The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ — and How We Should Respond

So Disney is going to have an “exclusively gay moment” in the live-action film version of Beauty and the Beast. It’s not going to be a big thing, just a moment in the action of LeFou the manservant. Something “nice.” Something very feelings-oriented.

That news follows close upon Disney Studios’ first animated same-sex kiss.

We’ve been talking about this behind the scenes here at The Stream. Al Perrotta, our managing editor, made this prediction by email:

Let’s not kid ourselves. The reason you put in a lighthearted, perhaps even obvious, gay attraction theme in Beauty and the Beast is to soften the ground so a Disney princess or heroine can be gay. That’s the goal. They’ll get away with it here because it’s likely to be humorous, over-the-top fun, and done with much skill. (The Modern Family lesson well applied. And the film’s director Bill Condon is no slouch.) But I guarantee Disney is eyeballing a feature with a gay lead.

He’s right. Modern Family presents gayness in such a pleasant and positive light, it’s done more for gay-rights activism than any gay op-ed or slogan has ever done.

Strategically Putting Christians In a Corner

Make no mistake, this was by strategic intention. Marshall Kirk and “Erastes Pill” (a pseudonym for Hunter Madsen) laid it out decades ago in a strategy document they called “The Overhauling of Straight America.” Written in 1987, it’s a disturbing paper yet still worth the read if you can stand it, for the insight it gives into decades of gay activism.

Kirk and Pill speak of opening up “a gateway into the private world of straights, through which a Trojan horse might be passed. As far as desensitization is concerned, the medium is the message — of normalcy. So far, gay Hollywood has provided our best covert weapon in the battle to desensitize the mainstream.”

It’s a strategy centered in positive imagery: “For openers, naturally, we must continue to encourage the appearance of favorable gay characters in films and TV shows,” they write. “The visual media, film and television, are plainly the most powerful image-makers in Western civilization.”

Their approach has been astonishingly effective. Consider the strategic savvy of what they’re setting up in Beauty and the Beast. If we say, “That’s wrong!” people will hear it as “That’s ugly” instead. Everything is happening on the level of images, remember.

So there’s no easy way for conservatives to object without looking ugly ourselves. They’ve put us in a corner. If we object, we lose now. If we don’t object, we lose later, when Disney plies gay princes and princesses upon us. Disney is the Beauty, critics are the Beast.

Overhauling Under Way

But how did that happen? How did we get that way? It comes out of “Overhauling Straight America.” Opponents “must be vilified,” say Kirk and Pill:

The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes. … Bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs, and convicts speaking coolly about the “f*gs” they have killed or would like to kill; a tour of Nazi concentration camps where homosexuals were tortured and gassed.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If you haven’t seen those precise images, still you know how neatly Christians have been maneuvered into the place of the “intolerant haters.” You could almost admire a strategy so effective, if it weren’t so dishonestly manipulative.

And that, fellow Christians, is the difficult strategic setup we’re dealing with. What’s our best response?

Fight Beastliness With Beauty

What we’ve been doing for the most part (and I include myself here) has been trying to make gays and gay activism appear the Beast. We have ground to stand on there, to be sure. Even their strategies are beastly.

But just as there are no fairy tales where the heroine turns ugly at the end, and “they all live happily ever after” (I don’t think even Shrek is an exception, though that’s another discussion), it’s hard to make people happy by exposing gay activism’s ugliness. From both a strategic and biblical perspective we’ll get much further by revealing the true beauty of the way of Jesus Christ.

We must be His Beauty in the world. We won’t be able to do that the way Disney does, with multi-million dollar budgets, decades of film experience and a distribution system to drool over. But we are not without resources of our own.

We have the beauty of Christian marriage. Couples who pray together have more loving unions and divorce less often. We have the beauty of Christian forgiveness. We have the beauty of the love of Christ, reaching out to neighbors, friends, and even enemies. We have the beauty of truth, openness, honesty, transparency and humility.

Personal Relationships and Public Conversations

I could go on. These things are best seen up close, not onscreen. We need to love our opponents. The closer we connect in real relationships with people who consider us beastly, the harder it will be for them to ignore the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Meanwhile the discussion must go on. Disney’s support for homosexuality is very public, so we have to respond in public. But we must be wise to the trap they’ve set for us. Someone commented regarding the cartoon kiss, “It’s official. Our society has gone to sh*t.” Someone else wrote, “You Liberals are disgusting creatures of perversion!!” That’s falling into the trap, and it’s no help at all. Language like that is just as ugly as what it’s objecting to.

No, in our public conversations we have to keep pointing back to the better way. We need to learn to paint the picture better, to show the truly beautiful way, the way of strong and lasting marriages that unite in godly love to build the next generation.

