Westboro Agent of Shame

WestboroBaptistChurch_Opening

Image: Westboro Baptist Church – Topeka Capital (advertisement, 1956), Public Domain

THE WESTBORO BAPTIST STRAW MAN: HOW THE MEDIA AIDED CHRISTIANS’ SELF LOATHING

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Since the rise of Westboro Baptist into the global media spotlight, many Christians have been shamed into silence over the new sexual revolution. Even Baptists blush at the mention of the dreaded church. “We don’t want to be known as some Westboro Baptist ….” is a phrase often repeated by Christian leaders when speaking to the issues of marriage and sexual norms.

What could prove liberating for many evangelicals, especially Baptists, is to know that Westboro’s famed pastor Fred W. Phelps was a rather far left civil rights attorney who fought the infamous Jim Crow laws and whose filings once made up 1/3 of the federal docket for civil rights cases in Kansas. Phelps once sued President Ronald Reagan for appointing an ambassador to the Vatican on a charge of violating church /state separation. Phelps won awards from his regional NAACP office and was eventually disbarred from practicing law.

Playing The Evangelical Villain?

Westboro Baptist has been a powerful tool in the hands of a liberal media to constantly accuse all things Baptist and all conservative Christians, as marriage, sexuality and gender are redefined. The fact is that Pastor Fred – the perfect “evangelical villain” – has a longer history as a defender of the oppressed and at times as an outspoken operative for the extreme left. His rhetoric of the past is more fitted to today’s Soros-funded “Black Lives Matter” than the homophobic Baptist pastor role he appears to have played in his later years.

Phelps continued a long yet failed effort at a political career in Kansas including 3 bids for governor, U S Senate and mayor of Topeka – all running as a Democrat. He supported Al Gore for President in 1988. Westboro’s hateful preacher may be little more than a Saul Alinsky “Straw Man” and, if so, Christians have been powerfully and successfully shamed out of standing for God’s word in the public forum by a media myth.

Evangelicals need to get up to speed on how progressives work, what the goals and tactics of their slow boil revolution are, AND how close our culture and the world is the tipping point of an irreversible descent into its long sought after “new world.”  That world has no place for the testimony of Christ and zero tolerance for the Christianity parodied by Fred Phelps as hateful and unreasonable, uneducated and out of step-out or date-out of touch with the new reality world view. According to the new world view, those types of Christians “DESERVE to be deprived of religious freedom and freedom of speech and routed from the lofty havens and refuge of outdated constitutional rights.”

Pastor Fred may have served his old clients as well as the LGBTQ community in helping mischaracterize Christian faith more than anyone in the recent media circus.  Christians and evangelical leaders have more often hidden their faces and hit the mute button as religious freedoms and constitutional protections have begun to evaporate rapidly, while comforting themselves with the strange consolation that we are in a ”post Christian America.”

The Westboro Baptist Straw Man

The Westboro Baptist Straw Man: How The Media Aided Christians’ Self Loathing

By Thomas Littleton

Since the rise of Westboro Baptist into the global media spotlight, many Christians have been shamed into silence over the new sexual revolution. Even Baptists blush at the mention of the dreaded church. “We don’t want to be known as some Westboro Baptist ….” is a phrase often repeated by Christian leaders when speaking to the issues of marriage and sexual norms.  What could prove liberating for many evangelicals, especially Baptists, is to know that Westboro’s famed pastor Fred W. Phelps was a rather far left civil rights attorney who fought the infamous Jim Crow laws and whose filings once made up 1/3 of the federal docket for civil rights cases in Kansas. Phelps once sued President Ronald Reagan for appointing an ambassador to the Vatican on a charge of violating church /state separation.  Phelps won awards from his regional NAACP office and was eventually disbarred from practicing law.

Playing The Evangelical Villain?

Westboro Baptist has been a powerful tool in the hands of a liberal media to constantly accuse all things Baptist and all conservative Christians, as marriage, sexuality and gender are redefined. The fact is that Pastor Fred – the perfect “evangelical villain” – has a longer history as a defender of the oppressed and at times as an outspoken operative for the extreme left.  His rhetoric of the past is more fitted to today’s Soros-funded “Black Lives Matter” than the homophobic Baptist pastor role he appears to have played in his later years. Phelps continued a long yet failed effort at a political career in Kansas including 3 bids for governor, U S Senate and mayor of Topeka – all running as a Democrat. He supported Al Gore for President in 1988.  Westboro’s hateful preacher may be little more than a Saul Alinsky “Straw Man” and, if so, Christians have been powerfully and successfully shamed out of standing for God’s word in the public forum by a media myth.

Evangelicals need to get up to speed on how progressives work, what the goals and tactics of their slow boil revolution are AND how close our culture and the world is the tipping point of an irreversible descent into its long sought after “new world.”  That world has no place for the testimony of Christ and zero tolerance for the Christianity parodied by Fred Phelps as hateful and unreasonable, uneducated and out of step-out or date-out of touch with the new reality world view. According to the new world view, those type of Christians “DESERVE to be deprived of religious freedom and freedom of speech and routed from the lofty havens and refuge of outdated constitutional rights.”  Pastor Fred may have served his old clients as well as the LGBTQ community in helping mischaracterize Christian faith more than anyone in the recent media circus.  Christians and evangelical leaders have more often hidden their faces and hit the mute button as religious freedoms and constitutional protections have begun to evaporate rapidly, while comforting themselves with the strange consolation that we are in a ”post Christian America.”

Deep and Disturbing Evangelical Compromise

How Evangelicals Lost the Culture War Before it Started: LGBTQ Infiltrators and Facilitators

July 28, 2017

By Thomas Littleton

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to change the churches’ Biblical stand on LGBTQ.  In 2014, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) came to the deep south with $8.5 million to push Project One America with “A Christian Conversation Guide” training manual to organize and mobilize the LGBTQ community into the churches.  The Reformation Project and gay activist Mathew Vines have since made their way into many churches and onto Bible Colleges campuses like Biola University.  Just this week a LGBTQ group won Faculty approval on the Southern Baptist-affiliated Samford University.  Why is this happening?

