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Reverend Gilbert McBride is an Iowa minister who performs gay marriages, though he hasn’t done very many in the past few years. His wife died this past January and he was caring for her for a long while before that.

That’s why it’s so disturbing that, yesterday morning, when he got into his car, this note was waiting for him on the seat:

Reverend McBride

We recently discovered that you perform same sex weddings. That disturbs many of us in this community. Normally when someone in town dies the community comes together to do what we can for that person’s family. As you may or may not have noticed is when your wife died, no one came and brought meals or even so much as condolences. That’s because as a minister that performs gay weddings, you deserve all the bad that you brought upon yourself. Your wife died because God hates you for the abomination you have become by preaching his word while also catering to queers. We in this community hope you suffer as much as possible and realize that unless you change your faggot friendly ways, your suffering will only get worse. Do this town and your family a favor and get a rope and hang yourself. People like you disgust us. We don’t want or need your kind around us making our town look worse. I personally hope you die a slow and ugly death. Maybe you can catch aids from your friends. Just die.


I should say right off the bat: I can’t confirm anything about this note. There’s no evidence of it coming from a member of any local church — or even a Christian for that matter. For all we know, it could be some kid’s stupid idea of a prank. According to one news station, however, “Sheriff deputies say they believe the note to be valid and are ready to launch a full investigation.”

Authenticity aside, that’s the note McBride received and read, and it’s just awful.

McBride is aware that he has a lot of support online, but it doesn’t explain the sort of hatred that would spur anyone to write this. To his credit, though, he has already forgiven the person who wrote the message:

I forgive you for your words and feelings towards me. I pray that you find some peace and love and light in your life. I hope the God that I believe in comes and touches your heart and your life. I will still turn the authorities in the morning..and when they find’s justice will be found… I hope you can find.God and ask him for his forgiveness so his justice will be soft. I wish you no I’ll will and hope not hear from you again.

My heart goes out to him. I hope he can find comfort in all the people — Christians included — who would never condone this sort of behavior and who applaud his loving, accepting approach to ministry.

(Thanks to Amber for the link)

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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.