Church of Joseph Duggar's girlfriend draws flak for spreading message that 'there are no such things as homosexuals'
"Counting On" star Joseph Duggar, 22, recently announced his courtship with Kendra Caldwell, 18, much to the delight of fans.
However, Caldwell's church has run into conflict with the Duggar family's stance against homosexuality, according to NWA.
Kendra's father, Paul Caldwell, is the pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That is where Duggar and his girlfriend first met.
Despite being known for upholding conservative values, the Caldwells' church pushed a lot of hot buttons when it distributed controversial pamphlets that state: "Does God love Homosexuals? This is a flawed question... There are no such things as Homosexuals."
These pamphlets were distributed door-to-door, upsetting the local community. Joanna McCusker, one of the residents who received the printed material, said the statements made by the church were inappropriate.
"I was just offended that they would be going door-to-door in this community with that information," she said. "I think most neighbours were pretty offended."
Joan Sirlin, another resident in the community, said members of the Lighthouse Baptist Church apparently do not know where to draw the line with their beliefs. "I've had religious pamphlets dropped off, but nothing like that. I don't think it's right to push your religious beliefs on people in neighbourhoods like this or any neighbourhood," she said.
Pastor Paul Caldwell reportedly issued a message through text defending the church's action to spread its message, adding that their intent was not to offend anyone.
"Our church loves the LGBT community, hence the reason we have decided since Spring 2014 to reach out to them. This is just another avenue we are trying," he wrote. "To them it is simply a reminder that God loves them, and if I were to truly love them, then I must tell them the truth."
But McCusker does not agree. "If you read their literature, you'll see that they don't actually believe that there are such thing as gay people — it's almost a science-fiction idea that they have," she said.
Meanwhile, Joseph is the third Duggar brother to go into courtship, but he did something to make his courtship extra special. In their video announcement, Joseph revealed that he gave Kendra a promise ring. "The promise ring signifies that I promise I'm going to wait for you for marriage," he told Kendra. "It's kind of a similar token to what my other siblings have done. I just thought it was something a little it different."