Editorial 2 - Jimmy Swaggart
In September, 2004, several sources
of gay news are reporting that pastor and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart made
the following comments in a sermon:
"I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute,
asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a
man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if
one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died."
The news story can be found on the 365Gay.com web site by clicking
. People wanting to see a clip of Jimmy Swaggart’s comments may
do so by going to OliverWillis.com
and performing a search for Swaggart or by going directly to the
We encourage people to check to make sure Jimmy Swaggart made the
comments attributed to him before criticizing Jimmy Swaggart, before expressing
concerns to Jimmy Swaggart. Any letters written to Jimmy Swaggart should
be polite and civil. Name calling and insults should be avoided. You
may write Jimmy Swaggart at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, PO BOX 262550,
BATON ROUGE, LA 70826-2550.
Churches have gay members. Jimmy Swaggart’s church, like other
churches, has gay members. Those gay members might not open about their
sexual orientation. They may even be married and have children or grandchildren.
Pastors are supposed to be shepherds. As shepherds, they are to lovingly
care for the people in their congregations, including gay congregants.
When pastors publicly damn people to hell, threaten people or talk
about killing people they violate the pulpit of God. Such comments result
in a role reversal. Instead of being seen as a caring, loving teacher,
counsellor and role-model, members of the congregation may fear the pastor
and may not feel safe enough to allow the pastor to serve as their teacher,
counsellor and mentor. This can impact on more than just gay church members.
Straight people might not feel the pastor is a safe person either.
Emotionally unstable people can be found in all environments, home,
school, work and church. A very few emotionally unstable may have problems
so severe that they may act in an irresponsible manner when they hear a
pastor expressing extreme comments of hatred and condemnation about gay
people. Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder were killed for being gay. One
of the men charged with the murder stated he killed the gay couple, because
he felt homosexuality was a sin. Pastors need to be careful to ensure they
are not saying things that could be viewed by a very unstable person as
licence to kill gay people.
People in positions of public trust have a moral obligation to
protect weak members of society. Pastors have a moral obligation to
protect gay church members, by providing a safe environment in which gay
and straight people can worship God.
Pastors who have expressed public hatred and condemnation toward gay people are encouraged to apologize to their congregations for conduct unbecoming a shepherd, to apologize to the gay community and to stop
attacking gay people from their pulpits.
Given the serious nature of what Jimmy Swaggart is reported as
having said and the video clip shows, we recommend that Jimmy Swaggart
apologize to his congregation and personally to leaders of the gay community
for his remarks. The apology should be shown on his television program
and should be placed on his ministry's internet web site.
Complaint Against Jimmy Swaggart Lodged in Canada
A volunteer with Stop Homophobia lodged a complaint with the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, because this sermon was shown on a Canadian cable TV station. A response to the complaint can be read by clicking