May 2nd, 2012
04:18 PM ET
North Carolina pastor retracts sermon remarks about punching gay kids
By Stephen Walsh, CNN
(CNN) - A Fayetteville, North Carolina, pastor has retracted controversial language used during a weekend sermon in which he instructed parents to hit children who exhibited behavior associated with homosexuality.
“I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended,” Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church wrote in a statement on his church’s website. “I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community.
“My intent was to communicate the truth of the Word of God concerning marriage,” the statement continued. “My words were not scripted. It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate.”
Harris’s remarks at his church came a week before the state’s voters consider an amendment to North Carolina’s constitution limiting legal unions to marriage between a man and a woman.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
"The second you see your son dropping that limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist," Harris said in the Sunday sermon. "Man up. Give him a good punch."
"You’re not going to act like that," the pastor advised parents to tell their children. "You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”
In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Harris said his comments were meant as a joke. In a video of the sermon posted online, laughter can be heard from some members of the congregation, as well as cries, of “Amen!” as the pastor spoke about responding to seemingly gay kids.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
Berean Baptist explains its stance on discipline of children on its website:
“Remembering the love and forgiveness that God has shown them, parents in turn should train their children with the purpose of reflecting the Heavenly Father to their children. Parents should consider their responsibility to be the instrument of discipline in their child’s life (Prov. 19:18). At times this may include appropriate and reasonable physical means (Prov. 10:13) employed upon the fleshy portion of the child’s buttocks (Prov. 22:15; 23:13); that this method is to be viewed as correction rather than punishment (Prov. 23:13); and that this correction will result in the child’s physical and spiritual betterment.”
Harris told the Observer that from within his church, "the response was, 'Pastor, we know you didn't mean that.'"
What do you think? Watch the above video to hear Harris’s remark and leave your comments below.
About this blog
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.
so he is not saying he is wrong just that he said it wrong... Mittens will donate 10% to this churcha
another fool in position of power, blathering away his ignorance....found out,again, thanks to mass media. these fools could go on forever, indoctrinating their stupidity on the fool audience that know no better, if the general public did not step in, demanding some civility and intelligence. allot of "oops" happening these days.
He needs to run for office. He would split the Romney vote ... he might even take all of the Republican block.
You give that guy way too much credit. It's the blind leading the blind my friend.
Gay children whose fathers beat them to try to turn them straight should put rat poison in their fathers' Thanksgiving dinner.
Go here if you want to read his bio:
"Man who talks to invisible people says he doesn't like people who act funny"
So is pickled seaweed.
What,you can't manage to use the "reply" function so people can see what the eff you're on about?
Stupid is as stupid does.
Proof positive you are, dearie.
You really burned me on that one. It's like I walked right into it...
If you post nonsense, what do you expect in return?
This is a really interesting conversation.
Gee, what happened to Keef? He was all "good for this preacher". Where are you, Keef?
Chicken to come out and admit you think it's okay to smack a kid because he or she is gay?
This is why I consider Christianity to be an evil force on Earth. This low-life, ignorant, money-grubbing piece of crap is exactly the sort of preacher I expect to see leading the "good Christians" to their next Klan meeting. Christianity is a foolish, hateful cult and the believers make life harder for everybody.
Well said !! Clear and to the point.
I'm with Larry.
Why Larry, you sound like you are preaching to the choir. And since you have gotten past the God thing, clearly you are free to exhibit the goodness in you that was inhibited by the God thing. I can feel the love just flowing out of you. LOL
BEAT into SUBMISSION – The AMERICAN version pf Christian Compassion
Sounds a lot like Islam with out the decapitations.
I will throw my javelin at this mean man, with all the power and accuracy of my limp-wristed throwing style! And it will hit him with a fatal blow right in his sad, scared, hateful little penis!
Now clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands.
Praise god and all of its followers; for they are truly the idiotic and require eye protection while eating with forks.
what is wrong with people.
Most of 'em are idiots.