Distracted and Played

While the Church is being manipulated and distracted, pre K-12 schools are being invaded by the LGBTQ.  The HRC with its “Welcoming Schools,” the Southern Poverty Leadership Conference’s “Teaching Tolerance” and Planned Parenthood’s “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” are making rapid headway into coercive compliance to the new norms  and redefining /countering everything we teach our children about family and sexual purity.  Meanwhile, church leaders have done nothing to inform or rally Christians to oppose this.

Evangelical Collaborators

What SHOULD surprise and SHOCK us is the inside facilitators who have been collaborating with the LGBTQ and exacerbating the issues.  During war time such activity would be considered treasonous and those involved dealt with harshly.  Looking at some hard facts will hopefully provide opportunity for those involved to step up and respond.

Behind the Rainbow Door – Is this an Orgy of Collaborators?

Civilitas Group – Can civility and common ground be the answer to aggressors wanting to redefine marriage, sexuality, gender and faith for our children’s generation?

In January 2015, a gathering of evangelical “thought leaders” organized by Doug Birdsall of the Lausanne Movement agreed that lack of civility and polarization is the biggest threat to society that exists today.  Launching their civility campaign based on the 2012 compromise of Dan Cathy CEO of Chik-Fil-A with the leaders of Campus Pride LGBTQ activist group, the Civilitas board is covenanting to make nice and lead the way to saving society by civil conversations, finding common ground and forming collaborations. Though settling the LGBTQ skirmish of a chicken retailer was motivated more to address PR troubles allowing expansion of its market base, it is held up as the model of Christian civility.  Civilitas also chooses to ignore that redefining marriage, sexuality and gender provide a more CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to American /Western society.

Also signed on to Civilitas are Fuller Seminary, Wheaton College, and BIOLA University leadership. Biola only a few months later invited “gay theology” activist Mathew Vines to their campus and Biola’s apologetics department soon launched a “Rethink” of how apologetics approaches issues like LGBTQ.  Tim Keller of the PCA, Rick Warren of the SBC, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family coupled with the major players of the Obama Faith Based Partnership advisory team are also Civilitas Board members.  The group agreed to the development and use of a “Civilitas Theory of Social Change” by the sociology departments of Princeton, Yale and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.  The IASC boasts intellectual inspiration from the famed Marxist Frankfurt Institute of Social Research.  Interestingly, the IASC director, James Davison Hunter, is credited with having popularized the use of the phrase “Culture War” to describe the past (and touted as non-civil) approach of evangelicals to the activist charged climate which such think tanks are themselves helping to fuel.

Russell Moore

The Southern Baptist ERLC head, Russell Moore, began his ascent to being a key evangelical spokesperson in 2013 and quickly made waves when he declared “the culture wars (a term promoted by IASC’s Hunter) were OVER and WE LOST.  We should back off, make nice (espousing Civility) and just love our gay and lesbian neighbors.” Soon thereafter Moore led the SBC and ERLC conference on “Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage” where a host of change agents with new language and talking points schooled the church on how shameful its attitudes toward homosexuality have been.  The conference came complete with Moore mentor, Dr. Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary, apologizing for 2,000 years of Christians’ being “WRONG on the issue of sexual orientation”.  This was a powerful emotional appeasement yet lacking any scientific or biological basis for such an assertion.  Also came the abandonment of Reparative Therapy which is a broad term regarding counseling for people wanting to exit the LGBTQ lifestyle.  This term may be applied to any Biblical or pastoral counseling that does not affirm homosexuality as a natural desire.  A federal bill is currently in play to outlaw Reparative Therapy nationwide as FRAUD.  The ERLC meetings also included broad new language for homosexuals such as Same Sex Attracted (SSA) Christians, immediately facilitating acceptance of the more controversial “gay Christian” and “Homosexual Christian” terminology.

Though the conversations ignored their presence, activist groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Reformation Project, Gay Christian Network, were physically present and welcomed by the ERLC, Dr. Moore and his staff to the conference.  The Human Rights Campaign was even promised a private session to meet with Russell Moore.  The ERLC staffers boasted to HRC and other activists that Moore as head of the SBC’s ERLC was “rebranding the organization”.  Moore is not finished declaring the loss of the much vilified Culture War or with rehearsing and representing the talking points of those who appointed him. (a private point I personally asked Dr. Albert Mohler in November 2014 – once it was apparent to him that the “marriage battle was lost” if he would then help the church rally against Planned Parenthood’s sexuality education CSE.  I found Dr. Mohler was quite familiar with CSE and referred me to the offices of the ERLC with my concerns, which were quickly dismissed and met with ongoing disinterest.)

Now the Human Rights Campaign and others stand ready to mandate Comprehensive Sexuality Education at the federal, state and local levels. If you are in this struggle with some understanding of the harmful, abusive, demonic origins of encouraged sexual exploration and promiscuity at “whatever age a student feels they are ready” and yet are wondering where your pastoral denominational leaderships are and IF they are aware – at least in the case of the Southern Baptist two top tier leaders – they know and appear to have given the order to ignore constituents and stand down.

Further Southern Baptist Collaboration  Is the money worth the cost?

In 2009, Dr. Frank Page, a two-time President of the Southern Baptist Convention and present CEO of the Executive Committee, joined the Faith Based Partnership Board and Obama Reform Team of the Bush-era Faith-Based Partnership programs.  Brought to the table to develop the outline for these “partnerships for the common good” were a host of interfaith leaders and representatives from the Human Rights Campaign and leading LGBTQ funder, the ARCUS Foundation.

Later in the administration a transgendered board member was added.

Dr. Page and other conservatives agreed to this collaboration for the common good with possibly the most progressive White House in U.S. history and its activist partners who helped defeat any and all Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and legislation or the inclusion of any Religious Exemptions which would protect the religious liberties of conservative churches and ministries involved in Faith-Based Partnership funding.  How much of our current threat to Religious Liberty for Americans can be directly related to these very partnerships?  Did the “Stand Down” orders to evangelicals develop from a “Theory of Impetus” among this rainbow coalition of diverse high level partnerships? Thus far, the Trump administration has failed to address these ongoing threats to ministries which have become government contractors by taking on Faith-Based Partnership tax funding.  If the Trump administration continues to fund these programs with massive amounts of tax dollars, it is a serious tipping point on this trajectory.

