You may have heard that a nutburger fundie pastor in Arizona stood up and applauded Saturday night’s horror in Orlando. Well, he wasn’t the only one to get a case of diarrhea of the mouth just hours after the tragedy. Another fundie pastor–this one in Sacramento–declared that Omar Mateen had actually done us a favor by mowing down 49 people just hours earlier.
Roger Jimenez is the pastor of Verity Baptist Church, an independent fundamentalist KJV-Only Baptist church in northern Sacramento. His Sunday sermon was the equivalent of a standing ovation for Mateen. He asked his flock, “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” His answer? “Um, no–I think it’s great!”
As he saw it, this butchery “actually helps society” because there are 49 fewer gays on the planet. As a result, Jimenez thought “Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.” In his view, the real tragedy is that “more of them didn’t die.” He’s actually “kind of upset” that Mateen didn’t “finish the job” and kill everyone in the Pulse nightclub.
It turns out that this is par for the course for Jimenez. In the past, he has called for gays to be put to death. He made a similar call on Sunday, saying that the government ought to “round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.”
The video was uploaded to YouTube just hours after the sermon, but YouTube took the video down after branding it as hate speech. However, another copy is now available on the church’s YouTube channel. Watch here, if you can stand it.
Not surprisingly, Jimenez has been blasted up and down for his bigotry. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson weighed in on Twitter.
The hateful comments made by a preacher in Sacramento do not reflect Christian values and have no place in our society. #standwithorlando
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) June 14, 2016
Jay Brown of the Human Rights Campaign denounced Jimenez for “preaching hate from the pulpit,” and believed that it would be “heartbreaking” for any closeted gay kids who are in his church. Reverend Donald Lee of First United Methodist Church in Sacramento denounced Jimenez’ sermon as “heresy,” and was “speechless” that any pastor would even think this was acceptable. Pastor Chuck Wysong of Life Community Church in Roseville agreed, calling Jimenez’ sermon “polluting to the cause of Christ.”
This pastor even went too far for the Southern Baptist Convention; spokesman Roger Oldham said that there have been “numerous instances in which we’ve spoken openly against that kind of hate.”
Jimenez spent most of Tuesday doubling down on his hateful bilge. He set the tone in an interview with KCRA-TV in Sacramento. Watch here.
Jimenez criticized those who claimed he was calling for people to take up arms against the LGBT community, saying that we shouldn’t take matters into our own hands. For that reason, Mateen “violated scripture” when he went on his rampage. But wait a minute. Just 48 hours earlier, he was saying that Mateen should have finished the job. Which is it, Roger?
He added that we shouldn’t mourn the victims because God decreed that homosexuality is a capital offense, and therefore “this is not something that we, as Christians, need to be mourning.” He continued doubling down when he told The Sacramento Bee that “when people die who deserve to die, it’s not a tragedy.” Well, Roger, you’ll have to pardon this born-again Christian for believing that he didn’t throw away his decency when he got saved.
Along similar lines, Jimenez told KXTV in Sacramento that “if people die who deserve to die, we don’t need to be mourning that.” He also added that “if the government followed the laws of God,” gays would be put to death.
As much as some people fear for any closeted gays in Jimenez’ congregation, I’m equally concerned for his children. From what I’ve gleaned about IFB culture, he and his wife, Joanna, have been drilling hate and bigotry into their kids’ heads almost from the time they can crawl. The thought that children in these homes are essentially being taught that basic human decency runs counter to the Bible should make anyone want to retch.
Opposing gay rights is one thing. But applauding the senseless murder of anyone, regardless of orientation, is flat-out unacceptable. Perhaps Jimenez needs to be reminded of this. Drop his church a line here. But please, be civil–let’s show him that we’re bigger than he is.