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May 22nd, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Video of North Carolina pastor's plan to 'get rid of' gays goes viral

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Video of a North Carolina pastor preaching that gays and lesbians should be rounded up inside an electric fence is going viral on the Internet, two weeks after North Carolina passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama voiced personal support for legalizing such marriages.

"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," Pastor Charles L. Worley can be seen telling his Providence Road Baptist Church congregation in the video, which had more than 250,000 YouTube views by Tuesday.

"Build a great big, large fence - 50 or a 100 miles long - and put all the lesbians in there,” Worley went on to say in his May 13 sermon at his Maiden, North Carolina, church. “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."

My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality

The video had initially been posted on Providence Road’s website but was recently taken down, according to CNN affiliate WBTV-TV in Charlotte.

The phone line at Worley’s church was busy on Monday night and on Tuesday, as was Worley’s home number on Tuesday.

The church’s website was down Tuesday morning, but it had described the house of worship as fundamentalist, meaning it represents a Baptist tradition that's more conservative than the Southern Baptists.

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

Worley’s sermon was posted on YouTube by a group called Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate, which is organizing a protest at the Providence Road Baptist Church on Sunday.

Addressing his congregation last Sunday, Worley referred to his earlier controversial sermon.

"I talked a little bit, I believe it was last Sunday, on the homosexual lifestyle, and there was a whole lot of people who didn't like what I said," Worley told his congregation Sunday, according to WBTV. "I want to read it out of the Bible, and then we'll go from there."

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“Listen, all of the Sodomites, the lesbians, and all of the ... what's that word? Gays - I didn't wanna say 'queers' - that say we don't love you, I love you more than you love yourself,” Worley said, according to WBTV. “I'm praying for you to be saved."

Worley’s initial sermon was partly framed as a response to Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, which he made in a TV interview a day after North Carolina voters passed a state constitutional amendment banning legal recognition of such marriages and other types of gay unions.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, was working Tuesday to gather criticism of Worley’s comments from other North Carolina pastors.

“I am angry and sick at heart over Pastor Worley's comments,” said the Rev. Dennis Teall-Fleming, pastor at Open Hearts Gathering in Gastonia, North Carolina, in a statement distributed by GLAAD.

“Nothing he says has anything to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Teall-Fleming, who leads a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation. “I call on all Christian and Baptist organizations that have any connection with him to condemn his comments as strongly as I do, including Providence Road Baptist Church of Maiden.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • North Carolina

soundoff (5,806 Responses)
  1. Dl

    Being a pastor, priest, rabbi, cleric suggests that you have a *special* relationship w/God & He guides you to teach others – in my opinion that's blasphamy at it's worse.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  2. GAW

    Looks like this Pastor went to the Westboro Baptist Church School of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  3. george

    There's a reason that the Religious Right has found a home in the Republican party.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  4. Jeff

    He's "again' it" huh? If that statement doesn't tell you all you need to know about whether or not you should just ignore that guy I don't know what would. Pastor Worley you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  5. RedRyder

    As a proud evangelical christian, I believe this is disgusting and should be repudiated. This is not what Jesus taught and not what we are called to do under the new covenant. Shame on you!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  6. Hold on now....

    This bafoon(sp) in no way represents Christianity. ALL haters please get that through your head.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  7. Rideitout

    Poor, poor usage of adverbs, verbs, adjectives and nouns.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  8. Saboth

    As a straight, married male in the South, this is why I don't go to church. Full of hate, politics, prejudices, fear and ignorance, fire and brimstone. I actually love the real message in the Bible, but it's about love and acceptance, not this. It's ironic that this pastor probably assumes he is going to heaven, but I can't think of a worse sin than perverting the word of God and driving Christians away from God.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Hold on now....

      Surely you dont think all churches are like this?

      May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • terry

      Sadly, a great many "churches" in the South are just like this.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  9. Maria Constantine

    Please put ME inside that electric fence. I want to be more pleasing to God than usual. And no, I am not gay. But I do love them. If they go inside, I go inside. So we have a holocaust in the USA with Christ pinned to a swastika, dying.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  10. Wisconsin

    Forget the bible. The facts of nature are it takes both male & female reproductive organs to propagate the human species. And since the planet is overpopulated, we could use several decades of gayness to be the in thing.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  11. the_dude

    So sorry gays you will never be able to legislate acceptance.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Saboth

      That's fine. They aren't trying to legislate "acceptance". They are trying to legislate equal rights, and they have every right to do so.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • GOP RIP

      Touche Soboth

      May 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  12. Not A. Gay

    Just when you thought you'd seen it all, some horse's patoot like this guy comes along. Unbelievable what people will say in the name of religion. I wonder how many members of his church are gay and won't be returning? I wonder if he is actually gay? It wouldn't surprise me. Somehow he protests too much.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • RGOne

      Southern baptist speaking out against gays but they date and marry within the family!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • James PDX

