To be clear, Pastor Donnie Romero of Stedfast Baptist Church did not resign for being intensely homophobic, as terrible as that is. But he does admit to being terrible in a video posted by his church in which he tearfully announces his resignation.
“I just want to let you guys know that I’m stepping down as the pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church,” Romera says in a shaky voice. “I haven’t been ruling my house well. I’ve been a terrible husband and father.”
Romero doesn’t go into specifics about why he’s terrible, only says that it’s not his family’s fault. However, in a follow-up video by Pastor Steven Anderson explains why he had to go. It’s not because of homophobia.
“I’m just going to mention what the sins [committed by Romero] were without going into detail,” says Anderson. “Basically, the major sin involved was being with prostitutes. And then there were also marijuana and gambling that were also discovered.”
Technically, the only real sins here are gambling and cheating on his wife. Jesus hung out with full service sex workers, and the Bible has only good things to say about marijuana. But it’s their church, their rules, and if they guy broke them and wants to step down, that’s cool.
What’s not cool is all the things that Pastor Romero has said during his time as a religious leader that he should have resigned for, and maybe even taken a vow of silence.
Romero advocated for LGBTQ+ people to be “destroyed” and literally said that “they are all pedophiles” who are “always trying to rape and hurt other people” and are out to snatch people’s children away. In the video containing all of this hate speech, Romero also repeatedly uses multiple anti-gay slurs. He was also one of the pastors who said that the deaths of the 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Florida made the world a better place. He went as far as proudly admitting to praying that the survivors in intensive care would die.
“And I will pray to God like I did this morning, and I will do it tonight, I’ll pray that God will finish the job that that man started, and he will end their life, and by tomorrow morning they will all be burning in hell, just like the rest of them, so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children.”
Was it God who made sure Romero was caught smoking, gambling, and fornicating?
Romero has said that he will still be a member of the church, but he will no longer be preaching homophobic hatred from the pulpit. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that his replacement will be just as homophobic. Too bad for him, because this country’s only getting gayer.