Atlanta Church: Don’t Mistake Our Pastor’s Viral Rant As Supportive Of LGBT Rights

Last week JMG was the first to post a fiery sermon from an evangelical pastor that has since gone wildly viral. While many sites have interpreted the pastor’s message as supportive of the LGBT community, the House Of Hope Atlanta would like you to know that is definitely not the case. From their statement published by the Christian Post:

That clip was posted without our knowledge by someone who was in attendance and gives absolutely no context concerning the overall message. Since that time enumerable media outlets have posted the clip with captions best suited for their journalistic and editorial priorities. It’s important to know that the descriptions of the posted sermon clip are not the opinions of E. Dewey Smith Jr. By no means is Smith now, nor has he ever been a proponent of same-sex marriage. Smith has always believed and taught that marriage is only designed for a man and a woman. This reality was clearly stated during the sermon but not included for some reason by the person who posted the clip. Smith believes that same-sex marriage isn’t the Will of God. Many publications have tried to present the message as affirmation of equal rights for the LGBT community. Regardless of how the clip is ‘bent’ that was not the content nor intent of the message.

The clip now has 400,000 views.

  • Wow – bent.

    • pj

      yeah i noticed that final dig at the end. classy.

  • jomai

    God forbid that a church actually do something nice and worthwhile….

    • StraightGrandmother

      I want to post this comment up near the top and let people know that I have reason to believe that House of Hope Church in Atlanta is starting a process of real profound change. We should all hold our Judgements and wait and see what happens.

      Ignore my lower comments below.

      • jomai

        I try to remember to be kind and gracious, but you have me beat by miles in that, always. You are good folks…

  • bkmn

    Wouldn’t want to be accepting and loving like that bearded dude.

  • Michael Rush

    fortunately the supreme court disagrees with you we can’t be forced to attend your church or abide by your childish beliefs .

  • Rebecca Gardner

    In all honesty I never saw it as a sermon in support of the LGBT community but rather an admonishment of the hypocrisy of the BuyBull cherry pickers.

    • bkmn

      That is one of the serious downfalls of the Black church. They love to get all dressed up and holier than thou while they ignore their husbands running around on the downlow.

      • Mark

        Just like the mormon husbands…..

      • Corey

        Just like the Catholics, Muslims . etc. etc. of ALL colors

      • Webslinger

        this is the downfall of THIS black church…do not mistake one for ALL…


        So I guess Billy and Franklin Graham loves the GAYS? Quit with the damn generalizations! You sounds some prejudice gay white troll!

    • b

      He was just saying you can have love and support for LGBT people, not insult them, degrade them, and demand that the law harm them, and STILL believe that homosexuality is a sin. All those things are not in conflict. We have been saying that all along — “You can believe all you want to believe, but do not harm us.”

      He is listening. Good, spiritual Christians listen, evil and selfish christians are bigots.

      • Who you are is not a sin. I don’t care how much anyone believes otherwise. They are mistaken. They are in error. They are wrong.

        • JT

          Most of these christianists make a distinction between being gay and same sex sexual behavior, saying that the former is not sinful (though it may be “disordered”) while the latter is. It’s a mistake to think that there is anything wrong about either, but only a few of the sects have been enlightened enough to see that so far.

          • b

            I don’t give a shit what christians believe, say, preach, street preach. What they cannot do, is do harm in the United States civil realm. They cannot pass laws harming us, they cannot reverse judicial orders protecting us under the law, they cannot reach out from the pulpit beyond the United States Constitution.

            We slammed them down. And will do again, if they want to rule the United States from the pulpit. Equality under the law, is the law of the land, and that won’t change, like an alligator won’t change.

          • JT

            Of course, they shouldn’t do what they’re trying to do. In some places, they have already passed laws to try to harm LGBT people. They need to be fought at every turn because the crazies among them have no understanding of human rights or law and would like nothing better than a theocracy in this country.

        • Trog

          Actually, lots of heterosexual Christians would say that they themselves are sinners and that everyone is a sinner unless they accept the Holy Spirit through Grace.

