In the wake of the tragic Orlando shooting that took 49 innocent lives, most of the country has expressed solidarity and support for the victims and their families. Unfortunately, there are always going to be hateful bigots in the world, and the pastor of Verity Baptist church is one such person.
In a sermon, Roger Jimenez said that he did not mourn those killed in the shooting and that he’s sad more didn’t die. As a result, the owners of the business park in which his church is located have said they will not renew the church’s lease and have told them they should consider moving.
A spokesperson for Harsch Investment Properties, which owns the property the church sits on, has said that they cannot legally evict the church. However, they cannot tolerate “tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives.” The owners of the property also said that if the church decides to leave, they will waive their lease and the church will face no penalty.
‘We communicated our views to Verity Baptist Church, and while their lease does not expire until 3/31/17, we have asked them to consider moving out of our business park, and we would immediately cancel their lease without any penalty to them.’
In the press release, the property owners also expressed solidarity with the LGBT community and their disapproval for Jimenez’s sermon.
‘For decades, the owners and staff at Harsch Investment Properties have supported the LGBT community and many other organizations whose missions are to further respect, dignity and the ability for all individuals to live their lives as they wish.’
During his sermon, Jimenez said that the members of his congregation should not mourn the dead. The man was later interviewed by ABC, and he doubled-down on his hateful views, even going so far as to say he would be okay with the government killing gay people.
‘I’m not calling people to arms. And I’m not telling people they should go do this … What I’m saying is that if the government followed the laws of God, that’s what they would be doing. And if the government did that, I’d be fine with that.’
Despite the disagreements over theology, Jimenez appears to have more in common with Omar Matteen then he would like to admit.
You can check out ABC 10’s interview with Jimenez here:
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.