Christian websites suddenly probed by surprising source
Online ‘hate’ campaign targets Christian sites
Homosexual critics of biblical view of family trigger PayPal ‘investigation’
Posted: September 17, 2011
8:07 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WND
Severo’s website posted warning about events
A formal investigation of several Christian organizations has been launched by PayPal, the huge money-transfer company, because of an online campaign of “hate” against them by homosexuals, according to one of the targets.
The notices of the investigation were sent to Julio Severo’s Last Days Watchman blog and Peter LaBarbera’s “Americans for Truth,” among others.
Both websites are unabashedly Christian, and both advocate the biblical perspective of homosexuality.
The demands from PayPal came in the form of a questionnaire that required the site operators to explain the PayPal button on their site and “the purpose … of collecting these donations.”
PayPal, which returned a WND request for comment on the “hate” campaign against the Christian organizations but said it did not have a statement prepared, also wanted to know how PayPal would be used as a payment provider and whether the organization has “registered” tax-exempt status.
Severo explained to PayPal that his Christian ministry, through his Portuguese, English, Spanish and German blogs, aims to “inform people about controversial issues, including euthanasia, abortion, homosexuality, etc.”
“I noticed that your message came to me after a hate campaign against me and other Christian ministries,” he told PayPal, citing the AllOut.org website.
That online campaign criticizes “anti-LGBT extremists” who are using PayPal to raise money for “their dangerous cause.”
It specifically puts bull’s-eyes on Severo and LaBarbera as well as Abiding Truth Ministries, New Generation Ministries, Noua Dreapta of Romania, Truth in Action Ministries, Dove World Outreach, Faith Word Baptist Church, Family Research Institute and American Society for the Defense of Traditional Family.
AllOut alleges those groups promote “hate.”
But Severo insisted exactly the opposite is true.
“I want you to know that we Christians love homosexuals, but we disagree with their immoral lifestyles,” he told PayPal.
A response to Severo from PayPal noted, “We appreciate your information. Your account has been noted accordingly. We will investigate your account and give you response as soon as possible. Your patience on this case is highly appreciated.”
Severo said AllOut also is working on Facebook, Twitter and through emails to pressure PayPal to censor his religious beliefs.
“Differently from gay activists that receive huge government grants, I receive no government money,” Severo said.
“I spend much time preparing and writing articles to post in my blogs. My blogs and their messages are my voluntary contributions and my personal sacrifice to help inform you. Pray against gay campaigns aimed at isolating financially me and my family. If they are successfully, we as a family … will not be able to survive.”
He told PayPal, “I will be waiting your answer, and also a public answer regarding the hate campaign aimed at me. All the accusations of this hate campaign against me are false. I have never, as a Christian, preached any violence against other people. I can present hundreds of witnesses that will confirm what I am saying.”
LifeSiteNews.com already has created an online petition in support of the Christian websites and ministries that says, “I protest the attack by homosexual organizations on Christian activists Julio Severo, Americans for Truth About Homosexualty (AFTAH), and Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP). I encourage PayPal to affirm the right of pro-family organizations to use its service and to reject attacks on the Christian faith and other religions that uphold sexual morality and defend family values.”
According to LaBarbera, the issue is that homosexual activists no longer are willing merely to pursue their own lifestyle; they now are demanding that people with biblical perspectives with which they disagree be shut down.
“They want dominance even if it means smearing pro-family people as ‘haters’ and destroying our cherished religious freedoms,” he said.
WND reported earlier when Severo reported his website had been under surveillance by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
WND also reported when a similar series of attacks were generated against online ministries and groups that discuss the danger of Islam.
PayPal reportedly cut off several accounts because of concerns about their message of truth about Islam, then restored them a short time later.
Popular activist, author and blogger Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, who has also helped found the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, reported getting intimidating letters from PayPal that claimed the websites “promote hate” and “racial intolerance.”
According to Geller, PayPal sent her letters explaining the websites had violated the company’s policy, which bans use of PayPal for items that “promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.”
In order to comply, Geller reported, she was required to remove PayPal as a payment option from her websites, as well as all references to the company, its logo and shopping-cart features.
She later reported an executive with the company called and explained the decision was in error and that financial services to the websites could resume.
WND also reported when the Charitable Give Back Group, formerly known as the Christian Values Network, said activists were working online to gather signatures and scare customers away because of the Christian message.