Fr. Rod Bower, Anglican priest in Australia, has garnered international attention with his church signs, notably saying, “Some people are gay. Get over it.”
Anglican Parish of Gosford / Via Facebook
Reverend Fr. Rod Bower of the Gosford Anglican Church in Australia has been very vocal about many of the burning issues of the day and has found considerable success through his numerous followers and readers on Facebook, Twitter, and other online media.
Issues ranging from environmental degradation and policies to human rights and LGBT issues have been covered by him in his short messages on his small notice board. The signs have gone viral and brought him under scrutiny from the church, its followers, and the media who are against his political stances.
The church sign “Dear Christians, some people are gay. Get over it. Love God” has been the most viral message stirring up social media like wildfire and attracting huge numbers of retweets and shares. His messages usually target 25-54 year olds (a group that is often absent in church congregations). He tweets from @FrBower and manages his church’s Facebook page. His posts usually have a tinge of humor and sarcasm. Also notable is his rainbow scarf that he parades publicly, announcing his solidarity with the LGBT community. He insists that homosexual marriages are not against God but infidelity is. He also asserts that the Bible was written at a time when people did not know of the full implications of homosexuality.
The Bible, on the other hand, labels homosexuality as a sin. Chapters of Leviticus states that “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,” (Leviticus 18:22). The Bible also warns, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them,” (Leviticus 20:13). Biblical literalists obviously disagree with Fr. Bower, in large part because of these passages, and have issues with a priest preaching these opinions.
His posts expand beyond demanding equal rights for LGBT citizens. His signs preach opinions on a variety of political issues in Australia like elections, imploring voters to weigh issues and policies before casting votes. They also deal with a variety of other topics like race relations and issues faced by asylum seekers in detention centers.
In August, his sign inspired a group of people to walk 300km in 9 days, protesting against the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia. The group, named “Changing the Tide,” aims to change the federal government by voicing its disapproval of the current immigration policies.
Like his signs, his sermons are short, sweet, and to the point. His style has generated interest and curiosity in many. As a result, his parish has remained a healthy and prosperous community.
Although the Anglican Church does not agree with many of his positions and statements, he claims that there has never been an attempt to censor him. And his wife Kerry Bower appears to be his pillar of strength, supporting his causes, signs and views. She was especially supportive when he received hate mails and was “accused” of being gay.
- Daily Telegraph
- Bible Hub – Leviticus 18
- Bible Hub – Leviticus 20
- The Guardian