May 31st, 2012
05:17 AM ET
Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online
By Richard Allen Greene and Dan Gilgoff, CNN
First it was a Christian pastor in North Carolina who told his congregation on Mother's Day that the way "to get rid of all the lesbians and queers" was to put them behind an electric fence and wait for them to die out.
That video went viral, fetching more than a million views on YouTube.
On Sunday, Pastor Curtis Knapp of Kansas preached that the government should kill homosexuals, in another videotaped sermon that drew lots of online attention.
"They won't, but they should," Knapp said, according to a recording of his sermon posted online.
Since that sermon, another church video with harsh words for gays has caught fire online. This one shows a young boy singing an anti-gay song while the congregation cheers him on in what appears to be a church in Indiana.
"I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong,” the boy sings near the pulpit of a church. “Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven."
As the boy repeats the line “Ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven," congregants from the pews rise and cheer.
The video, which was anonymously posted online and has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube, appears to show a service at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana.
Calls to the church this week went to voicemail, with an automatic message saying the mailbox is full. But a message posted on the church’s website on Wednesday appears to address the controversy, offering no apology for the video.
“The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives,” the statement says.
“We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible,” said the statement, which did not explicitly refer to the video or mention homosexuality. “We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.”
The viral videos have drawn criticism from gay and lesbian groups and their allies.
Charles Worley’s sermon at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, sparked a protest that drew more than 1,500 people last weekend.
In Kansas, Knapp's voicemail at the New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca was filled with messages saying "things you don't want your kids to hear," he told CNN affiliate KTKA.
An official with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists issued a statement to CNN on Thursday saying that Knapp’s church had left the Southern Baptist fold in 2010.
“Obviously, he has taken a radical and unbiblical stand in regards to homosexuality,” said Tim Boyd, communications director for the convention.
“We look at homosexuals as we look at all sinners,” his statement said. “God loves them. Christ died for them. The Gospel calls them to repentance and salvation. Therefore, we as Christ-followers should hate the sin and love the sinner.”
But Knapp is not backing away from his comments.
"We punish pedophilia. We punish incest. We punish polygamy and various things. It's only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption," he said.
He cited the Biblical verse Leviticus 20:13: "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act. They shall surely be put to death."
But he said gay people had nothing to worry about from the government or from him.
"I don't believe I should lay a finger against them," said Knapp, of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas. "My hope is for their salvation, not for their death."
Preaching against homosexuality the same day, another pastor appeared to wrestle with how conservative Christians should respond to proposals that people should literally mete out biblical punishments.
"What about this guy down in North Carolina said build a big prison, a big fence and put them all in there and let them die out?" Dennis Leatherman asked in a sermon at the Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church in Maryland.
"Listen, I don't know that fellow. As far as I can tell, he seems like a decent guy, but he is dead wrong on that. That is not the scriptural response," Leatherman said in his sermon "Homosexuality & the Bible," according to a cached version of the transcript posted online.
The audio of the sermon does not appear on his church's website.
In the sermon, he floats the idea of killing homosexuals, whom he refers to as sodomites, then backs away from it.
"There is a danger of reacting in the flesh, of responding not in a scriptural, spiritual way, but in a fleshly way. Kill them all. Right? I will be very honest with you. My flesh kind of likes that idea," Leatherman said.
"But it grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture. It is wrong," he added immediately.
The Southern Baptist Convention distanced itself from Worley's remarks.
The nation's largest Baptist group said Providence Road Baptist in Maiden is not affiliated with its 16 million-member denomination and condemned the comments.
But the influential head of the giant movement's seminary does argue that homosexuality "is the most pressing moral question of our times."
In a comment piece for the Belief Blog in the wake of Worley's sermon, R. Albert Mohler Jr. dismissed critics who say conservative Christians focus on homosexuality while ignoring other things the Bible prohibits.
He contends that laws about keeping kosher, for example, do not apply to Christians, while commandments about homosexuality do.
"When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible's teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel," he wrote.
"Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality," he said.
A member of Worley's 300-member church defended him in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"Of course he would never want that to be done," Stacey Pritchard said of the proposal to put homosexuals behind a fence and leave them there to die out. "But I agree with what the sermon was and what it was about."
CNN Belief Blog co-editor Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.
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.
