In light of this week’s news of a North Carolina pastor calling for people who are gay or lesbian to be rounded up and fenced in – concentration-camp-like – along with other toxic anti-gay statements attributed to some pastors during the recent Amendment One campaign, the NC Council of Churches is reiterating a critical point.
We reaffirm our belief that all people are created in the image of God and are equally loved by God. As the Council said 20 years ago, we reject “the fear, prejudice and hatred that foster societal and religious attitudes which either encourage, condone, or ignore violence and discrimination against gay men and lesbians.” Read the full statement here.
This pastor’s words were stunning and horrifying, evoking an historic tragedy rooted in intolerance. He looks forward to the day when his rounding-up-and-fencing-in operation will mean that there will no longer be any people who are gay or lesbian. There are those still alive today who have lived through a time when isolation and extermination were used in an effort to rid the planet of minorities that were hated in some circles. Given the sacrifices of those who fought long and hard to defeat that movement and the inhumanity others endured during that time, it is unimaginable that these ideas are still with us.
We are grateful that these few visible, vitriolic pastors do not represent all people of faith in North Carolina or even all people of faith who supported Amendment One. And we call on those who agree with us – regardless of position on Amendment One – to repudiate the toxic statements of hatred by signing onto the statement below.