By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN)–Hundreds of protesters gathered this weekend in Maiden, North Carolina, to voice their displeasure with a pastor's statement that gays and lesbians should be rounded up behind electric fences.
Sheriff Coy Reid estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 protestors came to the Catawba County Justice Center for a peaceful protest on Sunday. He said only two citations for noise violations were issued and there were no arrests.
The protest was organized by the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate in response to a Mother's Day sermon by Pastor Charles Worley at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden.
"I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it past the Congress," Worley said to his congregation on May 13. A video of his comments went viral on YouTube.
"Build a great big, large fence - 50 or 100 miles long - and put all the lesbians in there," Worley said. "Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. Feed them. And you know in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."
Protestors chanted, "Love not hate," as the lined the road outside the Justice Center, which is 12 miles from thechurch.
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Organizers of the protest said they wanted to counter what they called the pastor's hateful words with love and stressed prior to the event that "our Peace Keepers will respond quickly and vigorously to any behavior that detracts from the peaceful, non-violent plans of this event."
On Friday night, vandals targeted the Providence Road Baptist Church, Lt. Daryl McCarty of the Catawba County Sheriff's office told CNN. "It appears that someone tried to set the air conditioning unit on fire in retaliation about his remarks against homosexuals and lesbians from the pulpit."
McCarty said there was "no extensive damage or anything. The incident appears to have happened on Friday night. It wasn't a big enough fire. It only burned the cover off of some wires."
An electric company easily repaired the damage Saturday, according to McCarty.
Sheriff Reid said trash was lit under the air conditioning unit to start the fire. The unit is up against a brick wall and he said it did not seem like the vandals were attempting to burn down the building, saying, "It appeared they were trying to disrupt the service."
The local fire marshal and a sheriff's deputy are investigating the fire further, Reid said.
He also noted that Worley had received death threats after his comments and his department was actively following up on them.
Repeated calls by CNN to the church and to the pastor's home for comment have not been returned. When Worley was approached outside his home on Sunday by CNN's Gary Tuchman and asked whether he would take back any of his comments, the pastor declined to comment.
The church's website has also been down, but it had described the house of worship as independent and fundamentalist. It represents a Baptist tradition self-described as "old-time religion" and the website said church members consider the 1611 King James Version of the Bible to be the "inerrant Word of God."
The church appears to be unconnected with any broader denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Baptist group, noted the Providence Road Baptist in Maiden is not affiliated with its 16-million member denomination and condemned the pastor's comments.
Last week in Maiden, members of the church vigorously defended their pastor, who has been at the church for more than two decades.
Some church members, who declined to give their names, said his words had been taken out of context. "He said he would feed them!" some church members told CNN, referring to the Worley's idea for rounding up gays.
Worley "takes a real firm stand on the Bible and what it says about different things," said church member Joe Heffner. "Whether I like it or not or whether anybody else likes it."
Another church member, who declined to give his name, said that "being gay and lesbian or homosexual is wrong according to the Bible. ... It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
The sheriff said his deputies will be paying extra attention to the church building in the wake of the vandalism and threats. The church has about 300 members, he said.
Reid, who has been with the sheriff's department since 1979, said the area had never seen anything quite like this.
"We hope it's over," he said. "The protestors have had their say now, so we're hoping it all dies down."
-CNN's Dan Gilgoff, Ismael Estrada, Gary Tuchman, and Rick Martin contributed to this article.
When priests subject themselves to popular election, I will agree that their tax exempt status is just one of many government expenditures that I disagree with but accept. Until then, I am being taxed without representation by churches who would rather take my money by force than live and work with what their own parishioners provide.
@DSI, Lol. I guess there is, but then again we were always liberal on social issues and so is our episcopalian congregation has long welcomed and married members of the lgbt community.
As Jesus would say you are a hyp ocrite that in one speech has violated half the commandments.
Thou shall not ki11
Thou shall not bear false witness
Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. (Christ's Golden rule).
You have used the lords name in vein.
Christ NEVER said anything about hom ose xuality and you shall never get into hea ven so long as you have ha te in your heart!
Mary & Paul, A loving Straight Christian couple and FORMER republicans.
So there really is hope for christian conservatives
I wonder when's the last time this guy preached a sermon on Christian holiness.
Opinions and freedom of speech only apply if what you say is accepted by the liberal masses. Anything conservative or anything that espouses the basic tenants of human existence and watch out.
Nice try, but who exactly sets the standards of human decency?
"Basic tenants of human existence?" You mean that we were created by a magical man that will torture the majority of his creation that doesn't believe in him? That line of thinking has no proof outside of what your mind can come up with.
