Hateful sermon is not Sacramento
Re “Preacher stirs outrage by praising massacre” (Local, June 15): Every morning I scan through articles from a highlight reel of news links my mom sends me. This morning that included a link to the story of Pastor Roger Jimenez’s despicable praise for the tragedy in Orlando as carrying out God’s will for gay people to die.
As I scanned the article, I wondered why The Sacramento Bee was reporting from some backwater hole in Alabama or Kentucky, only to ultimately learn that the story originated right here in my own backyard. Sadness and rage welled within me at the thought of this man’s hate-filled and violent rhetoric representing the great community of Sacramento. Clearly, we still have far to travel.
To the LGBTQ community, please know we support you and will do what it takes to foster a community of tolerance and respect where you feel safe and at home. You are Sacramento; Jimenez is not.
Alexandra Latta, Davis
Message directly from the devil
Roger Jimenez’s call to bigotry recalls Shakespeare’s note that the devil can quote scripture to his own purpose. Indeed, his justifications for large-scale murder remind us that some people have always managed to pervert images of God to counsel hate. Perhaps we need a wider message: no matter what deity is being mischaracterized, the message that we should kill or mistreat people doing us no harm comes directly from the devil.
John Gamber, Davis
Verity is a hate crime laboratory
Re “Rally condemns anti-gay sermon as hate speech” (Local, June 16): I applaud the noble efforts of those who protested the vile hate speech from (alleged) Pastor Roger Jimenez, who preached from the pulpit of Verity Baptist Church his support for the mass murder of gays at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
As Donald Trump advocates aggressive measures against Muslim Americans, I eagerly await the GOP support for similar monitoring and measures against non-Muslim faith leaders and their followers when they pose a risk to other Americans. Imagine the outcry if a Sacramento imam had made similar comments to his followers at a local mosque.
Anytime a “faith leader” condones the killing of other Americans for not conforming to their religious beliefs, and uses their religious authority to sanction such views among their followers, whether they be Muslim or (allegedly) Christian, they are a hate crime laboratory masquerading as a tax-exempt house of worship.
Steve Soto, Sacramento
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