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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. Scared non Christian

    If they are going to quote Leviticus and Exodus to hate on humans, are the days too far off when they will quote those & Deuteronomy and start killing non Christians that don't serve their Lord?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bad Religion

      A very valid question. Usually these forms of hate are slippery slopes into other atrocities and history numerous times over shows Christianity in particular to be the root cause for many of them.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Nice smoke screen but last I checked it was the media and some of the radical special interest groups who want to do away with Christians...they're just happy to find an excuse to do so because of some of these radical pastors.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  2. Moi

    yeah, how about that mosaic law? by saying that it must be upheld, are you suggesting that all women should be killed because they haven't completed the immersion in the ritual bath (mikveh) after menstruation? How about the zav or the dough offering?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • n8362

      That is what Christ taught!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Randy

      No, This is what Jesus taught.

      Matthew 22:36-40

      “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

      May 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  3. ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

    ho'mophobes are latent ho'mos'exuals

    There is a correlation between ho'mophobia, and .. well look at this.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

    May 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  4. n8362

    Thank god we have the Bible for a moral compass for we would be lost if we had to use common sense.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The origins of morality and civil order do not lie in religion.
      Anthropology 101
      Ignorance is no excuse.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • n8362

      Sarcasm.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Larry L

      Your "compass" was written by men hundreds of years after the events were supposed to have happened. They copied the story-line of a couple of other gods of the day – like the Eqyptian God Horus. Common sense would allow you to see how hateful and blinded by their dogma religious people have become.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Larry L

      You got me! In my defense... ridiculous statements from zeolots are fairly common.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Hayden71

      "Anthropology 101" – Yes I'm beginning to believe you fellows really did come from apes after seeing these silly posts.

      The lack of intelligent dialogue reveals that it was in the recent past.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      No deary. Evolutionary Biology 101 proves you wrong...by all means, keep that wool cap over your eyes.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Steph

    If you follow Leviticus 20:13 literally then you must follow Leviticus 25:44-46 literally as well...do you really want to bring back legal slave-owning? Also, if you have a tattoo, watch out. Leviticus 19 has something to say about you, and it's not very nice!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • n8362

      In Matthew 5:17-19 Christ makes it very clear that the Mosaic Laws are to be upheld.

      "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

      May 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      so get outside, and slay you goat

      May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • n8362

      Just goats? The Law says to murder your disobedient children too.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  6. tony

    Forget about posting here. Just contact your local IRS office, turn this guy in for false tax exemption claims and ask to be included in the reward.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  7. NickZadick

    I don't know if the religinuts realize how rêtarded and stûpid they sound defending a book of bronze age fairy tales? heads-up!! you sound REALLY REALLY rêtarded!! trust us!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Danimal

    I've got news for this whack-job. Locking the gays up until they die out won't work. Those sinful straight couples just keep making more! The only way to keep gay people from being born is to kill all the straight people. It's almost too stupid to comment on, on so many levels. God made gays. If you hate gays, you hate God. It's that simple. Haters don't go to heaven so keep quoting that flawed Bible of yours and you will certainly end up in hell. Hilarious.

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

      @Dan: You can't prove you are born gay. You can't. You failed.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Wow,
      You can't prove you were born straight. Idiot.
      If it's a choice, when did YOU make the choice? If it's "choice", thank you for admitting YOU are attracted to BOTH.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • tb63

      That's right! If it's a choice, everybody is bi.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • WOW

      @Buck: By your statement you agree you can't prove you are born gay or striaght. If you can't prove that you are born gay then it must be a choice or be based on experiences a person has from birth on.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • tb63

      How can you prove it's a choice? You're either attracted to one gender or the other. If you're attracted to both, you could CHOOSE one over the other, but you'd still be bi. Don't tell me I chose to be gay.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You can't really be that stupid. The fact that you can't prove anything ONLY means you can't prove anything.
      If you stop looking, and make up sh1t, you will never find out the truth. YOu jumped to your conclusion with NO evidence. There could be millions of explanations, (including in-utero). I repeat, ... if YOU assert the human experience of se'xuaity involves choice, YOU must tell us when, (and why), YOU made yours.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • WOW

      @Buck: So if you can't prove you are born gay then STOP saying it. You can't be that stupid can you to keep on saying something you can't prove. I you don't want to believe in choice then okay but STOP saying you are born gay because you just can't prove it.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Emily

    When you accept antiquated, hateful, and perverse logic, do not expect redemption or agreement from those who still have shreds of humanity within them. When you call for the death of others for no reason other than a petty difference in orientation, ask not why everyone else in the world looks down upon you. When you preach for genocide as a solution to your problems, or to rid the world of your twisted version of evil, wonder not why people compare you to the most infamous and nefarious dictators in history. You parallel their logic and inability to accept the differences in others.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      Well said.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Chrishawn

      I would add that I also appreciate how other parts of the bible are ignored by such people. Isn't there a similar piece on those that divorce and what should happen to them or my favorite one about eating pork. Don't we have experts arguing over whether the earth is flat or round with support on both sides? The point? There are endless arguments to support each of our beliefs and to prove that original beliefs, writings, recollections and "scientific conclusions" have been found jaded, false, misunderstood, mis-applied, you name it.

