Most of the 102 terror victims killed or injured in Orlando were Latino.
Latino families across the U.S. now weep for loved ones who went dancing never to return.
So you’d think the last place anyone would celebrate the attack would be a church led by a Latino pastor, serving the Latino north side of Fort Worth.
But pastor Donnie Romero of the tiny Stedfast Baptist Church in Sansom Park wants attention.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
So he prayed for God to “finish the job” and take “those queers in ICU … [so] they will all be burning in hell.”
Until this week, almost nobody knew Romero was here. But news viewers nationwide now know he preached about “50 Sodomites” — “they’re the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now.”
I’ve tried to ignore this guy, so his little Jacksboro Highway hate nest can fold up shop and turn back into a tattoo studio or an 8-liner parlor or a vaping shop, or some other more legitimate Sansom Park enterprise.
As far as I can tell, he draws Sunday crowds numbering in the low dozens.
“I will pray to God, like I did this morning I will do it tonight,” Romero says in a YouTube.com video, “that God will finish the job that man started. and he will end their life.”
Romero, 33, grew up in Colorado. In August 2014. he was ordained and sent here by headline-grabbing Phoenix pastor Steve Anderson.
In 2009, Anderson made national news when he prayed for President Obama’s death. His sermons routinely bash Jews and Roman Catholics, and accuse the U.S. government of a “new world order” conspiracy.
Anderson accuses his fellow independent fundamentalist Baptist pastors as “soft on sin.” He, Romero and four affiliated pastors call themselves “KJV 1611” Baptists, preaching the 1611 Bible authorized by King James I of England.
Romero’s recent comments came in defense of one of those affiliated pastors in Sacramento, Calif.
Pastor Roger Jimenez’s church drew 1,000 protesters and was given notice to move after Jimenez said he wished more nightclub patrons had died in Orlando: “I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.”
In 2015, after it had been open less than a year, Romero’s church was named a “hate group” by the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center after he preached that gay and lesbian Americans are “filthy” and that he would not let “dirty faggots” in his church.
(The week that was reported in the online Huffington Post, Romero told police he received a phoned threat to “burn down” the modest north Fort Worth home he shares with his wife, Leslye, and seven children.)
Did I mention that Stedfast Baptist isn’t a typical house of worship? It’s registered as a non-profit corporation, but the Romeros are two of the three directors.
His church can’t fire him.
But maybe soon we can go back to ignoring him.