South African gay news site Mamba Online reports that Pastor Oscar Peter Bougardt is sending death threats via email to LGBT websites and rallying his followers to “take out [kill] lesbians and gays.”
“Lesbians and gays are a curse on any community. I believe that a man that sleeps with another man doesn’t deserve to be part of a healthy community and I will mobilise the masses to stop them,” Bougardt said.
While many people have become accustomed to reading about death-chanting mob churches in Jamaica and Uganda, it’s less common and a bit alarming to see such a development underway in South Africa.
When challenged by Mamba Online to explain this threat, Bougardt waffled.
“If I say take out homosexuals, I mean they must be removed from our communities…You interpret that I am inciting violence against homosexuals, I see it is making our people aware that their lifestyles should not be approved by any healthy community. Just as homosexuals have the right to express their views, I have the right to express mine,” he said.
Like so many antigay activists, Bougardt vainly believes that God exempts him from having to show academic or scientific support for his claims that homosexuals are abominable, child-molesting, hetero-recruiting drug addicts.
“Where I stay you don’t need academic, government or scientific statistics,” he said, adding that “homosexuality is spreading faster than HIV and AIDS.”
When Christian leaders such as renowned Archbishop Desmond Tutu reject his hatred and affirm equality for LGBT people, Bougardt vainly damns them to hell.
“Desmond Tutu will burn in hell for misleading homosexuals and for saying God don’t have a problem with them. I don’t care what Desmond Tutu have to say, nowhere in the Bible are we told to expect homosexuals. The Bible teaches they are an abomination to God.”
Public reaction is still early in development.
Exodus Global Alliance silently enables people like Bougardt as a matter of policy.
Meanwhile, LGBT activist Christina Engela of SA GLAAD reflects on Bougardt’s graceless idolization of hate, and the need for Christians to publicly speak out against the bigots and violence-doers in their midst. A South African constitutional rights blogger argues that equality advocates (and especially affirming clergy) should overwhelm Bougardt’s hate speech with constructive public speech and expression.
My first reaction to someone like this is to follow the money. Someone from abroad is likely to be funding this seemingly violent and irrational man and his church via his bank account, and I would like very much to know who.
Meantime, people can protest his presence on Facebook, his Blogspot blogs, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. But this wicked and irrational man is unlikely to be humbled until more U.S. and African Christians find the courage to stand up for equality, obstruct financing of such pastors, and repudiate colleagues who practice hatred and pander to the world’s wealthy antigay opportunists.