This is the first of my series of posts on people who qualify as Godless Sodomites (see that post for a definition). This one is close to home for me, being in my home state.
The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle of Greensburg, Indiana, is now infamous for a video of a 4- or 5-year-old kid singing "Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It to Heaven" during a church service while the congregation claps and cheers. After this hate-filled performance, the church's pastor, Jeff Sangl, praised the boy as well.
Here's a link to the RTV Channel 6 story about it.
Further news stories reveal that the pastor and church members have claimed they're getting death threats, but the County Sheriff, who was dealing with Sangl over church security after the video went viral, before Sangl up and decided to hightail it out of town for a while, says that's news to him. During this entire thing, Sangl never bothered to mention the death threats, even though he was dealing with the Sheriff for the purpose of making sure the church was safe. I'm not going to say that the claims of death threats are lies, but seriously who doesn't mention a little thing like death threats to the nice law enforcement officer who is trying to assure that you and your church members are safe?
Also of note is that this community is not ignorant of the devastation that is caused by this kind of rhetoric. In September of 2010, 15-year-old Billy Lucas committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied at Greensburg High School because he was perceived as being gay. These people know the heartbreak this sort of thing can lead to.
And yet, they're remorselessly sticking to their guns. Here's the statement from the church website:
5/30/12 - The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives. We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.
That's right, folks! Telling an entire segment of the population that they absolutely will not make it into heaven, that they're inherently too sinful to be covered by Christ's sacrifice on the cross, is not at all hateful and is scriptural.
Here's a quote from Dillen Swango, a fellow student of Billy Lucas', following Billy's suicide: "They said stuff like 'You're like a piece of crap' and 'You don't deserve to live.' Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever." I'm sure by the standards of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle, those statements are also scriptural and not hateful.
To Pastor Sangl and members of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle I have this to say: You have committed the sins of Soddom by being prideful and holier-than-thou and have lied by claiming to love God while hating your neighbors. You are Godless Sodomites.
To those who are incensed at this church and pastor, protest by going and donating in the name of this church or its pastor to any of the following organisations:
Indiana LGBT Organisations
National LGBT Organisations
Make these donations, if you can, in the name of
Apostolic Truth Tabernacle
Attn: Pastor Jeff Sangl
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 644, Greensburg, IN 47240
Church Phone: (812) 662-8224
Please, do not call the church and harass them. The number above is provided in case the donation form asks for one. Also, be sure to make a significant donation. One that is too small will not cover the cost of postage!
Be sure to drop the church a line to let them know you donated to a good cause in their name!