Pop singer Ricky Martin kicked off his world tour on Friday in his hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The popular artist, however, wasn’t welcomed by everyone.Megachurch pastor Wanda Rolón of First Christian Church of La Senada Antigua in northern Puerto Rico, which has over 3,000 members, denounced the Musica+Alma+Sexo (Music+Soul+Sex) concert for promoting nudity and sadomasochism.
She called the event abominable.
“I want to say to Ricky Martin that there is no need to go to the extreme by making our children and youths confused,” she said during a press conference Thursday in the Puerto Rico Senate.
“May the Lord help us this weekend. God have mercy on Puerto Rico,” she added.
Her comments came just days after she posted on her Facebook page that Martin, who is openly gay, would lead Puerto Ricans to hell. Rolón expressed her disagreement with Martin publicly exhibiting his homosexuality as if it was normal behavior.
"I want more Christian news!"She posted (translated): “This weekend Puerto Rico will receive a man whom God rescued from hell (referring to evangelist Nicky Cruz, founder of Nicky Cruz Outreach) … on the other hand, there is another one who wants to take people to hell! RM (Ricky Martin).”
Immediately, a hundred of her followers agreed with her comments. And to those who disagreed, she replied, “Saying the truth, warning people is wisdom; being silent before the lie is sin.”
One commenter responded, “You proclaim God but do not respect others. What about ‘love your neighbors as yourself’? It is not assumed that all are children of God? … He who has no sin throw the first stone…”
In the days following the post, Rolón said she has been a victim of attacks due to her comments.
Later, Rolón removed the post from her Facebook and published another post: “I never promoted hatred, but the love of Christ … God calls us as only man and woman because it was how He created us. I will continue to preach with all my heart about the love of God, because He doesn’t want to lose anyone but He wants to save all of us.”
The pastor denied having compared Martin with the devil, according to The Primeira Hora, a Puerto Rico publication. She said she was denouncing him for saying openly that he is gay. Martin announced last year that he is gay.
Though Martin’s intention is to encourage people to be open about their homosexuality, he is doing the opposite because instead of being accepted they are most likely to end up isolated, Rolón noted.
“Should I glorify this conduct? No. I wouldn’t glorify a drug addict or an alcoholic…,” she maintained.
“I ask you to seek God and to cease being adulterers, fornicators, liars,” she said as she expressed concern for children who might think that being gay is “okay.”
On Thursday, security guards blocked gay activist groups who showed up at the press conference to speak out against the pastor’s “homophobic comments.” Those who did manage to enter criticized Rolón, arguing that she is “imposing religious beliefs on society.”
Young gay activist ángel Luis Crespo said, “Her expressions perpetuate oppression and discrimination in society, when we are seeking to combat inequality.”
Helga García, spokeswoman for Martin, was extremely offended and disappointed that a pastor would make such comments and use her gift to divide rather than unite.
"The pastor has the right to express her position … but I think … she should reflect on who she is and what God’s message for the whole earth is,” she said.
She recommended that the pastor remember her “duty as an ambassador of Christ’s teachings” and to abstain from making offensive comments against the music artist.
According to the spokeswoman, the pop music artist is "a very spiritual person."
Martin’s Musica+Alma+Sexo tour is based on his latest album, his first studio album in six years. Martin came out on his official website where he stated, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”