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Michigan pastor: Being gay is an ‘abomination’ like being an ‘axe murderer’

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A Michigan pastor has come under fire after he told his congregation that same-sex marriage was wrong because homosexuality was a choice like choosing to be an “axe murderer.”

During a sermon earlier this month, Clint Echols, pastor of First Baptist Church in Zeeland, pointed out that the Bible said that God considered homosexuality to be an “abomination.”

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According to Echols, the church should not accept the sexual preference of LGBT people because it was like saying “I think I’m an axe murderer.”

“It’s an internal compass and a person can discover their sexuality at any moment…oh wait a second, I’m gay, I’m bisexual, I want to change my gender, these things, and that’s being true to themselves and being true to their internal compass,” Echols said.

“For instance on another, a completely other playing field, if tomorrow I woke up because I have this internal compass that’s telling me what truth is,” he continued. “Tomorrow, if I wake up and say, well, I think I’m an axe murderer, now I’m an axe murderer, would you be happy with that? Would you agree? Would you want me to follow that internal compass?”

Zeeland resident Daniel Vanderley told MLive.com that the church had a right to take a stand against marriage equality, but he said that the pastor should apologize for his remarks.

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“They can exclude anyone they want, but I would like them to tell the world that they’re doing it,” Vanderley explained. “And I would like them to apologize for comparing people who come out as gay to people who come out as axe murderers.”

“Don’t bully by making this comparison. Coming out is a hard enough time for people.”

In a phone interview, Echols refused to back down.

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“We’re a church that tries to uphold the word of God in grace and in truth,” the pastor said. “We will continue to honor God’s word as a church with malice toward no one and love toward all.”

The church also provided a statement to WXMI backing the pastor’s sermon.

“In regard to human sexuality, God’s word is clear,” the statement said. “God, through His design and clear prescription in his holy Word, instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of family and the basic structure of human society. Sexual behavior outside of monogamous marriage is contrary to God’s design and is therefor sin.”

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Listen to a portion of the sermon below, uploaded by MLive.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Obama’s chief economist warns of ‘a very high chance’ Trump’s trade war could cause 2020 recession

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The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama warned of "a very high chance" of Trump's trade war with China resulting in a recession -- "just in time for 2020."

Austan Goolsbee was interviewed by MSNBC's John Heilemann on Friday after the DJIA closed down over 600 points after the trade war escalated on Friday.

"Just give us, if you would, Austan, your sense of what has unfolded today and how bad it is," Heilemann asked.

"Yes, it’s terrible, I'm phoning from a bunker as we speak," Goolsbee replied.

"There hasn’t been a day like this in a very long time. Yes, the markets sell a lot but the fact we’re going to have an escalating trade war, the president of the United States is publicly declaring the head of the Fed an enemy of the state and, oh, by the way, 40% of the Amazon is on fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," he continued. "If this is on a Friday, it makes it bad for Monday."

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MSNBC anchor blasts Trump’s ‘lunacy’ after ‘a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling’

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The New York Stock Exchange closed down over 600 points on Friday as President Donald Trump's trade war with China escalated.

MSNBC anchor John Heilemann said, "we’re hours away for the president taking off to the G7 summit in Bairritz, France, where allies are bracing for the Trump-fueled mayhem that is now 100% certain to ensue, with Trump like a drunken traveler in the departure lounge about to take a trip that he dreads, already sewing global chaos, days-long public meltdown typically moved from words to actions."

"Donald Trump beginning this day with a Twitter tirade that sent the Dow spiraling, closing down more than 600 points today and escalating his trade war with China with these norm-shattering, power-abusing words in this tweet," he said, putting the tweet on-screen.

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‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades

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On Friday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against China.

....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

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