Because the way of Jesus Christ, which our culture has come to consider beastly, is really beautiful. The more people can see that with their own eyes, the more likely they’ll be to believe it. (For more from the author of “The Beastly Beauty of Disney’s ‘Gay Moment’ — and How We Should Respond” please click HERE)

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No, a Study Did Not Show That Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws Reduce Teen Suicide Rates

You probably saw the breathless reports suggesting, as CNN did, that “same-sex marriage may decrease teen suicide attempt rates, study says.” A yes, a study. A statistical study. That’s supposed to give it gravitas. In fact many, perhaps even most, statistical studies simply can’t be trusted. Certainly not this one.

The study in question is the peer-reviewed paper “Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts” by Julia Raifman, Ellen Moscoe, and S. Bryn Austin, in the once-prestigious journal JAMA Pediatrics.

This widely touted work purports to have discovered, using statistical methods, “that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year.” The authors say there is now “empirical evidence for an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health outcomes.”


Think about what the authors are implying: that the mere presence of gmarriage — government-defined marriage, as opposed to marriage defined by reality — stops teens from reporting suicide attempts.


If what these authors are eager to imply is true, it must have been that some teenagers before gmarriage reported trying to kill themselves because there was no such thing as gmarriage. Or it must be that some teenagers after gmarriage became the “law of the land” thought to themselves, “You know, I was going to report trying to kill myself. But now that Bert and Ernie can be gmarried, I won’t report it.” (Both could be true.)

About the number of teenagers who actually killed themselves because of the absence of gmarriage — or because of the presence of gmarriage — nobody knows. The study only relates how many kids self-reported suicide attempts. Since most of the kids giving answers were 15-16, it can’t have been because of actual forbidden gmarriage or marriage ceremonies that caused reporting suicide attempts (of course, there could have been a handful of child brides or grooms in the data).

This is among all teens, mind you, and not just the minority reporting same-sex attraction or other non-biologically oriented sexual desires. The authors claim the effect was greater in the sexual minority.

Weighted Realities

Forgive the dive into the details, but it’s necessary to see what’s really happening. Via a complicated massaging of numbers, the authors say that before gmarriage

a weighted 8.6% of all high school students and 28.5% of 231 413 students who identified as sexual minorities reported suicide attempts before implementation of same-sex marriage policies. Same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 0.6-percentage point…reduction in suicide attempts, representing a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide owing to same-sex marriage implementation.

A weighted 8.6% to a weighted 8%, they say. This is a 7% reduction, all right, but a minor tweak in the actual weighted number. Thee numbers are weighted averages across several states and the result of a statistical model called a linear regression. The 0.6 drop is not observed, but is the output from a model.

What’s odd is that the authors report the rate for teens reporting non-traditional sexual desires (a modeled 4% drop from 28.5%), and also for all teens (that modeled 0.6% drop), a group which includes the sexual minority. But they don’t report numbers for normal teens (did this number increase?). This omission leads one to suspect the authors are fooling themselves. This is suggested in two ways.


The first is that these numbers are modeled averages across states. The numbers within states is anything but straightforward (the authors provide graphs). For instance, some states show reported suicide attempts increasing after gmarriage (New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, for example). The graphs also indicate a general decline in rates before gmarriage and continuing afterwards (see their Fig. 3). What makes this even more curious is that there are only a couple of years of data after gmarriage (there are many before), making comparisons more prone to error.

But those are all quibbles. Forget them if you like. The second reason is more to the point. The year each state imposed gmarriage was put into the authors’ model: this created a before and after period. The attempted suicide rates in the before period were caused by any number of things, but, the authors imply, some of the attempts were because of the lack of gmarriage.

In the after period, there were still myriad causes of suicide attempts, but one cause was removed (lack of gmarriage). Thus some kids who would have tried to unsuccessfully kill themselves did not try because of gmarriage access (but not for themselves, because they were too young).

Correlation is not Causation!

But — and this is a big but — since no questions about why kids tried to kill themselves were asked, the demarcation of before and after is entirely arbitrary. The year most cited for gmarriage was 2014. Thus not only could access to gmarriage by others (but not for themselves) be used, so could the Ebola epidemic becoming a global health crisis, which also happened in 2014, and which was one of the biggest news stories of the year, according to ABC.

Think: putting Ebola in the model works equally well with gmarriage to explain the data. So do the disasters of those crashing Malaysian airliners, or the fighting in Ukraine and Crimea. So does the 2014 Winter Olympics! And the death of sad-funny-man Robin Williams (all mentioned by ABC).

