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Christian Leaders Condemn Pastor's Statements Praising Orlando Attack

06-15-2016

A California pastor, in a videotaped sermon, praised the attack on an Orlando gay nightclub which killed 49 people, CBS13 in Sacramento reports.

The video, which was on the Verity Baptist Church's YouTube page, has since been taken down "as a violation of the site's policy against hate speech," according to CBS13.

"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" Pastor Roger Jiminez said in the sermon. "Um no, I think that's great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight."

Jiminez spoke to the network a day after his remarks and stands by his sermon. CBS13 reports the pastor believes he's being misinterpreted and says his goal is not to incite hate. 

"As far as the Bible is concerned, they crossed a line," Jiminez said. "The sin they performed is worthy of death."

He also did not back down on his statement that Orlando was safer because of the deaths of the shooting victims.

"Absolutely I think they are safer now because of these deaths, and the reason I think that is because I believe all of these homosexuals are pedophiles, and the Bible-see our culture and our society puts them in these categories-gay, lesbian, whatever, but that's not found in scripture," Jiminez said.

"And I understand the world does not want to accept that, that's fine. I'm saying as a Christian, the Bible puts people in two categories: normal/natural, unnatural," he continued.

Local law enforcement says because Jiminez did not actually threaten anyone, his remarks are not considered a hate crime and fall under the protections of the First Amendment, according to CBS13.

Christian leaders are condemning the statements made by Jiminez.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento and Dr. John Jackson, the president of William Jessup University, issued a joint statement:

"We stand resolved in our condemnation of the heinous attack that occurred in Orlando. We also condemn the detestable statements made by a pastor in Sacramento.

"The pastor's statements do not reflect genuine Christian faith, and as followers of Christ we disavow his bigotry.

"Also as followers of Jesus Christ we stand in unity with our nation in offering love, prayer and a helping hand to the gay community. Everyone in America deserves to live their lives free from fear.

"It is the heart of Jesus to save, heal, and deliver. Christian leaders lead people to the love, grace, truth and healing hope of Jesus, not to insensitive judgment.

"We pray for the gay community to experience the love and grace of Jesus and His people, both in Orlando and across the United States. We pray for safety for their community and for all Americans during this violent and unsettled time."

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