At its annual meeting in New Orleans, the Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday passed a resolution opposing same-sex marriage and declaring that marriage equality is not a civil rights issue. According to the Associated Press, the resolution was co-authored by the Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.
“It’s important to sound the alarm again, because the culture is changing,” McKissic said of the resolution, adding that it’s “an unfair comparison” for gays to equate marriage equality with civil rights.
“They’re equating their sin with my skin,” McKissic told the AP.
The AP story goes on to suggest that while opposing marriage equality, with acceptance of gays growing in America, the SBC at the same time wants to distance itself from more hateful anti-gay rhetoric. For example, the SBC has long since ended its boycott of Disney over Gay Days, and the resolution approved Wednesday includes a statement that the SBC stands against “any form or gay-bashing, whether disrespectful attitudes, hateful rhetoric, or hate-incited actions.”
But if the SBC is truly trying to temper its anti-gay teachings, it has chosen the wrong spokesperson in McKissic. That’s because McKissic statement rhyming “sin” and “skin” — which is not new but will undoubtedly be repeated by anti-gay SBC pastors all over the country — pales in comparison to some of his other recent anti-gay rhetoric.
For example, in May, McKissic compared President Barack Obama’s decision to come out in support marriage equality to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. From McKissic’s blog:
President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the Black Church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage. The Bible is crystal clear on this subject, and the Black Church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. His endorsement is an inadvertent attack on the Christian Faith. America is now a candidate for the same judgment received by Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a sad, sad day and a very bad decision, by our beloved President. The moral impact of this day and decision is equal to the military impact of AL-Queda when they attacked the Twin Towers on 911. Today’s announcement is a moral earthquake equivalent to a tsunami or hurricane that will have far more devastating results than Katrina.
Speaking of Katrina, in 2005 McKissic said the storm was sent “to purify our nation” and blamed it on sinful activities in New Orleans — site of the SBC conference — including the gay festival Southern Decadence:
“I’m raising the question,” Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, said last week at meetings of the Texas Restoration Project, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “At some point, God will hold us accountable for our sins.”
“They have devil worship. They advertise ‘Sin City’ tours. They celebrate Southern decadence. Girls go wild in New Orleans,” said McKissic, a founder of the “Not on My Watch” coalition against gay marriage. “Sometimes God does not speak through natural phenomena. This may have nothing to do with God being offended by homosexuality. But possibly it does.”
And in 2006, McKissic called homosexuality satanic and suggested that the anti-Christ is gay. From Right Wing Watch:
It wasn’t easy at this conference to distinguish yourself by the ugliness of your anti-gay remarks, but Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas rose to the occasion in a Saturday workshop on “Impacting the Culture Through the Church.” His remarks were one part bragging about “Not on My Watch,” his road show of opposition to marriage equality for gays, and four parts attacking the gay rights movement. McKissick denounced as “insulting, offensive, demeaning, and racist” the gay right’s movement trying to “hitch itself” to civil rights. Gays, he said, can’t “compare their sin to my skin.” He repeated the classic charge that gays “can’t reproduce so they have to recruit.” But he was just warming up. The civil rights movement, he said, was grounded in moral authority, truth and righteousness, the impetus to freedom, constitutional authority, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, he said, the gay rights movement was inspired “from the pit of hell itself,” and has a “satanic anointment.” The gay rights movement was birthed and inspired by the anti-Christ. He suggested that the anti-Christ is himself gay, citing a verse from the book of Daniel saying the anti-Christ will have no desire for a woman. “I don’t think there is any issue more important than how we are going to define the family,” said McKissic. Television shows portraying homosexuality in a positive light have put us “on the road to Sodom and Gomorrah,” and “God’s got another match…He didn’t run out of matches.”