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Christianity

Good Christian Pastor Orders Congregation to Beat Gay Son

A gay Gibson County couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday.

“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,'” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr. (LINK)

ABC News reports that a Tennessee man was assaulted by a church congregation for trying to attend a service.  The kicker to the story?  The pastor was the man’s father.

Luckily, this is the United States of America, where we just don’t put up with that sort of thing.  Concerned bystanders jumped in to stop the assault.  The police were called and all of the perpetrators were arrested and lectured sternly about their social obligation to tolerate those who are different than them.  Right?

Well… no.  That’s not what happened at all.  In fact, it was pretty much the opposite.

“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

This episode and the dozens — perhaps hundreds — like it over the past couple of years illustrate the bigotry and hatred that is American Christianity today.  Gibson County is a small rural county in western Tennessee.  Like many such counties, it’s mostly populated by White Protestant Christians.  Like any other place in Small Town Bible Belt, USA, it’s not the best place to be… different.  Pastor Jerry Pittman Sr. has managed to foment the mob hatred for queers so common in rural America, and his congregation thought nothing of beating the hell out of his own son.  (Does anyone else catch the parallel?  I wonder if Pastor Jerry sees himself as a personification of God, whose own son was tortured.)

One is forced to wonder what sort of choices Jerry Jr. faced.  Although he’s obviously “come out,” it’s also obvious that his lifestyle is not condoned.  Unfortunately, not going to churchis also not the best choice in such communities.  Presumably, he was trying to attend his father’s church to gain some measure of acceptance.  Clearly, he will find none.  His father hates his son and is confident that God loves him for his hatred.  He’s obeying the Bible, which clearly states:  “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:26-27).

It’s difficult to imagine a force that could create such vitriol over something as banal as two men doing things in private that feel good.  It’s even more difficult to imagine that a “good” deity would approve of beating people for it.  The reality, however, is that Pastor Jerry was soft on his son.  According to the book allegedly written by the most loving creature in the entire universe, Jerry the Younger ought to be dead right now.  Perhaps Pastor Jerry wishes that he could murder his son.  Who’s to know?

As with any such story, there is likely to be a minor flood of protests from the “True Good Christians.”  (You know, the good Christians who DON’T do what the Bible says.)  They will say that the Bible is mistranslated, or that it was just back in the Bronze Age that God approved of stoning homosexuals.  Or that Paul didn’t really mean that homosexuals deserve death.

As with all such protests, I am not impressed.  I have little respect for a god who took two thousand years to inform a tiny fraction of his followers of a major flaw in the doctrine he passed to man through his perfect divine will.  I similarly have little respect for believers who insist that their “enlightened” view of homosexuality absolves them of responsibility for the book they claim to revere above all others on earth — the book which must be cherry picked and reinterpreted to within an inch of its life to illicit even a slight encouragement towards annoyed tolerance of gays.

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Discussion

16 thoughts on “Good Christian Pastor Orders Congregation to Beat Gay Son

  1. You can call this many things, but Christianity is not one of them.

    Posted by Mary | October 7, 2011, 7:35 pm
  2. the thing that really gets me is, I KNOW not all christians are like that. My uncle’s friend (whom I’ve never met) was more accepting of my LGBT status and friendlier, than my own uncle. There are some DAMNED good christians. My counselor at my last college was one, and she is an AMZING person–I still email her.

    Posted by Patrick Farley | October 7, 2011, 8:02 pm
  3. Ah but Hamby… these aren’t True Christians(TM)

    Oh wait…

    Posted by Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life | October 7, 2011, 11:26 pm
  4. Galations 3:28 NIV

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, …male nor female…., for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    I have always stated that Christians have done more damage to Christs message than any Atheist.

    Posted by PG | October 8, 2011, 7:06 pm
  5. I don’t cherry-pick the Bible….I don’t think that much of anything in the Old Testament was meant to be much more than a religious history lesson for those of us who are still following this faith. Just as you get your personal history lesson from your great-aunt Josie at a family reunion doesn’t mean you must also do those crazy things your family did in decades past…..hitchhike across America, go to college in another country to avoid a draft, burn your bra, etc. Those things are facets of your personal familial history that are awesome, sometimes embarassing, sometimes funny, sometimes just amazing (hitchhike across America? Try that now without being hacked up somewhere….apparently people in 1929 were WAAAY more tolerant than they are now O_o).
    This is how I read the Old Testament…you can scan through and say, “WOW, they sure did some crazy shit back then…” and not take it as a rulebook for how you are to live your life in the 21st century. Because that would be INSANE. The “rules” I take from the Bible are Jesus’ teachings, and he was a man who dined with lepers, prostitutes, thieves, and criminals. He taught unconditional love, peace, and acceptance, and letting people know that although they have sinned, they are still loved and valued. Does that sound like something Pat Robertson, or any of the far-right whacky jackies, spews out? Hardly. They simply aren’t following the teachings of Christ, so I find it hard to discern how they feel jusitified in calling themselves “CHRISTians”….because to me, they aren’t. They are using an ancient historical text to justify bigotry, hatred, and even violence…..just as they did to justify slavery, racism, sexism, etc.

