Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fundamental rights and wrongs - the religious issues behind Proposition 8

The San Jose Mercury News quotes various religious supporters of Proposition 8:

San Jose evangelical lay leader Larry Pegram...declares that "pastors all around the valley are preaching on this issue, that the Biblical truth comes down on marriage as being between a man and a woman."...

A Yes on 8 campaign spokesman said Mormon donors make up "30 to 40 percent" of the $28 million has raised this year to place a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. Since Oct. 1, the committee has received nearly as much out-of-state money from Utah as from the other 48 states combined, a Mercury News review of campaign records shows. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not donated to Proposition 8 as an organization, but Mormon elders strongly encourage adherents to donate time and money.

The Knights of Columbus, a Connecticut-based Catholic fraternal organization, is among the largest financial supporters to, donating $1.2 million, state records show.

At least 40 California churches have also made direct donations to the Yes on 8 campaign. The largest was a $25,679 donation in April from The Rock Church of San Diego, an evangelical "megachurch" with an average attendance of 11,000.

The Rev. Nestor Morales is spokesman for a network of about 100 mostly small, Spanish-speaking churches in the Bay Area that have raised about $6,000 to help pay for Spanish language versions of Yes on 8 ads on Univision and other Spanish-language television starting Monday.

"I think that is our duty," said Morales, Spanish-language pastor of the Generations Foursquare Church in San Jose, of the effort. "We don't get involved in politics, and we don't tell them which candidate they have to vote for, but regarding a moral issue, I think we have the responsibility to inform them."

But the same article also quotes from religious opponents of Proposition 8:

The Rev. Rick Mixon, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, considers himself an evangelical, but opposes a ban on same-sex marriage. Speaking of his fellow evangelicals, Mixon said: "It baffles me that they come down on the wrong side of this issue."...

The First Congregational Church of Riverside contributed $1,000 to Equality California ( When a gay man was assaulted just outside the church and later died, it galvanized First Congregational to support gay and lesbian rights, especially in conservative Riverside County, said the Rev. Jane Quandt, the pastor. She will officiate two same-sex weddings this weekend.

The Santa Clara County Council of Churches, on behalf of 23 churches, recently paid $10,500 to run ads in the Mercury News opposing Proposition 8. The council set up a separate committee to place the ad, to not run afoul the IRS.

Ah, the IRS. Where do they stand on religious organizations campaigning for or against this proposition?

IRS rules prohibit tax-exempt organizations from supporting political candidates, but a church may donate money to a ballot initiative like Proposition 8 without endangering its tax-exempt status, unless "a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation."

"It's a little bit vague," Conn said of the IRS rule.

Pegram said there is no conflict in religious groups working to pass Proposition 8.

"There is a myth called the separation of church and state," said Pegram, president of the Values Advocacy Council, a Christian group active in public policy matters in Silicon Valley. "What the First Amendment says is government can't create a state church. The First Amendment was written to protect churches. It wasn't to keep churches out of the public arena."

Which is why many churches have declared their support for Proposition 8.

