At WORLD we make some readers mad when we take strong positions on controversial issues, and that goes with the territory. But we do not and will not shrug off factual errors. That’s why I get upset when we have more than an occasional one, and especially mad at myself when I mess up.
So, here’s my confession. I first wrote about a determined young man, Michael Marcavage, in 2005. In another article posted in 2007 I wrote that Repent America demonstrators led by Marcavage marched through a Philadelphia gay pride celebration with “God Abhors You” signs.
So what? Well, Marcavage wrote me earlier this week—seven years late, but so it goes—that his sign said, “Homosexuality is sin. Christ can set you free.” He said a street preacher, Reuben Israel, not a member of Repent America, hoisted a “God Abhors You” sign.
I’ve corresponded with Israel and concluded that Marcavage is right. This is not a legal matter—Marcavage is a public figure and most states, including Pennsylvania, have a one-year statute of limitations regarding libel—but I regret my mistake.
I still question Marcavage’s methods. In 2005 we published a pro-Marcavage letter from Jim Nelson Black, who praised him for having “stripped away the tent covering … hypocrisy and posturing to reveal, not for your benefit or mine but for homosexuals themselves, what’s really at stake.” Yet I agree more with this note from Karen Booth: “Men and women caught in the bondage of same-sex attraction or behavior are hurting, whether they acknowledge it or not.” Since she hoped to “reach out in love and transforming ministry to self-identified homosexuals,” she believed that Marcavage’s methods “make it all the harder” to reach such individuals.
But I erred in reporting his sign inaccurately.