Seekers and Finders of Truth

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Most Recent Post: Twin Cities Pride Festival Email Correspondence

- Added 06/17/09

A group of individuals was recently denied the privilege of having a booth at the Twin Cities Pride Festival due to the fact that they believe what the Bible says about homosexuality. The following email correspondence has been posted as a result.

Dear Doris -----,

I have received your application for an exhibition booth for the 2009 Twin Cities Pride Festival. I understand that you have participated in past Festivals. It is also my understanding that in the past you have talked to attendees about your belief that homosexuality is a sin and a perversion. You may not have noticed that the 2009 Festival Exhibitor/Vendor Agreement you signed requires that: "The Applicant affirms that they and/or their business/organization do not discriminate in hiring, employment, participation or services rendered based on the fact or perception of a person's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic partner status, marital status, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or HIV status." This affirmation is included so that persons who attend the Twin Cities Pride Festival can be reasonably assured that all of the participants are not going to judge them or condemn them based on any of the protected classes listed above, but especially sexual orientation and gender identity.
The question then becomes, do your activities at the Twin Cities Pride Festival meet the intentions of this affirmation? I don't believe they do. At this time, I am not processing your application. I will hold the application and your check while I await your response to this email.

Thank you,
Dear Jerry,

First we would like to apologize for our delayed response to your email. Second we would like to state that we have not discriminated against any person at the pride fest or anywhere else, hetero or homosexual. Webster's definition of discrimination states, "to make distinctions in treatment."

You will not be able to find one person to testify that we have treated anyone badly. We are there because we care about people and because we believe Jesus has given us a special love for homosexuals. As most missionaries have been called to a particular people group such as the Chinese, Native Americans and the homeless, we have been called to bring the Gospel of peace to the homosexuals. Our "burden" is that the Christian community has opposed the homosexual community politically, but has not loved them. We frequently hug the pride fest attendees because we truly care about them personally. We have offered to donate a building we owned to help start an AIDS hospice house and have attended the Spirit of the Lakes church service on Sunday during the pride fest last year.

As far as the statement we signed to rent a booth at the pride fest let me be clear, we would gladly hire a homosexual at my business if he/she could do the job.

I believe if you judge us by our actions we have done everything we can to show the love of Christ to the homosexual community.

Jerry if you do not allow us to rent a booth it would be us who would be discriminated against by denying our first amendment right of free speech. Our booth consists of two signs, one saying "free Bibles," and the other "Who is Jesus."

If you ask around you will find that during the last ten years or so that we have rented a booth that many people are glad we are there and we have caused no problems. The only literature we pass out is the Holy Bible (KJV). We ask that you be open minded and let us share the love of Jesus at your pride fest.

Sincerely,
Brian and Doris -----
Brian and Doris -----,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. However, I do not think that you addressed my concern. Here is the text from my previous message:

Dear Doris -----,

I have received your application for an exhibition booth for the 2009 Twin Cities Pride Festival. I understand that you have participated in past Festivals. It is also my understanding that in the past you have talked to attendees about your belief that homosexuality is a sin and a perversion. You may not have noticed that the 2009 Festival Exhibitor/Vendor Agreement you signed requires that: "The Applicant affirms that they and/or their business/organization do not discriminate in hiring, employment, participation or services rendered based on the fact or perception of a person's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic partner status, marital status, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or HIV status." This affirmation is included so that persons who attend the Twin Cities Pride Festival can be reasonably assured that all of the participants are not going to judge them or condemn them based on any of the protected classes listed above, but especially sexual orientation and gender identity.

The question then becomes, do your activities at the Twin Cities Pride Festival meet the intentions of this affirmation? I don't believe they do. At this time, I am not processing your application. I will hold the application and your check while I await your response to this email.

Your response does not directly address the question: Do your activities at the Twin Cities Pride Festival meet the intentions of the affirmation contained in the 2009 Festival Exhibitor/Vendor Agreement? For clarification, I will ask two additional questions: Do you believe that homosexuality or homosexual sex acts are sins? Do you feel that sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex is a perversion? I will await your response to these questions, and please, a simple 'yes' or 'no' for each question will suffice.

Thank you,
Dear Jim,

Thank you for your quick reply. I would like you to help me understand. I have proven that I have not violated your admissions statement and have a record of over ten years of trouble free exhibition. Am I being discriminated against because I believe the Bible? If John McCain or any other republican running for office who's political platform states that marriage is between one man and one woman wanted a booth would you let them in? Please explain

Brain and Doris -----
Mr. and Mrs. -----,

I am not going to explain. Please answer the three questions I've asked, which will help me to decide whether you can comply by our regulations. Until you've done that we don't have anything to discuss.
Sincerely,

Jim Kelly
Dear Jim,

In regard to your questions of whether homosexuality is sin and same sex intercourse is sin I will explain.

