Friday, March 6, 2009

Are "Human Rights" "Gay Rights"?

Is The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights A Doorway To Homosexual Rights Disguised As Human Rights?

Short Answer: COGIC Leaders Don't Think So BUT Gay Rights Advocates Do.
My Question: Did Anybody Ask BEFORE It Was Signed?

Here Are The Details:

In a sometimes scathing 22 page denounciation of both Elder D. L. Foster of GCMWatch and homosexuality as a human right under the recently signed Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, the Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ Bishop Charles E. Blake has authorized the release of a statement entitled Same Sex Marriage & Homosexuality (The Presiding Bishop's response) Clarifying The Online Blogosphere Attack Against COGIC

What We Know:

The COGIC document is an attempt to provide the most accurate, clear and detailed information as it pertains to The Church Of God In Christ's position on homosexuality and homosexual marriage.The document references the April 2004 declaration adopted by the then Presiding Bishop G. E. Patterson and the General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ in Memphis, TN. Part of that declaration states:

"We, the Presiding Bishop, the General Board and the Board of Bishops of the Church of God in Christ, solemnly proclaim that the institution of marriage was established and ordained by God (Genesis 2:24). Therefore "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). He created "the woman for the man" (I Corinthians 11:9). Therefore, "marriage is honorable" (Hebrews 13:4)."
"We believe that since the beginning of recorded history, in most cultures of the world; marriage has been defined as the lawful union of one man and one woman. The traditional form of marriage is one of the bedrock institutions of most societies. We, therefore, affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife".

"Therefore, in spite of the progressive normalization of alternative lifestyles and the growing legal acceptance of same-sex unions; we declare our opposition to any deviation from traditional marriages of male and female. Notwithstanding the rulings of the court systems of the land in support of same-sex unions; we resolve that the Church of God in Christ stand resolutely firm and never allow the sanctioning of same-sex marriages by its clergy nor recognize the legitimacy of such unions."~pg. 2

Prior COGIC statements are not new news and are not at the heart of the controversy. Therefore it appears That COGIC Policy has not been in question. Only The current Administrations actions.

Timing, Place & Circumstance Of This Renewed Declaration:

The Hague, The Netherlands was the place that the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights was signed onto by Dr. David Hall as emissary for Bishop Charles E. Blake Presiding Bishop Of The Church Of God In Christ Inc. Memphis, TN. and as representative of the approximately 12,000, Bishops, Pastors, and church leaders of the international church organization:

"On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 2008, we, representatives of various world religions, are gathered at the Peace Palace, seat of the International Court of Justice, in The Hague, The Netherlands, to pronounce and confirm that our religions recognise and support the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every human person, alone or in community with others." ~ Pg.3

Note Of Interest: In 2001, the Netherlands (Including The Hague)became the first country (in the world) legalizing same-sex marriages.

The declaration preamble states the following:

"We wish to state clearly that the Declaration should not be regarded as a ‘pick and choose’ list. There is an urgent need for a thorough reflection on the integral acceptance of each right." ~ pg. 4

This means that all rights specified within the document are inclusive of what human rights are defined to be. The document names equality, freedom, freedom from religious intolerance, freedom of justice, peace, freedom from hunger and additional "human rights" as specified with the declaration. As we will note the actual definition of "human rights" is left up to the International Bill Of Human Rights which encourages the ascribing countries and organizations to create acceptable universal standards of human rights. (See below)

"The United Nations sponsored event was a commemoration of a similar document written 60 years prior when the world, on a more global scale, was confronted with wars, dislocation, and victimization of the least among us. Marking this historic moment in world events, it called for the repudiation by world religious leaders, who among their tenets of faith, hold to a common principle that respects the right to live without fear of lost of life." ~ pg.7

According to the COGIC official statements regarding the matter, "The Universal Human Rights Declaration" WAS NOT the same document as the one written 60 years ago and was only a "commemorization of a similar document written 60 year prior" Therefore, is the definition of Human Rights under this document what it was in 1940 or what it is being pressured to represent in 2009?

Point Of Refrence and Reason For The Question:

On March 5th 2009, The Gay Rights Movement has petitioned the California Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8 partially CLAIMING that Homosexual Marriage is a "HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHT."

