In a scene from Veep, Selina Meyers laughs nervously.

Washington Pastor Wants Parents of Trans Kids ‘Shot in the Back of the Head’

Aren't Christians supposed to be more, um, loving?

Content warning: Extreme transphobia, discussion of anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ violence

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With what might be the most misleading title for a so-called “sermon” ever, “In Defense of Children,” recently went viral. A video clip of Pastor Jason Graber of Sure Foundation Baptist Church in Spokane has been making the rounds online, in which he passionately calls for the public execution of not only all LGBTQ people but also the parents of transgender children.

“Any parent that would have their child have a transgender surgery done on them—any parent that would do that, they just need to be shot in the back of the head,” Gaber told the congregation in Spokane and virtual audiences via Facebook Live on April 23. “Then we can string them up above a bridge so the public can see the consequences of that kind of wickedness,” he added with a firm but nonchalant flair that conjures images of Gilead in “The Handmaids Tale.”

“There should be no excuse not to put these people to death,” the so-called Christian leader said casually. Is the death penalty legal in Washington State? No. Is shooting people in the back of the head based on zealotry and stringing their dead bodies up in a public arena like some self-promoting Baptist Vlad the Impaler legal in any nation with a reasonable human rights record? No. Do these things matter to Gaber? No! He just can’t think of a good reason as a Christian not to slaughter a ton of people!

Gaber is certainly not the only fundamentalist Baptist preacher who hates LGBTQ people. His hateful comments come among a recent tide of disgusting and dangerous anti-LGBTQ legislation moving throughout the country. But he’s making waves online for his fervor to go beyond just legislating them into submission. He wants to execute them all, which is, you know, kind of extreme, even for the far right.

The clip of Gaber’s sermon got thousands and thousands of shares and incredulous comments overnight and he seems quite proud to be the most violent local religious leader when it comes to queer folks—who he, of course, believes are all pedophiles and child abusers. “I want you to go ahead and find me another preacher in Spokane who is preaching the message … [that] these child molesters the chief child butchers, that these are all the LGBTQ people … that they should all be put to death in a public execution by the government. Find me the preacher that says that,” he said at one point. And … just wow. He is so pleased with himself that he is the most hate-crimey, violent preacher. 

This isn’t the first time Gaber has gone hard against “the gays.” In the past, he has referred to members of the LGBTQ community as not only child molesters and child butchers but also pedophiles. He has said that teachers who are accepting of LGBTQ people, or talk about anything related to LGBTQ issues in class, should be “taken out and shot in the back of the head” because apparently he just loves making that suggestion! He also said that they should be “publicly beheaded” on TV. So, there are government watch lists for people who have clearly demonstrated that they might flip out and turn into violent domestic terrorists, right? Because if any members of the FBI or CIA are reading, I’ve got someone you should meet.

(featured image: HBO)

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Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.