Aug 272004

From the Triangle Foundation:

Triangle Foundation

(Pontiac) ? A leading trainer of chaplains told a group of students last week that he cannot “tolerate homosexuality” and that homosexuals “should be killed.”

David C. Vorce is President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Chaplains (IFOC), and a retired Marine and police officer.He is also currently a Bishop within his church. IFOC trains people to serve as chaplains in various institutions and settings. At a training seminar in Pontiac, Michigan, last week Reverend Mark Bidwell, Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit was one of Vorce’s students. Bidwell is gay and MCC Churches serve mostly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members.

Vorce told the class that he always carries a gun and extra “ammo”. When asked why, he responded to the class “Because if I start shooting I’m gonna keep on shooting.” The fact that he may have had a gun with him during the class was unsettling to Rev. Bidwell especially after Vorce made the following comment when the topic of homosexuality came up in the seminar: “That’s the one thing I cannot tolerate is homosexuality. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination and they should be killed.”

IFOC states clearly on their website that one of their principles is to be “professional and compassionate ministers of God.” They go on to say that they “…must, and will, maintain the highest standards and accountability.”? Finally their website says they have the purpose of “promoting tolerance and understanding.” This seems contradictory to the CEO’s behavior.

“I was appalled and shocked at his remarks,” said Rev. Bidwell, who already serves as a Chaplain for the Ferndale Police Department. “I cannot respect the need to subject the entire class to this spiritual
violence against gays and lesbians. Chaplains are supposed to learn how to help and heal not hurt people.”

IFOC also tells its members that chaplains should have a spiritual attitude and not a religious attitude and guard the image of the ministry. Vorce told his students that chaplains should leave their particular denominational religious views behind while serving as chaplains in hospitals, prisons, universities, police agencies and other public entities. But then Vorce said during the seminar that “we’ve had Muslims and non-Christian members and now they are all saved.”

The IFOC Website also links people to “Priests for Life” an anti-abortion rights organization. They also push heavy evangelical ministry that is very directly religious and not just spiritual.

“It is reckless and horrifying that someone charged with training chaplains would advocate murder,” said Jeffrey Montgomery, Executive Director for Triangle Foundation.? “This self-styled religious leader admits he carries a gun and then announces to a gay student that gays should be killed. It must have been terrifying for Mark. It is shocking that this man is training people to be chaplains in our
prisons, hospitals and police departments. Vorce should apologize to his class and his other members for his behavior, unless he really feels this way. Whatever the case, he needs to explain his alarming

I visited this organization’s website, and hit the Contacts page. If this isn’t a bunch of egomaniacs, I’ve never seen one. You have the read the biographies of these people. It would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.

I also took time to a post a comment in their guestbook calling out the guy for his hatred and bigotry. I suggested he should resign his ministerial credentials, so I could be in danger of getting shot, since he thinks we should all be killed. I’d invite you all to leave a comment on what you think of this kind of attitude being expressed by a “Christian.”

Also, I’d suggest you be sure none of the Chaplians serving your local police or other public agencies has associated themselves with this organization.

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