WND: Lively sued over “biblically based beliefs”

Of course, WorldNetDaily would weigh in on the lawsuit against Scott Lively. As usual, WND slants the matter to misinform their audience. The article by Bob Unruh tells readers that Lively is being sued over

his biblically based religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin, and his statements about his beliefs.

If you read the suit, you will find that the other people who went to Uganda with Lively (Don Schmierer and Caleb Brundidge) are not being sued. Those guys put out some misinformation too and indicated their belief that homosexuality is a sin but did not tell the audience that gays animated the Jewish Holocaust and were probably behind the Rwandan genocide as well. Those men did not tell the Ugandan audience that the best way to overcome public sympathy for gays is to portray gays as recruiters and threats to children.

Where does the Bible say that homosexuality is responsible for the Holocaust? For the Rwandan genocide? That gays are pedophiles? Are those Biblically based beliefs?

Even if one disagrees with the suit, the truth is that Lively is not being sued for his beliefs that homosexuality is a sin. There are many evangelicals who believe that in the U.S. and in Uganda who also abhor the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and tell the truth about their GLBT fellow citizens.

Lively is quoted extensively in the article but the bringers of the suit are not interviewed. When the lawsuit is cited, Unruh neglects to cite Lively comments and actions that are the basis of the suit. Here is one sugar coated example:

The lawsuit cites Lively’s visits to Uganda in 2002 to campaign against pornography at a conference to illustrate his responsibility for subsequent violence, as well as the Ugandan proposal to make illegal the publishing of pornography for the purpose of promoting homosexuality.

A WND reader would get the impression that Lively was combating porn in Uganda and/or that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was about stopping gay porn. At the least, WND should link to the suit, but of course, they don’t.

For those interested, the suit is here.


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  • Lynn David

    Yep, it’s the Christian persecution complex.

  • Michael Bussee

    “If you read the suit, you will find that the other people who went to Uganda with Lively (Don Schmierer and Caleb Brundidge) are not being sued. Those guys put out some misinformation too and indicated their belief that homosexuality is a sin but did not tell the audience that gays animated the Jewish Holocaust and were probably behind the Rwandan genocide as well. Those men did not tell the Ugandan audience that the best way to overcome public sympathy for gays is to portray gays as recruiters and threats to children.”

    No, they didn’t. But they sat there listening to him spew this hateful nonsense — apparently making no objection — and cheerfully had their pictures taken with Lively. Maybe they Schmierer and Brundidge shouldn’t be sued for that, but one cannot deny that their presence (and lack of protest to what he was saying) seemed to give the impression that they agreed. Even though Exodus pretty quickly opposed the Bill, it took them almost a year and a half to officially apologize for going to the conference and to officially oppose criminalization They could have done much more and much sooner.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Thank you Michael Bussee, we need these reminders. There is so much hatred for sexual minorities that it is hard to keep track of it all and to remember.

    Not only that, there are young people who are just now looking at the issues and they would not know about the Exodus connection do to their youth. I find it invaluable when sexual minorities who have been in for a long long time the struggle for Civil Rights puts issues in their historical perspective.

  • Regan DuCasse

    Thank you, Dr. T.!

    Well said!

    And there are limits to 1st amendment protections when it comes to slander, libel, and incitement to panic or threats.

    There are no protections or rights to such speech because the results of it is dangerous.

    And there is a Biblical admonition against bearing false witness. What Lively thinks is the truth, and what is the truth are apparently very different things.

    On some levels, one can understand the reason why the Canadian gov’t cautions or threatens with censure, ministers and others who say the same things Lively and Paul Cameron have. Cameron has used the Canadian example in fact, as evidence that the same will happen to Christians who speak out against gay people.

    However, the Canadian gov’t and others recognize when certain kinds of speech, similar to the NON protected speech here, are societal liabilities.

    As evidenced by the youth suicides and other anti gay violence, that liability is very clear.

    And anti gay sentiment IS expensive and the costs very high. Consider funereal, or hospitalization, incarceration, trials, lawyers, loss of productivity, loss of a breadwinner, educational track, professional progress…there is no reason for a PREVENTABLE problem to be allowed to fester and increase those costs.

