T Nation

Gays Order Beat Down on Pastor


Pysche! Had you theists all excited didn't I?

Pastor Orders His Flock to Beat Gay Couple Arriving At Church

Jerry Pittman Jr, on the right and his boyfriend, Dustin Lee.

No one would be surprised to learn that there are right-wing Christians in this country who disapprove of homosexuality. Neither would it come as a surprise that in rural parts of this country, Christianity and homosexuality when brought together, can create a highly combustible mix.

But who could imagine the hate and rage that would motivate a Pastor to instruct deacons and members of his congregation, Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, TN. to physically attack a couple arriving in the church parking lot last Wednesday?

The fact that one of the gay men attacked happened to be the Pastorâ??s own son, Jerry Pittman, Jr., no doubt contributed to Pittman seniorâ??s noxious edict. According to Pittman Jr., after hearing his Dad yell, â??SICKâ??EM!:â??

â??My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dadâ??s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldnâ??t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back.â??

The attackers also verbally assaulted the couple continually with anti-gay verbiage which continued even after a Sheriffâ??s Deputy arrived on the scene. Bystanders and other congregants made no effort to stop the assault. For that matter, neither did the Deputy Sheriff. Once the barrage of punches ended, the Deputy refused to let the two victims press charges.

Jerry Pittman Jr. and his boyfriend, Dustin Lee, have since filed charges against two of the men who beat them as well as Pastor Jerry Pittman. A hearing has been scheduled in Gibson County Court for Tuesday, October 4th.

One canâ??t help but wonder if Pastor Pittman really thinks Jesus would back him up on this assault?


So at this point it is just hearsay? Does either party have evidence to corroborate their side of the story?


That's messed up. I wonder what the pastor actually told them. I hope they all get removed from church service.


Really, is this the point we've come to here? Scouring random news items for outlying incidents? "Today 2 people (of whatever gender) did XYZ, in q city, of p state.


It also seems hard to believe this happened without some sort of extensive history behind it that we don't know about.


Scour? it popped up in TODAY's NEWS.

You know, if you don't want to talk about the article I presented, no one is holding a gun to your head to discuss it.


The article suggests the stress from the Pastor's recent divorce that prompted him to attack his own son. Interestingly enough, he was arrested for stealing recently as well.


That's cool. But why don't you go ahead and flood the forum with every other trivial headline.


Well, I can think of a dozen reasons this could have happened that, while not removing blame from the deacons, could make me not feel sorry for the gay guys.

My first and most basic question is what was the motivation for the attack. Did it even have anything to do with the son being gay? Did the gay guys do something to provoke the deacons? Were they there purposefully disrespecting the church? Had they been asked not to come there? Where they asked to leave this time?


Is this behavior a defining characteristic of Christianity? Is this event representative of Christianity and it's principles?


No, it's an outlying incident, perhaps worthy a headline in some local newspaper.

Obviously there isn't a rash of gay beatings go on every Sunday after we get out of church.



Even if they had disrespected the church (not saying they did) would that make ordering your deacons somehow right? I don't understand what you're trying to get at here? Here's the victim's account of what happened:

"I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say 'sick'em,'" said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.

"My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad's request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn't help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back," said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

"If I was on the scene I would not have allowed that. The deputy should not have allowed it if he did," said Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold.

Pittman said neither he nor Lee were allowed to press charges while at the church.

"I haven't talk to him but that would be out of character for my deputy to say unless they were causing a problem themselves," said Sheriff Arnold.

Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. Pastor Pittman's attorney contacted ABC 7 Eyewitness News by phone and said she had no comment and demanded we not contact the pastor. "



What happened before that? Had they been asked not to come? Had the son told his dad he was going to come do something to get back at him for something?

Hell, the son could have been pissed at his dad for his dad's beliefs/lifestyle (ironic huh?), and come to the church to do something bad. Maybe they parked in front of the church and started making out for the expressed purpose of disrespecting his father and the church. Hell, they could have been trying to have sex for all I know. If something like that is the case, I'd probably have kicked their asses myself.

Not saying that is what happened, only that there has to be some history and build up to this that we aren't aware of.


I do feel sorry for the gay people who were beat up; nothing justifies that, especially from a population that's supposed to be Christian. What a fucking terrible example of "turn the other cheek".

Yet another example of old religion not changing fast enough.

I hope that if this case isn't recognized on a local level, this gay couple is smart enough to take it higher.


Principals don't and shouldn't change.

I can't say I feel sorry for them unless I had all the information.

I do agree that it was not something any deacon or pastor should have done, and like I said earlier, I hope they get removed. But that's something internal to the church. If you aren't a Christian, you really don't have the right to comment of that side of things.


I would guess the pastor just has poor moral character. I mean he was arrested for stealing copper around the same time as this incident.


Absolutely. No pastor (or church official) should ever do anything like that especially on church property no matter the provocation.


I've been Christian and the Christians I knew had a hell of a lot better moral character than what's represented above. Come on man. Would Jesus EVER beat up people for their moral faults? No. In fact, he prevented many people from being beaten up for all sorts of non-Christian acts. Read your Bible.


??? what?
I think we miscommunication somewhere. I agreed that it was unchristianly.


Principles change with economic need and scientific advancement. Have you ever worked on Saturday? Have you slept with a woman outside of marriage? Do you condone planting more than one crop in the same year? Have you eaten cow and drank cow milk in the same meal? Have you ever helped stone a woman because she wasn't a virgin at marriage?