Anti-LGBTQ+ pastor claims unisex nicknames like ‘Sam’ are turning kids trans

Pastor Henry Shaffer

A pastor who aligns himself with far-right anti-LGBTQ+ ideals has warned parents that giving children names that can be shortened to unisex nicknames will make them transgender.

It’s the latest in a string of deeply homophobic and transphobic messages that Pastor Henry Shaffer has shared with his followers.

Shaffer, who describes himself on his social media platforms as a “demon terrorist” regularly holds conferences to spread deeply discriminatory and ignorant views under the guise of Christianity.

In his latest conference, run by fellow far-right pastor Greg Locke, Shaffer claimed that allowing children to go by unisex nicknames was the work of the devil, and would make them transgender.

A clip from the live-streamed event sees Shaffer tell his audience: “The name that God gave them [children], the devil changed and shortened their name.”

Pastor Henry Shaffer
Pastor Henry Shaffer has some bizarre issues with kids having nicknames. (Twitter)

In a half-witted attempt to explain his thought process, he continues: “Sam is not a specific gender name. They’re setting our children up with names that can be not gender-specific. Samantha, Samuel. 

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“And the spirits in school are working for them to confuse their minds and who they are. And you’ve already given them the name that would make transitioning easy.”

Essentially, Shafer is trying to claim that if a parent gives their child a name that can be shortened to a more androgynous nickname, like Sam, Alex, Chris, or Mel, they’re more likely to identify as transgender which is, of course, completely absurd.

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It wasn’t long before the clip from Shaffer’s bizarre Labour Day speech was shared on social media.

Commenting on Shaffer’s outrageous claims, one person tweeted: “Apparently, giving your child a name that has a gender-neutral nickname (Samantha→ Sam) is anti-Christian because it might lead to the kid becoming trans. (That’s not how anything works).”

Another wrote: “I’ve heard it all, at Pastor Greg Locke’s [deliverance] conference this morning, Pastor Henry Shaffer said with a straight face that there are genderless names that make becoming transgender easier so I guess there are Christian preferred names.”

It’s worth noting that Pastor Greg Locke, whom Shaffer has chosen to align himself with, is the same man who made headlines last month for tying a Bible to the end of a baseball bat and using it to bash in a Barbie Dream House.

Locke was attempting to offer his followers a sort of metaphor, about how they should treat temptations like pornography.

Before that, Locke was put on blast when he fancied himself as a “demon slayer” and told Baptist News that he had performed an exorcism on a young girl.

So, do with that information what you will.

And finally, last year, Locke told his followers that he believed six witches had infiltrated his church, the Global Vision Bible Church.

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“You got a choice,” he told the ‘witches’ in the audience during his sermon.

“You can leave with your spells, all by yourself, or I’ll show up next Sunday with a stage full of brooms, and I’ll give you one and I’ll fly your tail up out of this place in the name of Jesus. But we ain’t playing your spell castin’, witchcraft nonsense sage-burning games.”

So, as you can see, all appears to be totally above board here.

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