          Martin Luther was extreme about this point–basically that human beings are not capable of being anything but debased unless they have Christ.

          It’s a destructive view of mankind and just one of the many, many ways Christianity warps people’s minds and their viewpoints of humanity and all the good things we are capable of on our own, without supernatural intervention.

      • c


        Some folks will compromise themselves away just to hold on to religion.

    • JT

      That business about “we are all sinners” was an indicator that he thought sin was involved in gay relationships. So he’s wrong on that.

      But for once, someone pointed the finger at the crazies on that side of things. This guy does the right thing there. But he’s not so good on the follow through. He needs to dig deeper into what led him to say the right thing in one part of his message to see how to correct the other part.

      • David Walker

        What led him to say the right thing? God. God talks to him, so there’s going to be another talk soon…and it won’t be to walk it back. Whenever someone tries to walk something back, they trip.

        • JT

          It may be that he can’t make the right move. But others have reflected on their religious beliefs and come to a better conclusion. If this man is too much of a conservative, that may not happen. However, what he says in the video in question makes him seem different from the others.

      • bambinoitaliano

        But they do believe everyone is a sinner regardless of what that is. That’s my take from their religion. They can put their hands in a crate of venomous snakes for all I care. The pastor message is all sinners should mind their own sins rather than judging on others.

    • bambinoitaliano

      Same here. To me it’s the message of mind your own business.

  • Schlukitz

    The Lord giveth….

    And the Lord taketh back. LOL

    I knew that this had to be a load of hooey.

  • brian

    Clarification: in case you might have missed it, we are now and always have been bigots. Just in case you thought that there might be some hope, nope. You misunderstood.

  • joe ho

  • breaking news – people who made a good impression want to undo it.

  • AtticusP

    In other words, “we’re still shit-eating bigots on the wrong side of history. Please don’t mistake us for enlightened people spreading god’s word.”

  • JustSayin’

    In that case I retract my previous statement in support of him. Though it brings into question what his meaning of that sermon was if not to attack the hypocrisy of many churches.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Typical, just like the Pope, “Who am I to Judge,” then like lickety split takes it back.

    None of these religious “Leaders” have any courage.
    They are ALL weak, not leaders.

    • Mark

      They know where the money comes from so they’re not gonna stop that one. Kinda like Joel Osteen and his $10.5 million mansion in Houston. Fleece the flock and laugh all the way to the bank.

      • Schlukitz


        Without an “enemy” to castigate and fight, what further reason would the church have for it’s existance?

    • Corey

      Now you can see what I suspected instantly. Too many people were excited about this sermon when underneath, the reverend still believes that being gay is a sin. There is no reason to be gullible.

      • bambinoitaliano

        I think the sermon stand on it’s own. I did not get the message as pro LBGT, rather a reminder of those who believe specifically the Christians that, it’s never about someone else. All the judgement of the others, the picking and choosing of scriptures that they lob at the others, the way the blacks were treated , abuse and used by the slave masters the same way the gays were treated are hypocrisy many ought to realize. That’s no way to be the true believer of god. To me the pastor serve up a can of whoop ass to those who call themselves christians.

        • Corey

          For those who excessive long overdue need this, ok & fine. For me personally as an individual black gay man, I am so over this and so burned out of this. The black church, meh…

          • Corey


          • THEBEARCUB

            And the White Church?

      • StraightGrandmother

        Yeah, you were right Corey. I remember your comment, you were right.

        • Corey

          Screw being right. I hope that no gay person hears that being LGBTI is a sin and if he or she does, then they have the backbone and courage to not seek spiritual guidance and wisdom from someone with this belief. It is like killing a part of oneself.

  • Chris

    When writing against Gay Rights it would probably be wise not to refer to them as ‘equal rights’ thus acknowledging that Gay rights are nothing more than equal rights.

