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May 31st, 2012
05:17 AM ET

Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online

By Richard Allen Greene and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

First it was a Christian pastor in North Carolina who told his congregation on Mother's Day that the way "to get rid of all the lesbians and queers" was to put them behind an electric fence and wait for them to die out.

That video went viral, fetching more than a million views on YouTube.

On Sunday, Pastor Curtis Knapp of Kansas preached that the government should kill homosexuals, in another videotaped sermon that drew lots of online attention.

"They won't, but they should," Knapp said, according to a recording of his sermon posted online.

Since that sermon, another church video with harsh words for gays has caught fire online. This one shows a young boy singing an anti-gay song while the congregation cheers him on in what appears to be a church in Indiana.

"I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong,” the boy sings near the pulpit of a church. “Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven."

As the boy repeats the line “Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven," congregants from the pews rise and cheer.

The video, which was anonymously posted online and has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube, appears to show a service at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana.

Calls to the church this week went to voicemail, with an automatic message saying the mailbox is full. But a message posted on the church’s website on Wednesday appears to address the controversy, offering no apology for the video.

“The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives,” the statement says.

“We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible,” said the statement, which did not explicitly refer to the video or mention homosexuality. “We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.”

The viral videos have drawn criticism from gay and lesbian groups and their allies.

Charles Worley’s sermon at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, sparked a protest that drew more than 1,500 people last weekend.

In Kansas, Knapp's voicemail at the New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca was filled with messages saying "things you don't want your kids to hear," he told CNN affiliate KTKA.

An official with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists issued a statement to CNN on Thursday saying that Knapp’s church had left the Southern Baptist fold in 2010.

“Obviously, he has taken a radical and unbiblical stand in regards to homosexuality,” said Tim Boyd, communications director for the convention.

“We look at homosexuals as we look at all sinners,” his statement said. “God loves them. Christ died for them. The Gospel calls them to repentance and salvation. Therefore, we as Christ-followers should hate the sin and love the sinner.”

But Knapp is not backing away from his comments.

"We punish pedophilia. We punish incest. We punish polygamy and various things. It's only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption," he said.

He cited the Biblical verse Leviticus 20:13: "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act. They shall surely be put to death."

But he said gay people had nothing to worry about from the government or from him.

"I don't believe I should lay a finger against them," said Knapp, of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas. "My hope is for their salvation, not for their death."

Preaching against homosexuality the same day, another pastor appeared to wrestle with how conservative Christians should respond to proposals that people should literally mete out biblical punishments.

"What about this guy down in North Carolina said build a big prison, a big fence and put them all in there and let them die out?" Dennis Leatherman asked in a sermon at the Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church in Maryland.

"Listen, I don't know that fellow. As far as I can tell, he seems like a decent guy, but he is dead wrong on that. That is not the scriptural response," Leatherman said in his sermon "Homosexuality & the Bible," according to a cached version of the transcript posted online.

The audio of the sermon does not appear on his church's website.

In the sermon, he floats the idea of killing homosexuals, whom he refers to as sodomites, then backs away from it.

"There is a danger of reacting in the flesh, of responding not in a scriptural, spiritual way, but in a fleshly way. Kill them all. Right? I will be very honest with you. My flesh kind of likes that idea," Leatherman said.

"But it grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture. It is wrong," he added immediately.

The Southern Baptist Convention distanced itself from Worley's remarks.

The nation's largest Baptist group said Providence Road Baptist in Maiden is not affiliated with its 16 million-member denomination and condemned the comments.

But the influential head of the giant movement's seminary does argue that homosexuality "is the most pressing moral question of our times."

In a comment piece for the Belief Blog in the wake of Worley's sermon, R. Albert Mohler Jr. dismissed critics who say conservative Christians focus on homosexuality while ignoring other things the Bible prohibits.

He contends that laws about keeping kosher, for example, do not apply to Christians, while commandments about homosexuality do.

"When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible's teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel," he wrote.

"Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality," he said.

A member of Worley's 300-member church defended him in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"Of course he would never want that to be done," Stacey Pritchard said of the proposal to put homosexuals behind a fence and leave them there to die out. "But I agree with what the sermon was and what it was about."

