On Sunday, May 27, Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke in San Diego, California, where he delved into a plethora of subjects, ranging from Mexican heritage to Israel’s alleged “war-mongering.” Among the topics he weighed in on, Farrakhan also took the time to tackle homosexuality and President Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage.
The fiery Nation of Islam leader began by utilizing stories from both the Koran and the Bible to illustrate God’s views on same-sex attraction. He also made it overtly clear that, though he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle, he isn’t afraid of gays and lesbians. In addition to attempting to convince the audience that homosexuality is sinful in nature, Farrakhan seemed particularly irritated that critics would label him a homophobe.
“Now don’t you dare say, ‘Farrakhan was preachin’ hate. He’s homophobic.‘ I’m not afraid of my brothers and sisters or others who may be practicing what God condemned in the days of Lot,” he proclaimed. “That’s not our job to be hateful of our people. Our job is to call us to sanity. Our job is to call the people to righteous conduct.”
While he seemed bent on not preaching “hate,” Farrakhan made no bones about his opposition to homosexuality and he relied upon the aforementioned texts to reiterate his views. As is typically the case, he threw in some theologically and historically-inaccurate information, particularly when it comes to the location of the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Encyclopedia Brittanica claims that the cities are possibly now covered by shallow waters near the southern end of the Dead Sea in Israel, however Farrakhan referred to them as “twin cities in Palestine.” While he made the claim that these lands were Palestinian in nature, he went on to also highlight that the behavior that was occurring in them was so displeasing to God that, even 5,000 years later, not a blade of grass grows in Sodom.
This discussion quickly led to Obama’s recent same-sex marriage endorsement — something that Farrakhan seemed immensely turned off by and more than eager to call out. After highlighting the president’s support for gay unions, Farrakhan held up a copy of the issue of Newsweek magazine that calls Obama “the first gay president.”
“Here’s Newsweek magazine with President Obama on the cover with the colors that represent the gay community as a halo over his head and a saying, ‘The First Gay President.’ Now, you think they’re not mocking him?,” Farrakhan said. “Now I’ve never heard from Michelle that our brother, you know, was absent from duty. But he’s the first president that sanctioned what the scriptures forbid.”
After taking a moment to poke at the president and highlight the notion that his viewpoints run contrary to Biblical scripture, Farrakhan goes on to ask why politicians, like Obama, take the oath of office on the Bible. Such a sentiment, he explains, doesn’t seem to mesh with some of the policy ideals that are often embraced.
“If the book is no good, what the hell are you using it for to take an oath of office to uphold not the Bible, but the Constitution?,” he said. “But the Constitution comes out of their recognition of the value of this book.”
While Farrakhan’s overall tone ranged from impassioned to agitated, the faith leader was adamant throughout his talk about not offending those in the audience who may have been gay. He reiterated the fact that he loves homosexuals and that he’s not their enemy. The controversial minister also discussed other sins — like fornication — and said that the individuals guilty of other offenses are in no position to claim that they are better than gays.
“The liar, the thief, the gambler, the pimp, the prostitute, the low-life, you can’t look at those who are gay and lesbian and transgender and say, ‘I’m better than you,’” he proclaimed. “It’s sin is sin according to the standard of God. You say, ‘Well, that was back then. You know, I mean, it’s a modern time now.’ Modern for you, but not for God. God says, ‘I am God and I change not.’”
Farrakhan also challenged his fellow faith leaders, explicitly naming reverends, synagogue leaders and Catholic priests. If the Bible is the book they believe in, he challenged why they seemed to be backing down from what it says about homosexuality simply because “people will get offended.” He offered a similar excoriating rant to Muslims who also avoid teaching the truth he holds dear on homosexuality.