Monday, September 12, 2005

Let the Maine Games Begin

Two related messages for Maine Christians received coverage in today's Portland Press-Herald. State Representative Stan Moody has formed a loving Christian group in opposition to the Christian Civic League of Maine (CCL). On the same day, the virulently anti-gay Focus on the Family told Mainers that if they want to win the current political battle there, they have to tone down the hate.

Moody is fascinating (and seemingly very sincere). Businessman, economist, pastor, and politician, he has gone from the Dark Side to Democrat. He says, " The civic league is out there all the time. I want to be there to give a reasoned response. There are a lot of people who are strong believers who don't want to be called Christian anymore, and I think that's sad."

We shall have to wait and see if his new organization gets traction and how it plays upstate.

Meanwhile, Focus' Mike Haley and Melissa Fryrear told about 200 conservative clergy to stop using such hateful lingo as "Love the sinner; hate the sin." They figure that is the only way to sway voters for the November effort to roll back gay-rights legislation.

While the CCL and its spinoff organization are pitching that a vote to uphold anti-discrimination on sexual orientation (question 1) is a vote that will lead to same-sex marriage, Haley and
Fryrear are more subtle.

As the article puts it:
A righteous or hateful tone could steer undecided voters away, while one of kindness and compassion could help win supporters, said Mark Brewer, assistant professor of political science at the University of Maine.

"You have to avoid coming off in any way as hateful. If they can't do that, they won't succeed," Brewer said.
At the meeting promoting the Love Won Out gay-conversion show, she cautioned against focusing "more on vilifying gays and lesbians and defeating them politically than drawing them to conservative churches." She bills herself as an ex-lesbian.

A leading group in the keep-gay-rights effort, Maine Won't Discriminate. Speaking for the group,
Jesse Connolly said simply, "If there was compassion in what they talk about, they would be on our side."

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