CNN Belief Blog co-editor Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (4,073 Responses)
  1. n8362

    What's wrong with religion?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  2. Charlie

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Gandhi

    May 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • BES

      Gandhi got it right with this one.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  3. ww

    Then this will lead to other intolerances not even religion based. Hey, take all the poor folk and boil them in oil. They are a problem, you know. Or string up all those who aren't considered one of " the beautiful people". Come up with your own lists. Yeah. Give an inch and they'll take a mile.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  4. Jose

    Why is it that some Christians focus so much on the negative? Punish this, kill that, etc.... Geez, what would it take for you to have a world that meets your standards?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Charlie

      They don't talk about punishing adulterers, or people who get divorces. Just people who are not exactly like them.

      And what is it with the Baptists? They are all riding the bus to crazyville!!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • WOW

      @Char: you need to go read some U.S. history on divorce and you may change your comments LOL.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Charlie

      @Wow – Where in THIS article did you see anything about Christians condemning adultery or divorce? It was lightly touched on towards the end of the article, and then quickly swept under the rug.

      Rush Limbaugh, a few weeks ago, and I quote "We've arrived at a point where the president of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage. You wanna call that winning? Your side is winning when the president has to lead a war on traditional marriage? When you're losing in landslides and you haven't won a state?"

      And this is coming from someone who has been married not once... not twice...not even three time, but FOUR! Four times this dude has been down the aisle! The tea-party has been quiet about that, as have most Conservative.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • WOW

      @Char: I see you can't read what I wrote. I told you to go read U.S. history on this subject not this article. Really? if you can't follow along you need to step away from your computer.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Primewonk

      WOW, perhaps you can explain to us the correlation between divorce rates and degree of fundamentalism in your religion? Why is it that the most nutter fundiots have the highest divorce rates, why us evil, vile, heathen, sinner, libtard, atheists have the lowest divorce rate?

      Perhaps after that, you can go back and post your science showing gays choose to be gay. You're still dodging that one as well.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  5. HeavenSent

    I gather no one on this blog has any functioning gray matter left to have listened to Pastor Knapps video until completion, yet, you'll post your babble not knowing what you do.

    Amen.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And if anyone knows about not having gray matter, it is me.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • BNS-GA

      I'm not sure of what you are saying. Are you talking about him not hurting gays? God told us in the bible to put them to death. Why are you refusing to follow what simple rules he has given you in print. He gave you an instruction book to live your life yet you refuse to follow it. What kind of christian are you? Do you pick and choose what to follow from the word of God????

      May 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Primewonk

      HeavenSent, the only thing this putz said that was wrong was that the government should kill the gays. That's just bullshît. Clearly, god commands his followers to go and kill gay folks. Except this putz of a preacher, and îdiots like you don't have the balls to obey your god's commands.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  6. Hipocracy Hater

    What does Leviticus say about shaving and cutting your hair? He doesn't seem to care about that. I wish people who quote Leviticus would actually read it and see all of the things that are not allowed. Most of them are ignored. Read it......

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Hipocracy Hater

      If he wants to live in a Theocracy, perhaps Iran is a good model for him to study!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  7. ProperVillain

    Seriously, what is wrong with people? What is this, the dark ages? If someone disagrees with you on a theological point you advocate to have them executed? I thought the spanish inquisition was over.
    People like this guy make me sad for humanity...

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    +
    I gather no one on this blog has any functioning gray matter left to have listened to Pastor Knapps video until completion, yet, you'll post your babble not knowing what you do.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  9. mjg

    god have mercy on his soul-you are judged based on your own judgement

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  10. cleareye1

    Not all religious people are as stupid as this man. Satan can inhabit the heart of anyone. This man is proof.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • pat

      proof of Satan? This is getting even crazier.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Chutzpah

    Government should kill pastors.

    Not really, but religion gives too many psychopaths a "pulpit". Do away with it.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  12. interesting

    How do they know who is who? I find this alarming because I saw a straight guy at work get labeled gay by a revengeful “ex” and a snake trying to discredit him. Everybody in the office went blind to the fact that he “actually was dating women and the story was a lie”. People used the new labeling to trash his career, hold up earned promotions and take credit for the work he did. The rest of us had to listen to him complain over beers for years afterwards.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  13. docame

    Maybe the government should start killing pastors?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  14. King David 13

    Biblical verse Leviticus 20:13: "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act. They shall surely be put to death."

