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Politician, pastor face consequences of inflammatory Orlando shooting social media posts

Backlash has been fierce.


Chris Tognotti


Posted on Jun 19, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:16 pm CDT

Elected officials must long for the days when they only had to worry about those old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill sex or bribery scandals. Nowadays, the widespread intersection of politics and social media means that any politico can torpedo their career at any moment. Such is the case of Florida assistant state attorney Kenneth Lewis.

On Friday, Lewis was suspended from his job for posting an excoriating attack on the city of Orlando on his Facebook page, just hours after the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12th. The post has since been deleted, though a screenshot of his inflammatory remarks has surfaced.

Needless to say, attacking Orlando as a “melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs” is extremely racist, and awful under any circumstance. And that’s before you consider anything about the timing of the rant. Lewis was suspended on Sunday, according to ABC News, with the state attorney’s office stating that Lewis violated it’s social media policy.

Lewis wasn’t the only person to draw sharp rebukes this week over a controversial upload, either. As offensive as his broadside may have been, it may pale in comparison to the story of Pastor Roger Jimenez, whose Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California is currently the target of outraged protests.

Following the Pulse shooting, video of Jimenez’s sermon about the attack began circulating on social media. The pastor reportedly called the victims “sodomites,” equated them to “pedophiles,” endorsed the killings, and said he wished the American government would round up and execute gay people.

The Jimenez sermon provided a starker view of anti-gay Christian fundamentalism than is often seen. His remarks have been met with a tremendous amount of outcry, and protesters descended on his church on Sunday, for the second straight day.

Luckily, there’s also been a tremendous outpouring of emotional and financial support, as evidenced by some of the massively successful fundraisers and blood drives in the Orlando area. As of this writing, the “Support Victims of Pulse Shooting” GoFundMe has raised over $5.5 million.

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*First Published: Jun 19, 2016, 5:01 pm CDT