A. V. Alpha & Omega Ministries, Palmdale
Abundant Life Assembly of God, Copeland
Abundant Life Christian Fellowship
All Seasons Ministries, El Cajon
Alpha and Omega Arlington Apostolic Church, Riverside
Alpine Anglican Church, Alpine
Amador Family Fellowship
Baldwin Park Church of Christ
Bethel Christian Fellowship
Bible Fellowship Church, Ventura
Biggs Community Assembly of God
Bright Mission Chapel
Bundy Canyon Christian Church and School, Wildomar
Calvary Assembly of God
Calvary Assembly, Milpitas
Calvary Baptist Church
Calvary Baptist Church, Modesto
Calvary Chapel of the Harbour
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills
Calvary Chapel Rancho Santa Margarita
Calvary Christian Center
Calvary Church
Calvary Temple
Camarillo Community Church
Canopy of Prayer Ministries
Canyon View Church of Christ, San Diego
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
Centerpoint Church
Central Baptist Church of Indio
Centro Cristiano Pan De Vida
Chapel in the Pines, Arnold
Chinese Evangelical Free Church, Monterey Park
Chinese Grace Bible Church, Sacramento
Christ Driven Church of Fowler Ca.
Christian Life Assembly
Christian Life Center
Christian Life Tools
Christian Outreach for Armenians, Glendale
Church of Christ, Upland
Church of the Living Christ
Church of the Living God of Perris
Church of the Nazarene
Church of the Rock
Church of Scientology of San Diego
Community Counseling Services, Inc.
Community Christian Alliance Church
Core Christian Fellowship, Murrieta
Cornerstone Baptist Church
Cornerstone Baptist Church, Nicholasville KY
Cornerstone Christian Church, El Dorado Hills
Cornerstone Community Church of San Clemente
Cornerstone Fellowship, Livermore
CrossPoint Community Church of the Nazarene
Dan Kricorian Ministries Int'l
Dayspring Christian Fellowship
Desert Stream Ministries
Destiny Faith Center
Divine Mercy Knights of Columbus (14158), Natomas
Door of Faith Ministries International
East Clairemont Baptist Church, San Diego
Eastside Christian Church
El Cajon Wesleyan Church, El Cajon
Elsinore Christian Center, Lake Elsinore
Evangelical Free Church of Walnut
Faith Chapel Church of God in Christ, San Diego
Faith Community Church by the Sea, Encinitas
Faith Tabernacle
Faith to Faith Fellowship, Temecula
F.C.F. Int'l Ministries
Filipino American Community Church
First Baptist Church Anaheim
First Baptist Church of Fillmore
First Baptist Church of Hesperia
First Baptist Church of Menlo Park
First Baptist Church of Taft
First Baptist Church, Lomita
First Evangelical Church of Cerritos
First Fil-Am Christian Church
First Foursquare Gospel Church of San Jose, San Jose
First Fundamental Bible Church of Monterey Park
First Presbyterian Church, Amarillo TX
First Southern Baptist, Yucca Valley
Fontana Foursquare Church
Foxworthy Baptist Church
Free Indeed Christian Fellowship, Perris
Freedom Community Christian Church, Perris
Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, San Diego
Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, San Diego
Friends Church, Yorba Linda
Friendship Christian Fellowship Church, Moreno Valley
Gem of the Valley Church, Murrieta
God’s Word Church, Apple Valley
Golden Altar Ministries, San Jose
Golden Gate Christian Church
Hamilton Square Baptist Church
Harvest Christian Fellowship
Heart of the Canyons Church
High Desert Church, Victorville
Highland Springs Fellowship, Banning
Hope Vineyard Church, Santa Clarita
House of Luke, Hemet
Independent Church of Lake Elsinore
Irvine First Chinese Baptist Church
Joy Ministry for Christ, Los Angeles
Jubilee Family Church, Oskaloosa IA
Kingdom Conditioning Ministries, INC.
Koinonia Evangelistic Center, Moreno Valley
Lake Murray Church, Assemblies of God
Life Center Church, Lakewood
Light by the Bay Church, San Lorenzo
Lighthouse Assembly of God, Murrieta
Lighthouse Community Church, Lathrop
Live Ride Christian Church
Living Faith Christian Fellowship, Garden Grove
Living Stones Ministries
Living Word Christian Church, San Diego
Love and Unity Church of God in Christ, Compton
Luke Four Eighteen Ministries International, Temecula
Maranatha Chapel
Maranatha Chapel, Rancho Bernardo
Menlo Park Community Church of God in Christ, Menlo Park
Meridian Southern Baptist, El Cajon
Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, San Diego
Mountain View Community Church, Temecula
Mount Zion Assemblies
Napoleon Washington, Jr. Evangelistic Assn.
Nations Harvest Church, Sunnyvale
New Birth Kingdom Covenant
New Covenant Ministries Christian Fellowship
New Day Church
New Destiny Christian Church, Inc.
New Life Presbyterian Church
New Light Church of God, Riverside
New Seasons Church
Newhall Church of the Nazarene
New Venture Christian Fellowship
Northside Christian Church
Oasis of Faith Christian Center
Oroville Nazarene Church
Our Lady of the Redwoods Catholic Church
Our Redeemer Lives Church, Lake Elsinore
Paradise Hills Southern Baptist Church
Progressive M.B.C. of Berkeley
Rancho Baptist Church, Temecula
Ray of Hope Church, Pomona
Redemption Christian Fellowship
Refuge Ministries
Resurrection Power Ministries
Revival Christian Fellowship, Menifee
Ripon Grace Brethren Church
Rose Drive Friends Church, Yorba Linda
Rubidoux First Assembly of God
San Antonio Heights Community Church, San Bernardino
San Diego Christian Worship Center, San Diego
San Jose Church of Christ, San Jose
San Jose Foursquare Church, San Jose
San Jose Open Bible Church, San Jose
San Jose Word of Faith Christian Center, San Jose
San Mateo Pro Life
Santa Rosa Diocesan Council of Catholic Women
Set Free Ministries of San Diego, San Diego
Seventh Day Sabbath Second Advent Church
Sierra Madre Congregational Church
Shepherd of the Hills
Skyline Wesleyan Church, El Cajon
Solid Ground Brethren in Christ Church, Alta Loma
Sonoma Valley Community Church
South Coast Christian Assembly
South Valley Christian Church, San Jose
Southwest Christian Church, Temecula
Southwest Community Church, Indian Wells
Spirit Life Worship Center
St. Andrew Orthodox Church
St. Joseph Church
St Timothy Orthodox Church
St. Mary Catholic Church
St. Patrick's Church
State College Blvd. Church of Christ, Anaheim
Survivors of Assault Recovery/Living Word Christian Church, San Diego
TEN27 Church
The Bridge Church
The Calvary Chapel Churches
The Church of God of Prophecy, National City
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Home Church, Campbell
The Oasis Foursquare Church
The Rock Church, San Diego
Trinity Baptist Church
Tyler Baptist Church, Riverside
Valley Christian Church, Chino
Victory International Church, San Mateo
Victory Outreach of Eagle Rock
Vineyard Family Christian Fellowship, Downey
Vista Hope Church of the Nazarene
Voices of Hope Ministries
Whittier Church of Christ, Whittier
Wildwood Calvary Chapel
Windsor Hills Baptist Church, La Mesa
Word of Life Ministries Int’l, Riverside
Word of Truth Ministries
World Overcomers Church International
Zion Christian Fellowship, Spring Valley
Zion Lutheran Church, North Highlands, CA

