49 lives were taken by a single gunman on Sunday, June 12th, 2016, leaving us in a state of devastation. As many of us pray for the individuals and families affected by this heinous act of evil, many are speaking up with encouraging words of support, love, and condolences. Blood banks are holding blood drives to help the wounded, people are standing up in the face of gun violence; our nation is rallying together in a time of sorrow, trying its best to lift one another up during such tragedy.
When I started this website two years ago I decided not to discuss politics, and for the most part, religion. I believe in women’s rights, Jesus, equality, and being a stand-up human being, among many other things. However, my faith is close to my heart, and while I operate daily with it, I usually don’t openly discuss it on the web.
And then I saw this article and video this morning and I decided the rule I set for myself two years ago would be broken- today.
Religion is freedom-of-choice. Some of us are born into it, some of us stray from it, some of us want nothing to do with it, and some of us come to it later in life- myself falling into the latter category. Seeing as I avoided religion for nearly thirty years of my life, I have no qualms with anyone who chooses not to partake in religion, organized or not.
After reading this Washington Post article, and watching this “Pastor’s” video, I couldn’t help but think about all the people reading/watching this man’s hate speech who do not identify as Christian. Jimenez’s paralyzing words were so horrifying, I honestly don’t have a proper way to express them into a coherent sentence. His hate speech did make me think about something else though: Had I watched this video six years ago, would I have ever wanted to walk into a church? Would I ever be able to burn this man’s horrid words from my brain?
It’s funny, many Christians have a hard time understanding why more people don’t walk the same path as them. They don’t understand how others can’t “see what they see” and “feel what they feel.”
As a woman who didn’t become a Christian until the age of 29, I’ll tell you why- because of crap like THIS. Idiots like “Pastor” Roger Jimenez blasting hate and discrimination on a level so low, it hurts my fingertips to even caption his horrific words on my screen:
“People say, like: ‘Well, aren’t you sad that 50 sodomites died? Here’s the problem with that. It’s like the equivalent of asking me — what if you asked me: ’Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um, no, I think that’s great. I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight.” – “Pastor” Roger Jimenez
“The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!” – “Pastor” Roger Jimenez
“I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.” – “Pastor” Roger Jimenez
Naturally, this disgusting “sermon” made viral news. If a person is potentially looking into a faith, do you honestly think that they would want to be part of ANY religious organization that has the word “Christian” tied to it after seeing something like this? After witnessing this man tell his congregation that they “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites”?
People like this man (who should really be a member of Westboro Baptist Church) are not only a disgrace to human kind, but also a disgrace to all Christians–to every human being that believes that Christ died on the cross for our sins. This man and his hate-speech made viral news, and sadly, painted a picture of what “Christianity”or “those who believe in Jesus” look like to those who may not identify as Christian.
The first thing I learned when I attended church for the first time was: GOD IS LOVE. This man? He is sending the exact opposite message. Telling a room full of people listening to the putrid garbage spilling out of his mouth that ANYONE deserves to die is not spreading the love of God- that’s spreading the hate of the Devil.
If you read this article or saw this video, would you want to join a religious movement with that man as your “pastor”; a man whose job it is to educate you about the Bible and direct you to everlasting life? If I wasn’t where I am in my spiritual path, I SURE AS HELL WOULDN’T!
Leviticus does mention a man laying with another man– you know what it also mentions? Tattoos, cursing your father or mother, sleeping with your neighbor’s wife, blasphemy, overuse of alcohol, DIVORCE. I wonder how many men and women in his congregation have been divorced, or have tattoos? Mr. Jimenez stood in front of his congregation on Sunday and did the exact opposite of (I’d imagine) every other person in the world who learned of the events that unfolded. He, a supposed “man of God” was not sad; in fact, he compared the death of the 49 innocent victims to PEDOPHILES. He told his congregation that these people deserved to die and that he was upset that the gunman didn’t “finish the job.”
You know what else Leviticus says? “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart” (17:19). I’m pretty sure wishing the government to line up the LGBTQ community to “put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out” IS HATE. Actually, I’m quite certain wishing death on a fellow human being is the worst kind of hate. This man’s words come a close second to the actions the shooter took on the morning of June 12th.
It’s disgusting, sad, and a horrible representation of Christianity and religion as a whole. It is most certainly not a representation of the Jesus I know, however, I can understand why anyone would run fifty miles in the opposite direction after seeing this video or reading his words.
“Pastor” Roger Jimenez and people like him are the faces that not only keep people ten arms lengths away from entering any church or exploring any faith, but also the ones who seem to do the most damage with their words. They paint an awful canvas as to what Christian’s across the world are like– and let me assure you, we are NOT all like him. If you take away anything from my words, please know that- WE ARE NOT LIKE THIS MAN. WE DO NOT THINK LIKE THIS MAN. WE WOULD NOT STEP FOOT INTO THIS MAN’S “CHURCH.”
Mr. Jimenez, I am embarrassed that you call yourself a Christian. I am embarrassed that you paint your hate speech as “Christian values.” You, Mr. Jimenez, are the reason why so many people look down on a religion whose goal is LOVE, not HATE. You vehemently hate a community of people because they sin differently than you. And believe me, after watching your “sermon,” I’m certain you have quite a few crosses to bear.
You can translate the bible a hundred different ways, but telling a group of people (and later broadcasting to millions) that these victims “deserved to die,” that “the real tragedy is that they all didn’t die” is sickening, and not at all an accurate display of the Bible’s teachings.
Not one of Mr. Jimenez’s statements are “loving.” As the age-old question goes “What would Jesus do?”
I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, He would love. He would not speak from a place of hate, he would not wish death upon others.
Jesus sat with the sinners.
Mr. Jimenez, I pray for your sake that God has mercy on your soul, and I also pray that those who don’t identify with Christianity don’t believe that the rest of us actual Christian’s wish or believe in one drop of garbage that fell out of your mouth during your “sermon” because we most certainly DO NOT.
Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone. – Jesus Christ