    • Max_1

      Especially if you’re a black southern preacher man…

  • StuckNtexas

    No surprises there. If you listen closely to the video clip, nowhere in it does he condone homosexual behavior. Mainly, he’s calling out his flock for hypocrisy. Of course now we really see just how far that hypocrisy extends.

    • StraightGrandmother

      “Of course now we really see just how far that hypocrisy extends.”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • RJ Tremor


  • Gigi

    Told you so. I watched another sermon of his after I saw the one above and his message is this: don’t treat gays any differently than you would other sinners…but unless they repent and leave homosexuality behind they’re gonna end up in hell…with the rest of the sinner.

  • Keppler2

    I confess that I assumed from the start that the clip was being misinterpreted. Never, NEVER trust in the goodness or charity of xtians.

    • Gigi

      There are some who support us. NALT (Not All Like That) is one fine example of Christians who aren’t haters.

      • Schlukitz

        Waiting for a video clip from the NALTers taking the Pastor to task.


        • Gigi

          I heard something similar from a Christian about the gay community re: the RCC sex abuse scandal. He accused the “gay mafia” of supporting “gay pedophile priests” (his words) because we, the gay community, didn’t – to his knowledge – condemn the abuse and the cover-up of the abuse by the church. Does the fact that the members of NALT didn’t make a video refuting the pastor in the video mean that they agree with him?

          • Schlukitz

            Like several others, I too assumed that your original comment was posted tongue-in-cheek. Given your reply, that was obviously not the case.

            Perhaps not all Christians are like that. In all fairness, this is a distinct possibility.

            That said, however, we hear this phrase being used time and time again each time the Christians do something horrible against the LGBT community and I, for one, am getting sick of hearing it because the ones who claim that all Christians are not like that, never do anything to counter the evil deeds of their brethren or condemn them for it. They just sit silently by and allow it to happen without comment.

            Your argument holds no water because LGBT people have done absolutely nothing to harm Christians and therefore have no need of explaining themselves to anyone, much less making any apologies.

            And GLBT folks have, in fact, condemned the abuse and the cover-up of that abuse by the Church….including frequent commentaries by Joe Jervis Jervis right here on this site as well as numerous other gay sites.

            It’s not our fault if you don’t pay enough attention to the news to be aware of what is actually going on within the LGBT community.

          • Gigi

            I’m gay. I’ve been with my husband for more than 26 years, and I’ve been commenting here since the blog was started. It’s wrong to say that the Christians who aren’t as hateful as Tony Perkins and Brian Brown don’t care about us. They do! Just because they don’t spew and sputter as much as the haters it doesn’t mean they don’t care. I know many who went door-to-door to show support for the LGBT community. I have Christian family members who worked tirelessly for the YES! campaign in Ireland. Without them, marriage equality wouldn’t have passed there. It’s not THEIR fault that you don’t know about the support that they give to us.

          • Max_1


            I’ll give Joe props on his coverage of bigoted Christians not loving their brothers/sisters. However so, the absence of coverage about gays that love/support LGBT does not prove that Christians don’t/can’t/won’t.

            In truth however, when the showing of one POV is done repeatedly within a community, members of that community can begin to adopt that POV or conclude that the absence of alternate realities and truths equate that there are none. It’s understandable… Yet it’s also wrong.

      • LovesIrony

        google them, you’ll see that they haven’t done a damn thing in 2 years.

        • Reality.Bites

          This isn’t Gigi’s first rodeo. Pretty sure tongue was firmly implanted in cheek. Or somewhere else

        • Gigi

          Bishop Gene Robinson is a member of NALT. He made a video for them in 2013. Does the fact that he hasn’t made a video for them since mean that he no longer supports us? Of course not! Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the vast majority of Christians don’t support us, but to say that you can NEVER trust Christians to be kind and charitable is disingenuous.

          • LovesIrony

            I did not say you can never trust a Christian, I’m saying their support is so weak as to be worthless. We hear anti gay Christians every fucking day and silence from these so called allies. pffft

          • Max_1

            This gay Christian supports you!

