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."

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“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. JE

    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • D

      Didn't you know? They only meant hetero-love!

      May 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • JE

      God created all of us...not just the screaming nutjobs. Jesus was most critical of the screaming nutjobs.

      1 You have searched me, Lord,
      and you know me.
      2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
      you perceive my thoughts from afar.
      3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
      you are familiar with all my ways.
      4 Before a word is on my tongue
      you, Lord, know it completely.
      5 You hem me in behind and before,
      and you lay your hand upon me.
      6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
      too lofty for me to attain.

      7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
      Where can I flee from your presence?
      8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
      if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
      9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
      if I settle on the far side of the sea,
      10 even there your hand will guide me,
      your right hand will hold me fast.
      11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
      and the light become night around me,”
      12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
      the night will shine like the day,
      for darkness is as light to you.

      13 For you created my inmost being;
      you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
      14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
      your works are wonderful,
      I know that full well.
      15 My frame was not hidden from you
      when I was made in the secret place,
      when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
      16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
      all the days ordained for me were written in your book
      before one of them came to be.
      17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
      How vast is the sum of them!
      18 Were I to count them,
      they would outnumber the grains of sand —
      when I awake, I am still with you....

      May 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • James PDX

      Sadly, too many so-called Christians don't like to see the Bible as a whole picture. They prefer to take each component separately and ignore it's context.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • LinCA

      @James PDX

      You said, "Sadly, too many so-called Christians don't like to see the Bible as a whole picture."
      There is a very good reason for that. If they actually looked at the entire bible and didn't cherry-pick and interpret, they wouldn't be christians anymore.

      Reading the bible with an open mind is one of the surest ways to atheism.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • JM

      C.S. Lewis

      "Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable."
      "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere - 'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous."

      May 23, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  2. fadedlight420

    "Let's round up all the people we don't like and put them into camps for them to die at."

    - Adolf Hitler / Pastor Charles L. Worley

    May 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. Amy

    The Bible was interpreted by man.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • EatYouAlive

      The bible was WRITTEN by man,

      May 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • D

      Yup, and: edited, translated (more interpretation), printed and distributed by more men.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • sam stone

      written, translated, edited iron age hearsay

      May 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  4. ever4lasting

    It is good that it went viral, let people still see the face of the hatred, and the bigotry that still exist in this country.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  5. WOW

    @Linca: You are a moron.

    Same can be said for anyone who voices there opinion and people consider it to be hate speech. That person decided to speak out just as a gay person reacts to there feelins and pronounces they are gay. You can twist is anyway you want but the FACT still stands. BOTH are feelins. You too Linca have FAILED.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • mandarax

      Isn't it great when someone calls another a moron, and then proceeds to vomit an incoherent mess of unintelligible words into the comments?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • fadedlight420

      I agree with you... the Nazi's were right.. lets round up those that are different and kill 'em all!

      May 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • James PDX

      This person decided to twist the words of his God to suit his personal beliefs. You can't compare wanting to kill those who are different to confessing you are gay? Seriously?

      May 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  6. Freedom

    How does anybody this ignorant become the leader of anything, much less a church? This guy is an embarrassment to humanity!

    May 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  7. Living History

    This church has definitely violated IRS restrictions on political issues and should lose its non-profit status.

    From the IRS website:

    Under federal tax law, section 501(c)(3) organizations may take positions on public policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office. However, section 501(c)(3) organizations must avoid any issue advocacy that functions as political campaign intervention. Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate. A statement can identify a candidate not only by stating the candidate’s name but also by other means such as showing a picture of the candidate, referring to political party affiliations, or other distinctive features of a candidate’s platform or biography.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  8. Barbara Dobbelaire

    It is no wonder that people are turning away from a belief in God when we as Christians take this approach! I am a Christian and I am ashamed of this so called"Man of God" who would make remarks like that! When Jesus walked this earth He showed the love of God to those He believed were in the wrong. He did not condemn them! Where is the love He commanded us to have for our fellow man?

    May 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Christ-Likeness

      Absolutely. See my comments below.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • MOCaseA

      If it takes a commandment to advocate love, is it truly love? Or is it just resignation?

