A few days ago, Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California made international headlines when he said in a sermon that he didn’t feel bad for the “50 pedophiles” who died in the Orlando gay nightclub shooting, adding that he was sad the killer didn’t “finish the job.”
Jimenez also argued, referring to gay people, that the government should “round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.”
Luis Megid, a reporter from Univision, went to his house this week to find out if Jimenez really believed what he said and if he wanted to apologize. After all, perhaps hearing the negative reactions from around the world would push the pastor to seek forgiveness.
Like that was gonna happen.
The video below is in Spanish, but a rough translation of their conversation is below:
REPORTER: You said that if it were your choice, the government would put them against a wall and kill them.
REPORTER: You don’t think that’s violent?
JIMENEZ: What I’m saying is that if the government was following God’s law, that’s what they would do.
REPORTER: And you would be okay with that?
JIMENEZ: I would be okay with that.
REPORTER: That they killed them all.
REPORTER: You don’t think that’s an irresponsible thing to say?
JIMENEZ: No. Well, I have no more time for you.
I’m not surprised that Jimenez wouldn’t apologize. He doesn’t think he said anything wrong, so there’s no reason for him to repent, and that confidence comes from a literal interpretation of what the Bible says.
This is the bigger issue. Jimenez believes that if something is written in his Holy Book, no matter how many Christians tell him he’s misinterpreting the text, he’s justified in advocating what it says. It would be wrong for him to do otherwise.
This is why we need people to detach from this fundamentalist thinking. No single book contains all the answers. No single book comes directly from God. But when Christian pastors insist that the Bible is God’s Word, that it contains the truth, and that those who read it and follow it are making Baby Jesus smile, they’re feeding right into the harmful mindset that allows bigots like Jimenez to spout this hate speech.
(Thanks to Manolo for the link and translation)