The damage this sermon caused over the years is unmeasurable; it can’t be known, only speculated. I’d love to be able to dig up police reports from that town in the days after that sermon. Besides any attacks that could have been provoked by the “godly” words of a sociopathic Man of God™, that attitude gets passed down to children with their parents at that sermon. What if a parent in that congregation had a kid who was gay, and they believed they had a christian duty to put their kid through a lifetime of hell?
Or, a kid sitting in that sermon who decides it’s then OK to physically harm and even kill other human beings they deem inferior, as long as they invoke the god. Or the kid who took it to heart and ended up abusing drugs or committing suicide, because this vile man made them believe that they were human garbage. Words, especially from someone in a leadership position, have tremendous weight. And these people need to be exposed, it needs to be called out for the dangerous rhetoric that it is.
“We need to stop burning flags and start burning FAGS! We need Hunt-A-Homo Week. We need to take ’em all out and shoot ’em with a scatter shotgun.” – Pastor Jeff Owens.
Well, I can’t get the Vimeo embed code to work … see it at Joe.My.God. — well, it looks like Vimeo pulled it not long after it was posted. It had previously been pulled from YouTube as well.
UPDATE: From Advocate.com article … Owens’ son had a little problem with diddling little girls? See, these fuckers need to take care of their own goddamned lives and families before they go around spouting the shit they do. Like Mike Huckabee’s son who does sick things to puppies, and Bristol Palin’s l’il sister [allegedly] involved in vandalizing a home.
And, I don’t give a goddamn about the following apology … this man (a) was not that damn young when he made this sermon, that’s no fucking excuse, (b) he’s sorry his ass went viral on the intertubes, (c) fuck apologizing to his (g)0d, the mother fucker better apologize to the real, living human beings whose lives were negatively impacted by his inexcusable shit.
Owens responded to the video in a statement: “Nearly 15 years ago I preached a sermon that promoted physically hurting gay people. I was young, stupid and immature. I didn’t even hold to the belief of hurting people when I wrongly made those comments. I regret those words and have asked God to forgive me for them. I am not a believer in the gay life-style but I was profoundly wrong in making any comments about hurting people. If I could retract those words I certainly would.”
The Stranger‘s Dan Savage dug up more information on Owens, including the news that his son pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault in 2008. Jeremiah Owens was convicted of having sexual relations with two girls, age 13 and 15 — he met the 13-year-old at his father’s church.