Mega Church Mania Partners – Leadership Network and Hartford Institute led by Scott Thumma

Leadership Network recruits, resources, promotes and often helps fund the church plants of the best and brightest up and coming evangelical leaders.  Bothersome distinctions like theology and doctrine do not matter as Leadership Network has created a very large footprint in the evangelical community over the last 33 years.  With its “invitation only” approach for “innovative /entrepreneurial pastors” few outside its circles could have known its reach or goals until the publishing of the founder, Bob Buford’s book “Drucker and Me”.

The Faith Based Partnership / Multi Sector Collaborations of management theorist, Peter Drucker, are central to Leadership Network’s training and view of the Church as solely a social organization that creates community.  Doctrinal teaching and promotion of individual salvation are determined to be problematic, divisive and down played “for the common good.”   It is no secret that the much lauded and loathed Emergent Church movement, which further divided evangelicals along “postmodern” lines, was the construct, product and proud offspring of direct Leadership Network influence. Conservative denominations saw new superstar preachers created within their camps in the same fashion.

Where it Gets Weird

Leadership Network has long collaborated with the Hartford Institute, based at the Hartford Seminary, CT, and its head researcher, Scott Thumma.  Trend setting and tracking is done in collaborative research on church growth, mega churches and evangelical / cultural /statically driven work of Leadership Network and Hartford Institute. Scott Thumma of Hartford Institute and CEO of Leadership Network, Dave Travis along with in house LN researcher Warren Bird co-author books and white papers on such trends which they helped promote. Examples:

A New Decade of Megachurches

Beyond Megachurch Myths

Where the disturbing part of this collaboration comes into play is when you consider the additional work of the Hartford Institute—its “Gay Religion” research and efforts to wed conservative evangelicals to an antithetical homosexual identity.  Scott Thumma and Hartford not only work with leading organizations of influence among evangelical churches but also promote the gaying of all religious traditions. Scott’s work in particular is focused on “Negotiating a (Gay) Religious Identity: The Case of the Gay Evangelical”.

This effort which has been in play since at least the 1980s, involves the acceptance of BOTH conservative Biblical /evangelical view of homosexuality AND being a homosexual evangelical Christian. This dichotomy is synthesized through a “process of socialization” facilitated and negotiated with the help of groups like Hartford Institute.  The following quote from the 1991 article admits:

For many Evangelical Christians, a homosexual life-style and a conservative religious identity are simply incompatible… Members accomplish this change (reconciling the two opposites) through identity negotiation and socialization.  In other words, they negotiate the traditional religious identity, in very selective areas, through interaction with Good News (the case study group cited in the article).  Members are reconciled to their gayness, but still retain their Evangelical religious identity.”

Thus, Hartford Institute’s work helps a person who is LGBTQ to reconcile their conservative Biblical instruction with their gay identity, and the two acknowledged incompatible lifestyle become one. The individuals so helped are then sent to “evangelize straight churches” with this process.

So Civlitas, mentioned above, along with its partners, and Hartford Institute in its work with Leadership Network, are both engaging a process or theory of social change to move evangelical Christians toward common ground for the common good with the LGBTQ activism in our culture, the greater common goal appearing to be participation in the distribution of massive amounts of taxpayer funding.

Proclaiming the Generosity Gospel  Coaching us toward Significance  to redefine the Gospel and “harness” the churches / believers’ cash?

Bob Buford has boasted that much of his work with Leadership Network is focused on “turning the latent energy in American Christianity into active energy” including his assurance to Peter Karoff in Global Philanthropy Movement “The World We want” to “deliver legions of wealthy Christians primed to become big time philanthropists”.  Thus, Christian giving and legacy endows “The World We Want” philanthropic goals of a globally neutered set of collectivist religions who downplay individual salvation and sanctification for collectivist “better worldian” saving society utopianism!  Given his boast of targeting the biggest market share of Baby Boomer wealth estimated in Buford’s Half Time series of books to be some $41 trillion dollars (his year 2,000 estimate), it would be fair to say the plot thickens.

Lifeway Research guru Ed Stetzer and Scott Thumma Collaborate—Is Lifeway Research driven by numbers or an agenda?

Ed Stetzer became the darling of evangelical research and began his deep impact on Evangelicals at the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Missions Board.  He moved on to the SBC publishing giant and retailer Lifeway and headed Lifeway Research.  He currently holds the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission and Evangelism at Wheaton College.

Stetzer wrote endorsements and the epilogue for Bob Buford’s Drucker and Me and has an admitted long association with Leadership Network.  His work with Christianity Today, his Exchange Forum there and his influence through seminaries, books, Christianity Today’s dozen or so sister publications, church planting strategy, Urban Church Planting and Gospel Project curriculum, give him a major role in determining how the churches think about growth, evangelism, and ministry in the future.  Quite often in Christianity Today articles, Stetzer refers to the research of Leadership Network and partners and Hartford Institute.  Here Stetzer refers to his relationship with Scott Thumma: “Wednesday evening I got an email from my friend Scott Thumma, one of the authors of the research I had quoted and one of the top mega-church researchers in the country.”

Lifeway? — No Way – Yes WAY

So, thinking this through a moment — the lead researcher for the SBC’s Lifeway Research is good friends and collaborator with the developer of “The Gay Christian Identity” which negotiates the reconciling of a Biblical view of homosexuality and LGBTQ identity.  Suddenly the host of mixed messages on LGBTQ issues coming from Stetzer, Moore and others begin to take on a more disturbing edge.  Is this why Stetzer’s Exchange blog hosts a journalist outed for a gay tryst  in 2012 to converse about “The Future of Evangelicalism” and asserts that homosexuality, which was once considered a CURSE, is now considered a CROSS (to be born by the SSA Christian) to one day perhaps being celebrated as a CROWN?  Why is such a conversation being facilitated into mainstream Christian media?  The same interview described the current attitude of the church on a range of issues from homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, legalizing drugs and more as being like “unbaked cookies which need to be placed back in the oven and taken out in three to five years to see where we are.”  This interview was about 3 years ago and the conversation and collaborations are about 33 years in the making.

