SA man’s religious homophobia sparks fury on social media

Christiaan Otto has been accused of religious homophobia

A South African man has caused a firestorm on Facebook with a series of homophobic posts condemning gay people to hell.

Members of the community reported Christiaan Otto’s public posts to MambaOnline on Thursday. His comments and videos have elicited hundreds of responses both praising and slamming his bigoted version of Christianity.

Otto, who according to his profile is the manager of a gold mine, has a passion for quoting biblical verses to affirm his belief that gay people are sinners because of their sexuality.

In one video he said: “Let me make one thing clear, homosexuality is 110% a sin. It doesn’t mean I hate people who practice it, I’m just calling it what it is.”

In another post, he wrote: “GOD created marriage to be between a man and a woman. I don’t care how you feel about it only God defines marriage not you!”

Otto also believes that those who practice sex before marriage or watch porn are sinners and “if you die in your sin you won’t go to heaven!!”

On the 3rd of April, he posted photos of LGBTQ Pride parades and stated that the “Covid-19 virus is God’s judgment on a godless world.”

Otto was slammed for being a hypocrite for having tattoos, which is also said by some to be condemned in the Bible (Leviticus 19:28), and for a 2018 photo of himself shirtless which he captioned “I’m the f*cking devil in hunan [sic] skin!”

In a video, Otto confirmed that the picture is of him but said that he was no longer the same man after having turned to Christ.

He was also accused of parroting Bible verses without understanding context. Said one man, Ernst Swart, to Otto: “There is a huge difference between reading the Bible and understanding the Bible. You do the former.”

Ironically, in another post, Otto (rightly) called for a Facebook user to be reported for racist statements but he does not appear to believe that his homophobic rants are inappropriate or hurtful.

Marco Du Plessis, a Cognitive Behavior Therapist from Pretoria, accused Otto of “harassing” the LGBT community with his religious homophobia.

“People are in a distressed mental state due to the lock-down and abuse like this is putting LGBT youth more at risk for mental health issues and possible suicide,” he told MambaOnline. Du Plessis has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission and encouraged others to do the same.

In a voice note to MambaOnline, Otto responded to the claims against him and suggested that he does not believe that gay people can be Christians.

“I am just a God-fearing Bible-believing Christian who shared my beliefs on my own platform. I never went to a Pride Parade and held a board saying that God will send you to hell. I did it in my platform,” he said.

“I never forced a person to watch my videos and I never was deceptive with the caption. The caption was clear as to what I was going to talk about and I made it clear that I am speaking to Christians – people who believe in Jesus as well. I do not force my beliefs down any persons’ throats but I do have the religious freedom to share mine just as the LGBTQ movement have the right to share theirs. They have their own truth and I have mine but we should respect each other in both of our truths,” said Otto.

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