Menu Close

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: IFB Pastor Jonathan Shelley Calls for the Execution of LGBTQ People

jonathan shelley

Yesterday, I posted the following comment by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher Dillion Awes:

Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with the crime, the abomination of homosexuality, that they have. They should be convicted in a lawful trial. They should be sentenced with death.

They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head! That’s what God teaches. That’s what the Bible says. You don’t like it? You don’t like God’s Word, because that is what God says.

Awes made this hateful, violent statement in a sermon preached last Sunday at Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Stedfast is pastored by Jonathan Shelley, a one-time friend and disciple of Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. (Please see Understanding Steven Anderson, Pastor Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona.)

It should come as no surprise that Awes said what he did. While Awes, Shelley, and Anderson are proudly willing to let their homophobia hang out for all to see, scores of other IFB preachers, unwilling to say such vile things in public, believe as they do.

Awes is a product of the IFB church movement and the “ministry” of Jonathan Shelley.

Just last week, Shelley said:

According to God we should hate Pride, not celebrate it. God has already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment.”

Last year, Shelley stated:

The Bible says that they’re [LGBTQ people] worthy of death! They say, ‘Are you sad when fags die?’ No. I think it’s great! I hope they all die! I would love it if every fag would die right now.

Sick fucks, the lot of them. Dangerous too. Imagine if such people gained the power of the state?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.


  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Not to nit-pick, but the Bible (Leviticus) doesn’t say we should be shot in the back of the head. It says we should be stoned.

    Seriously, though, I worry about such people getting power. They already constitute a significant part of the Republican Party.

  2. Avatar

    So there were guns in the Bible? I don’t remember that.

    These are definitely hate preachers. I wonder what liberal Christians think about these hateful, bigoted folks who sit under the same Christian umbrella.

  3. Avatar

    Unless, of course, the offender is an Evangelical preacher caught with his pants down with an underage member of the congregation. Then, all is forgiven and hidden.
    As we say in Colorado, sinners should be stoned. That is why God gave us pot. : )

    • Avatar
      MJ Lisbeth

      Missi—In an alternative universe, the author of Leviticus—or its translations—winked while writing stoned.

      Actually, in an alternative universe, the author of Leviticus would be Bob Dylan: “Everybody must get stoned!”

  4. Avatar

    There’s very little difference between this Christianist and a radical Islamist. They even have a very similar look.

  5. Avatar

    Revival Fries- How the hell did you get in??

    So, since all of us who read this blog are going to hell, does that mean you are too??? Or do you get the free pass? Did you buy a slurpee at 7-11 and win the free pass to heaven? Good thing I don’t like slurpees. Who would want to spend eternity in a place filled with people just like you??

    No thanks!

    Fucking idiot.

  6. Avatar

    I do not want society to become anti-Christian, but I am all for being against THIS kind of Christianity, for sure. I think some versions of Christianity are mostly harmless. Those are definitely not this kind, especially if it gets political power. I have been a fundamentalist Christian for most of my life, but in the last few years I have often been what I would call an agnostic theist, and nightmare fuel like this is part of the reason why. I cannot see this version of Christianity as anything other than evil, toxic, and despicable. I cannot imagine the USA being led and controlled by these kinds of people. Theocracy would an evil for almost everyone under its umbrella.

  7. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Byroniac—Great point about political power. Most people who want to turn this or any other country into a “Kingdom of God” don’t realize how easily they could become victims of it—at the hands of the very sorts of people with whom they ally themselves.

    For example, two people can agree that Leviticus 20:9 indeed calls for the death penalty (by stoning) of children who disobey their parents. But if one of those people is in a position to condemn someone to death and finds out that the other went against his parents’ wishes in becoming such a Bible literalist, is that person guilty of disobeying his parents? Or is such rebellion acceptable if it’s in the name of Mosaic law—or, at least, whoever is interpreting and administering it?

