Christian Faith is Not Hate

Liberals have found a greater threat to the world than even ISIS: A Baptist pastor quoting the Bible. On September 3rd, 2014, dozens of liberal websites all posted some version of the same sentence: “Megachurch Pastor calls for the death of gays!” In a remarkable display of mass hysteria coupled with mind-blowing dishonesty, the articles all claim Pastor Robby Gallaty of Brainerd Baptist Church aggressively and hatefully called for gays across America to be discriminated against and brutally killed. The Daily Beast referring to Gallaty as the ‘hateful pastor’, “Don’t be too shocked by megachurch minister Robby Gallaty’s hateful sermon.  There’s a hard core of evangelicals that aren’t evolving on homosexuality, let alone same-sex marriage.”  The Raw Story: “A pastor of a large Southern Baptist church near Chattanooga, Tennessee said this week that Christians would never repent for discriminating against gay people like they had for racism because African-Americans could not change the color of their skin.”

The most charming article, which actually contains the video in question, on Addicting Info said “And why should innocent gays and lesbians be put to death? Well, according to Gallaty, they have made the choice to be gay, thus rebelling against God’s plan. Touching on the comparisons some Christians make in to racist beliefs and homophobic beliefs, Gallaty responded just as you’d think; insulting those who can see a legitimate comparison between two hatreds.”

The Addicting Info article, spread around Facebook due to its particularly aggressive and alarmist tone, contains the following gems: “I guess the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t ring true to Gallaty, who has proven himself to be another faux Christian who blankets his hateful beliefs in the word of God.  But don’t say that to the religious right.  They’ll jump to his defense faster than anything else.  Why?  Because religious freedom, that’s why.”, “Just another mega church moocher who will peddle anything to keep banking off stupid people” and “As he preaches the genocide of gays, I wonder if he will touch on the fact that he sinning as he wears a pair of denim jeans and a cotton shirt.  He probably won’t though because that doesn’t count in his tiny world of knowledge.”

Interesting note, Pastor Gallaty is not wearing jeans in the video. Watching the video provides a slightly different story than the one described above. Pastor Gallaty is shown reading a list of forbidden sexual activities in Leviticus which includes homosexual acts. He goes on to describe what the Bible says is the punishment for homosexual practices.  He at no time advocates carrying out the death penalty for gay people. As is common with most Biblical study, including my own Torah study just this weekend, it is important to understand the significance of activities G-d designates with the death penalty. 

From the articles it would appear the video would then continue on an aggressive rant celebrating the joy Christians can have in executing gays for G-d. Unfortunately for liberals, Pastor Gallaty disappoints, which brings us to their next hysterical proclamation: The pastor says gays deserve to be discriminated against because they can choose to be gay! What he actually says is that there is a separation between homosexual activity and the person engaged in it. From the Biblical references he states that G-d refers to homosexual practices rather than homosexual people. He devotes a strongly empathetic discussion to the deep desires and struggle people with same-sex attraction experience while balancing their faith.  He compares it equally to not only his own personal desires and struggles, but to that of all humanity.  His obvious point is that as a ‘child of G-d’, the person with homosexual impulses is not ‘gay’ as much as he is a person who can choose how to act on said impulses. 

He attempts to make a clear separation between inborn physical qualities such as race and gender and controllable actions to demonstrate that the fallacy is in the homosexual identity. He never even implies gay people should be treated poorly or even differently. He is quoted saying “It’s the most lethal attack we have today against the family,”, “And if the enemy can ruin the family, he wins.” He is actually quoting a Rabbi and places it into the larger context that a homosexual identity attacks not only the family structure but also what G-d intended for mankind. While debatable, it is a recognizable consequence of fluid identity, sexuality, and politically-correct appeasement that the ‘family’ in any religious context is severely altered culturally.  But again he makes clear this is not an issue of the individual, but of the social construct of a homosexual identity that causes this issue. At the end of the video he indicates that all Christians must take a higher road and must choose to follow G-d regardless of their personal struggles or desires. 

There is absolutely nothing in the video presented that is threatening, hateful, cruel, or the result of ignorance.  A person may be offended and there are certainly points to be debated but that is not evidence of ‘hate.’ What is remarkable is the level of panic and aggression towards this man who is not only merely reading aloud the word of his faith but is compassionately discussing ways to overcome personal struggles to better adhere to it. The simple statement of that faith is enough to be categorized along with Islamic terrorists currently beheading innocents and burying children alive. One particular Facebook post is quoted as saying: “Forget ISIS.  Bomb Tennessee!”

To be very clear, even if he were to call for the death of gays, it is inconsequential if no one acts upon it. For a reference of the ineffective danger to gays across America due to hateful speech, just see the Westboro Baptist Church. If a person believes their sexuality is a permanent and solid part of who they are or completely defines their personality, why would it possibly matter what a Pastor says about the Christian perspective on the topic?  Is the mere existence of ideas found offensive such a threat the entire liberal and gay internet must attack it simultaneously? 

Pastor Robby Gallaty is a strong and confident religious leader speaking to what he believes to be true and he is doing so with compassion, honesty and sincerity.  Nothing in this man’s voice or action conveys malice.  It is vital that men and women like him not be shamed into silence to satisfy the irrational insecurity and bigotry of the left willing to openly lie about a video they describe in the same article. 

