A Miami pastor is fighting back after the head of the Miami-Dade school district threatened to evict his church, which rents space on Sunday in one of the district’s schools, because of the pastor’s public stand against homosexuality.
After President Obama came out publicly in support of same-sex marriage, Pastor Jack Hakimian of Impact Miami, a Southern Baptist congregation that rents space on Sundays in North Miami High School, began to preach sermons pointing out that, according to the Bible, homosexual behavior is a sin.
According to Baptist Press News, 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."
Hakimian immediately responded to Carvalho’s threats by calling a press conference and demanding an apology from the superintendent and a promise that the district would stop its harassment. “I never thought I’d be penalized for teaching on Christian marriage and sexual ethics from the Bible, the very Bible that presidents swear on, in a privately rented space at an event not sponsored by the school or district,” the Miami Herald quoted Hakimian as saying. “We ask Mr. Carvalho to retract his intolerant statements, apologize, and commit to never again to bully or discriminate against those he disagrees with.” (See full article and video here.)
Photo: Pastor Jack Hakimian