This is what you get when you believe in god and jesus and other assorted adult fairy tales.
I agree...but the bigger and more devastating problem is that theses adult things are taught to most of us children. Mental child abuse. (I'd rather be buggered by a priest than be brainwashed-for-life by him.)
There is a reason my children have been consistently told the truth about god, jesus and religion – it is all 100% bullshit! And to all you dumbass believers, if you are going to argue that I'm wrong, please start by proving beyond any doubt that your god exists. If you can't establish the fundamental(s) of your (hateful) belief system, you should just shut the fuck up. Chad, don't even think about replying – no one has been proven wrong more often than you. Well, nii is certifiable too...
To prove there is no God I would place HotAirAce as my first and only evicence. Then again, I may be proving there is a Devil? I have to wonder of the social services people ahve taken HotAirAce's kids yet based on his rants? 🙂
If they take his, they ought to take yours, Pammy.
What have I written that makes you think my children should be removed? Have I ever threatened anyone with violence for anything? As usual for beleivers you are not able to provide an arguement for your childish believes so you attack the person.
This utter moron would have fit in nicely with the Nazi SS!!
Jesus' disciples sometimes forget that He didn't die for people who were good. He didn't condemn people who who weren't walking according to the commandments of God, because He knew that apart from Him, they didn't have the power to do what was right.
My understanding of the Scriptures is that Christians need to point others to Jesus, who would then fill them with the Holy Spirit, enabling them to walk in the ways of God.
If any of us could have lived the way God requires on our own, there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to die and shed His blood.
There was no god, there is no god and there never will be a god.
Jacqui, the doctrine of "vicarious redemption" is frightening and deplorable. Think about it. What kind of sick imaginary god do you worship anyway? No one died for anything you or i ever did. Take responsibility for yourself. And enjoy your life, because once you're gone, you really are gone for good.
I would like to see a couple of limp wristed gay guys just beat his ass.
I'd like to see a couple of 'em beat Keef's ass.
The only thing Sean wants a buff limp wristed sinner beating is his little sacred rod as he is reading the bible.
As the mother of a gay child, I am appalled that this person who claims to follow Jesus would advocate beating a child. If God knows you from the minute you are conceived then he knows you will be born gay and it his creation. The gaul of this morceau du merde to think he should question a creation of the almighty? Ghandi was right when he said, "I like your Jesus Christ but I do not like your Christians."
Why? Leviticus explicitly advocates killing disobedient children, so why should you be surprised at this?
He's more than just a piece of shi.t. He's a big steamy pile of it.
I honestly think this man is delusional and should not be a part of the church. I along with my future wife are gay raising a straight a child with and amazing outlook on life. He was baptized catholic but I will not force any one religion or belief on him I will let him choose his own path. I thought that church and government were separate but apparently this man is trying to change that as well as everything else he was trying to cram down their throats.
You should go to the Freedom From Religion website and download the "unbaptize" form because you are already "forcing" supernatural crap down your kid's throat.
What ever happened to love your neighbor as yourself...
Also the obverse, "hate your neighbor as you hate yourself". Religions teach hate. Jesus preached love, his followers teach hate.
I however do not retract my remarks about punching the pastor...
I agree with Pastor Sean Harris. The majority of gays come from homes that either lacked a male parent or had a father that didn't pay any attention to his kids. We need fathers to step up to reduce the gay scourge
Ha ha I came from a family with both parents and I spent time with both of them my father is an amazing man as was my mother an amazing woman . I'm gay and damn proud of it ,as are both of my loving , caring giving parents
So let's just beat them up for being gay? Really? Your overbroad generalization is ridiculous. My gay child has a strong father, a two parent household, a upper middle class income, both college graduates, went to church, had a supportive family life, engaged in sports, school activities and I think someone needs to teach you about what the real Jesus would have done. My child is a child of god, and YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO JUDGE GOD'S CREATION. I hope and pray you will remove the hate from your heart.
