Bryant Gumbel

January 26, 1999

For more than a decade the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia has collected the most outrageous quotes from the past year. As you might imagine, 1998 provided quite a few notable quotables, especially from left-leaning news commentators critical of the actions of Christians and conservative leaders.

One of the most outrageous quotes came on the heels of the murder of Matthew Shepherd. As you may remember, many commentators placed blame at the doorstep of a number of Christian organizations for the brutal killing of this gay student. Columnist Deborah Mathis of the Gannett News Service even singled out groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council because of their support of ads that offered homosexuals hope that they could leave the gay lifestyle.

But perhaps the harshest comment came from Bryant Gumbel while he was talking to James Carville on CBS's "Public Eye." He said, "The Christian Right per se and some particular members of Capitol Hill have helped inflame the air so that the air that these bad people breathed that night was filled, filled with the idea that somehow gays are different, and not only are they different in that difference, they're bad and not only are they bad, they are evil and therefore evil can be destroyed."

Bryant Gumbel went on to name names of those who he believed were responsible. He said, "I mentioned Trent Lott, Jesse Helms and Dick Armey particularly. The Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council and the Concerned Women for America."

Quotes like this once again remind us of the anger many have toward the Christian message of hope and reconciliation. Christians and conservatives should not be blamed nor feared for offering a way out of the gay lifestyle. Unfortunately, I'm afraid they will continue to be vilified for their biblical stand on homosexuality.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International