Homophobic pastor says LGBT+ people should be killed: ‘As much as God loves, God hates’

Cleric, who is also a police officer, says gay people should be rounded up and put to death

Jane Dalton
Friday 14 June 2019 14:28 BST
Grayson Fritts defends himself when quizzed by reporters
Grayson Fritts defends himself when quizzed by reporters (Knoxville News Sentinel / YouTube)

An American pastor who is also a police officer has prompted uproar by saying LGBT people should be put to death.

Grayson Fritts told a congregation that he upheld the Bible’s principles, and called other Baptist preachers “weak and spineless” for not doing the same.

The detective ended his sermon at his church in Knoxville, Tennessee, by saying: “Put homos to death.”

Mr Fritts, who is retiring early from Knox County police, has delivered weekly sermons as pastor at All Scripture Baptist Church for about two years.

WVLT reported how his latest sermon was filled with hatred for gays and derogatory language.

According to the channel, Mr Fritts said: “Here’s how it should work: it shouldn’t work when we go out and we enforce the laws, because the Bible says the powers that be are ordained of God and God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT freaks and arrest them.

“Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted then they are to be put to death... do you understand that? It’s a capital crime to be carried out by our government.”

He added: “Just as much as God loves, God hates.”

Mr Fritts said he never called on people to commit violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Understand one of the laws of the US should be to put homos to death,” prompting an “Amen” and nods of agreement from the congregation.

In response to the sermon, the district attorney general announced a review of all cases involving the officer as a witness in case of bias.

Charme Allen said: “I find this speech personally offensive and reprehensible.

“When any potential witness in a criminal proceeding expresses an opinion of hatred and/or bias towards a class of citizens, I am ethically bound to explore that witness’ credibility.”

Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs called the comments “extremely vile and reprehensible” and strongly condemned threats of or calls for violence.

Someone left a note outside the church saying: “Dear Pastor Fritts, I don’t know what happened to you, but I am so sorry. Love, Thy Neighbor.”

The church’s website says: “We believe that sodomy (homosexuality) is a sin that is against nature.”

Mr Fritts later defended himself, saying: “I preach what the Bible says, and what the Bible says is not popular.”

Tom Spangler, Knox County Sheriff, said he would ensure equal protection to all citizens without discrimination.

He said that two weeks before the sermon, Mr Fritts had asked for early retirement and was now on paid sick leave, WVLT reported.

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