BLOUNTVILLE — To mark National Day of Prayer, Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey took to a makeshift pulpit Thursday, feet from his office in the Sullivan County Courthouse, to preach against President Obama for “embarrassing us” with a “disgraceful” telephone call to National Basketball Association player Jason Collins.
Godsey, the first speaker at an hourlong Christian church service in the courthouse’s commission room, first said he was “probably going to get fussed at a little bit” for what he was about to say.
“I’ve been watching the TV this week and it appalls me, it just literally makes me furious, that we as a nation, as blessed as we are, what has been on the TV for the last week,” Godsey said. “What has been on the TV for the past week? I could stand here and preach today. It really and truly just irritates me to the point I just, you know ... on the TV all week long we are celebrating an NBA player coming out as a devout homosexual and him getting a call from the president of the United States — the most free ... God bestowed more grace on this country than any other country in the world. And yet we have a president that calls and congratulates and commends a guy (as if) he’s a national hero for coming out of the closet, per se. How disgraceful is that? And then we’ve got a past president that commends him for it. I, I tell you folks, if we don’t get on our knees and pray for this nation, you know what’s going to happen one day? For all of us in here, I believe we’re all believers, but you know what’s going to happen? We’re going to cast our eyes up in the eastern sky and you know what we’re going to see? We’re going to see ‘Ichabod’ written across through there. And God’s gonna say ‘Hey, I’ve had it. You all got more ability and more potential and more chances to hear the word of God and hear scripture and be saved.’ There’s churches on every corner. There’s probably more churches around here than there are school buildings. I mean, there are churches on every corner. But, yet, we allow the leader of our free nation to embarrass us. And you know what folks? It’s our fault. Christians have sat on their rear ends and have sat too long and allowed for this kind of nonsense to go on. Now, I’m done preaching, I’m sorry.”