How about the Bible? That is a pretty good guide isn't it?
No. The bible is not a good guide. I would never ever ever look to the bible as a source of wisdom or morality. To do so would be a violation of my principles and a degradation of my character.
The Bible is a horrible guide on how to live. It supports slavery, subjugation of women, the notion that being left-handed is bad (I'm left handed), stoning disobedient children, the list goes on....
What I find funny about the Bible is that there isn't one passage that supports necessary skepticism but lots of passages that support people to be blind followers. That certainly isn't a way to live.
My guess, Crocker, is that you are a conservative that is very skeptical about the size and role of government. Why aren't you skeptical about the amazing claims that religion makes?
crocker: conservatives should support marriage equality
You cannot have a conversation with people who have been indoctrinated
by the book.
They have chosen thier path.
They ignor what the book says, and cherry pick what has been
forced into thier brains.
These people do not think the way normal human mortals think.
They are "hollier" than us, so they must be right.
May your "God" be gracious when you get to those gates,
and find out you are going to a fiery place because you had the nerve to pass
judgement, when that is supposed to be left to your God.
You had a test, and YOU FAILED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get what you're saying and I agree, but I think it's important to keep trying with them. Maybe some believe will overhear the logic we use and decide to change for the good of humanity.
@ Robairdo, "I will agree with you that it is a civil right, you are making progress there. However it is not Sodomites as Sodom's destruction had nothing to do with hom ose xua1ity and Christ not only said nothing negative about hom ose xua1ity he actually condoned it. So you are the sinner commiting blasphemy to the Gospel of Jesus Christ"
Huh? Me, a sinner? You lost me Robairdo. :-(
Yes Serpeant you are the sinner. Do you know even know what Christ gave as the requirements for eternal life? How about his Golden Rule?
The Golden Rule pre-dates Christianity. But then again, most of Christianity is just swiped from earlier material.
Ps avoid the unneeded comment by dsi
Avoid PA at all costs. He's diseased.
Do you mean my answer to your query? Sorry if you didn't like it but it is true that there are more than a few nations that allow gay marriage
pervie, why don't you name any nation that has been in existence in its present form since the beginning of recorded history?
The United States of America
And guess what? It's still here, you dimwitted dolt, in spite of the fact that gay marriage is legal in a number of states, none of which are on the verge of disaster.
Are you going to continue to dig even though you're already at the bottom of a hole?
Ooohh, poor PervertAlert....he/she/it feels SO threatened by DSI (and anyone else for that matter) enough to try to censor him. Reall? Are you THAT scared, PA? Or did your wittle itty bitty feewings get hurt?
The United States has not been around since the beginning of recorded history (+/- 6000 years).
The United States has even changed since its founding - see the list of Const'itutional Amendments and the list of added states, for example.
Censorship is one of the most powerful tools of oppression there is. It is a darling of despots, dictators, and theologians the world over.
Come on PA, can't you make even one salient point?
The native peoples have existed in nations on this land and continue to exist in nations in this land from before any history was ever recorded here.
Pretty sure they didn't call the country the United States of America. Plus the majority of them were slaughtered. So no, the US has not existed in it's present form for thousands of years.
Funny he mentions native Americans as several native tribes were perfectly find with same gen der marriages. They called them "Two Spirits"
Being a sodomite is not one of my fortays so to say. I've had dealings with them socially and am not suited for thei lifestyles and perhaps never will be. My hetralist lifestyle did suit me qite well as I aged! Now again single and passed the 50 yard line of Life, I have no urges nor wants to be sensually active. As I now see tthings, sodomites and lesbians are bantering and make waves in the USA's political arenas to make sodomite and lesbian civil unionizations a legality. I now am not really against such cleavings of civilized affairs. Will the teachings to the very young and highly impressionable children about sodomy and lesbianism hurt our children's maleabilities at such early ages of sensualized education being levied upon the very young?
Canada has legalized gay and lesbian unions and has so for some years. To date, I have not heard any issues regarding Canada's education system being questioned regarding their sensual teachings of the very yound and innocent children regarding gay and lesbian unions. In googling though I have found that only a very small percentage of gay and lesbian marriages have been done. Perhaps 3 to 4 % of Canada's populace have gotten married as being gay and/or lesbian.
Is it honestly wrong for people of the sodomite and lesbian crowds to huddle together and try to establish here in the USA their civil rights for wanting to be civily unionized/married? My conscience says the lesbiians and sodomites have as much a right to marry their sensual partner as anyone who is heterally married! God may view sodommy and lesbianism as being abominable but wasn't heteral sensualism considered a dirty deed in timmes' passing?
