A Tennessee church has been criticised for attempting to compare the LGBT community to Satan.
The Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle Church displayed a sign reading: "Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights".
However, the sign was removed and replaced when images began to spread online, leading to strong criticism, WBIR
"Our sign referencing Satan demanding his equal rights to ascend into the heavens and be God was simply all about that individual," Pastor Tony Greene said.
"It was not a statement against any one group in particular, you know what about the rights of the unborn babies, the rights of children, the rights of everyone? My heart breaks in the dividedness of our country."
However, the explanation was questioned, with one Knoxville resident asking: "And when you say you're asking for your equal rights, who's asking for their equal rights and who are you comparing to Satan? That was very strong language."
Another concluded: "It's clearly a sign that was meant to offend a particular community - the LGBT community. Because of (the church's) lack of foresight, they ended up offending everybody who had ever fought for equality or civil rights in general."
The new message on display at the church reads: "Glad you reading, did not intend to offend, we all need Christ."
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