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May 28th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Pastor's comments about gays draw protesters

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (1,365 Responses)
  1. A Serpent's Thought

    The equatorially beleagered missed representatives are collar bound with egoisms' vilenesses! The curtailing of churches emulating Godly virtues are nowadays the triumphants slaughterings of its' flocks thru unneeded perfumes such as books and Tv evangelists doing the cornerstone marketings of other than the Bible! How can the Truth not be subverted when subvertionalisms are nowadays most churches common denominators?

    Why should any atheist be bothered one bit that God either exists or doesn't? Can't one just get along lil doggies,get along? Or is it that hate still boils over and continues corrupting the up and coming newbies on the livid Life benches? Is one not but a part of the wholeness or are we ever to continue onward with the splinterings thereof? Where does one stop the malignancies of sociological disfigurementations' laments?

    Literally fragranced are thoughts of expounding contrivances' concerns and regards! Literalizations in hastefullness are at times either well thought or seldomly bought! The carrying of and towards predjudisms parlors to "Frankenstonian" wants! The malignancies of predjudistic revelries runs down the social gammets toward ever dividing one's willingness to be alikened to and beyond otherliness regards and concernments discipled! The spiritually fruitier the mentally loopier one gets and does become!

    The "laws" as in the "commandments" have ever been broken as many generations have since passed by! In Even Today's Timely Fields of Lattered Dayness are not separate of the Old Ones long since gone! We in allness did once and now do that which was ever talked about in scriptures essenced Word! We in our World get daily remembrances regarding the ill wills of commonalities for bemusements sakes! Even the beguiled snakes and bittered scorpions shall bear their fruit's kinds! Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    I can see one's eye upon the scripture! Even then the evil doers who do good works are found favored by their heavenly father! Our ways and thoughts might be felt differently but do we not "ascern" a togetherness of sorts commonwealth in idealistic reverences? God's Kingdom is "inside" one body of a God-formed Building called of a man where upon its' insides do live the godly of God for they shall ever reside within and live upon and live even for said body-called building!

    Only but one needs to seek faithfully the mercy for us all! Who in the now-times will it so be? You? Someone else? Me? I would gladly take the places of all who are hellbound in order to save humanities spiralling masses into the darkened abyss! None other is needed but one,,,, Me!

    May 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Drew

      "Why should any atheist be bothered one bit that God either exists or doesn't?" None of us are bothered by a god that we don't believed in, we are bothered by evil that his followers do

      May 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      talk about bot produced.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Edwardo

      You're such a martyr.. Your god created all things, including evil. Somehow you're convinced, he no longer does that. What makes you so sure, that you can trust him now, or in the future... if you couldn't trust him back then?

      May 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      @ Drew, "Why should any atheist be bothered one bit that God either exists or doesn't?"

      All atheists will be richly pleasured when after they die and are themselves found in another place of spiritual residencies! It takes only one believer toward all civilizations' ills to be as a sacraficial "lion" to appease God and His kind in order to make ammends of our individual and even societal bitterness towards other people! Whhen I am dead and gone, I will be the embodiment of a winged lion to be the hunted by God and His brethrens! Thiis thiing I do is to please the wills of humanism and the Godly living upon the insides of all Celestial Life as is so written within the Gospels of mankinds' Christian faiths!

      May 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Derigible

      Copy and paste, or keyboard abuse.
      Both are wrong.

      May 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      Cedar rapids,

      Sorry Cedar, the words I write and have written come from the guidances of my body's holy spirit! Few people can and/or may find solace to write as in my styled vernacularisms do so by the cherished Holy Spirit given me by God Almighty who in His Kingdom is in needs of wanting to hunt the once fabled winged lions of fabled times! I will gladly become such when my spirit goes back into the Kingdom of God which is inside my body! Of God I am placed and For God I will become and by God I will live for to be unted within the Kingdom of God which is inside my body!

      May 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Talking snakes are not conscious, and have no thoughts. If you hear one talking, you need to see your shrink.

