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.
i wonder if any of these so called christians believe in karma?
Save us from the fundamentalists of all religions. This guy would be first in line to denounce fundamentalist terrorists of other religions but doesn't see it in himself.
I guess the whole "separation of church and state" doesn't mean anything to this guy... way to educate yourself on the country in which you reside. This country was founded on many principles, including escaping religious persecution. Looks like your ancestors shouldn't have boarded the ship. Sorry, but this isn't a "Christian" country, it's a country comprised of many belief structures and the freedom to believe any one (or more) of them. I am not religious, but I respect the beliefs of others, as should this d-bag.
Plus, you can find countless articles on how many people who detest gays are actually gay themselves. Someone oughta point their finger inwards...
kansas says it all
there will always be lunatics like these pastors just as there will always be lunatics that agree with what they say. The media should keep letting the public know they exist so the disgust with these nuts can continue to grow.
Another post from a twisted person with no morals.
The same chapter of the bible that this lunatic quotes as being against gays, also says:
Eating pork is an abomination punishable by death
Cutting your sideburns is abomination punishable by death
Working on the weekend is an abomination punishable by death
It's perfectly ok to own slaves
It's perfectly ok to sell your daughters into slavery
Anyone who lives their life by this 2,000 year old book of fairytales is suffering from severe mental illness.
I believe that religion is man-made but spirituality is a relationship with the Divine (God, Allah, nature, etc. – whatever you believe in). For example, Christianity as a religion has many denominations and they all believe they are right and they follow the same Bible. Basically, they choose the denomination that they best believe they can follow or think sounds like what God says to them. Even fundamentalists can't actually follow the Bible strictly, they just pick certain passages that they decide to strictly cling to. But a Christian spirituality is a personal relationship with God and Jesus through prayer, etc. This preacher telling me something that goes against what my personal relationship with God tells me is putting himself above God. Preachers should be guidance counselors, not dictators. And stop hating!
Children children children! Play your "lifestyle" games! Be in the world but not of it! Keep God's wills and wants and commandments! In the end of one's life will you know God's Truthfulness! Until then pass away your days being a wittness for God's sake! Treasure the goodness Life throws your way! Love your family and goodly neighbors of faithfilled righteoussness! Tread lightly and leave alone the big sticks! In any life's end will God judge all of anyone's lifestyle!
what? english is not that hard to learn.
So, you're, like, a crazy person?
There are mentally ill preachers in Many religious organizations ,
My bigger concern is how many sheep are lame enough to follow him ?
Is this some 10,000 people or just a dozen showing up at the church of hate ?
He is just following the Bible. In Matthew 5:17-19 Christ makes it very clear that all Mosaic Law is to be upheld.
Aren't Christians nice???
Whoa, the plan now is killing ....F@#k me! now all that fence I bought is useless.. would you idiots please provide a consistent plan or I swear, I'll drop this Christan thing and go back to being a fascist skinhead. Just sayin........
Aren't muslims nice...aren't self centered gays nice? You are like the muslims in the fact that you hate anyone that doesn't agree with you.
It's the Christians promoting the hate....is it not?
Jesus loves everybody. This pastor is a moron
In Matthew 5:17-19 Christ makes it very clear that all 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.
Thanks n832 – now we know what a crackpot Christianity is.
Leviticus also states, among several verses, that you should never eat cloven-hooved animals, or eat creatures from the sea, eat pork, and women that menstruate need to be kept away from people for seven whole days. There is a lot forbidden in the Old Testament, too many to explain here. Read it for yourself. Thank god for the New Testament!
I can see the point about menstruation. I really shouldn't be around anyone when I'm PMS... I've often thought that was a good law... ha ha. But you're right about Leviticus containing some pretty severe punishments for stuff we do every day as a matter of course in our culture... the punishment for adultery was stoning, if I remember correctly. Or if a woman was not a virgin at her wedding, she was also supposed to be stoned. It's IMPORTANT that when Jesus came, he pointed out that no one is able to judge, because we are all filled with sin. He was without sin, but did not cast a stone at Mary Magdalene. This is such an important feature of Christ... that he is able to judge, but wants repentance from us. I'm not going to judge on the whole gay issue. How can we judge, when our priests are the worst offenders of all, victimizing the innocent in the name of God.
Too many christians and not enough lions.
I think that when you judge one person you are judging us all. What will it be next? someone with red hair? some one over 6 ft tall or shorter that 5 feet tall? God teaches love and tolerance not hate. That preacher is not a true Christian if he can preach hate for anyone. If he does not agree with the life style pray for them. God made us all. So why are there gay people....... did God make a mistake? I don't think so. Let's not waste time on these preachers who are always RIGHT.
Pastor Knapp's words are the most eloquent argument for the separation of church and state that I have heard in a long while.
Heil Dummkopf! Willkommen auf der Vierten Reichen, gute Christen.
Jaf...You probably are a cannibal. Jeffery Dahmer was.
Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:
† Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
† Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
† Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
† Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
† Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
† Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
† Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
† Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
† No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
† Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
† Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
† Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
† Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
† Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
† Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
† Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
† All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
† The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
† Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
**Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**
† † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †
PS! the USA is a Christian nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
what on earth is a gothic lifestyle?
You do realize that most atheists seek evidence, proof, etc... something every single one of your claims lacks.....ooops.
you are a total idiot.
Gothic lifestyle = Too many tattooes, white/black, lots of piercings, etc.
We are also more likely to be:
-have higher IQs
-not in jail
-win a Nobel Prize
-live in peaceful, wealthy, prosperous countries
Maybe it's because we use our brains to address unknowns and simply say "God did it."
Reason Number 4 why I left the church: Crazy, narrow-minded people like this guy.
@In God We Trust.
Where did you get your "data"? 15% of the US is irreligious according to the American Religious Identification Study (2008)
You assert that atheists are uneducated. Really? Because I have a doctoral degree as do a number of my disbelieving associates. The overwhelming majority of members of the National Academies of Science are atheists or agnostics. Further, freethinkers often have a better knowledge of Christian scripture and apologetics than many believers.
The rest of your post – sheer nonsense.
Satan created your religion to ensure there can never be peace. You sure hate a lot considering you worship a God that acts way different than you.
wow this is the biggest, most ignorant piece of garbage i've ever read. Your Religion has cause more pain,death, and suffering than any athiest has ever cause.Following a book that was written by kings of old days has to be the most ignorant thing out there. Think freeley, live freely, and die free. Question everything.
"PS! the USA is a Christian nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
US Consti.tution Article IV
"...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
US Consti.tution First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."
and i like how you say atheism is a religion, thats a contradiction. This guy just showed us his IQ is under 80
Oh and by the way, this is not a Christian nation. It's secular.
Astounding! Please tell me you did not breed.
Praise the goat, my friend.
I'm assuming this is a joke. Every single statement is demonstrably wrong...so much so that this has to be satire. I know SOME people believe SOME OF these things, but no one can be that ignorant to believe them all. You can obviously use the internet, so refutation is pretty easy. The one thing that was ALMOST correct was when you said the Bible condemns atheism....but then that statement became false when you added that "the Bible is always right". Unfortunately, although intelligent folks will find this hilarious, a lot of dummies will be going "Yeah, that's right!"
Wow, @InGodWeTrust, I'm a lifelong Bible-believing evangelical, and you, sir(?), make a great case for jumping ship. That rant is full of disdain, hyperbole, and failure to see someone unlike yourself through the eyes of the Savior I assume you think you follow. Had C.S. Lewis encountered only Christians like yourself, I'm afraid he would have had a much harder time leaving atheism and embracing the Christian faith as he so admirably did. There are some mighty bitter, misanthropic, anti-faith diatribes in CNN comment streams, but your efforts aren't making it smell any better around here. Who Would Jesus Chastise? You. (His most harsh verbal cut-downs were reserved for the "faithful" who sat in pious judgment of others.)
