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Hate Crime: Christian Pastor Attacks Gay Couple To Keep Them From Church

by David Badash on October 3, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Discrimination,Politics,Religion

Post image for Hate Crime: Christian Pastor Attacks Gay Couple To Keep Them From Church

Editor’s note: Read this update

A gay Tennessee couple was reportedly attacked — physically and verbally assaulted — by a Christian Pastor and his deacons to prevent the same-sex couple from entering the Pastor’s church. Sadly, the pastor is the father of one of the two members of the gay couple. Also sadly, the church members and bystanders did not lift a finger to help the couple or to stop church leaders from perpetrating the crime. Further, initially, local authorities refused to allow the couple to file charges.


“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,’” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.

“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash 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,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

Offensively, the ABC affiliate news report allows the sheriff on camera to even suggest that the couple might have deserved the violence they encountered, without challenge, and offers an impending divorce of the Pastor as a reason for his hostile actions. Great act of “journalism.”

The elder Pittman is the Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Humboldt (listed in news reports as as Fruitland) Tennessee.

Probably a safe assumption the Grace Fellowship Church takes advantage of IRS rules to be a tax-exempt religious organization. Your tax dollars pay for that which Grace Fellowship Church does not.

(hat tip: Joe.My.God.)

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BeerandOnion October 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

If the law in Tennessee takes no action, the US government should. In fact, both should. There is no excuse for violence. And this is bigoted violence of the worst kind. It does not matter if this pastor disagrees with the idea of gay or not, he and his deacons acted in the worst possible way. If this goes unchecked then I'll attack you for being Catholic or atheist or Greek or tall or young or on and on and on. Hate has to stop or it will go continue to pollute humanity.

Brian Stroup October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Forget the flaccid US government… the PEOPLE need to take action. I'd love to see the look on that pastor's face Sunday morning as a mob of homosexuals with torches and molotov cocktails suddenly appear in the nave of the unholy building.

BeerandOnion October 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I'd join that mob — but without the fire. And I go as a queer, not a homosexual.

BrotherRog October 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

"Grace Fellowship?" This may be the most hypocritically named church ever.
Let's pray for the reconciliation and healing for the families involved and for that community – and for that church some day living into its name.

craig4812 October 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

OK.. I know anger doesn't solve anything but this Pastor should be beaten within every inch of his life.. a man of God My A – S – S he is a piece of crap! sounds to me like he is closeted himself!

townescc October 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

There doesn't seem to be a debate over whether the attack actually occurred. I'm a little puzzled about what "the father's side of the story" has to offer. It's rather like like saying that you'd like to hear if a rapist has something to say because you've decided that his victim deserved it.

Then again perhaps you believe, as stated in Scripture, a rapist gets to follow up his crime by marrying the victim and paying her father for the property loss.

randall822 October 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm

What would Jesus do? He would be attending gay weddings to help celebrate two people loving each other. If I was this person being attacked by my own bigoted father and uncle, I would never speak to them again and move out of that bigoted town as fast as possible to start a new life in a bigger city that is far more accepting. Everybody should see, especially Christians, the excellent documentary For The Bible Tells Me So available at Netflix or Amazon about what the Bible really says about homosexuality from Harvard scholars. The terms/ words 2000 years ago were very different in their translation to begin with and bottom line is the Bible was written by tribal people 2000 years ago and much of it is irrelevant to modern society. The most important thing about the Bible is its supposed to teach love and tolerance and acceptance of differences. People who act this bigoted way give the true philosophy of Christianity a bad name. Shameful.

jeanpierre2 August 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

in the Southern States, gays are not free from discrimination in employment, accommodation, and as there are no hate laws to protect them they need to watch their backs more.

When someone in a gay couple is dying in a hospital, their partner does not have the right to visit them.

There is no protection for children that are gay or perceived to be gay from bullying.

And of course, gays in the South never have the right to marry one another.

This is very similar to the Jim Crow regime that existed in the South before the 1960's.

It also reminds me that the Southern view of freedom in America is very much like someone in a glass house throwing stones.

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