This Preacher Is Happy About Orlando, And 6 Other Times Radical Christianity Was America’s Biggest Source Of Hate
While the nation mourned the loss of 49 innocent lives taken by a lone gunman in an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, one homophobic Baptist preacher was thanking God for the mass shooting. “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?,” Pastor Roger Jimenez said in the sermon posted on Verity Baptist Church’s YouTube account. “Um, no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.” (I’ll give you a minute to go throw up in the sink, as I just did.) While I hate to even give this fuckhead the time of day, it’s worth noting that he isn’t a religious anomaly — radical Christianity is often America’s biggest source of hate despite the vile group’s belief that everyone else is sending the country straight to hell.
“We don’t need to do anything to help,” Jimenez said to his Sacramento congregation hours after the massacre. “As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer tonight.” This dangerously bigoted preacher didn’t learn one valuable lesson from the Bible: to love others. Anyone who wishes for innocent people to die is spewing the same hate as the people who actually pick up guns and murder dozens of people.
Extreme Christians have become some of the most spiteful people in the country when it comes to issues they disagree with the general public about. Of course, not all Christians or religious folks are lumped into this category — I’m talking about the radical extremists who either encourage or carry out violent and viscous attacks on others in the name of their conservative values. The great (awful?) irony is that these religious zealots claim secular values and people that look or act differently than them are ruining America, but in reality, they’re causing the most harm. Praising mass killings and calling for more makes the nation less safe, not more righteous.
Jimenez is just the latest example of this, as other radical Christians have also attacked (either verbally or physically) other Americans either for their race, gender, sexual orientation, or political or moral choices.
The Murder Of Dr. George Tiller In 2009
Seven years ago, Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by anti-abortion, right-wing Christian Scott Roeder. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions, which didn’t sit well with pro-life radical Christians who targeted him multiple times before his death. Apparently, they valued fetuses’ nonexistent lives over the very real life of Tiller, and other abortion providers who have been murdered in the past.
The Mass Shooting At A Planned Parenthood In 2015
Attacks on abortion clinics and providers by Christian extremists are way too common. There were five extreme attacks of violence at abortion clinics just last year, and one of the most notable was the mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood. The alleged shooter, Robert Dear, is reportedly very religious and praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work,” before carrying out his own. Dear was accused of killing three people and reportedly told police he was “happy” afterwards.
The Centennial Olympic Park Bombing In 1996
During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Eric Rudolph set off a bomb that killed two people and injured more than 100. Rudolph also committed three other attacks before he was caught by the authorities, all attempts to fight abortion because of his Christian beliefs.
The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
After the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling last summer — a time when the whole country was celebrating love — right-wing extremists were blasting homophobic rhetoric about marriage being between a man and a woman “the way God intended.” Literally everyone else saw this as a huge step forward for the country, while this group tried to severely bum everyone out and stop weddings from happening. For example, Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, made national headlines for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Her hatred for LGBTQ people is quite similar to Pastor Jimenez’s.
Transgender Bathroom Policies
This niche pocket of conservatives was all about North Carolina’s and other states’ refusal to let transgender residents use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. They even protested when private companies made the decision to adopt more transgender-friendly bathroom rules, and after Target released a statement saying customers could use whichever bathroom they liked, a crazed woman marched through one Target store waving a Bible in the air and screaming about the “wicked practice” that allows “perverted men” in women’s bathrooms. Just watching the video of this mother of 12 makes me feel unsafe.
The Murder Of Barnett Slepian In 1998
In 1998, James Kopp fatally shot Barnett Slepian, a New York abortion provider. Kopp later claimed he only meant to hurt the doctor, not kill him, and was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group The Lambs of Christ. He was also the suspect in three other non-fatal shootings of doctors in Canada.
Basically, extreme Christians only get this worked up about women’s and LGBTQ issues, but when it comes to these topics, they don’t hesitate to demean, offend, and terrorize others. The radical religious group is just as dangerous as the extremism within Islam, as evidenced by its onslaught of killings and general hate. They desperately need to open their eyes to which group is really the danger to society, because what they believe will save America from Satan’s grasp is really tearing the nation apart.