No logic could reply to this! It's mindless. I'm an atheist, I'm highly educated, and I have the same social values as my Christian friends and relatives. I raised my children as atheists and they share my values and are upstanding citizens of which any parent of any religion would be proud. And my children (now grown with children of their own), also understand that gays are born that way and if we were in your religion we would have to believe that they are the product of God's work. Maybe you should direct you ire at God since it His fault you seem to be so threatened by His creations.
This is the most stupid ignorant thing I have ever read in my entire life...unless it was satire..then it was funny..either way can't take it or you seriously...
Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind. -LIE
Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated. -LIE
Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists) -LIE
Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle. -LIE
Atheists causes problem in our religious society. -LIE
Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith. -LIE
Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise. -LIE
Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders. -LIE
No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider' -LIE
Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime. -LIE
Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet. -LIE
Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people. -LIE
Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved. -LIE
Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency. -LIE
Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history. -LIE
Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists. -LIE
All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals. -LIE
The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20) -LIE
Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism! -LIE
It just goes to show that Christians can’t even follow one of the basic Ten Commandments by posting all these lies. What a hypocrite
Most of the things you assert are factually untrue. Atheists are mentally ill? Your source? Unless you make statements that are logical, your post will simply be considered a rant. You may think your 'beliefs' make you a better person, but from the evidence above most folks would disagree.
† Christianity is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
† Blind Christianity is an idiot who follows certain parts of a religion while ignoring other parts because all in all the only thing this person knows or understands is what his mawmaw or pawpaw told him in 1948.
† Christianity makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by blind Christians)
† Christians might as well be satanic and have gothic lifestyle. Athiests do not believe in god, or satan for that matter. Most athiests are normal, educated people who seek reason and explination. Most people who live a "gothic" lifestyle are in fact Christian. The "gothic lifestyle" is not a religious way of living, but more so a form of self-expression in ones appearance and hobbies.
† Blinde Christians are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
† Blind Christians are mentally ill, that's why they have no ability to use logical thinking, understand compassion, or actually read and understand the bible fully.
† Blind Christianity won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
† Christianty has been the root of more terrible mass murder leaders" than any other religion or belief.
† Just because a Blind Christian has the need to feel as if they posses a traditional family lifestyle, religious holidays where the give their kids chocolate eggs, dvd gifts on christmas of movies full of women acting as the equals of men (Against the bible), a lack of understanding culture, and the feeling of belonging, does not mean all people need/want/or feel that way.
† Blind Christians are angry, alcohol additcted and in fact commit the most crime.
† Blind Christians try to convert people over internet because they are ignorant and uneducated.
† Christians do not really exist, they just pretend that they believe in God and argue with non-religious people while not knowing very much at all regarding Christianity or the meaning of the bible and disregarding half of what the bible says only to strongly vocalize their stance against the other half of the bible that is against things that they either do not understand or that do not affect them personally.
† Blind Christians have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
† Most Blind Christians are uneducated... PERIOD.
† Christianity brought upon 78% of wars, many of which were the most evil events of all of history.
† Christians cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore it must be a man in the sky.
† All Blind Christians believe in a ghost in the sky that created a bunch of things then told those things in a book to love each other while at the same time hating each other because of who he made them to be, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like fake idiots.
† The Bible says eating pork, women being equal, and men having long hair (among many other things) is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
† Countries where Christianity is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = EVERY COUNTRY HAS THESE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS YOU IDIOT!
**Only 2-3% of the U.S. are smart/educated VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**
hmmm that was easy. and I'm actually a Christian. Just not an ignorant, judgemental one.
I'm a born again Christian. This guy is a nutbag
Sorry to hear that.
why do you need to be born twice?
why would you want to be born again a christian if it did not work out the first time?
How did you get back inside your mom? Did you just turn around and Co e back out? Or did you pull a Jonah and hang around for a while.
How old were you at the time? I'm thinking that if you were more than a couple weeks old, your mom would have been in a lot of pain?
F#$% what the bible says!
Just another DAILY illustration of how rabid and insane the religious right has become in this country.
Amen, my brother...