(via Raw Story)

(via Raw Story)

CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today expressed dismay at the hateful “Christian” message of Tennessee pastor Robby Gallaty, who used an entire sermon last week at Brainerd Baptist Church, near Chattanooga, to condemn LGBT people. In his message, he explained that God hates homosexuality so much that he commands that those who engage in it be put to death.

“It is past time for Christian clergy to stop hurting kids in their own congregations with these messages,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Gay people are not some problem ‘out there somewhere’. They’re in his own congregation. They’re the innocent sons and daughters of his own parishioners, and they are forced to endure these condemning, hateful messages. How many of them will have to pick up the pieces when their lives are shattered because their parents absorbed these sermons of hate from their pastor?”

Pastor Gallaty obviously believes he is sharing a loving message claiming that the “good news” was that some of the people he was writing to used to be gay, saying that “[The Bible says] some of you used to act like this, but now you’ve changed by the grace of God. You were washed! You have been sanctified! You have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of God.” The same passages Gallaty cited also claim that, due to their wickedness, God gave people over to same-sex desires, essentially relinquishing those people to evil. He also claimed that people choose to be gay, unlike gender and race, which are not chosen. This flies in the face of all the current science which shows that sexual orientation is not chosen, and moreover, cannot be changed with either therapy or prayer.  

“I may not be up on my Biblical history, but were there ‘ex-gay’ camps in the first century?,” asked Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “Regardless, this pastor is being careless both with the Bible and with the lives of people who respect him. Serious biblical scholars agree that Paul was not talking about sexuality in the sense we understand it in the twenty-first century. And the scientific consensus on sexual orientation is in, and it says that Pastor Gallaty is wrong. It’s time that he and other “men of God” like him embrace reality and stop hurting LGBT kids suffering silently in the pews.”

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.