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.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (4,073 Responses)

    Ain't nobody's business what to grown folks do but theirs. They have to answer to GOD not you!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Incredible how sick some people are. And the fact that the people hold them as preachers defies logic. Let's all go down to the murderer's cell and get his advice.....

    May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Barbara

    People like this guy should be ashamed to carry the name of Christ. I am a believer in Jesus, and he clearly spelled out the two greatest commands: Love God, and love others. If Christ were on earth today, you wouldn't find him in this kind of church, listening to the hate. He'd be working at an AIDs clinic, showing people his heart through sacrificial love.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      "Love God and love others." If only that was what it was all about. You'd have to get rid of the Bible, though, for that to be true, because it's the delusional interpretation of that ridiculous book that is the cause of most of Christinsanity's problems.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  4. ttipton

    Are we really going to let this be voted in?? People get everyone you know registered to vote by November. It is going to take ALL people who are against hate to vote them out. We need to show them we can stand up and fight or they will keep running over us as if we are 2nd class citizens. PLEASE get out and get people out to vote!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Yeah, we have to vote to get these hate-mongering, discriminating, religious delusionist whackos from preaching anymore hate. Let's get rid of them so the gays can get married, come on people, vote!!!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  5. shoos

    What qualifications does one need to become a Christian paster?

    May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Devara

      I think this guy should take a note from Mark Wolford and go play with a rattlesnake.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • will

      Why legitimize these idiots by writing articles about them and protesting against them?

      May 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Ken

    George, religion isn't working because nobody practices it. World will remain in chaos until Jesus comes back like he promises. Man can't fix this only Jesus can. Even if we made religion illegal like many of you want and everyone quit following it, we will still have chaos. We would just move on to hating something else instead. Therefore, the ideology of Gods Laws is not the problem. It's Man's rebellion against God's Law's is the problem.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • blondie

      On a steed with silver wings and a sword too, or a private jet with an oozy?

      May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • karek40


      May 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • derp

      Bare back on a unicorn, with an entourage of exotic dancers, and a case of Johnny blue label.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  7. AverageJoe76

    Whether you're a believer or not, once you place yourself on a pedistool, and begin to look down on your fellow man, you have a place to fall from. Does the believer have something to teach a non-believer? Can a non-believer teach anything to the believer? Depends on the minds in question. My mother is a believer, but I am not. But I will not disparage her faith, but I cannot cling to it. Maybe she thinks I'll go to Hades, I think she's closed her mind to a range of options and discoveries.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • karek40

      none of those discoveries will matter after death, only your faith and trust that Jesus will do exactly what he said he would do.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @karek40 – If you are of strong faith, I have no words to guide you away from your thought process. So can I ask you this; does strong faith mean that any new information that contradicts your spiritual understanding will be overlooked? Will it be ignored? Ask yourself simple things like, "why worship a God who thought burnt sacrafices smelled sweet?" I cannot understand that from a creator of the universe. Just one example of many that make me wonder about the God of the Bible.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Jack

    Fandancy...tell your children that in twenty years. You have no clue.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  9. Doug

    Welcome to the 14th century "Pastor" Worley. Glad to know your brand of "Christainity" has survived the centuries.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  10. steve

    he thinks the government should kill them all but his hope is for their salvation not their death......anyone see an issue with this thought?

    May 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Logic is not an option. Pure double speak and nothing more. Literally contradicts himself within a sentence or two. Just think of the people that follow this buffoon... He's the smart one! =O

      May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Pastors that preach hate will burn in ***** and the hateful Republicans for pandering to these christian taliban.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • karek40

      Don't be so sure, there is the case in the bible where a man caught a couple in adultry and ran them through with a spear, God lifted a plague on Israel because that man was zealous for God.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • jwstrange

      The Taliban parallel is dead accurate. Civilized countries separate church and state to protect us from ignorant zealots like this.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  12. WhatWhatWhat?

    These id iots are going to quote Leviticus 20:13? Well then, what about Leviticus 20:9, if you ever cursed your mother or father, you shall be surely put to death. Or, Lev 20:10, anyone who commits adultery, you shall be surely put to death. Or Lev 20:2, if you give your seed to Molech, you shall be surely put to death. Why did all these religious delusionists stop killing people for those things that God commanded them to do? Because they'd all be put to death by now!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  13. sparknut

    Jesus is offended by this so-called preacher. He is a fountain of hate, nothing more.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • n8362

      In Matthew 5:17-19 Christ makes it very clear that Mosaic Law is to be upheld.

      Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      n8 ..... Sorry but John 8 is the counter to your statement.

      5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
      6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
      7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

      Last post n8 good buddy. Time to go back to work. 🙂

      May 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Horus

      Proof? How often does Jesus confide in you? Can you record it for us?

      May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • n8362

      Mark, in the verses you quote Jesus never repeals the law. How do you explain Matthew 5:17-19. He is very clear.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • karek40

      I am not able to speak for Jesus nor is anyone else. What you can do is look at his recorded word and actions.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  14. n8362

    Thank god we have the Bible for a moral compass.

    Without religion we would not know we are supposed to murder gays, non-virgin brides and disobedient children.
    We would have to rely on critical thinking and common sense.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      But then you would have no reason to despise people that are different than you. We can't have THAT!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • karek40

      Then again Jesus fulfilled the law that these folks are quoting, so the bible stands as the only moral compass.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  15. blondie

    Guarantee you those preachers lead double lives. Guarantee. By day/online they portray white straight christain male married with children, but by night they're on their knees in front of glory holes at the local adult bookstore taking loads down their throats by strangers. Guarantee.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Vik

    Feel like a proud Atheist right about now!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bryan

      Amen to that!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  17. Skeptic

    I am with Jack. Kill everyone under 5' tall.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  18. Dee

    This guy contradicts himself in the same breath. He says the government "should" kill gays, but they "won't". Then he says his hope is not for death but for salvation. Which is it? You can not be a believer of both.......

    May 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Horus

      Sure he can. To believe in religion at all requires compartmentalizing your brain to prevent logic from prevailing.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Jimbo

    The Bible Belts Christian leaders are promoting Americans to conduct the 2nd Gay Holocaust. The first Gay Holocaust occurred during WWII, represented by the Gay Pink Triangle.

    I will have a new posting on my web site on Saturday Sabbath June 2 @ High Noon EST. to explain taught gay hatred by Christian leaders and its ramifications... the Jewish and Gay Holocaust of WWI!

    Website: GayDefenseShield.com

    May 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Steve T.

    Sounds like he is masking his own "abnormal" tendencies.

    May 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
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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.