Who cares what these morons think? They are saying these things to get publicity and to get people talking about them, it's all about me, me, me. I think I will stick with the fairy stories my parents told me when I was a kid instead of listening to these kooks.
I'm sure you are quite right - but it makes me boiling mad!
That silly church just lost its exempt status!
You with the sad eyes Don't be discouraged Oh I realize Its hard to take courage In a world full of bigots You can lose sight of it all And the darkness inside you Can make you feel so small But I see your true colors Shining through I see your true colors And that's why religion hates u.
i don't believe in fairytails...........written ones
i think there is hate on both sides Gay's hate you if you don't agree with them and some people hate's gay's for being gay i believe God has deliverance for anything you are doing wrong but you really have to want to be delivered The bible say's it is wrong for a man to lay with a man or woman with woman it also say's that if a woman dress's and causes a man to lust after her that she and him is doing wrong there are many wrong and a true christian well hate the sin but love the sinner there is no hate in a true christian
This preacher said that gays should be rounded up and killed. That atti tude is absolutely indefensible, regardless of belief. He deserves all the hate he gets.
And just some food for thought. You hate gays because a stupid book tells you to. They hate you because you have oppressed them for centuries. I think their hatred is justified.
Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Sorry, but I don't negotiate with Christians out of fear for hell, just like I don't negotiate with terrorists
Now what the hell makes you think that speaks of something that deserves respect? It's verses like that that make your god look like a horrific abusive ass. No-one in their right mind would follow such a person, in fact here in the real world people like that go to jail.
Actually, the bible says nothing about women sleeping with other women. So Christianity appears to support lesbianism at least.
And you apparently hate punctuation.
Punctuation is an abomination. "And lo, God send unto the world, a period shall not lay at the end of a sentence, nor shall a semi-colon be used to mark a pause in a sentence. Such displays are an abomination. (Disclaimer: Excuse the use of proper punctuation in the last two sentences. They were required to make the point I wanted to make, but I know disavow the use.)" Deuteronomy 8:5-7
Hey Eddie....what about all of the divorced people who remarry? Read the bible. They are adulterers and the female is supposed to be stoned to death....you going to start advocating for that??? Read your entire bible – not just bits and pieces. You don't get to pick and choose what is convenient. Your people have used the bible to justify intolerance of others for centuries.
Leviticus also forbids you from eating certain foods, wearing mixed materials, shaving your beard, getting tattoos, etc. I don't see the "good" preacher calling for the deaths of those people.
Pick and choose – it's the Christian way!
Where is your proof that gay people hate?
Alyssa, two funny comments! Thanks for the laugh, that's what I'm here for! 🙂
If pastors want to spout anti-gay sermons, that's free speech. But, I don't see why the taxpayers should subsidise discrimination. Take their tax free status away.
Just think of the money the U.S. Treasury would have if they would lift the tax free status of all of the churches and places of worship across the country. That is the quickest and less painless way to help get rid of the debt. But oh, we can't do that, we can't offend anybody!!
So much for separation of church and state that was developed by our founding fathers.
At a bare minimum all tax free status should be justified, Of all the money collected, only the money directly given to help the needy should be tax free. Admin costs and saleries should be taxed
It's way past time for the religious to understand that not everyone believes or follows their particular brand of religion. Most of them do understand this of course but more of the leadeshiip need to get it. And of course that people who are not members of their particular group need not care about that groups bible interpretattions.
I think just about all of them know that there are plenty of people that disagree with them. Their problem, though, is that they're absolutely certain they are correct, and they're hellbent (pun intended) on imposing their religion on others.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am often embarrassed by the statements and actions of some Christians. Like all large bodies of people, there is a range of personalities. Please don't stereotype all followers of Christ into the same group. While we share SOME fundamental beliefs, understand that this is where the similarities end.
@Robert: I have no doubt that that is exactly what some Muslims said about the Taliban in Afghanistan. When people of a religion do not actively squash hate-speech, it impacts the *entire* religion negatively. The problem here is that far too many of these bible literalists are poorly educated (sometimes out of choice) and become accepting of radicalized readings of the bible.
At a minimum, I wish there would be consensus that the Old Testament is called 'Old' because it has been replaced by the messages of love and charity exemplified by Jesus. It was only when Jesus' words were twisted to the extreme by Saul of Tarsus that we get back to the same kind of extremism and intolerance exemplified in the Old Testaments Book of Leviticus. Heck, even most modern day Jewish practioners treat it as a historical record rather than a moral one.
