As empty as “thoughts and prayers” may be after the Orlando shooting that claimed 49 lives inside a gay nightclub, it’s certainly better than the alternative. Nearly a dozen ministers, politicians, and service members have lined up to either protest support for victims, condone the massacre, and even pray for more victims — all because LGBT people were targeted. Here’s what these hatemongers are saying:
Steven Anderson, Arizona
“The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death in Leviticus 20:13,” longtime Tempe, Ariz., hate pastor Steven Anderson said in a video, now removed by YouTube for violating rules against hate speech. “Obviously, it’s not right for someone to just shoot up the place because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels as in, they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed. … That’s what the Bible says. Plain and simple.”
Anderson added that “the bad news” was “that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive so they’re going to continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle.”
Anderson also said the victims were going to die of AIDS anyway and added of the 50 dead, “At least they’re off the streets. I’m just trying to look at the bright side.”
Roger Jimenez, California
Recently, the congregation at the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento was a captive audience to a venom-filled rant from their misguided leader, Pastor Roger Jimenez. He called the Orlando victims “vile, perverted predators” and added, “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um, no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight. … We don’t need to do anything to help. As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is just a little safer tonight.”
Donnie Romero, Texas
Jimenez has a fan in Donnie Romero, the pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Romero told his followers he “100 percent” supports Jimenez’s words and went even further:
“These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles, and they are the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now. And I’ll take it a step further, because I heard on the news today, that there are still several dozen of these queers in ICU and intensive care. And I will pray to God like I did this morning, I will do it tonight, I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children.”
Kenneth Lewis, Florida
This assistant state attorney for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit didn’t go after LGBT victims directly; instead he just demonized the people of color who live in downtown Orlando and frequent its businesses, like the Pulse nightclub. The proud racist posted the following on Facebook shortly after the shooting:
“Downtown Orlando has no bottom. The entire city should be leveled. It is void of a single redeeming quality. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs. It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril. If you go down there after dark there is seriously something wrong with you. Disney does everything in its power to shield visitors of Disney from its northern blight. That doesn’t change reality. Disney may be the happiest place on Earth but Orlando is a national embarrassment. If this is an act of a domestic terrorist it is so very important that we don’t publish the religion, name, or motive of the terrorist as not to offend anyone.”
In a second post, Lewis wrote, “All Orlando nightclubs should be permanently closed. With our without random gunmen they are zoos, utter cesspools of debauchery.”
Lewis, who previously called women “crack hoes” on Facebook, was suspended for his latest rant.
Marines, San Diego
Marine Corps leaders are investigating an incendiary Facebook post posted by one Marine and featuring another — the image shows a service member pointing a gun at the camera and features the caption “Coming to a gay bar near you!” The man who posted the photo added, “Too soon?”
The image was shared on a closed, male-only Facebook group called CampMENdletownResale.
San Diego Threat
Also in San Diego, though likely unrelated to the Marines, was an Orlando-related threat on Craigslist. Now removed, the post was titled “We need more Orlando’s” [sic] and read, “Orlando was long overdue. Cleanse your community of the filth that gives decent gay men and women a bad name. Those people were walking diseases, bug chasers, and thank god for AIDS and 9-11 and now Orlando. San Diego you are next.”
Police are investigating.
Westboro Baptist Church, Kansas
The infamous hate church — run by a family of Kansas kooks — went crazy on Twitter following the Orlando tragedy. They sent tweets like “God Sent the Shooter to Orlando Fag Club” and even linked to a parody song called, “Shooters Keep Comin’ Around.” The tune contained the following lyrics:
"I ain't gonna be an optimist / You were caught up and lost in rage and more crisis / Marry fags as the blood flowing around you / And the shooters keep coming around in the cities that you love / Much blood flowing in the streets bringing God's wrath from above /And then he blinds your eyes..."
Justin Rice, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Following the Orlando terror attack, this unhinged 40-year-old threatened a bouncer at Happy Fun Hideaway, a gay-friendly bar in the Bushwick neighborhood, calling him antigay slurs and saying the following: "I'm going to shoot this place up and get my 50 just like Orlando, Florida" and "I’m going to come back Orlando-style."
Rice was arrested and charged with assault, harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Stacy White, Florida
This commissioner for Hillsborough County — which includes Tampa — is fuming after a Pride flag was raised outside county offices following the Orlando attack. White wrote a letter to human resources officials saying he received an “anonymous” call from a county worker who felt the flag created a “hostile” work environment. White insinuated the flag should be taken down until it can proved no one will be offended by its presence. County officials are looking into the anonymous complaint but have not taken down the flag.
White previously fought to keep a Confederate flag at county offices following an effort to remove it after the shooting deaths of nine African-American church attendees in South Carolina.