Pastor has harsh words for gays
A Maryland pastor featured in a viral video saying people who support gay marriage are “worthy of death” just completed two terms on the SBC Executive Committee.
By Bob Allen
A former leader in the Southern Baptist Convention weighed into debate over gay marriage in Maryland, saying people who do such things, or approve of them, are “worthy of death.”
Robert Anderson, pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., made the comment Oct. 19 at a town hall meeting put on by a group seeking to block the state’s marriage equality bill, signed into law in March, from taking effect.
Anderson quoted the Bible from Leviticus, calling it an “abomination” for a man to lie with a man as with a woman, and from Romans 1, where the Apostle Paul declares the unrighteous “worthy of death.”
“If we don’t vote against it, then we are approving these things that are worthy of death,” Anderson said.
Anderson recently completed eight years on the SBC Executive Committee, a key governing board that oversees management of the nation’s second-largest faith group between annual meetings. In June, he received an award from the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network.
Baptist Press, the SBC news service that is under auspices of the Executive Committee, has published stories about Anderson’s leadership in the Maryland Marriage Alliance, a coalition urging people to vote against Question 6.
The referendum, one of several on the ballot this year in Maryland, would allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, while protecting clergy from having to form any marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.
“In this whole discussion -- I understand the logical debates, and we need that -- whatever happened to something is right and something is wrong?” Anderson said in a YouTube video clip first publicized by a gay blogger and later picked up in mainstream media, including the Baltimore Sun and New York Daily News.
Saying as a pastor he could probably “get away” with it, Anderson posed the question, “Whatever happened to sin?”
“It is not fair to open up a back door that will legalize prostitution,” he said. “It’s not fair to open up a back door that will possibly legalize bestiality. It’s not fair to open up a back door that will possibly lead to polygamy. Once you start messing with what God has established for us, we’re opening up a door to redefine incest. Where do you stop?”
Anderson stood by his comments in an interview with a Washington television station.
“That’s not my words,” Anderson told NBC affiliate WRC. “That’s from Romans Chapter 1, written by the Apostle Paul himself.”
Anderson explained why his remarks applied not only to those who participate in same-sex marriages but also those who support them.
“Worthy of death in that they are promoting the lifestyle and they are promoting what same-sex marriage is all about, and that is what we’re standing against,” he said.
© 2013 Associated Baptist Press, Inc.