fearful words typically fall to the ground. I've never seen a culture warrior on either side of the fence back down in the face these fear-laced threats.
On the other side of the battle over traditional marriage, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently compiled a hate list that includes our very own Michael Brown, conservative blogger Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America's Janice Shaw Crouse and many others.
But Scott Lively—an American author, attorney, social activist, independent candidate for governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 election and president of Abiding Truth Ministries—is target No. 1 on the HRC's hate list. Lively claims he has received two death threats since the report was published in September. That hate-inspired message also listed Barber and Liberty Law School Dean Mat Staver, among others.
Ridiculous is not a strong enough word for making death threats over gay rights—or any other issue for that matter.
I know what it's like to get death threats. It's unsettling, even if you have no real reason to believe the threat is viable. So I sympathize with Lively for taking a stand for truth of God's Word. Like Lively, I refuse to let the radical gay agenda's intimidation tactics stop me from speaking the truth that sets the captives free.
But I also sympathize with Carter. She's so scared she's raising funds to purchase security cameras and has hired a security company. At her church services, she has people outside on Sundays to make sure people get in safely. That's a sad story, but reflective of the age in which we live—an age in which the love of many has grown cold (see Matt. 24:12).
Nevertheless, Carter says she will not stop performing gay weddings and concludes: “This is ridiculous hatred that has no place in this city or state or this country.” Again, while I disagree with Carter's stance on gay marriage, I do agree with her stance on ridiculous hatred—it has no place in this nation.
As I've said before, all people are created in the image of God—whether they agree with His Word or not. I'm calling for an end to death threats in the culture wars. I'm calling for an end to senseless violence from police and protesters. I'm calling for an end to the culture of death that has cast a dark cloud over this nation. I'm doing more than calling for these things—I'm praying for them, in the name of Jesus.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft, and The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.