    Since I’ve become a gay rights activist, I’ve lost respect for many older “Christians” in the community in which I grew up, because the backlash I got from these hypocritical bigots was AMAZING…and I mean amazing in a bad way. Some people surprised me in a good way….a Baptist minister who’s a friend of the family saying he supports the repeal of DADT, big thumbs up! Can’t imagine how much he had to click the “custom” button under that comment to make sure certain people didn’t see it. But overall, the response has been pretty negative….you see, I grew up in a tiny, rural town in South Carolina, and I’m the kid of a preacher. O_o. I’ve been told people are “disappointed”, and that I’m “being prayed for” (oooh, goody, we could ALL use a little prayer, eh? Well, that was my response to this woman, anyway, and that I’d be praying for her to find acceptance…LOL). One of these women has a daughter my age who is white and married to a black man with 2 mixed children…..WHOA, forty years ago, she would be a TOTAL social outcast!!! So this hypocritical grandma is cool with her daughter doing something that would have sparked a huge controversy years ago, but hates the gays? *Puke*. Sorry, non sequiturs make me gag.

    I’ve found when you go through life wasting your energy hating others, it’s because you have some fundamental issue with yourself, but to use the mask of religion to justify funneling that hatred towards other humans (ALSO CREATED BY GOD, AND GOD CREATED ‘EM GAY) is totally and completely unacceptable. This is why I don’t go to church unless I feel that they also follow CHRIST’S teachings and not some bigoted rant written by Paul and claimed to be the “Word of God”…I’d rather trust the words of Christ Himself and leave it there. And you know what Christ said about homosexuality, right? “__.” Right. A lot of nothing. Some Christians have had the audacity to say to me, “Oh, that’s because he “didn’t get around to it” (one 30 yr old Baptist minister’s wife said this), “didn’t have time before he died for our sins” (a youth minister….who presumed that since Christ was dying for people’s sins, He could afford to leave one major sin out for which He was being tortured and killed…right?), etc. Don’t honor someone as the Son of God but then attempt to create major flaws in His teachings…..like forgetting to mention homosexuality as a sin? Because it’s not….and Christ railed against the Mosaic law enough and to focus more on being GOOD PEOPLE than following some extensive and insane set of laws that were more about ritual than personal edification.

    OK, OK, that’s my rant for this morning. For the article, am I suprised by the congregation OR the police’s response? No. It’s sad but true. We are decades away from realizing true equality.

    Posted by Melissa Richard | October 16, 2011, 9:30 am
  6. You don’t cherry pick it? You just choose to believe that you’re not supposed to take lots of it seriously? Melissa… that’s cherry picking.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | October 18, 2011, 5:43 pm
  7. I follow the teachings of Christ. I think the rest, mostly Old Testament, is a good history lesson, not so much a guidebook for how exactly to live. if you want to call that cherry-picking, fine. I call it being a CHRISTian, not a literalist.

    ~m

    Posted by Melissa Richard | October 18, 2011, 5:53 pm
  8. And you know what Christ said about homosexuality, right? “__.” Right. A lot of nothing.

    Well, Jesus didn’t explicitly say anything about incest or bestiality, either. Does that therefore mean Jesus approves of such behavior? Did God “CREATE ‘EM BESTIAL AND/OR INCESTUOUS”, to use your rhetoric??

    Posted by CB | October 19, 2011, 9:55 am
  9. …and Christ railed against the Mosaic law…

    From Jesus:

    “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

    John 5:46-47

    Doesn’t sound like “railing against” to me…

    Posted by CB | October 19, 2011, 10:00 am
  10. Christians, and I use this term loosely, who use the literal approach to the Bible, really don’t know how to read the Bible as it was meant to be read.

    Those of us who have been educated in the scripture realize that there are TWO creation stories in Genesis (1 and then 2.4 (the seven days and the Adam and Eve story)) and not just one. And those of use who have read the four gospels realize that in each gospel the last words of Jesus spoke are not the same (does that mean three are wrong since you really can’t have 4 sentences spoken as the last words.)

    Those of us who have been educated and can read the Bible know that at Christmas most conservative Christians have the Wisemen and the Shepherds at the manger at the same time, yet that is not biblically WRONG. The first story is about Magi (and there weren’t three either) is found in Matthew and the Shepherds story is found in Luke. Plus, they don’t even take place in the same setting, let alone the fact that Jesus was at a home and not a stable when the Magi arrive. Remember they didn’t have texting or cellphones so it took about a year to get the Magi there!

    If the bible is literally the words of God, who used the heavenly typewriter to type them? If the Bible were to be lived by its every word, then we’d still have slaves. The Bible is the Word of God because it tells the story of Jesus, it tells the Good News, it tells the stories of the faithful people of history.

