Jan 20, 2011 12:43 AM by Zach Thaxton

Homosexual groups & advocates grimace at two recent local church issues

Homosexuals and their faith-based advocates in Colorado Springs are upset at two news-worthy revelations in the past week, and they say both aim to undermine their legitimacy in society, culture, and religion.

Early last week, Outreach, Inc., a San Diego-based marketing and publishing company that distributes faith-based materials, announced it will relocate its headquarters to Colorado Springs over the next 18 months.  A group of four Colorado Springs pastors wrote a letter critical of Outreach after examining its Statement of Belief on its web site, which says, in part, "Churches are to be open to and accepting of all people, offering God's love and redemption to each person without prejudice or condemnation (John 3:16-18). However, in their efforts to reach out, churches must take care to uphold the Word of God, and not engage in moral compromise (Romans 12:2) or affirm any sin such as sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, stealing, greed, drunkenness, slander, swindling (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip (Romans 1:21-32), witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, factions, or envy (Galatians 5:19-21)."

"Not every faith community in Colorado Springs views homosexuality in this way," said the Reverend Roger Butts  of High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist, who drafted the letter and recruited three other local pastors to sign it.  "Their statement of belief equates homosexual behavior with drunkenness, swindling, adultery, and murder."

Outreach, Inc. did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, news of a new Catholic Archdiocese of Colorado Springs 12-step pastoral care program from homosexuals drew criticism from the national level.  The program, first reported by The Gazette, aims to provide guidance for people feeling conflicted or uncomfortable about homosexual desires.  Critics argue it equates homosexuality to other curable addictions or conditions such as alcoholism, drug addiction, or kleptomania.

"[The 12-step program] has proven successful at dealing with a number of conditions that people have found burdensome," said Father Larry Brennan of the Archdiocese of Colorado Springs.  The term "burden" immediately drew the ire of homosexual advocacy groups and some other church leaders when it was attributed to Father Brennan in an article in The Gazette.  "I use the word 'burden' because that's my experience in talking with people who come to me with this particular issue," Rev. Brennan said.

"They feel burdened because the Catholic Church is telling them it's a sin," said the Reverend Nori Rost of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs.  Rost, an out-of-the-closet lesbian since age 16, says the past week's revelations help perpetuate the notion that homosexuality is a choice and correctable malady and that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered persons, and people with gender identity issues are a subclass of overall society.  "To be told that you're not good enough for Heaven, that you have to maybe go through a 12-step program to be allowed entrance into Heaven is so demoralizing," Rev. Rost said.

Father Brennan says The Bible is clear: homosexuality is wrong.  "The language is fairly strong," he said.  "It is an abomination for a man to lie with another man, as with a woman."  He continues:  "You're not going to find a statement as simple as 'homosexuality is a sin' in The Bible, but I think it's a legitimate inference."

Father Brennan insists the 12-step program, called Twelve Steps of Courage, isn't meant for those happy and comfortable in their homosexuality, but rather for those who feel confused or conflicted by their homosexual desires.  Rev. Rost resents the notion of "correcting" homosexuality.  "That'd be like saying, 'Let's have a 12-step program for left-handers to make them right-handed," she said.


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