      May 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  2. enigma4woman

    Jesus said. No man will enter the kingdom of heaven without sin did he not? If we are sinners in Gods eyes and if you say the reason you don't allow gays to marry due to it being a sin, then shouldn't we be denied the same right? After all a sin is a sin is it not? I think Jesus also told us not to judge and if we are so divided over an issue of love, shouldn't we allow marriage to all, and then let them live in the land who's laws should be followed according to the scripture. Do we deny the right of marriage to faiths which some believe are incorrect on who is God? Or do we deny it to the non believers too? Just think of how that will cut down on divorce costs!! Seems this pastor thinks he has a right to decide what sinners will be punished on earth and which ones won't. Basically he is saying those who believe as he does won't be sent to die out as won't he eventually move from the gays to the adulterers and then to the women or men unable to procreate, and so on and so on? How about you? What if he thinks your not Christian enough will you be sent to this compound too? His statements whether it be for any reason are wrong. He is spewing hate for his agenda. Not Gods in my opinion!

    May 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Edwardo

      Actually, Jesus says not to take the affairs of the church, to an ungodly government. He said the elders of the church should decide on all matters. Yet Xtians rush to the polls everytime possible, to persecute anyone they find sinful.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • James

      Not wanting gays to change God's defination of marriage is not hate. Stating why one choose to trust and obey God and oppose changes to His Word is not forbiding gays to do what they want to do. They can live their life together. It's not their sin that we oppose when they choose to commit. It is their wanting to change God's definition of marriage between same gender as not a sin. A change will justify them in a perverse society, but never by the Word of God. It will always be a sin.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      enigma4woman,

      For some time I was against the societal ongoings of the gay and lesbian lots! Now though, I can side in their becoming unionized by lawffulness! I can even rationalize polygamy of both "sensualisms"! All "Adult Sensualisms" weighted by and in the marriage arenas should be of righteousness no matter the how's of and sored meanderings for of federalized unionizations of civil marriages!

      May 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  3. Cedar rapids

    "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."

    oh well, thats alright then, that totally validates the idea of locking gays up behind electric fences.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Edwardo

      Hmmm... so I'd be locked up and fed. I like oatmeal and toast for breakfast, subway sandwiches for lunch, and lobster and baked potatoe for dinner please. Also, what kind of housing will I get? I prefer cathedral ceilings, with a tiled roof, tiled flooring please. Do I have to work? If not, I get to spend everyday with my gay friends? Maybe I'll take this dude up on his offer!

      May 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Jason

    If most Christians were like Christ, everyone in the world would be Christian.

    Since most Christians are like this hate-filled lunatic preacher, most of the world isn't Christian.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Robairdo

      Exactly, here is the simple truth about Christ

      It is important to understand that Christ did away with the Old Testament with the exception of the ten commandments which he recited in his own words as the the requirement for eternal life. This is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important to note that the new testament is made up of the Gospel & Covenant of Jesus Christ, which is all those things Christ did and said prior to his crucification. The later part of the new testament is the "claimed" writings of his apostles, I say claimed because not all have been verified to this day.

      The really important thing to remember is that the Covenant or new law that applies to Jew & Gentile alike is exclusively from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, again all those things Christ did and said before his Crucification. And the really important thing here is that Christ NEVER said anything about hom ose xua1ity and many believe he actually approved of it in the story of the Centurion and his "Servant". This is because pagan Centurions often kept live in male "servants" This servants handled all of the centurions needs, you get the drift. The centurion loved his servant and begged Christ to save his life all along saying in an ashamed way that he is not worthy and is a sinner. Christ answered to him that his faith is as strong then anyones in Israel and went forth and saved his servant. A very odd thing for a Jew "Christ" to say to a pagan, yet he did say it.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • enigma4woman

      I could not have said it better Jason...very very well put and in such few words. :) Thank you

      May 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  5. Jesus

    But it's my religion, it's in the bible, it's what my parents taught me, are all excuses to keep Hate alive.
    Jesus doesn't like hate groups.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  6. Mercy and Grace

