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Texas Pastor Who Threatened to Set Himself Aflame Now 'Loves' Gays

Texas Pastor Who Threatened to Set Himself Aflame Now 'Loves' Gays

The Texas pastor who vowed “we will burn” if marriage equality happened — then on Friday said he didn’t mean it literally — now says he loves gay people. Or "homosexuals," as he put it.

Pastor Rick Scarborough, in an op-ed published Wednesday in Variety's special marriage equality edition, claims that he doesn't hate gay people. In fact, he loves gay people so much he feels "compelled" to tell them if they keep being gay, they'll go to hell. 

"I believe that most homosexuals in America are like most Christians; they simply want to live and let live, and have no desire to impose their beliefs on others. But fringe groups on both sides of the debate over marriage are forcing a dangerous polarization in our culture," Scarborough writes.

Scarborough is the founder of two antigay groups: Vision America and Tea Party Unity, and also is the head of the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration.

This is the pastor's second big media push since taking out full-page newspaper ads vowing to fight marriage equality to the point of going to jail for the cause, a statement Scarborough claimed had tens of thousands of supporters, including two Republican presidential candidates and Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar, of the TLC reality TV series 19 Kids and Counting.

And given that his commentary appeared in the well-known Hollywood periodical, Scarborough complained that the industry's portrayal of people such as himself is too often negative:

"When was the last time a movie or sitcom produced in Hollywood depicted a pastor as caring, loving and selfless? The typical portrayal of a pastor in a movie is that of an unstable or bigoted hypocrite."  

Scarborough concluded his Variety op-ed thusly:

"We who believe that homosexuality is wrong are compelled by our love for homosexuals to express that belief, based on biblical revelation, but that does not mean we hate those who embrace homosexuality. In fact, we believe that we are expressing the purist [sic] form of love. We love them enough to face their rejection and at times their ridicule, in order to offer God’s redemption and freedom.

"We do not hate homosexuals and we are not out to hurt them. We love them, and we love God, His Word, and His truth.

"We want homosexuals to know we love them enough to tell the truth and forthrightly state our support of God’s definition of marriage."

 

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