          • chrisinphx

            I think they can be kind and charitable, but only after you’ve read their pamphlet and discussed the bible with them and agree with them on all their views. Then they will feed and clothe you and feel

          • Max_1

            Conditional Christians…
            … No ‘un’ about it!

          • Max_1

            What church was Jesus a member of?

  • Reality.Bites

    And by no means should they mistake rebloggiing or liking the video as support for emancipation

    • Polterguest

      oh, *snap!*

  • Reality.Bites

    Go handle a snake

    • LonelyLiberal

      Why do I get the feeling that this guy has handled a large number of snakes?

      • ben


  • MikeBx2

    The only reason they’d dial this back is because it threatened their bottom line. Those who put the most in the offering plate complained.

  • Octavio

    As I suspected, just artesanal jesusy-ness. I suppose it was inevitable that it would eventually catch on in the US of Ay! LOL!

  • Glenn I

    God forbid a pastor preach in favor of Equality!

  • GarySFBCN

    Never mind.

  • SunsetGay

    Is it possible that this church is suffering an internal fracture? Based on the way this press release was worded, it sounds like it. One has to imagine that after this sermon, the upper echelon of the church staff probably got in a tiff with their Pastor.

    Pastor Smith ought to clarify publicly in his own words.

    • Schlukitz

      I have no doubt that the church elders told Pastor Smith to “straighten up and fly right” unless he wants his ass kicked out of the church.

      • Max_1

        He would stand up to the elders and dare them to have him arrested in the Lord’s house. (AKA Turning the other cheek)

        • Schlukitz

          First of all, I do not believe in Jesus, so he is, as far as I am concerned, a moot point.

          Secondly, turning the other cheek is for losers. Your enemy will only perceive it as weakness and strike you all the harder on the opposite cheek when you present it to him. So, plesse do not implore me to do that.

          Be assured that I do not promote violence or hitting someone first but when when someone takes the liberty of laying hands on me, the way that gets put to a stop, is by smacking that person back with as much force as he used to smack me. Bullies understand only one thing…and that is brute force.

          Roosevelt said it best when he stated “Walk softly but carry a big stick.”

    • StraightGrandmother
      • Max_1

        He’s defending the mote in his own eye…

  • bryan

    They highlighted the hypocrisy of fundamentalist christians. Then turned around to embrace that hypocrisy. And as a result showed themselves to be even bigger hypocrites. No wonder people are leaving the churches..

  • RJ Tremor

    Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me at all. I watched this a few days ago from a friend’s Young Turks link and went “Ehhh, this doesn’t sound supportive, he’s just saying to not be so belligerent when calling someone out for being gay and such”. Cenk was all happy-day about the clip, let’s see how he reacts now.

    • Schlukitz

      I’ve been a follower of The Young Turks for quite some time now and I have always found him to be fair and square in his assessments. I am certain that Cenk will call the Pastor on this hypoocricy as soon as he hears about it.

      • RJ Tremor

        Agreed, and it will be delicious.

  • geoffalnutt

    Sometimes actual bigotry and hatred have to be clarified. Praze the lard.

  • Webslinger
  • Matt in PDX

    “Many publications have tried to present the message as affirmation of equal rights for the LGBT community. Regardless of how the clip is ‘bent’ that was not the content nor intent of the message.”

    Ooh, nice one. Extra Homophobe Points for incorporating a pun based on an anti-gay slur.

    • Matt in PDX

      The pastor’s comments were not interpreted ‘fairy’ by the media.

    • Matt in PDX

      One shouldn’t ‘fag’-get the larger context of the sermon.

  • John

    I’m glad they cleared that up. Now we know for a fact that ALL Christians are hateful and bigoted pieces of shit.

    • Schlukitz

      Was there ever any doubt of it?

      • Goodboy

        It can’t hurt to have it publicly reaffirmed every now and then.

        • Schlukitz

          Absolutely. 🙂

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    Here is a link to Rev. E. Dewey Smith’s own words about this. I think he is being very thoughtful and is clearly working through the issue, which is more than can be said about so many pastors.