So much garbage from one person.
More so, considering he sodomized a young male child.
I will agree with you that it is a civil right, you are making progress there. However it is not Sodomites as Sodom's destruction had nothing to do with hom ose xua1ity and Christ not only said nothing negative about hom ose xua1ity he actually condoned it. So you are the sinner commiting blasphemy to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
Who you calling a sodomite? Answer or me? If you are calling me out, YOU ARE A FVCKING LIAR AND NEED TO HAVE YOUR ASS WHOOPED!
@serpeant you are a sodominte as Sodom was destroyed for Greed and lack of kindness to others.
Hey, you're the one who admitted it. You abused a relative. You said so yourself.
Oh, yeah, and Serpent? Come and try it.
google my name and tell all to check out Jeff Fisher addresses the world part one and read the comments and make it VIRAL ASAP PLEASE
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
Okay "lady" give me yoour address and we'll see if my brothers and sisters and I can come around and whoop ya! Bring all your friends so we can have a maylay of a time, you pervert short of a bigotted liar!
Looks like Tom hit a nerve. Serpent is melting down as we speak.
@Serpeant I will join that party too with all of my gay martial art friends. Including myself 20+ years of training and two black belts.
Serpent's three sheets to the wind and two bricks shy of a load.
Does anyone know of a theocracy, any time in history, that was NOT oppressive?
Conversely, does anyone know a group of scientists, any time in history, that WAS oppressive?
Israel under David and Solomon
Israel was a kingdom during the time of David and Solomon
Yes "Jesus is Lord" and to that we can add Wonderland, Id and Never, Never fvcking Land, you simpleton.
I think that Lincoln( despite his awesomeness) screwed up letting the South back into the Union (and I'm from there). He should've let the states secede and taken the slaves up north. Letting them stew in their backwardness, they would've destroyed themselves in a matter of years. Win-win for both sides.
Yeah. Well, Abe shouldn't beat himself up too much about it. Pobody's Nerfect.
Agreed. Abe is still the man. Just wish the South would catch up.
Either kick them out or put them back under reconstruction until they are a mere ten years behind the rest of the country.
Both are great ideas. However, I feel that we'll just have to wait until the bigots die off.
Legal gay marriage is not at all uncommon in developed nations. On the other hand, it is completely non-existent in theocracies.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden
Love that picture. "And I say verily unto you...MORE KAOPECTATE FOR EVERYONE!"
Guys and gals, I saw a short on CNN about this issue and NO BODY knew WHAT they were talking about. The Pastor and his supporters were dead wrong AND the protestors and news castors were also wrong. Check out my blog post and read about it:
And if you feel there's any other issues concerning 'Christians, Religion, and The World that YOU"D like to know what the BIBLE REALLY SAYS and what GOD REALLY THINKS about it, let me know in a comment on my blog after you've read the post and I'll try my best to answer you as soon as I can :) Please no trollers, thank you.
Are you saying you know what god thinks ?
If they feel they need to stick me in a "concentration camp", then I say come and get me. I'll be sitting on my porch with my mini-14 in hand, ready to pick 'em off as they come down the road. It'll be fun for all of us! I guarantee it!
Mini-14? Pshaw. That's for kids.
I'll use my AA-12.
I say bring 'em on. If they want to place me behind a fenced area and fed via air drops, then come and get me. I'll have my nice, shiny Mini-14 ready and waiting.
Is the best way to load dead qu-eers on a cart still pitchforks?
Is the best way to deal with fascists still piano wire?
Spoken like a true christian PA. The lord must be very proud of you
Then how do you load the facists in the cart?
You load the fascists into the cart face-down and motionless
Nah you gotta get all them qu-eers out of there first.
@ PervertAlert: Next, we let the Al Qaeda Muslim extremists round up all the Christians and get them out of here. Fair enough? After all, they ttink you're living sinful, abhorrent lives and should be eliminated. Can't argue with them. They say Allah is the one true god. Don't like it? Take it up with them. They're acting just like you.
Try reading the entire exchange slowly, grumpy, i fear it may be a little too quick for you.
ps bypass the dsi butt in comment in the middle.
Whatsamatter, pervie? Can't refute dsi's statements? You poor little dweeb.
The whole thing is way,way too fast for Tom,Tom the Pipers Son to ever figure out.
Thank you to the millions of gays and lesbians who served, fought and DIED in every US war from the Revolution until now. THAT should be CNN's lead story on Memorial Day!
CBC (one who DID serve, albeit in SILENCE)
Happy memorial day Clyde.
