Pastor Kevin Swanson believes that gay people deserve the death penalty. Pretty radical right-wing stuff, but unfortunately for our nation, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal associated themselves with Swanson at his National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa this last weekend.
Following titular logic this means Swanson believes that an LGBT execution tribunal is a religious right.
The pastor has also said in the past that children who read Harry Potter or watch How to Train Your Dragon would be better off with “a millstone be hung around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”
I have studied the New Testament in academic settings before, and I do not recall Jesus calling for the drowning of children. So I am a little confused about where this supposedly Christian punishment for enjoying fantasy literature comes from.
But drowning children aside, during this last weekend’s conference, Swanson outdid himself. To be fair to the conference, Swanson did explain that he had been cautioned against saying anything too crazy because of the Republican candidates’ attendance, but of course sane advice did not stop him from saying insane things.
“I was thinking, you know, there are parents—and this is not a funny thing—there are families whose— and we’re talking Christian families, pastors’ families, elders’ families in good godly churches—their sons are rebelling, hanging out with homosexuals and getting married and the parents are invited. What would you do if that was the case? Here’s what I would do: sack cloth and ashes at the entrance to the church, and I’d sit in cow manure and I’d spread it all over my body. That’s what I would do. And I’m not kidding, I’m not laughing. I’m grieving! I’m mourning!”
Someone please invite him to a gay wedding, and see if he’ll put his cow poop where his mouth is.
But it gets weirder.
“I’m pointing out the problem, it’s not a gay time. These are the people with the sores, the gaping sores, the sores that are pussy and gross, and people are coming in and carving happy faces on the sores—that’s not a nice thing to do. Don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, pussy sores, don’t you ever do that! Don’t you ever do that! I tell you don’t do it! Sack cloths and ashes, this is what America needs. America needs to hear the message: we are messed up.”
Now, it is kind of ironic that throughout his diatribe he waves his arms dramatically, paces awkwardly back and forth across the stage, leans against his podium in a seemingly effeminate manner, and gets so emotional at times that his voice sounds like he is going to cry.
Studies in the past have indicated that homophobic people are more likely to be homosexual themselves than less intolerant people and suggest that their homophobia stems from their refusal to admit their own sexual feelings. Here is one such study. And Kevin Swanson is really, really homophobic to suggest that he would rather cover himself in ash and cow manure than enjoy a happy gay wedding.
I may be an amateur psychologist, but I think Pastor Kevin Swanson may be a closeted homosexual.