What Is The Nature & Scope Of This Document?
"Furthermore, as a member of the United Nations, the United States has a duty to respect the principles set forth in the United Nations Charter. The U.N. Charter is a treaty which binds member states of the United Nations. The U.N. Charter reads, in relevant part, that the purpose of the United Nations is to promote and encourage respect for human rights. While the U.N. Charter fails to define what human rights are, such rights may be defined by reference to the various human rights conventions subsequently adopted by the United Nations, known as the International Bill of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration and the ICCPR,
instruments included within the International Bill of Human Rights, recognize the international right to family. The rights contained within the International Bill of Human Rights are incorporated into the larger definition of human rights under the U.N.
Charter that should be adhered to by the United States.
Lastly, the United States may have a duty under customary" ~ Lena Ayoub JD "Seperate And Unequal" National Ctr for Lesbian Rights


The International Bill of Human Rights incorporates the following instruments: Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Fact Sheet No. 2 (Rev. 1), the International Bill of Human Rights, June 1996, http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/fs2.htm.


What Are The Church's Belief On The Limitations Of The Definition Of "Human Rights"

The Church of God in Christ’ support of human rights: all humans, as God’s creation, advocates for the right to adequate education and healthcare, a living wage, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, democracy, life, security, right to own property, the right to vote, and freedom from slavery. Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., as a pastor, diocesan leader, and spiritual leader of the denomination, has repeatedly affirmed his unequivocal support of the church’s position on these matters. (James 1:27) But, it is not just a matter of towing the line with the denomination, it is a matter of his own conscience and moral underpinning that guides his decisions regarding this matter.~ Pg. 7

"The Faith in Human Rights document, signed by Presiding Bishop Blake and nine other global religious leaders, was written sixty years later to reaffirm the tenants of the original document. Neither document makes any reference whatsoever to same sex marriage or homosexual rights. The practice of homosexuality is a preference, and therefore cannot be considered a human right". -Pg. 8

On BEHALF of Bishop Blake the document renders statements from the following 4 servants of the church. Specific Statements are as follows:


Dr. David A Hall
Presiding Bishop’s Emmissary to the Editor/Publisher of Whole Truth Magazine CEO of COGIC Publishing House
"The Hague group had no other agenda than the signing of a declaration that would speak to religious organizations and inspire them to decisively eliminate those fanatical influences over their practitioners. Religion must never be used as a source for intolerance, hatred, and terror."..." The writer (Referring To GCMWatch) erroneously said the human rights document was about gay rights and gay marriage. Read the document for yourself! There is not one line explicitly or implicitly mentioning gay marriage or
gay rights."
pg. 15

"With God as my witness, not one person spoke about homosexuality and its issues. In fact to my knowledge I never saw one item with a homosexual emphasis." pg. 16


The Reverend Oscar Owens
Director of Christian Education West Angeles Church
"Bishop Blake’s endorsement of “the Faith in Human Rights” statement is not an endorsement of gay marriage, absolutely not! The “Faith in Human Rights” document does not refer to gay marriage or gay rights at all, implicitly or explicitly. It does not imply an affirmation of gay marriage, not at all. The “Faith in Human Rights” document was developed to bring world religious leaders together to affirm the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights which was written 60 years ago." -pg.17

"In 1948, gay marriage was not part of the conversation; on the contrary, this was the time of the affirmation of the traditional, nuclear family in America." -pg. 17

"Furthermore, the document that Bishop Blake is a signatory to is the “Faith in Human Rights” document. Neither does the “Faith in Human Rights” document refer to or affirm gay marriage." -pg. 18


The Reverend Eugene Rivers
Senior Advisor to the Presiding Bishop
"The Church of God in Christ does not endorse, support or in any way affirm any religion, any spiritual beliefs or positions that are not in accordance with biblical Christianity. In signing the Faith in Human Rights declaration we in no way enter a religious union with any religion or spiritual teaching which is contrary to biblical standards. We nevertheless believe that in the proper context interfaith dialogue that can promote justice and freedom for the oppressed and poor is important for us as Christians who are called to live in the world, even as we are not of the world. (Matt 25:31-46)." pg. 19

"Therefore for the Christian homosexual marriage is not a human right, nor a morally and legally sanctioned entitlement. Sexual preferences do not constitute rights...pg. 20

"The Church of God in Christ supports human rights: all humans, as God’s creation, are entitled to adequate education and healthcare, a living wage, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, democracy, life, liberty, freedom from slavery, security, right to own property, the right to vote….But gay marriage is not a human right; it is a preference. Sexual orientation is specifically not mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding marriage and family."-Pg. 20

