Kirk Cameron "Out of Step" on Gay Marriage! Says Who?

Kirk Cameron, of the beloved old school television series, Growing Pains, is causing quite a stir on Twitter, simply because he casually stated his opinion about gay marriage, homosexuality and abortion, in a recent interview with Piers Morgan of CNN. The story caught my attention when I saw a brief clip, while watching the morning news, today. So I decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. Holy cow!

I've always liked Kirk Cameron, considered him a good Christian, and appreciate much of his adult work, that often reflects strong moral values and support for traditional family. Knowing just these few things about him, from afar, doesn't surprise me, in the least, that he would hold conservative, Christian positions on these controversial issues -- in fact, I would expect it of him. But apparently that's not how this is all going down for Kirk, in regards to a few of his earlier Growing Pain co-stars, who have contributed to the Twitter firestorm by tweeting out their disdain for Kirk's public declaration, on these sensitive issues, and encouraging others to do the same.

And now, Twitter is on fire with people from both sides of the debate using 140 characters to voice either, support for Kirk Cameron's bold stand for traditional values -- or to levy vitriolic statements against what they believe are out-of-step public declarations. I've also seen carry over on both Facebook and Google+.

It's no secret that Hollywood is flaming liberal and proud of it! For one of their own to step out from their strong public advocacy for liberal tolerance, and what they believe to be issues of social justice --  including strong support for the LGBT community -- well, is apparently NOT okay, and shouldn't be allowed!

I'll be honest and say that I'm always moved when anything that calls out evil, publicly, catches the attention of a large audience. However, I'm finding myself uncomfortable with this latest incident, that has become somewhat of a brawl -- now picked up by every radio, cable/television and Internet news outlet available.

So at this point, if you haven't already seen parts of this controversial interview by Piers Morgan with Kirk Cameron, you need to take a look at this video clip -- now:

Video: Kirk Cameron Interview with Piers Morgan on CNN Tonight Show
(apparently this is the part that is really disturbing to LGBT community)

Okay, so for me, here's the deal...  It's obvious that Kirk Cameron was not expecting such an  extreme interrogation from Piers Morgan -- but since he was put on the spot he decided not to dodge the questions -- and in response, chose to be respectful, honest and true to his Christian beliefs. One would think that most people, regardless of differences, would respect the right of another human being to have an oppositional opinion and not perceive it as an all out personal attack. Unfortunately, that is not the world that we are living in, currently -- and that leads me to the concern for religious freedom in America.

Sidebar/disclosure:  When I initially began writing this post I had no intention that it would lead to the topic of religious freedom. However, in researching and fact checking the information, it became evident that this is exactly what needed to be addressed in this post. In other words, my little pop culture post for today, suddenly, became very serious. You see, this is what happens when we become aware. So, consider this post "officially" hijacked, by me!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), via the LDS Newsroom, has just published a four-part series on Religious Freedom -- covering what it is, and what it is not -- its importance to everyone, and the vital need for us to recognize the current threat to its ongoing maintenance, throughout the world.  I've been studying these articles, and others,  and feel more passionate, than ever, to better understand the principle of freedom of religion -- and how standing up to preserve it is imperative -- for all of us!

What we are witnessing with Cameron's public comments, and the extreme response that it has generated, is just the latest attack against religious freedom -- and is exactly the type of thing that we need to be more aware of, and concerned about -- not the specific opinion/position but rather the intolerance, to allow freedom of speech for all, in mainstream society.

I've pretty much come to the opinion that religious freedom, in general, is a difficult principle to teach. Therefore its value, to most, is subjective to personal experience. Until there is conflict that we believe affect us personally, one-by-one, the majority won't get it. So, let's hope and pray that mainstream society gets it, before it's too late. 

A very sobering thought came to me, personally, as I was watching Piers Morgan question Kirk Cameron -- I could easily envision myself, (not necessarily on CNN, but who knows, stranger things have happened to me lately!?!;) or any one of us, being asked similar questions and responding in nearly identical fashion. Am I right? Come on, you know I am! This should freak us all out, or at the very least be disturbing! Who wants to be labeled and treated like a bigot for simply, and sincerely, holding to personal beliefs and opinions? If you think I'm being dramatic, check out the backlash coming from the LGBT community, as reported by CBS News:

"The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also fired back at Cameron over his comments. "In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character," said Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at GLAAD. "Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.""

