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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Anti-LGBTQ hate from the pulpit

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Pastor Roger Jimenez delivers the sermon during a Sunday morning service at Verity Baptist Church on July 28 in Sacramento.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thanks to Pastor Roger Jimenez of Sacramento’s vehemently anti-LGBTQ Verity Baptist Church (“Preaching hate in a blue state capital,” Aug. 11) for reminding us of the unchanging nature of God’s law. Perhaps he can give me some advice on the following issues:

Leviticus 18:22 states that homosexuality is an abomination, but Leviticus 11:10 says eating shellfish is an abomination. My chef friend says eating shellfish is a lesser abomination. Is there an “abomination degree” chart?

Exodus 21:7 says I can sell my daughter into slavery. What might be a fair price, keeping in mind I have a large house payment?

Finally, as the president of my homeowners association, I have a very irritating member who works on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 states he should be put to death. Does this apply to Saturday or Sunday?

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I do need a quick answer on my second question, as someone is interested in purchasing my daughter and my house payment is overdue.

Diana Carey, Westminster

To the editor: It was frightening to read about Christian pastors who are not only preaching hate toward the LGBTQ community, but insinuating that killing gay people would be a good idea. And it is especially horrifying that they do this in front of their congregations with young children present.

In the same day’s paper was an op-ed piece on godlessness and gun violence that quoted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as saying that gun violence in this country can be blamed on our waning belief in God.

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The pastors in this article are sure ardent believers, but it doesn’t sound to me like they are turning away from violence.

Joanna Ryder, Hermosa Beach

To the editor: The article on a radical Baptist minister’s virulent hate-speech sermons in Sacramento illustrates how our Constitution’s religious freedom protections can be abused.

To rain down such vile exhortations of illegal hateful acts on a preacher’s “flock” of ignorant sheep grossly distorts Christ’s message of love and tolerance. It also points up the need for laws clarifying the limits of hate-inducing speech, especially when delivered under the pious cloak of religious freedom.

This calls into question income tax exemptions for preachers who champion, however implicitly, the violation of existing laws. These retrograde examples of religious bigotry have no place in a democracy.

Aaron Mills, Solana Beach

To the editor: As a right-of-center evangelical Christian, I can tell you that the Holy Bible, Jesus and the apostle Paul are against LGBTQ sin, but they are also against heterosexual fornication, which neither this article nor Pastor Jimenez mentioned.

Charles Hewitt, Ontario


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