via AdWeek

A few days ago a video surfaced of gospel singer and pastor Kim Burrell, who is on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, speaking against homosexuality in a recent sermon.

“Anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit, beg God to free you.. I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ. You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face — you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”

Cast members of the film were quick to condemn her words including Janelle Monae. She reposted a photo from Pharrell Williams, who created music for the film, and included a caption with her own reaction.

“I shouldn’t even have to post this as you guys should already know where I stand but If you do not pls know I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. Actually I’m tired of that label. We all belong to the same community, a shared community called humanity. And today and tomorrow and the next day I will continue to stand with other like minded people who condemn any and all statements and actions that would seek to deny the basic humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters. We cannot sit Idly by nor will we speak silently when we are confronted with such violence against members of our community. I am personally beyond exhausted by the ignorance and bigotry living in some people. At times I want to punch and I want to slap a lot of people when I read and hear the shit that comes out their mouthes !!! I will rejoice when folks stop thinking they ARE GOD, Jesus’ assistant, picking and choosing what “sins” are acceptable in the Bible, and using the Bible as a whip! WE can’t afford anymore tearing down of our shared humanity. My advice: If your religion is causing you to spew out words of hate, judge, or look down on others because of who one loves then you need to change it. And fast. If the religion don’t make you are more loving or better person, ditch it. But what do I know. My hope is that we ALL go into this new year considering for one moment that we don’t have all the answers. My hope is that we become more understanding, less judgmental, more tolerate, and more patient with one another. Including me. HAPPY NEW YEAR.”

Most of the comments on Monáe’s post were supportive, but some did defend Burrell’s words and sentiment. For instance, one IG user claimed that her words were not for the public and therefore we should not take offense to them:

…again the point was missed…..all any of you saw was a 2 minute clip of her speaking to HER members….that was misinterpreted! Now if you know nothing about being a Shepard of a flock, as a pastor you will be held accountable if you don’t say or do what saith the Lord! When a Pastor is addressing his/her congregation, does one run out and tell the one walking past to come in, he’s speaking to them, No! That word was for HER church but the world got mad! If you are living how you want to live and you’re pleased then by all means do you, but I have yet to hear her say she hates the LGBT community! Not one member of her church came forth and said she was wrong, and her message was to them….above all, she spoke of MANY sins, but again, everyone gets mad when a certain lifestyle is touched! Y’all need to stop seeing red, stop thinking that because someone doesn’t condone a lifestyle they’re Hateful when in reality that’s so not the case! I don’t worry about anyone who says they hate me because of the color of my skin, I continue to love and keep it moving!! Same here, if what she said is the truth and her members didn’t see anything wrong with it, why is everyone else so Mad?! Above all, the name calling, the disrespect is beyond uncool, she is a Pastor!! When y’all find that clip of her saying she HATES gays or she HATES the LGBT community and those are her exact words, please by all means, share it and I’ll humbly apologize, but I think the hate that’s being spewed is rather ridiculous…and the headlines are false!! If the LGBT got any of that love they want the world to have for them, they need to share it and NOT be hypocrites that they’re so quick to say others are when some don’t agree! Ijs! Be blessed and Happy New Year!

Octavia Spencer also shared Pharrell’s post and stated, “I agree. We are all God’s children equal in his eyes. Hatred isn’t the answer. Intolerance isn’t the answer.”

Burrell has since posted another Facebook video addressing the issue, saying that her words were misconstrued and she was specifically addressing members of her church, and did not say that all gays are going to Hell.

Burrell was featured on Frank Ocean’s Godspeed. Ocean identifies as bi-sexual and has gone public with his relationship with another man.

BGLH readers, what do you think of Burrell’s words and the backlash?


Elle is the editor and creative director of the YouTube channel and blog, Quest for the Perfect Curl at Her channel focuses on natural hair, beauty, and fitness. She loves products that smell like dessert, yoga, and glitter. Follow her @qftpc.

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44 Comments on "‘If Your Religion Causes You to Hate, Change It’: Janelle Monae Writes Impassioned Post About Homosexuality and Religion"

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Kelly Barbour

Y’all keep getting your moral compass from entertainers….good luck with that.


Getting your morality from a religion is no better.

Queen Mennon

talk to me about the disruption in female competitive sports by transgender men who think they are women? it is hateful of those who feel this is an unfair disadvantage to females?


She didnt hate on anyone I mean she simply called a sin and sin and called people to repentence, so I’m confused is the only way to be a Christian now to unequivocally support and encorage homosexuality??

Tiffany Sutherland

Right, apparently if you dont agree with the world youre hateful.


The bible is wrong in many instances. LGTBQ people are worthy, whole and equal to everyone else. PERIOD.