Proud of you.
Next time burgers and beers on me !!!
Thank you for your contribution to our military service. Many hundreds of thousands also agree with me. We believe in justice for all, and this Reverend is purely a sick individual or a neo Nazi.
Yes thank you for your service you fought and still fight the good fight. Na zi's like this preacher must be stood up to.
Prayer changes things .
Once again you are full of crap. Why not pray that you will become more knowledgable and come out of a fairy tale.
Christopher, were you not hugged enough as a child? :) why does it bug you so much? you're like an evangelical atheist... you probably have more faith in nothing than I have in Something.
Christopher, were you not hugged enough as a child
Hey bct 21, you may not get around here often,
this moron posts the same thing over and over and over
to get a rise out of people.
You cannot talk to this person or get a reply,
this is the worse kind of troll on the internet.
This moron just sits back and gets a chuckle out of our responses.
Any story on religion, gays,politics,Isreal,
you will find the same copy and paste bull.
thanks! that makes sense... I gave up comment sections for Lent & should have stuck with it! ;)
Prayer changes things
Pray without ceasing
Show me someone opposed to prayer and I will show you a heathen.
@ Hitchens – Once again, another so called "christian" name calling. LOL. My point proven.
In all honesty Christopher, you don't have a point.
Judging others based on your own beliefs and not on their merits is what's unhealthy. I know atheists who are wonderful, caring people with a strong moral code and I know "christians" who are mean, hateful jerks. What you choose to believe about the hereafter is complete conjecture and has nothing to do with a person's worth.
Good or bad has no merit in the argument. By denying anyone the kingdom of God you have placed them in an unhealthy situation. Salvation is by grace through faith, therefore it is correctly said atheism is unhealthy for children and other living things. God bless
~~Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!
I think it's fine if people want to be religious, I have nothing against it, I just do not believe in it. If Christians want everything their way, why not segregate them (and Fox News) into their own continent away from the rest of the world and let them govern and preach the way they want? That would solve so many problems and then we wouldn't have to listen to them cry.
Seriously, it would solve so many issues!
Great, we will take this one, you atheist types can have Antarctica, there aren't that many of you anyway.
Christopher... are you serious?
Yes I am serious. Look at how they act. I'm so sick of seeing people that are religious call themselves "Christians". I was born in a Pentecostal house hold and all the pastors would to is talk about how raunchy the Mormons and Catholics are and how bad the blacks and mexicans have invaded the United States. I really do not believe religious people deserve anything more than anyone else does.
ok... but put them on an island? how is that any different / better than what this d-bag said?
The northern states can just join Canada and the bible belt can have their own country. Canada will stop exporting oil to to the bible belt and without the government to provide food stamps everyone will be wiped out in no time.
Exactly, now you guys see what I am talking about and why it's wrong what this guy said. Christians wouldn't like if anyone dogs against them.
Jen, that sounds like a civil war because that ain't happenning peacefully... and last time we had one of those we lost more people than all of our other wars combined... all b/c some people are ignorant & unhelpful?
yeah, this guy is an idiot. and it sounds like he is a rogue, unaffiliated idiot. :) freedom of speech man...
It won't work because they are not satisfied practicing their brand of fantasy privately. Rather, they insist that everyone else go along with it as well. Why do you think they keep trying to display the 10 commandments in public places? They preach that anyone who doesn't believe as they do will be sent to hell.
If Christians were to follow your advice they'd have no one to subjugate and their exaggerated sense of self-importance would be deflated.
Even if there is a hell or heaven, I guarantee most religious people will go directly to hell. They are no better than the rest of the world.
fellow angry internet commentators... these people have real spiritual beliefs expressed through their respective religions... I live in a country where it that is a right. generally speaking... no one comes to your house with a gun and tells you to go to church... or imprisons you for not following a church doctrine. why does this bug you guys so much? just live your life. some Christians have inflated sense of egos because they are human beings, not because they are emmulating Christ. just take a deep breath.
How would it not be peaceful? They fought because they wanted to stay separate. It would just be giving the south exactly what it has always wanted.
bct21 you were just crying, just because someone gave you a little talk up top doesn't mean you didn't participate. Once again, you are no better than anyone else. Go practice continuing your lent so we do not have to hear from you again.
I have zero problems with people practicing their religions. Just don't tell people they can't get married because it is against YOUR religion.
It would be a lot easier to breath if christians didn't have their hands in MY pockets
Qu-eer marriage is against God and nature, it is in violation of all history.
@ pervert alert – My point proven once again, please segregate yourself from the rest of the world.
