HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - Saturday afternoon, John Woodward was watching a news report about New York allowing gay marriages. Woodward took offense to the political action. He headed straight to his church to put up a billboard message which reads, "Homosexuality is an abomination to Jesus and our Country!"
"Because of the silence of the churches of America, the minority of America has gotten their way, from the abortion issue to the gay rights issue," Woodward said.
Woodward asked nobody, not even the pastor, about the display. Turns out that's okay.
"Being in the Bible Belt, so what do we do?" Pastor Harold Stoll said. "So it's just time to take a stand."
And that's admired by some.
"America is going to go down fast," Sharon Christian said. "It's against everything in the Bible."
"May stop some of it," Joann Wright said.
Some even thinks the billboard can stop a person from becoming a homosexual.
Others believe in tolerance.
"This town here is very judgmental and that's why I went away, because of this," Blair Easley said.
"It's not my type of lifestyle, but whatever," Brenda Horton said. "But I don't think the churches should be brought into it."
She would probably prefer a far less controversial message going up down the road at the Baptist church.
"I know they have to preach it and they have to tell what they believe, but I don't know about on your sign," Charisse Butler said.
The publicity, good or bad, serves Woodward in the end.
"If that sign I put up there Saturday offends anybody, then the sign served its purpose," Woodward said.
"We preach the Bible," Stoll said. "We don't hedge it. We don't try to sidestep it."
Woodward has an old tattoo on his neck he got back in his biker's day, which says "society sucks." His lifestyle has changed, the message hasn't.
"My opinion and my views and with what the Bible says makes that pretty clear," Woodward said.