Over the weekend, at Grace Bible Church in Soweto, South Africa, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills made remarks mocking homosexuality during his sermon. A local celebrity, Somizi Mhlongo, walked out of the church, then made a video denouncing the bishop and every Christian who didn’t walk out with him.
It happened on Sunday morning as Heward-Mills was talking about how we need to be trained not to sin and have spiritual strength because we’re all sinners. He told a story about seeing a large group of antelopes. There was only one male with 75 females. “That sounds powerful,” Heward-Mills joked, before making the point that polygamy of that sort was natural, and we needed to work against those urges. Then he said this at the 1:46:35 mark:
That’s nature. Dogs, cats, leopards. Mention the animal. Which one has one partner? It’s just like homosexuality, you don’t have male and male. If you use that reasoning to say homosexuality is not natural… You don’t find two male dogs, or two male lions, or two male impalas, two male cats, even lizards. Two male elephants… there’s nothing like that in nature. It’s unnatural. There is nothing like that in nature.
He’s wrong about homosexuality not being found in nature, but that’s a separate issue.
Mhlongo walked out of church, then made this video criticizing what he had just heard:
… I’ve just walked out — stomped out — of church because the guest pastor… just decided to take a turn and speak about homosexuality, and how sinful and disgusting and how not even animals practice that… and the church is, like, cheering!
I’m not going to sit there and listen to somebody offending me.
This is who I am. I am a gay man. Get it straight into your skull. My soul is alright with my God. Let me deal with my God and my soul. Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me.
It’s like somebody offending black people at church and you scream and shout. And I’m actually disappointed at all the gay men and women that sat there and listened to him offending us and didn’t do anything about it.
I walked out — and visibly so. I am proud and I’m going to remain gay for the rest of my life. Let God deal with me.
While I appreciate him speaking out, it seems completely misplaced. What did he expect? A loving, tolerant, accepting church? Please. You have to go out of your way to find those. Homophobia is part of the package at this church.
They literally say it on their website:
With regards to sexual behaviour, we believe in heterosexual relationships between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony. Adherence to this stated principle of sexual behaviour is an inherent requirement of membership of Grace Bible Church.
Bigots gonna bigot. They have a right to do that. The question I have is why Mhlongo or any other LGBT person would bother attending a church that doesn’t even want them as members.
They should all walk out and create a church of their own. And any decent straight human being inside that church should join them, too. Remaining part of an anti-gay church makes you complicit in their bigotry.
(via Huffington Post)