A few weeks after Idols SA judge and media personality Somizi Mhlongo visibly walked out of a homophobic sermon at the Grace Bible Church, he decided to open up about the incident for the first time.
During an interview with Carte Blanche, Somizi said he felt fate at work at the moment. He added that he was chosen to send a message to the church on that fateful day.
Earlier this year, Somizi cast the spotlight on homophobia in churches when he stormed out of a service, after a visiting pastor labelled homosexuality “unnatural” and “a sin”. As a result, a heated debate erupted on the internet concerning the matter.
While some Twitter followers supported his action (walking away during service) some others pointed out that the pastor was preaching against all kinds of sins and lifestyle issues including fornication and adultery which did not see other people walking out. Apparently, these are sins people commit everyday.
However, Somizi says he did not walk out because he felt offended by the scripture the pastor was reading from. According to the Idols judge, it was the editing and the extra words that left him fuming.
Again, he felt that the pastor could easily use his influence to encourage violence against homosexuals with his words.
In his description of what led to his series of videos in which he condemned the church, media personality Somizi narrated how he walked out of a church he has attended for 32 years;
“I was a member of Grace Bible Church for 32 years and on that day when the pastor started saying he has never seen a male dog with another male dog, I deliberately stood up. I told myself, ‘I am standing up for a reason’,” he said.
“The sermon was not moving to begin with; he started talking about the importance of the soul; he didn’t really get to the point and then I started playing with my phone – and then the next thing I hear ‘homosexuals’ and I said, ‘Oh, okay’.
“Before that he talked about divorced couples and then he goes on to single people and then homosexuals. Then I started concentrating.
“He started talking about how unnatural it is and how not even animals practise it. He said you’ll never see a male dog with a male dog, a male springbok with a male springbok, so why must human beings do it?”
And that was Somizi’s cue. He stood up, took his bag and walked out of the church. On his way out, he got some funny glances from people who he says he felt were saying “look at him, he’s embarrassed, the seat is too hot for him to handle.”
Unfazed by the reactions, Somizi stormed out of the church and went ahead to tweet about it.
For the most part, media personality Somizi is just happy to have gotten the opportunity to send a message to the church. He’s hoping they could address homophobia practised in the name of religion.
Nonetheless, he will still continue worshiping at the Grace Bible Church despite all the drama.