Perhaps you've heard about the hateful pronouncements of a Sacramento-area pastor who praised the Orlando nightclub massacre for eliminating “Sodomites.”   He did this during his Sunday-morning sermon on June 12, 2016, at the same time the authorities in Orlando were still trying to identify bodies and notify family members of the deceased.  In response, an estimated 800 people attended a protest at Verity Baptist Church today.

The Sacramento Bee has been covering the story, noting that "the 45-minute sermon Sunday by Roger Jimenez, pastor of a tiny church in a Natomas office park, had gone viral by Tuesday morning, drawing condemnation around the nation. YouTube took down a video of the sermon, saying it violated the site’s ban on hate speech. But another copy was quickly posted."

Jimenez later spoke to reporters saying that he said he would not back down from his Sunday sermon lauding the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.  He has been in hiding this week.

If you are interested, here is a link to his 45-minute sermon, as well as some of the most recent reporting about his hateful remarks. Most recently, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) has released a statement condemning the sermon, and a group of more than 700 pastors in the region called the Sacramento City Pastors Fellowship issued a statement in opposition to Jimenez’s sermon.

At today's protest at Verity Baptist Church, the huge, diverse, colorful crowd was peaceful, but passionate.  Our community knows well how to organize and to confront those who hate us.  Chants of "Preach love, not hate!" "Love conquers hate," and "We are Orlando" echoed throughout the entire event, challenging the church members who participated in today's service with questions like "Who would Jesus kill?" and scolding them with "Shame on You!"  It is so sad that in 2016 anyone, let along a pastor leading a church, would make such vile, untrue and hateful comments.

 

Here are my images from the protest.

Outword Magazine

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