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. BCW - NYC

    What this pastor preaches is horrible and lunatic. What worst was the people at the church cheering. Worley preaches hate and brutality to human beings who are different from them. No wonder more people got turnoff by these kind of crazy sermons preached by haters like Worley. Would Jesus do that to others ?!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  2. mike a.

    this is exactly why conservative republicans will die out in the future we can not live together with this kind of mentality!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • TCP

      What will actually "ruin us" are people like YOU who make bigoted comments. I happen to be a "conservative republican" and I find the comments of this man just as abhorrent as any sane person would. YOU, however, have chosen to lump every single person who doesn't see the world through your particular lens as a supporter of his position. Pretty sad don't you think? ps – I am as atheist as they come...IMAGINE THAT!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  3. John

    Good Lord. This guy is another Fred Phelps. This sick SOB is the one that should be locked away. The gay people I know are intelligent, compasionate and decent human beings. If a guys liike this is admitted into heaven over them then God in not a just God. However I think that he is a loving and just God and that evil people like this man are going straight to hell.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • TCP

      OOPS! Then so are you for standing in judgement...tsk, tsk, tsk...that whole religion thing can be a B**CH somtimes, can't it?

      May 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • lvingdisciple

      TCP, Paul instructs believers to judge believers and correct them...we are not to judge non-believers tsk tsk tsk

      May 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  4. Mike

    So Democrats are violent people like those Occupiers storming restaurants and assaulting people. Don't lay blanket objections across the majority. This guy doesn't represent the majority Republican or Carolina's views.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Bob


      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • David M

      This guy represents only himself. And he does not do that very well.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • BRC

      The sate did just pass a pretty bigotted law. That lends some weight to the thought that while the majority may not be AS fervent about their hatred, they certainly aren't that accepting either.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • skpfrmdc

      Obviously they missed that fact at the polls.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  5. David M

    Speaking as a Christian, this "pastor" is completely out of line. The Baptist denomination should kick him out. He cannot justify his statement from scripture. You cannot twist scripture enough to come to his conclusion. Did Jesus tell the religious rulers to take the woman they "caught" in adultery (they seemed to have conveniently left out the man) and put her inside a fence? No. In fact, he asked who should condemn her, and no one stepped up. So He said, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.

    This is a shining example of why the Christian church gets hammered on by non-believers, and rightfully so. This pastor and his church are an embarrassement to Christianity. Following his logic, anyone who sins should be put behind a fence, and that includes him. The bible does not group sin according to which ones are just a little bit sin and those that are more sin. In God's eyes, sin is sin. Period.

    Pastor, and I use that term quite loosely in your case, you need to try reading the Bible for what it says, instead of what you want it to say. It's pretty sad when people outside the church know what Jesus taught, but people inside the church don't.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Chrisitans HATE gay

      All christians are hateful, should be stoned to death and burn in hell.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  6. Bert0529

    I applaud this minister and I thank him. He has stood tall and let the world know what he is. Absent the ability to live peacefully in this world while mind his own business, shouting from a pulpit is the next best thing. I wish every bigot would do the same. It both marks and discredits them. Brilliant! Perhaps we could hand out brightly colored t-shirts printed with slogans of intolerance to them. They'll think they're "supporting the cause" when really they're just identifying themselves so that the rest of us can cross the street to avoid them and keep our children out of earshot of their hate speech. I'd much rather know where the bigots are. Please don't discourage these people from broadcasting their true characters.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Chrisitans HATE gay

    Pastor Long Dong said the same thing and he is also GAY.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • True Christian

      If you hate Gay people then you are not a true Christian. It's a shame because your negativity will keep you out of heaven.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  8. MPS

    This is what Jesus would do? This guy's no different than Bin Laden. OMFG.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • realist

      since when do liberals believe in JESUS?

      May 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • True Christian

      I have believed in Jesus since I was a little boy and all through my 12 years of Catholic school and my entire adult life. A true Christian strives to be Christ-like and the people making hateful remarks are certainly not Christ-like. I know many liberal Christians who are far more Christ-like than the vast majority of the conservative right. Remember Christ stood up for Mary Magdalene against the haters and there is no doubt that Christ was on the side of the poor and underprivileged and not the rich. Conservatives think if they keep saying otherwise that somehow God will accept their hatred and selfishness. I am quite comfortable that I am on the side of what is just and right. If you think that Jesus is happy with you using the bible to bash others over the head then go right ahead and keep doing it. I think otherwise.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  9. sayitlikeiseeit

    U a f**cking idiot

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  10. Dl

    Ahhh.... another member of the peaceful, non-judgemental, no-shaming & anti-bullying religion... there's a special place for you...

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  11. Uncle Bob

    Evangelicals are no different than the Taliban.

    If you don't live by their rules you must die. Isn't religion wonderful?

