T.D. Jakes

Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of the Potter’s House megachurch in Dallas, has again decided to use his position as one of the most influential African-American pastors in the country to publicly bash gay people. Jakes appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s new talk show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, on Sunday and declared that he believes homosexuality is “condemned by the scriptures.”

Here’s a transcript of the exchange:

Oprah: “Would you say that everybody is embraced in your church?”

Jakes: “Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.”

Oprah: “Because you know that you’ve been accused of saying that gay people would not be welcome.”

Jakes: “Oh, no, no, no. That’s not true at all.”

Oprah: “That’s not true?”

Jakes: “Well, the perception in our society today is that if you don’t say you’re for same-sex marriage or if you say that homosexuality is a sin that you’re homophobic and you’re against gay people. That’s not true. I’m not called to give my opinion. I’m called as a pastor to give the scriptural position on it. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with you to love you. I don’t dislike anybody. I love everybody.”

Oprah: “But does it mean you perceive being gay as a sin? Do you think that being gay is a sin?”

Jakes: “I think that sex between two people of the same sex is condemned in the scriptures, and as long as it is  condemned in the scriptures, I don’t get to say what I think. I get to say what the Bible says. I’m not particularly political. I’m not particularly denominational. I’m not worried about any of that. I’m not anti-gay. I’m not anti-anything. I don’t want to even be known by what I’m against. I want to be known by what I’m for. I’m for people bettering themselves, no matter who they are and where they are, doing all they can to be all they can be.”

In stating his view that homosexuality is condemned by the scriptures, Jakes is in turn condemning his own son, Jermaine, who was arrested a few years ago in Kiest Park for soliciting sex from a male vice officer. He’s also condemning the late brother of marriage equality advocate Michael Irvin, who strangely still considers Jakes’ his “spiritual father.”

Jakes is condemning the countless LGBTQ youth who are among his flock at the Potter’s House, perhaps pushing some closer to suicide. And he’s condemning anyone who may be at risk for contracting HIV from gay sex, further contributing to the shame and silence that helps drive skyrocketing infection rates in South Dallas.

But hey, it’s all good, because Jakes loves everybody, right? I mean, can’t you just feel his love?

Watch video of Jakes’ comments here.