    That’s just the practical side. But what moral imperative has there EVER been to abuse another human being? And what country or individual has ever suffered from equal justice and protections?

    If a person like Lively just doesn’t want to rein himself in, because he doesn’t care that it’s HE who is a liability, then that’s just too bad.

    I don’t have a problem with him feeling the heat of consequences.

    He’s ALWAYS had an obligation to be responsible and accountable for the speech he utters.

    All of us do.

    He’s being a predictable coward by not owning his words and actions.

  • Michael Bussee

    “Scott Lively’s protests that he had nothing to do with the harshness of the bill must be evaluated in light of Kaoma’s observations. When you tell an audience that gays caused World War II and assorted other atrocities (e.g., Columbine, Rwanda, etc.), you should not be surprised when the audience becomes hostile. It is like yelling fire in a theatre and wondering why people get trampled in the rush. It is called “inciting a riot.”

    When it comes to homosexuality, Uganda already has several riot inciters so the role of the Americans was to add a perception of credibility and urgency. What would really be helpful is for the three to say directly to the Ugandan people: we were wrong in what we told you. Gays didn’t cause the holocaust, they aren’t ill people who will respond to a forced cure and they aren’t the cause of all your problems.” ~ Warren Throckmorton, 1/4/2010

  • Richard Willmer

    Well said, Regan.

    It’s called the Ninth* Commandment! (Perhaps Lively is hoping for a ‘first amendment’?!)

    * or Eighth on the Augustinian division

  • Bernie

    Once again Warren, Bravo!

    PS, Grandma, I tried to email you, but yet no response.

  • Patrocles

    Regan Du Casses,

    yes, there are reasons for limiting free speech.But they ought to be weighed against the uses and reasons in favour of free speech. Only, interestingly, nobody in the present Western elites can tell you anything about those uses and reasons, the other side of the question – cf. for example the (online) “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy” under “free speech”.

    Neither can gay activists. I suppose that at least the older gays remember vaguely that they owe something to free speech. But speaking about that would rise a murky question: Are we prepared to grant to our opponents what we want to have for ourselves?. Which is a matter no gay activist wants to touch.

    And that’s why gay activism, as all kinds of group activism, is a danger for the survival of a free and open society.

  • Patrocles


    But they ought to be weighed against the benefits of free speech and the reasons in favour of it.

  • Patrocles

    “Incitement” is indeed a reason for limiting free speech. But “incitement” has so often been abused for silencing critics that we need a lot of diligence.

    Take for example the case of Ken Saro-Wiwa. It seems that Saro-Wowa did comparatively more to “incite” his supporters (who killed four Ogoni elders) than Lively did to “incite” the killers of David Kato. But with a concept as vague as “incitement” it was as easy to paint Saro-Wiwa as innocent as Lively can be painted as guilty.

  • Green Conservitive

    Well I think it is free speech, but at the same time I would like to know if he had any objections to making the penalty death. That would be my problem if he were to have actually encouraged the law to put gays to death. But if he did not it is just retarded not anything which should be taken to court… Hate speech is speech and bad speech can be cured with more speech. But if this guy actually did not protest the law putting gays to death and legitimately try to water it down I can see that he should be sued in some way on behalf of those who will die. As a bisexual Christian I think I should point out that Jesus had no opinion on homos like me and probably had a ton of gay friends among the Romans he hung with so him not saying anything about it speaks volumes. This would basically be an old testament Jewish belief which some Christians adopt and one which the Jews mostly have abandoned… So this was just something stupid which we can blame on people not reading their bibles right! I am not blaming Jews here but this would have not happened if in the split from the Canaanites the Jewish priest had thought up a less extreme way to keep Canaanite Sodomistic rituals out of the Land of Israel! I would say this is just dumb and anti-American if they are just suing him for nothing unless his actions directly led to the Law in it’s current form!

  • By the first century CE, and probably even before, the death penalty had been rendered virtually unenforceable according to Talmudic law – too many requirements were placed upon it for it to be lawfully carried out. So Jews didn’t “abandon” it so much as reasoned a way beyond its lawful use.

