Jason Burkholder, a Lititz-based realtor, is doing his part to keep attendees from interacting with members of a local church outreach at the June 17 homosexual pride festival in Lititz Springs Park.
“We are hosting a Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance Training on Wednesday, June 14, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at our Oregon Pike office,” a Facebook post Saturday from the Jason Burkholder Real Estate Team said. “The goal of the training is to prepare volunteers with the skills needed to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time at the upcoming Lititz Pride Festival.”
The post included the phrase, “Pride has a home here,” and contained the names Jason Burkholder, Kelly Burkholder, Adam High, and Jaci Hoosier.
The Silent Witness Peacekeepers Alliance (SWPA) is a group committed to preventing those celebrating homosexuality and transgenderism from interacting with people who disagree with them. Their website claims that they are about “protecting everyone’s right to free speech,” but in reality, the group aims to prevent the free exchange of ideas at homosexual pride events.
Their website states that they are “an organization of gay and straight allies dedicated to providing a non-confrontational buffer between the LGBTQ+ community and those who would protest LGBT events.”
The training will be held June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Jason Burkholder’s Oregon Pike office in Lancaster. According to the SWPA website all volunteers are required to attend a training session and “you’ll learn why we do what we do, who the protesters are, how to respond to them non-violently, and most importantly, how to use the umbrella!”
The “umbrella” refers to a colored umbrella likely used as a tool to prevent attendees and volunteers of homosexual festivals from interacting with people who disagree with them. A similar method has been used by pro-abortion volunteers at abortion mills throughout America.
Lititz Chooses Love, the group holding the pride festival in Lititz Springs Park, posted a statement Friday mentioning SWPA and asking all attendees of the pride festival to “avoid interacting with anyone protesting Pride.”
“We have hired private security who have worked Pride events we attended,” the statement said. “If you see anyone in the park breaking the rules, you can look for uniformed security or LCL staff and volunteers to call security.”
The park rules for Lititz Springs Park are listed online and do not forbid people from entering the park and having conversations about the Bible with attendees of park events.
The park, which is owned by the Lititz Moravian Congregation, was a site of controversy last year due to the pride festival, which contained a drag queen performance, political messages by invited speakers, and anti-Christian performances.
The Lititz Moravian Congregation board previously sought to cancel this year’s festival and said last year’s event contained “inappropriate, behavioral, language, vulgarity and dress issues of presenters, with political overtones specifically restricted by the Trust.”
The board later retracted their statement and welcomed the homosexual pride festival back into the park, confessing their “ignorance and lack of understanding.”
A local church conducted a peaceful outreach at last year’s pride festival in Lititz and engaged in numerous conversations with attendees of the event.
According to Joel Saint, pastor of Independence Reformed Bible Church, one of the purposes of the outreach was to engage people in conversation and share the message of hope found in Jesus Christ.
In a video released online, Saint said one young man at the Lititz event wanted to get a “sex change” operation and he would kill himself if the operation did not bring him happiness.
“Now, here’s the interesting thing,” Saint said in the video. “Our counselors and our people there cared about him. Do you think anyone else there, who had been arguing with us – yelling at us, cursing at us – do you think they cared? No one had a single word to say to him.”
Independence Reformed Bible Church is planning another outreach at this year’s pride festival in Lititz and conducted its own training seminar on Saturday. Speakers at that training seminar included Joel Saint, John Bingaman, and Luke Saint.
“There comes a time in life when not confronting what’s going on around us is the wrong thing to do,” Bingaman said during one of the sessions. “The decay of our society is owing to the decline of Christian ethics.”