By David Tulis
Chattanooga City Council member Larry Grohn confronted members of the Chattanooga Tea Party and demanded to know why Christians and conservatives are not more vocal in defense of marriage.
He told about 50 members of the group at the October meeting that a proposed ordinance favoring homosexual couples is an abuse of the taxpayers and an affront to God.
Council member Chris Anderson, a homosexual, with statements of support from Mayor Andy Berke, plans to propose an ordinance to afford homosexual couples the benefits granted married men and women. The Tennessee constitution, as amended in by the voting public, forbids the state to recognize any marriage except those between one man and one woman.
Mr. Grohn prefaced a call to action with a profession of faith. “I am going to totally center on a Christ-centered approach, which means I recognize the sin of [homosexuality], but I love the sinner. So, based upon that, I am presenting to you a call to action. **** How many of you in this room claim to be born-again Christians? OK. I proclaim to you that I am first and foremost saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, and I am a Christian first. I am an American second. I am the loving husband of my wife [Carol], third. And I work for the citizens of Chattanooga — fourth.
“We’ve now been informed that there is a homosexual challenge being thrown out to the city of Chattanooga which the citizens, at least the city leaders of Collegedale and now the mayor of Knoxville, are going to succumb to. The mayor of Chattanooga, Mayor Berke, has already voiced his support of this ordinance that will be brought forth by city councilperson Chris Anderson, who is himself a declared homosexual.”
Mr. Grohn is baffled that fewer Christians have spoken up for marriage, a creational ordinance as recorded in the book of Genesis.
“City Council chambers are already being filled every Tuesday night with supporters of this domestic partnership ordinance. Why aren’t you there? Why aren’t the Christians who proclaim themselves as the hands and feet and voice of Christ on this earth not packing those chambers? Why isn’t your pastor speaking out publicly and announcing this to his congregation? Why?”
Gay line of argument rebuffed
Mr. Grohn scoffs at the claim that gays merely want equal treatment.
“Same-sex marriage has nothing to do with equal rights. Nobody in this room determined that they were born male or born female — they didn’t have a choice. No one who was born black, brown, white yellow has a choice in what race they are born. Those are the rights, along with those in the constitution, that should be protected, not the choice of a same-sex partner.
“No one who is in a domestic partnership is deprived of equal benefits in Chattanooga. If you are a heterosexual couple and you want the benefits provided by the city, you have an avenue to do that. It is called marriage.”
Mr. Grohn pleaded for vocal support for marriage as a foundation of Christianity, family and a prospering social order.
“Will you speak to your family, friends, neighbors and your church members? Will you speak to and/or confront the elders of your church and your pastor to ask them why I haven’t seem them at City Council? Will you encourage or twist the arm of your pastor to get them to speak out publicly? Will you get your church members to show up at City Council?”
Councilman Grohn said a parking lot next to city hall is free to all comers after 4:30 p.m. and that there’s room for church buses.
“Will you get everyone in your church Bible study group to call the mayor’s office? I would like to see they have nothing else to do but to answer that doggone phone? And if we can get over 200 emails into the mayor’s office in a four-hour period to save the Delta Queen, why can’t we get 20,000 emails to stand up for God and country?”
The tea party audience erupted in applause.
Quoting Christ’s words about good works
“I have already had more people email me in support of domestic partnership than I have against it. Why? If you’re a Christian and you don’t stand up and do something now — I’m sorry; I’m preaching now: There is a time when you have to be judged and God will turn away from you and say, ‘I never knew you,’ period.”
His reference is to Christ’s words recorded in Matt. 7:23 when He declares God will cast away those who profess faith and belief but bear no fruit in the way of good works.
Six o’clock is the start of council meetings, Mr. Grohn said. “You should start being there at 5 o’clock. There should be people out the door and into the streets.”
Councilmen Chip Henderson and Ken Smith are against, Mr. Grohn says in a handout. Council members Anderson, Carol Berz and Moses Freeman are for, and Jerry Mitchell and Yusuf Hakeem are leaning in favor, Mr. Grohn says.
David Tulis is host of Nooganomics.com 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays at Copperhead 1240 AM, a show that covers local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond. The show streams live at 1340wsdt.com.