SACRAMENTO — Sunday, a few short hours after dozens were gunned down at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, Pastor Roger Jimenez delivered his sermon from his Sacramento pulpit.
“Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? No … I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida’s a little safer tonight,” he said to the crowd of believers in front of him.
A link on his church’s Facebook page, Verity Baptist Church, directed viewers to the sermon on YouTube.
“It is unnatural for a man to be attracted to another man,” he said as he preached for more than an hour.
“The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die,” he said.
For members of Sacramento’s LGBTQ community, religious freedom is sacred, but leaders feel a vile line has been crossed.
“We as the gay community support you should be able to worship as you see fit, but it’s when you use the pulpit to incite violence or demean or discredit another class of people, just utter disgust,” said Donald Bentz, executive director of Sacramento’s LGBTQ Community Center.
FOX40 reached out to Jimenez at his church, by phone and at his home Monday to no avail.
A congregant who lives just a few doors down from him said she fully supported her pastor, but wouldn’t comment on camera about his message.
Throughout the sermon, Pastor Jimenez cited passages in the Bible from Judges 19:22, Genesis 4:1 and Romans 1:27 to back up his points.
Bentz countered that with a critique of the translation process.
“Most of those texts were originally written into Hebrew, translated into Greek, translated into Latin, translated into old English, new English and then back to English and every author that did the translations subjected them to the social mores of their time,” he said.
And while Pastor Jimenez has told the faithful of his flock that Orlando is now safer without what he calls the 50 predators eliminated by a terrorist’s gun, others believe the danger level in Sacramento has now increased.
“To know that this man’s church is within driving distance of my home and where I work and where I’m walking at night, and his congregation members are out on the street, it’s very scary,” said Bentz.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson took to Twitter to express his feelings:
The hateful comments made by a preacher in Sacramento do not reflect Christian values and have no place in our society. #standwithorlando
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) June 14, 2016