      Better yet, expand your knowledge and education and truly learn of your fellow man and allow your own opinions to form. Acceptance isn't something that can be commanded, it is something that is learned.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • James PDX

      While I am an agnostic, I respect true Christians such as yourself. Sadly, the ratio of true Christians to extremist nutjobs like this pastor seems to be dwindling rapidly in the 21st century.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  9. blam0h1@gmail.com

    And they say TV pollutes the mind. If you have ever watched the video you can here all his sheep baaahing in approval.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  10. jjp

    Rather tame compared to another major religion that advocates beheading us "infidels"

    May 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • D

      Ah, so clearly that makes it ok then?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Actually, the Koran doesn't advocate violence for being infidels, and while some hadiths advocate execution for apostasy, I don't believe even the hadith advocate the execution of infidels, except in a holy war, which many muslims believe they are currently in.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • mandarax

      No matter the religion, fundamentalists are cut from the same cloth – ignorance, credulity, and fear.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  11. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    He is the kind of preacher who is an embarrassment to the religious and a trainload of ammunition to the anti-religious. Just leave it on a siding. I will unload it later.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  12. David

    This is the type of backwater state North Carolina is... once you get out of Asheville, Charlotte, RDU and Wilmington. Remove these 4 cities, and you are smack in the middle of "Deliverance".

    Squeel like a pig!!!!

    May 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  13. Jack

    I do know this fact....there is a Hell and people like this are creating it here on Earth. Thanks for making the human race go in the opposite direction of progress.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  14. Christ-Likeness

    First off, I am a Christian and I in no way, shape or form agree with what this minister has said. I read in my Bible of a Christ that had mercy on an Adulteress by saving her from a stoning death. He said that yes what she did was wrong, but that only ones without sin had the right to stone her. And guess who that was....JESUS! And if Jesus, being the only one without sin, had the power to condemn and kill this woman, but didn't do so, then what makes this man think he has the right to cast stones at and condemn other children of God???? It's not right! But then again, I'm not going to go against Christ and condemn this man either. I know, I know....it's unpopular, it's not the going dialogue of the moment. But this cycle stops when someone does something different, not when we use the same rhetoric back at him. So, I challenge other Christians on here to pray that this minister realizes what he's done and truly apologizes. Don't we remember the former Saul in the bible? He thought he was doing the will of God by KILLING Christians. That was until Jesus showed Himself to Saul on the Road to Damascus and changed his name to Paul! After that, Paul became one of the greatest advocates for Christ. Just please remember that in your comments. Thanks.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • xyx25

      I agree!

      May 23, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • xyx25

      Though the preacher cannot judge the sin, every preacher should be preaching sin as sin and not sugar coat it. Sermons should cover sin (of us) , righteousness (of God) and judgement (of God).

      May 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Christ-Likeness

      Absolutely! Sin is sin. But there comes a point where we have to teach the Truth in love. That was not evident. It appeared that this minister would rather see people dead rather than delivered! And that won't change anyone's life or draw anyone. As you can see on here it's repelling so many people. If his goal were truly to see these people delivered and set free, his tone, his everything would have been different. But there is no love, compassion, or consideration of himself when speaking this message. I just hear his personal hate. And that is what needs to change.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • John

      Good post. I think the issue with many here on this blog is not the pastor's call for an inhumane act against a group of people, which he shouldn't have, but many here do not like the Word concerning sin. We should preach love but understand that there are some that the LORD has turned over. If only they knew that Jesus truly loves them,and we were once as they are now until our eyes were opened!

      May 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • sam

      John – no, that IS the issue with many here. Can you read? No one cares about what you think of as sin.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  15. Patrick

    I'm agin it, my mama was agin it, my first cousin who I lovingly call my wife was agin it, and if you have any sense you should be agin it.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Mimi

      What the heck is agin? Are u trying to say against?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • James PDX

      Sorry, Patrick, Mimi didn't get it. But I appreciated you post.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • CeeVee

      That part of the video was the only part that made me sort of laugh in confusion. If the guy had a speech impediment I'd be the last person to make jokes about his pronunciation. He doesn't have a speech impediment and for some reason, he's trying to say, "against" and instead repeats "agin it" Not one, not, twice, but multiple times. It wouldn't be a big deal if his speech weren't spewing vitriol and hatred. Mostly, I feel for the impressionable gay teenagers in his church who are being forced to listen to such venom.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  16. Mary

