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Homophobic Pastor Defends Right To Hold Church In A Public School; Claims He's Been Bullied: VIDEO

Hakimian
The right-wing blogosphere is going slowly batty over the plight of Pastor Jack Hakimian of Miami's Impact Miami Church. Impact is a sort of theologically generic Protestant outfit, where Hakimian, a former gang member, is given to saying things like:

... there is an aggressive approach by … gay theologians that says the Bible never spoke about homosexuality in a way that contemporary Christians understand it. It’s all over — it’s on YouTube, its on CNN, and its on 60 Minutes. They are not just saying, ‘accept us’ — and I believe we should protect, and not bully, and treat all people with dignity and respect. But they are going beyond and above to change the very meaning of Scripture.

No one thus far has questioned Pastor Hakimian's right to say such things. However, Impact is currently located on property rented to the church by the Miami-Dade School District -- located, in fact, on the campus of North Miami High School -- and the school district now plans to evict them. From the appalling rag called New American:

... the school district’s superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, responded to the sermons with a statement that Hakimian’s take on homosexuality “appears to be contrary to school board policy as well as the basic principles of humanity.” Carvalho told ABC television news affiliate local10.com that he had asked “for immediate legal review to seek the termination” of the church’s lease contract with the school district. “I am making this decision not on the basis of policy or politics, but as a rejection of prejudice and intolerance,” claimed Carvalho.

A spokesman for the district followed up Carvalho’s comments, saying that the school board and superintendent had reviewed the “allegations” against the pastor and found his words “disturbing and appalling."

Liberty Counsel's gotten involved, writing the district a letter opining that eviction would constitute a breach of Impact's 1st Amendment rights:

The nondiscrimination and antibullying policies of the Miami-Dade School Board are not applicable to the situation at hand. Pastor Hakimian and the church have violated no law or policy. The district cannot discriminate on the basis of his Biblically sound viewpoint. Any attempt by the school board to modify, change, or revoke the lease agreement would be unconstitutional.

“The district must respect the First Amendment rights of Pastor Hakimian and the church,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

Pastor Hakimian, who seems to have excellent PR instincts, has turned Carvahlo's charges on their head, claiming that he, Hakimian, is the victim of intolerance and bullying, and publicly demanding an apology. See him do it AFTER THE JUMP (and note his fascinating pronunciation of the word "tyranny") ...

 

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Comments

  1. It comes down to lease-tenant law in FL, though for a commercial establishment like this church (ie. not a private residence), the situation is probably less in the church's favor. Both sides would need a good lawyer to sort this out. However, I think they both got what they wanted and the whole thing will sink under the waves soon.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 5, 2012 2:15:28 PM


  2. Some people will never understand that "beliefs" religious or otherwise do not over rule FACTS.

    As far as the reverse discrimination BS. We should ask for the body count and anyone who cant show actual evidence should be ignored.

    Posted by: Mickey | Aug 5, 2012 2:21:04 PM


  3. I'm happy to have them kicked out of the school premises because I don't like the idea of churches using public property, but I have to say the quote used to show the pastor's bigotry is pretty weak. Maybe he says a lot of other anti-gay things, but this quote falls more into the category of theological dispute, where traditional christians interpret the bible one way and modernists another. That's certainly a conversation that goes on all the time in academic and theological circles. But maybe there's more to it than this summary indicates.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 5, 2012 2:26:38 PM


  4. When Liberty Counsel is involved it's always a sure sign that the claim of discrimination is bogus and that it involves homophobes pretending to be the victims.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 5, 2012 2:30:25 PM


  5. The wingnuts had an update to this yesterday that the superintendent, Carvalho, is backing down after talking to lawyers.

    Apparently they rent to some 90 (?) different religious groups, and as long as they continue to pay rent, the laws don't allow them to evict this bozo.

    http://www.liberty.edu/media/9980/attachments/pr_memo_miami-dade_school_board_073012.pdf

    Unfortunate, if true.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 5, 2012 2:31:16 PM


  6. I think this is settled law, no? Last year the US Supreme Court declined to overturn the 2nd Circuit's NYC vs. Bronx Household of Faith ruling that religious institutions cannot use school grounds.

    Posted by: David | Aug 5, 2012 2:36:10 PM


  7. "Liberty" Counsel are god's ambulance chasers

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 5, 2012 2:41:45 PM


  8. Apparently, Civil Rights and the Division of Church and State are on a one-way street.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Aug 5, 2012 2:45:28 PM


  9. In reading about this further, it seems the school looked into it and released a memo at the end of July saying that they would take no action to evict the church. So any complaints after that date about being persecuted are a media stunt. There was no infringement of their rights. The superintendent spoke out against the pastor's bigotry (fully within his rights), checked into the legal possibilities, and decided they couldn't evict.

