Republican Defends His Reading of Scripture Because It Was 'Just Like I Would in a Bible Study'
U.S. Congressman Rick Allen, a Republican of Georgia, in the aftermath of the terror attack on LGBT people in Orlando has no regrets and is not about to offer apologies for choosing to read Bible passages that condemn gay people as "worthy of death" at a GOP meeting with fellow lawmakers last month.
The freshman Republican opened the House GOP weekly meeting by telling his colleagues who had voted the night before for an LGBT protections bill that they were "going to hell," then read from the Christian Bible's Books of Romans and Revelations passages that attack LGBT people as sinners in devastating detail.
"Yes. I read a scripture from Romans and that's what I did," Allen told Roll Call. "I just simply shared that, in what's supposed to be a private setting with fellow members of my conference, just like I would in a Bible study."
That meeting took place in the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Allen also told Roll Call, "My wife and I, our prayers are with those family and friends."
"The members of Congress who represent that district are just devastated," he added.
Allen spokeswoman Madison Fox told Roll Call in a statement, "he read Revelations 22:18-19 and Romans 1:18-32 while delivering a prayer in a private closed-door meeting, not in front of a crowd, to the press or out in public."
"The passage in Romans discusses sin, in all its shapes and sizes. The congressman will be the first to admit that he is a sinner, as we all sin â€” but he never condemned anyone or would condemn anyone, especially not to death."
Among the passages he read, Romans 1:27: "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
Also, Romans 28-32: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Rep. Allen issued a formal statement on the terror attack in Orlando that targeted the LGBT community, killing 49 people and injuring 53 more. Like most Republicans, he did not mention the victims were LGBT and targeted because of who they are. He also did not post his statement to social media.
NCRM has called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to censure Rep. Allen for using the Bible to pray for the death of U.S. Citizens. You can sign our petition here.
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