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During a sermon Thursday by Brother Matt Adair of Stedfast Baptist Church in Oklahoma City — an offshoot of hate-preacher Jonathan Shelley‘s New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church of the same name in Texas — Adair offered an extended explanation of how literal arrows need to be strengthened in order to shoot straight… before using it as a metaphor for how Christian families could prevent their sons from turning gay.

… But if you go to shoot an arrow, you don’t want to shoot an arrow that’s crooked. You don’t want to shoot an arrow that has a twist to it. If it’s crooked, it’s not gonna… fly straight. It’s gonna fall. It’s gonna hit the ground. It’s not gonna hit its target. It’s not gonna hit the mark.

So if you’re shooting an arrow, you gotta make sure it’s straight. And, you know, when you’re to actually craft your own arrows, because that’s why I believe this, how we should apply this, as children are like arrows, well, you get the raw materials, okay? You got the raw materials of the baby. And you need to craft them and fashion them into a man of god, or a woman of god. And look, when you go to craft your own arrow — not the one you just buy from the store like this — they have to make sure they’re straight.

And they’ll have to often put them over fire, put them over steam, and straighten them out, and make sure that they don’t have any crooks in them.

And you know what? Obviously, you know, I think all of us got this down, we don’t really have to worry about this, but, hey — all the boys should be straight, amen?

Our children need to be straight, okay? And, you know, that’s not something… We obviously don’t worry about that, because, look, if they get saved, there’s a 100% — you know, 100% reliability — take it to the bank — if they’re saved, they’re straight.

If they’re growing up in a church like this, they’ll be saved, they’ll be straight, okay?

He’s just plain wrong. If “they’re growing up in a church like this,” they may still be gay. They’ll just know they have to keep it a secret. They’ll know they have no support in this community. They’ll know their families and pastors are not people they can rely on for strength and comfort. Or, even worse, they’ll wrongly believe their own existence is some kind of theological error.

On a side note, why aren’t daughters included in this sermon? Are we just pretending lesbians don’t exist? Or is that not nearly as concerning as gay boys… even though it’s the same thing?

And is Adair aware that gay kids are usually born to straight parents? Or that a lot of genuinely devout Christians are gay? Or that even fundamentalist schools acknowledge that being gay is fine as long as you never act on it? The answer to all those questions, I assume, is yes. But Adair’s job is to sell a lie… or perhaps convince himself that being gay represents insufficient devotion because the alternative (accepting reality) is too distressing. To bigots like him, Jesus has to be a “cure” for homosexuality because there’s no other option.

Even though I’m no longer shocked by this sort of rhetoric, it’s a reminder that “Christian Love” is conditional. To men like Adair, his son’s faith, kindness, and decency are irrelevant if that same son turns out to be gay.

Nothing he says will prevent anyone from being gay, but they sure as hell will make sure those gay kids have no relationship with their parents when they’re older.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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