Seeking the Welfare of the City – Is it possible to reach our cities with the Gospel while partnering with the ideologies destroying them?

This collaboration began 2005 in Orlando with CRU and Lausanne Movement representative Vonette  Bright, PCAs  Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) and NY City pastor Tim Keller.  The Polis Report here is worth the time to read.  The Seeking the Welfare of the City movement partners with pro- Marxist, pro-gay Urban specialist, Richard Florida, whose ideology promotes the use of a Gay Index and Tolerance Index much like the HRC Equality Index.  (Richard Florida is also promoted by Bob Buford, Leadership Network, many Ed Stetzer interviews, Tim Keller, and a host of other curiously confused conservatives.)

Florida measures and rates cities by his indexes.  (The Gayest Cities in America)  Florida’s work with Smart Cities, Atlantic Magazine, City Lab and other urban centralized planning is renowned as the gold standard in economic development, urban renewal, historic preservation and community transformation.  Florida’s books, beginning with the Rise of the Creative Class, assert that such urban centers must attract the Creative Class in order to succeed.  This Creative elite includes gays, lesbians. bohemians, artists and musicians whose absence from inclusion in your project would doom it to failure.  In actuality, the reason for Florida’s success lies more in the fact that major private and government grant funding uses his indexes as a LITMUS test for who will receive funding.  A Florida protegee’ helps run the UCLA based Williams Institute whose work includes tracking the location of LGBTQ population clusters in order to help aid in what radical activists call “Queering the Census”.

So, the question begs – how can ministries like CRU, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Lausanne  collaborate with such partners?  Where is the common ground and the common good?  How can Tim Keller, who has imported the Seek the Welfare of the City and Richard Florida’s Marxist ideology into his global church planting and City to City work, collaborate with such progressive pro homosexual policy while espousing Civility as the answer for the Church to a full-frontal assault?

Is Ignorance Bliss or just Criminal?

How can any of these church leaders named above ignore what is taking place in public schools with LGBTQ activists, the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood? How can conservative ministers jump on the collective band wagon of urban planning and think its pro Marxist and pro homosexual ideologies are compatible with or can be “Christianized” by injecting few Bible verse justifications?  Whatever sells and whatever gets funded may be all the answer that is needed.  If that is the case then the honest thing to do would be to come out of the closet as humanists and no longer preach and write and minister as though you are a defender of and faithful to Biblical principle.

The Ecstasy Turning Agony.

Given Scott Thumma’s work with the heart of evangelicalism’s trend setters and the ideology to “negotiate a Gay Evangelical Identity,” the once reliable litmus test of sounding biblically orthodox in one’s position on homosexuality is no longer a meaningful measure, given that one can, as asserted, be both biblically conservative and gay or allow for a gay Christianity.  This is all being brought about admittedly by a process of socialization and a Theory of Social Change.  All this for the “Common Good” as the white knights of evangelicalism seek to save society by selling short the churches’ true role in it.  Faith Based money is the single common thread, the reorienting of the church toward the great “quest for equality” and the common goal of saving society is the touted pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Individualism is exchanged for the collective Christian identity.  Marx and Hegel would be proud.  The ONE whose Kingdom is not of this world is likely not watching with approval. And the Church is being called to partner with these delusions.

For the Church, we are left looking heavenward for some faithful leadership. How long, O Lord?

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Open Letter To Russell Moore of the ERLC

How Russell Moore Assisted the LGBTQ Agenda

March 16, 2017

  Rev. Thomas Littleton
  Evangelist Reaching New York City
  During the Height of the AIDS Crisis

An Open Letter to Dr. Russell Moore

I write this letter to you, Dr. Moore, at a time when your reputation within the SBC has taken a turn. Being aware that many voices are joining the public discourse, I wanted to hit pause in the critique and appeal to you directly and openly. I am a minister in evangelism which places me on the front lines of culture and with the people you and others often refer to as postmoderns, nones, and millennials. These designations are persons in evangelism we have always referred to with deep affection as the lost.

The one constant in your tone and talking points has been that we have lost this generation and did so in part because we engaged the culture war. According to you, we have lost that as well. In your efforts to repair the breech, restore the tarnished image of the SBC and obtain much needed credibility for the ERLC in the public square, you have lost something yourself. Lest I weary you and go beyond my area of experience, calling, and expertise, let me focus on how you have engaged one of the most needy people groups in the current cultural theater, the LGBTQ.

Most Revealing

As an evangelist, I worked in NYC during a decade of rabid activism and an unchecked AIDS epidemic. I have also ministered for 39 years on campuses and in cities around the globe. I know this segment of society and many in it very well.

Your Wall Street Journal interview in October of 2013 drew my attention and raised my concern immediately. You clearly did not understand this community, its history or its tactics. Perhaps being new to DC you failed to recognize the template I observed in NYC being overlaid in every federal agency by the Obama administration. LGBTQ activists were appointed in large, unprecedented numbers as hundreds of millions of dollars poured in to activate their radical agenda in America against the three Institutions of military, marriage, and faith. It appeared you were being played.

Picture yourself, Dr. Moore, as the newly appointed general placed at the head of 16 million troops fearful for their children’s future (most parents will agree with this, if honest), and concerned for religious freedoms, after decades of dealing with the true face of the gay rights movement, and your first words were: “We lost.”

Then we were ordered to “be winsome” and make more friends with those whose goals are to redefine marriage, family, faith, sexuality and gender for our five-year-olds. Here I speak about Planned Parenthood’s presence behind the LGBTQ movement with over a billion dollars per year (half of that tax dollars, and much of it Christian tax dollars), to accomplish long awaited cultural victories. Above all, the “outdated” institution of the church “needed to be done away with or its opposition crushed” to allow the advancement of their group.

You see, Dr. Moore, it is most likely you have taken this movement at face value or as it misrepresents itself. Following the manifesto of the late eighties, After the Ball, the gay rights movement has portrayed itself as victims (an intentional mask) not aggressors, and the worst offenders in this victimization are Christians and the Church. This approach over three decades has worked to disguise the movement, its tactics and its goals, hiding its silent partners like Planned Parenthood.

