Lutheran Anti-Gay Speaker Dr Beverly Yahnke. Myth Buster or Ignorant Boof Head?

A Post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Early last year retired seminary lecturer Dr John Kleinig approached The LCA College of Presidents to advise them that  a retreat for pastors and lay people was in the process of being organised by the Mannum congregation. The retreat/ seminar was conducted by  Hal Senkbeil and Beverly Yahnke who are the executive directors of “Doxology”. Dr Kleinig is listed as a member of the board of advisers for the group.

The Doxology website describes themselves as…

A Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  The primary purpose of this organization is to provide training, mentoring and consultation services for pastors who desire to enhance their ability to help people struggling with the ever-increasing personal, family and social complexities of contemporary life.

So, they train pastors.

The seminar in Mannum Congregation was called Clear Conscience. Courageous Living. and seems to have been focused on matters of sexuality. Yahnke conducted the first 2 sessions where homosexuality was addressed. You can download full videos of all the sessions here.

I have just started looking at the first session.

So, Myth buster or ignorant, ill informed bunch of bubble (boof) head?

It took less that five 5 minutes to find out.

I’ve put her statement in print so that you can compare them to her source. She said…

“We have complete states legislatures that are adopting state legislation that sounds like this…

The Fair Education Act requires that  all textbooks and instruction

and I quote…

must positively promote,

(pause for dramatic effect, raise finger) strong language (and repeat with emphasis)

must POSITIVELY PROMOTE  lesbian gay bisexiual and transgender Americans as ROLE MODELS and that children beginning in grade 1 will be taught to ADMIRE homosexuality, same sex marriage, bisexalty and transexuality.

Worst of all, at the end of the leislative act it says

Parents will NOT be notified nor will they be able to exempt their children from this new core curriculum.

Oh. Good on that.” she concludes.

You know how sometimes you hear something and it sounds really shocking… it stirs up all of your worst fears. Have you learnt yet that those things you hear really need to be checked and that they usually prove to be completely incorrect?

Allow me to introduce you to Randy Thomasson founder and president of SaveCalifornia.com. In March 2012 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added SaveCalifornia.com to its list of anti-gay hate groups. In order to make the list a group has to lie, defame or spread false propaganda about the LGBT community.

True to form, when the Fair Education Act (SB48) was first introduced Save California.com posted an article which misrepresented both the wording and the intent of the Act.

Here is the important part. Dr Yahnke’s …”and I quote”… comes not from the Act but from the misleading article.

Here is the relevant section from Thomasson’s article. I have coloured the bits in red that have identical wording to what Dr Yahnke read out.

1. Textbooks and instructional materials must positively promote “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” as “role” models.

2. Children as young as kindergarten will be taught to admire persons who engage in homosexuality, same-sex “marriages,” bisexuality, and transsexuality

6. Parents will not be notified, nor will they be able to exempt their children from this new core curriculum.

Here is the actual Act (SB 48 California) if you want to take the time to read it. The “offending” part of the seems to be this bit.

Existing law requires that when adopting instructional materials for use in the schools, governing boards of school districts shall include materials that accurately portray the role and contributions of culturally and racially diverse groups including Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups to the total development of California and the United States.

This bill would revise the list of culturally and racially diverse groups to also include Pacific Islanders, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and persons with disabilities.

The act makes no reference….

(Pause for dramatic effect, raise finger and repeat with emphasis.)

NO REFERENCE WHATSOEVER to “positively promoting”, making “role models” or “admiring”  anyone.

The act also makee NO REFERENCE WHATSOEVER  to the notification of parents or to exemption of children from classes.

But, hey, why let the facts get in the way of a little fear mongering.

Did you hear the laughter in the background? I can just imagine the conference attenders nudging each other, nodding and agreeing…

“Ha ha! Yeh! People call me homophobic all the time!”

Dr Yahnke, may I speak directly to you? Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com lied in order to spread unreasonable fear into the community. I trust that your repetition of those lies was in error, that you genuinely believed that you were quotong from the Act. It seems however that your intent was the same as Thomasson’s. Your words and your delivery were calculated to gain maximum shock value in order to further the spread of fear and distrust of my gay friends.

I dont know if homophobia should be considered a mental illness. Probably not. But it is ungodly. Dr Yahnke, shouldn’t we be striving for perfect love that casts out fear?

I have LOTS more to say about Dr Yahnke’s presentation.