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Judge for yourself

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PostPosted: Dec 15, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Judge for yourself Reply with quote

The Portland Press Herald did a puff piece on polygamy today. Here's the link.

Here is my email to the reporter that was sent the day before the article was published. I followed the email with a phone call. He never called back. He ignored the trenchant and relevant Supreme Court quote and the work of biblical scholar Robert Gagnon while pulling a juicy phrase from a quickie phone interview with me.

Before the detractors jump all over me for bringing up the gay issue in an article about polygamy let me point out that the PPH article begins with the assertion, made by Henkel, that polygamy is the next great civil rights battle. Adding "sexual orientation" to the law in such a way that positive rights are affirmed for immoral sexual behavior is the issue. Gagnon's comments about "gay evangelicals" are therefore relevant in that sense.

From: Mike Heath []
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2006 4:58 AM
To: ''
Subject: Some thoughts on the polygamy article you are writing

This is from the Robert Gagnon website. He is a biblical scholar. I continue my comments below the paste. Here is the direct link to Gagnon's website:

Can one be a "gay evangelical"? Answer to a New York Times reporter

[On 11/29/06, a New York Times reporter writing on "gay evangelicals" emailed me to ask my views about them and about whether I thought "such a term can be honestly used." This was my response.]


Dear ______________,

Are there “gay evangelicals”? Yes and no.

YES: Well, there certainly are self-described evangelicals who experience homosexual impulses and, more, affirm these impulses as something good--just as there are evangelicals who both experience various sinful impulses and sometimes even wrongly attempt to justify these impulses from Scripture. For example, there are evangelicals who attempt to justify sexual relations outside the covenant bond of marriage (i.e., evangelicals who are also fornicators). The apostle Paul’s “first” letter to the Corinthians rebukes the Corinthian Christians for affirming an incestuous relationship between a member of their community and his stepmother (chap. 5) and later goes on to warn the Corinthian believers not to be adulterers, men who have sex with other males, or men who have sex with prostitutes lest they risk not inheriting the kingdom of God (chap. 6). Such persons who are “one spirit” with Jesus scandalously involve Christ in a sexually immoral “one flesh” union. So Christians acting in ways that are contrary to the call of the Christian gospel, and even affirming such behavior, is as old as Christianity itself.

NO: But if by “gay evangelical” is meant someone who claims both to abide by the authority of Scripture and to engage in a self-affirming manner in homosexual unions, then the concept “gay evangelical” is a contradiction in terms--all the more if one understands “gay” to be a self-constructed identity that seeks to justify and gratify preexisting homosexual impulses. It is a contradiction in terms because Scripture clearly, pervasively, strongly, absolutely, and counterculturally opposes all homosexual practice. I trust that “gay evangelicals” would argue otherwise but Christian proponents of homosexual practice have not made their case from Scripture (see my website at for this; start here and work your way to So to construct a self-identity around behavior that Scripture deems to be an egregious instance of sexual immorality, all the while claiming to be an evangelical Christian who upholds the authority of Scripture, is to engage in a self-contradiction. At best one might speak of “self-deceived gay evangelicals.”

Since Jesus himself would have found any self-affirming, unrepentant homosexual activity to be appalling, putting the perpetrator at risk of not inheriting the very kingdom of God that he proclaimed (see pp. 56-62 in my article at, he would have rejected any attempt to construct an identity around the affirmation of homosexual impulses as incompatible with the call to Christian discipleship. To be a true disciple (learner) of Jesus one must (according to Jesus himself) take up one’s cross, deny oneself, and lose one’s life. So the expression “gay Christian”--not just “gay evangelical”--is a contradiction of terms, just as “self-affirming polysexual Christian” or “self-affirming adulterous Christian” is a contradiction of terms.

We all sin and are regularly in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. But there is a difference between this and engaging in serial, unrepentant sin of a severe sort. Jesus called the adulterous woman out of sin, “lest something worse should happen” to her. The church should do the same in love for self-professed “gay evangelicals.”

Hope this helps.


Here is that quote from the Supreme Court case on polygamy:

[C]ertainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the co-ordinate States of the Union, that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man & one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social & political improvement. Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 45 (1885)

Feel free to call my cell if you have more questions.

Michael S. Heath, Executive Director
Christian Civic League of Maine
70 Sewall Street
Augusta, ME 04330
v - 207-622-7634 X4
f - 207-621-0035
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Site Admin

Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Augusta, Maine

PostPosted: Dec 15, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Only a three word quote! Reply with quote


Out of a twenty-seven paragraph news article and after a lengthy phone interview and detailed email response, the Portland Press Herald reporter literally quoted three words from Mike Heath...

I really should know better than to be surprised by this, but it continues to amaze me.

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Dan Riley

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Beals Island, Maine

PostPosted: Dec 15, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whenever I see somebody trying make a case that things such as polygamy or homosexuality are right in God’s eyes, it is always in such a convoluted way, with so many twists and turns, that I can hardly tell what their point is. This meets the definition of confusion, and we all know that Satan is the author of confusion.
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Dec 24, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of " gay evangelicals' is unfortunately possible. However, it is only because the label "evangelicalism" has been so tortured and twisted as to make it unrecognizable by any who were involved in its roots. Anything goes under that banner today, even questioning the TOTAL inspiration of scripture. What would have easily been identified as sin has become acceptable, all too commonly. Biblical discernment is at an all time low and the result is an alarming leakage of power. We need to get back to the Word of God. Then, an article, like the one on polygamy, would be seen clearly to be as outrageous as it is. It is only fair to mention that many within the Evangelical camp have never defected to the newer expressions of Evangelicalism. They, however, are all too often " backshelved" by the current leaders and movers. SELAH! This really needs to be thought about! Sad Exclamation
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