Shelby Talcott, DCNF
- Three 2020 presidential candidates stopped at a Las Vegas church led by a pastor who’s called homosexuality a sin.
- Media outlets have stayed largely silent on this, despite all three candidates being active in fighting for LGBTQ equality.
- CNN’s Don Lemon went after a pastor for his rhetoric following the pastor visiting the White House and speaking with President Donald Trump in late July.
2020 presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders have reportedly campaigned at a Las Vegas church led by a pastor who said being gay is “enough to send you to hell.”
Media outlets such as CNN have largely ignored this while pouncing on a pastor for similar controversial remarks who President Donald Trump invited to the White House last week.
Sens. Harris of California and Booker of New Jersey attended services over the weekend at Las Vegas’ Victory Missionary Baptist Church, which Rev. Robert E. Fowler Sr. leads. The pastor said in a 2013 radio interview that all sins are the same, including homosexuality and child molestation. Sen. Sanders of Vermont held a town hall meeting at the church last month, Mercury News reported. All three Democratic candidates have been active in fighting for LGBTQ equality.
“Whether you commit adultery, whether you commit fornication, whether you’re a child molester, you gossip, you lie, you cheat on your taxes, you don’t pay your tithes, things of that nature — all of that is wrapped together as sin, along with homosexuality,” Fowler said in 2013. “And so at our church, we don’t believe that there’s any one sin that’s greater than anything else.”
Fowler said Sunday that homosexuality and child molestation are equal sins in an interview with the Bay Area News Group, Mercury News reported.
“Any sin, if you break the law in one area, you’ve broken it in all areas,” he said. “If you mess up in one area, that’s enough to send you to hell — so any sin is pretty bad for me.”
CNN’s Don Lemon went after Rev. Bill Owens, the founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, after he met with Trump at the White House on July 29. He asked the pastor if Trump only held the meeting to combat reports that he is racist, on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.” The interview became a hit on the pastor’s views on gay marriage when Owens disagreed.
“You’ve said some controversial things before. In 2012, you equated [former] President [Barack] Obama’s support for same-sex marriage to supporting child molestation. You later walked that back,” Lemon said on July 29. “But that in itself is an outrageous statement. Why should anyone take you seriously?”
Owens denied this. Lemon was referring to a 2012 comment from Owens about Obama. Owens said:
If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys, you will note that all of them will say that “I was molested as a child — a man molested me in my home,” wherever. They will say they were molested. And for the president to condone this type of thing knowing the full facts is just irresponsible.
CNN has stayed mostly silent on the 2020 Democratic candidates visiting the Vegas church.
“Senator Harris’ support and advocacy for LGBTQ equality has been unwavering throughout her career,” a Harris spokesperson said according to Mercury News. “She will continue to visit houses of worship across the country to address congregants about the pressing issues we face as a nation.”
Sanders, Harris and Booker did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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