If you are fortunate enough to pass through the streets of Harlem, you might notice a pretty jarring sign attached to the ATLAH church and private Christian school. It is not the cross which stands tall above the church, reading “Jesus Is Lord.” It’s not even the sign just beneath that, which holds the title of the church, along with the phrase “The Blood of Jesus.” It would, instead, be the letter board directly beneath. The sign was updated this week to promote the following message:
“When the homos bullied the poor and needy in Sodom like they do in Harlem, Jesus fire and brim-stoned them.” – Ezek 16:48-50 Lev. 20:13 Gen. 19:24
Just to be clear, Harlem is actually not addressed in the bible.
This is only the latest act of homophobia coming from Christian pastor James David Manning. Earlier this month the pastor made news when he claimed that NASA’s Voyager probe proved that “the entire universe rebukes sodomy, it rebukes same-sex marriage, it rebukes man lying with man.”
“There’s nothing in the universe that agrees with same-sex [marriage], there’s nothing in the universe that agrees with the Sodomites,” Manning states. “The Sodomites can’t get a witness from anywhere in the universe except their own perverted testimony, nothing in the universe will agree with them. Everything in the universe says it must be male and female.”
He went on to state that “There is no life that will come out of a rectum.” He accused “sodomites” of “cheering on and praising the rectum… I mean, that’s demonic!” “Any effeminate person will not enter into the Kingdom of God,” he continued, “just for acting like a homo.”
Let’s not forget that Pastor Manning also claimed that Michael Sam may spread pedophilia by marrying a 9-year-old boy. He accused President Barack Obama of being gay, Vladimir Putin of being gay, and stated that the Russian President will out the American President in 100 days. (I guess we should be expecting some really exciting news in another six weeks!?)
But again, as the religious right loves to do, and as I blogged about last week, Manning has also chosen to bring children into the equation. He claimed that children are “under a massive attack by the homosexual lobby, especially within the public school systems,” and encouraged parents to remove their children from public schools to “give them an opportunity of natural sexual maturity.”
“Within the school systems, they are being influenced at a time in which their minds are very tender, and they really know not what to choose, except to go along with peer pressure,” he stated. “They should not be pressured into making a decision to become homosexual.”
Here we go again with the most ignorant, corrupt people on the planet claiming to be looking out for the best interest of our children. I don’t feel that I have to go down the list of why his statements are not only absurd but incredibly false. If he didn’t lose you with his incoherent, baseless interpretation of NASA’s Voyager probe, perhaps he could have lost you with any one of his other equally outrageous statements.
Some people make provocative statements to garner media attention. It is arguable that Pastor Manning is doing just this. But I don’t think so. I think Pastor Manning is one of many who actually believe this radical non-sense. What is even more disconcerting is that this pastor has a following. There are certain parents who are listening to his instructions and taking them to heart.
So, I felt I must counter this with a piece of my own advice (coming straight from the ‘homosexual lobby.’) Don’t expose your children to this garbage. Instead, teach your children to be smart and sane. Teach your children to be tolerant, even of people like this who choose hatred. Encourage your children to question and fact-check what they are taught, even if it comes from an authority figure or a pastor. Finally, teach them that if you have absolutely no understanding of what NASA’s Voyager is, the last thing you should do is compare it to gay sex. Although… (Just kidding).