Anti-gay pastor says casual sex is more of a sin when gay people do it

Photo: Christian Bühner

A preacher who claims to help free men from ‘sexual sin’ has argued that gay sin is ‘worse’ than straight sin.

Steve Gallagher, pastor and founder of Pure Life Ministries, made this claim in a recent post on the organization’s website. Pure Life claims to help people “struggling with sexual sin” – including pornography and infidelity – to an “encounter with Jesus Christ”.

In Gallagher’s blog post, spotted by Pride Source, he calls the seriousness of gay sin compared to straight sin “one of the many burning questions of our time”.

“Many years of well-intentioned Christian activism against homosexuality in our country have left the gay community with the impression that Christians are self-righteous and intolerant,” he says, before moving on to intolerance. “Either way, it’s still an interesting question to consider.”

Fortunately for gay people, Gallagher generously acknowledges that “a man who rapes a woman is far worse than two men who get together for casual sex.”

“Simply contrasting homosexual activity with heterosexual sin is too broad a comparison,” he writes. “Perhaps a better way to ask the question would be, ‘Is homosexual promiscuity worse than heterosexual promiscuity?

However, while Gallagher is aware that murder is worse than robbery, he seems to believe that “in the legal structure of the kingdom of God…homosexual promiscuity is ‘worse than’ heterosexual promiscuity.

He offers four reasons for his bizarre argument, starting with his belief that “Scripture treats homosexuality more seriously” and that the “way of life” was “passed down in the New Testament when the apostle Paul named the ‘homosexuality as particularly vile behaviour’.

Gallagher also argues that while it is “sinful” for a straight person to engage in extramarital sex, “their behavior falls within the parameters of ‘normal’ sex – something that cannot be said of the sodomy and others.”

His third argument is that gay people identify “more closely with an immoral lifestyle”, presumably because LGBTQ Christians cannot match the “godly behavior expected of a true believer”.

Indeed, Gallagher dismisses pro-LGBTQ Christians, writing, “The gay movement has spawned an entire community and culture within our nation – with its own Christian denominations.

Finally, Gallagher admits that his belief that gay sin is worse than straight sin is “more of a meaning” derived from “years of ministry” than anything concrete.

He claims that gay sex “brings emotional pain and spiritual corruption that is very deep”, adding: “It doesn’t take much to see how deeply gay people have been scarred by the course of their lives.”

Gallagher concludes: “In light of all this, I repeat: homosexual promiscuity is ‘worse’ than heterosexual promiscuity.

It’s no surprise that Gallagher has such strong views on homosexuality, especially given his views on “sexual sin” and especially given other posts on the Pure Life Ministries website suggesting that the ‘organization conversion therapy advocates – or the widely debunked idea that a person’s sexuality or gender identity can be changed.

In one Post 2019, Gallagher claimed that homosexuals need “biblical conversion” to “be converted from a life of habitual sin to a life of godliness”.

“Every human being is ‘born in sin’ and therefore must be redeemed through the atoning work of Christ at Calvary,” he wrote. “This redemption comes only through conversion: not conversion from homosexual tendencies to heterosexual tendencies, but from a life of rebellion against God’s authority to a life of obedience.”

Related: ‘Ex-Gay’ Scammer Jeffrey McCall Admits He Had Sex With Multiple Men

Jordan Yoshimine, counselor at Pure Life Ministries, complaints to be from “a gay background” and, in a 2018 article, argued that gay men can change if they focus on “becoming holy, becoming like Jesus”.

“Your focus and your gaze must be on eternity, because it’s going to be difficult,” he said. “I had a very close friend who isn’t a believer, and she said to me, ‘You’re just suppressing your feelings.’ And I thought about it, and I said, ‘No, I’m not repressing my feelings; I’m denying my flesh – and there’s a big difference.'”

He continued, “Without God, would I revert to homosexuality? Yeah, I would totally be back to that lifestyle. Absoutely. But God called me out of sin and out of the world and into a relationship with him, and the two cannot mix.

Conversion therapy – which can include extreme methods such as electroshock or aversion therapy – has been widely debunked and found to be detrimental to the mental health of LGBTQ people subjected to it.

In 2020, the United Nations called for a global ban on conversion therapy, calling it “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” and saying it “may amount to torture depending on the circumstances”. In December, more than 370 religious leaders around the world called on lawmakers to ban conversion therapy.

Research has shown that conversion therapy – also known as ex-gay therapy – more than doubles the risk of suicidal ideation in gay and bisexual adults, while transgender people undergoing conversion therapy in their childhood are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Additionally, a number of former “ex-gay” leaders who touted the effectiveness of conversion therapy have since come out as gay and have decried the practice, admitting the harm it can cause LGBTQ people.

McKrae Game, South Carolina faith-based conversion therapy organization Hope for Wholeness, admitted last year that he was gay and said the ex-gay movement was not just ‘a lie’ , but also “very harmful”.

Last year, the founder of the “ex-gay” group Freedom March admitted to having multiple encounters with men during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeffrey McCall – who claims to have lived as a gay sex worker, as well as a transgender woman – has told his followers that having sex with multiple men has helped make his “relationship with the Lord… even stronger”.

Truth Wins Out, an organization dedicated to fighting anti-gay religious extremism and the ex-gay movement, called McCall a “hypocritical fraud” and demanded that Freedom March “permanently shut down and stop scamming people.” by making them believe that they can ‘pray for the homosexual away.’”

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