Landlord orders out Church that celebrated Orlando massacre
An evangelical Christian church that celebrated the Orlando massacre has been told to move out of their rented premises – after their landlord took exception to their hate speech.
Baptist Roger Jimenez gave a sermon the day of the Orlando Pulse gay club mass shooting, which left 49 dead and 53 injured.
The pastor of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento had claimed: “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die… Florida is a little safer tonight”.
He added: “What if you asked me ‘are you sad that 50 paedophiles were killed today’? I think that’s great – I think that helps society.”
Jimenez added: “If we lived in a righteous government, they should round them all up and put them up against a firing wall, and blow their brains out.”
The pastor went on to say the Bible states that homosexuality is sinful and should be punished with death.
After hundreds protested against the church’s horrific teachings, they have been asked to leave their rented premises.
The church had operated out of a building on Northgate Business Park, owned by Harsch Investment Properties.
In a statement, Harsch Investment Properties confirmed the church had been informed its lease would not be renewed.
The statement reads: “Harsch Investment Properties, the owner of the Northgate Business Park, and all our staff are shocked and saddened by the tragic events in Orlando.
“Like all Americans, we grieve for the fallen and injured. In the 66 years since our company was founded, we have stood for the rights of all individuals, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, to live their lives and follow their dreams.
“We stand with those who make their voices heard: Intolerance and hate are not the values that have made our country great.
“We respect the right of every individual’s free speech, even when we disagree with their views. This is certainly the case with our tenant Verity Baptist Church and its Pastor Roger Jimenez.
“We have many places of worship and other religious organisations in the properties we manage. Like all our tenants, their occupancy rights are protected in their leases, but we will not tolerate tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives.
“We communicated our views to Verity Baptist Church, and while their lease does not expire until 3/31/17, we have asked them to consider moving out of our business park, and we would immediately cancel their lease without any penalty to them.
Noting protests against the church, the landlord continues: “Just as we respect the right of individuals to speak their views, as distasteful as they may be, we also respect the right of others to protest as a reflection of their values.
“We would ask that any protest be peaceful, have proper permits and respect the rights of all of our tenants at Northgate Business Park.
“Please do not take this as any less of a commitment on the part of our company to continue to work with Verity Baptist Church to move out of our park.
“For decades, the owners and staff at Harsch Investment Properties have supported the LGBTQ community and many other organisations whose missions are to further respect, dignity and the ability for all individuals to live their lives as they wish.”
49 people were killed and 53 injured on Sunday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack,which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
In a statement, President Obama mourned the victims of the homophobic hate crime attack and called for greater restrictions on arms sales.
In response, Republican nominee Donald Trump said Obama should resign for failing to rally against Islam in his comments.
The attack has been condemned by American Muslim leaders, who addressed ISIS in saying: “You do not speak for us.”
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But millions of people around the world have showed solidarity with the victims of the shooting and the community in Orlando,
Earlier, a threat was posted to Craigslist in San Diego, praising the shooting in Orlando, and reading: “San Diego, you’re next”.
Two US Marines are also being investigated for posting a photo with an assault rifle with the caption “Coming to a gay bar near you” on Facebook.
Many have taken to social media to show off their dazzling tattoo designs paying tribute to those lost and injured in the attack.