Certainly I don't agree with these sentiments, but lest you presume that I'm here to defend the religious right, of which I'm sure some readers would label me as, let me share a principle of religious freedom that, regardless of left or right leanings, needs to be understood by everyone. 

From the LDS Newsroom:
"Contrary to what some may assume, religious freedom is not simply the freedom to worship or to believe the way one chooses, though these are essential parts of it. Neither is it just for religious people. Religious freedom is actually deeper, broader and more important than most realize. 
At the most fundamental level, religious freedom is the human right to think, act upon and express what one deeply believes, according to the dictates of his or her moral conscience. In fact, religious freedom has always been understood in conjunction with “freedom of conscience” — the liberty to develop and hold moral convictions and to act accordingly. So while religious freedom encompasses the liberty of religious belief and devotion, it also extends well beyond that, incorporating the freedom to act — to speak freely in public, to live according to one’s moral principles and to advocate one’s own moral vision for society. The breadth of religious freedom and its relationship with freedom of conscience helps explain why religious freedom is important for everyone, not just for people of faith."
I'm pleased to report that although this storm started brewing last Friday, just today, Kirk Cameron made this bold statement, posted on his Facebook wall, which is now flying through cyberspace at lightening speed -- and is how I found it:

"I recently was asked to join Piers Morgan on CNN for an interview about my new film “Monumental.” During that discussion, I was asked to express my views about homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion. While that was not the agreed-upon purpose of the interview, I was pleased to answer Piers’ questions as honestly as I could.

In some people’s eyes, my responses were not sufficiently "loving" toward those in the gay community. I can only say that it is my life's mission to love all people, and that I expressed the same views that are expressed clearly and emphatically throughout the Judeo-Christian scriptures. As a Bible believing Christian, I could not have answered any other way.
I’ve been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally) in the wake of condemnation by some political advocacy groups. In the case of one of my gay friends, we regularly talk and have healthy and respectful debate. We learn from each other, and serve others alongside one another. I thank God for all of my friends...even when they hold very different views on issues of faith and morality. I do not, however, believe that the right way to advance our views is to resort to name-calling and personal attacks, as some have done to me.

I also believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America. I should be able to express moral views on social issues--especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years--without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach "tolerance" that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.
I hope more than a few people could see the large volume of secularist morality being imposed on me. In any society that is governed by the rule of law, some form of morality is always imposed. It's inescapable. But it is also a complicated subject, and that is why I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. 
To the thousands of you who have written me letters of encouragement... thank you! And to those who would like know how to further your support, please gather your friends and family, and join me as I seek to show you our true “National Treasure,” at the live, nationwide viewing of “Monumental” on Tuesday, March 27th ("

At this point in my research, ( Especially after watching the trailer to Kirk's ready to release documentary, Monumental -- you should watch it, too.) I've realized that Kirk Cameron knew what he would be walking into by going on CNN and allowing the very liberal Piers Morgan to interview him, publicly. (Perhaps not to such an extent, but he knew) In other words, he played right into Kirk's hands and vice versa. In someways, I feel a bit exploited.  However, I can get past that super fast, because in the end, it's an excellent example -- IF we will see it -- of how too many are using their opposition to promote their personal agendas, and in Kirk's case, his movie. Sadly, this strategy, of which many are guilty, is becoming far too common.

Nevertheless, I wish Kirk success with his new movie, Monumental, because the message of its content appears to be of good report, and much needed. I hold similar values and beliefs, as a Christian, as does he -- even though, for now, he doesn't accept that Mormons are Christian.  But that really doesn't matter. What does matter, is that those who value freedom, in all its forms, including religious, need to stand together to uphold it. From that perspective, I take my hat off to Kirk Cameron for willingly, and courageously, not only speaking up, but also for speaking out on this important topic.

Kathryn Skaggs

LDS Newsroom: 

"Introduction to Religious Freedom" - A Broad Overview 
"For many people in the world, there are few things more precious than freedom. Freedom — the power to live as one would choose — is one of the great sources of human dignity. Exercising freedom correctly is also one of the great responsibilities that humans hold. We continue to grapple with how to define our freedoms, how to understand them, and how they should be both cultivated and tempered. At the heart of these questions, we find one of the most fundamental of all freedoms: freedom of religion."

