Michael Brown is not typical of most who push the idea that a cabal of liberal media elites have orchestrated a so-called “homosexual agenda” to indoctrinate children into a lifestyle that makes a mockery of Christian values.
The founder of the FIRE School in Ministry in Concord, N.C., and host of the daily, nationally syndicated talk-radio show “The Line of Fire,” Brown frequently discusses his conversion to Christianity “as a sixteen-year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer.” With a doctorate in Near Eastern languages and literatures, he considers himself the world’s “foremost Messianic Jewish apologist” and has taught, he says, at seven theological seminaries.
But in recent years, Brown has ventured beyond seminary walls to take on a new, activist anti-LGBT project, selling himself as an expert speaker on the issue of “cultural revolution.” He has appeared on television and radio talk shows and last year delivered a keynote presentation at the annual conference for the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the pre-eminent source of junk science aimed at “curing” gay people.
“Speak now,” he says frequently when discussing homosexuality, “or forever hold your peace.”
Unlike many other voices on the religious right, Brown generally has avoided the kind of slashing rhetoric that often devolves into rank defamation. His work is heavily footnoted and avoids the blanket pronouncements that have gotten others in trouble. But he still can sound conspiratorial.
“When it comes to denying the existence of a gay agenda, there is ‘immense unity’ in the gay community. Why? It is because the denial of that agenda is part of the agenda. … That is the necessary piece of the puzzle,” Brown wrote in A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been, a 691-page critique of homosexuality he self-published in 2011.
“[I]t is not good that homosexual behavior is presented as just another alternative to heterosexual behavior, that bisexuality is celebrated, that transgenderism [sic] is normalized, that sex-change surgery is presented as the thing to do, that ex-gays are ridiculed and their very existence denied,” Brown wrote.
Brown has also been known to make spurious claims linking homosexuality and pedophilia. In a 2011 essay, he suggested that Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who sexually abused a number of children, was a gay man. “Could it be,” Brown asked, “that the [Penn State] sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature?”
Researchers, however, established long ago that chronic pedophiles like Sandusky have no sexual interest in any adult and can’t be considered homosexual or heterosexual. The American Psychological Association, contrary to Brown’s insinuations, has officially concluded “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men.”