A metro Atlanta church has posted an incendiary sign that says Satan made LGBT people, a move that's gained attention in the wake of the gay club massacre in Orlando.
But Pastor Bobby Wright told 11Alive that there's no “hatred” in the sign, which reads, “God Created Man & Woman. Satan Made Gays & Transgender.”
“I haven't cursed anyone, I haven't called anyone a name,” Wright told 11Alive.
The offensive statement was posted about three weeks ago, before the June 12 massacre in Orlando. But it's getting attention in the wake of the tragedy, as vigils are held in Atlanta and across the country for the victims while threats and heated rhetoric against LGBT people increase. And it's as hateful as a recent flyer distributed by the KKK in metro Atlanta.
Wright told 11Alive that the sign reflects the feelings of the community around the church he's led for nearly two decades.
“I am the community. I am a voice for the community,” Wright said.
But the sign doesn't accurately reflect the Scripture. Genesis 5:2, which the sign cites as the source for its hateful message. Instead, the verse says this:
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
And the Bible doesn't include a single mention of transgender people.
Sigh. At least Wright didn't say gays are worthy of death. Like this Georgia church or Augusta lawmaker. Or call gay people “fags” like that convenience store owner in LaGrange.
[h/t Georgia Voice]
UPDATE | Vandals defaced the sign by covering it in black paint sometime late Sunday or early Monday, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department. And Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta is offering a $2,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest and indictment in the incident.
A local church is the recent victim of property damage. Officers assigned to the North Precinct were dispatched to a property damage call at the Back to the Bible Holiness Church at 690 New Street in Buford this morning. When the officers arrived, they noticed that the marquee sign was covered in black paint.
The original message on the sign read:
GOD CREATED MAN & WOMAN SATAN MADE GAYS & TRANSGENDER GEN 5:2
A representative of the church met with the officers and told them that the sign had been up for about three weeks. He said that he has not received any complaints about the message prior to the damage.
The time frame for the incident is listed at 6pm on Sunday, June 19 to 10am on Monday, June 20.
If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact Criminal Investigations at 770 513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimestoppersatlanta.org. Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. Case Number: 16-056617
[h/t CBS 46]