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. Dan W

    Lucky for the LGBT Gays are not required for more Gays to be produced. Str8 couples make Gays people, no matter how righteous they think they are. Ask Dick Cheney.

    May 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  2. RainnMakerr

    Leviticus 18:22, 20:13. unless the whole book is just a BIG typo.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • sam

      I like that idea – it's all a typo.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  3. mrprincipal03

    Seems like the pastor doesn't want to render unto Caesar. Looks to me like he's using Jesus as a prop that he doesn't profess to believe. He just needs to call his religion what it is, certainly not Christian. I guess he marked out those places such as, "love one another" -"as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me" remember the one about throwing stones, pastor, and oh yes, I guess I better quote that one "he who is without sin, cast the first stone" gee pastor I didn't realize you thought you were perect.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Dana

      @mrprincipal03 my question is how many of his congregation hooped and hollered their approval?

      May 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  4. Elder-One

    @ Gordon

    You sure that number isn't 250 rather then 250.000?

    May 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  5. Dana

    Does that pastor work for or own that place ? It doesn't matter anymore let them marry, divorce, beat or kill each other as long as you aren't forced to marry them, hire or hang with them life is good.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Ronald

    Anyone who is a real Christian and actually believes what Jesus taught would never espouse what this guy says. To be a so called man of God and preach this from the pulpit is disgusting. This is not what Jesus taught! Love thy neighbor, give to the poor, clothe the naked, etc etc. This is not what this guy is preaching. Unfortunately he is probably a right wing GOP/ Tea believer. Sad that those seeking power are using religion to their advantage.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  7. JLundy

    Southern ignorance performed in the name of God never ceases to amaze me, it knows no limits. Hitler put thousands of gay people behind barbed wire too.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Maritza


      May 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  8. ryguy

    This guy is clearly in the extreme minority. Don't feed his hate with more hate. Just realize that folks like this will soon be dead and their viewpoints obsolete. The younger generations' outlook on marriage will soon define our laws – not this hate.

    May 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  9. LJ

    After watching Anderson (insert gay joke here) last night, he had a cat on there that hit it on the nose – this church needs to lose it's tax exempt status. Regardless of your feelings on the subject, a church CANNOT endorse any political party or candidate; which is what this yahoo did while indicating that human beings should be corralled up like cattle. People go to their respective houses of worship for spiritual guidance, not to hear a political rally. That's exactly what this dude did by telling his sheep, er, congregation to vote against Obama. Churches – STAY OUT OF POLITICS!!! This isn't the middle ages (or other countries today) where the church runs the country. If these evangelical nutjobs get their way, the US will have a national religion, with it's leaders following that, and only that, religion. Sounds a lot like Iran, huh?

    May 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • mandarax

      In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.
      -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

      Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.
      -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

      And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
      -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

      Every now and then I am reminded of just how absolutely badass Thomas Jefferson really was. This is the primary author of our constitution. Not directly on topic (although the first quote is), but I couldn't help but share.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  10. t3chn0ph0b3

    Know how I know you're gay? You like Coldplay.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  11. t3chn0ph0b3

    If it was really all that important, why did Jesus himself never weigh in on the topic?

    May 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  12. AMB

    The entire concept of living a Christian lifestyle is to be a moral and just being, to accept all and judge none. Yet time and time again, stories of cruel, unnecessary judgement and comdemnation run rampant. The hypocracy of organized religion in general is staggaring. Until one can accept that humans are mortal and imperfect beings, that judgement of one's soul is entirely between God and that person, and live by the "Golden Rule", hate speech and hate crimes will continue. It is so tragic that so many have forgotten this simple ideal. It is people such as this "Pastor" who should be prayed for-for you have truly lost your Christian goodness and compassion, and your most importantly your basic humanity.

    May 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  13. Reality

    Dear Pastor "Not So Bright"/"GAY 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 4:13 pm |
  14. LivinginVA

    When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ‘tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

    Ben Franklin

    May 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    What happened to the principal of tolerance this great country was founded on? Judge not lest ye be judged and Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Where has this guy been, in a cave?

    May 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Johanne

    He probably said the same thing about Black people back in the sixties and Latinos today. Some people only know hate no matter how many times they have been saved by God.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  17. Bill

    Where does this preacher think gay people come from????

    They come from Straight People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Soylent Green is straight people!!! Its made from straight people!!!!

      May 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Charlie

    He's again' it.

    Well...I'm against bad grammar!

    May 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Dont Care


    May 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      That sounds like the sin of pride to me.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Since I don’t believe that anything in the bible is true I therefore don’t believe that sin exists. Because of this, I have never sinned. What logically follows is a lack of guilt and peace of mind.

      Live a good life, be happy, and don’t believe in fairy tales.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Depends on which definition of "sin" you use. Personally, I see "sin" as more along the lines of violating a moral principle. You don't have to believe in any religion to have morals or principles.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Then you could just call it violating a moral principle instead of sin and leave behind all of the religious baggage.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • LivinginVA

      Well, that's one definition of sin and "sin" is a whole lot quicker to say and type than "violating a moral principle" – which also has the problem of sounding incredibly pretentious.

      May 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  20. lexi

    This man's going straight to hell! A "holy" man that teaches it's ok to sin against others because of their own personal choices...isn't there somekind of Priests Association where we can report him. Or does he answer to God himself?!

    Definition of SIN: Sin can refer not only to physical actions taken, but also to thoughts and internalized motivations and feelings. Colloquially, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed "sinful". The term "sin" may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation.

    May 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      While I agree with most of your first paragraph, being gay is *not* a choice!

      Re: sin, that might be one cult's definition of sin, but it only applies to members of that cult. I do not believe in any god and do not belong to any cult therefore I have never sinned (unlike the 700,000 plus believers that get an abortion in the USA each year – perhaps they need to be rounded up).

      May 23, 2012 at 3:17 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.