Ask the leadership of Focus on the Family when this hate-filled agenda came to their doorstep under the banner of the Human Rights Campaign and their For the Bible Tells Me So documentary, which was financed by the Huffington fortune. I have to ask how much you really know about this movement or its history. Your apparent naivete has allowed it to gain more ground during your tenure—even inside the church—than ever before.

My Personal ERLC Experience

After that October WSJ interview, I personally reached out to you as I was in the midst of a full-frontal assault from the LGBTQ activist community. My work with a Christian Arts and Historic Restoration legacy (something that would perfectly fit your view of engagement as an outreach to university students and the arts community) was being invaded. Our small but faithful group of volunteers needed allies to prevent an SBC minister’s legacy from becoming a platform for the LGBTQ funding of the NEA and private sector siblings, coupled with the National Park Service and Gill Foundation’s LGBTQ Heritage initiative for “Queering History.”

Again, as an evangelist, I was on the front line doing exactly what you say we should be doing—engaging. We looked for you, as an evangelical brother, who espoused the very kind of effort we were taking on, to help us. Our efforts to reach out for help were ignored as we watched a deceased fellow minister’s legacy be wrapped in an ongoing parade of gay artist works and the loss of ten years of ministry labor while suffering personal threats with no allies.

You had your talking points and were sticking to them, ignoring those whose real-life stories did not fit the narrative. We have met other ministers with the same experiences of abandonment by your ERLC as you pretend that the culture war is over.

Over the Top

Dr. Moore, for a time I gave you the benefit of the doubt in that you were new to DC and to the ERLC and were on a learning curve, albeit a costly one for your constituents in the SBC. I was still hopeful, and shared your desire to be more effective in our public engagement, but then you began your efforts toward public discourse in 2014. The ERLC appeared to be engaging the conversation not just about but with the LGBTQ on sexuality and marriage.

I was asked, by a Christian brother in convention leadership, to meet with the activist who came to our city and state to organize communities and jump start the Human Rights Campaign’s state offices. It was an unofficial sit down so as not to validate the activist while trying to understand better their intentions and methods, for which they had $8.5 million in new funding to engage churches in three Southern states.

Because of our candid approach to the meeting, we were told very openly that the goal was to silence opposition to gay marriage and to end the “traditional rhetoric that homosexuality is a sin and that we would go to hell if we engage in it.” The various groups who were partnering with HRC were sending gay couples and transgender or “gender bending” teens into our churches to “test reaction.” There were new training manuals and tool kits being developed to persuade “Conflicted Christians” out of long held Biblical views. (I have copies of these, Dr. Moore, if you care to become more informed.) But the next revelation is the most shocking.

I also found out about the ongoing dialogue between you and your offices on the one side, and the HRC and other LGBTQ activists on the other. The upcoming ERLC 2014 conference on the issues had created an excited buzz among LGBTQ activists especially on their social media. One of your conference speakers who was a “same sex attracted” or “Gay Christian” tweeted out mid-conference that “the Southern Baptist and gay community break bread together in Nashville.”

Some of your staff boasted to the LGBTQ representatives who had been welcomed to the conference that “Dr. Moore is rebranding the whole organization of the ERLC.” I watched the broad spectrum gay organizations hosted by the ERLC use their social media with the ERLC logo as a back drop to broadcast to their followers the excited news of their individual critiques of your conference, thus validating themselves no matter how radical or small or new to the public arena such organizations were. It dawned on me that, whether intentionally or not, Dr. Moore, you were allowing our ERLC to be used for the same type of platform we had fought to prevent our late SBC minister’s legacy from becoming—a platform to promote the radical LGBTQ faith agenda.

This was one of the most heart-sinking feelings I have ever had as a Southern Baptist, and one that came on the heels of my own personal loss, being threatened, invaded and unable to gain even an honest hearing from you. You were allowing all of our voices to be drowned out by your new talking points and rebranding efforts.

LGBTQ Furthers Agenda by Using ERLC

I then went to a former ERLC board member and personal friend to ask what was really going on. Their response was “I don’t know what he is thinking and he has a home full of young boys himself.” This response pointed to the most direct question of all: “Are we really aware of what is at stake in the struggle of our culture?” It is not just for Christians and SBC churches but for anyone who cares what we are leaving for the next generation or allowing to happen, on our watch, under our parenting and leadership.

So I ask you, Dr. Moore, what about your children and mine who are right now, not ten years from now, the aim of, not the lost cultural narrative, but organizations like Planned Parenthood, the major stealth partner in the LGBTQ movement? You are welcoming and dragging the SBC into these disingenuous and scripted conversations.

Do you know why PP redefined the meaning of Q in the alphabet soup of the new sexual minority big tent approach? Q means Queer. Its inclusion promotes the more radical elements of the movement, as they “own” the slur. But Planned Parenthood has substituted Questioning for Q, teaching our children it is normal and healthy to question their sexual orientation and gender AT ANY AGE. From K5 (and even Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 in some places), the rabid and aggressive PP agenda is on the march to redefine sexual norms and gender to our children in every arena of life, from education to recreation to houses of worship and in every source from which they obtain information, including Christian media and curriculum.

Do you understand this, Dr. Moore? Do you know with whom you have been associating? Do you at least understand their intentions, their history and their target generation? Personal efforts to follow up and raise these concerns with the ERLC and with you in late 2014 were met with this dismissive response: “We have a lot on our plate right now; we don’t have time for that.”

You have made your narrative based on the changing culture and, whether aware of it or not, made us and the ERLC the slave of public opinion and these false narratives which oppose the message of the cross. The cross says we are all sinners and that God Himself has intervened. The Bible still and forever says homosexuality is sin, which you agree with, but your assumption that the church is to blame for the tension between culture and the SBC ignores the fundamental opposition that exists between the Gospel Truth and a lost world.