    Christians don’t consider the Talmud or the Oral Torah or the teachings of the Rabbinic Sages to be binding, so they’re left with a literalist reading of the scriptures. Usually the excuse I hear is “well Jesus ‘fulfilled’ [such and such law] so we no longer [such and such action].”

  • Richard Willmer

    From what I understand, Lively is, in effect, being sued for defamation and incitement. (Lively is entitled his views on ‘homosexuality’, as long as doesn’t behave in a way that harms others.)

    (As for the prohibition in Leviticus: this was probably written down during the early part of the exile in Babylon.)

  • DAVE G

    MassResistance has an interesting counterpoint on this subject –for those who want to see another side of Christian reaction to the lawsuit: http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/12a/lively_ccr_lawsuit/index.html

  • DAVE G

    Let’s admit it’s hard to read material coming from a very different set of convictions. But seeing both sides is necessary to approach a firmer grasp on objective truth.

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, it’s a different view.

    At the core of this whole case is the question ‘has Lively misrepresented (a.k.a. lied about) gay people in such a way as to cause, or potentially cause, them harm?’

    If, on balance, it can be shown in court that he has, then he will rightly be liable for damages.

    In a sense, ‘homosexuality’ actually has nothing to do with this whole business. It’s really a straightforward matter of whether defamation and incitement can, on balance of probability, be shown to have occurred.

  • William

    DAVE G, I see that the article to which you have linked repeatedly describes Lively as “pro-family”, and says that he is being attacked for “pro-family” speeches in Uganda. Well, that’s a misrepresentation, with knobs on.

  • Richard Willmer

    I completely agree, William.

    There is nothing remotely ‘pro-family’ about blatant and dishonest gay-bashing (or blantant anybody-else-bashing, for that matter).

  • DAVE G

    RW: Has he lied about “gay people” while telling the truth about homosexuality? These are not one and the same –except perhaps in the “feelings” and convictions of those immersed in the behavior.

  • stephen

    Dave G. Mass Resistance is a certified hate group. There is nothing Christian about it. Explain to me how my civil marriage has any bearing on your religion.

  • Mary

    Dave G. As a christian and ex gay, I don’t particularly (in fact in any way) like mass resistance. That’s not the other side of the coin – that’s just a perspective of mine.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Mary

    The MR ‘line’ is that the lawsuit is an attack on religious expression. And herein lies the point: many of us who are ‘religious’ simply don’t see it that way. (My ‘line’ would be very different: namely that the lawsuit is a response to an individual’s alleged behaviour, and the alleged consequences of that behaviour.)

  • Richard Willmer

    (Of course there is a very significant ‘political dimension’ to the lawsuit; that cannot be denied.)

  • DAVE G

    stephen: “…certified hate group” sounds like name-calling to me. I see strong opposition to the GLBT message, but no “hatred” of the people who actually believe homosexuality is “normal, natural and healthy.”

    “Marriage” is a religious term meaning the union of a man and a woman committed to one another for life, and to establish a home-base for succeeding generations. It was originally acknowledged as such by civil government, but it is becoming co-opted by government to mean a legal union of whomever. That adulterates the meaning and purpose of marriage, and drains all meaning from marriage for the rest of the culture.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave G =

    “Marriage” is a religious term

    StraightGrandmother = No it is NOT! You are trying to meld (or if I wanted to get fancy I would say, conflate) HOLY MARRIAGE and CIVIL MARRIAGE into one simply recognized term “Marriage.”

    Dr. Nancy Cott, Professor of History at Harvard University, is the world expert on the History of Marriage in America and has testified in the Prop 8 Trial as well as other DOMS trials. She researched the History of Marriage in America for 10 years before writing the definitive book on it which was peer reviewed by other eminent Doctors of History. Doctor Cott’s research clearly shows that the States interest in CIVIL Marriage is not primarily about pro-creation, although that was a part of it, but it was primarily at least as much about the couples as to any of their offspring or slaves.

