- (Photo: Peter LaBarbera)
A watchdog group dedicated to countering the agenda of homosexual activists said that a brick-throwing incident over the weekend at an Illinois Christian school is not simply an act of vandalism, but an act of domestic terrorism allegedly committed by a gay rights group.
Early Saturday morning, according to police reports, two bricks were thrown through glass doors at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights. The Americans for Truth About Homosexuality hosted a banquet later in the evening at the school run by the Church of Christian Liberty.
Dr. Scott Lively, who is a pro-family activist and author of The Pink Swastika, was an honoree at the event. A note attached to one of the bricks stated: "This is just a sample of what we will do if you don't shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH."
AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera told The Christian Post that shortly after the brick-throwing incident, a group called Chicago Independent Media Center took credit for the action in a posting on its website. As of Thursday, the post, which LaBarbera said is a “manifesto by the left-wing group,” remains on the website.
In the post, the Chicago IMC states: "These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down. If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian Liberty Academy will continue to be under constant attack."
LaBarbera said that Lively was targeted in the online statement for allegedly condoning violence against homosexuals in Uganda.
“Their claim that Lively wants to quote, ‘kill gays,’ is ridiculous,” LaBarbera said. “This manifesto that they published on their website and basically took credit for is like al-Qaida would do after a terrorist act. This was an act of terrorism according to the FBI’s own definition.”
“Some in the media are calling this terrorist act vandalism, which we doubt they would do if the situation were reversed and right-wing extremists threw two large bricks through the glass doors of a gay church," he stated in a press release. "As conservatives, we oppose the concept of 'hate crimes,' but since hate crimes laws are on the books they must be enforced even-handedly."
At a press conference on Thursday, in a show of solidarity, LaBarbera was joined by AFTAH board member Matt Barber, an attorney with Liberty Counsel. Other supporters included Pastor Calvin Lindstrom from Christian Liberty Academy and Pastor John Kirkwood from Grace Gospel Fellowship Church, Bensenville.
LaBarbera said, “In the days and weeks leading up to this hateful attack, the Gay Liberation Network, which truly hates AFTAH, published awful lies about Scott Lively, who received our 2011 ‘American Truth Teller’ award at the banquet.”
“They maliciously slandered Scott by claiming that he was responsible for violence against homosexuals in Uganda, and they slandered me by saying that because we were honoring Lively, I too condoned violence against homosexuals,” he said. “Both Scott and I, and every major pro-family leader who works on the homosexual issue has consistently and repeatedly condemned violence and genuine hatred against homosexuals.”
The Gay Liberation Network refers to the brick throwing as an act of “minor vandalism” in a post on its website about the incident.
In the posting, GLN states: “But let us be clear: it is AFTAH, not pro-gay demonstrators, who are the victimizers. The Uganda bill, if passed, will mandate the wholesale arrest of 10's of thousands of LGBT people and our supporters. LaBarbera and Lively have made professional careers out of scapegoating others and attempting to deprive them of rights that they themselves enjoy.”
“It says something about the profound narcissism of American political life that political leaders and organizations who advocate for wars upon millions overseas, and repression of whole groups of people at home and abroad, are taken aback when minor vandalism is visited upon them,” GLN concluded in its post.
Uganda-based Family Life Network hosted a conference in Kampala in 2009 that called parents and the community to oppose the homosexual agenda. Lively was among the featured guest speakers. Lively reportedly said at the time that the main goal was to help homosexuals recover and not to punish them.
LaBarbera said Christians should take a more pro-active approach against groups such as GLN.
“This shows who the real haters are,” LaBarbera told CP. “We can’t sit idly by while these groups are whipping up hate against Christians. We have to defend ourselves and we have to get involved. If we just go to church and nobody does anything or says anything it just encourages this kind of hate against believers.”