That’s your opinion. Let other people have theirs too…

Susie White

Well she is sharing her opinion and YOU are the one trying to gag her by responding to her comment. So because others have their opinion SHE shouldn’t talk about hers?


Actually – Jesus taught to “Love our neighbors as we love ourselves” and to “do unto others as we would have them to do unto us”. I am not going to judge what Ms. Burrell said because I am not sure of the entirety of what she said. However, Christians can and have veered outside of the gospel by interjecting their own beliefs/opinions – which often stem from a lack of wisdom and understanding of God’s Word.

Mouse bites

“If your religion causes you to spew hate, just ditch it!”

If stuff like this that makes me glad to be an agnostic. I honestly can’t support a religion that encourages to hate people that aren’t straight and religious. Christianity is too rigid for my taste.


True Christianity has been hijacked. Jesus taught to Love – which is an action word – that often challenges people to consider their own behaviors in an effort to be understanding and compassionate toward others. The religious often are reduced to being mean, hateful and incorrigible. Being religious is not synonymous with being a follower of Christ.

Lord is my Savior
I agree that some people go over the top with being too convicting, but God commanded ministers to teach the words written in the book. The words are clear as day in roman and leviticus even more than in sodom and gomorrah. Of course that doesn’t mean that any sin is worse than any other, but why does every time a preacher preach against that specific one instead of the ones they always preach, that people go haywire screaming ‘hatred it’s hatred’!! Don’t we love our drunk uncles yet know drunkenness is a sin? Don’t we love our fornicating siblings… Read more »
Lord is my Savior
Christianity doesn’t teach hatred, it teaches appreciation for mercy and repentence through the old and new testament. The new testament changed the no mercy from the old testament. If you knew the truth about your entire existence and being, wouldn’t you reach out and accept the truth? We dont get placed in hell, we choose to go by not accepting the truth. If we let god show us the way and let him fill us up, our old self that was wrong would be removed no matter what our lifestlye sins were. There is sins, and there is living in… Read more »
Felecia Monique

This is such a hard concept for most ppl to understand because we as a society do not accept other people’s opinions. They are just that. Nobody is right or wrong…we have a president elect who doesn’t like Muslims, Blacks or women but more than half of the country supported his opinion. It’s a sign of the times.


This world is backwards. As long as preachers still have freedom of speech, I’m cool. Why was she going on Ellen anyway? Why does the church think it needs the world to advance? Loving and depending on are 2 different things.


Jesus said “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” (Jn 6:47 NIV)

When people of that time said ‘very truly’, they meant without a doubt or any loopholes or terms and conditions. That is the gospel.

Susie White
Interesting that Kim was preaching at all as the same Bible says women should be silent in church and not minister over men. But I bet she will excuse that & claim the verse was “cultural” while insisting gay people should follow the Bible to the letter. Perhaps she would have done better to preach a sermon on gluttony, a sin she seems well acquainted with. Isn’t it perverted to abuse the temple God gave you till you’re pushing 300 pounds while many kids go to bed hungry? or maybe she should address her hypocrisy that makes her use lgbts… Read more »

Yea this should have focused in her hypocrisy if anything nevertheless what she said wasn’t necessarily hateful it is rooted in scripture.

Susie White
It is hateful though. Scripture can be used as a tool of hate or love because there are multiple verses that can be translated to oppress people. Ephesians 6:5 says that slaves must submit to their masters & many slave masters used that to knock our ancestors down.Matt 19:9 says that anyone who divorces except for infidelity is an adulterer. What options does that leave battered women? When the Bible says ‘he created them male & female’ where does that leave the 2% of our population who were born intersex (formerly derogatorily called ‘hermaphrodites’)? So if you are willing to… Read more »
Um ehat?? Lol many people use cars to run someone over what is that then? Cars are hateful. You lack understanding like most non Chrostians. God did create us male and female, Adam and Eve were a male and a female, that intersex conditions are DIsorders yes God created a perfect world that was corrupted by sin. Jesus actually addressed “enuchs” instructing them to be celibate like he was. And a wife does not need to divorce and abusive husband it’s called seperation again yhe Bible does address this and over course the Bible instructs masters to treat their slaves… Read more »

oh my god.


culture does not change natural laws. The prohibition against homosexuality is based in natural law not culture. It is the very nature of the human body that is heterosexual a gay man’s body is a man’s body, it was created to and can only unite with a woman’s body. I mean do you think the Biblical prohibition against incest is cultural?

