Thou Shalt Not Tolerate Kirk Humphreys
Generally people today believe the more tolerant you are, the more virtuous you will become. There are, however, exceptions. If you oppose homosexuality, for example, you cannot be tolerated because you are intolerant! The homosexual lobby, of course, says that it opposes intolerance and hate. It makes this claim even as it works to silence those who do not wholeheartedly embrace same-sex unions. Kirk Humphreys, the former mayor of Oklahoma City, is one of the most recent victims of the intolerant homosexual lobby.
Humphreys is a religious conservative, born and raised in Oklahoma City. As a strict traditionalist, he is an originalist when it comes to interpreting the United States Constitution. He also believes in traditional family values and the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. He himself is a family man—married to his wife, Danna, for 45 years, with three children and 14 grandchildren.
Humphreys was twice elected as mayor, serving from 1998 to 2003. During his time in office, he helped to dramatically revolutionize Oklahoma City—it was under his leadership that the historic Metropolitan Area Projects Plan (maps) was completed.
The program first began with former Mayor Ronald J. Norick. In December 1993, voters approved a five-year one-cent sales tax that funded nine projects to improve the city’s national image, as well as provide new facilities. Though it began with Norick, it was during Humphreys’s terms in office that the majority of these projects were either started or completed. It soon became clear to Humphreys that the city was going to fall short of funds to complete several maps projects when the sales tax expired in December of 1998. To cover the shortfall, voters approved his extension of the maps sales tax for six more months, which enabled the completion of all nine projects. The city has benefited greatly from this program. Here is a snapshot of the many benefits of maps:
- April 1998—Chickasaw Bricktown aaa Ballpark opens.
- Summer 1998—Oklahoma City Fairgrounds renovation completed.
- June 1999—Bus transportation system launched.
- July 1999—Bricktown Canal completed.
- August 1999—Convention Center reopened after renovations.
- September 2001—Civic Center Music Hall reopened after renovations.
- April 2002—The Ford Center (now called the Chesapeake Energy Arena) opens.
- Early 2004—The North Canadian River project completed after construction of the first dam began in April 1999.
- August 2004—The Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library opens, marking the end of the original maps program.
Due to these projects, new businesses sprang up to cater to locals and tourists. It used to be that there wasn’t much of anything in downtown Oklahoma City, but now it’s a thriving area with lots of new industries moving in—and a lot of the credit goes to Humphreys.
Though he did a lot to revolutionize downtown Oklahoma City, Humphreys says that his real legacy was the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Public Schools (ocmaps) for kids—a $690 million initiative to improve schools in Oklahoma City. Humphreys believes that at the heart of every healthy city are great public schools. In the same way the sales tax was used to revitalize Oklahoma City, it was used to repair and build over 100 new city schools. Concerned about children’s health, the initiative also included a plan to install new gymnasiums in all elementary schools.
The educational needs of children are clearly important to Humphreys. Throughout his life he has served on numerous public school boards. From 1987 until 1995 he served on the Putnam City School Board, and today sits on the John Rex Charter Elementary School Board. Additionally, in March 2012, Humphreys was appointed to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, where he has served for almost six years now.
Despite everything that Humphreys has done for Oklahoma City, he is now coming under fire for his stance on homosexuality.
The backlash came after he made several “controversial comments about homosexuality” on the political talk show Flashpoints. “All I am saying is there is a right and a wrong,” Humphreys said on December 10. Responding to Oklahoma Rep. Emily Virgin, who said she didn’t believe homosexuality was wrong, Humphreys said, “Well, I do!”
That one statement outraged the homosexual community! Some even called his comments shocking and dangerous, saying the harm he has done to lgbtq children cannot be retracted.
Following the televised exchange, critics began calling for him to resign from the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, questioning whether he was fit to lead—all despite the fact that Oklahoma City has benefited mightily from the work of Kirk Humphreys. His leadership is now being called into question because of his religious views about homosexuality.
In a statement made after the furor, he apologized for his comments and said:
For clarification, my moral stance about homosexuality is that it is against the teachings of Scripture. Although I know this upsets some people, it is my belief. In America, we have the right to believe as we choose and to freely express that belief.
For those that I have hurt, I’m sorry. For those who do not share my beliefs, I will defend your right to have a deeply held belief even if yours is different than mine.
Following that, on December 21, he was forced to resign from his position on the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.
It reminds me of what happened to Tim Farron last summer when he resigned as leader of the United Kingdom’s Liberal Democratic Party. He said it was “impossible” for him to lead the party while “living as a faithful Christian.”
As Farron said, “We are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.”
If you would like to hear more, I talked about this subject at length on my Trumpet Daily Radio Show, which you can listen to below. To read in more depth about what the Bible has to say on this important subject, read our free booklet Redefining Family.
Listen to the Dec. 28, 2017, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.
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