Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church, outside a Northern California town named Weed, posted a phrase on its marquee sign that reads, “Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.”
Cue the outrage.
Not everyone in Siskiyou County was pleased with the sign. A local NBC affiliate reported on the incident and the ensuing protests, quoting the organizer of the protest,
Keep it in your church. If it’s not something hopeful for the community, if it’s not loving, keep it in your church,” said Charolette Kalayjian, the organizer for the protest. “Keep it in your house. Keep it – don’t share it with everybody.
Of course, the First Amendment does not quarantine First Amendment rights to within the four walls of the church building.
The reputation of Pastor Hoke, with whom Pulpit & Pen is familiar, precedes him as one who will most certainly not “keep it in [his] house and not “share it with everybody.”
The protest organizer said, “I just want to show that this community is loving, is caring, is supportive and we are not – that sign does not encompass what this community is and I really want to show that.”
Apparently, she wants to show the world that the community doesn’t tolerate diverse points of view and will silence dissent by protest. That’s hardly the ethos of an open-minded community.
See the video here.
Although the word “hateful” was used repeatedly by protestors, it is unclear as to what precisely about the sign was characteristic of hate. It’s worth noting that the protestors aren’t on record disagreeing with the facts set forth by the sign, but only alleged that stating it was hateful.
Pulpit & Pen reached out to Pastor Hoke, who estimated the protestors at less than one-hundred when
Hoke also clarified the biased-nature of the reporting as done by NBC, stating, “The NBC news guy asked me why I hated homosexuals. And then edited my response to make it sound like I was saying I thought it was offensive for people to say the sign was hateful. While I affirm that the sign is a clear declaration of truth and as such identifies sin, as sin and is a warning and call to repentance, I am not offended by those who hate the truth calling the truth hate. I was offended by the NBC news personality assuming my motives for putting up the sign were hatred.”
Hoke pointed Pulpit & Pen to his sermon on Sunday in which he explained the real reason for the sign, which has yet to be fully covered by the conventional local media.
[Editor’s Note: We will not “keep it in our church.” FYI.]