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  12. Turtleguy

    More evidence that the primary purpose of religion is to foment hatred, intolerance and violence.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Ed

      Atheist also foment hatred, intolerance and violence – with a lot aimed at the religious. So religion is not the problem – people are the problem. Most religions try to help people become better people – not a bad thing and not always successful.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • TCP

      There certainly ARE atheists who foment hatred but the key thing is that they DON'T do it in the name of atheism they just do it because they're A$$**LES! ALL religion is evil...and don't come back with the ever so quaint "if you believe in evil there must be a god" argument...

      May 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Turtleguy

      ED – I have to disagree. Most religions think they are trying to help people become better people, but only by their own narrow standards. This pinhead preacher thinks he is helping the world to be a better place by oppressing and reviliing a group he disapproves of. My brother and my nephew think they can make me a better person by convincing me to sign on with their churches so they can influence my philosophy – including making me intolerant of gays. Religious people all THINK they are doing the right thing, but there's an old expression that applies – "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Historically, an incredible amount of evil has been done to people "for their own good".

      May 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  13. Ed

    Freedom of speech appears to be supported and civil only when one agrees with what another is saying. The need to call each other names and to judge whole groups based on any statement from any individual always amazes me. Be it the KKK, Nazis, Gay Pride, Ministers. etc. – they all have a right to speak their mind and you have the right to accept it or not and be mature about it without the name calling and hatred.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Uncle Bob

      The 1st Amendment does not require people to like this guy's hate, m0r0n!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Ancient Curse

      Freedom of speech goes both ways. Folks can say whatever they want, but other folks are going to have an opinion about what was said. Take your own advice, friend.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Bert0529

      "...they all have a right to speak their mind and you have the right to accept it or not and be mature about it without the name calling and hatred."

      False, Ed . We have the right to react to it in any way that does not infringe upon anybody else's civil rights or break any laws or the terms of service of this website. I can be mature about it or I can rant like a crybaby or I can call names or I can engage in reasoned debate. It's important that I (and any other person unfortunate enough to have heard the pastor's words) retain the exact same rights to react to the hateful diatribe as the pastor exercised while delivering it.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  14. RichWW2

    Holy crap North Carolina. Come join us in the 21st century.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • realist

      Yes ....get your farm animals ready...............

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Davis

      Pfffffft. As a resident of NC this post is just stupid.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Brian

      California voters voted against gay marriage also...are they also living in the past? Your ignorance is extensive.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Gail

    Aww lighten up, it's only talk. In many countries they actually kill gays or torture them. They mean business.
    you're allowed to think bad thoughts. it's not illegal. If he was actually rounding them up and penning them in, then I'd be concerned. Obviously that will never happen in this country. It did happen in Nazi germany. Maybe his venting will help him get it out of his system. It's healthier than holding it in. It's kind of funny, when christians are caricatures sometimes you just gotta laugh. REally why are people so easily offended? When you have free speech you're going to hear outrageous things. It goes with the territory. it should.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • BRC

      The problem is that he was speaking to a room full of people who clearly don't think for themselves very well. That's how ignorance spreads.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • JB

      I agree with you about free speech and all. I disagree with obviously that could never happen here. Many atrocities including the holocaust were though of in that way.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tulsa77

      Yes, it is just words for now. But we also have the right to speak our minds and object to it. And this is about as objectionable as it comes.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  16. Byrd

    That ignorant, bigoted, prejudiced preacherman is the one who belongs in a cage. He's obviously rabid, as are most of his sheeple who applauded this disgusting vitriol of hatred and intolerance.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Gail

      Your wanting to put him in a cage is no different than him wanting to put gays in a cage. It's all the same. so lighten up. your hate is no better than his. You have to tolerate even intolerance sometimes or it leads you down the same evil path.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Ancient Curse

      Put him in a cage? No. Tolerate the intolerant? Never. I'll support anyone's right to existence until they attempt to take that right away from someone else. That's where I draw the line, and it's a good place for that line to be drawn.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Byrd

      I didn't say I wanted to put him in a cage. I said that's what is done with rabid dogs and that his actions display all the symptoms of one so afflicted. Neither did I say that someone should just call Atticus. I want this rabid dog removed from his post where he can't do any more harm.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  17. Unit34AHunter

    In the USA anyone is free to make whatever hateful, bigoted, idiotic statement they wish. That minister is just a sad, tired old toe-rag and his neo-fascist mentality is on the decline. So let the idiot carry on. He only has power if the rest of us knuckle under to him or to his morally bankrupt toad-legion of followers.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Mattski

    What's shocking is that no one in the congregation had the courage to stand up and say "Shame on you!". It makes me wonder how the can trick themselves into thinking their Christians. He might as well be Harold Camping because they're just following his insanity, not thinking for one second, and certainly not stopping to ponder Christ's true message. Keep me far away from that group.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Gail

      II'm sure there are some people in the audience who will never go back.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  19. me

    disgusting and sad

    May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  20. Alicia

    I guess he missed the part where straight couples produced gay offspring.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Byrd

      Guess he should really be mad at this god he claims to worship. It's the one who made us all, according to their black book.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:06 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.