Elder Quentin L. Cook: "The Restoration of Morality and Religious Freedom"
"My purpose today is to challenge you to work with people of other faiths to improve the moral fabric of this nation and the world and to protect religious freedom. In order to do this, you need to understand and comprehend “things which have been,” with particular emphasis on certain knowledge and events which were precursors to the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and still need to be protected. These are the underpinnings of our Judeo-Christian heritage and bless people worldwide"

"Our public interaction reveals much about who we are as a people, what values we uphold and what kind of society we want to live in. The discourse that emerges from that interaction continually defines what we consider morally acceptable, how we treat others, and how in turn we expect to be treated. Constant care is required to cultivate the manners and freedoms of civilization. They can seem invisible until threatened."

"The political world is astir. Economies are faltering. Public trust is waning. Individuals feel vulnerable. And social cohesion wears thin. Meanwhile, stories of rage and agitation fill our airwaves, streets and town halls. Where are the voices of balance and moderation in these extreme times? During a recent address given in an interfaith setting, Church President Thomas S. Monson declared: "When a spirit of goodwill prompts our thinking and when united effort goes to work on a common problem, the results can be most gratifying." Further, former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley once said that living “together in communities with respect and concern one for another” is “the hallmark of civilization.” That hallmark is under increasing threat."

Selected Beliefs and Statements on Religious Freedom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Note: I have requested permission for the use of Kirk Cameron's picture and the text to his letter included in this post. 


  1. It's late and my kids are begging to eat the dinner they are smelling, so I haven't watched the interview yet. But I agree with you on the religious freedom thing. I recently did some research and wrote about religious freedom for the United Families International. You may find it interesting.

    And I don't know if you agree with them 100%, but I think they need some more good writers and researchers and I think you would do an awesome job.

    1. Thank you, Diane. I appreciate your vote of confidence in my abilities to speak up for traditional marriage and religious freedom.

      You did a great job on your UFI article. Very informative. They are doing a good work over there. Thanks for sharing the link.

      Hope you got those kiddos fed. ; )

  2. I had the exact same feelings while watching Michelle Bachman on Morgan's show last night. That was the first I'd heard of the story. I had this eerie feeling...will that be me someday soon? Soon enough it will not be possible to stand on neutral ground where beliefs on traditional marriage are held. I also felt Bachman was a coward for dodging Morgan's questions on this topic last night, but she stayed positive...and I'm sure she was afraid to enter that ring because she would have felt the wrath as well.

    1. Thank you. I hadn't heard about Michelle Bachman's interview with Piers Morgan following Kirk's. I just found it online and watched it. Frankly, I think she handled herself quite well. Piers was determined to use her to promote himself by perpetuating the firestorm. She stated her support for traditional marriage, but did a pretty good job of avoiding his web. He was rude.

    2. He WAS rude. Boy, do I miss Larry King. Piers was relentless!

    3. And "rude" with a British accent gets away with a lot here in the states! Sigh..

  3. I will say right up front I am not a Christian, nor am I particularly religious in a go to church and pray sort of way. but I have many Christian friends and sometimes they are broad minded enough to hear about differing beliefs and ideas and sometimes they are not. We are still friends, we just don't discuss religion. I believe that freedom of religion and freedom of speech go hand in hand and are two core values our country was founded on. However, I do not believe that _any_ religious dogma should become the law of the land. Otherwise we would have things like the Catholic church banning any form of birth control for any reason as well as overturning Roe vs. Wade or some other religion making it's religious rules into laws for everyone. That certainly is not freedom of religion. I respect your right to worship and live as you wish, just don't expect everyone else to want to live that way.

    1. Hi Mary,

      You sound like someone I would really enjoy hanging out with. I think I could learn quite a lot from you. And perhaps we would even have some interesting religious conversations. ; )

      One thing that I have learned in discussing religion, with those who don't have my same/similar beliefs, is to let go of the need to convince or change minds. Simply sharing views, religious or otherwise, should not, imho, need to put others on the defensive -- as if there is something wrong with their way of living. I think this comes down to respecting one another.