Or any of an uncountable number of events. The truth is the data do not say, and cannot say, what caused the observed changes. It is sloppy statistics — it is bad science, period — to suggest the one thing the authors thought of had to be the one and only cause of the changes.

It is made worse when this cause has so little bearing on the lives of the people purported to be affected. Fifteen and 16-year-olds do not often marry, and nobody has (yet?) heard of any same-sex “weddings” between teenagers.

And it grows worse yet again, when it is implied, as the authors do imply, that the increases after gmarriage in specific states were actually decreases — because the (modeled) mean across states decreased.

If suicide attempts increased in a state after gmarriage, as it did in several states, could it be that the presence of gmarriage is causing more kids to try and kill themselves?

If not, why not? (For more from the author of “No, a Study Did Not Show That Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws Reduce Teen Suicide Rates” please click HERE)

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Rainbow Jihad Case of Barronelle Stutzman Proves: The Courts Own Us

There is no god but the state, and the courts are its messenger.

That was apparent when the Ninth Circuit ran roughshod more than a week ago over an entirely lawful, if not particularly elegant, execution of immigration sanity by President Trump. And on Thursday, emboldened by each and every unchecked usurpation of the legislative process they contrive, the courts stuck a dagger in the back of American sovereignty once again.

This time it was the Washington State Supreme Court that did the dirty work, telling florist Barronelle Stutzman that the true meaning of liberty is to swear undying allegiance to the Rainbow Jihad — First Amendment be (literally) damned.

How much longer can the Constitution take it up the tail pipe before somebody looks these black-robed bullies in the eye and tells them enough is enough?

Why on earth does a sweet old lady like Stutzman, whom I have met, have to do the heavy lifting on this instead of judges, lawyers, and politicians who have sworn an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Your mind is a puddle of mush concerning the definition of marriage? Fine. You are overcome by a ‘nicer than God’ complex concerning immigration? Ok, whatever. While I’m used to the ease with which very smart people have bought into such frauds, I’m also confident that truth can and will win the day on those issues and many other issues if the playing field I am competing on is evenly remotely fair.

Put another way, I still like my odds even with one hand tied behind my back. But what I can’t see is cause for victory on any issue at all if the courts can and will simply veto the result of every scoreboard whose outcome isn’t deemed progressive enough. The living, breathing Constitution is this country’s Kobayashi Maru scenario. It can’t be defeated, because it makes nailing Jell-O to the wall look like a sure thing by comparison.

For if non-citizens have more rights than citizens do — as it seems based on the juxtaposition of these two rulings — the Constitution is actually dead as a door nail.

That’s not remotely how the Founding Fathers viewed its inherent purpose as a check and balance. Which means we have nothing short of a moral, ethical and intellectual coup on our hands. And the fact that the court ruled unanimously to punish Stutzman only makes such a cruel truth all the clearer. The Bill of Rights are simply a dead letter to the fake justice sweeping our land.

But what is a rock sold truth you can bet your house on, according to the Washington State Supreme Court?

That providing flowers to a fake wedding would not serve as an endorsement of that shame because “providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism.”

That’s an actual legal opinion, folks. In a sane world, it should lead to impeachment. But we are not sane. We are the people who claim to worship science, but then deny it when we look between our legs.

For what these hackneyed theologians, not-so-cleverly disguised as judges, are telling you is that the dictates of your moral conscience are null and void if they draw distinctions that grown-ups are expected and encouraged to make all the time. You may have read about that once in a dusty old document that talked about freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly among other things. Our very identities are tied into who and what we choose to be associated with on any given day, just as progressives are screaming from every rooftop about right now concerning whether Trump’s America is a place they want to live.

You know, like fashion designers who decide that the best course of business for their brand is to not dress First Lady Melania Trump, or department stores who decide not to carry the clothing line of First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

Can’t wait until those travesties of justice hit the courts.

The fact that the above legal rendering actually relies on the phrase “does not necessarily constitute” when discussing the endorsement of belief or behavior gets it exactly wrong. What’s in question isn’t how other people might see the same or any other analogous circumstance, but how Barronelle Stutzman sees the particular application of her Christian worldview.

It’s her conscience, not the state’s, and our country was founded on the principle she has a right to it.

A proper understanding of liberty should make that painfully obvious. Yet even if we had such a proper understanding, it would be worthless, too. For we wouldn’t act on it. Oh, we’ll sit there and wax poetic all over conservative media about God-given rights and such. But when faced with a clear and present threat to our ideals, like this one, we’ll suddenly become impotent. Lamenting how terrible things really are while pretending the Founders left us no machinery by which to do something about it.