Susie White

Who defines nature? How is homosexuality unnatural when almost every species on the Planet engages in it? Are you saying it is man made? How absurd! & I think you need to read your Bible again as that is what promotes incest not lgbts. Wasn’t your beloved Father Abraham & Sarah were the ones who were incestuous & Adam & Eve too taken from the same body which is worse than incest. Then again who did Seth marry? Lol

Nature is not defined by any person I mean ultimately one could say nature is defined by it’s Creator, God, but not everyone believes in God so whatever. Nevertheless natural laws exist and can be observed. And natural laws/order are not the same as anything that simply occurs in nature. For instance I can drink bleach but it’s not natural for me to do so obviously since that would make me sick nor is it natural for me to have sex with my father again totally possible even something an animal would do but not natural in the sense that… Read more »

I don’t know what was hateful about Kim Burrell’s sermon. At least she’s trying to keep people out of hell and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.


You are part of the problem as well. Nobody should be bashed for loving someone, that is not what Jesus stands for


No you are the problem and obviously know nothing about the teachings of Christ.


Why bring up love when Two men can love each other without engaging in homosexual acts and many men do engage in those acts without love at all. Fornication, homosexuality, and adultery are major sins consuming our culture. Many now think that sex equals love, if anything Christ taught the exact opposite I guess that’s why they see such sermons as “hateful” since this woman chose not to encourage acting on certain sexual indulgences she must be “hating”.

Susie White
Agree with you completely Eva. I mean this is ridiculous. A woman mounts a pulpit to preach despite 1 Cor 14: 34. Making matters worse, her hair is totally uncovered something Paul claimed makes angels angry. And yet even though she is not following these parts of the Bible literally & has justified it to allow her live comfortably in the modern era, she claims gay people are going to die. People are now talking about the fact that she was in a lesbian relationship & it didn’t end well. I won’t be shocked if that is true since many… Read more »

God’s law trumps man’s lust. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Tiffany Sutherland

The blind cant see and the deaf cant hear.

Justice S

People forget that Jesus said love everyone you can’t pick and choose just because they are homosexual or don’t go to church.


But she didn’t say to hate gays at all she simply discouraged homosexuality. If another pastor preaches against sex before marriage are the hating too? What about adultery or excessive drinking or violence? Can no one preach against sin? What then is the purpose of the Church?

Susie White
Straight people who are told not to fornicate/ commit adultery still have the option of having sex that satisfies them. All they need to do is find someone they like and get married. When you tell gay people they’re sinful what do you expect them to do? Chant till they’re attracted to the opposite sex? Marry & sleep with people of the opposite sex that they’re not attracted to? Be celibate for the rest of their lives? Jeez you church folks are so ridiculous. & you wonder why many men in our community are down low & infecting all of… Read more »
Um so? If a pedo can only be satisfied by sex with children are the laws against pedophilia “hate”???? What do we expect of them?? Celibacy?? The horror. Lol! Just because someone likes something or wants something does not make it right. Lots of people would enjoy sex more with someone who is not their spouse neverthless adultery is STILL a sin because sin is not about what you want in the moment its about what is best foe society and it’s not “homophobia” that’s spreading aids is PROMISCUITY that gays engage in no matter what it’s part of the… Read more »
Susie White
You are clearly very ignorant about sexuality which is why you have rehashed embarrassing rhetoric about gay people from the 80s. You are a very sick individual to compare the loving consenting relationship between adults of the same sex with pedophilia involving sex with a kid who can’t consent. & your argument about diseases is so ridiculous. Are you going to advocate for straight women to be banned from sex since they have far higher hiv and sti rates than Lesbians? And you do realize that if a person enjoys sex with both men and women they are bisexual not… Read more »

Did she say hate anyone? I missed that part.

Kelly Barbour

Jesus loves everyone but does not accept all behaviors.

This is stupid. She’s a PASTOR, you know where these church people stand on this issue, so why do secular entertainers keep inviting them to partake in secular music!? It makes no sense. She’s a hypocrit #1, since homosexuality is a sin, she has no business colluding with them to make money. And she’s two faced too obviously. She was all smiles in their face during the recording sessions and perfomances for that check, but meanwhile thinking their all damn to hell for not repenting from their homosexual “lifestyle”. Both She and the ones that work with her deserve the… Read more »

My religion will always inspire me to love others…hatred and God don’t fit together in my mind. Janelle is a true role model


Kim Burrell is delusional in that facebook video.


No, there wasn’t anything wrong with her sermon. Not everyone will NOT Condon that type of lifestyle. God’s love is greater than hate.

Mouse bites

Being queer isn’t a lifestyle though. No one chooses their sexuality. Now being to be Christian is a lifestyle since everyone isn’t Christian.


It’s a choice…I feel like eating a bag of chips…is still a choice. ..been around many LGTBQ people…many relatives too…for the the most part–they decided at one point to be a cat than a dig…..not everyone will accept or agree…that’s all I’m saying….