    As a Pastor of a Lutheran Congregation, I am appalled at the use of some using their Christianity to harm others. I really hope these two guys sue the church, the police and the individuals responsible for this. And I for one, would help contribute to their legal expenses!

    The God that those fundamentalists believe in, is not the God of the Word of God, the Bible. And it is NOT the God, in whom I believe.

    Posted by Pastor Steve | October 28, 2011, 8:46 pm
  11. moses spoke against homosexuality,beastiality incest,,,Jesus said the pharisees sit n moses seat,do what ever they say,dont do what the pharisees do.pharisees r preaching moses,n moses seat,against homosexuality beastiality incest,mathew ch17,GOD spoke from sky,v5,to eyewitnesses v1,Jesus is Gods son,listen to Jesus,recorded 12 times n new testament,not a theory,BUT GODS sacred history,Jesus spoke against sodom gommorah.Jesus mentioned adam eve marriage n GODS sight,not man man,woman woman.the BIBLE never teaches tolerate sin,scripture teaches love righteousness,hate sin,never tolerance of sin.so GOD made gays,murderers liars,all sinners,GOD made thiefs,traitors,rapists,adulterors,cheaters,proud people,mean people,back biters,fools that r commanded to b wise n scripture,,,this preachers son,said Jesus railed against the law,mathew ch15,traditions of men,make the words of GOD to no effect n your life.Jesus ,heaven earth shall pass away,not 1 jot tittle shall pass from the law,preachers kid,that cant read.paul,says the law is nailed to the cross,if you follow Jesus,if you dont deny yourself,the curse of the law is on you.you hate the church,speak against the BODY of christ,the church,slander it,call yourself a christian,you are not a preachers kid,that loved church,or BIBLE study,you disrespect your dad,honor your mother father,you will have long life,ephesians ch6,,u publickly dishonor your dad,your church,the BIBLE to promote your lust,probably a porn freak druggie,like most gays,my family has gays.you sound like a soldier fighting the BIBLE your dad,,,not a soldier of christ fighting sin.your a hater of GODS ways,,repent

    Posted by William Yates | November 2, 2011, 3:09 am
  12. Please send reading glasses to Fruitland, TN so they can read Acts 8:27 : an angel of the Lord directs a disciple to find the Treasurer of the Queen-regent of Nubia (aka Ethiopia in Greek) – a natural born eunuch – that he be the first non-Jew to be given the word, and became a believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also Matthew 19:12 – Jesus states that those among us who are born eunuchs in their mother’s womb (natural born, physically intact) are not destined for marriage with the opposite gender (their affinity is for their own gender). Amen

    Posted by Donald Pretzer | January 26, 2012, 9:15 am
  13. @ Donald Pretzer,
    Instead of the misquoted verses you used, please use the actual verses:

    Acts 8:27

    So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, (NIV)

    And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, (KJV)

    And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship; (ASV)

    Matthew 19:12

    For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (NIV)

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (KJV)

    For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (ASV)

    Next, what was and is a Eunuch? Wikipidia has a good explination of the use of Eunuch in the Bible, this statement says Old Testament, but the explanation here holds true for the New Testament as well, so I will use that:

    “There is some confusion regarding eunuchs in Old Testament passages, since the Hebrew word for eunuch, saris (סריס), could also refer to other servants and officials who had not been castrated but served in similar capacities. The Egyptian royal servant Potiphar is described as a saris in Genesis 39:1 , although he was married and hence unlikely to have been a eunuch. The prophet Nehemiah may have been a eunuch.”

    And for reference:

    Genesis 39:1

    Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s. officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. (NIV)

    As stated above the Hebrew word used to describe Potiphar is indeed a saris of Pharaoh, and we know he had a wife that lusted after Joseph.

    So basically a Eunuch is someone who cannot procreate (ie birth defect, castrated) or will not procreate (ie oath, pledge), not has an affinity for their own gender. Also for further clarification, the referenced passage in Acts the man was a high up official in Ethiopia who wanted to learn the Word of the Lord and get baptized. The referenced passage in Mathew is apart of Jesus’s teaching on Marriage and Divorce, nether verses have anything to do with homosexuality, so Donald was using misquoted and misinterpated verses out of context.

    If those verses were not misquoted, Donald, please show me what translation you used.

    Posted by Chris | August 7, 2012, 4:11 pm
  14. the bible is just an excuse for bigots and scum to be what they are. They use a book they can find reasons to hate from. The horrors committed in the name of gods are despicable and so is anyone who would condone these acts. Pure scum.

    Posted by Wirehedd (@Wirehedd) | September 11, 2012, 8:56 pm
  15. Okay, you realize you are contradicting yourself with reckless abandon, right? You really think it is a bad idea to interpret 2,000 year old texts and put in context the culture of the day and the possibility that not everything in the New Testament is 100% accurate.

    You have lots of intolerance of intolerance. That’s good. But they you fail to see your own intolerance.

    Posted by Ron Miller | September 13, 2012, 12:58 pm

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