A few days ago a video surfaced of gospel singer and pastor Kim Burrell, who is on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, speaking against homosexuality in a recent sermon.
“Anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit, beg God to free you.. I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ. You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face — you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”
Cast members of the film were quick to condemn her words including Janelle Monae. She reposted a photo from Pharrell Williams, who created music for the film, and included a caption with her own reaction.
“I shouldn’t even have to post this as you guys should already know where I stand but If you do not pls know I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. Actually I’m tired of that label. We all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity. And today and tomorrow and the next day I will continue to stand with other like minded people who condemn any and all statements and actions that would seek to deny the basic humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters. We cannot sit Idly by nor will we speak silently when we are confronted with such violence against members of our community. I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people. At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the shit that comes out their mouthes !!! I will rejoice when folks stop thinking they ARE GOD, Jesus’ assistant, picking and choosing what “sins” are acceptable in the Bible, and using the Bible as a whip! WE can’t afford anymore tearing down of our shared humanity. My advice: If your religion is causing you to spew out words of hate, judge, or look down on others because of who one loves then you need to change it. And fast. If the religion don’t make you are more loving or better person, ditch it. But what do I know. My hope is that we ALL go into this new year considering for one moment that we don’t have all the answers. My hope is that we become more understanding, less judgmental, more tolerate, and more patient with one another. Including me. HAPPY NEW YEAR.”
Most of the comments on Monáe’s post were supportive, but some did defend Burrell’s words and sentiment. For instance, one IG user claimed that her words were not for the public and therefore we should not take offense to them:
…again the point was missed.….all any of you saw was a 2 minute clip of her speaking to HER members.…that was misinterpreted! Now if you know nothing about being a Shepard of a flock, as a pastor you will be held accountable if you don’t say or do what saith the Lord! When a Pastor is addressing his/her congregation, does one run out and tell the one walking past to come in, he’s speaking to them, No! That word was for HER church but the world got mad! If you are living how you want to live and you’re pleased then by all means do you, but I have yet to hear her say she hates the LGBT community! Not one member of her church came forth and said she was wrong, and her message was to them.…above all, she spoke of MANY sins, but again, everyone gets mad when a certain lifestyle is touched! Y’all need to stop seeing red, stop thinking that because someone doesn’t condone a lifestyle they’re Hateful when in reality that’s so not the case! I don’t worry about anyone who says they hate me because of the color of my skin, I continue to love and keep it moving!! Same here, if what she said is the truth and her members didn’t see anything wrong with it, why is everyone else so Mad?! Above all, the name calling, the disrespect is beyond uncool, she is a Pastor!! When y’all find that clip of her saying she HATES gays or she HATES the LGBT community and those are her exact words, please by all means, share it and I’ll humbly apologize, but I think the hate that’s being spewed is rather ridiculous…and the headlines are false!! If the LGBT got any of that love they want the world to have for them, they need to share it and NOT be hypocrites that they’re so quick to say others are when some don’t agree! Ijs! Be blessed and Happy New Year!
Octavia Spencer also shared Pharrell’s post and stated, “I agree. We are all God’s children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn’t the answer. Intolerance isn’t the answer.”
Burrell has since posted another Facebook video addressing the issue, saying that her words were misconstrued and she was specifically addressing members of her church, and did not say that all gays are going to Hell.
Burrell was featured on Frank Ocean’s Godspeed. Ocean identifies as bi‐sexual and has gone public with his relationship with another man.
BGLH readers, what do you think of Burrell’s words and the backlash?