Just this past month voters in North Carolina passed an anti-gay ballot measure. Some brave Christian clergy spoke out against the measure but we're learning more and more that other clergy not only supported the anti-marriage amendment but used the campaign to preach a message of hate and violence directed at gays and lesbians inconsistent with the core of Christianity.
The pulpit is holy space and those that use it to promote violence commit theological malpractice as ugly and wrong as those who throughout history have used their pulpits to target Jews and other minority groups.
Are these hateful messages mainstream? In some communities, yes. And not just in the South. We have heard the same ugly language preached here in Oregon during campaigns past by the now defunct Oregon Citizens Alliance, the right-wing Christian group that promoted a series of anti-gay ballot measures.
All Christians - regardless of whether or not we support gay marriage (I strongly do) - must condemn hate speech from pastors and denominations where this occurs are obligated to hold their clergy accountable - taking away their status as ordained clergy. Because let's be clear: these hateful men are not preaching the word of God.
God created gays and lesbians, like all humanity, in God's image and was well pleased.
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