Message to Straights: We have always been here. We will always be here. We are more than the oft-quoted 10%. You may not know it, but: We are in your families. We are your neighbours. We shop in the same stores. We learn in the same classrooms. We work alongside you. We pay the same taxes. We commute on the same buses, subways, freeways and trains. We fight wars alongside you. We are everywhere. And coralling us behind electrified fences will not stop us. And we will continue to exist, to come along, because straight people keep creating us. Deal with it, and move on.
@dude: i applaud you. very well said and very true. you don't have to worry every group of people have had to fight for equality and most still are........well except for rich, white anglosaxion males. so i say keep fighting and don't give them a moments rest.
As a straight man the best thing I can say to you is I don’t care. I don’t give a damn what goes on in your bedroom just like you don’t care what goes on in mine. It’s religion’s problem not mine and one day, hopefully, it won’t be yours.
Message to Dude: many of us know this and support you. Preaching to us with a blanket statement is not helpful. Thanks.
Hey Dude, I have worked in churches for about 20 years and have been a Christian for much longer. This may be a comforting thought: Most people 40 years and younger no longer have issues with gays. They are as much a part of our lives as any group and almost all of us know and love a gay person/s. Eventually, those who do have issues will die out and being gay will no longer be a big deal. Younger people listening to this crap from these preachers just tune it out. Keep on keeping on, know that you are loved, at least by this Christian.
Somebody ought to kill this unholy ****er
You DO NOT have a right to suggest that a certain group of people be rounded up and killed. He should be arrested
And killed for suggesting the killing of other human beings.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simply to show the way to life eternal. The way to forgiveness of any and all sin. Christ is not calling those who follow him to "fence off", hurt, kill or harm in any way those who don't accept or receive is truth. What some of these pastors are doing, Jesus never told them to do. They're getting caught up in their own emotions of anger. I spread the good news of salvation. If anyone doesn't receive it, I certainly have no reason to get angry though they may get angry at me. It doesn't matter. It's every man's free will choice to either receive or reject Christ. But I will continue to spread the news of the free gift and I don't need to get angry or hate either.
LT, I believe the majority of religous people are like you. Basically good people with faith in their religon.
it is a shame more religous people don't condem extreemists, their silence is often seen as validation for the hate of a few
Just remember the bible teaching and the story the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" what did GOD do? Just remember he did it NOT man, So let him do his work he can handle it. live and let live, clean your own house.
2000 years of this story being passed down from generation to generation with only that book to confirm anything...don't you think it's time to let it go and live in the 21st century? Do you not for one second comprehend how bat sh!t crazy those stories tend to be??
This world would be a much more pleasant place to reside in if hate and bigotry were not part of it but then again christians don't care about this world, they don't live for it...they live for a place that can't be proven to exist. What a pathetic waste of an existence!
Oooooooohhh...you are so pillar-of-salt done for....
Ezekiel 16:49 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
Perhaps you could point out where "teh ghey" is in there? I can't seem to find it.
Actually, that verse perfectly describes every single religious right (oxymoron), moral majority (oxymoron), talibangelical tea bagger.
What I don't understand about the wrathful God of the Old Testament is this: if He was so easily angered at the sins committed at Sodom and Gomorrah, and He finds all sins to be equal in nature, WHY haven't we seen His wrath?
If you keep giving them a publicity, they'll keep spewing their hate. I'm just saying....
1. Communists leaders were motivated by a strong desire to impose an ideological "package" over the whole world. The package included the eradication of Religion, defined by arch-atheist, Karl Marx, as “The opium of the people.” According to Marx, religion helped keep the masses passive before the abuse of the wealthy and powerful, and the only way to free them from the “stupor," God and religion had to be eradicated. Lenin embraced Marx's views and so did Stalin up to the Second World war. The enforcement of Atheism was a “critical” requirement for Communism’s success, and thus it had to be implemented at all costs. This meant oppressive measures, such as brainwashing in state schools, the closing of houses of worship and arresting countless religious leaders. (For an enlightening discussion of Atheistic-Communism's persecution of the Christian church see the article, Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union.)
