Jun 1, 2012

The Gospel of Hate

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Have you heard the good news? No homos in heaven! Hallelujah!

Come on. Sing it with me. Such a clever little ditty.

I know the the Bible's right
Somebody’s wrong
I know the Bible's right
Somebody's wrong
Romans 1 and 27
Ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven

From the mouths of babes, my friend. From the mouths of babes.

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." ~ Romans 1:27

Seriously. You just can't make this stuff up. Reports -- and recordings -- of Christian hate speech are rolling in from all over the country.

The church responsible for that musical performance is reportedly defending itself against a groundswell of outrage and Pastor Jeff Sangl is apparently receiving death threats.

Despite the threats, all the members we spoke to have no regrets about the song getting posted online -- in fact one said, "The people who are upset just don't read the word of God. If we don't teach the children the truth early they will never learn."

As for the thunderous applause after the hate-filled song -- we're told, "Of course we applauded a child who is singing a song about God."

That, of course, ignores that the outburst of cheers and applause came on the "homos" line. The church is defending itself after a fashion, but they're not exactly apologetic.

Meanwhile, still more ministers are talking about killing gay people, joining the ranks of Pastor Worley. Although, none of them seem as willing to see it through.

A Maryland pastor seems to find the idea viscerally satisfying.

On Sunday, Maryland Pastor Dennis Leatherman delivered a sermon titled, “Homosexuality & the Bible,” during which he said, discussing homosexuals, “Kill them all. Right? I will be very honest with you. My flesh kind of likes that idea. But it grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture. It is wrong.”

Well, we’re relieved the only thing stopping Pastor Leatherman (I’m not even going to touch that one) is that he thinks his Bible says it’s wrong. Because, technically, it doesn’t.

No, it really doesn't. Again, Leviticus 20:13 explicitly states that gay people are supposed to be killed.

The good pastor -- who I don't actually think spends his free time in leather bars -- has also walked his comments back a bit. He's repeated in strong terms that he does not advocate a death sentence for gay people.

We DO NOT advocate (or like) the idea killing of any individuals or group of people. Though we understand the Bible to teach that homosexuality is wrong (like many other sins mentioned throughout scripture), we also understand that the Bible teaches we are to be kind to all men, regardless of their lifestyle.

So has this guy even read the Bible? Because it actually advocates a lot of violence and cruelty towards a number of groups, including gay people. But it would seem Pastor Leatherman isn't a thrill-killer, even though he kind of wants to be. Thank heavens for the Bible... I mean the parts that don't support thrill-killings.

Now Kansas pastor Curtis Knapp... He gets it. In ancient Israel they just killed them. No homos. No problem. He doesn't want to do it, though. That task should really fall to the government. But he doesn't think they'll be willing to take that on.

What we're witnessing is a kind of collective meltdown as fundamentalist Christians struggle to reconcile their belief in a loving God with the reality of hateful scripture that appeals to their basest nature -- their "fleshly" desire to kill and maim. They toy with the idea and ruminate over violent passages of the Bible, but so far, no follow-thru.

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