Part One can be found here. I’m cross-posting with the Coalition site for this part.
A lot of you will never have heard of Dillon Awes. He is a pastor for a church in Texas. specifically Stedfast Baptist Church. I became aware of him via Bruce Gerencser, and I can honestly say I am beyond horrified. Awes’ remarks have gained him notoriety, and not a lot else. To quote:
These people should be put to death. Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime. The abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial. They should be sentenced with death. They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head. That’s what God teaches. That’s what the Bible says. You don’t like it? You don’t like God’s Word, because that is what God says.
Aside from the obvious flaw (God and the Bible would not have referenced guns), this is clearly beyond the realm of free speech, and well into the land of hate speech. Look at what Awes is inciting here. He wants homosexuals to be killed. He desperately wishes he could be the judge, jury, and executioner.
Why is that? It’s because he has become indoctrinated by a radical form of Christianity. Extremism takes different forms, and in Christianity, it is in the form of Bible literalists, who stand at the pulpit and repeat the hateful ideals they were once spoon-fed. This may shock Awes (and others like him), but guess what? Accepting the existence of the LGBT community won’t turn your children gay, nor will it change your own sexuality. It will have no impact upon your life! The Awes of this world want to be as intolerant as possible, and without a shred of self-awareness or irony, complain bitterly when their intolerance is not tolerated.
To be clear, I don’t condone death threats, and death threats have been made against the Stedfast Church (they shared these threats via their YouTube channel). However, by issuing thinly-veiled threats of their own, the Stedfast Church has lost any moral high ground. They are demanding the right to interfere in the lives of others, regardless of whether their presence is wanted. They want to impose their beliefs on everyone else. They don’t care for the damage they’ll do by forcing their extremism on non-believers, the LGBT community, or followers of other faiths. If they are not prepared to care, they cannot expect others to care for them. If they will not tolerate others, they cannot expect tolerance.