Who cares? It certainly doesn't change the ugly fact of the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades
How fortunate then, that no one's suggesting religious people should be killed by the government. What do you make of religious people suggesting that the government should kill non-religious people?
I don't recall any such persecution of Russian Orthodoxy or similar Eastern European religions.
I do seem to recall a historical paranoia of Christianity, resulting in a pervasive persecution complex.
As an atheist, and my views ring true with every peer that i know, atheists in the USA are rarely communists, and mostly just trying to avoid the ignorant, aggressive, hateful and controlling accolytes of ANY religious dogma.
This is real simple. What these guys say is nothing but hate speech wrapped in the guise of religion. The Bible is a compilation of ancient stories that contradict each other as often as they agree. These preachers pick and choose what they want to emphasize and then shout it from the pulpit. Furthermore, show me some evidence for the existence of the god of the Bible (or heck...any other god for that matter) that doesn't begin with "In the Bible it says...." I can provide as much evidence for the existence of the invisible pink unicorn or Zeus, which is to say, none.
christians don't have to debate you or show you anything josh. you are proof there is a God, and you will also be proof on early and in hell that satan is also real. God bless.
Evidence of the existence of God?? You're standing on it. It's called earth. Since absolutely nothing that exists can come from "nothing", the law of causality as "science" dictates demands an eternal source. In other words He who has no beginning.
kirk: how is this proof that god exists?
LT: Creation, at best, is proof of a creator. It is not proof of it being a "God". It is not proof of a heaven or a hell, or sin. Those are man made concepts
Kirk-LT: You both just proved Josh's point.
LT & Kirk, you are both supporting Josh's statement by simply trolling. Don't be a troll, believe what you want, but don't be the typical christian out there putting people like Josh and I down simply because we don't agree with your ideology.
You can't debate people who believe no evidence equals evidence. Deeply religious people actually think with a different part of their brain than logical people do. Asking them to look at facts, logic, reason, etc will have no effect. Their beliefs are locked behind an iron wall in their mind, shoved in there when they were children. It is a pity, but they are a lost cause. We need to continue to support education, tolerance, and acceptance for all. Eventually these bible-thumpers will die off and our country will continue to progress and be better off for it.
Don't you just love these ignorant fundiots like Kirk – who dàmn you to hell in one breath, and bless you in the next.
"We need to continue to support education, tolerance, and acceptance for all."
Well, except for anyone who believes in a higher power.
I support education for religious people. It is one of the main ways a person goes from religious to logical.
I support tolerance for religious people. I'm not suggesting anyone harms them or kills them.
I accept religious people much in the same way I accept elderly racists. Things were different when they were younger, so I understand why they are racist, even though I do not agree with them.
"Since absolutely nothing that exists can come from "nothing", the law of causality as "science" dictates demands an eternal source."
"In other words He who has no beginning."
So the Earth can't come from nothing, but God can – because God told you so? I am literally chuckling at your stup1dity as I write this.
How "Christian" of you to pass judgment on someone – not to mention, someone you don't even know.
Lack of evidence (of the beginning of the universe, etc.) does not prove the existence of a higher power. If you don't have the evidence, you can only posit the existence, which is your faith. It's not proof.
"Since absolutely nothing that exists can come from "nothing"
So who created god?
i have nothing against the fudge packers .....but i am tired of the pillow biting sissys pushing their agendas down the rest of americas throat now if you want to debate me on this feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
No point in debating with a bigot. Saying you have no problem with them and then saying you're tired of them pushing their agendas down your throat proves your ignorance. They don't have an agenda, wanting to be treated equally is not an agenda. Christians like the pastor have an agenda, their agenda is to rid the world of gays and most anyone else who does not believe in the same imaginary friend they have.
This pillow biting fudge packer will kick your A$$
so, you got nothing against them, but you call them "fudge packers" and "pillow biting sissies"?
gosh, you are a bigot.
equal rights bother you?
I can't think of anything less stimulating than a debate with you, ignorant bigot POS
Anyone notice that it's always hômophobic cretins like this putz who have this overwhelming fixation with things being shoved down their throats?
Do you honestly see an article about a man saying all gays should be killed by the government as gay people trying to push their agenda upon you? ....I have to assume this was a troll. Noone could be that unfathomably stupid.
Successful troll is successful.
