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.
Intolerance and crooked politicians are killing America!
There are two things that I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch!
Did anyone watch the video? This pastor is an obvious closeted gay man. He's simply aligning with his "enemies" to keep his secret safe and sound. It really is too bad that America has so many ignorant idiots like this guy. We live in a racist, bigot-rich country. Very sad.
If we oppose guys people say we are ignorant, gays are ridiculous, is a nature aberration, if all the world were gays that would be the end of humankind 'cause they cannot reproduce themselves, that's why if you love this planet you should hate guys.
Looks like this guy is too scared to use the G word
So I'm guessing we should kill all retarded people too....? Maybe anyone with ADD or Alzheimers too...? Those are all "abberrations" too. Way to flash your ignorance. Pathetic and sad.
Why do people who choose to be ignorant about science come onto message boards and demonstrate that ignorance for all to see?
oops....If we oppose gays people say we are ignorant, gays are ridiculous, is a nature aberration, if all the world were gays that would be the end of humankind 'cause they cannot reproduce themselves, that's why if you love this planet you should hate gays.
Also we should build an electric fence to hold gays
The government should kill people who want gays to be killed. Some pastor, that wasn't very Christian of you. Hope you are not calling yourself a prophet of God. Actually I think God should strike you dead.
@nancy: are you advocating killing?
I think these so called christians should be rounded up and put behind a fence....
Knapp and his ilk are clearly indulging in hate speech from the pulpit. Then again, that's what most Xians do normally. It really is quite a mystery how a 'religion' supposedly founded on loving one's neighbor has turned itself into a hotbed of virulent bigotry. Either they're condemning someone or something else or they're patting themselves on the back for being righteous while boffing the organist's wife (or, in the case of the Romans, the altar boys). It's all about power, division and exclusion.
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.
@n: how many times are you going to post the same thing? LOL you are just baiting people LOL.
And yet WOW can post fundiots lies over and over?
Can you feel the love tonight?
Religion is for the illiterate and the brian damaged.
We will find out later that these preachers are, in fact, gay themselves. It always turns out that way, doesn't it? Just wait for the CNN report about the "inappropriate incident" that happened in a seedy men's bathroom, or some choir boy coming forward about the preacher touching him.
Politically, Gay is the new Black. When we have a female "very ethnic" lesbian as President, then the US will have finally come full circle. It will probably take another 200 years to achieve it.
I'm not a Christian, so I'm not breaking any rules when I say that I kinda hope someone murders this guy
Oh Drew. I know you don't mean that. Please don't stoop to his level. Unfortunately, someone will kill FOR HIM...
Man! With the vocal extremists in your country it almost looks like you're all spoiling for a repaeat of the civil war.
Don't even tempt me...
It's Sherman's fault for not finishing the job while he was down there.
Honestly, what is the difference between these people and the islamic imams who preach pretty much the same kind of message directed at westerners? Absolutely Nothing!
I agree. Maybe the people who keep passing legislation preventing establishment of Sharia law should stop following the tenets of Sharia law.
This particular pastor seems to find murder perfectly acceptable. He is like yeah I know God said not to murder in the ten commandments, but I am sure he didnt mean that when it came to gay people.
According to the BIble he is right on. 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.
Why do you keep repeating the same thing over and over even when it doesnt have anything to do with the post you are responding to?
Because people are ignorant about what Christ said.
"In Matthew 5:17-19 Christ makes it very clear that all Mosaic Law is to be upheld."
How many times are you going to post this crap. No it doesn't it was part of a ritual manual for Israel's priests.. So are you going to tell women now they have to marry their rapists and all the other sins listed in that particular scriptures? Duh!
Because people are ignorant about what Christ said.
Christ never said that. FAIL
n8362 does not understand what hearsay is. His faith is based 100% on hearsay. His faith, quotes and belief in the bible is not relevent.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Never Again. Never again can we allow poeple to think that saying the extermination of a group of people is okay. It doesn't matter if your religion says to kill a group of people. This goes way beyond the marriage debate– this is people who want to kill people for being different. The Republican party needs to separate themselves from these people publically, not buddy up to them in the hopes for votes. They want to KILL AMERICANS for being different- why is this okay? It is not okay. NEVER AGAIN.
