There’s been a lot of press lately on the sign outside the ATLAH Worldwide Missionary’s church in Harlem. Here’s what it says: “Jesus would stone homos.” There are several biblical passages cited. I’m certainly no biblical scholar and I’m Jewish but I am opinionated!
The latest story on The Huffington Post is the response by Pastor James David Manning. “I never said that I would stone homos,” he says. “I never said that I would ask anyone else to stone homos. I never said that. What I did say is what the Bible says, and I gave several verses within the Word of God that demonstrates why I believe that Jesus would stone homos … The homosexual activists are flat-out lying about what Jesus would do regarding the detestable, abominable, diseased practice and act of homosexuality. They have been lying and saying that Jesus would simply love.”
He cites the bible verse where Jesus says, and I paraphrase, let those among you without sin be the first to cast stones. I guess he’s saying Jesus was without sin so he would stone the sinners. I interpret that differently. To me, Jesus is saying, we should not judge – period. And from what I know about Jesus, he was about love, plain and simple. This is just another case of someone twisting the message of the bible to justify their fear and hate. Didn’t the KKK do the same thing to justify what they did against African Americans? I would think an African American like Pastor Manning would have more empathy, more understanding. But I know one cannot generalize. There are many Jews who walked with Martin Luther King, Jr. because they knew what it meant to have your rights denied simply because of who you are. And there were (and probably still are) Jews who were racist. It just isn’t simple. I wish it were.