Minister confronts homofobic pastor

Jon Georg DaleMinister of Transport and Communications Jon Georg Dale( Progress Party ).Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The Norwegian Minister of Agriculture confronts homofobic pastor

Leave it to the Lord to judge between the living and the dead he tells a homofobic pastor. There are still a lot of people believing that homosexuality is a curable disease even in enlightened parts of the world. Then again, a lot of them also still believes that God created the universe in six very exhausting days.


– Is not it time to let the Lord be responsible to judge the living and the dead, asks Jon Georg Dale (Progress Party) in a Facebook post.

It is a readers posting in Dale’s local newspaper “Møre”, which has made the Minister for Agriculture to react. In his post, the reverend of the New Life Centre, Hans Reite, is renouncing the plans of holding a”pride parade” in Volda in May of next year.

– The gays and lesbians must be allowed to do what they do behind closed doors, but why should they be allowed to promote their way of life through a parade to profile their lives? Is there to be more? Are there a lot of youth in Volda that they are trying to hijack? The pastor asks. Hans Reite believes that liberalization has taken place in Norway in the wake of the decline in Christianity in Norway. “This new development” can lead to a curse to the hamlets along the lines to what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah in ancient times, he writes.

– Now we have a gay health minister and the Norwegian Church has said yes to the wedding of gay and lesbian couples, the pastor states, claiming that nobody are gay or lesbian by birth.

– This was created by sin, the environment and the influence. Even in Volda we have several examples of people have been married in the normal way but later have been divorced and then become gay or lesbian. It has become a trend that should be stopped! Therefore, we are opposed to this parade and that the municipality allocates money, writes Reite.

My God is about loving your neighbour

In his reply, the Minister of Agriculture, Jon Georg Dale, writes that he is deeply concerned about the way in which the pastor judges his fellow human beings. Dale also writes that he himself also comes from a Christian background and has a Christian viewpoint, and he does not find that Reite is a spokesman for his God.

– We do not judge people who love each other and have children outside of marriage, we do not judge people who choose to love someone of the same sex, and we do not judge people who will show that their way of living is equal to ours. Such a family, I’m proud to grow up in, Dale writes, and continues:

– My God is the same as yours, Reitan. You may feel that you have a more direct line to God than me, but I still implore you: Stop using my God as an excuse for your homophobia.

Dale finishes the post by encouraging young people who are coming out of “the closet” to give a flying fuck about these kinds of uttering and to live as they themselves feel is right.

Sends shivers down the spine

Dale says to TV 2 Tuesday night that the uttering came spontaneously after reading several variants of similar homofobic outpourings in the local newspaper for years.

– I think I should have made a statement about this a long time ago, and finally did it spontaneously today, says Dale.

– Is the homo case particularly important to you or does this concern basic human rights?

– This is two dimensionsional: one is the urge to judge others. For me as an liberalist and individualist, it is contrary to everything I believe in and all I stand for politically. It’s a bone marrow reaction when I see this kind of thing. Additionally, it’s the frustration of using religion to fend for views that I think is outdated. It is outdated, unmodern and partly against the common view. Therefore, I today chose to respond both on Facebook and formally in the two local newspapers, who have printed the article, Dale states.

Hans Reite is a pastor in the church of New Life Center in Ørsta. TV 2 has tried to get in touch with Reite Thursday night, but he has not been available for making any comments.


©  TV2 / NTB Scanpix / Norway Today