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Nobody Wants to Rent to Homophobic, Violence-Promoting Texas Church

Shelley of Stedfast Church
Photo of Jonathan Shelley via Screengrab/YouTube

The church, which has advocated for violence against LGBTQ+ folks, can't seem to find space even in red Texas.

An anti-LGBTQ+ church in Texas labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center is looking for a new home after its lease was not renewed.

The Stedfast Baptist Church and its various pastors have a history of delivering hateful anti-LGBTQ+, racist, and anti-Semitic rhetoric in its sermons, which the church later posts to social media. According to Pastor Jonathan Shelley, their religious beliefs are not popular in the local community and have made finding a location difficult.

"I wanted to give you an update about our church location. We're actually, unfortunately, going to have to move, again, for next year," Shelley said in a recent post on YouTube.

Shelley admitted they've been protested against "every single week for really years at this point" and that he doesn't expect the situation "to change any time soon" while pointing at a small but vocal group of demonstrators in the background.

"The reality is nobody really wants to lease to us so it makes it very difficult," Shelley admitted.

Shelley and the Stedfast Baptist Church have a history of outlandish and hateful rhetoric regarding marginalized groups.

"If someone walks into a homo bar and shoots them all, shoots a bunch of homos, do you know how many tears I shed for that? Zero," Shelly said in a sermon from October. "And you know what? People that worship the devil, I don't care how many of them die. I don't care."

In the same sermon, Shelley said he doubted six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

"Only if we were lucky," he said before adding, "This sermon is not nice."

In October, Shelley claimed gay men suffer horrific medical consequences as a result of gay anal sex.

"What men do with men is defiling their bodies, hurting their bodies, they're hurting each other," Shelley claimed from the pulpit. "They're causing themselves all kind of problems. Their intestines will sometimes just fall out because of the actions that they do."

Shelley was apparently referencing a prolapsed anus, where a portion of the rectum turns inside-out and protrudes from the body, although the intestines do not actually "fall out" of the body.

In the same sermon, Shelley said he would rather eat Indian food and ranch dressing which he would later vomit and eat than have anal sex with another man.

"'Paster Shelley, what if you had to eat the Indian food and ranch dressing and then vomit it up and eat it again, or do that [engage in anal sex with another man] one time,'" Shelley said, "it's like bring on the vomit!"

Last May, Shelley advocated committing violence against LGBTQ+ people. At an Arlington City Council meeting, he railed against Pride, saying the Bible teaches "we should hate pride, not celebrate it."

In his sermon entitled, Why We Won't Shut Up, pastor Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst, Texas, said gay men were predatory pedophiles deserving of a state execution: "We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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