A church in Tennessee has provoked outrage and been accused of "offending everybody" after erecting a sign which read "Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights".Picture: Imgur
Pastor Tony Greene of the Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church removed the sign saying it was supposed to "send a message about unity" and was not targeting one group in particular.
He told local news channel WATE 6 that the sign was about Satan's demand to ascend to heaven and be God and was a critique of the individual.
It was not a statement against any one group in particular, you know what about the rights of the unborn babies, the rights of children, the rights of everyone?
- Pastor Tony Greene
However, his comments didn't persuade everyone. Local resident Stephanie Settlemyre told WATE 6: "As a Christian I find this highly offensive. These kinds of signs and messages are exactly the reason why people are turned off by Christianity."
Another called Andy Henry told WBIR that he believed the sign was "clearly" a direct reference to the LGBT community.
Because of [the church's] lack of foresight, they ended up offending everybody who had ever fought for equality or civil rights in general.
- Andy Henry, local resident
"I am still trying to figure out what the message on the sign has to do with unity," David Rambo is quoted by the Huffington Post as saying. "Can someone enlighten me? And we must remember too that the Bible tells us to let our words be seasoned with salt. It doesn't say let your words be seasoned with shock value."
The sign has now been replaced by the more sober: "Glad you reading (sic). Did not intend to offend. We all need Christ."
Watch the WATE 6 report here: