A Baptist Preacher Calling for Death to Fa**ots Drove Me to Tears
Maybe it was the laughter that got to me. Or the children.
This story describes hate speech and anti-gay slurs readers may find traumatizing.
“This is Sure Foundation Baptist Church of Spokane. Nobody’s here to take your call right now. Please leave a message after the beep.”
“This is James Finn. I’m a journalist with the Los Angeles Blade calling to ask for comment about a recent church service in which a preacher by the name of Danil Kutsar told your congregation he wishes all faggots would kill themselves. Can we get a church response to Kutsar’s sermon?”
Nobody called me back, not that I thought they would. I wasn’t crying yet, but I would later, unexpectedly, as I threw a chicken alfredo sauce together for dinner. I’d had a positive day, working on three stories at once, making lots of phone calls to sources, “making good trouble” as I commented later to Jamie Arpin-Ricci, an LGBTQ Christian pastor friend.
So why did I find myself dripping tears into fontina cheese?
I guess sometimes the hate just builds up and gets to you, leaking out as pain when you least expect it.
Earlier that day, Esther Spurrill-Jones sent me a link to an article in the New Civil Rights Movement about a Baptist preacher in Spokane who hopes “every single homosexual dies.” I went and listened to part of his sermon, then I shrugged. “Whatever,” I thought. “Dude’s a nut. Must be like that Westboro Baptist ‘Church’ that preaches about how God hates fags so they be famous.”
Esther wrote about it from a Christian perspective, but I had no plans to, because what’s the point?
Then I listened to a follow-up sermon Kutsar preached, and maybe his liberal use of “faggot” to describe gay people got to me. Or maybe it was the congregation laughing in approval. Actually, yes, I’m pretty sure the laughter tipped me over the edge.