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Early Sunday morning Omar Saddiqui Mateen stormed into Orlando’s Pulse club and open fired on patrons. The terrorist killed 49 people and injured another 53; some were so disfigured that it became challenging to identify the bodies. A Baptist preacher praised the actions of the Orlando killer for his vicious attack on innocent and unsuspecting people. Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church told his listeners that no one should be sad because the killer helped society by shooting “the pedophiles.” The preacher celebrated the Orlando LGBT killer for “making Florida safer.”
Just hours after the attack, during the Sunday morning service, Jimenez vomited the awful words from his mouth. With no concern for the victims or their families and friends, the Baptist pastor said:
Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no, no one should be sad. I think it is great! I think that helps society. We do not need to do anything to help. As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer.
The brutal invasion at Pulse nightclub is labeled a hate crime and terrorist attack. This did not deter the preacher’s comments during his Sunday message. His sermon went on about how these people should be crucified. Jimenez even called out the government for not assisting in the removal of the LGBT community from the earth. He continued:
The real tragedy is that more of them did not die. If we lived in a righteous government, they should round them all up and put them up against a firing wall, and blow their brains out.
The pastor’s proclamation alarmed many who saw the video. Instead of a message of love and peace, the preacher spewed venom into the ears of the people while praising the killer. After hearing the pastor’s words, some expressed shocked and horror with claims that violent and hateful statements like these are the reason many within the LGBT community do not come out publicly and refrain from attending church. Also, this type of language has the potential to fuel additional hate crimes.
The Pride director of the Davis Phoenix Coalition, Sandrea Nelson, said in all of his years attending the Baptist church he had never heard of a pastor speak of inequality. He said:
He’s not a man of God. He is not teaching religion. Statements like this can cause more harm to our youth and people in the closet; it causes them to feel worthless.
The pastor of the Sacramento church said he felt no pain for the victims and celebrated the Orlando LGBT killer for making Florida safer. The Verity Church’s website stated that church is unashamedly an independent, fundamental, soul-winning, separated, King James Bible-believing Baptist church. The church’s name is “Verity” because the word simply means truth. The promise included on the website states the message preached at Verity Baptist is “never watered down or compromised.”
While many people, regardless of their opinions about the LGBT community, were angered and emotionally overwhelmed by the action of the killer, others took to social media to express feelings similar to Jimenez. One person who heard the news said:
The shooter is my hero; the cops should be sued for killing a hero who was doing social justice. I mean since 80 percent of Americans no longer have brains to know that homosexuality against God and every natural human law. Those who know please buys guns and kill off any gay, lesbian, transgender, and their likes including Bruce Jenner, or whatever he calls himself now. May the soul of the shooter rest in peace. Amen. FYI, I am a Christian, not a Muslim, and my religion strongly condemns any act of homosexuality.
Others were not silent concerning their disdain for the Orlando massacre. One man tweeted:
The hateful comments made by a preacher in Sacramento do not reflect Christian values and have no place in our society. #standwithorlando
Another man, who agreed that the shootings were a horrible hate crime, stated:
Sadly this man is NOT a man of God. I do not approve of the Gay lifestyle and the Bible is clear about it but Jesus died for EVERYBODY. Jesus taught us to reach out to EVERYBODY for salvation. This man doesn’t know his Bible if he did he would NEVER make statements like these.
This, unfortunately, is not the message Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church shared with his congregation. Instead of a message of love, the preacher used his sermon to celebrate the Orlando LGBT killer for making Florida a safer city. Regardless of anyone’s personal belief, the actions of the shooter clearly fall under the umbrella of a hate crime. The Orlando LGBT killer is not a hero. His actions were unacceptable and un-American.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Sacramental CBS Local: Sacramento Baptist Preacher Praises Orlando Gay Nightclub Attack
Thought Catalog: Here Are All The People Applauding The Orlando Gay Club Shooter
Verity Baptist Church: Audio Sermons: The Christian Response to the Orlando Murders
Top Image by Daniel Carvalho Courtesy of Lord Mariser – Flickr License
Inline Image Courtesy of erin m – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Bolton – Flickr License