Just because a few radicals preach hate doesnt mean Christianity is bad. Alot of serial killers were g.a.y does that make all G.a.ys serial killers? Atheists are responsible for milions of deaths in the 20th century does that make all Atheists murderers?Once again CNN has riled up the hate mongering leftists with a pc of garbage article as this.
Care to back that little sneak attack with a reference or source, regarding serial killers?
You are a coward.
Atheists are responsible for millions of deaths in the 20th century....really? Let me guess, Hitler, right? Hitler beleived in a god, he was not an atheist... Please provide references for all of your uneducated claims next time.
I can only think of one serial killer who was g.a.y. Jeffrey Dahmer. The majority by far are straight. Not that that has any bearing on this article...
Stalin would be the name you are looking for. And he was definitely an atheist. Also, Pol Pot would qualify. Both mass murdering atheists.
As far as Hitler goes, they always say he started off a Catholic, but so did many of the people on this board who are now complaining. Does that mean that you are currently making decisions based on the religion your parents picked for you even though you're atheist? Hitler was no more of a Catholic when he was in power than you are right now.
Being an atheist doesn't make you less capable of mass murder than anything else does. Religion is usually just an excuse used by mass murders who are simply in need of one. You don't need religion for mass murder, you don't even need it to be really, really good at it.
Despite being all-powerful, all-knowing, and so on; I noticed Jesus never visited places like the Americas or Australia when He came to Earth to give us His word. I can only assume that is because God didn't want people in those parts of the world to live in accordance to His teachings.
Who is this "Jesus" and "God" you speak of? OH, I think I know, they are people (or beings) that MAN created in order to control other men. Man wrote the bible, not because he heard God speak, but because he wanted to dictate how he would like other people to live. So sad that SOOOO many people take the bible as gospel (no pun intended) and not as a book of fictional stories that it is. Think about it: Noah??? No evolution?? People living to be over 500 years old?? HAHAHAHA...
Actually he did (John 10:16). In fact, the Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas who were visited by Jesus Christ after his resurrection. See http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/11?lang=eng .
Regarding the Book of Mormon. it's been totally discredited. Genetic testing shows native americans aren't related to the jews, there were no elephants in the americas, there were no chariots (no wheels) and no iron weapons. All these things are in the "history" of the book of mormon. Joseph Smith was a con man.
Larry, you're trying to use facts and logical thinking to prove a point to a religious person. It is of no use.
The book of mormon isn't an historical record of anything but a con man with an agenda.
Religion does a lot of good and teaches kindness and love, but these guys make it seem mean and extreme.
The problem with religion is that it is the MAIN (not only) cause of war around the world.
Which religion teaches kindness and love? Religion is a set of rules and traditions all designed to control people. The parts that seem to be about kindness and love are ideas of the marketing arm of the religion, to make the religion easier to sell to the general public.
absolutely disgusting. how the F do christians get to claim to be the good guys? they openly spout their hatred and then claim to be about love and compassion. religion is the face of evil in the modern world.
Let them keep preaching. People need to hear the kind of hatred that's being preached in the name of God, Jesus and "family values".
You're so right. The more they speak out the more people realize the hate coming from them and the less they will attend service.
If you want to see another sad example of this type of hate, read the following and watch the video (as horrific as it is).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/aint-no-hom.os-gonna-make-it to-heaven_n_1555735.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009 (remove dot from H0mo)
i wonder if he would have the same opinion if one of his children or grandchildren turned out to be gay.
inbred f nut
Most likely yes. Hate in these people runs so deep that no one is exempt.
I have the same opinion with about a gay nephew, and I am not religious. And I think when Christians say they hate the sin, but love the sinner is a bunch of BS. I don't think gays should be killed, I just find it insulting to be asked to accept their practice as "normal".
Normal is only a word, Mike. It really means next to nothing
MikeM: Have you disowned him or stopped speaking to him or outright condemned him for who he is? Not sure if the Mother or father of his nephew is your sibling but you need to keep in mind that either way, a member of your family produced this kid that was born gay. There is no question that bigots run throughout all beliefs and disbelief's, it is when you let that bigotry and hate destroy relationships and equal rights that it becomes an issue.
mike: does equal rights convey "acceptance " to you?
Great point, TruthPrevails–MikeM has gay blood in his family. That means that MikeM is either himself, or married to a part-gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.