CHARLOTTE — The anti-gay spokesperson and president of the nation’s leading radical “family values” organization will speak at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics in early November.

James Dobson of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family will speak at the conference Nov. 7-8, to be held at Hickory Grove Baptist Church. The theme for this year’s conference is “A Summit on Defense of the Biblical Worldview.” The various panels and sessions will focus on radical, anti-gay Christian doctrine espoused by such organizations as Dobson’s.

Other speakers include Chuck Colson of Breakpoint and Prison Fellowship Ministries; Josh McDowell, radio host, author and evangelist; Lee Strobel, journalist and author; Dinesh D’Souza, author and former senior policy analyst during the Reagan administration; Dr. David Noebel, a biblical worldview expert and founder of Summit Ministries; Del Tackett, leader of Focus On the Family’s “The Truth”; Erwin Lutzer, author and pastor of Chicago’s Moody Church; William Dembski, author, scholar and educator and others.

Many of the speakers have been known to espouse anti-gay views, or are closely associated with organizations that do.

“Attendees will receive the answers needed for today’s spiritual questions and be equipped and empowered to live out their faith and share it effectively,” Dr. Alex McFarland, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, said in a press release. “We are bringing together the nation’s leading powerhouses on Christian apologetics and no matter what happens in this year’s presidential election, which will have taken place just a few days before the conference, Christians will need to be equipped more than ever on how to defend the truth.”

According to conference organizers, topics covered during the two-day event will include the Christian worldview, moral relativism, homosexuality and gay marriage, responding to belief systems that oppose Christianity, moral purity and sexual abstinence, ethical issues, stem cell research, the sanctity of human life and more.

The conference also as a youth track for teens, college students and youth leaders.

Phil Hargett, an officer with the Mecklenburg County Gay and Lesbian Political Action Committee (MeckPAC), said his group has no plans yet to protest Dobson’s appearance.

“It’s my opinion that when James Dobson and those aligned with him use their rigid interpretation of Christianity to deny the very authenticity of people who are gay, he and his ilk unwittingly help the cause of gay equality,” Hargett said. “They end up motivating the majority of fair-minded Americans to stand up and say ‘enough’ to the use of one group’s religious beliefs to deny another group their basic authenticity and equality.”

The 2006 Apologetics conference held at the same church featured the “ex-gay” lesbian Melissa Fryrear, a Dobson associate who presented her story of “Sharing Christ with the Homosexual.” Fryrear is a leader of the “ex-gay” Love Won Out conferences produced by Focus on the Family and Exodus International.

The City of Charlotte is home to two “ex-gay,” Exodus-affiliated ministries and one affiliated church. All told, the Carolinas are home to six Exodus ministries and churches, although more anti-gay and ex-gay ministries and “therapies” exist.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.