Pastor Carl Johnson of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kittanning, Pennsylvania delivered an Easter sermon in which he told the congregation about a bad thought that recently crossed his mind. He wanted to confess it because he knew it was wrong.
It had to do with the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. While he watched the roof burn, he had suspects already in mind.
The video has been taken down from YouTube, but the audio still exists.
“As it was burning, I immediately suspected who? The terrorists who had tried in 2016 to blow it up. There have been attempts before because it is the symbol of Christianity in France,” Johnson said. “I immediately made that conclusion, but that’s not the bad part that I’m confessing. I was hoping it was Muslim terrorism so that, hopefully, there would be a violent purge of Muslims from France. I wanted that because France is lost.”
He hoped Muslim terrorists did the job so that all Muslims could be violently purged?! Jesus…
Keep in mind that Johnson said that as a confession — he knew it was wrong — but the underlying belief there was that there are too many Muslims in France for his tastes.
“It’s only going to take a generation, maybe two, before France is Muslim, and there’s no stopping it. There’s just no stopping it,” Johnson said. “And I thought, oh, this could be it. We will fight evil with evil. We will fight fire with fire.”
Even if his point was that fighting “evil with evil” was the wrong approach, it’s irrelevant since his “good” thoughts were also batshit crazy. (France is about 6% Muslim. They’re not going to take over in a couple of generations. If anything, they face persecution; they’re not the persecutors.)
“It came across to us as something he had sit down and thought about. It wasn’t something he just said,” said [insurance lawyer Kasey] Cahill, who also left the church in protest with members of her family. “To use these comments to comport his theory that there’s nothing we can do, that ‘France is lost,’ I don’t know what other conclusion can come out of that other than Muslims are evil.”
That’s the generous reading of his statement.
Johnson told a local reporter that he was “absolutely delighted to be completely and totally wrong” that Muslims didn’t cause the fire. But he didn’t clarify his beliefs about Muslims in general. We can only assume he’s not going back on those words.
He didn’t clarify that on the church’s website, either, adding this word salad of an “apology”:
The intended point of my Easter sermon was that I need Jesus… My confession was meant to say that only through Christ do I have any chance of getting it right — or even realizing that what the world teaches is wrong!…
Sadly, my confession of an absolutely horrible thought has been misconstrued as a statement of my belief. Confession by its very nature is a statement of: “this is wrong!”
… It grieves me that a different message has been inferred.
Weird. I don’t have Christ in my life, and yet when I saw the roof on fire, my first reaction wasn’t to be a raging asshole to Muslims who were also mourning the loss of a historic building. Amazing how Pastor Johnson, with Jesus, went there right away. And that Johnson, with Jesus, still think there are too many Muslims in France. (I would love to know how many Muslims he’s okay with. I’ll take a rough estimate.)
Let’s just hope the people who walked out of his sermon have no intentions of going back. At least something good will have come from his “confession.”
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Rick for the link)