Protestors gather outside Sacramento’s anti-gay Verity Baptist Church to reject their hate speech.
The Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, and its pastor Roger Jimenez had been virtually unknown until June 13, a day after the Orlando massacre that left 49 people dead, and 53 injured. During his Sunday night sermon, on June 13, the Pastor delivered what amounted to a hate speech against homosexual people. He said that the only tragic thing about the Orlando gay nightclub shooting is the gunman's failure to finish his job, that he should have killed more gay people.
According to him, Christians should not mourn for the 50 sodomites that got killed during the incident. The Church uploaded the video of this sermon to its YouTube channel. YouTube promptly removed it for violating its policy on hate speech. However, later, another YouTube user uploaded a copy of the video.
As per the Verity Baptist Church's policy, the LGBT community members are not allowed to join the Church or take part in its services. The Church sees homosexuality as an abomination before God and believes that God will punish homosexuals with the death penalty.
During his infamous Sunday sermon, Jimenez further said that the Government should round up all the homosexuals and blow their brains out. A copy of the sermon is also published on the website of the Church, under the title, The Christian response to the Orlando Murders.
Prominent faith leaders and gay rights activists called Jimenez's sermon “hateful propaganda.” Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and a leading Christian conservative, condemned Jimenez's entire presentation. The spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, Jay Brown, said there is nothing Christian about the pastor's sermon.
On June 15, around 100 LGBT activists protested outside the Verity Baptist Church while the parishioners made their way into the Church. Last Sunday saw an even bigger crowd, around 1000 protesters, gathering at the entrance of the Church to protest peacefully against the Church and the pastor. They held signs that said, “Love is the cure,” “We are Orlando,” and so on.
The presence of the Sacramento County deputies also helped the protest remain peaceful.
Hundreds protest outside Sacramento church where pastor gave anti-gay sermon after Orlando shooting https://t.co/Td4CLjrC0N
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) June 19, 2016
According to John Hayden, the organizer of the protest, the LGBT community stands together to negate the message that the pastor has sent, the message that says that all gay and lesbian people need to be killed. Judith Condon, one of the protesters said that she is a grandmother, and she wants to make sure that the children growing up in society, irrespective of their preferences, are protected.
All the protests, however, did not deter Pastor Jimenez from his stance. During last Sunday's (June 19) sermon, he thanked the media for all the free publicity and boasted about the record-breaking attendance the Church has seen in its entire history.
- World Religion News
- The Sacramento Bee
- Verity Baptist Church –What We Believe
- Verity Baptist Chruch –The Christian response to the Orlando Murders (audio)
- ABC10 Sacramento