LGBT threats, harassment force Ontario man into removing Christian billboard
PETROLIA, Ontario, August 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Threats of violence and expletive-laced phone calls from LGBT activists forced an elderly Ontario man to take down a billboard with messages about God's will in regard to homosexuality earlier this week.
"I thought I knew all the swear words, but this was a learning experience. I wasn't even close to all the swear words and anger that came from the homosexual community," said 81-year-old Ralph Baker in an interview Wednesday. "It's been terrible."
The Petrolia, Ontario resident had coughed up close to $10,000 for his billboard, which was placed in a farmer's field at an intersection about 16 miles north of Chatham-Kent, last Wednesday.
Its messages included: God says no to homosexuality & abortion; Bibles back in schools; Let the Bible be your teacher; Marijuana or peace with God, and; A ship without a rudder is tossed to & fro. At the bottom of the billboard was Baker's phone number: 519-882-2187.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law." The church also teaches that abortion is evil and every procured abortion constitutes "a grave offense." St. Jerome was such an advocate of reading the Bible that he said: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." Since then, Catholic popes have repeated the saint's words, urging the faithful to read their Bibles.
With his billboard, Baker was hoping people - particularly young people - who are struggling with homosexuality or unwanted pregnancies or other difficult situations would call him.
"I was hoping for an opportunity to counsel people who are headed in the wrong direction," he said.
It didn't work out that way. Instead, he claims he was threatened by members of the LGBT community. Callers apparently wished him dead.
Even the farmer on whose land the billboard was located — and who neither owned the billboard nor determined the message on it — was harassed, said Baker.
"The farmer is receiving — and he has a wife and family — all of this stuff," he said. "That's not good … Even though I would like to keep it up, we have to take it down for the sake of safety."
Earlier this week, Baker had his billboard taken down.
Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association president Marianne Wilson reportedly claimed earlier this week that the billboard served as a lesson of the need "to stand up for inclusivity, diversity and love."
"It is important to be able to share a community with people with different opinions and beliefs," she reportedly said.
In a statement, Wilson had also reportedly claimed the billboard "attacks the very soul of Chatham-Kent. It says to new investors, new businesses, new residents to the area, or those seeking a move, that Chatham-Kent is not open to diversity; that we are closed minded; that we don’t want people with differing opinions from our own living near us."
After the backlash he received from the LGBT community for his own beliefs, Baker finds that ironic.
"I wish they believed that," he said. "They want you to be nice to them, but, boy, it doesn't work the other way."
On the CK Gay Pride Association Facebook page, the billboard was derided as "homophobic."
Facebook user Elaine Foster wrote on that page that she was " very frightened that there are still people out there who believe this hateful rhetoric."
Cory Quesnel, another Facebook user, posted on the same page that people who agree with Baker that homosexuality is against God's will should be deported.
"Send them somewhere outside of Canada," she wrote. "They don't want to tolerate any of today's Canadians, not just the gay community. So why be here?"
News of his billboard, though, has also resulted in support for Baker, with calls from Christians throughout Canada and one in the United States.
Certainly, Baker is not giving up.
On an old grain wagon near a busy road elsewhere in rural Ontario, Baker has had messages about God's will with regard to homosexuality and abortion, one on each side of that piece of farm equipment, for the past two years.
Those signs haven't given him any grief.
But, then again, his phone number isn't on them.