First there was the Promise Keepers, committed to helping men reassert themselves as the godly leaders of their homes and the world. Now, the Battle Cry Coalition,is coming to town. Created by Teen Mania Ministries, Battle Cry is trying to keep Evangelical teens from leaving the flock, which they’re doing in droves.
Partnered with such well-known Evangelical extremists as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, Battle Cry operates a blogging site that bills itself as the “Bible-based” alternative to MySpace. There, users can sign a Teen Bill of Rights, which will require them to promise, among other things, not to engage in premarital sex or ever have an abortion. “It is necessary for us, the emerging generation of young Americans, to stand for what is right and reclaim the values that have made our nation great,” the bill reads. Reporting on the group last fall, The New York Times reported that the Battle Cry ‘s claim that only four percent of teenagers will be “Bible-believing Christians” as adults is “highly suspect.”
It’s misinformation such as this that has stirred the ire of local LGBT activists and allies.
“Our community always has cause for alarm when young people are harmed as a result of an abusive use of Christianity,” said Dawn Wolfe, director of communications for the Triangle Foundation. “For example, the Battle Cry movement stresses sexual abstinence until marriage; this automatically discriminates against LGBT adolescents who won’t be able to marry the person they love for the foreseeable future. Whether it is Battle Cry or brainwashing by the so-called ‘ex-gay’ movement, Triangle Foundation opposes all efforts to coerce young LGBT people into thinking their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression are somehow ‘wrong.'”
State Program Director Kate Runyon of American Friends Service Committee is planning a peace response to Battle Cry’s rally in Detroit on April 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Grand Circus Park in Detroit at the William Cotter Maybury Statue. AFSC’s focus is to assemble a group to participate in a peaceful prayer circle to counter the militaristic perspective of Battle Cry. To learn more about the planned AFSC responseto this gathering, or to sign up to participate, contact Runyon at 734-355-0354.
Battle Cry’s website defines their mission as “to fully realize the potential power of the local church youth group by providing a support structure that will help them grow in numbers while discipling this generation.”
According to their press releases, Battle Cry participants will be “praying for the city and for the event,”
The Battle Cry conference is from 2 to 5 p.m. April 13-14 at Ford Field In Detroit.
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