      It's only natural that differences will manifest themselves in society, and one of the ways that is done is through our democratic process. What's important, to me, is that regardless of outcome, we refrain from demonizing each other because of desire to advocate that which we value. It goes both ways.

    2. Laws are made based upon people's beliefs and mores, whether religious or not. It doesn't mean a law is a religious law, it means enough people want it to be law because it responds to their beliefs.

    3. Mary,

      I am LDS, and I find that most of the time people who disagree on almost everything, can at least agree that they want to be treated well. I think that starting out assuming that anyone we talk with wants to be seen as an equal partner in the conversation, that no matter what the content of the conversation, both people can leave it feeling validated that they got to share their thoughts and opinions.

      I share your skepticism about any particular religion holding power in governance, to the point where religion is mandated. As a people, LDS saints want to be welcomed in other countries. We want to have our missionaries welcomed to share our beliefs. Sometimes I think members in countries or communities where the LDS populations are small, get more practice discussing and tolerating views other than our own. That doesn't mean that all of us shouldn't be able and willing to have respectful conversations with others. I find this especially true with former members of the faith, who are unlikely to feel loved or wanted, if they are not treated with love and respect.

      I hope you find interesting information and conversations on LDS blogs and from LDS friends. The first part of understanding anyone is to meet them. Thanks for coming to a place you could meet some of us.

  4. Wow. I hadn't listened to the clip. SERIOUSLY, Piers Morgan was saying that because "seven states have legalized gay marriage" that we (Christians who hold a traditional view of marriage) should change our views to accept the "laws of the land"?

    Just because something is LAW does not mean that we need to believe in it. Freedom of religion means that the government cannot dictate religious thought.

    Kirk Cameron never ONCE (in this clip at least) said that homosexuality was a sin. He said that he believed it was unnatural, and that there are issues we all have to work through in this life. I don't think that was saying it was a sin, yet Piers Morgan seemed bent on portraying Kirk that way. Shame on him.

    I think Kirk's view was well stated, and I am glad he talked about having a heart-to-heart with his kids, and how he and his wife work DAILY on a relationship with them. I can't see how that would be destructive at ALL.

    1. Good points, Becca.

      Freedom of religion/conscience means that *everyone* has a right to their own opinions/values, and to voice those in the public square -- and to not be judged or demonized by those who oppose such. Being respectful does not require that we agree.

    2. In regards to what Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at GLAAD said, and I quote from your article "Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation", I simply want to state that at NO time during the interview did Cameron condemn anyone because of their sexual orientation. Thank you for all that you have done to get this interview and information out. Graddick is just simply wrong.

  5. I hadn't seen the clip, nor read his statement before this. I was very impressed with how courteously he made his opinions known and yet stood for his beliefs even though they made him a target for those who blow things out of proportion.

    1. I agree, Gadaki, he did a very good job stating his opinions and beliefs.

  6. Great article. This is a prime example of why Dallin H. Oaks says we cannot afford to ignore the trends in religious liberty. It's scary and uncomfortable to politely state your view, but each person needs to be willing to do it so that we're not shamed into silence. Often times you don't need to be very articulate or say something new. Rather, the work is done just by the sheer volume of people who politely state their view. If more people do it, people like this interviewer can't say it's a fringe view.

    1. Nathan, You are so right. If each of us would just speak up in sharing our opinions and beliefs, it would make it so much easier on the next guy. We've got to overcome our fear and trust that when we do, we represent so many who will not.

  7. " Rather, the work is done just by the sheer volume of people who politely state their view."

    This is a really great point.

    Thanks for sharing this...I hadn't seen it.

  8. There is one point you may wish to consider -- one that is often not brought up when discussing the issue of same-sex marriage -- and that is that even though Civil Rights laws were passed in the 60s, religious faiths that believed blacks were somehow inferior to lighter skinned races were NOT forced to marry interracial couples if that did not fit with the doctrines of their respective faiths. (A separation of church and state practices).

    Similarly, though same-sex marriage may eventually become civil law in this country, that does not mean the the LDS church, or other faiths, will be coerced into performing same-sex marriages in their chapels or temples. (Again, separation of church and state!).

