Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart
Threatens To Kill Gays
by Jan Prout
Posted: September 20, 2004
(Toronto, Ontario) A Canadian television station has apologized
publicly to viewers for a telecast of American evangelist
Jimmy Swggart's television program in which he threatened
to kill gays.
The program, aired last week on Omni 1, a Toronto multicultural
station, and throughout the US, has also prompted an investigation
by the Canadian Radio Television Commission, the government
agency which regulates television.
During the program, a rambling sermon by Swaggart who is trying
to rehabilitate himself after an arrest for soliciting a prostitute,
the televangelist turned to the subject of gay marriage.
According to a transcript of the program, Swaggart said: "I'm
trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute,
asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never
seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be
blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna
kill him and tell God he died."
The remarks were met with applause from his congregation.
The program was taped at Swaggart's ministry in New Orleans
where voters Saturday agreed to amend the Louisiana constitution
to bar same-sex marriage.
The CRTC investigation was prompted by a complaint by a viewer
in Ottawa. It is not known if any complaints had
been made in the US where the show appears on stations in
all 50 states. A spokesperson for the FCC which regulates
television in the US did not return calls for comment Sunday.
Toronto station Omni 1 reviewed the tape after a complaint
was made. A spokesperson called the remarks "a
serious breach" of Canadian broadcast regulations.
Omni 1 is owned by Rogers Communications a conglomerate that
controls the largest cable and cell phone companies in Canada
and also owns television and radio stations and a publishing
Under Canadian law hate speech is a criminal offense.
Broadcast lawyers say that both the station and Swaggart could
be charged in addition to any penalty imposed by the CRTC.
The FCC has wide powers for imposing fines. Last month
the Commission fined 20 CBS television stations more than
$25,000 each over the Janet Jackson bare breast incident at
the Super Bowl.
In 1987 Swaggart in a tearful sermon begged forgiveness from
his followers after being found with a prostitute.
If we are to ever see the end of people saying things
like this (and worse) from the pulpit, and all in the Name
of God, we can no longer sit by and act like it didn’t
happen. It’s time for us to stand up and say “THIS
HAS GONE TOO FAR, AND IT MUST STOP RIGHT NOW!” What
has to happen before YOU join in the fight against spiritual
abuse and injustice in this society? Does someone need to
actually be killed inside a church before we, as a people
fight back? Do we need to start finding bodies of those who
committed suicide before we’re outraged about spiritual
abuse and hate being preached from our churches?
Don’t let your pastor abuse you, or your brothers
and sisters anymore! Take a Stand! Lift Your Voice! If you
don’t, you are contributing to the attempted spiritual
destruction of an entire community. SILENCE EQUALS CONSENT!