Wednesday, March 29, 2006
In fact, concern about heterosexual sex by unmarried youth gets equal treatment from the Battle Cry campaign. Its goal is to spread Christianity and to help young people recognize and resist the cultural influences of a "stealthy enemy" that includes "corporations, media conglomerates and purveyors of popular culture." Its Web site (www.battlecry.com) speaks of "casualties of war" that include drinking, drug use, teen sex, pornography, abortion, suicide and violence.
We may disagree with certain aspects of the Battle Cry agenda -- on issues such as abortion rights, religion in schools or acceptance of an individual's sexual orientation -- but the attempt by counterprotesters and some of the city's elected officials to call them "fascist" and "hateful" was totally at odds with the tone of the ballpark event and the approach of the Web site.
Set aside the issue whether calling homosexual acts immoral, as the Battle Cry youth do, is intolerant (a legitimate point of debate) or "fascist" (a stretch). The striking thing to me, and to the Chronicle, is how the city officials' focus on that issue alone obliterates, for them, everything else the evangelical group says -- every criticism the group makes of threats like youth violence, superficial sex in the media, and empty commercialism, things that traditionalists and progressives ought to be able to fight working together.