By Clint Parker
Asheville – In his Sunday morning (Jan. 28) sermon to the congregation of Trinity Baptist Church, Rev. Ralph Sexton, Jr., senior pastor at the church, called New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a “champion of the devil.”
Sexton, who pastors the Asheville mega-church, made the statement as he preached on the giants in peoples’ lives, a message that was taken from the book of First Samuel which contains the famous biblical contest between David and the giant, Goliath, who the Bible says was “a champion…of the Philistines.”
The statement by Sexton, a Baptist preacher and Leicester resident who has pastored the church for more than 30 years, comes after the New York governor signed a controversial bill into law on Tuesday, January 25. The law has been called “…one of the most expansive abortion rights bills in U.S. history” by the Washington Post.
The law is said to expand the state’s already liberal abortion laws to allow late-term abortions “…which extends to protect a woman’s right to an abortion up until birth, provided doing so protects a mother’s life or health,” according to a commentary by Lisa Fogarty of the Daily News.
Even Fogarty, a pro-choice advocate herself, believes Cuomo went too far in lighting the pinnacle of the new Freedom Tower pink to celebrate the passing of the new law. She goes on to state her disdain for the act saying,“…I draw the line at parading this law around like it’s a circus, with Cuomo as the ringleader and a national monument lit up like it’s confetti and not the solemn site where 2,753 Americans lost their lives. It’s disrespectful and egotistical on Cuomo’s part to politicize a landmark that has come to represent freedom and fortitude in the face of terror.”
Rev. Sexton pointed out Cuomo’s celebratory action as he talked about today’s giants facing humanity as the same as those faced in the time of Christ’s birth. Saying they were killing babies back then and they are now. He also compared it to a tragedy much closer to present day.
“That sounds like a death camp of Europe,” Sexton said, comparing the new law in New York to the concentration camps of the Nazis. “We’ve lost our mind. Then to have the brass and audacity to illuminate the World Trade Center [sic] pinnacle, in pink, to celebrate we can kill babies, when right down at the bottom…is the World Trade Memorial, the 911 tragedy, there’s 11 women listed down there on the bottom [of the monument] and those 11 women [and] says their unborn babies,” said Sexton.
He went on to say, “So at the bottom we have a memorial that says terrorists killed 11 unborn babies and then you’ve got the governor of New York, who ought to be embarrassed before a holy God, that he would say, ‘Let’s celebrate we can kill babies right up to the day they are born,” as he pointed out what he viewed as hypocrisy.
He then said, “You know what he is, the governor, is a champion of the devil! I might as well just tell you, that’s a champion of the devil.” His statement received a round of applause from the hundreds of churchgoers that filled the sanctuary during the morning service.
Sexton is not the only one speaking out about Cuomo’s actions. As a Catholic, Cuomo has come under fire from members of his own church who believe that the governor should be excommunicated. Excommunication is a penalty of the church for doing something clearly against church teaching.
“An excommunicated person is forbidden from participation in the church’s sacraments, holding church leadership positions and being appointed a Catholic godparent or confirmation sponsor. To be declared excommunicated, a Catholic must be judged by his bishop or the pope to have committed certain canonical offenses,” said another Washington Times’ article.
Full Disclosure: The reporter of this article attends Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville.