Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Pastor Rick Scarborough: ‘We Do Not Hate Homosexuals’

Rick Scarborough Gay Marriage Religious Freedom
Shout for Variety

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages. Every culture has had homosexuality, but none has ever sanctioned the practice with marriage. To do so requires ignoring the design of nature itself and worse, it denies that the God of nature ordained marriage between a male and a female only.

Our Nation was founded upon the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God”; with the Supreme Court of the United States’ sanctioning of same-sex marriage, it not only is creating law by judicial fiat, it is ignoring natural law.

Marriage, according to the Bible, can exist only between one man and one woman. This definition precedes civil government and religion. The Supreme Court redefining of marriage to include same-sex couples is ignoring thousands of years of history.

There is no disputing that the cultural landscape in America is changing. The assumption on the left is that such change is good. But we should approach such change with caution. Recently, Vision America Action took the lead in placing a full page ad in the Washington Post and USA Today, in which many of the leading pastors and religious leaders in America stated in effect: We’re not changing our beliefs or practices to accommodate a Supreme Court ruling that redefines marriage, and sanctions same-sex relations. Though laws are changed by judicial fiat, we will respectfully disobey regardless of the consequences.

I believe that most homosexuals in America are like most Christians; they simply want to live and let live, and have no desire to impose their beliefs on others. But fringe groups on both sides of the debate over marriage are forcing a dangerous polarization in our culture. We who believe that homosexuality is wrong are compelled by our love for homosexuals to express that belief, based on biblical revelation, but that does not mean we hate those who embrace homosexuality. In fact, we believe that we are expressing the purist form of love. We love them enough to face their rejection and at times their ridicule, in order to offer God’s redemption and freedom.

There are millions of Americans who practice their faith and attend churches regularly because they sincerely believe that God’s word is true. If same-sex marriage becomes a civil right (as it now is), the solicitor general made it clear during oral arguments before the Supreme Court that tax exemption for those who do not comply would be an issue. We are constantly being told that churches will not be forced to conduct such marriages, but churches do a lot of things other than perform marriages: They have food kitchens, rescue missions, schools, day-care centers, hospitals and colleges, all licensed by the state. If their tax exemptions are removed, God’s churches won’t go away, but much of the good they perform for all Americans will be lost, including benevolence and care extended to homosexuals with AIDS and other illnesses.

By the way, when was the last time a movie or sitcom produced in Hollywood depicted a pastor as caring, loving and selfless? The pastors I know and with whom I associate, and particularly those who have signed our Pledge, have committed their lives to serving people. I know many who have taken the homeless and broken into their homes, regularly stay up all night with people who are suffering or have lost loved ones. They are among the best educated and least paid in our society but they serve selflessly because they have been called to be a pastor.

But the typical portrayal of a pastor in a movie is that of an unstable or bigoted hypocrite. I have known thousands of preachers in my 40-plus years of ministry, but only a handful who have turned out to be less than represented. Pastors are just people, and some fail, but the vast majority give their lives to serve others.

We do not hate homosexuals and we are not out to hurt them. We love them, and we love God, His Word, and His truth.

We want homosexuals to know we love them enough to tell the truth and forthrightly state our support of God’s definition of marriage.

Rick Scarborough, who earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary in 1996, is founder of Vision America.

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  1. Miranda Abel says:

    Could someone please provide the Bible verse that specifies that marriage must be only between a man and a woman?

  2. Why is this person writing a column on Variety? Shouldn’t he be writing it for one of the crazy right-wing sites?

  3. I disagree with the pastor. I believe most homosexuals want very much to harm Christians. And many Christians, like myself, hate homosexuals.

  4. I’m sorry Pastor Scarborough, but your commentary comes across as being sanctimonious. “We do not hate homosexuals and we are not out to hurt them. We love them, and we love God, His Word, and His truth.” Your past actions (which can be found by anyone capable of using Google) belie your words.

  5. MBK says:

    The design of nature is that humans and animals are born heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and asexual. A person’s sexual orientation doesn’t violate any natural law, nor does the Supreme Court’s affirmation of same-sex marriage as a Constitutional right ignore natural law. In fact, the decision recognizes that many people by nature are not heterosexual and should not be denied the liberty to marry or pursue happiness through marriage. Is that so difficult to understand?

    The concept of God’s law is not defined in the Declaration of Independence — the source of Scarborough’s “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” quote — or even mentioned in the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution makes it clear that the practice of religion in accordance with one’s beliefs (The Church) is protected from interference by The State, as long as those practices do not infringe upon the secular rights of others. This protection of religious practice is not restricted to the Christian religion, but all religions, many of which do not validate The Bible as the source of any law. That’s why Thomas Jefferson — who along with our Founding Fathers Washington, Adams, Madison, and Paine was a Deist, not a Christian — in the interest of religious liberty, took care to use the term “Nature’s God.”

    Claiming that The Bible’s definition of marriage “precedes civil government and religion” ignores the fact that many civil laws and religions historically pre-date The Bible’s Ten Commandments — actually Judaic religious law appropriated by Christianity — or the advent of Christianity as a religion. And any definition of marriage in The Bible or any other religious tract is constitutionally separate from the definition of marriage by The State. It’s The State’s definition of marriage the Supreme Court has ruled on, not The Church’s. According to some religious beliefs, these definitions are now at odds.

    The State’s definition of marriage applies to all Americans, regardless of their religion, while religious definitions of marriage only apply to the respective followers of those religions. The State cannot deny same-sex couples the right to marry and to receive all the civil benefits that come with marriage (as well as the obligations). But presumably Rick Scarborough and his ilk, as well as any religious official in our country, cannot be compelled by The State to perform a religious marriage ceremony. If this distinction isn’t clear, then the Supreme Court should make it clear.

    The State has ruled justly and should enforce its ruling in The Square without reservation. If you believe your religion precludes you from upholding the law and issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple, you don’t qualify for an exemption; you’re not qualified for the job. If you deny any same-sex couple any other right guaranteed by the law of the land, you’re a criminal offender. It’s that simple.

    So the issue now is between same-sex couples and The Church. Why would anyone seek the ceremonial blessing of any religious institution that condemns their love and commitment to each other as an abomination? Why would anyone want to follow any religion that propounds its God vilifies you? Why would anyone want to worship with someone like Rick Scarborough whose passive-aggressive stance on same-sex marriage is anything but loving, no matter how he tries to spin it? Fortunately there are many Christian leaders with more enlightened views on God’s love and law who will wed same-sex couples seeking the marital blessings of God via a church ceremony. Unlike Scarborough and other religious bigots, they believe, as The Bible says: “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

  6. Billy Joe Koepsel says:

    I hope people understand not all Christians subscribe to this interpretation of scripture. Pastor Scarborough takes on himself authority that no verse in the Bible grants him. He just doesn’t get to take God’s Word out of the context of the passage and out of its historical context. Pasting together six or seven passages with similar keywords and using them to push people out of fellowship and communion with other Christians needs strong proof and that proof should come from the words of Jesus Christ Himself, not from Pastor Scarborough, and Jesus said not one word on this issue. He spoke of feeding the hungry, helping the sick, visiting and comforting the imprisoned. If Pastor Scarborough and Vision America would dedicate themselves to the mandate to “Do unto the least of mine as you would unto me” the world would have no trouble seeing the light of Christ’s love. This kind of action only becomes a stumbling block to true Christianity.

  7. Jeremy J says:

    “According to the Bible”. That’s where your problem is. The United States Legislature is supposed to be a SECULAR entity. Meaning it isn’t governed by a religion or led with religious based intentions.

    The moment you see fit to run the country based on your religious preference you have violated the separation of church and state.

    This is why you’re only in charge of your little backwards community. Instead of preaching love and acceptance as Jesus would want you to you feel that you know better than He does and give yourself the power and right to judge others.

    THIS is why Christianity is the most hated religion, as of late.

  8. Quote: Every culture has had homosexuality, but none has ever sanctioned the practice with marriage.

    Um…Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cananda, Denmark, England, Wales, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norwa, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and last, the United States. Im sure I probably missed a few, but you get the idea.

    Now, you were saying?

  9. Spencer says:

    This column is an attempt at making the old “hate the sin, love the sinner” argument sound rational. I think Rick sincerely believes he loves homosexuals, but I’m calling bull****.

    Love would require empathy. That means talking with lgbt folks. Any serious examination would reveal that sexuality is not a behavior or sin. It is an innate part of one’s identity. Sexual expression of that identity hurts no one.

    Love would require courage and humility. That means overcoming one’s own cognitive dissonance to examine the historical interpretation of the Bible. If read literally it can be used to promote slavery and rape and condemn a whole host of innocuous behaviors. Biblical interpretation changes with the culture, and it can now.

    Love would require respect, not just for the LGBT community but the members of your congregations who are increasingly at odds with this tired argument.

  10. Wait so NOW that he’s lost Rick Scarborough wants gays to know that he’s not an extremist and he loves us?

    After threatening a class action lawsuit against homosexuality. After claiming AIDS is God’s judgement? After longing for the days when sodomy laws could send gays to prison because they were “based on the Bible”? After comparing gays to pedophiles?

    Rick Scarborough can keep his “Christian” love to himself thank you very much. I’m better off without it.

    • David Benjamin says:

      Rick Scarborough is the stereotypical sore lose, and now he’s trying to save face. What a tool!

  11. Christopher A says:

    I’m sorry, but don’t you owe us one self-immolation?

  12. Brown Noise says:

    Using your religion as cover for your bigotry makes you an asshole.

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