Miriz: I applaud you. BEAUTIFULLY worded.
Most of us don't want them destroyed. we just want them to get their glorification of their lifestyle out of our childrens faces and stop the weakening of our national defense just so some guy can suck someone.
I had not seen those words before today. Thank you.
Jack- How can you be so mis- informed ? National Defense- Really? Get a life and stop worrying about others.
I agree. This is crazy and too reminiscent of not that long ago. Hatred is ignorance. Killing people because they are different is insanity.
weaking our national defense?\
That's a stretch
hey jack a$$, how many ads did you see from gay community that glorify their practice? and how many do you see that condemn it? All they want is to have the same rights as everyone AND BE LEFT ALONE..
Do they do their acts in front of children? No!
Do they do it WITH them? No!
Do they encourage others to follow them? No!
How did you even get the children into the argument? Also, *surprisingly* all of the above get a yes for "devout relegious" folk. So, if you really mean what you say, you would ban religion.
Aww– thanks guys!
@Jack: what is this "gay lifestyle" you talk about? I'm pretty sure that the "lifestyle" my wife and I live revolves around getting our kids to soccer practice and football games. As far as our influence on your kids goes? Tell your kids how you believe and I will tell my kids how I believe. But why should I have to tell my kids not to be afraid that the government will kill their moms? My mother's cousin survived the Holocaust as a young child and we grew up hearing her stories. I am a gay Jew. These threats are very real to me.
Miriz – Thank you for putting one of the most rational, calm and CORRECT posts here. And to @Jack – I'm not sure what world you are living on, but it sure isn't the one the rest of us are on.
Perfect response to this situation, I applaud you.
Another lunatic hiding behind God's words.
This guy is a a PERFECT REENFORCEMENT for WHY I AM AN ATHEIST!
i am with you all the way john and eric
are you f***** kidding me you think people should die because of whome people love,
you F***** @$$ hole, im not gay but i know people who are gay and you think they should die because of what a peice of paper says (note: it was written 2,000 years ago genius(no offense)) rules change k
You want people to like you when you say lets kill people (who are you hitler?)
and you just dont want to take the blame if one would happen to die so you say let the goverment do it for me you S***
They should be weeded out. Along with crimminal's and welfare abusers.
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!
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
Funny . . . I think most of those things apply to religious people, especially that first one about religion making "you stupid, ignorant & blind."
EXACTLY describes America's faithful!!!!
@Sad but true
Do you understand the difference between "fact" and "truth"? The USA is not and never has been a "Christian Nation" and the founders of this nation were VERY specific when they said things like "Congress shall not enact laws based on any religion that abridge the rights of others." They really didn't leave much wiggle room for agrument. No one is asking you to believe differently (that would be unAmerican), do not ask me to believe differently (that would be unAmerican).
so you dont believe that evolution is real and true? you are the idiot sir/maam!
You are the sick one. There is no creator and you are delusional. Please seek help. There is no god.
yikes, you are one scary person!
Although I do believe that most of the Atheist posters here are an embarrassment to mainstream Atheism I think that your post is a gross misrepresentation of Atheism. Go and do your homework and don't resort to copy and pastes to get your post across.
So you want to murder gay people? ... yikes.
America is not a Christian nation. It's an every nation! Quit being a bigot. Embrace the chaos.
Dear Sad but True: You aren't thinking about chewing someone's face off by any chance, are you?
I am no longer inclined to identify myself as a Christian. I believe in God, I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ – but I will no longer associate myself with a "religion" which is nearly 180 from what I was taught in the church when i was a child.\
How about this – I think all pastors should be put behind a fence to die out, or killed by the government – why? because I don't like their lifestyle.
Actually our nation was not founded on Christianity, but on religious freedom. So, we're more of a nation in which you are free to be Christian, or not.