A video has picked up attention online for showing a well-known, anti-LGBTQ hate preacher. What makes this one different is that it shows him surrounded by young kids in the front of his makeshift pulpit.
Queerty has written before about Pastor Jonathan Shelley of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst, near Fort Worth, Texas. In 2019, Shelley gave a sermon in which he welcomed the death of a 75-year-old man who was accidentally run over at a Pride event in Wilton Manors.
“And, you know, it’s great when trucks accidentally go through those, you know, parades,” Pastor Jonathan Shelley said then. “I think only one person died. So hopefully we can hope for more in the future.”
In a video posted to its YouTube channel yesterday, Shelley delivered another so-called ‘Hard Preaching.”
This time, the camera reveals that a dozen or so young kids sit on the floor just in front of him, and have to endure a 90-minute sermon of hate. Hemant Mehta, a writer and podcaster, posted a short clip to Twitter.
Christian hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley’s sermons sound even worse when you see children sitting in the front. pic.twitter.com/iwq51y2JRD
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) March 6, 2022
In it, Shelley tells his audience that “fornicators are not welcome in the church. So if there’s a whore, she’s supposed to be thrown out until she repents and gets back in. And then on top of that, the sodomites are never allowed in for any vow!”
He then goes on to mock a “sodomite”:
“‘Oh, I promise I’m saved!’ No, get away!
“‘I love the Lord.’ No, you don’t. Get away from me.
“‘Love is love’ No. There’s no promise you could make, there’s nothing you can say, you’re never welcome. Go away. I just can’t wait until you go to hell.”
As Mehta points out, “Shelley’s sermons sound even worse when you see children sitting in the front.”
It’s not known where this latest church service took place. A couple of weeks ago, a judge in Texas gave the church five days to vacate its building. Its landlord had filed for eviction saying the church had broken the terms of its lease. A Tarrant County judge agreed.
The building Stedfast operated from is owned by the nonprofit organization Fellowship of the Sword Inc. It said that sermons advocating violence had led to protests outside the building.
“He was preaching from the premises, that is called a ‘true threat’ of violence, which is not protected under the First Amendment,” attorney Frank Hill, representing the owners, told the Star-Telegram.
“People need to be told that even a church can’t go around spewing threats of violence,” he continued.
Besides being told to relocate, the church was also ordered to pay $42,000 in attorney’s fees.
Shelley posted a video responding to the court’s decision, in which he doubled down on his hateful views.
“The situation is really unprecedented,” Shelley said. “In fact, even the enemies of our church are gloating and bragging about the fact that our church is being evicted for what we believe and what we preach.
“Today, you’re not allowed to preach what the Bible says without receiving a lot of harassment, a lot of persecution.”
He went on to say, “I’ve never advocated violence towards any singular person … I’ve only ever advocated for the legally sanctioned death penalty for homosexuals.”