Stop Demonizing Gays, says Bahamas Bishop!

NASSAU, Bahamas — Former Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) president Bishop Simeon Hall on Friday hit out at pastors in the country who “demonize” homosexuals.

“I believe that of the 133 sins listed in the Bible, if a pastor can only preach on one of them it could very well be that he has that problem, if not in practice then perhaps dormant,” said Hall in a statement.


Hall said some pastors who demonize gays are the greatest hindrance to any positive dialogue or efforts the church might establish with them.

“Gay persons are among the fastest growing subculture in the country,” Hall claimed.

“All heterosexuals, as do all homosexuals, stand in need of God’s grace. The Bahamian public in general, as well as pastors in particular, must be careful of what we demonize and protest.”

Hall recently accused some members of the BCC of being “homophobic” and remaining quiet on too many issues facing the nation.

Hall said the gambling issue is one of the few the BCC is willing to speak out against.

He said he disagreed with this because the BCC seems to be “populated by a group of men who are number one homophobic and that's the only time that they come alive or they pick small things to speak out against”.

But Christian Council President Rev. Dr Ranford Patterson said the organization has spoken out on other social issues.

In a series of statements last year, Hall urged homosexuals to turn away from their “non-productive and deadly practice”.

He came under fire from a member of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community in The Bahamas, Erin Greene.

Hall later issued a statement saying homophobic clergy should not demonize homosexuals, but they, like anyone else, should be invited to the church to, “experience the transforming power of God”.

At the time, he said three gay men contacted him seeking help as a result of their struggles with their lifestyles.

“Their painful and sordid stories were frightening, but my response to them was pastoral,” he said.

He was responding to a Nassau Guardian article that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country among men who have sex with men (MSM) had doubled.

Hall said yesterday that if the church is to help homosexuals, it must first affirm their humanity.

“If the Christian church is to reach the un-church as our Lord commands, then, without changing our message we must change our methods and affirm our common humanity with all persons,” he said.

“Homosexuality is a deviance that stands under the judgment of God. Just as quickly, however, the rank hypocrisy which pervades the church’s leadership will in the end face God’s severest sentence.”

Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian

Source: Caribbean News Now

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