A controversial anti-abortion activist says California wildfires are God’s judgment on a new anti-discrimination law that some conservative Christians say promotes homosexuality in public schools.
“Last week I groaned when I read how Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law in California which foisted homosexuality upon the children of that state through the state school system,” Matt Trewhella of Missionaries to the Preborn wrote in an e-mail quoted on liberal Web sites Hot Flash Report and Talk2Action.
Trewhella said the bill, SB777–also called the California Student Civil Rights Act–signed into law Oct. 13 “clearly redefines (perverts) what sexuality is, as well as promotes the legitimacy of homosexuality upon children starting from kindergarten on up.”
“Seven days later, on October 20th, wildfires broke out across California in several places,” Trewhella continued, describing widespread damages that prompted President Bush to declare a state of emergency.
“Do you think they will see it as a warning from the Lord for their calling evil good?” he asked. “Do you think they will be able to connect the dots? I won’t be holding my breath.”
Trewhella, a pastor from Milwaukee, is no stranger to controversy. In 1993 the FBI investigated him for making a statement that authorities took as a veiled threat to assassinate doctors who perform abortions.
Not long after the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, he made headlines when members of his Mercy Seat Christian Church distributed a bullet-shaped, pro-gun flier at Milwaukee schools.
In addition to his belief that the Bible supports gun ownership, Trewhella also has written that Christians should not obtain a state marriage license, because in doing so they place themselves under jurisdiction of unbiblical laws, and that property taxes are immoral.
Planned Parenthood lists his Missionaries to the Preborn, started in 1990 as a branch of Operation Rescue, as one of 15 leading “anti-choice organizations” in the United States.
Trewhella calls his organization a Christian mission–the only one of 400 operating in America that targets the pre-born child as its people group. The group is best known for demonstrations in high-traffic areas using graphic visuals of fetuses in tours they call Face the Truth.
Trewhella justifies the use of photographs of bloodied and dismembered fetuses by arguing the media “has censored the preborn child” from the abortion debate.
“The American press refuses to show the American people what these babies look like who are dying in the womb,” the Missionaries to the Unborn Web site explains. “We are simply attempting to bypass that media blackout by going to the streets and displaying these photographs.”
Introduced in February by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, the first openly gay or lesbian to be elected to the California Legislature, the Student Civil Rights Act protects students from harassment and bullying in public schools.
Gay-rights groups said it provided important protections for LGBT Californians, while social conservatives labeled it sexual indoctrination and a “ban on mom and dad.” One group started a petition for a ballot referendum to have the measure repealed, and another called for a mass exodus from California’s public schools.
“We’re calling upon every California parent to pull their child out of California’s public school system,” Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, told World Net Daily.
“The so-called ‘public schools’ are no longer a safe emotional environment for children,” Thomasson said.
Thomasson said under the new law “schoolchildren as young as kindergarten will be sexually indoctrinated and introduced to homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality, over the protests of parents, teachers and even school districts.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.