    • Hip Byroads

      Yes, it is a thoughtful response. It throws a different light on the whole situation. Thanks!

    • FreeCandyVanDriver

      Indeed, this comment needs to be voted up. The essay is well worth reading.

      The article puts the wrong spin on the whole issue. The article is bullshit.

  • Secure

    We all need Jezeus!

    • Toasterlad

      He DOES have a sweet ass.

  • Hip Byroads

    Sorry House of Hope Atlanta. You lost me at “enumerable.”

  • Rex

    Color me “not surprised.” I never for a second thought that he was supportive of the LGBT community or didn’t think homosexuality was a sin. I did support his statements that “the church” can’t demonize the LGBT community and expect them to be receptive of their message. The “hate the sin, love the sinner” speak doesn’t usually go over well, it’s usually just seen as hate.

    • Goodboy

      That’s so old school too. We all know it’s nothing but hate.

  • Ed Burrow

    … An affirmation of equal rights for the LGBT community…. That was not our intent.
    Yes, I know that’s a shortened part of their overall message, but that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
    Fuck the church.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Soooo…..He is making it clear that he and his flock are still bigots, make no mistake. How ‘christian’ of him.

    • Goodboy

      Somebody got a talking to. Here’s how it went…. Take it back or find another place to peddle the BS.

    • ChitownKev

      actually, that would be “some” of his flock, as the reception of that portion of the sermon was decidedly mixed?

      Why do people think that to attend a church means that every member approves 100% of every message that a pastor/imam/priest/rabbi says?

      • Bj Lincoln

        I am aware not all attendees agree with the message but they do continue to support those who do.

  • Stev84

    Even with the edited sermon, it was very clear that he is at best a “love the sinner, hate the sin” bigot.

  • LovesIrony

    oh, so you’re not good people, gotcha

  • *sigh* Should’ve listened to the folks here who were telling me it wasn’t supportive but nooooooooooo.

    I don’t get it. I just don’t fucking get it.

    • David Walker

      Understood. And I’d like to think that this is not the good rev’s own statement. He has probably had a good talking to by the concerned bishops, especially those who count the cash. I didn’t read “Christian Post” article, but in the excerpt Joe provides, there is no direct quote from the preacher. It just makes me wonder.

    • leastyebejudged

      It was laughable for people here to believe it was; clearly most people have have very little first hand experience with black culture. The stats don’t lie, most of them hate us. Even people you’d expect to be relatively open minded who are educated hate us.

  • Speaking of bent…..

  • GayOldLady

    “Many publications have tried to present the message as affirmation of equal rights for the LGBT community. Regardless of how the clip is ‘bent’ that was not the content nor intent of the message.”

    Ok, so you’re saying you don’t support equal rights for the LGBT community? And you call yourselves Christian? Sad, sad, sad.

  • Kissmagrits

    Man’s religions are a mental disease inflicted on Planet Earth by an aristocracy wanting continued strife among the common folk. If the overlords can keep us at each other’s throats, it insures we won’t have time to rise up against them. It’s called “Divide and Conquer” and finds it roots in ancient Sumerian times.

    Since man’s religions are a mental disease, we must begin at once to develop suitable therapies.

  • Ogre Magi

    I could have told you that, anyone who thought otherwise must not have much experience with evangelicals

    • leastyebejudged

      I read an interesting article about how segregated public schools in the South tend to be as a result of the churches setting up private schools for mostly white people, resulting in public schools that are mostly black.

      The black churches don’t set up ANY private schools.

      At some point you have to ask yourself exactly where the money goes and what they do with it.

      And why the black community puts up with that shit.

  • Merv99

    The gay community is like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football when it comes to seeking approval from Christians: this time it’s going to be different. Well, it’s not ever going to be different with them. It doesn’t matter how liberal or conservative the denomination, there will always be reservations. The only question is how obvious the reservations will be.

