Protesters gathered outside the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, on June 15 to demonstrate against Pastor Roger Jimenez, who said during a sermon on June 12 that he wished the Pulse nightclub shooter in Orlando, Florida, had killed more gay people (video below).
About 100 protesters yelled, "We are one pulse!" at churchgoers while Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies kept watch, notes KCRA.
Jimenez, who loudly praised the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history during his sermon on June 12, quietly watched the protest for a few moments before ducking back into the church.
Church members ignored the protesters who chanted, "We are Orlando!" notes the Guardian.
Some of the protesters also shouted at churchgoers, "Would you kill me?"
Jimenez reportedly told a local reporter: "When people die who deserve to die, it’s not a tragedy."
"It's one thing to personally say they don't believe in homosexuals, but when they advocate the killing of people, it's just wrong, it's a crime," Jesse McGuinn, a protester, told KCRA.
"Because it promotes hate," Carol Nolan, another protester, added. "And if we don't stop hating each other, we're not gonna have a planet left."
Reverend Alan Jones, of the local St. Mark's United Methodist Church, told the news station that Jimenez is applying Old Testament law from the Bible too literally.
"For example, I couldn't be wearing this shirt that I'm wearing today if I followed those laws," Jones stated. "Because it says you shouldn't mix cloths, so polyester and cotton are forbidden under that law. So, there are laws there that belong to a time and a place that no longer have relevance for us today."
After the service on June 15, Jimenez reportedly left through a back door, while police escorted church members back through protesters, some of whom yelled, "Terrorists!" and, "Skinheads!" while others chanted, "Preach love, not hate!" and, "We love you!"
Another protest is scheduled for June 19.