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Hate-preacher: Gays should be executed with stones "melted down into a bullet"
Christian hate-preacher Deven Rogers fantasized about various ways to rid the world of gay people in a sermon
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During a sermon delivered on February 12, Christian hate-preacher Deven Rogers of Strong Hold Baptist Church in Norcross, Georgia said he would never celebrate same-sex marriage—not that anyone was asking for his blessing—before calling on the government to execute sexually active gay people via firing squad. He also fantasized about other ways to rid the world of the LGBTQ community.
It comes shortly after his New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist colleague Duncan Urbanek made similar claims, dreaming about how AIDS could “just infest their whole body” and asking God to “break their teeth in their mouth [and] let ‘em have a slow, painful death.”
Rogers was delivering a sermon about “when to not congratulate” people. Naturally, he argued that gay people shouldn’t be congratulated for any kind of milestone, like coming out, getting married, or adopting a child. He condemned the very idea of Pride Month.
Then he went on a very pointed, very violent rant (around the 50:51 mark):
We do not praise f****t marriages. Sorry, not sorry. Not doing it.
You know, the Bible teaches… I'm definitely not congratulating them when they get adoption… for kids. That's wicked as hell. I mean, the curse of God, the wrath of God, is on this nation when that's happening, for sure.
I mean, the wrath of God is on this nation for them existing in this nation. Let alone, them having the children… their access… and, you know, offending these little ones.
It’d be better for a millstone to be cast about their neck and for them to be drowned in the sea. That's what I hope they all do. Kill themselves. [Fake gasp.]
I'm not gonna do it! I'm not gonna kill ‘em! The government should! We're going to read that in a minute. The government should kill them. The government should convict them of the crime of sodomy, and put them to death, and then line ‘em up and shoot ‘em in the back of the head… Stone ‘em with stones, with a little explosion behind it, and you can have… multiple stones going at them that have been melted down into a bullet, a projectile.
I'm not gonna do it. But if the government does it? Hey, that's something to praise. That's something to give our consent to. Because why? Because it's biblical. That's why. Because it's right.
Let this be a reminder that some conservative Christians have no desire to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” as so many of them claim. They hate the supposed “sinners” and they dream about their demise.
Even if we write off the “millstone” reference as metaphorical (which I don’t think we should), Rogers wants LGBTQ people to take their own lives. And if that’s not an option, he wants the government to do it for them. For anyone who argues that firing squads are not in the Bible, but stoning is, he compromises and says the stones can be “melted down into a bullet.”
All of this is somehow common rhetoric in New IFB churches. Not just by other preachers, but by the regular preacher at Strong Hold Baptist Church, David Berzins. Even the line about stoning people via bullets isn’t original; another preacher, Cameron Hall, claimed last year that a firing squad was just an “evolution of stoning" since a bullet is just "a really fast lead rock."
New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preachers like these always insist they’re not encouraging vigilantism. They insist they’re not asking anyone to pull a trigger themselves. They get mad when people say they’re calling for the murder of gay people. That’s not true, they argue. They’re just saying that, in a righteous world, the government would do their faith-based dirty work for them.
But when these congregations happen to be full of gun-loving, gay-hating people who cheer on the calls of execution, plausible deniability isn’t much of a defense.
One of the New IFB ringleaders is Jonathan Shelley, who has repeatedly echoed the same sentiments. In recent years, he has celebrated the death of a gay man at a Pride parade, repeatedly wished for or called for the death of gay people, and appeared at an Arlington City Council meeting in Texas to push back against their acknowledgment of Pride Month by repeating the same calls for violence. (Dillon Awes spoke at the same meeting.) And, of course, the New IFB’s Steven Anderson famously celebrated the Pulse nightclub massacre, claiming, “The good news is there are 50 less pedophiles in this world.”
They don’t encourage people taking the matter into their own hands… but whenever that happens, they’re among the first to praise the murderers for eradicating a problem that only ever existed in their warped Christian minds.
Meanwhile, the YouTube page for Rogers’ church (with over 4,000 subscribers) and the church’s Facebook page remain up as of this writing.
As I’ve mentioned before, the size of these churches doesn’t matter. All that matters for New IFB preachers is their social media reach, which allows them to spread their hate-filled, faith-based messages to a much wider audience than they could ever get otherwise. At least one hate-preacher has admitted he discovered New IFB preachers by watching videos on YouTube and going down a recommendation rabbit hole.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)