Ed Young

Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine is apparently trying to give First Baptist Church of Dallas’ Robert Jeffress a run for his money as the area’s leading religious homophobe.

Young may be best known for challenging the members of his congregation — or at least the heterosexual, married ones — to have sex every day for a week in 2008. Young staged another publicity stunt earlier this year when he used live animals — a lion and a lamb — in his Easter sermon.

Why does Young need so much attention? Well, apparently he’s trying to support a pretty lavish lifestyle — taking in more than $1 million a year from the church and traveling in a private jet.

Which may also help explain why Young has suddenly become so outspoken in his opposition to same-sex marriage.

After President Barack Obama endorsed marriage equality last month, Young warned that society was treading “on thin ice.” Now Young is planning a series of so-called “Cool-Aid” sermons about same-sex marriage and homosexuality beginning this Sunday.

The idea is that those who support marriage equality — or even just affirm LGBT people — are “drinking culture’s Cool-Aid,” according to the Christian Post:

Young admitted that homosexuality is a controversial topic and that people will have different viewpoints, but insisted that the church should not be silent, and instead it should speak up loudly. He shared that his main hope for the “Cool-Aid” sermon series is to “show the genius of God in his alignment of marriage.”

On the topic of how much choice homosexuals have in regards to their lifestyle, the megachurch pastor said that everyone always has a choice.

“I don’t believe there is a gay gene, just like I don’t believe there is a basketball gene,” he began. “I think all of us are predisposed to things. But we can’t just throw our hands up and say ‘well, I was born tall, and I just can’t help myself, I have to play basketball.’ No, we all have a choice. I believe that maybe some people are born with a leaning toward same-sex attraction. But that does not mean they cannot help themselves.”