Roger Jimenez, a controversial California pastor who preached a fiery sermon praising the murder of 49 people in the mass shooting at an Orlando gay night club, is refusing to back down from his statements, KTRK (Houston) is reporting.
Early in the morning this past Sunday, a man, later identified as Omar Mateen, opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, a popular gay hot spot in the city. In what would later become the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Mateen killed 49 people and injured 50 before being killed himself.
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) June 14, 2016
As the world mourned the tragedy, Pastor Roger Jimenez, of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, took a different view. Preaching from the pulpit that Sunday morning, Jimenez said that the victims of the shooting “deserved what they got,” according to KXTV (Sacramento).
“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job – because these people are predators. They are abusers.”
Jimenez then put up the video of his sermon on YouTube, after which it quickly went viral.
You can watch the video of Jimenez’ sermon below, but be warned: This video contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
Jimenez’ remarks created a firestorm of criticism, including from the mayor of Sacramento himself, Kevin Johnson, who said the “hateful comments do not reflect Christian values and have no place in the 21st century.”
Meanwhile, a protest is planned for Wednesday night outside of Verity Baptist Church, when Jimenez is scheduled to give his next sermon.
Jimenez is refusing to back down from his remarks. Speaking to reporters from KCRA (Sacramento), Jimenez said he doesn’t regret “a single word.”
“I don’t regret anything that I said, and I don’t take back anything that I said. This is not something that we as Christians need to be mourning.”
Jimenez, who started his church in his living room five years ago and now draws over 200 worshipers every Sunday, also indicated that he believes he’s being persecuted and/or censored for being called out on his remarks.
“The government and the media is going to be using this event to push their agenda, which is to take away gun rights, which is to limit freedom of speech. Because in America, you’re no longer allowed to have an opinion. In America, you’re no longer allowed to say anything that doesn’t follow what mainstream media tells you what you’re allowed to say, or else, you know, they’re going to try to take your sermon off YouTube, or they’re going to try to take down your website.”
In fact, Roger Jimenez is not the only Christian preacher to make controversial remarks about the events in Orlando. Pat Robertson of The 700 Club suggested that a “gay alliance with ISIS” created the Orlando massacre, according to the Advocate.
Similarly, Pastor Steve Anderson, of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Phoenix, celebrated the massacre, according to Patheos, saying that “homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts.”
“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?”
Do you believe that Pastor Roger Jimenez is right to stand by his comments about the Orlando massacre?
[Image via Billion Photos/Shutterstock]