Pastor Ken Hutcherson of the Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington confronted the Microsoft corporation with its practice of pushing the homosexual agenda in state politics. At stake was proposed anti-discrimination legislation promoted by gay rights proponents. The bill failed in the Washington state Senate by just one vote after Microsoft took a corporate stance of neutrality — a stance that outraged gay activists and employees. The company’s decision to declare neutrality on the issue was perceived as a response to pressure from Pastor Hutcherson and his large and conservative congregation.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Balmer reversed direction [again] on May 6, issuing a statement to Microsoft employees. “After looking at the question from all sides, I’ve concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda,” Ballmer stated. “Therefore, it’s appropriate for the company to support legislation that will promote and protect diversity in the workplace.”
Now, Pastor Hutcherson finds himself on the hot seat, with activists calling for the community to drive the pastor and his congregation [3,500 in weekly attendance] from the Lake Washington High School, where the church has met for the past six years.
The church is allowed to use the facility by school policy, and pays $140,000 per year for the use of the location. The very presence of the church now offends the local teachers union.
Writing in the newsletter of the Lake Washington Education Association, president Kevin Teeley stated: “The Lake Washington Education Association strongly condemns the bigoted views of Dr. Ken Hutcherson.” According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Teeley, who is openly gay, said that Hutcherson and his church are intolerant. The paper reported that, “Teeley said his views are based on union policies and have nothing to do with his sexual orientation.” Do what you want with that, the fact remains that the teachers union is unquestionably intolerant of the Antioch Bible Church and its right to contend for biblical morality, and yet the group couches its intolerance in the language of indignant tolerance. I find that impossible to tolerate.
LINKS ON THE TRAIL OF INTOLERANCE: Microsoft Now Backs Gay Rights Bills, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 7, 2005; Teachers Union Objects to Hutcherson’s Church on School Grounds, SPI, June 7, 2005; Teachers Want Anti-Gay pastor Barred from School, 365Gay.com; Senior Pastor Draws Fire for Controversial Stand in Defense of Civil Rights, Antioch Bible Church; Text of Steve Balmer E-Mail to U.S. Microsoft Employees Regarding Public Policy Engagement May 6, 2005.