After being called out for his use of militant and violent rhetoric regarding his “Jesus revolution,” anti-gay leader Dr. Michael Brown, of Charlotte’s Coalition of Conscience, released a statement “categorically and unequivocally denouncing” the shootings at a Tel Aviv LGBT youth center on Saturday evening.
From the release:
Brown, himself a Jewish follower of Jesus, says he was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news of the killings, especially in Israel. “We don’t have the details yet, but this has all the markings of an act of raw hatred, and as such it must be utterly renounced. Whatever differences any of us may have with any sector of society, be those religious differences or ideological differences, we must maintain those differences with civility and respect. The moment we resort to violence, especially in God’s name, we become agents of destruction and bring reproach to the God we claim to serve.”
Brown points to the non-violent example of Jesus who instructed his followers to put down their swords and to take up their crosses – meaning, to renounce violence and to practice self-denial – noting that it was this example that inspired the non-violent social movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
“True moral and cultural revolution,” Brown notes, “does not come about through hatred or intimidation or violence. It comes about through prayer and service, through influencing people’s hearts and minds, overcoming wrong ideologies with right ideologies. But violence only begets violence.”
“I have friends who received death threats simply because they worked for Proposition 8 in California, and I have received ugly threats as well. Then today, tragically, we hear of a deranged man who killed and wounded gay and lesbian young people in cold blood. This tells me that there are fanatics on all sides and in all religions, and it behooves us as leaders to set an example of civility and respect in the midst of our differences and to say, ‘The violence stops here.’”
The shooting in Tel Aviv is a perfect example of how violent and militant rhetoric can be twisted by those who would do harm to others. There can be no doubt that this man would not have shot and killed people in a youth center if he had not been taught LGBT people were unworthy, sinful and abominations to God.