    All theocracies become embodiments of the caprices of whoever is in charge of leading a country in the name of God, Yahweh, Allah or whomever.

  8. Avatar
    Wesley Sandel

    If I recall correctly in Leviticus god refers to the act of wearing clothing made of mixed fibers and growing more than one type of plant – e.g. corn and squash – in a field exactly as abhorrent as homosexuality.

  9. Avatar
    Richard Yinger

    Supposedly it was said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” They have made the same mistake as the followers of Moses. They mistake an idol for God, they worship a book! Christians must pray for Him to guide them from their darkness and if a few skeptics give a shout the Big Guy hears you too . Couldn’t hurt.

    • Avatar

      Actually, it can hurt, and hurt quite seriously. I have suffered enough, thanks to Christianity and it’s alleged god. No need to try again. Especially with dangerous people like this preacher spewing hate.

      If you are a Christian and want to really make a difference, then gather your like minded friends and start a campaign to stop these Christians who hate and call for death. Shut down his services, shut down his church, hold him and others like him accountable.

      Coming here and saying. “Not all Christian’s…” is pointless. I know it is easier than actually doing something that makes a difference. The reality is that only Christian’s can stop the hateful Christians and end their campaign of hate.

      If you don’t like what they say or do, but do nothing about it, then you are complicit with their hate. They won’t listen to me, after all, I am an abomination. Christians need to clean up their own mess if they want us to see them as anything else but hateful. As it stands now I do not trust people who call themselves Christians.

      And no, praying doesn’t help because your god is not fixing this problem. Apparently god is waiting for his followers to fix this issue of hate in the church. But very few Christians care to make that stand.

      But please, go on uselessly praying, ignorantly forgiving, pretending this is no big deal, and just a matter of false idols. While you do that, I will continue, each morning, to look in the mirror each morning to make sure my appearance is ok and consider if I should change anything, so I don’t attract unwanted and potentially dangerous attention.

      • Avatar
        MJ Lisbeth

        Sage–Great point. Christians won’t listen to us because we’re abominations, according to the book they probably haven’t read. I take that as a “given,” so I’m less distrurbed by them than by the people who tell us we should give Christianity (their version, of course) another try. That’s like telling victims of sexual or any other kind of violence to patch things up with their victimizers.

        I think one reason why many Christians won’t challenge their fellow Christians is that, as people like Bruce have discovered, it can mean losing friends and relationships with family members and even business and professional colleagues. Just as it’s a lot easier to live without having to check your appearance to make sure you won’t attract attention from the wrong people, existence in most American communities is easier–and safer–if one follows that community’s version of Christianity.

        There’s a word for “going along to get along.” It’s complicity.

      • Avatar
        Richard Yinger

        It is a book, in fact usually the cheapest copy possible. To worship it is to worship an idol. Dude that last sentence hit me like a brick! That level of anxiety is causing you way more harm than any Christian prayer. Also. Christians did not invent prayer and have no monopoly on it’s use. I speak to the Creator of the infinite universe and all of it’s mysteries. Truth be told I find the God of the bible to be weak and self-absorbed but I’ve only read English versions.

  10. Avatar
    S D Bailess

    I’m interested to know if these pastors allow their wives to come to church while they are on their periods…or within the first few weeks of giving birth… you know, that’s in Leviticus too! And that wife had better not put bacon or ham on the table for Sunday breakfast or lunch… because that’s in Leviticus too! These people make me sick… did they skip the part of the New Testament about not being under the law but under grace. Men like this are one of the key reasons other Christians are suspect. Not all of us are like this… I swear.

    • Avatar

      I believe you, S.D. – in my experience, virtually all of the Christians I have known are nice people who try their best for themselves, their families and their communities.

      You do raise an interesting point about the bacon or ham – when a mob of churchgoers descends on some hapless family restaurant after Sunday service, what are the odds that their food orders are Leviticus-approved? 😀

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Discover more from The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Bruce Gerencser