Iconic San Antonio Pastor Rev. Buckner Fanning is rejecting claims by Arizona Christians that they need a law that will allow them to discriminate against gays and gay couples in the name or religion, telling 1200 WOAI's Michael Board, "Arizona, read the Bible."
A law which has passed the Arizona Legislature would allow companies to claim that their Christian faith prohibits them from providing goods or services to gays. The Arizona Governor is considering whether to veto the law.
Fanning says Christianity has nothing to do with race, color, or sexual preference.
"What did Jesus do, anybody whosoever calls upon Him, He will help you and lift you up and give you peace," Fanning said.
"That's what they need to be talking about in Arizona. They need to be talking about what Jesus said 2,000 years ago and come together and pray for each other."
This is not the first time Fanning has taken a bold stand which breaks with many fundamentalist or evangelical Protestant beliefs. In the 1960s, as pastor of the influential Trinity Baptist Church, Fanning was an early supporter of desegregation and equal rights for African Americans. His preaching of inclusion to his all white congregation is credited with helping San Antonio avoid the racial rancor which ripped other Southern cities during that period.
Fanning told 1200 WOAI news he would say to Arizona the same thing he said to white San Antonians fifty years ago.
"We're all in a leaky boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty," Fanning said. "We're in the same boat, so lets stop fighting in the boat."