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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Evangelical Pastor Gary Hamrick Says Christians Shouldn’t Affirm LGBTQ People

gary hamrick

If you really believe the Bible is the basis for your belief system, then you are going to recognize that God calls homosexuality sin.

And if you operate from that standard, from that description, from that definition, then it’s a matter of ‘how do I communicate truth In love?’ 

Being loving is not denying the truth. That’s a very unloving thing. Being loving toward somebody is figuring out a sensitive way to communicate the truth. It’s a very unloving thing to say: ‘Well, I’m just going to affirm them [LGBTQ people] and not really tell them the truth.’ So you’re not doing them any good, and you’re not being honest before the Lord or to yourself.

….

It’s really easy to confront someone, even if you do it in a loving way, about something that the culture and God both agree on” but challenging when “the culture is saying the opposite.

Just the fact that you might hold the belief that homosexuality is wrong, you’re going to be labeled a hater, intolerant, a bigot.

You can’t control that. All you can control is: ‘I want to honor God and I want to always be truthful, and so I’m going to look for a gentle and sincere way to communicate truth when necessary when it comes up. 

….

If somebody is a pathological liar, [and we tell them], ‘Well, that’s OK, everybody lies.’ Why are you saying that?

Or somebody is a gossip, or somebody is in premarital heterosexual sex, [and you say], ‘Well, that’s OK. You know, we all have urges.’ … Why are we compromising the truth for the sake of just appeasing people?

— Gary Hamrick, pastor of Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia, The Christian Post, Megachurch pastor says it’s ‘very unloving’ for Christians to affirm friends’ LGBT lifestyles, June 8, 2022

Hamrick’s intellectually challenged son, Austin, got in on the lovefest, saying:

The phrase: ‘Love is Love’ is not a very stable motto to stand on. I mean, I love a lot of things that are not beneficial for me. My daughter, she’s 4. She loves to run in the middle of the road. And if she just said, ‘Hey, love is love. Why would you infringe on what I love to do?’ Well, it’s because I know that there are harmful consequences to her love for running in the middle of the road.

“You love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Now, to indulge in a lifestyle of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, there might be some harmful consequences to that.” 

[The younger Hamrick said Christians should look to the Bible to find what is truly “good love.”]

God says [about] how we should flourish in our sexuality and in relationships. 

Love is love means you should affirm everything that I want or desire. … It’s not true love. True love is to will the good of another.

Sure sounds like the elder Hamrick dropped his son on his head when he was young.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    As a straight cis woman, I might be insensitive here, and I hope my wonderful fellow blog readers will educate me…but I have to agree, if you really believe that your deity is down on folks who aren’t straight and cis, you probably can’t affirm them.

    You can shut the hell up about it, though. You can recognize that they’ve heard every religious argument against them possible. They’ve all heard that you science-deniers think they’re just “living an evil lifestyle”, “confused”, “mentally disordered”, or whatever the hell your put-down of the week is. They’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it.

    Oh, and you can damn well stop trying to legislate what you don’t like about residents of a free society, into being illegal. Go live in your little religious bubbles, and stay away from the rest of us.

    (And yes, I understand that my rant ignores the young people who don’t happen to be straight and cis, who are born into families with these religious delusions–and sometimes similar delusions that aren’t tightly rooted in religion. It doesn’t require religion to be an asshole, it just helps. And so, yes, those kids deserve support. But dammit, we keep trying to educate assholes, they get their people into government, and we end up with a bunch of assholes on our US Supreme Court and decisions like the ones that went down yesterday and today.)

    Don’t mind me, I’m just flailing about in fury (and making political donations).

  2. Avatar
    Sage

    ‘I want to honor God and I want to always be truthful, and so I’m going to look for a gentle and sincere way to communicate truth when necessary when it comes up.”

    In other words, he knows his views are bigoted, but he describes his bigotry in nice terms to make it palatable and have a less hateful appearance.

    And of course this is the very rationalization used throughout history for religious based hatred, bigotry, and murder.

    Here is a novel idea. Use that “when necessary” clause and leave everyone else alone. It is never necessary to confront and LGBTQ person about your religious belief or your view off their life.

    Seriously, we are fine. Just go separate yourself from the world and let us live our lives in peace.. Sure, you are in the world, but you don’t have to be of the world.

  3. Avatar
    sjl1701

    Guys like these dudes are incapable of empathy or understanding of anything other than a white, cis-gendered male. They are incapable of understanding that human brains and sexuality are actually different. These guys have never questioned being attracted to women, as straight males. They’ve probably never had an honest talk about sexuality that has gone beyond the locker room level talks, probably even with their own wife.

