A New York church that narrowly avoided foreclosure will ‘celebrate’ by burning a rainbow flag.
A court recently ordered that Harlem’s infamous ATLAH World Missionary Church – which has signs advocating the death penalty for gay people – be put up for auction over £1 million in unpaid debts.
The Church’s notorious pastor James David Manning, who claims Starbucks flavours coffee with the “semen of Sodomites”, has fought the decision tooth-and-nail, amid a bid from LGBT homeless charity the Ali Forney Center to buy the church.and turn it into an LGBT centre.
Last week a judge ruled that the foreclosure should not go ahead until a dispute over the church’s taxation status is resolved.
In response, Manning pledged to “celebrate” by burning a rainbow flag.
In a video, he sais: “We gon’ burn the flag. We gon’ get a whole bunch of them rainbow flags, we going out there in our courtyard, we gon’ stick a match to them and we gon’ burn them.
“They said they gon’ burn Bibles when they take our church… we’re going to burn their flag.”
Appealing for donations, Manning claimed that he could get God to help people’s businesses and stop job lay-offs in return.
A sign flying from the church says: “The foreclosure & sale of ATLAH Church has been vacated. To celebrate we will burn the rainbow fag flag in our courtyard TBA.”
Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center, said: “Reverend Manning’s threat to burn the rainbow flag in the courtyard of his church is reprehensible, especially in the aftermath of the Orlando Massacre.
“We plan to surround his church with rainbow flags, the symbol of our pride as a community, to show that our pride cannot be destroyed, symbolically or otherwise.
“The best response to his hate is a display of community love and pride by the LGBT community and our allies.”
Stacy Parker LeMelle of Harlem Against Violence told the New Civil Rights Movement: “ATLAH promises to burn a rainbow flag, in the heart of Harlem, longtime home to a mighty queer community. A true horror, right on the corner.
“In addition to the toxicity Manning regularly spreads with his words, he will add a literally noxious display of his will to hurt.”