In a blog post titled “Is God Judging America Today?” a pastor who leads a weekly bible study group for President Donald Trump and members of his Cabinet blamed the coronavirus pandemic on several groups, including those who have “a proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality.”
America “is experiencing the consequential wrath of God,” the Rev. Ralph Drollinger wrote on his Capitol Ministries blog on March 21.
In addition to gays and lesbians, Drollinger — a former professional basketball player who The New York Times recently referred to as Trump’s “shadow diplomat” — also laid blame on people with “depraved minds,” environmentalists and those who deny the existence of God.
Alphonso David, president of the national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said “Drollinger’s horrific assertions are ludicrous” and said his “shameful views cannot be ignored.”
“LGBTQ people around the country and around the world are struggling to cope with this global pandemic. They are worried about their health, their livelihoods, and their families,” he wrote in a statement shared with NBC News. “At a moment where we need to pull together by recognizing our shared humanity and mutual dependence, there are some of low moral character who see it as an opportunity to continue to try to divide us.”
This is not the first time Drollinger has made offensive remarks about LGBTQ people. In just the past two years, Drollinger has written multiple blog posts about the dangers of homosexuality. In a 2018 post, “Understanding the Book of Leviticus Today,” for example, he compared same-sex relationships to a woman who “loves her cat” and predicted the embrace of gay marriage would be akin to choosing “a path toward extinction.”
Drollinger has been giving Wednesday morning Bible lessons since early in the Trump presidency. The group’s attendees, according to The Intercept, which was the first to report on Drollinger’s coronavirus remarks, include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, House and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Health Secretary Alex Azar, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.