Scott Lively has long been listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay hate groups, thanks to his role in Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill and to this book “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” which has recently become a favorite of Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily.
But according to a long profile in The Boston Globe, Lively claims he’s “toning down his antigay rhetoric and shifting his focus to helping the downtrodden”:
Every day, patrons stream to the Christian folk shows and Bible classes at Holy Grounds Coffee House, the café he opened about two months ago on a block not far from downtown. A thousand people turned out for the March for Jesus he led from the café to the steps of City Hall on the day before Easter. And dozens of children and parents flocked to a city park for his annual Family Day celebration, featuring a water slide, face painting, and grilled food. Even the mayor stopped by that event.
He says he has not changed his view that gays are “agents of America’s moral decline’’ but has refocused his approach to fit his flock in Springfield, which he said includes many homeless people, drug addicts, and alcoholics.
“We’re not fighting the culture wars here in Springfield,’’ he said. “The issues here are more fundamental than that. You can’t deal with the culture wars with people who are struggling to survive. Those issues are not relevant. These are people who are trying to live.’’
“This whole mission in Springfield is to show by example the positive side of all this — that when you follow the Biblical approach and try to be as true to him [God] as you can, you get the maximum positive benefit for yourself and society,’’ he said. “It’s completely different from all the things that I’ve done in the past, which is going against the wrongs. We’re working toward what is right”… “If someone were looking for Scott Lively to stop being involved in the other stuff, this is it,’’ he said in an interview in his café. “Those people who criticize me, they should be happy.’’
Of course, Lively is just a viciously anti-gay as he always was:
Lively continues to denounce homosexuality. Paul said that when he invited Lively to preach at his church earlier this year, Lively delivered an “old-time, hellfire message’’ condemning gays.
“It was a sermon that I didn’t really agree with,’’ Paul said. “It was a sermon that God has turned his back on America.’’
In addition, his work continues to be cited by professional anti-gay bigots on a regular basis, so that fact that Lively claims he is “re-focusing” his energies doesn’t really change anything.