Progressives use unelected judges to declare war on reality, and as long as fill-in-the-blank fake conservative sticks it to the media in some viral video that provides today’s bread and circus we’re satisfied. We want the click-bait. We want the show.

Are you not entertained?

We don’t seem to want the hard work of self-governing, cleaning house, and standing up for what we believe in. Otherwise what’s happening to Stutzman would be a battle cry to mobilize a movement, instead of barely eliciting yawns.

So the courts own us. Enjoy the abyss. (For more from the author of “Rainbow Jihad Case of Barronelle Stutzman Proves: The Courts Own Us” please click HERE)

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Trump Decides to Keep Obama’s Radical LGBT Special Envoy, Aiding the Destruction of Traditional Cultures, Imposing American Perversity, Worldwide

President Trump is keeping in place a special international LGBT “envoy” established by the Obama administration to promote acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism abroad in the name of U.S. foreign policy.

The reinstatement of open homosexual Randy Berry as Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons was reported Monday by the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade. It is another blow to pro-family advocates who oppose the LGBT agenda and are counting on Trump to root out homosexual and abortion activists from the foreign affairs bureaucracy after eight years of Obama’s leftist policies.

“Keeping Berry only signals to the world that the extreme agenda of the Obama years is still deeply entrenched in the State Department,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

A career foreign service officer who speaks Spanish and Arabic, Berry was given the international “LGBT Envoy” position in 2015. The appointment delighted homosexual activists, who in recent years have turned their attention to less developed nations overseas after accomplishing much of their agenda in the West.

Berry is a committed pro-LGTQ activist who is dedicated to seeing other nations adopt the postmodern Western legal system that grants “rights,” including “marriage,” based on homosexuality and extreme gender deviance. In December, he joined other openly homosexual U.S. diplomats in speaking at an “LGBT Leaders” conference in D.C. sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute. (Read more from “Trump Decides to Keep Obama’s Radical LGBT Special Envoy, Aiding the Destruction of Traditional Cultures, Imposing American Perversity, Worldwide” HERE)

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Alaska Continues to Push LGBT Agenda in Schools

The State of Alaska is continuing its efforts to push educators in encouraging children to experiment with alternative genders including transitioning away from their biological sex.

Late last year the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development partnered with the Department of Health and Social Services to sponsor a conference that included instructing educators on how to assist students — elementary age and older — who wish to transition away from their biological sex and identify otherwise. The conference also urged teachers to keep this information from parents who may take issue with the school enabling their child’s gender experimentation.

In preparation for an upcoming conference this spring on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, the state is continuing its promotion of gender theory in issuing a call last month for presentations on topics such as “Sexual health promotion for LGBTQ individuals” and “LGBTQ inclusivity in the health care setting.”

A Jan. 5 email from Jenny Baker, Adolescent Health Project Coordinator for Alaska’s Division of Public Health, called for abstracts for the upcoming May 8-10 conference in Anchorage.

The conference website states that it will “Bring together public health and health care professionals and providers in the behavioral, medical, social services and education fields” to share the “newest information available on HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and related health issues.”

Baker was a featured speaker at the most recent Alaska School Health & Wellness Institute this past October, where she guided teachers and school nurses through ways to advance what she said many might consider to be “controversial” sex education in their school districts.

She told attendees that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise among Alaska’s youth but pregnancies are dropping. She credited the increased use of “birth control, like pills, IUD shot, patch, ring” as a possible reason for the decline in teen pregnancies. Abortion also plays a role, she said, while noting that more measures need to be taken.

During the same workshop Baker acknowledged that “talking about sex education and talking about sex in general is controversial” and that some parents and school boards don’t support it. Nonetheless, she encouraged Alaska educators to push for “comprehensive” sex education that includes explicit instruction on the proper use of a condom, how to procure and utilize a wide range of contraceptives and how to understand and accept gender roles, gender identity and sexual orientation, among other topics. (For more from the author of “Alaska Continues to Push LGBT Agenda in Schools” please click HERE)

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Homophobia Causes STDs, Fat-Shaming Causes Obesity (and Other Urban Myths)

I was recently sent an article, asking for my comments. It was written in 2013 and alleged that in the states where same-sex “marriage” had been opposed in America, there was an increase in STDs among gays, demonstrating that it was homophobia more than homosexual acts that caused STDs. In sum, the author claimed, “Bigotry makes us sick” but “full acceptance … improves our health.” More recently, I was sent an article that claimed that it was fat-shaming that largely contributed to obesity.

Can we utter a collective sigh?

