A local preacher of the Westboro Baptist Church of New York City has no problem saying the truth openly. When asked if he actually advocates the stoning of gay women and men, or if it’s just rhetoric to illustrate his point, Manning responds calmly, stating that he believes gay people should come to physical harm.
“Should we demonstrate some constraint if a person is repentive [sic], if a person is willing to leave that lifestyle? Absolutely,” he tells Vocativ. “However, I do think that anyone who promotes that as a lifestyle and tries to make it a national and international event and create warfare upon everybody else, then the appropriate response would be to stone them back to the Stone Age, or stone them back to hell.”
An unidentified man removed the lettering from the sign and spray-painted the words “God Is Gay”—neither of which has dissuaded Manning.(Philip Montgomery)
“The liberals and progressives, the gays and others are of the mind-set that everything is wonderful and lovely, and there’ll be no wrath of god,” says Manning.
The pastor hasn’t always been so obsessively focused on the lives of lesbians and gay men. His interest in the gay scourge that, according to Manning, is currently plaguing the U.S., can be traced back to President Obama, who unleashed “homo demons” during his “second illegal inaugural address” by suggesting that they be afforded equal rights under the law. “In my estimation, that was an official release of the demonic spirit,” he says. “Because homosexuality is a demonic spirit, such as cannibalism or other kinds—even pedophilia is a demonic spirit—and it’s these wicked manifestations that are in our universe that inhabit people and cause them to act in one way or the other. And he released them.”
Manning on stage at his pulpit. (Vocativ/Philip Montgomery)
Since then, he has been vigilant about keeping an eye on the ghoulish gays he says are currently infiltrating society at all levels. He conflates them with pedophiles at several points throughout the interview. “In the Catholic Church, the homosexual spirit is imminent, it is powerful, but it is also degrading. It seeks out the innocence of young boys and preys upon them where it moves from homosexuality to pedophilia,” he says. “That same spirit runs around here in New York City. It’s on television. They’re in movies, they’re in sports—there’s Jason Collins and Michael Sam and a bunch of other people as well. They’re just not Catholic and they’re not priests, but it’s the same identical thing.”
“Homosexuals are the most intolerant of all people I've met. I've encountered Ku Klux Klan members who are more tolerant of people opposing their point of view."
“The white homo who now lives in the community—and there are a lot of them that moved up here—they brought their restaurants, they brought some of their lifestyle, they brought their Starbucks coffee with them…and like anybody else, they prey on black men, they convert black men,” he says. “Not only those who live here, but in the office buildings all over New York City and places around America where homosexuals have supervisory positions.”
Manning continues: “Just like in the Jungle Fever movie by Spike Lee, about the black man and the white woman in the office leaving the black woman who’s up in the hood and the white woman takes her man. The white homos are going to take the black woman’s man.”
Manning sits on his throne. (Vocativ/Philip Montgomery)
But it’s not just white guys who are to blame, according to Manning. Describing prisons as “incubators for homosexuality,” he argues that the increasing acceptance of same-sex relationships means that straight-identifying men of color who engaged in gay sex on the inside will no longer be ashamed of their actions upon their release. That’s when, presumably, they’ll become more susceptible to the siren song of the gay, white male and less likely to reintegrate back into their communities “as leaders, as fathers, as men.”
When it’s suggested that he might try preaching tolerance and inclusivity if he is genuinely interested in improving social cohesion in his community, Pastor Manning is utterly incredulous. “Homosexuals are the most intolerant of all people I’ve met. I’ve encountered Ku Klux Klan members who are more tolerant of people opposing their point of view,” he says, adding that he supports recent anti-gay legislation in Uganda and Russia. “You talk about inclusive—including what? Including evil? Why don’t I include Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy as a part of our elder board? Why don’t we let them preach sermons? No, nothing could be more ridiculous.”
So why are our gedolim ashamed of saying the same?