    2 Chronicals 19 : 2
    Eccl 9 : 2
    James 5 : 20
    God tells us in his word to love the sinner and hate the evil spirit operating through them.
    We as Christian must walk in the love of Christ. Christ arms are open to all. Some receive his love some reject it.
    He still loves us all and he wants all men to repent and walk with him.
    2 Cor 10 : 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
    My brothers and sister in Christ please walk in love. The love of Christ draws all men.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Edwardo

      I'm so sick of the "hate the sin, love the sinner" b.s.. Does it sound like this pastor loves the sinner to you? If you do, you have a twisted sense of love. How about "hate the religion, love the religionist". That works much better!

      May 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      actually edwardo i think a better phrase would be love the religion, hate the follower.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Robairdo

      The problem with your logic is that you are calling something a sin that is NOT a sin and just plain ignoring obvious sins because they interfere with your life.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  7. Jason

    This is just another daily illustration of how rabid and insane the religious right in this country has become.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  8. colleen

    I am a very devout Christian and I AM APPALLED by what he said that is not what serving Jesus is about. SHAME ON YOU PASTOR!!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Karen

      Finally, someone else who gets it! God bless.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Guess What

      This pastor thinks that he is a very devout Christian too... and probably is appalled at you being appalled.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  9. ReclaimMarriage

    T
    R
    O
    L
    L
    I
    N
    G

    hahahaha!! all of you believed me. I havent been to churcn in years. dont care one way or the other.

    Its been fun though

    May 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  10. Jim

    This pastor's spokesperson came out to defend the pastor's statements by saying that they would feed the gays in their concentration camps. She added that adulterers and disrespectful children should also be stoned to death.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Edwardo

      I think the spokesperson was a woman, not sure. oh wait... aren't women supposed to "be silent in the church".

      May 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  11. michael

    I dont like gay people either becuase it is morally wrong. But everybody on earth as free agency and i dont think locking people up will solve the problem becuase people arent locked up will still be gay and it jest wont work.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Drew

      How can it be wrong if they have no choice?

      May 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Karen

      Michael, you think it is morally wrong because that is what you were taught to believe. If you educate yourself further, you may think differently. I too thought like you but learned that not everything we are taught is true. Ever hear the old saying "believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see?"

      May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • ChillOut2012

      what do you mean by saying it's "morally wrong?" What do you know about morality?

      May 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  12. Dorothy

    That pastor was an idiot. Listen to him talk and it becomes evident irregardless of his message.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  13. Jeff

    So he wants to build internment camps for gays and lesbians and he believes that internment camps are "his idea"? Perhaps the reason faith is so attractive is that he can make a complete @ss of himself to the world and all the while believing he is doing the world a service.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  14. Colin

    I can think of 10 reasons gay marriage is wrong.

    01) Gay marriage will encourage straight people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make short people tall.

    02) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

    03) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

    04) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. My parents in Texas ran screaming to the court to get a divorce the minute they heard that a gay couple married in Vermont.

    05) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

    06) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets, because gays marrying will alter the fundamental $ex drive of others.

    07) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. We really want people who, in the 21st Century, still believe in sky-gods and evil devils, based on 2,000 year old Palestinian mythology, setting social policy.

    08) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

    09) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms, just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

    10) It will lead to social disorder. I constantly hear of large groups of gays protesting against the rights of Christians to marry and committing acts of violence against Christians.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Rick James

      Well done. However, I'm afraid that your logic, Colin, will fall on deaf ears. People can't be reasoned out of a position they didn't reason themselves in to. It is important to keep trying, though.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  15. Ed

    The are tons of fulfilled Scripture you would have to ignore not to believe the Bible . Geological, archaeological and mathematical statistical probability , all prove the Bible. Your mind is closed to the truth if you do not recognize The Bible as God's WORD. Instead of listening to people who take verse out of context or do not understand what they attack, why not read it for yourself and with a heart to know the Truth. Those two web site may help. Josh McDowelll, book, :" Evidence That Demands A Verdict' , may also help answer some of your questions and confusion about what the Bible is saying and why you can trust its truth.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Robairdo

      Well Ed. It is important to understand that Christ did away with the Old Testament with the exception of the ten commandments which he recited in his own words as the the requirement for eternal life. This is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important to note that the new testament is made up of the Gospel & Covenant of Jesus Christ, which is all those things Christ did and said prior to his crucification. The later part of the new testament is the "claimed" writings of his apostles, I say claimed because not all have been verified to this day.