    However, in the case of race --and regardless of a particular religion's choice to NOT perform interracial marriages -- discrimination based on race (including "hate" speech and violence in public settings) are no longer tolerated, despite the fact that someone may hold to the position, theologically, that there is a God-supported hierarchy of the races!

    1. Brian, I was wondering if it would be okay if I used your comment as part of a post on my blog about the diversity of Mormon bloggers. I followed your link back to your blog, but since there are no posts, I couldn't ask you in a comment there. -Julia

  9. Continued: It is no different with sexual-orientation (or for that matter, same-sex marriage). When same-sex marriage becomes a part of our country's civil laws, the LDS church and other faiths may continue to believe that same-sex relationships and marriages are censured by scriptures, prophets and/or religious leaders -- but they will not have the right to publicly demean individuals who "come out" as gay or lesbian, OR the marriages of same-sex couples.

    Bear in mind, too, that this country is founded on the concept that the rights of minorities are not subject to the will of the majority. Had we continued as we were with racial injustice in this country, the rights of blacks to be full and equal citizens in practice, and to marry whomever they pleased, would never have come about! I see the issue of same-sex orientation and marriage as a similar issue.

    In the case of the LDS church, LDS couples in other countries often have to marry "civilly" first at a court or chapel, after which they may precede to a temple. -- It seems to me that this could set a precedent for how gay and lesbian church members may be included within the life of the church. In other words, those who wish to be in loving committed relationships (rather than celibate for the rest of their lives, or promiscuous) would be allowed to marry civilly at court or a chapel, without LDS leaders feeling they have to change current church beliefs or practice, unless further revelation is forthcoming.

    Now why would I argue this way. Because currently, not enough church members have heard what church leaders have said -- and that is that most people who are gay or lesbian CANNOT and probably will never be able to change (unless of course they're bisexual, and have some choice in the matter!!!). Leaders have also acknowledged that such individuals should not marry the opposite sex in an attempt to "cure"themselves. As it stands now, gay & lesbian LDS are encouraged to remain single and celibate. However, try telling every heterosexual LDS young man and woman at the height of puberty that they are expected to be celibate for the rest of their lives, and see how long they remain in the church!

    Far better to acknowledge, as have many of the other Christian or Jewish traditions, that the 6-7 biblical verses "condemning" homosexuality for thousands of years, are about cultures where homosexual acts were carried out to demean the men of other tribes captured in battle, or were engaged in by older men when "mentoring" younger men into manhood, and also within ancient societies, as fertility rites in pagan temples. These verses are about abusive sexual relationships, not about the romantic love of one person for another. And, because so little was known of science, or of same-sex love, there was as such no concept of loving same-sex relationships or the fact that they even exist.

    Because these faiths have done in-depth analyses of the bible in the context of its times and the language it was written in -- and of the contemporary science of sexuality -- they have come around to the position that same-sex attraction is about as morally offensive as being right-handed or blue-eyed! They have also realized that there are many gays and lesbians who follow the teaching of Christ, who do not wish to be promiscuous OR celibate for the rest of their lives -- and who are already living together in complete fidelity and would like to make the same promises that heterosexuals do when married.

    This will NOT mean the death of marriage and family as we know it; the family has adapted and changed through many centuries! Nor will this mean religious people can't maintain their beliefs, or practice them at church or in private. But like the issue of race (and I DO think they can be compared!), people will not be able to get away with homophobic speech or acts in public that are demeaning to gays and lesbians!

    1. Brian,
      Thank you for a well thought out comment. Knowing quite a few members in Europe, where all couples are married civilly, and then have the choice of a religious ceremony or not, I have wondered why American members have such a hard time with civil marriages between consenting adults. I am happy to support the church in its desire to choose who can be sealed in the temple, or even by a bishop. I just am not sure why a civil ceremony at the courthouse would impact me or my faith. My husband joined the church after we were married, so we wouldn't have been able to be sealed at the time of our marriage. No one told us we were going to ruin anyone's temple marriage when we did, and as we prepare to go to the temple, I don't think that it will impact anyone besides us, since my children were born under the covenant in my previous marriage.

      Thanks for an "outside" perspective, from someone on the inside. - Julia

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  11. Kirk Cameron for PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!1