A pastor invited to speak on the floor of the Oklahoma Senate this week has drawn rebukes even from some Republicans after he blamed legalized same-sex marriage for school shootings.
Local news station KPVI reports that Bill Ledbetter, the pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church, delivered a fiery sermon in the Oklahoma legislature’s upper chamber on Thursday in which he said that tragedies such as the Parkland massacre were God’s way of getting America’s attention and telling us that we need to change.
“Do we really believe we can create immorality in our laws?” he asked rhetorically during the sermon. “Do we really believe we can redefine marriage from the word of God to something in our own mind and there not be a response? Do we really believe we can tell God to get lost from our schools and our halls of legislation and there be no response? Do we really believe that?”
Nondoc.com reports that Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz distanced himself from Ledbetter’s remarks after Thursday’s session adjourned.
“I don’t believe that somebody’s in a car wreck because God’s striking them down,” he said. “I don’t believe cataclysmic events happen because God is trying to punish.”
Democratic Senate Minority Leader John Sparks had even harsher words for Ledbetter’s testimony and demanded a full apology.
“There is no place for intolerance and hate in the Senate Chamber or anywhere else in Oklahoma,” he said. “As senators, we were elected to serve all people in Oklahoma, and we should not condone or encourage divisive rhetoric which targets any Oklahoman.”