We cannot advance the Kingdom by offering our children on the altars of a new sexual revolution fueled by progressive politics and the corporate foundation funding which is backing the very people to whom you roll out the welcome mat and portray as victims of the church. You have become a Prophet of Shame to Christians who want to be salt and light and to stand boldly and often under threat. Your opposition to preventing a second Clinton regime (and the would-be result of a continuation of Obama policy) is a total mystery to most thinking believers.

The idea that the LGBTQ agenda is a civil rights movement is false, yet you seem to have bought in. The culture war is not the construct of the Christian Right whose eulogy you and others so eagerly proclaim. This war is between light and darkness. The Christian ethic represents the Gospel Light which in our nation has had a great deal of impact on the culture in the past through the Religious Liberty you are commissioned to represent.

Who has bewitched you that you have not obeyed your calling? I love you and pray for you as many who share these concerns do. But I ask again what is going on with you? Why do you think we need schooling to correct our values or define our place in the public square? I point out that most of us live more in that realm than you do in light of your recent experience as a Seminary professor or in the offices at the ERLC.

You were not hired to improve the SBC’s poor image or to engage some public posture to rebrand us. Herein lies a possible insight into the core problem. Is the church’s mission and the SBC’s future success to be measured by how we poll in public perception or by the living epistles of those changed by the Gospel we preach?

Is the Great Commission nothing more than building Christian Community and delivering Social Justice to a collective victimized neighborhood so they might like us more one day and join our churches? Or is it the overall impact on cultural and national life resulting from the bold proclaiming of the Word of Truth, resulting in the individual salvation and transformation many of us in the church have both seen and experienced firsthand?

I say the latter.

Dr. Moore, the WSJ article of 2013 reminded me of the ten spies who came back with an evil report and discouraged the hearts of God’s people. Are you leading us into an Evangelical Wilderness? To watch you welcome to ERLC conferences the very people hired to target our churches and our children and to hear them boast that you are breaking bread together makes me wonder if you understand the communion of the saints at all. Do not imagine that you will remove the reproach of the Cross from Southern Baptist life without becoming the enemy of it.

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Valentine’s according to HRC

Redefining LOVE on Valentine’s Day — Or is It Just Sex You’re Speaking Of?

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on 12 February, 2017 at 11:00

Since 2014, a little-known Valentines conference has been held called “Time To Thrive.” It is a youth conference promoted for LGBTQ youth and youth serving professionals by a mega Equality group which itself remains unknown to many. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has become a power player within LGBTQ rights and marriage equality movement with a $50 million dollar yearly budget and multiple organizations including a political PAC.

What may be the most obscure arena for the HRC and is its focus in education? Its Time to Thrive Conference, now heading into its fourth year, has an amazingly bold missions statement. It reads, “By engaging a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches, and youth development staff (Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, scout leaders etc.), we can create a thriving LGBTQ youth population.”

All Encompassing Approach

So if we are clear on this, the plan is to engage leaders in all arenas that touch youth including their education, recreation, health care and faith. This approach is unprecedented, to say the least, with funding by corporate giants like AT&T and the NEA Teachers Union. The first HRC youth conference was held in Las Vegas, a fitting place for a youth conference, we suppose. This meeting’s key note speaker was the daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton. By the second year, 2015, the Portland, Oregon conference boasted speakers from the DOJ, HHS and Department of Education. The usual list of affirming celebs and “out” celebrity children, sports and media types provided color and breakout sessions. Some unusual guest speakers included transgendered activists as young as 10. So indeed these conferences have been unique and held annually on Valentine’s Day. The 2017 conference is scheduled for April–perhaps to allow for the Trump administration to be settled in, since this year’s Time to Thrive will be in Washington D. C., thus maximizing access to the new administration appointees.

So, What is HRC Pitching in Education?

There is a product being sold to educators and to children and it has been around since 1964. The pitch is to push the overhaul of sex education for K 5-12. The plan is called Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The origin of the overhaul of sex-ed is a Plan Parenthood spin-off financed by Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner. Since the mid 60s, the idea of abstinence-based sex education has been repugnant to revolutionaries like Sexuality Education Council for the United States (SIECUS). The past administration has given the green light and tons of tax dollars to empower Planned Parenthood for this final stretch to full implementation of the radical overhaul. HRC has become a valued new partner in the push to redefine sexual norms, family, procreation/sexual/human rights in terms which serve the great global dreams of sexual liberation and birth rate containment.

What CSE asserts is that teaching abstinence is unhealthy (yes you read that correctly), non LGBTQ inclusive, gender biased, and dishonest. Activist legislators have kept a CSE mandate bill in the congressional que throughout the last eight years. How this law would impact education can be seen here. Federal funding for abstinence would become illegal.

So, What is Love?

Perhaps a better question is “What’s LOVE got to do with it?” when it comes to Planned Parenthood or HRC’s role in redefining sexual norms. According to the talking points on CES, it is an answer to the sexual repressive and discriminatory past. CSE is your child or grandchild’s “human right at any age” to know this liberating ideology, even against parental /family faith values while it uses your tax funds, public school system, and congressional powers to help their goals along. CSE normalizes the entire LGBTQ spectrum of sexuality. “Q” among activist culture was originally a radical owning of the word queer to empower by use of the vulgar slur. Planned Parenthood made the decision to add Q to the growing and inclusive list of sexual minorities around 2013. For them, Q stands for “Questioning” as PP asserts it is “Normal to QUESTION your sexual orientation and gender at ANY AGE.” If you are a parent concerned about your child becoming sexually active for any host of normal reasons, this is your worst nightmare. Exploration and experimentation are both encouraged and recommended.

Activist Youth Demanding Sexual Rights NOW

For those of us over 45, the women’s march in DC surrounding the Trump inauguration was reminiscent of the 60s and 70s feminist. The anatomically correct hats and spirited (raw) protest revealed the radical face of the movement many younger people had never seen. If HRC and PP have their way- this will be the face of future for YOUTH. Advocates for Youth, SIECUS , and  host of other organizations have engaged to train a generation of Youth Sexual Activist. Allies and organizers have tool kits to train our children to take to the halls, campuses, streets and capitols to demand their sexual enlightenment and freedom. The 60s generation of free sex and drugs never saw this kind of organizational skills or funding to accomplish its goals. Yet we are still picking up the proverbial pieces of the last sexual revolution as the next generation is having theirs launched for them.

