An Australia-based Salvation Army official is catching heat for implying in an interview that gays should be put to death.
Truth Wins Out blogger John Becker and The Atlantic are just two of the media outlets reporting that Major Andrew Craibe, a media relations director for one of the Salvation Army's Australian branches, had the following exchange with Aussie journalists Serena Ryan and Pete Dillon:
Ryan: According to the Salvation Army, [gay people] deserve death. How do you respond to that, as part of your doctrine?
Craibe: Well, that’s a part of our belief system.
Ryan: So we should die.
Craibe: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.
You can listen to an audio recording of the interview, courtesy of Becker, below:
Ryan said she prepared for the interview by reading "Salvation Story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine," a manual published by the group’s international headquarters in London which reportedly cites the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality.
Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer quickly released a statement distancing the organization from Craibe's "extremely regrettable" remarks, noting that members do "not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment."
Harmer goes on to note: "The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and believes it would be inconsistent with Christian teaching to call for anyone to be put to death. We consider every person to be of infinite value, and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and preserved."
This isn't the first time that the Salvation Army has found itself at odds with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In fact, Craibe's comments came just days after Aussie pop star Darren Hayes, who is openly gay, called for a boycott of the organization in light of its anti-gay views.
In November 2011, Bilerico Project blogger Bil Browning urged holiday season shoppers to skip the iconic "Red Kettle" campaign due to the Salvation Army's conservative stance on homosexuality.
"While you might think you're helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in the donations," Browning wrote at the time. "The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies -- including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal."
Previously, Jeffrey Curnow, the public and corporate relations manager for the Salvation Army, defended the position to Chicagoist, noting:
"I appreciate the opportunity to correct the record when it does come up. In fact, the Salvation Army serves countless people across the country every day from any variety of backgrounds, including gays and lesbians. This number probably reaches into the thousands, though it is impossible for us to determine, primarily because we would simply never ask about a person's sexual identity.
Because The Salvation Army is a church we do have theological positions on a variety of topics. These positions are intended for our church members or those who are interested in our church. Just as you wouldn't expect everyone you meet to share all your ideas or beliefs, we would never expect everyone we help, our donors, or even our non-church-member employees to necessarily agree with these theological positions."
View other right-wing statements about the LGBT community below:
Pastor Worley: Gays And Lesbians Should Be Put In An Electrified Pen And Ultimately Killed Off
The pastor, identified on YouTube as Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., condemns President Obama's much-publicized endorsement of same-sex marriage while calling for gays and lesbians to be put in an electrified pen and ultimately killed off. "Build a great, big, large fence -- 150 or 100 mile long -- put all the lesbians in there," Worley suggests in the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13. "Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out...and you know what, in a few years, they'll die out...do you know why? They can't reproduce!"
Pastor Suggests Gays Should Be Prosecuted Like They Were Historically
Ron Baity, founding pastor of Winston-Salem's Berean Baptist Church and head of the anti-marriage equality organization Return America, referred to homosexuality as "a perverted lifestyle" in a Sunday sermon before telling his congregation that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people should be prosecuted, Good as You is reporting. "For 300 years, we had laws that would prosecute that lifestyle," he is quoted as saying. "We've gone down the wrong path. We've become so dumb that we have accepted a lie for the truth, and we've...discarded the truth on the shoals of shipwreck!"
Pastor Sean Harris: Parents Should 'Punch' Their Effeminate Children
"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed."
Pastor Slams Gay Marriage, Suggests Unions Between 'Person And A Beast' Could Be Next
Tim Rabon, pastor at Raleigh's Beacon Baptist Church, condemned states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland which have already "re-defined" marriage to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples. As heard in this recording, Rabon asked his congregation, "What is stopping them from refining marriage from a person and a beast? We're not far from that."
Robertson Compares Polygamy, Bestiality And Pedophilia To Gay Marriage
Tony Perkins: 'If You Want A Military That Just Does Parades,' Allow Gays To Openly Serve
James Robison: 'The Enemy' Is Using 'Glee' To Destroy America
Newt Gingrich: Gay Marriage A 'Perfect Example Of What I Mean By The Rise Of Paganism'
Daniel Lapin: Gays Should've Been Quarantined To fight AIDS
Pat Robertson Advises Father To Seek Ex-Gay Conversion For Gay Son
Liberty Counsel Warns That Macy's LGBT Policy Could Lead To Rape, Sexual Assault