Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Have you ever had a chronic injury that you just could not shake? As a sophomore in high school, I was fortunate enough to make the first string on my high school football team. After a few great games, I received a painful helmet blow to the thigh that caused me to hobble for months. I never thought the injury would go away permanently. I was fine one week and then hurting again the next. It obviously caused the quality of my play to also rise and fall with the pain. Thankfully, I eventually made it through that season and went on to have several outstanding years of competition. I am reminded of that chronic injury as I look at the national attempts to redefine the nature of the American civil rights movement.

Let me explain. I am convinced that the black community is still in need of reviving and upgrading the civil rights movement. Like Bill Cosby, I believe that family restoration is at the heart of the problems that the black community faces. Yet there seems to be a growing attempt by the gay community to hijack the civil rights movement. There has been an attempt to mask personal, lifestyle preference as a civil rights issue. In addition, the radical gay movement seems to be seeking to silence the Church. In my world, it seems that this on–going attempt to hijack the civil rights movement and attack the Church is like my youthful football injury. This assault on our culture seems like it will never go away.

Last Friday, I hosted a press conference in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, aimed at opposing HR 3685- The Employment Non-Discrimination Act also known as ENDA. The press conference was attended by The Family Research Council, Exodus International, the Let Freedom Ring Foundation, and Vision America.

We represented a multicultural, multi-racial group of Christians who believe that our legislators have started down a dangerous direction with this law and the Hate Crimes legislation which was recently passed by the Senate (S1105). We began the press conference by expressing our thankfulness that the president pledged to veto this legislation. The remainder of this article will outline some of the most salient points from our press conference.

Whenever anyone uses the term “discrimination,” it brings a bad taste to our mouths. Yet in recent years, a strange reversal has taken place - aggressive gay activists have become involved in persecuting the Church. In the name of liberty, they are infringing on the liberties of others. Unfortunately in this sound bite generation, there is often not enough time for us to fully explain our positions.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.