Decision to fly Pride flag at Abbotsford City Hall outrages Bible thumpers

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      This year's Fraser Valley Pride Celebration is set to take place in Abbotsford from July 17 to 19.

      To mark this celebration of the LGBTQ communities, Abbotsford council voted this week to hoist the Pride flag at City Hall from July 13 to 20. (Perhaps there's hope for the flag at Surrey City Hall yet.)

      But not everyone's happy about this development in the local "Bible Belt".

      On a blog that promotes Creationism and attacks the scientifically-accepted theory of organic evolution, Richard Peachey of "Citizens for a Morally Strong Abbotsford" is calling on likeminded souls to flood the inboxes of Mayor Henry Braun and councillors with emails about their "error in judgment".

      Peachey writes in a post (warning: some of our readers will find the following offensive and ignorant):

      In general, “Pride” groups have as their main distinctive their particular views on sex, and their sexual practices. They tend to believe that “anything goes” between (or among) consenting individuals. Such views and practices are typically opposed by Bible-believing Christians, as well as by others in our community. So the question is: Should our city council be offering official support to views or practices that many in our community regard as sexual immorality?

      There is no doubt that the views and practices of “Pride” groups are fully legal. The federal government decriminalized a variety of sexual behaviours some decades ago. But does the fact that sexually immoral behaviours are legal make them worthy of celebrating?

      Please be clear that “Celebration” is what this is about. Flag-raising signifies affirmation, approval, and endorsement, and the wording of the request itself specifies “Celebration.” But should our city leaders be sending a message to the youth of Abbotsford that sexual immorality is worthy to be affirmed, approved, endorsed, and celebrated?

      Of course, if you support equality for LGBTQ people and the flying of the rainbow flag at City Hall, you can send your own message to the mayor and council.

      Update (June 19): Richard Peachey's wife, Gerda, has responded to this post.

      Comments

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      71 Comments

      Anonymous

      Jun 18, 2015 at 6:22pm

      What distinguishes people who call themselves homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites, queer, or any other descriptive from the rest of humanity?

      We all look the same. We all work at a great variety of occupations. We all share an interest in the arts, sports, literature. We share a love for the beauty of nature.

      So what sets these people apart to the extent that Abbotsford council should decide to hoist the “Pride flag” over our City Hall building for a full week in the month of July?

      What would compel our elected men and women on council to agree that a cross-walk on the main road through Abbotsford should be permanently painted to honour LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered.)

      The difference between “gay pride” people or any other human being is about sexual preference, that is all.

      Then why would a whole city have to gaze at a flag, or repeatedly look at the symbol of this sexual preference while crossing a busy intersection in town?

      So why did Abbotsford Council decree that a flag celebrating what people do in their intimate physical relationships should fly over city hall,…..the symbol and home of our communal government?

      A flag is a symbol of conquest.

      ISIS plants its flag over every town and village it conquers.

      Did anyone charge against our city mayor and council with rifles and grenades, that they should acquiesce so meekly to demands from a group whose only distinctive is what they do in bed?

      Not so much as a child’s cap gun pointed at them. No discussion with the wider community. No debate at the council table. No hint from the church-going evangelicals on council that this is a serious moral issue. In fact it was the church-going Dave Loewen who proposed that we fly the ‘Pride’ flag over the entire citizenry.

      Richard Peachey

      Jun 18, 2015 at 6:33pm

      The article warns, "Some of our readers will find the following offensive and ignorant."

      Agreed: some may be offended, because I am challenging what they see as their right to inflict their (lack of) values on the larger community.

      But if they believe what I have written to be "ignorant" (in the sense of "lacking knowledge"), I would be pleased to be corrected at any point where I am actually mistaken. But please don't just huff, puff, and use vulgar language. Take the time to specify, and document, what you see as errors. Thank you.

      David Semaan

      Jun 18, 2015 at 7:02pm

      This is a strong sign of solidarity of city council with people of all genders and sexualites. Discrimination of sex and gender is very a real thing to this day and I thank city hall for showing support.

      Well...

      Jun 18, 2015 at 7:45pm

      ...now they know how I feel when I open a drawer in a hotel and always see a fucking fairy tale book filled with reasons to hate and oppress people.

      God

      Jun 18, 2015 at 8:01pm

      Richard,

      1. Your assumption is that your views of morality and immorality are shared by the majority of the population, or even a significant minority.
      2. Your view of pride celebrations seemingly disregards the historical context of struggle and discrimination endured by the LGBTQ community, and the recognition of such inequality by the majority of community.

      Peter Gauthier

      Jun 18, 2015 at 8:52pm

      Bravo Mr.mayor and city council

      CharlieKS

      Jun 18, 2015 at 9:03pm

      Pride exists as a celebration for people who face persecution and oppression for who they are. Having pride in who you are when that very thing brings you oppression is courageous and beautiful. I am so grateful to city officials for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

      Sherris Montea

      Jun 18, 2015 at 9:05pm

      Why can the Christians not have a big sign that says, Jesus Saves. Why is there so much, discrimination against Christians. What are the gays trying to prove? By their flag?

      Anne Graham

      Jun 18, 2015 at 9:17pm

      It is not the job of a good Christian to judge that is what Jesus said. sometimes people get too wrapped up in the literal translations of Laviticus where it was perfectly acceptable to toss your wife and virgin daughters outside to get raped by the gay angels who were sent for your house guest, now why the gay Angels were interested in raping women it doesn't say, but there is a long history with the Old Testament and homophobia that makes no real sense. Jesus made 2 new commandments and asked people not to worry too much about the "old rules" My message is, worry about your own morality and allow people to self identify with whatever it is they feel they are, Vivla la difference and peace out!

      Barb Hull

      Jun 18, 2015 at 9:48pm

      I was taught as I taught my children ,treat others how you would like to be treated. Judge them not for their religion ,race or sexual orientation .I am a heathen and when people say to me bless you I treat it like they are wishing me to have a nice day .It is a flag and should be treated with respect ,I hear so many people now a days complain about parades ,charity runs etc. Get over your selves our country men and women fought for the right to freedom of choice just because its not right for you does not mean it is not right .