Mere hours after the Orlando, Fla., club shooter took the lives of 49 people, a Sacramento, Calif., pastor turned to his pulpit, delivering a hateful, violent speech saying that he was upset the shooter “didn’t finish the job,” the New York Daily News reports.
“The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die,” the pastor, Roger Jimenez, told parishioners at the Verity Baptist Church. “I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job—because these people are predators.”
“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um, no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight,” he continued. “It is unnatural for a man to be attracted to another man.”
But Jimenez didn’t stop there. The pastor went on to all but call for the executions of gay people before insisting that he wasn't condoning violence.
“I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put the firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out,” he said, the Daily News reports.
“You don’t mourn the death of them. They deserve what they got. You reap what you sow. But we don’t advocate it, either. We’re not calling people to arms—and if somebody goes out and says I’m going to go kill sodomites—you don’t listen to those people. That’s not what we’re saying,” he added.
Since the hate-filled speech, a Change.org petition has been formed calling for Jimenez’s removal, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has blasted the distasteful comments on social media.
“The hateful comments made by a preacher in Sacramento do not reflect Christian values and have no place in our society,” Johnson tweeted. “#standwithorlando.”
Other national Baptist church leaders have also been offering a different message from the one Jimenez gave.
“I grieve for mothers and fathers and families and friends of those loved ones who were killed and injured in Orlando by a gunman armed with hatred,” Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, said in a statement. “I grieve at the easy access of assault weapons in our nation. I grieve at judgmental conclusions that will yield to Islamophobia and homophobia. This day tests the faith of God’s people.”
“I certainly don’t think that this gentleman is representative of very many people at all, let alone congregations,” Bellingham, Wash., Rev. David Weasley, a board member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, said. “I hope some churches may take it as a moment to reflect upon how some LGBTQ members of their communities may not feel welcome.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.