Regarding the first claim, the reality is that the reported increase in STDs was minuscule (especially when compared to the extraordinarily high rates of STD’s among gay men), and the data was quite limited. But even if it were true that where gay “marriage” is discouraged, there is slightly more gay promiscuity, which in turn results in slightly higher rates of STD’s, this would not for a moment negate three important realities.

First, it is sexual promiscuity that causes STDs, not homophobia.

Second, there is more promiscuity among gays than straights.

Third, men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest rate of STDs, to the point that the CDC reported in 2010 (and beyond), “Gay Men’s HIV Rate 44 Times that of Other Men; Syphilis Rate 46 Times Higher.”

Tragically, these numbers remain extremely high, and even a 2015 CDC report that is quite sympathetic to the gay community states, “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (collectively referred to as MSM) are at increased risk for STDs, including antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea, when compared to women and exclusively heterosexual men.”

The bottom line, then, is simple: Regardless of the presence or absence of alleged homophobia, STDs are transmitted sexually (hence their name), and they remain disproportionately high in the gay community, especially among men.

Could it be that God did not design our bodies for promiscuity or certain homosexual acts? If we want to reduce STDs — among heterosexuals as well as homosexuals — that’s the place where we need to focus.

Regarding causes of obesity, a January 5, 2017 article claims, “Fat shaming — not lack of willpower — is why so many Americans struggle with their weight.”

In short, “Fat shaming — the process of insulting, bullying or stigmatizing a person for their weight — is an American pastime,” and this in turn creates greater anxiety and stress, which in turn leads to more weight gain.

To be sure, there is a lot of pressure on Americans today to have the perfect body, and without a doubt, many of us treat thin people more nicely than fat people (or, at the least, view thin people differently than fat people). And there’s no question that millions of Americans hate being fat and keep trying to lose weight, ending in failure and frustration.

As someone who was overweight (or even obese) much of my life, I have tremendous sympathy for those who struggle, and I abhor the idea of making overweight people, who already feel bad about their condition, feel even worse.

But it is deeply misguided to blame societal fat-shaming for people’s obesity, since the only reason I will be fat, barring a specific medical condition, is if I eat too much food, especially unhealthy food.

The article I cited here claims that there is scientific support for the thesis that “fat shaming can spike stress hormones that can increase weight gain,” and while there may be some truth to this, for every ounce gained because of a spike in stress hormones due to “fat-shaming,” there is surely a pound (or many pounds) gained because of lack of self-control and/or poor eating habits.

What these two articles have in common is a refusal to take full responsibility for our struggles, pointing a finger instead at others — the homophobes and the fat-shamers — rather than saying, “What can I do to correct a serious, health-threatening problem in my life?”

Funnily enough (welcome to my world!), a gay website recently attacked an article of mine titled, “Is It a Sin for a Christian to Be Obese?” It responded with this headline: “Anti-LGBT Radio Host Fat Shames for the Lord to Sell His Diet Book.”

Apparently, I’m not only a homophobe, I’m also a fat-shamer, and even though my article starts off with all kinds of caveats as to why people may be obese, even though I urge us to judge ourselves for being overweight, not judge others, and even though I wrote the article to lift people up not beat them up, I’m still a fat-shamer.

As the gay website states, “Brown does tell readers that God is not condemning them, but goes on to say: ‘I encourage you to confess your bad eating habits as sin, asking the Father for mercy and forgiveness, believing that Jesus paid for this sin as well, and trusting God for grace to overcome. With His help and with a good plan, you can do it!’”

This is fat-shaming?

What makes this all the more ironic is that, for years, critics have said to me, “You Christians are such hypocrites. You preach against homosexuality but you don’t preach against gluttony. And many of you are so fat!”

Of course, from a biblical standpoint, committing a homosexual act is far more serious than having a big bowl of ice cream, but now that my wife and I have written a book encouraging others to healthier living, rather than commending me, these same critics condemn me. Is anyone surprised?

The take-away in all this is simple: While there are many societal factors that contribute to the choices we make, we are ultimately responsible for those choices, and if we don’t like sleeping in the bed we made, we have no business blaming others for it.

Positive change comes when we take full responsibility for our actions, and with God’s help, radical, lasting change is possible for all. (For more from the author of “Homophobia Causes STDs, Fat-Shaming Causes Obesity (and Other Urban Myths)” please click HERE)

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An Ex-Gay Christian Says It Was Easier to Leave Homosexuality Than to Change His Diet

A man named Eric posted this on my Facebook page, and it was heartbreaking to read.

I have struggled with weight problems for years and it’s catching up with me. On December 5th I spent time in the E.R. due to dangerously high blood pressure. They’re still working on getting the right combo of drugs to get it under control. I am morbidly obese and it is a matter of life and death.

