January 2006 – The most vocal promoters of tolerance have once again proven that they are anything but tolerant themselves, as Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston discovered in October.
Nearly 800 people gathered at the church for an all-day Love Won Out conference, sponsored by Focus on the Family. Attendees came to hear a message of hope from numerous speakers presenting a very simple message: Jesus Christ can set people free from homosexuality.
Many of the speakers had themselves come out of that lifestyle, according to Article 8 Alliance (www.article8.org), a Boston-based group fighting the gay agenda in the Bay State.
But other people also showed up for the conference besides the attendees. According to Focus’ Citizen Link magazine, homosexual activists also came, beginning at 8 a.m., and growing in number as the day wore on, with more than 1,000 protesters eventually filling the entire block.
The homosexual activists engaged in protests that Maine pastor Dallas Henry described as “bone chilling.” Witnesses said the protesters used public address systems, shouted obscenities and chanted things like, “Hate-filled churches! Shut ’em down!” and “Get the f--- out of Boston!”
The outside protests could be heard by conference attendees inside the church, unnerving participants.
What was puzzling to Love Won Out attendees was the response to the protest by police, who lined up shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the church. According to city officials, the activists had not obtained any of the required permits: for a public demonstration, to block off a city street, or to use sound equipment in public.
“Nevertheless, Boston police stood aside and allowed the demonstrators to do pretty much whatever they wanted,” said an Article 8 Alliance story by an eyewitness. “At times [the police] even cooperated with the activists, chatting with them, directing traffic for them, and finally allowing them to completely block the street. The police department later informed [Article 8 Alliance] that there were no arrests, despite the near-riot behavior and the apparent breaking of laws regarding demonstrating without a permit and disrupting a religious event.”
Instead, the Love Won Out attendees became near-prisoners in the church. So raucous was the crowd outside that conference participants were not allowed to leave for lunch. Instead, sacked lunches had to be brought in to them.
“But the most frightening situation came near the end of the conference. Activists jammed the entire width of the street outside and stepped up their agitation,” said the Article 8 Alliance eyewitness. “In response, rather than attempt to disperse the crowd, the police barricaded the church doors and told people inside they could not leave for any reason.”
Conference speaker Joe Dallas, a former homosexual and gay activist, said that the protest outside the church was proof that Christians’ freedom of speech and freedom of religion were at risk.