Chad Felix Greene (@Chadfelixg), author of Jewish Children’s Books, Non–Fiction and Social Commentary

(www.chadfelixgreene.com)

Liberals have found a greater threat to the world than even ISIS: A Baptist pastor quoting the Bible. On September 3rd, 2014, dozens of liberal websites all posted some version of the same sentence: “Megachurch Pastor calls for the death of gays!” In a remarkable display of mass hysteria coupled with mind-blowing dishonesty, the articles all claim Pastor Robby Gallaty of Brainerd Baptist Church aggressively and hatefully called for gays across America to be discriminated against and brutally killed. The Daily Beast referring to Gallaty as the ‘hateful pastor’, “Don’t be too shocked by megachurch minister Robby Gallaty’s hateful sermon.  There’s a hard core of evangelicals that aren’t evolving on homosexuality, let alone same-sex marriage.”  The Raw Story: “A pastor of a large Southern Baptist church near Chattanooga, Tennessee said this week that Christians would never repent for discriminating against gay people like they had for racism because African-Americans could not change the color of their skin.”

The most charming article, which actually contains the video in question, on Addicting Info said “And why should innocent gays and lesbians be put to death? Well, according to Gallaty, they have made the choice to be gay, thus rebelling against God’s plan. Touching on the comparisons some Christians make in to racist beliefs and homophobic beliefs, Gallaty responded just as you’d think; insulting those who can see a legitimate comparison between two hatreds.”

The Addicting Info article, spread around Facebook due to its particularly aggressive and alarmist tone, contains the following gems: “I guess the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t ring true to Gallaty, who has proven himself to be another faux Christian who blankets his hateful beliefs in the word of God.  But don’t say that to the religious right.  They’ll jump to his defense faster than anything else.  Why?  Because religious freedom, that’s why.”, “Just another mega church moocher who will peddle anything to keep banking off stupid people” and “As he preaches the genocide of gays, I wonder if he will touch on the fact that he sinning as he wears a pair of denim jeans and a cotton shirt.  He probably won’t though because that doesn’t count in his tiny world of knowledge.”

Interesting note, Pastor Gallaty is not wearing jeans in the video. Watching the video provides a slightly different story than the one described above. Pastor Gallaty is shown reading a list of forbidden sexual activities in Leviticus which includes homosexual acts. He goes on to describe what the Bible says is the punishment for homosexual practices.  He at no time advocates carrying out the death penalty for gay people. As is common with most Biblical study, including my own Torah study just this weekend, it is important to understand the significance of activities G-d designates with the death penalty. 

From the articles it would appear the video would then continue on an aggressive rant celebrating the joy Christians can have in executing gays for G-d. Unfortunately for liberals, Pastor Gallaty disappoints, which brings us to their next hysterical proclamation: The pastor says gays deserve to be discriminated against because they can choose to be gay! What he actually says is that there is a separation between homosexual activity and the person engaged in it. From the Biblical references he states that G-d refers to homosexual practices rather than homosexual people. He devotes a strongly empathetic discussion to the deep desires and struggle people with same-sex attraction experience while balancing their faith.  He compares it equally to not only his own personal desires and struggles, but to that of all humanity.  His obvious point is that as a ‘child of G-d’, the person with homosexual impulses is not ‘gay’ as much as he is a person who can choose how to act on said impulses. 

He attempts to make a clear separation between inborn physical qualities such as race and gender and controllable actions to demonstrate that the fallacy is in the homosexual identity. He never even implies gay people should be treated poorly or even differently. He is quoted saying “It’s the most lethal attack we have today against the family,”, “And if the enemy can ruin the family, he wins.” He is actually quoting a Rabbi and places it into the larger context that a homosexual identity attacks not only the family structure but also what G-d intended for mankind. While debatable, it is a recognizable consequence of fluid identity, sexuality, and politically-correct appeasement that the ‘family’ in any religious context is severely altered culturally.  But again he makes clear this is not an issue of the individual, but of the social construct of a homosexual identity that causes this issue. At the end of the video he indicates that all Christians must take a higher road and must choose to follow G-d regardless of their personal struggles or desires. 

There is absolutely nothing in the video presented that is threatening, hateful, cruel, or the result of ignorance.  A person may be offended and there are certainly points to be debated but that is not evidence of ‘hate.’ What is remarkable is the level of panic and aggression towards this man who is not only merely reading aloud the word of his faith but is compassionately discussing ways to overcome personal struggles to better adhere to it. The simple statement of that faith is enough to be categorized along with Islamic terrorists currently beheading innocents and burying children alive. One particular Facebook post is quoted as saying: “Forget ISIS.  Bomb Tennessee!”

To be very clear, even if he were to call for the death of gays, it is inconsequential if no one acts upon it. For a reference of the ineffective danger to gays across America due to hateful speech, just see the Westboro Baptist Church. If a person believes their sexuality is a permanent and solid part of who they are or completely defines their personality, why would it possibly matter what a Pastor says about the Christian perspective on the topic?  Is the mere existence of ideas found offensive such a threat the entire liberal and gay internet must attack it simultaneously? 

Pastor Robby Gallaty is a strong and confident religious leader speaking to what he believes to be true and he is doing so with compassion, honesty and sincerity.  Nothing in this man’s voice or action conveys malice.  It is vital that men and women like him not be shamed into silence to satisfy the irrational insecurity and bigotry of the left willing to openly lie about a video they describe in the same article. 

Chad Felix Greene (@Chadfelixg), author of Jewish Children’s Books, Non–Fiction and Social Commentary

(www.chadfelixgreene.com)