    The problem is that the Miami public schools rent space to all kinds of churches, some 90, so singling one out for eviction doesn't fly. It would be very interesting to get Liberty Counsel's take if a Muslim group was in the same position.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 5, 2012 2:54:11 PM


  10. This is exactly why public institutions shouldn't start renting to religious organizations of any stripe to begin with! Once the lease is up, just don't renew it, and never again rent to a church, religious group, or boy scout troop ever again.

    Posted by: JT | Aug 5, 2012 3:00:00 PM


  11. As much as it pains me to say it, the church is probably right. I'm guessing the school board doesn't have speech restrictions in the lease contract, and without that, a landlord can't break a lease with a tenant just for saying offensive things. Whether the school can decline to renew the lease once it expires is a different question, however...

    Posted by: Nate W. | Aug 5, 2012 3:00:39 PM


  12. Am I understanding that TAXPAYER money/property is being used by this "man" and his brainwashed sheep to spread hate and his own personal, religious agenda ? How can this be legal ?

    Why is the US so weak when it comes to addressing religious extremism ? Our politicians & judges are so terrified of making religions behave because religions have never paid any taxes so they have amassed BILLIONS of dollars which they have invested in our stock market. They threaten to pull out this money and crash our stock markets if they don't get what they want so our politicians are always ruled by religions. This is why human rights in the US are so far behind the rest of the western world.

    It doesn't matter who is in the White House - religion are still calling the shots.

    It's time religions either kept out of politics or paid taxes on their vast incomes. They can't have it both ways.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 5, 2012 4:28:12 PM


  13. This is media stunt for a fundraising event for this pastor. The school has not evicted them or done anything to them. The superintended was just saying how repulsed he was over the anti-gay comments, just like any other sane normal human being.

    Posted by: Jose S | Aug 5, 2012 5:15:48 PM


  14. There is supposed to be a separation of Church and State according to the US Constitution, yet if this gentlemen wants to use government property then his church must pay taxes. End story.

    Posted by: Craig | Aug 5, 2012 6:07:53 PM


  15. You gotta love how he wants to proclaim some us don't know what we're talking about when it comes to the original text of the Bible, and how it doesn't condemn homosexuality, but he avoids actually discussing it in any specific terms.

    I've seen this tactic so many times. Wanting to call the facts about the original text 'lies' but never pinpointing which part is a lie.

    Sorry, Mary, but the original text in no way condemns homosexuality. And, yes, the facts are all over the internet and anyone who actually wants to know the truth can start finding out in .002 seconds or less.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 5, 2012 7:04:09 PM


  16. You gotta love how he wants to proclaim some us don't know what we're talking about when it comes to the original text of the Bible, and how it doesn't condemn homosexuality, but he avoids actually discussing it in any specific terms.

    I've seen this tactic so many times. Wanting to call the facts about the original text 'lies' but never pinpointing which part is a lie.

    Sorry, Mary, but the original text in no way condemns homosexuality. And, yes, the facts are all over the internet and anyone who actually wants to know the truth can start finding out in .002 seconds or less.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 5, 2012 7:04:11 PM


  17. Would love to have Pastor Hakimian sack this guy's groceries: http://www.news-journal.com/bigsandy_hawkins/life/lawsuit-against-two-rivers-claims-sacker-violates-customer-s-religious/article_34557b90-4f13-5b7a-90a8-1a569ebecb8f.html

    Posted by: New Frontiers in 1st Amendment Jurisprudence | Aug 5, 2012 7:36:37 PM


  18. not relevant but when i first saw the podium i thought that was the bat symbol

    Posted by: luke | Aug 5, 2012 9:06:34 PM


  19. The mistake was made in ever renting to fundamentalist groups/organizations. Unfortunately the school does not have much out here but hopefully the superintendent and other school officials let it be known this "pastor's" hate speech is completely unacceptable.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 5, 2012 10:47:57 PM


  20. Orthosexual? That's a new one on me.

    Posted by: John Conolley | Aug 6, 2012 2:07:20 AM


  21. Ugh. People are stupid.

    Posted by: Solomon | Aug 6, 2012 3:17:45 AM


  22. Florida schools are not permitted by state to rent facilities to anyone this superintendent and school board is going to find themselves in hot water with the state

    Posted by: Richard Golden | Aug 6, 2012 6:37:08 AM


  23. There are two kinds of theist (perhaps more) who dismiss separation of church and state. The ignoramus who never read the constitution, nor discussed it with an academic or legal authority. And the lunatic who expects to Jesus come back if they can just start a holy war.

    Posted by: EmmittBrownBTTF1 | Aug 7, 2012 5:35:55 AM


  24. According to the video, he is taking the 1st Amendment and turning it around to allow religion on public property. If I was the school superintendent, I would evict all 90 religious groups on the grounds they violate separation of church and state. The pastor has no ground to walk on while he is leasing public business peoperty and not paying taxes. His freedom of speech is not an issue and the super can say all he wants. How can a bullying pastor make any such claims?

    Posted by: Daniel Lasris | Aug 7, 2012 4:50:09 PM


  25. Start paying taxes you freak!!!

    Posted by: Brad | Aug 7, 2012 6:36:22 PM


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