    The Episcopal Church has often been held up as an example of a denomination accepting of gay people. Then we get the news a couple weeks ago that they will now allow congregations to marry same sex couples. Huh? I guess that all this time they weren’t so accepting after all. And the new policy is optional. Reservations then and reservations now.

    There’s nothing new about the psychologically damaging phenomenon of marginalized groups seeking approval from our their oppressors. When it comes to Christianity and Christians we need to walk away and not look back. Have as little to do with them as possible None of them will ever truly accept us in any of our lifetimes, if ever.

    • Toasterlad


    • joe ho

      the good thing is that religion is declining at an accelerating pace throughout the industrialized west.

      this kind of unrepentant discrimination can only help the decline.

      that, and the fact that it’s all unsubstantiated archaic nonsense to begin with.

      • Bj Lincoln

        We can hope.

    • Kissmagrits

      Fifty eight years ago this August, I was working my summer job at a bible camp. I was there two months and saw the commercial “dog and pony” show from behind the curtains – and that caused me to leave the job and my religion behind. Nothing since has convinced me I made a bad decision – in fact when the ’80s AIDS crisis was inflicted on America, the startling difference between church dogma and secular beliefs made my decision final and unassailable.

      • Steve Teeter

        Good for you.

  • Toasterlad

    Don’t worry. Atlanta Church…I never listen to what ANY pastor has to say.

  • Chris Larosa

    I sent this video to several of my gay friends under the guise that, of course, this pastor doesn’t approve of gay relationships or marriage. But the huge poke in the eye was nice to see as he pointed out the enduring hypocrisy of the black church. How sad, though, that anyone LGBT would insist on going to this or similar churches, and even tithe, to vote their approval of such bigotry and disdain by their presence every Sunday. The ‘traditional’ church is clearly directly and indirectly responsible for a millennia and more of pain, anguish, and death of LGBTs. Why are we still supporting them?

  • David Lightman

    False alarm folks, Protestant churches haven’t evolved any, they’re still assholes.. thanks for the clarification.

  • TampaZeke

    I suspected that this “clarification” would soon being coming but I’m still disappointed that it did.

  • ChitownKev

    Oh, I never did think that the sermon was about homosexuality but about hypocrisy.

  • SilasMarner

    Well then, Fuck You House of Hope church elders!

  • The Larry Mac

    “Since that time enumerable media outlets have posted the clip ”

    So you’re able to count the number of outlets. Got it.

  • Liz

    “Since that time enumerable media outlets…” Funny – that means the exact opposite of what they intended and implies that they counted all of the media outlets that reposted.

  • KQCA

    “Just to clarify, we HATE you…. in Jesus’ name. Have a nice day and go die of disease before you burn in hell, you heathen abominations.”

    Great sales pitch there.

  • Schlukitz

    Ot, I kow, but another example of what irnorance, superstition and religion help bring about.

    “(CNN)A Nepalese man has confessed to the murder of a young boy after saying a local holy man advised him that a human sacrifice would heal his ailing son, local police said.”

  • JCF

    “No Homo!”

  • Jeffrey Samuels

    I don’t know. If that clip didn’t sound supportive of gay equality, then it was a pretty good facsimile.

  • Justandra

    This preacher done what I want all others to do. Stop singling out one group and call out everyone. It wont change my life any but it puts everyone in check. Sweep around your own front door before you try to sweep around mine.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Hey, I just sent this to Joe, but here is a rather long response directly from the pastor not his church.

    It is kind of annoying where he just runs through a bunch of questions without giving any answers. At one point he says he has heard gays say that they want to stop being gay but he doesn’t know how to minister to them. It is long and rambling

    • Max_1

      He’s busy defending the mote in his own eye…



  • Max_1

    Mote meet eye.
    Wasn’t that the theme of the sermon? Then why defend thine own mote?
    Are we all not sinners? Who’s to say mine are any greater than your’s?
    Most certainly NOT any one of us.

    Dear Pastor,
    My I buy you a lobster dinner, just so you can call me a sinner?

  • Innumerable


  • leastyebejudged

    LOL, color me not surprised AT ALL.