Some of you reading this can relate to Eric’s situation — the fear of imminent heart failure; the knowledge that you are killing yourself with your diet; the hope that doctors can help you but the guilt that you have brought this on yourself. …

But what can you do? You’ve tried every diet you know, you’ve confessed the sin of gluttony or unhealthy eating to the Lord a thousand times over, and still, you’re overweight — grossly overweight — and now it’s threatening your health.

Eric then said this:

I left homosexuality behind 6 years ago. That was SO much easier than getting my weight under control. I do understand being isolated from life due to weight. It’s more than just what people think. It is a physical bondage that fatigues and makes just fitting in a chair difficult. Other than learning about God’s word and knowing Jesus there is nothing I want more than to be healthy.

These are strong words: It was SO much easier to leave homosexuality than to get his weight under control. That is saying a lot.

I know many people who have struggled with same-sex attraction, some experiencing instantaneous, miraculous transformation, others working for years to see those attractions gradually diminish, and still others fighting for decades to see change without any success.

Yet Eric says that leaving homosexuality, obviously by God’s grace, was so much easier than changing his relationship to food.

When God set me free from heavy drug use in 1971 at the age of 16 (including shooting heroin), I couldn’t relate to those who would say, “I’m a recovering drug addict.”

For me, that was a thing of the past, someone who I used to be, and it had no bearing on my life after that. To this day, I do not think of myself as a recovering drug addict.

But when it comes to food, I live as if I’m a recovering food addict. In fact, one of the first chapters in my new book Breaking the Stronghold of Food (written together with my wife Nancy), is entitled, “Confessions of a Recovering Food Addict.”And even though I’ve been totally free from food addictions since late August, 2014, when my lifestyle transformation began, I live as if one wrong bite could set me back. Why play with fire?

After all, illegal drugs do not play a regular role in our lives — in other words, when I quit getting high in 1971, I cut off contact with that old part of my life — but when it comes to food, we need it to live, and we are constantly surrounded by unhealthy food choices.

As someone on the road constantly — traveling 30 hours straight on overseas flights, at endless airports and hotels, being taken out to restaurants all the time — I know how easy it would be to fall back into my old lifestyle. That’s why I don’t make any exceptions to my healthy eating. I recognize that the Lord has given me grace, and I know that one misstep could open the door to another and then another. I do not take my freedom for granted!

Getting back to our friend Eric, for whom I ask you to pray, he wrote this at the end of his post, explaining that there was one more reason he was ordering our new book, and for him, it was another reason to get healthy: “the morbidly obese make poor witnesses for Christ.”

Nancy and I really do understand how difficult the battles are (we’re totally candid in the book, and you’ll laugh — or sigh — at some of our stories), and that’s why there’s not an ounce of condemnation in anything we write.

We don’t want to beat you up, we want to help you out, and we’re convinced that if the Lord could help us, with all our bad eating habits and food addictions, He can help anyone. (For the record, according to recognized weight standards, which are probably a little too generous, we were both obese in the past.)

So, if you find yourself struggling with unhealthy eating habits or food addictions, even if you’re not overweight, there is a solid, lasting way out. And if you’re obese or morbidly obese, all the more are these promises for you. Even when it comes to food, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). There is a better way! (For more from the author of “An Ex-Gay Christian Says It Was Easier to Leave Homosexuality Than to Change His Diet” please click HERE)

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This Small Business Owner Didn’t Want to Make Shirts for Gay Pride Festival. Now He’s in Court.

A lawyer representing a Kentucky print shop owner who chose not to print gay pride festival T-shirts argued in a hearing this week that the government cannot force a person to create speech against his or her beliefs.

Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals in Lexington, Kentucky, turned down business due to his religious beliefs in 2012. He chose not to print shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization in advance of a gay pride festival.

The LGBT organization filed a discrimination complaint against Adamson with a local human rights commission.

“This case is about the expressive freedom of everyone, because if the owners of Hands On Originals must print messages that conflict with their beliefs, then there’s nothing stopping the government from forcing a lesbian printer to create a religious group’s flyer objecting a same-sex marriage or forcing a Muslim graphic designer to build a website promoting Jewish beliefs,” Jim Campbell, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. “I think that there is a universal appeal to what we are arguing here.”

A Kentucky circuit court sided with Adamson in April 2015, saying that he had the right not to print the shirts. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission had previously ruled that Adamson must print T-shirts, even if the messages on the shirts conflicted with his religious beliefs.

The commission appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on the Fayette County Circuit Court ruling that overturned the commission’s decision. The oral argument was held Dec. 13.