    And that the ability or intent to pro-create has NEVER been a condition of marriage. And that we have a rich, very rich history of Discrimination towards unfavored classes in our CIVIL Marriage Laws.

    Do not attempt here, to try and claim that religious views on HOLY Marriage apply to Civil Laws on CIVIL Marriage. Or that the definition of Marriage belongs to the clergy. It belongs to the People, yes even the atheists citizens (I am not one).

    There is a sharp line that MUST not be crossed between HOLY Marriage and CIVIL Marriage.

    Let’s get back to the discussion at hand which is NOT about CIVIL Marriage but rather Scott Lively. Warren asks his commentors to stay on topic. While we occasionally deviate we don’t go on and on in our deviation.

    As far as the Scott Lively discussion goes, I think it is to complicated for me to figure out at this time. I need things to shake out a little more until I can make sense of the validity or invalidity of the lawsuit.

  • William

    DAVE G, I would agree with you that “gay people” and homosexuality are not one and the same. Similarly, “straight people” and heterosexuality are not one and the same either – except perhaps in the “feelings” and convictions of those immersed in the behavior.

    What exactly is “the truth about homosexuality” which you think that Scott Lively may possibly have told?

  • DAVE G

    SG: Thank you for citing Dr. Cott. After I had logged off, I knew I should have said marriage is a religious/cultural term. Yes, historically marriage was co-opted by civil government, first to protect it legally, and later to provide official means for non-religious unions. But until recently, it has always been (in America) the union of one man and one woman, after the pattern of pro-creative couples, whether or not procreation was to be the intent.

    Scott Lively is a pro-marriage advocate, so we are not too far off subject.

    Wm: The “truth about homosexuality” is that there is no scientific proof it is an innate human trait for certain people. The APA Task Force clarified that it is two-pronged: identity establishment (which is changeable) and experienced attraction.

    The latter is derived from a normal human attraction to another person but with a sexual-response component that is psychologically conditioned through emotional experience and arousal via actual sexual experience or vicariously through intense pornography. Both are reinforced by the LGBT community and LGBT media This form of classical conditioning is very difficult to extinguish, since the experienced-established brain synapses become well-imprinted, not unlike any other behavioral addiction.

  • William

    DAVE G: I agree with you that there is no scientific proof that homosexuality is “an innate human trait for certain people” or indeed for any people. There is no scientific proof that heterosexuality is an innate human trait for anyone either. The truth is that we still don’t know exactly what it is that makes the majority of people heterosexual and a minority homosexual or bi-sexual.

    As for what you have said about the origins of “experienced [homosexual] attraction”, that isn’t an established scientific truth either. It is merely an opinion.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave G, Oh that ain’t gonna work either, the “Everyone is straight, some people just have a homosexual problem.”

    Over on Warren’s blog we are smarter than that. That may work on your run of the mill Christian Gay Hating Evangelical blogs, but it won’t work here.

    I can’t tell if the Lively lawsuit passes muster or not. But it never hurts to try I guess.

  • Richard Willmer

    I take the view that this lawsuit has actually nothing to do with ‘homosexuality’; it is about alleged lies, defamation and incitement. The last two are illegal under Federal Law; all three are moral turpitudes.

  • David M.

    Dave G., let me get this right. You’re saying that children are blank slates when it comes to sexual attraction. Presumably, then, with the right conditioning a young teen could be conditioned to be sexually attracted to a tree perhaps, or a rock maybe, or a goat.

    You are further arguing that all forms of sexuality are addicting. Now, addiction is by definition an unhealthy attachment. So all the straight people out there having sex with their spouse are simply living out an addiction.

    Given these beliefs, why do you even care about reinforcing one notion of marriage over another, if all of it is based on conditioned responses, pornography and addiction? Why have any kind of marriage? Wouldn’t it be better to recommend therapy so all these people acting out their sexual addictions can be free to live normal, healthy asexual lives?

  • David M.

    Dave G., lest you think I am merely poking fun, let me break this down a bit.

