A gay rights-supporting church in Georgia was targeted with vandalism. The message, spray-painted clearly across the front of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer, reads, “Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies,” reports the Augusta Chronicle.
The church’s pastor, Rev. Rick Sosbe, is a gay man himself and was one half of the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Richmond County after the U.S. Supreme Court gave same-sex marriage the go-ahead in all 50 states last month.
In comments to the Chronicle, Sosbe had this to say.
“I was angry. I was very sad and I thought, ‘Just why?’ To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn — in other words saying ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ I’m sure — and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity — right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity — has come to?”
Furthermore, this wasn’t the only act of vandalism committed against Sosbe’s congregation. Three weeks prior to this incident, someone stole the rainbow flag they had placed outside the church in honor of the landmark court ruling.
Sosbe seemed certain the rise of gay voices in the media and the decision itself were the driving factors behind the two acts.
“We’ve occupied this building for 12 years, and this is the first (time) something’s happened,” he said.
The verse used in the vandalism of this gay rights-supporting church — Leviticus 18:22 — calls for Hebrew men of the time to not “have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”
The verse places the act between condemnations of child sacrifice (Verse 21) and bestiality (Verse 23).
Since much of Christian Protestant faith is sourced directly from the Bible, and Georgia is an area of heavy Protestantism, it’s understandable why Sosbe would attribute this act of vandalism to such faiths, though it’s also fair to note that police have not uncovered any further identification of those responsible and the church did not have security cameras to directly implicate anyone.
Sosbe is considering adding security cameras, though, to guard against future incidents, notes WSAV.
This last point offered a thread that some against Sosbe’s church found to be “convenient.” One commenter raised the possibility it was a hoax.
“Too often these things turn out to be hoaxes perpetrated by the victims because it earns them exposure and donations.”
A second commenter agreed with this possibility.
“Interesting how Sosbe immediately makes this assumption: ‘Is that what Christianity — right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity — has come to?’ he said. Sounds like he has an ax to grind. Shame on him for casting stones, when he has no idea where to caste them… or does he?… All of this sounds fishy to me.”
Do you think the vandalism used on this pro-gay rights church was from a hate group or self-inflicted? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Augusta Chronicle, linked above]