Not MY GOD and not my nature!
lol. do you guys do this everyday on like multiple stories or just like relgious ones or what?
Kindly show us the nation that has embraced ho mo se xuality and endured.
he's right that it is in violation of history. but it totally should be allowed! we have to do things differently.. if we keep repeating history we'll be in more trouble than today.
Canada is headed toward self destruction. Collapse is not always instantaneous. The Canadian federation has been on shaky grounds for years.
Canada is on far more stable ground than the US. Their currency is stronger and their economy is more resilient.
Really? Hmmm...made it through the recession unscathed, higher per capita income than the US, better healthcare, better education system....I could go on and on. The province I lived in before moving to the US has an insane amount of money in the bank. Brink of collapse? Right...the US is way closer to collapse than Canada.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden
Name one empire that has never fallen, regardless of its att itude toward ho mo s3xuality, pervert of dirt, you moronic twit.
Egypt, Rome, Greece, and keep a close watch on all those endorsing qu-eers today
Prove that a single one of those nations fell because of acceptance of h0mos3xuality, you idiot.
Oh does this sound. The United States of Candan vs. the Confederate States of the Third Reich.
How about we try this, one year of a True Old Testatment Theocracy followed by one year or secularism with marriage equality and at the end of the two years let people vote as to which one they prefer.
Yes, or better yet Shariah law
Or better yet temporarily divide the country by blue/red.
The red states are led by a pure Theocracy 100% governed by the bible, with NO Exceptions.
The blue states governed by a pure secularism with full marriage equality.
And if it works out for both just make the division permanent.
Can we kill off ALL the qu-eers in the first year?
If you killed off all the gays you would probably realize just how much they actually contribute to society. You'd be missing a lot of capable doctors, lawyers, CEOs, artists, writers, politicians, scientists, etc.
Yeah we'd have to give up AIDS as well.
False, AIDS is just as prevalent among straights as gays. I guess you wouldn't have as many people to blame for your problems though, you'd probably have to start blaming the Jews again just like generations of bigots before you have
Actually because there are WAY more straights than gays, AIDS is spread among straights faster than gays lol. Learn your facts kid.
We will deal with the innocents afflicted with the disease ho mo se xuals left behind. Under the terms outlined we will not have to deal with the source anymore.
Aids was a boon for christians. All their prayers were answered.
You're ignorant if you think "gays will die out". Straight couples are the ones who brought the gays into the world.
Great idea apparently has no idea about the history of AIDS in the fact that many species has diseases very similar to it. Doesn't surprise me in the least, which is sad. Religion has been such a drawback on humanity.
Every dime that I pay in taxes that I would not otherwise have to pay except for those with tax exempt status is one more dime stolen from me by religious organizations. If your religion is so great and you're all so charitable, return the charity you're stealing from the rest of us.
The Church is the first organization on the ground in case of emergencies world wide. The Church feeds the poor, clothes the naked, the Church heals and comforts the sick and injured, the Church houses the homeless, the Church comforts the grieving the Church ministers to the prisoners and their families. What do YOU do? Nothing is stolen from you.
"Jesus is Lord" you are such full of crap it's not even funny. To believe in the bible is no better than someone living on World of Warcraft every minute of his life and believing it is real.
These are just some of what the Church contributes. You may not like it but what I wrote is 100% true.
I give my money and time to secular charities regularly. I could give more if it weren't taken against my will (stolen)
By the way Jesus is Lord, what do YOU do? I hope more than just give money to the church because that is woefully insufficient in my view. At least for myself, just giving money isn't enough.
seriously? who do you think runs food pantries, homeless outreach, & just about everything else for the poor? that's what the church does. organized religion generally improves societies on a daily basis.. that is why our government encourages them with tax exemptions. I don't like everything my tax $s go towards but that's part of being a citizen & trying to live in harmony with 300 million people.
We are all part of the problem or part of the solution to this worlds problems. I know where I am.
@ Jesus is Lord – definitely part of the problem.
To Jesus is lord.
The Vatican is one of the riches "corporations" on Earth.
It could feed every man, woman, and child on this planet
The Vatican also is a very large holder of realestate
some of the most expensive properties on earth.
The Vatican is not a country but it has dipomatic ties
with all of the industrial nations.
The Vatican has its own flag, its own post office, and its own police (Swiss Guard)
Why do you think this is ?
The Roman Empire did not fall.
It found out that it could no longer feed large armies to conquor other nations.
So, it flat out and simply had enough money to buy anything of worth.
And it still goes on today.
Jesus is Lord and approves of hom ose xua1 relationships.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.