|The 1st Billboard|
"The billboard in question was the center of a nationwide firestorm, which unfairly turned Lexington and Kentucky into a brief national laughingstock," said Kentucky Equality Federation President Joshua Koch. "While Kentucky Equality Federation supports the church's right to free speech, this speech is embarrassing Lexington and the community, as well as needlessly trying to drive a wedge between well- meaning people.
According to a recent article in Lexington’s Herald-Leader newspaper, the amount spent on the initial sign, rental, and the replacement is about $9,100.00 so far," Koch continued. "Jesus once said, 'And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.'
I can't help but wonder how many cups of water, shelters for the needy, or food for the hungry could have been obtained for $9100. It's sad that driving people away from God is more important to this church. Apparently, the Bluegrass Church of Christ and Christ Himself have very different priorities.
We must stand firmly for the right of each individual to pursue their happiness, their life, and their liberty, not just because our republic is based on that principle, but because that is the principle on which God, the Bible, and Christianity is established."
Minister Edith Maker, Ph.D. Kentucky Equality Federation's Religious Communities Outreach Director also commented on the issue.
"In a world of so many uncertainties, it is both relieving and refreshing to know that the God of the Bible is redeeming and restoring," Minister Baker said. "He is a God of Love, who revealed himself clearly through Jesus when He admonished each of us to love one another. While God and the Bible have been used to condemn the science of planet rotation (Galileo 1500s), mental illness as an evil spirit (through the 1950s), Black people has having no soul (1900s), left-handed people as being in league with the devil (through the 1950s), and forbidding marriage between blacks and whites (as late as 1967), we have come to realize these are misinterpretations and misrepresentations of God and the Bible.
Unfortunately, these misrepresentations of God and the Bible have been forged as a mechanism for control. Today, many are repeating these same false ideologies in their opposition to same-sex relationships. Just as blacks have been liberated to worship God as well as the mentally ill, left-handed people and women, homosexuals must also be liberated by the church to pursue their relationship and completeness in Christ."
Jordan Palmer, the founder and previous president of Kentucky Equality Federation who is still recovering, also commented for the first time since he stepped down for health reasons as previously reported.
"I am outraged by selfish Churches who, in the name of the Creator spread hatred," Palmer said. "I did a radio show about this years ago: http://news.fayetteville.net/articles/173/1/Is-Homosexuality-Against- God039s-Law/Page1.html.
I remind them the Bluegrass Church of Christ that The Old Covenant also states that you may sell your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7), and it is a sin to have sexual relations with your wife during her monthly menstrual cycle.
Everyone is also morally obligated according to Exodus to kill their neighbors for working on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2), and I may not approach the alter of God without perfect vision (Leviticus 21:20), it is a sin for men to trim the hair around their temples and their beard (Leviticus 19:27), and football must should be outlawed since toughing the skin of a dead pig makes you unclean. Also, it is a sin for anyone to plant different seeds in the same garden or to wear garments made of two separate materials (Leviticus 19:19).
I am sick of organized religion taking curtain passages and trying to divide a loving community. Forget the Church, get to know God yourself, and Jesus in the New Covenant when he died for our sins.
Fortunately, we do not follow the passages I have just outlined (and we urge you not to) because Jesus taught us differently. I apologize if I offend anyone for my religious beliefs, but I am sick of people using the Creator to spread hate and fear to advance their own selfish agendas. It is also not my intention to offend the Jewish community in any capacity."
Activist Jordan Palmer remains on the Board of Directors.
Jeff Johnson, Kentucky Equality Federation's Central Kentucky Regional Director also commented on the issue: "While I would strongly defend the right of this church to purchase billboard space to promote their beliefs, I do believe it is important that we stand publicly against the message delivered.
I see this billboard as an attempt to incite hatred and legitimize discrimination by using an umbrella of 'selective morality.' The primary message delivered by the Bluegrass Church of Christ is one of judgment and it is in direct contradiction of Christ's words.
This is no more than a publicity stunt devised to shame a segment of the community into silence and offer a war cry to another segment with a political agenda to promote. In the grand scheme of things, I believe though unpleasant and offensive, it also serves as a reminder the entire community that discrimination exists, even in Lexington, and the fight for basic Civil Rights is ongoing."
SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT: "This press release is especially noteworthy because it is a collaborative effort between the Office of the President, the Central Kentucky Regional Director, and the Religious Communities Outreach Director. Additionally, it is also the first official comment made by our founder and past president, Jordan Palmer, who is still recovering. That the issue has inspired him to speak publicly on the matter illustrates its gravity," Joshua Koch