“Protecting Blaine’s freedom protects everyone’s freedom, regardless of their beliefs or convictions,” Campbell said in a statement. “No matter what you believe, the government shouldn’t be able to force you to create speech that conflicts with your deepest convictions.”

Adamson’s lawyers say they believe he has the right to decline printing shirts that conflict with his deeply held values.

“The trial court’s decision rightly affirmed that, and we are asking the court of appeals to do the same,” Campbell stated.

Campbell told a three-judge panel Tuesday that Adamson does not discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“Hands On Originals declined to print the shirts in question because of the messages on them, not the sexual orientation of the individuals who asked for them,” Campbell told the Kentucky Court of Appeals, according to the local news outlet.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Ed Dove, a lawyer with the Lexington Human Rights Commission, said, “You can’t separate the message from the discrimination. That’s a red herring.”

Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Adamson, said of the incident:

Blaine explained that he could not print a shirt bearing a message that conflicts with his faith. He then offered to connect the [Gay and Lesbian Services Organization] to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged.

“Hands On Originals, our client, regularly prints shirts for gays and lesbians,” Campbell told The Daily Signal. “In fact, Hands On Originals has printed promotional items for a lesbian singer that performed at the very pride festival in question in this case, so Hands On Originals has no objection serving gays and lesbians.”

Campbell said:

The owners of Hands On Originals object to printing anything that promotes sexual activity or relationships outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. That belief regularly requires them to decline orders from heterosexuals.

Alliance Defending Freedom says it expects a court decision to be made within 90 days.

“If they rule in our favor, then we’ll have to see if the commission decides to continue to spend taxpayer dollars to pursue this or if the court rules for the commission, then we’ll have to evaluate whether to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court,” Campbell said. (For more from the author of “This Small Business Owner Didn’t Want to Make Shirts for Gay Pride Festival. Now He’s in Court.” please click HERE)

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This Filmmaking Couple Doesn’t Want to Be Punished for Not Promoting Same-Sex Marriage

A Minnesota couple is suing state officials to allow their film production company to celebrate marriage as a man-woman union without being forced, against their biblical beliefs, to promote same-sex marriage.

Carl and Angel Larsen, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, say they run Telescope Media Group as a way to deploy their storytelling ability and production services to glorify God.

“The Larsens desire to counteract the current cultural narrative undermining the historic, biblically orthodox definition of marriage by using their media production and filmmaking talents to tell stories of marriages between one man and one woman that magnify and honor God’s design and purpose for marriage,” the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota says.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Larsens and Telescope Media Group, which they own.

“Because of their religious beliefs, and their belief in the power of film and media production to change hearts and minds, the Larsens want to use their talents and the expressive platform of [Telescope Media Group] to celebrate and promote God’s design for marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman,” the suit says.

Minnesota government officials argue that private businesses face criminal penalties if they promote a marriage between a man and woman but refuse to promote a same-sex marriage, the Larsens’ lawyers at the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom say.

“Filmmakers shouldn’t be threatened with fines and jail simply for disagreeing with the government,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a formal statement.

If convicted after criminal prosecution under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Larsens face a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail, according to the lawsuit. They also could be ordered to pay compensatory and punitive damages up to $25,000.

The Larsens, who are in their mid-30s and have been married for 14 years, are challenging the law before Minnesota officials take any action against them and their company.

The law in question is the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

“The law does not exempt individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or the secular business activities of religious entities from nondiscrimination laws based on religious beliefs regarding same-sex marriage,” the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website says.

The Larsens’ lawyers filed a pre-enforcement challenge against Kevin Lindsey in his official capacity as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and against Lori Swanson in her official capacity as attorney general of Minnesota. According to the suit:

The Larsens simply desire to use their unique storytelling and promotional talents to convey messages that promote aspects of their sincerely held religious beliefs, or that at least are not inconsistent with them. It is standard practice for the owners of video and film production companies to decline to produce videos that contain or promote messages that the owners do not want to support or that violate or compromise their beliefs in some way.

The Daily Signal sought comment from both the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Human Rights, but neither had responded by publication.

Telescope Media Group’s services include web-streaming and video recording of live events as well as producing short films.

“Telescope Media Group exists to glorify God through top-quality media production,” the company’s website says.

The company has created content for clients such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and LifeLight, an annual Christian music festival held near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Every American—including creative professionals—should be free to peacefully live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment,” Tedesco said in a release from Alliance Defending Freedom. He added:

For example, a fashion designer recently cited her ‘artistic freedom’ as a ‘family-owned company’ to announce that she won’t design clothes for Melania Trump because she doesn’t want to use her company and creative talents to promote political views she disagrees with. Even though the law in D.C. prohibits ‘political affiliation’ discrimination, do any of us really think the designer should be threatened with fines and jail time?