    You indicated that the APA has said that homosexuality is two-pronged: identity establishment and experienced attraction. This is equally true of heterosexuality. You go on to say that experienced attraction “is derived from a normal human attraction to another person but with a sexual-response component that is psychologically conditioned through emotional experience and arousal via actual sexual experience or vicariously through intense pornography.” Again, if this is true, it is equally true of heterosexuality. You have offered no reason why we should make a distinction. If you see a difference, please explain it.

    I happen to think that experienced attraction is not quite as you describe. Based on my experience, attraction crept up on me as a pubescent male. Without any previous sexual experience (other than watching pigs have sex on the farm) and without any experience with pornography (I saw a “girly magazine” at a distance when I was about 11), I found my amorphous attractions slowly coming into focus as attraction to man. Now if you think in the absence of evidence that there must have been some emotional experience in childhood that caused this, you will be claiming to know more about me than I do. I knew from early on that I was somehow a different kind of male than the other males around me, but I had no names or explanations for this. And to begin with, it didn’t have anything to do with conscious sexual attraction or behavior.

    You go on to say that both “actual sexual experience … [and] intense pornography … are reinforced by the LGBT community and LGBT media.” I scarcely need to point out that both sexual experience and pornography are reinforced by the heterosexual community and mainstream media. You further state, “This form of classical conditioning is very difficult to extinguish, since the experienced-established brain synapses become well-imprinted.” Again, the same kind of conditioning happens with straight sex.

    Finally, you add a curious statement that this imprinting is “not unlike any other behavioral addiction.” Again, what reasonable distinction can be made here between gay and straight sex? Both can be addicting, and you have said before that all kinds of sex can lead to addiction. So if gays are all addicts, straights must be too.

    Dave G., I am simply taking your arguments to their logical conclusions. You have given no reason to think that homosexuality differs from heterosexuality other than in the object of attraction. Much the same arguments could be made for paraphilias.

    So exactly what is your problem with being gay?

  • Patrocles

    Dave G.,

    many thanks. Even if your explanation for homo- and heterosexuality is “an opinion” (as Dr. Throckmorton rightly said), it’s quite a plausible one. (It’s my opinion, too; and I’m very glad to have found someone who shares it!)

    David M.,: A particular addiction in sexualibus is no more a problem than a particular addiction in nourishment. E.g. I’m addicted to some kinds of sweets, and I wouldn’t try to overcome that addiction, as long as it doesn’t prevent me from achieving other goals (like health).

  • Patrocles

    I’m convinced that Lively doesn’t lie (in the strict sense of saying something he himself doesn’t regard as true). On the other hand, he isn’t truthful in the more demanding sense of a scientist, testing his opinions always against possible alternatives. But how much people are truthful in that demanding sense?

    As for incitement, I had presupposed above that the murder of David Kato has had homophobic motives; but in the meantime I have found that that’s controversial and uncertain.

  • David M.


    I’m afraid you betray a lack of understanding of sexual addiction. Sex releases certain chemicals in the brain just as drugs do. A sex addict develops tolerance for these chemicals, or in lay terms, has a need for these chemicals in order to feel normal. Further, a sex addict continues to engage in behavior which he/she believes to be harmful. While it’s taken a while for some in the recovery movement to recognize sex addiction as a real chemical addiction (as opposed to a habitual behavior), true sex addiction is a life-threatening condition. Dave G. would have us believe that homosexuality is a form of sex addiction. Yes, some gays are sex addicts, as are some straights. But to call all homosexuality sex addiction is to fundamentally misunderstand what the term means.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Patrocles

    Re. ‘lying’: that’s a fair point – we all say things that cannot be proven to be objectively ‘true’. Also, it may be that Lively’s obsession with ‘blaming gays’ for everything from yesterday’s bed weather to the genocide in Rwanda has become for him a kind of addiction.

    Re. ‘incitement’: I wasn’t talking specifically about David Kato (though I think that his murder could be seen as a result of ‘incitement’), but more generally.

  • Richard Willmer

    *yesterday’s BAD weather* (must still be thinking of my bed, despite the glorious sunshine here in London this morning!)

