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Spokane area faith leaders condemn violence against parents of LGBTQ children

Courtesy of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho
Members of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience issued a public letter that calls out a recent sermon by a Spokane baptist preacher.

Members of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho have condemned a video posted online by the Sure Foundation Baptist Church.

During a sermon last month, preacher Jason Graber said parents who allow their children to undergo transgender-related surgery should be shot in the head and their bodies hung from a bridge.

“The sad thing is you can go to any city in America and you can find somebody like this despicable preacher. I don’t know what he is, actually, who filters his own hate through justification to biblical and spiritual means by distorting everything," said Jim CastroLang, a pastor in the United Church of Christ. He was one of 25 people who signed a public letter issued by the group.

“This kind of speech is both antithetical to the Christian message and the cheapest trick in town to arouse the passions of people to cause harm to others," retired Dr. Lynne Williams from Spokane's Baraka Sufi community, who also signed the letter.

"We want to create awareness that this even happened and also to represent what we believe to be a large majority of people in our area that this not the type of thing that represents us or indicates what we want to say or do," said Pamela Silverstein, a member of Spokane's Temple Beth Shalom.

The letter says faith traditions treat issues of gender and sexuality differently, but says that doesn’t justify the killing or terrorizing of people. It calls on Graber to express remorse about his words and urges people to move away from ideologies that rely on violence and intimidation.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.