A pastor at a church in Texas labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center delivered a sermon calling for the government execution of LGBTQ+ folks, and it’s not the first time he’s made such disturbing calls for violence.
In his sermon entitled, Why We Won’t Shut Up, Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst said gay men were predatory pedophiles who have either committed sex crimes against a child or just haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, leading him to the conclusion that “We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government.”
Awes claimed the Bible’s solution to what he called the “sodomite deception” is queer people “should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”
“What does God say is the answer, is the solution for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the book of Romans? That they are worthy of death,” Awes said. “Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the head.”
Awes and the Stedfast Baptist Church are in the midst of an anti-Pride month where he visits various local churches and organizations celebrating Pride, and films himself calling these churches blasphemous and tools of satan.
Last month, another preacher at the church, Jonathan Shelley, made the news for his call to commit violence against LGBTQ+ people. At an Arlington City Council meeting in May, Shelley railed against Pride, saying the Bible teaches “we should hate pride, not celebrate it.”
“God’s already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment,” he said.
Stedfast Baptist Church’s website says the government should impose the death penalty for homosexuality, but “Christians should not take the law into their own hands.” Other things it lists as sins include abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, feminism, and ecumenicalism. It doesn’t say if these are worthy of capital punishment. It’s an independent church, not affiliated with any larger Baptist body.
Awes has also produced a video called the Sodomite Deception which purports to center the alleged dangers of the LGBTQ+ community, but appears to contain little more than anti-gay epithets and threats.
“Why aren’t all these Baptists standing up and saying these freaks should go back to hell, should go back to the closet, put a bullet in your head?” Awes angrily asks in the trailer of the movie. “Why aren’t they saying it?”
“No homos will ever be allowed on this church as long as I’m the pastor here!” Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church shrieks in the film. “Never!”
More ominously, Aaron Thompson of the Sure Foundation Baptist Church calls for the murder of the LGBTQ+ community in the film.
“Is the law of the lord perfect or is it not?” Thompson asks. “It’s perfect, and what did he say? Put them to death.”