So, repressing youth’s sexual desires or knowledge is unhealthy even at 5 years of age. If you fall under the new heading of a sexual minority you gain special access, consideration and protection. You can go into the restroom, locker room, shower of choice based on your self-identification of the moment (which is fluid and understandably subject to change). As a sexually-educated youth you can go to the school based clinic and obtain an IUD or birth control or abortion referral at 11 years old and it will either be free or billed to your family’s insurance without their knowledge or approval required. You can go to the school website and be a click away from any and all of these activist partners and services. If you are forced to leave home because your parents do not buy into your new liberation then you can be classified as homeless LGBTQ youth and be eligible for much more protection from anti-bullying advocates like Dan Savage and his “It Gets Better” campaign.

This is the future advocated for sexualized youth according to Planned Parenthood, SIECUS , HRC, and other partners. It is a dream world with little thought of sexual predators, the sex industry, pornography (which CSE considers healthy and encourages), STDs, HIV/AIDS suicide, mental illness, drugs and human collateral damage. All those ills come from non-affirmation after all. This is Love-liberated and offered to your 5 year old as his/her human right-according to the Human Rights Campaign if you follow their values for “Thriving Youth.”  LOVE, HRC style: Happy Valentine’s.

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Russell Moore -Prophet of Shame

RUSSELL MOORE AND THE SCHOOL OF ‘THE PROPHETS OF SHAME’

January 24, 2017

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Editor’s Note:  This article originally appeared at BarbWire and is used by permission of the author.

Some glaring fault lines have appeared in the conversation about Russell Moore, many of which were exposed by the recent essay in The Federalist written by one of Moore’s fans, Nathan Leamer of the R Street Institute. Since being crowned head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in 2013, Dr. Moore has been no stranger to controversy, much of which he brings upon himself. His tendency has been to pervert the classic Christian world view and mix it with language which panders to the left while he openly admonished evangelicals to disengage the culture war as we entered the most hostile attacks in the nation’s history.

This may actually be a careful strategy that resembles the “tactics “of Moore’s most popular target and the source of his current troubles, President elect Donald Trump. Trump skillfully uses controversy to grab headlines and kept himself and his campaign on the front page. Trump is a thick skinned veteran of the New York gossip columns. Trump, therefore, plays the media as one adept with his NYC and DC survival skills. Moore may miss the goal and lack the skills to pull this off.

Dr. Moore began his reign by providing us a taste of both his winsomeness and new tone for the ERLC and evangelicals’ cultural engagement. But today for Moore, the thought of a Trump presidency seems to have caused the evaporation of his winsome veneer exposing a “Prophet of Shame.” “After Trump’s unexpected win, Moore’s pandering to the political Left seems to have gone into hyper-drive. Moore wants Christians who have supported Trump to hide their faces. Yet Trump’s clarity is appealing while Moore’s shame and double speak is divisive. Christian radio host Janet Mefferd pointed out that Trump inherited many evangelicals later in the campaign, and he was not their first choice. But Moore seems determined to let the facts escape him. Others in the SBC and conservative Evangelical circles echo the same “Blame Game” toward evangelicals who supported Trump’s campaign .Ed Stetzer implies that electing Trump has created a climate of racism for which white evangelicals must explain themselves to Christians of Color ”So, what is really going on?  What are the fault lines Moore and others are missing?

Here Are a Few:

1. Moore is attempting to rebrand the ERLC and the evangelical tone. He is speaking mostly to next generation of believers whom the Southern Baptist Convention fears losing – people like Nathan Leamer. Moore critics are not, as Leamer suggests “a small but vocal minority. They are the people who pay Moore’s salary and fund his organization.  Former Senator Mike Huckabee points out that Baptist are “paying Moore to insult them.”  Moore is failing because he is trying to pour new wine into old wine skins- (Mark 2:22 ). Both the young and old may be alienated in the end. Dr. Moore, why not start a new organization (wine skin) with the purpose of rebranding the conversation rather than confusing the present one and furthering the age divide?

2. Moore is the crown prince of evangelical contradiction. He welcomes confusing partners like LGBTQ activist who want to redefine marriage while he ignores, shuns, and shames seasoned conservatives who understand that the LGBTQ debate is merely a tool that uses the LGBT community so that progressives can redefine sexual norms and even personhood. After more than three years in Washington, D.C. does Dr. Moore understand this yet? Progressives USE minorities. They do not help them.

3. Russell Moore misidentifies his victims. When Moore insults the “Christian Right,” he is actually speaking of the Conservative Christian who craves clarity and conviction on Faith Values. He attacks these voters as if they were the machinery behind the conservative political movement. When Christian voters allow this misidentification and assault, they are thus stigmatized by the press, progressives, and the new brand of social justice Christian voter. The fact is most conservatives’ theology tends to be more compatible with social policy than is the brand of Moore and his followers. Doesn’t Russell Moore need to get his labels right before applying them?

4. Moore is attempting to build the ERLCs new foundation on the shifting sands of culture. It is not possible to maintain real integrity to our espoused theological conservatism and yet be socially pondering if not outright grasping every progressive object floating on the surface of the current cultural floodtide. Moore, if not confused himself does allow his language to confuse others. Moore embraces immigration policies, for example, that favor the lefts ideology as if he does not know of George Soros existence or has never heard of open borders. In short Moore quickly adopts talking points loaded with activist policy and expects his base to follow while he espouses faithfulness to Biblical values wrapped in this new terminology. Is this fair to expect thinking people to follow along?

5. Moore has not at all “been balanced in speaking truth to power while achieving real political victories,” as Leamer claims. Leamer fails to enumerate even one of those “victories.” Also, as he reminds us, the ERLC’s job is, in part, “to promote Religious Liberty”. By this standard alone, both Moore’s vision and the organization he inherited, are failures. There has been far greater endangerment – and loss — of religious freedom on Moore’s watch than at any other time in American history.  As to “Trump holding a Bond Reunion without him” -Russell Moore is no James Bond. He is not a man accustomed to life in the field but rather in the theological halls of learning. He also lacks a license to kill the conservative Christian base, though he does seem to be attempting to read its eulogy. Dr. Moore, what is your job in 10 words or less? Please stick to it.

