Speaking during a panel discussion put on last weekend by the Maryland Marriage Alliance, Pastor Robert J. Anderson quoted from the book of Romans and declared that LGBT people are an abomination “worthy of death.”
“The Scriptures in Leviticus 18:22, you know what that says,” he explains in video published to YouTube by the Manna Bible Baptist Church in Baltimore, first spotted by the Good As You blog. “[It says] that a man is not to lay down with another man. If they do that, it’s an abomination. But there is one verse I really wanted to drive home and then I’ll stop. That’s in Romans, chapter 1. And it’s the very last verse. As you know, Paul addresses this. Listen to the last verse. ‘Knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death. Not only do the same… for those who also approve of those who practice these things.’”
Anderson then looked up from his Bible and insisted that that the Christian deity character himself commands his followers to vote against Question 6, which would let LGBT have the same rites of marriage that everyone else has. “If we don’t vote against it,” Anderson said, “then we are approving these things that are worthy of death!”
Unfortunately, the view that LGBT people deserve to die is not an uncommon oneamong those claiming to be devout, who base their beliefs on direct quotes from the scripture. Indeed, the first chapter of Romans does say that humanity’s sinful nature gives the people over to committing “shameful” acts with members of the same sex — an entry many modern Christians seem to have married with the Old Testament’s Levitican laws to justify an anti-LGBT bias.
But many of the most devout fail to include the rest of Romans 1:18-32 as proper context, choosing to focus exclusively on homosexuality. The scripture also cites “shameful lusts” in the general sense, along with a host of other sins like “envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice,” parental disobedience, gossip, slander, arrogance, greed and a lack of love and mercy — all of which can allegedly make one equally deserving of death in the eyes of an allegedly forgiving deity figure.
Fellow panelists — who nodded and cheered “Amen!” at Anderson’s remarks — included Maryland Marriage Alliance director Derek McCoy (second from right), Alliance Defense Fund attorney and conservative columnist Austin Nimocks (second from left) and ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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