      What's wrong with incest? God supposedly used it to repopulate the entire planet with just Noah's family.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  13. faboge

    the wingnuts of America! These are the sewer rats calling themselves Americans!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  14. Michael

    Baby – were you born that way?
    Perhaps God can perfect the formula but so far – Pastor Charles L. Worley – it needs a lot of work.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  15. dave

    It's called free speech people. Maybe what we need if for everyone's speech to be monitored, and arrests be made for individual's thoughts. The Thought Police. If the Black Panther's speeches were posted on CNN, all of the members would be arrested...for their opinions and thoughts. I disagree with this guys sermon, so I don't listen to it or go to his church. It's just that simple. If he acts on his hate, that's a different story...arrest the guy.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Cindy The K

      It is hate speech when the speech advocates specific agressive actions against a specific, identifiable group of people. I think this qualifies. Hate speech is not protected speech.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • ChristopherM

      It is that simple. It is also that simple that we have the right to call him out for his hate speech. Free speech works in both directions. If you don't want to be called a bigot, shut your mouth. It is that simple.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • terry

      Sure, he can say what he wants AND everyone else can say how stupid they think he is. In my book, pretty stupid, but not as stupid as the people who attend that "church."

      May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Another Dave

      Yes, it's free speech. But so is all of the commentary that followed. You can't say things like that and not expect a huge outcry against what that man said. You can defend his right to make a fool of himself and I'll defend those who speak out against him. That's free speech too.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  16. Sheepleherder

    Regardless of whether being gay is a "lifestyle choice" or not, what does that have to do with the hate you "Christians" heap on them?? Your own Messiah instructed you to treat others as you would be treated but you choose to go against his teachings. Do you belong behind a fence? Although I think you do, that's not what God teaches. Your hate will eventually extinguish itself because YOUR CHILDREN can see it for what it is, not a belief in the Bible, but a belief in your own prejudices. God loves ALL of His creations equally, who are you to decide you know better than Her??

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • sarahsaint

      Your first mistake is confusing this man for a Christian, because that's what he masquerades around as.

      Your second is somehow swallowing the idea that Christians, as a whole, are anything like this man.

      I, like all the people I go to church with, am disgusted by this guy's words. There's nothing of Christ in this.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  17. David M

    A lot of people on here are using this man to justify their disdain for religion in general and Christianity in particular. Speaking as a Christian I understand that. There's a lot of inaccurate references made to the Bible about what it says, or does not say. Just read it for your self and don't let someone else tell you what it say.

    One thing you will find about Jesus, is that he never condemned the person. He always condemned the sin, whatever it may have been. A lot of "christians" would do well to think about that for a while.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  18. SammyD

    My faith has choosen to Stand on the Side of Love – Unitarian Universalists. With regard to the hate speech spewing out of so-called churches, I agree – take away their tax exemption status as they are not only preaching hate but also pushing a specific political agenda. Further, we don't need walled concentration camps as this so-called man of god recommends – we already have fenceless internment camps based on the laws eliminating or preventing the civil rights of a minority group. How could any LGBT person consider moving to NC or any other hate state? They'd have no family protections, personal freedoms, access to fair housing and employment are significantly restricted. Being gay is NOT a lifestyle. It is innate and while one may be able to suppress feelings, the fact is that the person is still gay. The fact that this topic is promoted by 'religion' only emphasizes the fact that this is truly a civil rights issue. LGBT persons only want the LEGAL right to marry – to marriage equality – with the LEGAL rights and responsibilities that go with that CONTRACT. If someone doesn't approve based on their religious tenants, fine; but don't impose that bias to an entire group by being meanspritied and hateful – at least so openly. I am afraid that speech on the video will inspire others to speak so openly calling for death of LGBT people. We have already heard from pastors to hit your LGBT child, to force them into unproven and damaging therapy, supporting bullying if it's done in the name of someone's god. How backward are we going to go? I pray for rationale minds and hearts to speak out against such hate. I chjallengt the MEDIA to call these people out and that allies stand on the side of love!!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • James PDX

      Well said. So-called Christian love by people like this ignorant pastor is a love I will heartily reject, since it's effects are no different than pure hate.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Les

      Thanks for this great post. I also am a UU in s small town. The local Baptist minister is very sympathetic and sends LGBT folks to our fellowship. We also have a large group that follows earth-oriented spiritual paths. Love is the key regardless of the labels some people are forced to carry by an unenlightened society.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  19. Potter

    Really you people don't have better things to do with your lives then focus on mine. I feel sorry for people like this that there lives are so empty you have to attack other people.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • TheZel

      Not empty... just full of hate.. these are the people that shouldn't be allowed to breed.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  20. hello

    "And you know in a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce."

    LOL

    May 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • James PDX

      Apparently he forgot where they came from in the 1st place.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Marshal

      They can but, they choose not to.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:55 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.