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Pastor Xavier L. Thompson
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Spiritual warriors from throughout the Southland are invited to join Pastor Xavier L. Thompson and local clergy at a city-wide prayer meeting on Wednesday, August 31, to protest the FAIR Education Act signed into law last month by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The legislation, also known as Senate Bill 48, requires that the contributions of lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender individuals be included in the social science curriculum at California public schools.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m., at Southern Missionary Baptist Church, 4678 West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. The ecumenical, multi-cultural event will feature a broad spectrum of the faith community voicing support for the StopSB48 Coalition in Sacramento, CA. Also, community leaders, school board members, educators, government officials will be in attendance
"Let me be very clear, this is not an attack on the LGBT people or any particular group. I believe I am taking a stand for Biblical principles and righteous standards as outlined in the word of God. This is a big issue because you cannot sexualize history. The underlying impact of SB 48, I believe, is the advancement of a pro-homosexual, world-view in the public classroom," said Rev. Thompson.
"I believe if anyone has made a noteworthy contribution to society, they ought to be acknowledged, regardless of their sexual orientation. The writer, Langston Hughes, was a gay man but we don't know him as that. We celebrate his poetry. J. Edgar Hoover was a gay man, but we know him as the F.B.I. director. I believe this law promotes one's sexual identity beyond their societal contributions, so it's not ‘let's celebrate their contributions' as much as ‘let's celebrate their sexuality,'" he said.
Further explaining his viewpoint, Pastor Thompson insisted that he is not homophobic or a bigot nor does he condone speech or actions reflecting those beliefs. "I have out-of-the closet, in the closet, down-low members that are in my congregation. They feel comfortable talking with their pastor about their struggles because they know I am not going to judge them, isolate them or alienate them. They know my Biblical convictions are balanced by personal compassion.
"But there is a standard set by God. I can't lower it or raise it to fit those that I love or dislike. God has set the standard in His word and it's my job to uphold it. I believe I can come out against this SB 48 bill, yet love my members and non-members who live this lifestyle,' said the pastor.
Utilizing the power of prayer will make a big difference, he said, because "God honors prayer. It starts with prayer. We're petitioning God for His mercy, for His will to be done, that He will favor us to get this bill repealed, and let people have a chance to vote it up or down."
An important element of the meeting is petition-signing to obtain the 550,000 signatures of registered voters needed to place the repeal referendum on the November ballot. Only 60 days remain to gather the signatures.
"But if you're not an eligible voter, don't let that discourage you from attending. We need the community to be here. We will have voter registration forms available. You can register to vote, sign the petition and pray with us," said Pastor Thompson.
"We have to let the powers that be know that that Zion, the Church, is an institution to be reckoned with and we have the power to vote you in or out and you must honor us."
For more information, call Southern MBC at (323) 731-2303.