A Baptist pastor in California has caused a heated controversy after he applauded the attack on an Orlando gay nightspot on Sunday.
Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church is seen a YouTube video of his recent sermon calling the clubgoers who were killed at the Pulse nightclub "pedophiles."
"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" he asked his Sacramento congregation in the sermon. "Um – no – I think that's great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight."
Jimenez was delivering his sermon just hours after authorities say Omar Mateen walked into the popular gay destination and opened fire, killing 49 people. Police shot him dead hours later.
After celebrating Mateen's heinous deed, Jimenez repeated his shocking statement.
"We don't need to do anything to help. As far as I'm concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer tonight," he said.
Jimenez also suggested that, if our society followed God's will, we should shoot all of America's homosexuals.
"If we lived in a righteous government, they should round them all up and put them up against a firing wall, and blow their brains out," Jimenez said.
Outrage from the city's LBGT and larger communties was swift.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson tweeted, "The hateful comments made by a preacher in Sacramento do not reflect Christian values and have no place in our society.#standwithorlando"
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center wrote on Facebook: "The local face of hate: Sacramento Baptist preacher's sermon praises Orlando attack, calls for government execution of all LGBT. Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry.
A number for Verity Church listed on its website was disconnected on Tuesday afternoon. An email message sent to the church was not immediately returned.