No one would be surprised to learn that there are right-wing Christians in this country who disapprove of homosexuality. Neither would it come as a surprise that in rural parts of this country, Christianity and homosexuality when brought together, can create a highly combustible mix.
But who could imagine the hate and rage that would motivate a Pastor to instruct deacons and members of his congregation, Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, TN. to physically attack a couple arriving in the church parking lot last Wednesday?
The fact that one of the gay men attacked happened to be the Pastor’s own son, Jerry Pittman, Jr., no doubt contributed to Pittman senior’s noxious edict. According to Pittman Jr., after hearing his Dad yell, “SICK’EM!:”
“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back.”
The attackers also verbally assaulted the couple continually with anti-gay verbiage which continued even after a Sheriff’s Deputy arrived on the scene. Bystanders and other congregants made no effort to stop the assault. For that matter, neither did the Deputy Sheriff. Once the barrage of punches ended, the Deputy refused to let the two victims press charges.
Jerry Pittman Jr. and his boyfriend, Dustin Lee, have since filed charges against two of the men who beat them as well as Pastor Jerry Pittman. A hearing has been scheduled in Gibson County Court for Tuesday, October 4th.
One can’t help but wonder if Pastor Pittman really thinks Jesus would back him up on this assault?