On Monday, June 29, Abbotsford city council voted to fly the “Fraser Valley Pride” flag at city hall for a week during July.

The council was responding to the first half of the following request emailed to the mayor and councillors:

“As part of the Fraser Valley Pride Celebration, we would like to request that the Pride Flag be raised alongside the other flags at City Hall for the Week of July 13-20, 2015. Also we would like to request that the Ware Street Cross Walk be repainted using the Pride Flag Colours prior to July 13, 2015 and be a permanent symbol of pride, diversity and inclusivness in the City.”

In general, “Pride” groups have as their main distinctive their particular views on sex, and their sexual practices. They tend to believe that “anything goes” between (or among) consenting individuals. Such views and practices are typically opposed by Bible-believing Christians, as well as by others in our community. So the question is: Should our city council be offering official support to views or practices that many in our community regard as sexual immorality?

There is no doubt that the views and practices of “Pride” groups are fully legal. The federal government decriminalized a variety of sexual behaviours some decades ago. But does the fact that sexually immoral behaviours are legal make them worthy of celebrating?

Please be clear that “Celebration” is what this is about. Flag-raising signifies affirmation, approval, and endorsement, and the wording of the request itself specifies “Celebration.” But should our city leaders be sending a message to the youth of Abbotsford that sexual immorality is worthy to be affirmed, approved, endorsed, and celebrated?

Abbotsford city council passed their motion to raise the “Pride Flag” with a minimum of hasty discussion, and with no debate at all, at the tail end of the June 15 evening council meeting. (You can watch the proceedings here: http://abbotsford.insinc.com/player_archive_sl.php.) There was no apparent acknowledgment of the controversial, divisive nature of this matter. (The comment was made that the city does not currently have a policy on flag-raising. But why should that omission automatically mean that any and every flag-raising proposal has to be honoured?)

If you agree that the Abbotsford council has made an error in judgment, you have several opportunities to say so:

(1) Phone Mayor Henry Braun at 604-864-5500.

(2) Write one email to the whole council here: http://www.abbotsford.ca/city_hall/mayor_and_council/email_mayor_and_council.htm. (If you contact council in this way, what you say will become part of the permanent official record.)

(3) Write individual emails to some or all of the council members:

• Mayor Henry Braun <hbraun@abbotsford.ca> [Note: Mayor Braun did not personally vote on this motion.]
• Councillor Les Barkman <Lbarkman@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Sandy Blue <sblue@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Kelly Chahal <kchahal@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Brenda Falk <bfalk@abbotsford.ca> [Note: Councillor Falk was not present for the vote on this motion.]
• Councillor Moe Gill <Mgill@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Dave Loewen <dfloewen@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Patricia Ross <Pross@abbotsford.ca>
• Councillor Ross Siemens <rsiemens@abbotsford.ca>

For more information . . . The following free resources provide careful scholarly overviews of this troubling issue:

(1) Video, recommended by the publishers of the English Standard Version Bible, of pastor Kevin DeYoung speaking earlier this year on a Biblical survey of the topic: “What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?” (63 minutes, followed by a panel discussion of 54 minutes)

(2) E-book, by Albert Mohler and colleagues (theology professors), “God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines” (95 pages)

In Christ’s service,
Richard Peachey
Citizens for a Morally Strong Abbotsford