Friday, September 22, 2006

Kansas anti-gay crusader Terry Fox accused of misusing funds by his former church

By Diane Silver

Out here in the wilds of Kansas, many of us have been waiting for a full explanation of why the Rev. Terry Fox walked away so abruptly in August from the church he led for almost a decade. Today, we finally know at least part of the story.

Fox' old church, Wichita's Immanuel Baptist Church, is accusing him of improperly using the church's missionary money to prop up his own radio program.

Fox confirmed to The Wichita Eagle that he had used a "sizeable amount" for the radio show he co-hosts with the Rev. Joe Wright, another anti-gay pastor, on KNSS and Sirius satellite radio.

However, Fox says that he had the authority to do that as Immanuel's senior pastor. His church doesn't agree. The radio program is not affiliated with the church. No word, yet, on whether the church will pursue legal action.

Fox and Wright, along with the Rev. Jerry Johnston, were the main movers behind Kansas' 2005 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, civil unions and any other fair right for same-sex couples.

Yahoo reports that word of the monetary problems comes from Immanuel's Chairman of the Deacons Don James, who issued the church's first official comment about Fox' resignation this week. Yahoo also reports:

The prepared statement said witnesses testified that Fox had threatened to sue "individuals who might say anything negatively" about him and that his behavior
"reflected negatively on the Scriptural qualifications expected of a pastor."

Fox, of course, says he never threatened anyone. The Eagle reports:

The Immanuel statement says that a "careful examination of the church's financial records revealed reallocation of cooperate [sic] program funds. A portion of the reallocation was used for a radio program -- not affiliated with the church."

Cooperative program funds typically are donations used to support missions and ministries in the congregation and elsewhere.

Fox has started a new church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convenion, Summit Church, which meets in a wild west theme park in Park City, Kan., just a few miles from his old church. The new church is already taking members from Immanuel.

So ... here we have Terry Fox, who made his reputation by attacking other people for being immoral. Now, gold old Terry Fox is being attacked for lacking a grasp of some of the most basic bits of the 10 Commandments. Note that the accusations against Fox aren't coming from his political enemies, but from those who have been his friends.

I can't judge Fox, but then I don't think he has a right to judge me, and he does that over and over and over again, seeking to destroy my family for no other reason than the fact that I'm gay.

My advice to Fox is simple: Before you seek to lead others, look to yourself.

In This Moment's coverage of Terry Fox includes:

Yee Haw Religion! Terry Fox opens new Kansas church & declares love for homosexuals

Integrity failures and arrogrance may have forced departure of Kansas minister Terry Fox

Anti-gay minister Terry Fox to lead new church after abruptly resigning from his old post

Kansas anti-gay pastor's exit probably wasn't "all love and understanding"

Anti-Gay Pastor Terry Fox abruptly walks away from his Kansas church

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