    We have to put this ignorance in perspective. These people aren't big thinkers on the whole and they don't have alot of prospects even if they do get a high school diloma. The town of Maiden NC has one job available that I can find on the job sites:
    $13 – $16 an hour High school,education or trade school education
    According to SimlyHired.com, "the most common occupations in Maiden are Production, transportation, and material moving occupations. The leading industries in Maiden, North Carolina are Manufacturing, 44%. According to government data, the average salary for jobs in Maiden, North Carolina is $25,644, and the median income of households in Maiden was $35,417."
    The population of Madien NC is 3,282 81% are listed as "white" race and their education stats are:
    Less than 9th grade 10%
    9th to 12th grade, no diploma 19%
    High school graduate 34%
    Some college, no degree 21%
    Associate's degree 6%
    Bachelor's degree 8%
    Graduate degree 2%
    The cure for ignorance is education. That's one of the main priorities we need to focus on as a country.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Great post Mary! Good information! Unfortunately the under educated will not understand the correlation. Catch 22.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Edumacated

      Mary – I hope you are well educated yourself... I'm not disputing your point but you really should know that "alot" is not a word... It's "a lot", not "alot"... That non-word has become the classic sign of an uneducated internet poster. :-).

      May 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • James PDX

      Edumacated, thanks alot for that tip!

      May 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • mandarax

      Great post and very good points. The conclusion is self-evident.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Mary

      I very much apologize to everyone who read my initial post for the highly offensive typo “alot”... or typographical error if you prefer. That sort of pseudo-superior poke from the edumacated reply is typical of people who unfortunately have nothing to contribute to a dialog other than to pick through comments criticizing slang, typo’s or misspelt words. It’s really very sad people like that won’t put their pride and prejudices aside for even a moment to consider the content.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  17. John

    I do not advocate violence or vengeance nor am I the Judge. However, the rage I see on this blog from some towards the LORD or those who follow Him shows some of you are not much different than the pastor who should have not advocated an inhumane act. Words are worse than any man-made weapon for words defile a man and show his true heart. Though not all who follow Him show it, Jesus loves and forgives those who accept Him! Even you who reads this.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Go away and spout that drivel to people like yourself!

      May 23, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How can you be enraged with something that you don't believe in? Most people giving out about religion and its followers are not misotheists.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Rational Libertarian

      Was you post for me?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Rational Libertarian


      Nope, Johnnie God.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom

      The "lord" can eat my s h t

      May 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • John

      Rage on as your father does. At least he knows the Truth. (NOTE: I am not talking about your biological daddy!)

      By the way, this is called a "Belief" blog. Therefore, I can blog. You can go elsewhere but I don't want you to because at least here you can hear the Truth. Where else would you hear the Truth since you probably do not read the Word.

      Jesus loves you.

      May 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • James PDX

      Jesus was only without sin because he saw first hand what his father does when he throws a temper tantrum; murder, fire, pillars of salt, plagues, floods, infanticide, forcing people into incest, etc...

      May 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom

      Jesus loves and gives good head

      May 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • John

      Rational Libertarian, Voice of Reason, Tom, James PDX....If only you knew what you were doing when you open your mouth. You validate every word that the LORD Jesus spoke concerning what would happen in the future from His time here on earth. You keep on validating the Bible and letting me and other Christians know what He said was true. Thank you!

      May 23, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Tom

      John, "If I only knew".... Are you suggesting you have access to information I don't? There is a strong probability that I understand your holy books better than you do. Which is why I think they're hogwash. After careful analysis and asking some pretty tough questions, I'm appalled that a 21st century adult can still think the Bible has a shred of validity. Bible-believers – especially of the literalist tradition – are a complete failure of what it means to be human.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  18. Reality

    Dear Pastor "Not So Bright"/"Red Neck" Worley,


    o "Abrahamics" like you believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    (Note: some words hyphenated to defeat the moderators "secret" word/fragment filter.)

    May 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  19. Cole

    Dang ol', I tell you what!

    May 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  20. Paramad

    A few christian "nut jobs" can cause a lot of problems given the right conditions overshadowing what good things normal dedicated non-political christians have and are accomplishing. I see the problem with gay bashing is that if it is ever established as acceptable to an apathetic public the next step will be to attack another item on the christian agenda so on and so forth. I'm not saying it is inevitable but secular society needs to be watchful.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      the question would be...what would be next?

      May 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • John

      DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire....Why woiuld anyone "choose" fire over love?

      May 23, 2012 at 11:20 am |
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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.