ALBANY: Episcopal Bishop Says Opponents to Sexually Perverse Lifestyles Could Be Charged with Hate Crimes

Unless something changes, I fully expect that in my lifetime, a person who stands up and speaks out against various forms of sexual relationships or lifestyles that the Bible identifies as being inappropriate or in opposition to God’s will (regardless of how loving and pastoral that concern may be shared), will be charged with committing a “hate crime”. – Bishop William Love

By David W. Virtue DD
www.virtueonline.org

The Episcopal Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. William Love told delegates to the 164th Annual Diocesan Convention recently that religion, especially Christianity, is under attack in the US and throughout the world. He asked if Christians would have the courage and determination to stand up for the Christian faith and proclaim both in word and deed “God’s NOT dead”, regardless of what it might cost us in this life.

The orthodox Episcopal bishop, who has been at odds with the Episcopal Church’s liberal stand on homosexuality, especially over the ordination of gay and lesbian priests and bishops, says there are various special interest groups that are working very hard to silence any opposition to their cause. If they are allowed to continue unchallenged, the country our children and grandchildren will grow up in will be “very different” from that envisioned by our forefathers and for which countless Americans have bravely fought and died to defend and protect over the last 238 years.

Bishop Love cited a 2012 Gallup Poll where some 77% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. “If this is an accurate statistic why doesn’t our society more accurately reflect the Judeo/Christian beliefs this country was founded on? I suggest that the Christian majority has lost sight of who we are called to be and the life we are called to live as Christians. Far too often we live as if “God IS Dead!”

“According to a HUFF Post article of March 2013, “The number of Americans who claim to have no religious affiliation is the highest it has ever been since data on the subject started being collected in the 1930’s.”

The article reports that the number of “NONES” in the 1930s was 5%; 8% by 1990; and 20% by 2013. This shows a clear shift in the U.S. population with a rapidly growing number of people who don’t identify with any religion. The number of U.S. adults under 30 with no religious affiliation is even higher at approximately 33%.

“Religion, especially Christianity, is under attack in this country and throughout the world. The question is, do we have the courage and determination to stand up for our Christian faith and proclaim both in word and deed ‘God’s NOT dead’, regardless of what it might cost us in in this life? Or will we deny our faith in Christ, living in fear and apathy, succumbing to the comfort and false security of materialism?”

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 10:32-33)

We may well be the only Christians some people ever meet or encounter, noted Love. The Bishop added that he was deeply moved by the movie “God’s NOT Dead” which can be seen on DVD, Blu-Ray and can be purchased here http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/ The bishop said he has viewed it three times and urged diocesan delegates to see it.

“Most of our young people — elementary age through college are being educated in schools that are bowing more and more to the ever growing secularized and often anti-Christian culture in which we live. Not only have we long passed the days of being able to have public prayer in schools, but as witness by the more than 30 legal cases which inspired the movie “God’s Not Dead” students and teachers alike are being disciplined d punished in various ways if they publicly voice their religious beliefs in school or wear jewelry or other religious symbols depicting their faith — especially Christian symbols.”

Love believes that restrictions placed by school boards and school administrators limiting religious freedoms in the schools are “overreactions or misunderstanding of what the laws governing religious freedoms actually say, the fact is they are happening at all levels.

“Far too often they are not being challenged for fear of possible retribution or simply out of apathy. For a country that was partially founded on the principles of religious freedom, what is happening today in schools and universities throughout the U.S. is almost incomprehensible.”

The bishop cited one aid in protecting students’ religious freedom is the Student Rights Handbook found at www.ADFLegal.org/Gods-Not-Dead.

The Episcopal Diocese of Albany is one of only a handful of orthodox dioceses still remaining in the Episcopal Church. The future of this diocese will be tested following the outcomes of the upcoming Episcopal General Convention to be held next year in Salt Lake City, Utah.

END

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