And many other churches have declared their opposition:

Affirming Spirits of the First Congregational United Church of Christ
All Saints Episcopal Church
Altadena Community Church United Church of Christ
Apple Seed Friends Meeting
Berkeley Fellowship Unitarian Universalists
Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC)
Beth El Congregation
Bloom in the Desert Ministries UCC/Methodist
Board of Rabbis of Southern California
Board of Trustees, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
California Church IMPACT
Call to Action / USA
Catholic Democrats of California
California Faith for Equality
Christ Chapel Metropolitan Community Church
Church of the Foothills
Claremont United Methodist Church
Clergy and Laity for Economic Justice Santa Barbara
Clergy United, Inc.
Community Church of Atascadero, UCC
Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Congregation Beth El
Congregation Church of Belmont UCC
Congregation Kol Ami
Council of Churches of Santa Clara County
The Episcopal Diocese of California
Fair Oaks United Methodist Church
First Congregational Church, Riverside
First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto
First Unitarian-Universalist Church of San Diego
Golden Gate Association of the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ
Hollywood Lutheran Church
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation
Interfaith Clergy Coalition
Irvine United Congregational Church, UCC
Jewish Community Relations Council SF, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
LGBTQI Interfaith Clergy Council of Los Angeles
Lutherans Concerned – Los Angeles
Lutherans Concerned – North America
Metropolitan Community Church of the Coachella Valley
Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles
Metropolitan Community Church – Region 6
Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley
Ministry in Action Commission, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
Mira Vista United Church of Christ
Mission Hills United Church of Christ
Mormons for Marriage
Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church
Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church
Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis
Pacific Central District of the Unitarian Universalist Association
Pacific School of Religion
Pacific Southwest District, Unitarian Universalist Association
Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Redlands United Church of Christ
Region One Metropolitan Community Church
Sacramento Call to Action
Saint Aidan’s Episcopal Church
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
San Marino Congressional UCC
Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society
Social Justice Committee, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara
Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church
St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
Stone Church of Willow Glen
Temple Isaiah
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist
The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
The Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ
The Workmen’s Circle – Arbeter Ring
Union for Reform Judaism – Pacific Southwest Council
Union for Reform Judaism – Pacific Central West Council
Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno
Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Monica
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains
Unitarian Universalist Community Church – Sacramento
Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Tuolmne County
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia
Unitarian Universalist Laguna Beach – Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry Action Network
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, CA
Unitarian Universalist of Santa Clarita Valley
Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento
Valley Ministries MCC

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