      The really important thing to remember is that the Covenant or new law that applies to Jew & Gentile alike is exclusively from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, again all those things Christ did and said before his Crucification. And the really important thing here is that Christ NEVER said anything about hom ose xua1ity and many believe he actually approved of it in the story of the Centurion and his "Servant". This is because pagan Centurions often kept live in male "servants" This servants handled all of the centurions needs, you get the drift. The centurion loved his servant and begged Christ to save his life all along saying in an ashamed way that he is not worthy and is a sinner. Christ answered to him that his faith is strong then anyones in Israel and went forth and save his servant. A very odd thing for a Jew "Christ" to say to a pagan, yet he did say it.

      May 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ed

      this site deleted those sites I listed. They are carm dot org > < and < ICR dot org

      May 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Drew

      For every fulfilled piece of scripture there is an unfulfilled piece. The events of revelation were supposed to happen in the time of the ROman Empire

      May 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jim

      Ed. Can you give us examples of some of this "proof"?

      May 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Edwardo

      @Ed – whew... I was beginning to believe the earth wasn't the center of the universe. I was starting to believe the sun didn't rotate around the earth. And all this time I thought bats weren't birds. Thanks Ed, for bringing me back to my senses!

      May 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      "Geological, archaeological and mathematical statistical probability , all prove the Bible"

      Geology and math would not prove anyhting in the bible. Archaeology can show a place or individual existed but would not prove that anyone walked on water. Poor argument you are trying to put forward.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Roz

      God does say in His Word that a man lying with a man and a woman lying with a woman is an abomination. That cannot be sugarcoated. But Jesus died on the cross so all men could be saved but only if they receive His forgiveness and turn from their wicked ways. The message of salvation is one of love, hope, mercy. The stand this pastor takes is not Biblical. It is so extreme that it does not conform to God's Word. Pure ignorance...

      May 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • bob

      evidence that demands a verdict is a bunch of rubbish written by a man that understands neither science nor statistics. neither history nor archeology

      May 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  16. Phil

    As an evangelical Christian who believes the Bible, and I am completely appalled by this pastor. Horrible. Jesus would never say anything like this.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jill

      Finally, someone who gets it :)

      May 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  17. Lisa

    People have been brainwashed to hate certain groups. It is not right or just. And not very smart, either!
    (Ever wonder why college educated folks are more likely to be accepting?) Perhaps the religious fanatics will answer this by saying educated people = sin.....lol

    May 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  18. kevin

    they should put 10 straight people on an island and 10 gay people on another island (5 boys and 5 girls for each) and see which group lasts longer

    May 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Lisa

      I'll bet on the gays, far more creative :)

      May 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • CM

      The gay people. As soon as the girls on the straight island paired off in marriage, nobody's getting laid.

      May 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Derigible

      Gays.
      Been fighting thier whole life to survive.
      No macho crap about who should cook clean or hunt.
      Would be more concerned about survival
      than getting laid.

      May 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  19. ReclaimMarriage

    N – A M – B – L – A and early g – a – y rights movement. research it.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • ReclaimMarriage

      the early pioneers of the latter celebrated what they called 'a l t e r n a t i v e s e x u a l i t y'

      May 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  20. LewBasnight

    Ronald Reagan was gay. He wrote letters to men. According to gay people, that means you are gay.

    May 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Oh crap. I wrote to dad.

      May 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • bob

      well...one of his sons is gay. so what does that mean?

      May 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
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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.