BAPTIST INITIATIVE SEEKS TO HELP GAYS BECOME HETEROSEXUAL (Phoenix-AP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention has launched a campaign to deliver people from homosexuality through friendship and faith in Jesus. At the denomination's annual meeting, which wrapped up last night, leaders asked their 42-thousand churches to reach out compassionately to gays. Richard Land -- who heads the Southern Baptists' public policy arm -- said, "Homosexuals can find freedom from this sinful, destructive lifestyle." He also said the greatest threat to American Christianity isn't from Islam but from an idolatry that "promises salvation through sexual fulfillment." The presentation included testimony from a Southern Baptist pastor who said he realized that his strident criticism of homosexuals had kept them from coming to him for help.