  • DAVE G

    @David M: I don’t disagree with you. But please note that during human development a child first is attracted to others his size and age; a pre-pubescent child will prefer same-sex companions while establishing gender identity, unless previous relationship experience has skewed gender-reaction due to (usually) a disfunctional home &/or family environment.

    We all have a need to love and be loved. Heterosexual relationships benefit the social fabric and produce future generations for a thriving society. Homosexual relationships sans sexual involvement are also part of a healthy society as long as they supplement and do not disrupt family integrity.

    But homosexual sexual involvement is sterile, not to mention the medical, psychological, social and spiritual problems that arise. And then there’s the weakening effect on the society itself as generations are thrown into confusion as to what values are worth fighting for. Civilizations have crumbled when they lost their moral compass.

    We are sexual beings. Morals are not arbitrary dictums, but are derived from millennia of human experience as to what works and what doesn’t work; they are there to guide our behavioral options, including sexual ones. So whereas hetero and homo experience similar paths, their destinies differ considerably.

  • David M.

    Dave G., I’m afraid you make a lot of claims that are simply assumptions and biases. These assumptions have been so much a part of Western society for so long that it is hard for many people to see that they are merely assumptions, and do not truly reflect real human experience.

    What evidence do you have that an unharmed pre-pubescent child will prefer same-sex companions? It appears you assume that what is common is healthy and what is less common is unhealthy. There is no good reason to pathologize what is simply less common.

    To say that homosexual relationships weaken society is simply to state your prejudice. Some societies have thought of them as strengthening society. What brings confusion is not homosexual relationships per se, but homosexual relationships when juxtaposed with heterosexist assumptions.

    Your statement about morals does not account for the fact that many societies have found homosexual relationships to be morally appropriate.

    In sum, your logic is circular. It makes sense only if one assumes that heterosexuality is the normal and appropriate condition of all human beings.

    This heterosexism breaks down on closer inspection. Heterosexism first of all posits that all human beings are either male or female. Biology demonstrates clearly that this is not true. On what basis should we decide that someone is male or female? Genitalia? Many children’s genitalia are ambiguous. Chromosomes? There are more combinations than XX and XY, and these combinations do not necessarily correspond to genitalia in a simple way. Even at this most basic level, heterosexism falls apart. And this is only the beginning.

    My point is that your assumptions simply do not deal with the stunning variations in human experience.

  • Patrocles

    As far as I know, some 95 percent of the population are definite male or female, i.e. all characteristics – genitalia, chromosomes etc. – are non-ambivalent and correlate to each other.

    Insofar, the difference between a male and a female seems to me much more definite than the difference between an addict and a non-addict.

    For example, David M. says: “a sex addict continues to engage in behavior which he/she believes to be harmful.” Does that mean that an alcoholic isn’t an addict as long as he doesn’t believe that alcohol is harmful and so when he continues to drink, he doesn’t do it in spite of his better knowledge? And on the other hand: what’s about an evangelical gay man who indeed believes that homosexuality is harmful to his soul, but notwithstanding continues to engage in homosexual behaviour? Wouldn’t that make him an addict?

  • Richard Willmer

    There surely has to be a more ‘objective’ measure of addiction; I’m sure that many people think that what they are ‘addicted to’ is not actually harming them, but the ‘addiction’ is still real enough.

    The point that David M. was really making is that same-sex relationships are wrongly viewed by those who ‘disapproved’ as somehow always the result of some kind of addiction or compulsion. He (and I) would take the view that same-sex relationships and ‘sex addiction’ are ultimately separate matters, notwithstanding the fact that there are both gay and straight ‘sex addicts’.

  • David M.

    So, Patrocles, using your own statistics, are you willing to rob 1 in 20 people of their humanity in order to maintain the myth of heterosexuality? This doesn’t even begin to deal with other issues of human sexuality. How many people are you willing to marginalize before you question your assumptions?

  • David M.

    Patrocles, I will defer to those who are experts in the area to give a better definition of sex addiction. I think you are nitpicking my description while missing my point.

    I don’t see any reason for correlating the differences between male and female (and other variations) with the differences between addict and non-addict. Your logic is lost on me.