    Well it is self explanatory... all the other baptist denominations are just organizations of convenience... if it suits them they accept but if it makes them edgy they distance themselves... no backbone....

    May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • mjg

      then they need to follow all old testament law. they missed what christ did.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • pat

      and did you shave off your beard or keep it? Did you give away all you wealth or are you going to fit through that "eye of a needle." If you are Christian or jew, you should follow your religion. If not, then you needn't be concerned.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  15. BNS-GA

    Why should the Govt do it. God told him!!!! He should do it. I cannot stand these so called Christians that refuse to do Gods work. I sure wouldn't want to be him on Judgement Day!!!!! Sorry God I know you told me to do it but I'm a Sissy!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • mjg

      right on!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  16. sparky

    This guy, who claims to be a pastor and therefore im assuming would claim to have read the bible should be careful what he preaches. If we followed the laws and punishments as set out in the bible the world would be a horrifying place, for example a place filled with biblical justice such as children being stoned to death in the street for disagreeing with their parents.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  17. pat

    "You can't believe everything you read..." (in the Bible)

    May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • King David 13

      Yes you can

      May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Mike D

      King David 13 is right...you CAN believe everything you read in the Bible. If you're retarded.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • pat

      but the 10 commandments we see today are not the same commandments as the originals – like don't boil a baby goat in it's mother's milk. OK, I won't.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  18. HeavenSent

    *
    I gather no one on this blog has any functioning gray matter left to have listened to Pastor Knapps video until completion, yet, you'll post your babble not knowing what you do.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • ohmygod50

      ha ha ha ha
      another preacher who is most likely buggering little boys
      ha ha ha h a
      another nut job

      May 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • docame

      That's because most of us here actually have a lot of gray matter and know hate speech when we hear it na ddon't need to hear anymore crap from guys like this pastor – or you, for that matter.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • ohmygod50

      There is no heaven.......your bible is a bunch of nonsense written to control people and property. It is a pack of lies.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • pat

      Are you telling me that I need to see more of the video and I will change my opinion. WOW.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Instead of reposting this dozens of times, perhaps you can tell us what he said. I know that I am not going to waste 62 minutes listening to this godtard bloviate.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  19. Vincent DeFazzio

    I guess it's comforting to these people, to think that their god hates the same people that they do. Even funnier, is that most of them don't even understand what they believe in. All these bible thumpers want to quote the old testament in their message of hate. The old testament doesn't even really apply anymore if you really believe in Christianity. When Jesus "died for our sins", the book of law(the old testament) became null and void because of the "gift of grace". Since it was determined that no one could follow the law effectively to get into heaven by their own works, a "new deal" was introduced, allowing anyone that truly believed in Jesus as the "Savior", to get into heaven.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Vincent DeFazzio

      Before anyone says that Jesus himself said to keep his commandments, Jesus gave ONE commandment : LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
      NOT, LOVE, but only if..........

      May 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • iminim

      You are so right. The Old Testament is extremely beguiling to many Christians. It gives them an excuse to follow their own human nature instead of Christ's teachings. Given a choice, most of us would rather have a powerful being smite our enemies than turn the other cheek. We would rather make a list of who we don't have to treat with kindness and respect and justify our actions using religious words than include people in our lives who make us uneasy. Being a true New Testament Christian is hard work that challenges our prejudices, lifestyle choices, and comfort zone. Yet that is exactly what Christ asks us to do.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  20. JUGGERNAUT

    LMAO

    IT IS A GOOD THING THE USA IS A COUNTRY OF LAW AND THAT IT IS NOT A COUNTRY RUN BUY RELIGION......

    IF THE USA WAS RUN BY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, IT WOULD BE NO DIFFERENT FROM THE MIDDLE EAST.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      ***RUN BY****

      May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I gather no one on this blog has any functioning gray matter left to have listened to Pastor Knapps video until completion, yet, you'll post your babble not knowing what you do.
      **

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • ohmygod50

      Another preacher obsessed with gays...mmmmmmm........I wonder what he dreams about?????????

      May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Interesting point. Ho'mophobes are latent ho'mose'xuals.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014
      National Insti'tutes of Health Study

      May 31, 2012 at 12:56 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.