First let me repeat the fact that we have done everything correct over the past ten years at the pride fest and have had no problems with the pride fest staff or we would have been kicked out for reasons of bad behavior. At the present you will not let us in based upon our Christian biblical beliefs. We believe that is Christ phobia discrimination and violates our American first amendment right of free speech.

The word sin means disobedience to God. We cannot know if the behavior is sin unless God tells us. God has given us his Word, the Holy Bible to tell us how he wants us to live our lives and the blessings and consequences of obedience and disobedience. To find out what God says about homosexuality Jim we must read in the Bible what God says concerning this subject. I want to be very plain that it is not my opinion that matters but what God says. This is the main reason we have passed out only Bibles at the pride fest and no other literature written by man.

There is a common saying that says, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." I disagree, God said it, that settles it whether you or I agree or disagree. The real question is this, are you or I willing to do what God says even if we disagree? That is the definition of a Christian, never the less, not my will but thy will.

So, what does God say about homosexuality in his Word. In the old testament in Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 and Deuteronomy 23:17 it is obvious that homosexuality was sin, the question I ask people cuts to the heart, are you wanting to know the truth or are you wanting to use the Bible to justify your position. It is obvious in the new testament as well in Romans 1:26, 27 and Corinthians 6:9 that homosexuality is sin.

When Doris and I pass out Bibles at the pride fest and talk to people we try to avoid the subject of homosexuality and talk about Jesus. Our understanding of the scriptures is that we all have sinned and the consequences of our sins are death and hell. The good news we share at the pride fest is that God himself loved us so much that he died a terrible, cruel and torturous death so that would not have to go to hell but instead to heaven.

When Doris and I try to persuade people to repent of their sins and surrender their life to Jesus it doesn't matter what their sins are, what matters is that they are willing to repent of whatever the sins are and follow Christ.

I think it might be helpful if you understood why it is so important to Doris and I to share Christ at the pride fest. In the early 1990's we attended a pro-life rally in Milwaukee WI. There was a group of protesters called "act up" picketing the rally. Act Up if you remember was a homosexual protest group that did among other things oppose Operation Rescue, the non violent pro-life activist group. At the rally that night about a dozen Act Up protesters with their upside down pink triangles on their shirts stood up in the middle of the rally and made noise drawing attention to them. At that moment the Spirit of God instantly came upon me and I was overwhelmed with compassion for them. When the rally was over Doris and I went over to them. They wanted to argue but the compassion of Christ led us to literally hug them and tell them how much Christ suffered for them. From that point on God discipled us and called us to share Christ with homosexuals.

Now back to your question. My understanding of the Bible that homo or hetero sexual temptations are not sin. The sin of adultery or homosexuality takes places during the physical act or when the temptation crosses the line and becomes lust. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in all ways such as was common man yet he did not sin.

One of the first commands that Christ gave us was to deny ourselves. (Matthew 16:24) A common statement we hear at the pride fest from male homosexuals is that they have no desire for women and therefore it is allowable for them to have homosexual acts with other men. We then usually give them the example of Christian marriage. When a man marries a women that doesn't mean he is not tempted by other women, it means he is covenant bound until death to have his wife and no other.

Just because a person has temptations or desires does not mean those desire are right before God. That is why as Christians we must deny ourselves and do what God wants. If I have not answered your questions to your satisfaction I will gladly clarify.

Brian and Doris -----
Dear Brian and Doris,

Your response, which again did not answer the questions I asked, is exactly what I am trying to avoid. And to tell me that you have never had any problems at the Festival is not exactly true, we receive complaints about your interactions with guest each year.

You've had not make any argument, which would cause me to change my original decision.
Dear Jim,

I must apparently apologize if I have not answered your questions to your liking. Our intent was to explain our answers in detail so you could understand our position. If you do not tell me how I didn't answer your question how can we possibly please you?

As far as problems with guests go, we have never been accused, made aware of or done anything wrong. Jim if people come to our booth and start ripping up our Bibles how is that our fault? We purpose before we go that we will do nothing in our conduct to cause problems. We have a man who is not a Christian and was a police officer in New York City who is there to protect us and keep peace.

Jim you have refused to answer our question. Is our first amendment right of free speech being discriminated against because of the conduct of our speech?

Please tell us what we can do so that we can have a booth.

Brian and Doris -----
p.s. We will gladly answer any questions you have
Dear Brian and Doris -----:

I am not going to enter into a discussion with you. I have asked you to answer three questions with a "yes" or a "no" so that I could reevaluation your application for a booth space at the Twin Cities Pride Festival. Until you do that I will not grant your request for booth space.

Sincerely,

Jim Kelley