Nashville-based pastor Kent Christmas is at it again. We recently reported on how the preacher (sporting some nice rainbow shirt buttons) warned a large audience in Washington DC of how the “demonic spirit” of homosexuality was taking over Christian children and was coming after “our seed”.
This week, he was preaching about the high suicide rate amongst LGBTQ people.
Displaying the warped logic so common amongst right-wing evangelists, Christmas had his own theory on why rates of suicide are higher among gay people.
Right-wing pastor (and Dan Flashes aficionado) Kent Christmas says that “suicide amongst the homosexuality community” is prevalent “because of the guilt”: “They know that it’s not right, but they are bound and they hate doing it.” pic.twitter.com/SjiVXxce4Z
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 30, 2021
“Can I tell you how my heart goes out to the homosexual community because there are so many of them… suicide amongst the homosexual community is one of the highest rates of suicide … in part, it is because of the guilt: They know that it’s not right, but they are bound and they hate doing it.”
Although it’s easy to laugh at extremist religious folk, Kent Christmas (who along with his wife, Candy Christmas founded the Regeneration Nashville church in Nashville, TN), is right about one thing: Suicide rates among LGBTQ people are considerably higher than their straight counterparts.
A 2016 study found that 17% of gay and bisexual people had attempted suicide at some point in their life, compared to 2.4% of the general US population. LGBTQ youth were three times more likely than non-LGBQ youth to contemplate suicide.
However, most researchers in the field say the high rates of depression among gay people are directly linked due to the discrimination they face.
The risk of suicide is even higher in those who have faced rejection in their life because of their sexuality, or who have subjected themselves to any form of so-called “conversion therapy”, an ineffective and dangerous practice often advocated by evangelicals like Christmas.
Christmas’s latest thoughts on the topic of homosexuality were picked up by Right Wing Watch.
On social media, many were quick to ridicule his latest sermon.
Exactly, no way it’s because of things like getting disowned and kicked out of your house when you’re 18 and have nothing. That couldn’t possibly be the reason.
— A.$.A.P General Strikey (@lyleleander) September 30, 2021
Well if you didn’t make them feel shitty enough they might not feel that way.
— 🦊 Auro D. Hikoshi 🦊 (@CooroSnowFox) September 30, 2021
What’s “not right”, sir, is that shirt…. is that glitter? pic.twitter.com/p3Z6k0qCa6
— The Idea Guy™️ (@sjtheethird) September 30, 2021
Am I the only one whose gaydar is going haywire with this dude?
— Dave (@DaveStrong11) September 30, 2021
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.