You're just saying that to stir the pot, right? YOu don't actually believe it, I do hope. If you do, you're as 1gnorant as the pastor.
Tim, it's time to avail yourself of the information on this topic that is indeed available. If you continue to fail to do so, you run the risk of making dumb remarks like this, which make you seem misguided and uninformed. If, for whatever reason, you have an interest in this (and my guess is that you do because you are a self-loathing man-loving man), you really need to wise up. Good luck.
Sorry to tell you kiddo but you're going to get a lot of negatives from christians and religion.
You may think your husband is a good dad Jacquie but obviously he is not a good dad or else your kid won't be a gay
None of speculation on the structure of families that gay children grow up in is based on scientific fact. There is actually a lot of science that proves you wrong.
I call trolling on Tim332.
Got any tips on the 3rd race at Pimlico, HG?
Tim332, you are a complete and utter asshole! You don't have a clue as to the causes of gender identity. We do know that belief in supernatural beings and The Babble are sure causes for being an asshole.
Tim332 – My dad served in the military. He had 7 kids, I"m the only gay one. He worked hard, and was a wonderful father. Treated all of us with love, kindness, and we went to church on Sunday's. All of his kids are straight but me. My life is proof that your philosophy/theory is so far off base, it's a fright. When it comes to men, I'm sure you pale compared to my dad... I doubt you're half the man he was.
I bet he is really proud of you Edwardo for choosing the gay lifestyle. I bet he is bragging about you to all his friend "My son, he takes it up the a$$ unlike my other kids." There is nothing more humiliating than having a gay kid
Nothing except having a brain-dead son like you, Tmmeh.
Timmeh Troll, why don't you post proof that people "choose" to be gay, dearie?
That way, you can pretend you chose to be straight.
Yup I'm definitely calling troll on Tim332.
Your ignorance and intolerance are as bad as his. Is it any wonder that so many have left the church. I am at the point I want nothing to do with Christianity or anything resembling it. It is a sad joke that has lost its reason for being on this earth and has done more harm than good.
You sound a little "light in the loafers" to me Tim. Perhaps you need it beaten out of you.
It would be nice if we could somehow keep our relationship with God but purge ourselves of religion. Can such a thing be done?
Communism is a failed experiment.
So is Christianity.
So is Barack Obama.
Yeah, Dan, it's time to let go of the whole god thing. This isn't the year 10000 BCE. And this isn't the Near East or ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt. I suggest that you avail yourself of the enormous amount of scholarly literature out there on Judaism, Christianity, the historic Jesus and Atheism. I suggest Sam Harris and Bart Ehrman to start. A basic High School education in math, science, aracheology, history and classical literature ought to have cured you of the mental delusion that is religion, but apparently not. Weren't you paying attention? Good luck, Dan. You are The Man.
Yes, Dan. It's called Deism. Google it.
I would rather the Greek gods stayed around than the christian god. At least you there was no trying to cover up which of the greek gods were ass holes.
You can have faith in god without following any religion.
I understand what you are saying but religion IS people just as government is people, families are people...we are simply people who come from varying pasts. This is where history is so important- look back and see how bad we were but to see how far we have come during our development. If we were kinder to ourselves we may be kinder to others. If we took some joy in how we have developed, we may look to the future with more excitement. Religion is not bad- it is somethig developed by people to move us along and it has done that. I think it has moved us to be better than what we may have been but that does not mean it is free from those things people do that religion hoped to overcome. We cannot always avoid who and what we are even as we hope to be better than we are. I read comments and I have to ask...where is that perfect utopia. Why does it not exist. It isn't because no one has tried. Religion is a try- government is a try, families are a try, tribes are a try,- each has failed ...we are people- the good, the bad and the ugly.
You can, but why would you?
Maya, it's easier to declare random things then actually form an argument. What exactly about Christianity would suggest that it's a failed experiment? Where would we be without the influence of Christianity? Oh wait, I forgot I'm arguing with someone who clearly has absolutely no sense. Stupid me.