A German Protestant pastor named Quinton Ceasar stated that "God is queer" and that "black lives always matter" in a speech at the German Protestant Church Assembly (Kirchentag) last week.
"Now is the time to say: Black lives always matter. Now is the time to say God is queer. Now is the time to say: We leave no one to die. Now is the time to say we send a ship and much more and we welcome people at safe harbors, safer spaces for all," said Ceasar at the closing service of the assembly.
NEW - "God is queer" was preached at the closing ceremony of the German Protestant Church Congress in Nuremberg. pic.twitter.com/QBnsMFVLYC— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) June 12, 2023
"God is always on the side of those on the margins, who are unseen or unnamed. And if God is there, then there is our place," added the pastor. "Love has never been a mass movement. But I'm an optimist."
Comments spark ire on social media
The comments drew some criticism, with some social media users referring to the speech as "heresy and blasphemy" and others calling him a "pseudo pastor."
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party tweeted that "the Evangelical Church has completely distanced itself from the Christian faith" after the speech.
In response to the backlash he received from some social media users, Ceasar told Die Welt that he received many "crass posts" from the fundamentalist-Evangelical spectrum and that he "didn't expect this wave of hate."
The pastor added to Deutschlandfunk that he "would give this sermon again, many people wrote it down, they dream of a church and these people gave me the courage."
The Assembly condemned hateful comments directed at Ceasar and other pastors at the closing service, saying "Quinton Ceasar gave a very personal and emotionally stirring sermon in the service... He denounced racism and made it clear that many people do not feel safe in the church."
"Nobody has to agree with the statements of the sermons or the elements of the closing services. Exchange and even productive arguments about it are even desired – also among us. But attacks on those who justifiably denounce racism and discrimination in the church lack any form of decency and a culture of debate, they are deeply unchristian. We resolutely oppose this hatred.”
The theme of the assembly this year was "Now is the time!" The assembly takes place every two years in a different German city and provides a forum for debates and discussions on a variety of matters, with over 2,000 events taking place during the assembly this year. Over 70,000 people are estimated to have taken part in the assembly this year.