The scene outside Victory Baptist in Sacramento last night
The Sacramento Kings basketball team has unveiled its new purple jerseys, featuring the logo “Sacramento Proud.” Today, however, I am not proud to be a Sacramentan.
Right on our doorstep, the minister of a purportedly Christian church delivered a mean-spirited, hate-filled sermon on Sunday, in which he insisted that we should not be “sad or upset” about the mass murder at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. In his depraved mind, this horror was very much in line with Old and New Testament verses that prescribe the death penalty for homosexuals. When the Sacramento Bee interviewed Verity Baptist Church Pastor Roger Jimenez at home, he confirmed his pulpit remarks stating “all I’m saying is that when people die who deserve to die, it’s not a tragedy.” He cited passages in Leviticus and Romans to back up his claims.
I looked up the address of the church on our way home from work this evening so that we could drive by. (I was horrified to discover that some miscreant who apparently believes that two eir wrongs make a right had changed the Google label to read “Verity Satan Church.”) It was located in a boring, cookie-cutter industrial park, where we saw close to 100 protesters demonstrating in front of the church with rainbow and American flags. News crews and sheriff’s deputies were on the scene. While I do hope that the church’s service was not disrupted this evening, I was pleased to see that more than a few local residents took time out of their busy schedules to register their disapproval in a public manner.
While I remain incredulous that anyone characterizing himself as a man of God could suggest that we not mourn the loss of our fellow man, I am heartened by the fact that his warped dogma is a very minority view. I simply cannot allow myself to believe that many others surreptitiously subscribe to this brand of hate. I always thought that God = Love. God approving of murder? That’s certainly not my idea of religion.