In a discussion for Australia’s Joy 94.9 FM, a senior official in the Australian Salvation Army suggested that sexually active LGBT people should be put to death.

The discussion between LGBT journalists Serena Ryan and Pete Dillon; and Major Andrew Craibe, the Salvation Army’s Territorial Media Relations Director for the Southern Territory followed the singer Darren Hayes saying that the organisation should be boycotted because of its attitude to homosexuality.

In the interview, Ryan told Major Craibe that she had read the Salvation Story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine, published in London. She went on to point out several parts which she found disturbing including “The problem of evil” (page 28) which cites Romans 1:18-32 and its vitriolic condemnation of homosexuality.

“For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. . .

“They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them.”

Asked whether the Salvation Army took the wording literally, i.e. that practising homosexuals should be put to death, the Major Craibe replied in the affirmative. Truth Wins Out transcribed the resulting discussion

CRAIBE: Well, that’s a part of our belief system.

RYAN (cutting in): So we should die.

CRAIBE: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.

RYAN: Wow. So we should die.

They then discussed the handbook’s section on sin (pages 61-63), which cites the same passage from Romans.

RYAN: It’s going into Romans again . . . I accept that you’re out there wanting to help people . . . I don’t accept that this sexuality that is part of my DNA is a choice. I also don’t accept the support of any religion in a financial sense, and this is what the gay community is up in arms about: that you’re proposing in your religious doctrine and the way that you train — this is part of your training of your soldiers — that because we’re gay, that — we must die. If you go to Romans, book 1, 18-32, it’s all there, mate. I mean, how can you stand by that? How is that Christian?

CRAIBE: Well, well, because that is part of our Christian doctrine –

RYAN (interrupting): But how is that Christian? Shouldn’t it be about love?

CRAIBE: — that’s our understanding of that. Well, the love that we would show is about that: consideration for all human beings to come to know salvation –

RYAN: Or die. . .

CRAIBE: Well, yes.

Ryan later asked Major Craibe again if he felt that LGBT deserved to die.

RYAN: Honestly, Andrew, tell me — as a human being, how can you qualify that?

CRAIBE: Well, I qualify by way of, that’s where my belief system is structured, you know? It’s what it comes to, that salvation story, and that we can be redeemed from that. That’s my belief.

While the Major did say when asked that if his children came out as gay, that he would continue to love them, he argued that being gay was a “choice” like consuming alcohol.