In short, Moore is accountable to the base who funds him. He is accountable to the denomination under whose banner he sails and to the individual Christians and ministers who reach out to him with concern. Trump’s evangelical support was in large part, a vote against Hillary Clinton’s progressive “March to the Sea” to divide and conquer Christian values in the public square.  Moore seems to fail to get this. He continues using the wrong talking points, the wrong language, the wrong allies, and is on the wrong side of the mountains of culture. If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself to battle? (“One “Corinthians 14:8 )

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LGBT and the National Park Service

Paradise Gardens Foundation
Rev. Thomas Littleton

Opinion

Is the National Park Service ‘queering’ history?

July 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Americans love our history, historic sites and natural wonders, and since the time of Teddy Roosevelt have entrusted our government with their care. The National Parks Service (NPS) may be one of THE most trusted of all federal agencies. However, this trust may now be misplaced due to an activist culture within all federal agencies. In June, President Obama made good on his promise to name Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village (then Mafia owned) gay bar considered ground zero for the modern LGBT rights movement, as the first National Monument to LGBT rights. Shocking as this may seem, the National Park Service has been quietly transformed from within by activist appointees and a pro-LGBT hiring policy drafted for federal agencies.

In a preservation effort in northwest Georgia, our project was caught up in this vortex of LGBT “History” and the funding that is following it. Our story begins in 2010 at about the same time that a public/private partnership between the NPS and the Gill Foundation was created.

For over a decade a small group of volunteers had been working to find a pathway to preserve the life’s work of Southern folk artist Rev. Howard Finster. His almost 50,000 pieces of artwork adorn the walls of museums, corporate offices, galleries and private collections around the world. Yet Finster’s greatest work was his art environment known as Paradise Gardens. Throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, artist-musicians and Finster’s growing fan base made pilgrimages to Paradise, an eclectic collection of found objects, signage and scripture mixed together to create a folk art Garden of Eden for prayer and meditation. Finster’s unique use of the medium of art to relate his overtly gospel and, at times, apocalyptic message attracted one of the most fervent and diverse fan bases of any artist in history. The continuation of his message and spiritual inspiration was both the driving force behind the preservation effort and its greatest challenge in the world of art now often hostile toward it.

It was no small accomplishment when the National Park Service and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation began to show interest. We were approached after the NPS had featured its first somewhat similar art environment named Pasaquan and placed it on the National Registry. The similarities between the work of its creator, Eddie Owens Martin, and Finster begin and end with both heaving created works of art and placed them in outdoor environments. Rev. Finster, a Baptist minister, had been the pastor of rural churches in Georgia, had become a beloved figure for his lifelong motto “I have never met a person I did not love.” Pasaquans creator Martin was the son of a sharecropper who had run away from his south Georgia home to the streets of Greenwich Village in New York and become a male prostitute and drug addict until returning home to build his environment. Martin took his own life by a self-inflicted gunshot.

Unknown to us, the NPS had been interested in Martin’s work BECAUSE of his homosexual history and not in spite of it. The LGBT Heritage initiative (launched unofficially in 2010) also was the source of interest in Paradise Gardens as the NPS began actually searching for gay history to feature around the country. Unfortunately for Rev. Finster’s legacy, several famed homosexuals like artist Keith Haring had visited the Gardens or collaborated with Finster projects in the past. Apparently, this history is all the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation division needed to qualify Rev. Finster’s Paradise for the NPS gay focus and the activist funding which would follow.

Our efforts with the NPS had culminated in partnering with the local U.S. Congressional offices and the County for an initial Federal grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. This funding would enable the local county to buy into the project. During the closing months of intense efforts to gain the matching funds for the ARC grant, the possibility for funding from a new grant emphasis called Creative Place Making surfaced. The CPM initiative had recently become the focus of the National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” funding that was sweeping the preservation arts and economic development community.

What is Creative Place Making? According to the ideology on which it is based – a Creative Class of people exist in our culture and their interest – welcome – and participation in urbanization, economic development , urban renewal and even historic preservation is a requisite for success. And who are these creative people? According to longtime guru of the Creative Class – Richard Florida – they are gay or lesbian, bohemians and musicians, or those who like to hang out where they find heavy concentrations of such creative people. Florida has created a litmus test for gauging the presence of these elements and named them appropriately — “the gay index — the tolerance index and the bohemian index.” Needless to say, the ideology is controversial but has created a flock of followers including the pro LGBT federal grant programs.

In 2012, once the local county buy-in had taken place, our Preservation Partnership began to go awry. Secretly (according to the Freedom of Information Act request later obtained), the Creative Place Making future was identified for Rev. Finsters. Paradise Gardens had inspired the county and the congressional office director to form their own partnership and, with the help of the state of Georgia preservation community, to seek and obtain a series of grants from some of the oldest and longtime supporters of abortion/Planned Parenthood and gay rights in the nation. This funding windfall came from Artplace America funded by such Foundations as Ford, Rockefeller, and Knight. Artplace is considered a “private sector sibling” of the NEA. Additional funding of almost a quarter million dollars came from The Educational Foundation of America, another longtime supporter of abortion and gay rights. EFA often follows the CPM of Artplace.

As one may imagine, the new funding immediately overshadowed the legacy of Rev. Finster and the goals of our dedicated volunteers. As a result, our stand against the use of Paradise Gardens as a platform for celebrating LGBT heritage and funding which actually dishonors his Christian legacy created a lack of place and space for us in our own project. Our front entrance/parking and reception property were literally walled out of Paradise, which is now literally shrouded in the art of Keith Haring and other well-known gay artists, and complaints to the NPS offices in Georgia were met with this response: “This is gay history and we are proud of it.”

Thomas Littleton is chairman of Paradise Gardens Park and Museum, which continues to work to celebrate the true legacy of Rev. Finster to artist, students and at museums, art festivals.

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Cardinal Walter Brandmuller Jan Bentz / LifeSiteNe

 

Thanks to Dr. Maike Hickson of OnePeterFive for the translation from the German.

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