    Conservative Christians continue to think and want to use the government to enforce their own limited views about sexuality. I doubt they will ever grasp that a great deal about human sexuality is genetic. I agree with them that there is not one “gay” gene, sexuality is way more complicated than that. And many other factors contribute to it. Them telling people that you can change your brain on sexuality is ignorant and stupid. It’s why bigotry and hatred will take a long time to deal with.

    Clarence Thomas has now set his sites on other Supreme Court decisions in which the 14th amendment was used. He wants to reverse Griswold, that was about birth control; Lawrence, privacy and sex; and Obergefell, gay marriage. These people want to return to the white male control of the 50’s and back. The battle has just been made harder.

  4. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Others have said things here much more eloquently than I am capable of right now. I am reeling from the SCOTUS decision and do not have the capacity at this moment to be rational. In 1969, I was born into a country that did not deem me to be a 1st class citizen. By 1973 there were several major occurrences that changed that. I grew up thinking I coukd do anything I wanted through education and hatd work. I did it – college, career, family planning, travel….. And today, at 52, 5 Supreme Court Justices have told me that depending on what state I live in, I may be a 2nd class citizen again. Fortunately, I live in a 1st class state. My daughter doesn’t. At 22 in the state of Tennessee with its trigger law, she is a 2nd class citizen. I coukd not be more livid tight now. People like this sh!tty pastor are spreading this bigotry and oppression. They are looking to turn us back to a nation dominated by white males and their willing accomplices like Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett.

  5. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    You low-life lizard, TRUMP… You give not one shit about anybody but yourself, you poison… You think you can tell women they have fewer rights than you, orange puke! Jiust watch what happens now, how you have further split and ruined and brought new war to the land. None of the women I know will ever honor unjust law, will never succumb to the patriarchy again. And I will be marching with them you miserable blight on humanity.
    This Hamrick preacher spreads the God-love on so thick you won’t even notice he is cooking you for supper until its too late. This is love, Hamrick? Then keep it to yourself and don’t ruin more lives than the Christian church already has….

  6. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    The thing that amazes me is that these two guys seem to think that no LGBTQ person in the United States has ever heard that the words of the Bible (read and interpreted from the fundie perspective) disapprove of homosexual activity. Therefore, every fundie Christian needs to be the first one to inform him of it. That is clearly bullshit. Even the youngest ones already know that. The real question is when does fundie witnessing on this matter cease to be simple information, and then it turns into persecution by vain repetition from thousands of people. I suspect most LGBTQ people have already made up their position and mind on the matter. As a result, one or two refusals should be enough—–and anything beyond that—–is just repeated persecution by fundie straights. I very much doubt that a fundie Christian can love his or her neighbor (as Jesus commanded) by hammering him or her with daily verbal persecution and threats. That is not very loving at all.

    But let’s be really honest here. Do these fundies really want to save LGBTQ people—–or just hate them a lot and gain personal satisfaction from making them feel miserable. The fundie perspective on Christianity is actually very much a “me first” and “fuck you” faith perspective. One is supposed to heed the altar call because the “self” is afraid of hell and wants to escape from its fires. This is not about loving Jesus or reconciliation with God. It is all about saving one’s own spiritual skin. It’s actually like:

    “Forget that Jesus guy, emulating him, and following him. I want that fire insurance policy you talked about in the sermon!!!!”

    Any Southern Baptist will tell you that only 15 percent of their church is made up of authentic disciples of Jesus—-and the rest are just pretenders and seekers of various kinds. I used to be a Southern Baptist, and that is what my friends at church used to tell me.

    Instead, the Christian Fundamentalists are actually scared to death of LGBTQ people because they do not understand the true nature of LGBTQ people. They think being LGBTQ is just a “chosen lifestyle,” very much like choosing a cone of strawberry ice-cream over a cone of vanilla. Where does the “scared” come in? They think an LGBTQ person will “recruit” their son or daughter into an LGBTQ “lifestyle.” They are desperate to prevent this scary and wholly imagined outcome. Therefore, the only thing to do is recruit the LGBTQ person into fundie Christianity or kill her like God recommended to the Jews in the Old Testament law. A fundie can easily kill an LGBTQ person by persecuting them day and night (365 days per year—-year in and year out) until that person commits suicide under the weight of the persecution. If a fundie does it that way, he can execute the LGBTQ person according to Old Testament law without going to prison.

    I am just wondering when the fundies are going to finally figure out that they are not Old Testament Jews and they are not part of the Old Testament covenant—–simply because they are not Jews. They and their gentile ancestors were never part of the old covenant and neither are they today. Once again, you do not love people as Jesus said by going out of your way to persecute people and make their lives miserable. You do not love your neighbor by cornering him or her into suicide.

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Bruce Gerencser