      My concern is not only when someone resurrects a hitler approach as a solution but how Christian, Baptist, et al is that as a response? The hypocrisy itself is blinding and to think that there are people in this country or world listening...frightening.

      I ask not that all accept as that would be asking too much...clearly.... If one chooses not to accept then go do something positive. Preach, speak of positive living and let go of something they clearly know nothing about and only choose sources of information that support ONE belief. How antiquated and mediocre is that to live up to?

      Go look at history. Include the bible. I am not affraid of anyone doing that when one is seeking knowledge versus isolated "proof" of one's own misguided beliefs. We can ALL do that...come on, challenge yourself to really be someone. Until then, I hope people realize these folks are crying out for help.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  10. B. Bunny

    What a moroon.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • eldono

      Have you ever noticed how much anger there is among some "Christians"? They speak of love and peace, and below it all is seething anger and hatred. Do they actually feel that insecure?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • rsmnr

      Moroon must be a maroon colored moron? I entirely share your sentiments.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      is a moroon a new cookie ? yum yum

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Randy

      Eldono, It's human nature to hate, christians are not the only ones... atheists hate, muslims hate, satanists, christians hate, gay's hate, strait people hate... common denominator = human. Don't blame Christians

      May 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  11. HomieDaClown

    I think the government should kill all these bigoted preachers.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Randy

      How is that any different than the hate he preaches?

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

      Nah, just put them behind an electric fence.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dane Michael

      LIKE, LIKE, LIKE!!!!!

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  12. Steff

    Instead, maybe the government should put this preacher out of his misery.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  13. Randy

    Christ is love, life, forgiveness, salvation... not what this man is preaching. Unfortunately Satan is at work in the church to distort the image of Christ. Don't believe the lie that Christ is hatred, death and condemnation. We will all be judged in the end, not by how or who we hated but how and who we loved.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • NickZadick

      nice try! but a loving christian is still a deluded believer of fairy tales! try loving... but without the 2000 year old myths!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Hayden71

      NickZadick...you sound like a miserable wretch to make a comment like that.

      Randy's comment may have been wishy-washy but it takes a real coward to attack someone who is promoting love

      May 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  14. JD

    Ok, apparently some christians didn't learn very much from the romans. I'm done. kill the christians. Electrify them, punch them, let the government kill them until they shut the hateful mouths of their fellow christian pastors and the awful things they are saying. An eye for an eye, is it not?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Randy

      No actually it is not "an eye for an eye".

      'You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.' (Matthew 5:38–39, NRSV)

      May 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      Randy you can turn your cheeks to whomever you choose. Just don’t let this pastor know about it…

      May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Hayden71

      It's wackos like you that worry me more than any of these fundamentalists.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  15. D

    I think the goverment should kill his children in front of him.

    Not me, he has nothing to worry about with me, I won't lay a finger on his children.

    But the goverment should, they won't...but they should.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Really??? Kill children because you don't like what an adult said?

      You're sick and need to be locked up with the key tossed out for that suggestion.

      You're a lot worse than anyone you're condemning.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  16. 2012

    GIVE TO REELECT DEMOCRATS UNTIL IT HURTS or people like this will have a say in government.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      You do know that religion and politics are two different things don't you?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      The problem is that republicans don’t.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  17. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    This religion stuff is getting more embarassingly absurd by the day!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  18. Hogarth

    Christianity shows itself for what it is. A fountain of evil.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Randy

      It is Satan's purpose to twist the image of God into his own likeness. He is laser focused on the church because that is where the image of Christ "should" be projected. Don't believe the lie that God is hate. God is love, perfect love.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

      Randy, unless you can prove Satan is real or god for that matter. Your excuses for your religions behavior are just that.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Randy

      There is not one thing that doesn't rely on some a measure of faith... math, science, your next breath. I can't "prove" that God exists or that Satan exists... but I've seen and experiences the work of both

      May 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Rod in Texas

    So a group of people threatening violence, spreading hate, and condoning murders are called Terrorist. Why isn't religion considered a terrorist organization?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Oh right...you mean like in Nazi Germany

      May 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Judeo Xtain religions are the ultimate terrorist organizations.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  20. Marianne C.

    Somebody give that man a rattlesnake.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • tuamike

      Hahahaha one of the greatest things I have heard all day!!!!

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

      Marianne C., that comment will NOT be topped! Great job.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • 0Patrick0

      LOL. You are up on your current events.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:03 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.