French fashion designer Sophie Theallet published an open letter Nov. 17 saying she would not dress President-elect Donald Trump’s wife, the future first lady, because of disagreements with him and urged other fashion designers to do the same.

Last week, American fashion designer Tom Ford said on TV’s “The View” that he would not dress Melania Trump, in part because “she’s not necessarily my image.”

“The Larsens simply seek to exercise these same freedoms, and that’s why they filed this lawsuit to challenge Minnesota’s law,” Tedesco said. (For more from the author of “This Filmmaking Couple Doesn’t Want to Be Punished for Not Promoting Same-Sex Marriage” please click HERE)

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The Diversity Police Went Too Far in Attacking HGTV’s Fixer Uppers

For years I have said that gay activists and their allies would overplay their hand and that their bullying would backfire. It is happening today in front of our eyes as a Christian couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who recently graced the cover of People magazine, is now being attacked simply for attending a Christian church. Oh, the thought of it!

Yes, if you are a public figure and you attend a church that preaches that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and you actually believe that homosexuals can be changed by the power of the gospel, you should be shamed, ridiculed and perhaps even fired.

That is the obvious offshoot of BuzzFeed’s recent article which carried the headline, “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage.” How terrible!

Chip and Joanna attend a church that actually believes what the Bible says? They’re part of a congregation that preaches what the church has taught for 2,000 years? Worse still, “Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a ‘sin’ caused by abuse,” although, “whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.” Horror of all horrors. What kind of monsters are these two?

And note that the Gaines’ crime was not making a public statement against homosexuality, as Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson did, after which he was promptly (albeit briefly) suspended by A & E.

Their crime was not making ministry-related statements against abortion and homosexual practice, as the Benham Brothers did, because of which they were promptly fired by HGTV (after that network was bullied by radical left activists).

Their crime was not preaching in their own church that homosexuality was a sin, as Dr. Eric Walsh did, because of which he was fired by the state of Georgia as Public Health Director.

Their crime was not writing a book that made passing, negative reference to homosexual practice as did Kelvin Cochran, because of which he was fired by the city of Atlanta as fire chief.

Their crime was not penning an op-ed piece in a local newspaper, taking respectful issue with the notion that gay is the new black, as Crystal Dixon did, because of which she was fired as Associate Vice President of Human Resources at the University of Toledo.

Their crime was not even signing a petition after a church service which called for a popular vote on same-sex “marriage” in the state of Maryland (rather than letting legislators decide this), as Dr. Angela McCaskill did, because of which she was placed on leave by Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. where she served as Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion (a position, by the way, which made no reference to sexual issues in its description).

No, the crime of Chip and Joanna Gaines was simply that they attend a gospel-preaching church. How much farther will these witch hunts go?

The Gaines and their representatives have not even issued a statement as to their own beliefs (if they do, I sure hope they affirm what their church teaches), nor has there ever been the slightest hint that anything they said on or off the show has been offensive, mean-spirited or hateful. Still, the very fact that they are popular, conservative Christians has put a target on their backs.

I repeat: This kind of shaming and bullying will backfire, and it will backfire sooner rather than later.

That’s why the left-leaning Washington Post already published an article by Brandon Abrosino, himself open and proudly gay, taking issue with the BuzzFeed article and noting that almost 40 percent of Americans are “not on board” with same-sex “marriage.” In response to this Abrosino asks, “Is the suggestion here [meaning, on BuzzFeed] that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage? That the companies that employ them deserve to be boycotted until they yield to the other side of the debate — a side, we should note, that is only slightly larger than the one being shouted down?”

Under no circumstances can gay activists and their allies wave the flag of Equality, Diversity and Tolerance when it comes to the BuzzFeed article. No, this is an overt and explicit attack on equality, diversity and tolerance and is, itself, an example of bigotry and intolerance of the highest order.

So, here’s a word of wisdom for BuzzFeed and those applauding their attack on Chip and Joanna Gaines: The Bible will be here long after you are gone, and the words of Moses, Jesus and Paul will be quoted for generations to come, while articles like the current hit piece on Chip and Joanna will be here today and gone tomorrow.

Put another way, as Bible-believing followers of Jesus, we’re not backing down or cowering in a corner or going underground. We’re here to stay, we are not ashamed, and the more you attack us, the stronger we become.

(For more from the author of “The Diversity Police Went Too Far in Attacking HGTV’s Fixer Uppers” please click HERE)

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