It was a tense—and ironic—situation. One of our staff described the confrontation as “analogous to Rosa Parks being asked to go to the back of the bus.”
AiG was actively witnessing and distributing thousands of materials at the annual National Education Association (NEA) teachers convention in Florida in July. For 10 years, AiG, through a public school teacher, has manned the “Creation Science Educator’s Caucus” booth at the world’s largest gathering of educators. Through many generous AiG supporters, we saw thousands of dollars’ worth of DVDs, books and booklets get directly into the hands of thousands of teachers.
At the booth, AiG boldly displayed three large banners. One of them stated: “Gay Marriage: Who Determines What Marriage Should Be?” At the bottom of the banner it declared: “Genesis Is Literal History—God Created Them Male and Female.” It was a clear message that the origin of marriage is in the book of Genesis.
But what caused the biggest stir—and what had NEA officials making unreasonable demands on us—was AiG’s small “gay marriage” booklet. The NEA leadership demanded that the AiG booklet be moved to a back table. Apparently, some people were “offended by it.” Here's how Tony Ramsek of our staff—who led our effort—explained it to me:
We received a press release from the American Family Association about a new NEA proposal that would “promote homosexual marriage in public schools.” Because of this new controversial proposal, AiG determined to actively engage this battle.
An official from the NEA leadership stopped by our booth. He requested/demanded that we move those gay marriage booklets to the back of our tables so they wouldn't be in plain view. If we didn’t, he would take it to the next level—a not-so-veiled threat.
If I was to acquiesce to the humanists’ demands this time, what would be next? Surely sooner or later, someone would find our banners—or our creation message—to be offensive. If we backed down from preaching the whole counsel of God in this instance, it would not stop there.
What we were doing did not go against the NEA by-laws (we checked). So we decided to“ … obey God rather than men”(Acts 5:29).
An NEA official came by again. This man was noticeably nervous, and repeated the request/demand that we move the gay marriage booklets to the back … or else face the consequences. With gentleness, I told him that we would not—and showed him the NEA by-laws.
I mentioned to this gentleman that we felt like the late civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks being asked to move to the back of an Alabama bus. I told him, “We will not go to the back of the bus. We will not move our booklets to the back.” And praise the Lord, we never heard back from them again.
I’m so proud of our staff … they really do practice what we preach! What a challenge to all of us to stand on the Bible and not compromise.
Once again at the NEA convention, several thousand Bible-proclaiming booklets and DVDs were distributed (free) to public school teachers and administrators (and they were also pointed to our website). Educators are really becoming more receptive! We are providing Tony’s full report online for web visitors this month.
This ministry, which is so very dependent on your prayers, is making a strategic difference in hearts and lives today! Thank you for your part in sharing the vital creation/gospel message and helping reestablish the authority of the Bible … to change lives far and wide! To find out how you can be a part of this ministry’s continuing work in confronting “worldly America,” please visit Supporting the Ministry. I trust you were encouraged to read how AiG stood up like this in a tense and difficult situation. Oh, how we need to be able to engage others with biblical truths!