Wednesday, July 22, 2015


This is in The Augusta Chronicle this morning. This is no way to protest anything or anyone!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 12:04 PM
Last updated 11:54 PM
Vandals spray-painted Tuesday morning a Bible passage that condemns homosexual sex on a downtown church whose pastor was part of the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Richmond County.
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The Rev. Rick Sosbe, senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Augusta, answers calls at the front door of his church Tuesday after it was spray-painted with graffiti that refers to Bible verses.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
The Rev. Rick Sosbe, senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Augusta, answers calls at the front door of his church Tuesday after it was spray-painted with graffiti that refers to Bible verses.
“Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies” was painted across the double front doors of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer on 557 Greene St. On the front steps was another passage, Leviticus 18:20, with the words “You’ll Burn.”
The vandalism comes almost three weeks after a rainbow flag had been stolen from the front of the church.
The church’s pastor, Rick Sosbe, said a church member texted him a picture of the vandalism as he was preparing to go to the church for his regular office duties.
“I was angry. I was very sad and I thought, ‘Just why?’ To me, it seems so interesting that they’re saying on there that you’ll burn – in other words saying ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ I’m sure – and quoting scripture. Is that what Christianity – right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity – has come to?” he said.
Sosbe and his partner, Michael Rehn, got married June 30, four days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all states.
He believes Tuesday’s vandalism and the flag incident are a reaction to his and the church’s increased presence in the media because of the legalization of marriage equality.
“We’ve occupied this building for 12 years, and this is the first (time) something’s happened,” he said.
Sosbe said he plans to discuss buying some security cameras with the church’s board within the next couple of days.
According to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, damages were estimated at $2,500. Deputies could not lift any fingerprints from the dried paint.
The church does plan to prosecute.
Public Information Officer Lt. Allan Rollins said officers will keep a closer lookout for strange activity because there have been a couple of incidents at the church. He also said that even though it seems the crime is based in “dislike,” it’s difficult to classify it as a hate crime until a suspect is caught and questioned.
Sosbe said that at the advice of the sheriff’s deputy, he planned to check with neighbors to see if their security cameras recorded the vandalism.
He also said the church will continue to spread its message of God’s love.
Sosbe said that the exposure the church has gotten lately has let more people know about its existence.
He recalled a phone call after the flag incident, when a man asked to discuss the issue of Christianity and gays. They had a long discussion that “restored my faith in humankind,” he said.
He said it reminded him of the story of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery, but he rose to become a powerful man in Egypt.
“Joseph said to his brothers, ‘What you intended for harm, God turned around for good.’ If it weren’t for that flag, that man would never have known we were here,” he said.
On Tuesday evening, about 50 members of the church, Augusta Pride and supporters of the LGBT community held a rally on the church steps as a show of solidarity.
Inside, Lonzo Smith, vice president of Augusta Pride, spoke about the need for hate crime legislation in Georgia, one of the few states without any.
“(Tolerance) means you are accepting something that you find offensive, so I will no longer use the word ‘tolerance’ in my vocabulary. I do not want to be tolerated. I want to be liberated. I want to be accepted,” he said.
Takya Browning, president of Augusta Pride, said when she learned of the vandalism, she was hurt, sad and angry, but said she believes it points to something bigger.
“Just because we had marriage equality come down does not mean that everything is roses and rainbows,” Browning said.
“It means the real work begins and this is a sign of work happening. If we weren’t here making a difference, nobody would bother those doors.”
• Leviticus 18:22 (King James Version) reads “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.
• Leviticus 18:20 (King James Version) reads “Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with they neighbor’s wife, to defile thyself with her.”


Anonymous said...

Conservative, Christian people don't do those kinds of things. If I had to make a guess I would bet that vandalism was done by a pro "gay marriage" person or persons who are pushing their agenda by trying to make traditional Christianity look bad. That's how modernists work. Unfortunately conservatives have had a history of just sitting back, shaking our heads, and continuing with our lives while we watch the world slide further and further down the hill. We don't do sinful anti Christian things like those portrayed in those pictures. Spray painting words from the Holy Scriptures as vandalism is evil and contrary to everything the Gospel stands for. That's why I don't think it was a believer who did that.

Anonymous said...

Anon - Because conservative Christian believers never sin...?

gob said...

Yeah, Anon....I feel sure we can place the blame right at the doorsteps of Obama and Pope Francis. No conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American male would do such a thing.

jusadbellum said...

Anonymous - no, because the overwhelming number of race or homophobic attacks on college campi have turned out to be hoaxes.

In almost every case the "attack" was self-inflicted to jin up hatred for the supposed side doing the attacking. It almost always gets huge play in the media...which then fails to announce the hoax with the same glee and massive coverage.

Not saying this is guaranteed a hoax but it's far more likely than not.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Might it have been minimally churched juvenile delinquents high on the liberal's ideology that pot is good especially for pocket books? Nah!

Blame Obama said...

A conservative Christian person would never do anything like enter a church and shoot a bunch of black people.

Rood Screen said...


That's true.

Charles G said...

We don't know, but I think it certainly possible this was faked or done by a pro-homosexualist agent provocateur. I certainly think the execrable Fred Phelps people engage in their antics to discredit traditional Christian believers. I've never met one of the latter that condones the Phelps' ridiculous actions, and the Phelps and Gore families are historically quite close. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think it is likely to be a fundamentalist protestant group who have done it because they frequently put pamphlets with biblical quotations condemning Catholics, etc, in mailboxes, and to paint a biblical quote on the door isn't too far removed I don't think. I don't think a gay pastor would say they would burn becase it is too close to home.

Much as we condemn it, sometimes it takes a short, sharp jolt to wake people up to the life they are living and there will be some who go and read what the biblical quotation says, who may not be aware of just how condemnatory the bible is of homosexuality. That is another readon why I don't think it is a gay person because homosexuals often categorically deny that there is any such condemnation in the bible and so I imagine they wouldn't want to alert people to the fact that there is.


John Nolan said...

'Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies' sounds like a rejection of the verse condemning homosexual conduct and Leviticus 18:20 condemns adultery with a neighbour's wife so concerns heterosexuals. Precise exegesis of graffiti is problematic, but a literal reading of this suggests it was written by a homosexual. An opponent of 'gay rights' would surely have endorsed Leviticus 18:20 and followed it up with Romans 1:26-27.

John Nolan said...

Sorry. Meant to write 'would surely have endorsed Leviticus 18:22'.

Paul said...

Maybe the vandal intended all to be separate: "Burn" and "Lies" and used Leviticus 18:22 at the center of the door to nail the point.

Difficult to say, as Mr. Nolan points out.

In any event, vandalism is a crime and no one has a right to do it.

rcg said...

John, he was creating a triptych with the door and walls.

Loonies attract each other. They desecrated an altar to God and an idiot put paint on the walls. Why wonder which is worse when they are both wrong.