"And nothing in the Universal Declaration or in the Faith in Human Rights Statement supports gay marriage. By endorsing the statement we affirmed what the Civil Rights Movement affirmed, what America affirms, and what the gospel of Jesus Christ affirms: life and liberty, healthcare and education, a living wage and freedom of speech." pg. 21


Dr. Paul Alexander, Ph. D.
Professor, Theology and Ethics Director, Doctor of Ministry Program The Haggard Graduate School of Theology Azusa-Pacific University

"Gay marriage is not a human right." -pg. 21
"I support human rights – education, healthcare, a living wage, freedom of assembly, democracy, life, liberty, freedom from slavery, security, right to own property, the right to vote…. But gay marriage is not a human right. Sexual orientation is specifically not mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding marriage and family."-pg. 21

"As Christians, we believe that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and should be protected. As a Christian, I do not support gay marriage. And NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OR IN THE FAITH IN HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENT SUPPORTS GAY MARRIAGE. By endorsing the statement we affirmed what the Civil Rights Movement affirmed, what America affirms, and what the gospel of Jesus Christ affirms: life and liberty, healthcare and education, a living wage and freedom of speech." -pg. 21

For now I will avoid the scathing attacks leveled against Elder D. L. Foster and GCMWatch he is more than able to defend himself. I will only deal with the substantive issues at hand. I will make the following observations:

Observations:

1- It is good that leaders of our church have not equated Human Rights with Gay rights and have by virtue of that strongly condemned homosexuality and homosexual marriage according to scripture. This statement should go far in uniting member churches all around the country in authoritively establishing agenda against the homosexual move to proliferate same sex marriages and same sex unions and also assist in supporting California citizens in their struggle to uphold Proposition 8.
2- The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights offers ambiguous language for the express purpose of allowing the ascribing state the encouragement to make broad and uninhibited "human rights" laws and affirmations.
3- It would seem that the COGIC respondents were EITHER not familiar with, or oblivious to the current trends within the United States to ratify homosexual agenda by appealing to human and civil rights.

Who Believes Gay Rights (including the right to marry) are Human Rights?

There are many organization that view gay rights as human rights and they are winning many battles in courtroom venues to prove such. however there are organizations in particular who are in the forefront in this area representing large, diverse, constituentcies. Here are a few of them:
1- Intl. Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission ~ This group SPECIFICALLY hales the "Universal Declaration Of Human Rights" as one of the primary grantors of world wide human rights for gay and lesbians. This is from their website:
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties specify that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law. But people who challenge sexual and gender norms regularly experience discrimination related to housing, social security, and employment, such as when they are denied jobs because of their appearance or evicted from their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Together with our partners, we work to eliminate discrimination and to foster laws and policies promoting the equality of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression."
In fact in this organization's publication Newsletter Spring/Summer 2008 Bishop Desmond TUTU is hailed as a defender of "Human Rights" for his fight against "Racism and Homophobia"

2- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation ~ This group advocates and hales homosexual rights both as civil and human rights also. They also hail gay marriage as a "human and civil right". This is directly from their website:
"Through research, educational efforts and outreach, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to live their lives openly and seeks to change the hearts and minds of Americans to the side of equality."

Under it's "About Religion & Faith" program the organization states the following:
"The Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program’s mission is to change the conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and faith. Because of the pioneering efforts of brave religious people speaking out for equality, a new movement for change is emerging that embraces a culture of welcome, compassion, and hospitality, values that are at the heart of all our faith traditions."

3- The National Center For Lesbian Rights ~ One of the primary advocates against Prop. 8, This group offers legal services to defend gay rights all over the country. From their web site:
"The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education."

Point Of Interest:
"In expanding its immigration law and policy to include same-sex couples, the New Zealand government relied upon the New Zealand Human Rights Act of 1993 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

Conclusion & Questions:

1- Since "human rights" have been used as a doorway to provide homosexual rights, does COGIC have any plans to help revise or change that trend at the national and UN level since it has signed onto the document?
2- Has the COGIC definition and limitations of "human rights" been extended to the UN Committee for approval? it would seem that the definition of "human rights" according to COGIC and the definition of "human rights" according to the International Bill Of Human Rights are in conflict.
3- Since the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights will not allow members to "pick and chose" what rights to extend as "human rights", has this church vicariously endorsed gay rights while fighting for human rights under it's own definition? (The Short and Terribly True Answer Is YES. This Document has been used and is being used in real time to endorse, uphold and support gay rights such as homosexual marriage. COGIC CANNOT in good conscience place their motif on top of the motif of the document and claim that because WE don't support gay right's that the document does not. There is a trail of proofs and evidences to the contrary, not only contained within this article but als contained within My Second Article on this subject.)
4- If the gay and lesbian community are invoking the same Declaration Of Human Rights to promote gay equality, civil rights and ultimately homosexual marriage, how can ascribing to this document be beneficial to those who ascribe to none of those current trends?
5- Since the document signed in 2008 was an updated version of that signed over 60 years ago, was the church aware that the definition of "human rights" changed to reflect the times in which we live where "human rights" are under pressure by the courts and legislatures to also be representative of gay rights?
I'd like to know more. After all you ascribed me to this!
Blessed!

7 comments:

  1. The problems as stated is that we cannot impose simply our meaning on a subject and say, "that's what we mean"

    Those responsible for this document at the UN should have been given a clear definition of what we, COGIC, mean when we say "Human Rights". At that point they would have either agreed or disagreed with our position or a portion thereof. Then we would have been given the opportunity to respond by either endorsing or not endorsing the document based on clear cut definitions and understandings.

    Instead, there's suspicion, and the ONLY ones to blame for that suspicion IS NOT Gcmwatch, but our very own administration and their desire to seemingly mainstream COGIC ministry for whatever reason.

    I personally believe that our administrators have let us down on this one. I feel the UN needs to endorse the church in it's struggle for human and civil rights and not the other way around.

    Any benefits gained from the UN is just a cheap and lethargic imitation of what we collectively have done for over 100 years.

    Blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  2. By the way, another issue regarding this that sidetracks individuals is absence of the actual words homosexuals and homosexual marriage.

    If it's not evident from the article, there are at least 2 reasons everyone who does not endorse homosexual marriage should be concerned:

    1- The language is broader and more explicit than homosexuality. By using the terms "without limitations or restrictions" and combining that with issues of family it is INCONTROVERTABLY clear that homosexual marriage is included. That is why the Gay activist groups invoke the UDHR 100% of the time in support of their case.

    2- The language in this document is based on secular morality and moral standards. In the secular system such things need not be spelled out, one only look at the application of those things. How they are used in action. As stated these items have been used and continue to be used in support of biblically immoral practices.

    3- Everyone should be appaled that good, noble and worthwile causes have been intermingled with immoral causes and given the same title of "human rights".

    What happens when the pedophile(sp) is given a certain level of credibility in the law and told that his/her actions are secularly palatable? This SAME document will be used to grant their "human right" also. How will we feel when our endorsement of this document or similar ones is used to say that we "vicariously" endorse sin???

    That would be a pickle wouldn't it?

    Blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Supt Burnett, thank you for seeing the truth behind this situation. GCM Watch did not lie or embellish our findings.

    Its our prayer that concerned leadership in COGIC would speak up and demand that the presiding bishop withdraw COGIC's signature from the document until this is cleared up. That would be the righteous thing to do.

    As you said this is nothing but a cheap and lethargic imitation of COGIC's stellar accomplishments during the last 100 years WITHOUT partnering with the ungodly.

    Psalms 1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
    2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Who's shocked? Who's surprised? Blake is gay. Half of the COGIC preachers know it, but because he has their skeletons, can do nothing about it. He is as gay as his best friend Carlton Pearson and he is taking COGIC straight to Hollywood like many of his members. What a shame. The devil is laughing and young boys are running. What a shame.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonmyous March 10, 2009 11:38 AM,

    I have been trying to fix my acess to this system and otehrs all day. Sorry for the delay.

    Please be advised that comments such as yours are NOT welcome on this site. This IS NOT "bash Blake" express. That ad honinem attack has NOTHING to do with the issues at hand. The Bishop's character IS NOT in question only the decisions to sign onto the UDHR.

    Comments such as yours are not representative of this site, nor are they redemptive in nature.

    UNLESS you have proof of your allegations PLEASE don't post such mess. Provide video, email, whatever in support of your assertions...NOT what you simply hear or think...

    In short, additional comments of this sort will be deleted and others that view PLEASE abide by the same. Thank you.

    Blessed

    ReplyDelete
  6. One thing I find about writing about our church and Bishop Blake, people love to make aspersions on personal character...but everyone is short on PROOF!

    That's a mess too.

    ReplyDelete