Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Pastor issues apology after sermon includes Kavanaugh

EDMOND, Okla. -  A popular metro pastor is coming under fire for using the Kavanaugh hearings as a tool in a sermon.

"I think this past week you were given the opportunity to see how angry and divisive things can be. As we watched the processes for interviewing our possible next supreme court justice judge Kavanaugh and then hearing accusations from a Doctor Ford..." said Pastor Bob Long.

A Sunday sermon at St.  Luke's United Methodist church launches a social media storm.  It stems from a tweet turned Facebook post saying
"Just walked out of a service with my daughters at St Lukes Edmond where the first 5 minutes of the sermon had Kavanaugh's face on the big screen and the pastor talking about being falsely accused.. prefaced with the claim that he "wasn't being political."

That post sparked thousands of shares and 100's of comments like

"I would find another church."

"Culturally insensitive leadership is detached from its followers."

"I would of walked OUT!!"

"Yeah, I was really disappointed with today`s sermon."

Phyllis Klugas saw the post, commented and went back and watch the entire sermon.

"I don`t say that it offended me.. it was more disappointing..  I think that it's very common for men of privilege not to understand what the issues are that effect women today," said Klugas.

But some taking up for St. Luke's and Bob Long.
"This is a misrepresentation of what was said in the sermon."

"I find it more than ironic that the political discourse and partisan accusations aimed at Bob are exactly what his sermon was trying to end."

News 4  found the sermon online.

"Regardless of where you stand politically regardless of how you read the situation just step back from all that and lets just look at the framework in which the conversation has been carried on.  We saw senators hollering at each other. I wonder if everybody was watching that day because they were so interested in our politics or did they think they were going to hear something salacious... scandalous," said Long.

Bob Long doesn't actually say that Kavanaugh is wrongly accused in the sermon but he does draw a comparison to a 1979 ordeal when President Carter's chief of staff was wrongly accused of drug use.

News 4 reached out to the author of the post Nicole Nelson said in part in a statement to News 4:

"The bias and intention of relating that particular story as Judge Kavanaugh's photo was displayed was immediately clear. In a state of shock over what I was hearing.."

Bob Long declined our request for an interview but issued a video statement,"I in no way intended to make any kind of statement about his guilt or innocence.  It wasn't a sermon that was supposed to be dealing with him or the issues of sexual abuse it was a sermon to deal with the incivility in our society at this time."

Pastor Bob Long says the use of the pictures of Judge Kavanaugh was not intended to be political. He says he has steered away from politics for 27 years at St. Luke's
"I didn't appreciate just how sensitive the subject was. If pain was invoked, I'm sorry and I hope you can forgive me."

Bob says in that video that no words were ever attached to the pictures of Kavanaugh in his sermon. There are some pics floating around the internet and he says any words in support or against the judge are not the work of St Luke's.

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