Bias Watch

Church that calls for death to gay people whines about getting death threats

Danil Kutsar
Danil Kutsar Photo: Screenshot

Over the past several years, Sure Foundation Baptist Church in Spokane, Washington – and the associated New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Movement (New IFB) – has earned a reputation for having some of the most offensive Christian pastors in the country, who regularly use slurs like “fa***t” and explicitly say they support mass shooters who kill LGBTQ+ people.

Now they’re whining about getting death threats.

Pastor Danil Kutsar of Sure Foundation said that he hopes “every homosexual dies” in a sermon last year.

“I hope every sodomite dies. I hope every homosexual dies. I hope every fa***t dies,” he said.

Just this past week, a video of one of Kutsar’s sermons got attention online because he said that the language-learning app Duolingo had been “infiltrated by homosexuals.”

“Duolingo, it has been infiltrated by fa***ts, so you gotta be careful,” he warned his flock. “I’m sure that every game out there has been fa***tized, you know? Ha ha ha. I’m sure every game out there, they have put fa***ts in there, they put whores in there.”

Independent journalist Hemant Mehta shared the video online, and he got a response from Sure Foundations’s official account.

“Oh, I was wondering why I was getting death threats again, this morning, out of the blue,” the church wrote on Twitter. “I thought, I bet Mahjer Bheta is behind this. Sure enough, after sifting through your sea of Christian hate posts, there it was. Your dog whistle of death. Who is really inciting violence?”

“All I did was quote you,” Mehta responded.

“When someone actually follows through with one of the MANY threats to rape and kill me, my family, and blow up and kill everyone in my church, including women and children and many other vile and filthy things threatened. What will you say?” the church tweeted.

Someone pressed the church on the nature of the death threats, and they shared several screenshots of people saying… pretty much what New IFB pastors have been saying for the past several years: that they are hoping that someone will violently attack the churches. Others called for the pastors to die, and some people left messages saying that they were going to perform acts of violence against the church.

The New IFB movement first got international attention when Pastor Steven Anderson of the New IFB Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona praised the Pulse shooter for killing 49 people in an LGBTQ+ nightclub, saying that the shooter killed “a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles.”

“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world,” Anderson said in a sermon about the 2016 shooting. He said that the club was full of “disgusting homosexuals who the Bible says were worthy of death.”

Anderson has been banned from dozens of countries for his extreme anti-LGBTQ+ and antisemitic statements, but he’s not the only New IFB pastor who regularly calls for violence against LGBTQ+ people.

Jonathan Shelley of the New IFB Stedfast Baptist Church in Texas celebrated the death of a gay man at the 2021 Wilton Manors, Florida Pride celebration in a car accident.

“I think only one person died,” he told congregants. “So hopefully we can hope for more in the future.”

“You say, ‘Well, that’s mean.’ Yeah, but the Bible says that they’re worthy of death! You say, ‘Are you sad when f*gs die?’ No, I think it’s great!”

He addressed the Arlington, Texas city council in 2022 and called for death to LGBTQ+ people as the council debated a Pride Month resolution.

“According to God we should hate Pride, not celebrate it,” Shelley said. “God has already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment.”

Later in the year, Shelley said that he would feel “lucky” if the Holocaust killed six million Jewish people and if mass shooters killed gay people.

“If someone walks into a homo bar and shoots ’em all, shoots a bunch of homos and kills all of them, you know how many tears I’d shed for that? Zero,” Shelley said, saying that he doesn’t “care how many of them die” because they “worship the devil.”

“You say, ‘Well, Adolf Hitler was evil,’” he continued. “Absolutely! That guy was full of the devil. That guy was an antichrist figure. You know what? If an antichrist kills another antichrist, I don’t cry even one second.”

“‘Well, he killed six million,’” he said in a mocking tone. “I doubt it. Only if we were lucky.”

Pastor Dillon Awes of the same church said last year that “the solution for the homosexual” is murder.

“What does God say is the answer, is the solution, for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the Book of Romans?” Awes asked. “That they are worthy of death! These people should be put to death!”

“Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with the crime, the abomination of homosexuality, that they have,” he continued. “They should be convicted in a lawful trial. They should be sentenced with death.”

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