A US pastor has given an impassioned speech in which he accused critics of the US decision on gay marriage of being hypocritical.
Pastor E. Dewey Smith, of Georgia, made the comments in a sermon that was recorded and uploaded to YouTube last week. It has since been viewed more than 200,000 times.
Pastor Smith criticized those who “demonise and dehumanise” gay artists while also enjoying their work.
“We don’t say nothing about the gay choir director, because he’s good for business,” he said.
“As long as the choir sound good, I ain’t saying nothing about his sexuality.”
“We have done what the slave master did to us,” he said. “Dehumanise us, degrade us, demonise us, but then use them for our advantage.”
He said people who cited Leviticus in their opposition to homosexuality were selective in their interpretations of the Bible.
“You quote Leviticus while you’re wearing a wool-blend suit. It’s also in Leviticus that you shouldn’t wear mixed linens. It’s in Leviticus that is your wife is on her [menstural] cycle, you shouldn’t go in the same house with her or even sleep on the same bed with her.
“Here’s my point. We pick and choose the scriptures that we want to use to beat folk up with, rather than look at our own lives.”
“Look at your neighbour and tell your neighbour, ‘I don’t condemn you. I don’t judge you. I will preach Christ to you,'” he said. “You can’t evangelise and antagonise at the same time.”
The US Supreme Court ruled last month that the Constitution provided same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement.
The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law meant that states could not ban same-sex marriages. With the landmark ruling, gay marriage became legal in all 50 states.
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A number of viewers – many self-declared atheists – of the video praised the sentiments.
“I’m not religious, but if all religious people were like this guy, there would be 3/4 less problems in this world today,” wrote YouTube user16Ajan.
However, not all agreed with the pastor’s remarks.
“When atheists, non believers and people who hate God are applauding a sermon instead of realizing their need for Christ and repentance, then something is very wrong,” John Creasy replied.
“The very fact that this man cannot differentiate the civil, ceremonial, and moral Mosaic law is enough proof that this man should not be leading a church. This man also must be very ignorant of the fact that homosexuals are trying to legitimize their sin in Christian churches.”