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)
  1. 2012

    Also doesn't the Bible tell us not to judge?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • DoofenPope Evil Incorporated

      It tells you to sell all your possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Done that yet?

      Of course not – it's really bad advice.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • john

      So if they are judging they should go to hell then too. way back when they had bath houses and in those bathhouses there was men on men. Woman were sometimes there only to give birth. I think that you should just keep your stupid comments to yourself.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • john

      There's nothing right about the bible, been rewritten over and over.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Susan Tetewsky

    Nothing like religion to spread hate throughout the world. This guy would be right at home in Syria killing their own population.

    There is a special place in hell for idiots of this type.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  3. sjenner

    It's a matter of time before some nut takes these continual calls for violence to heart and walks into a gay home, club or parade and starts gunning people down. Of course, that's what Jesus meant when he said to "love your neighbor as yourself."

    May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  4. Jim Ryan

    This guy is PROOF that there is no intelligent designer. How is is branch on the tree of evolution not get pruned?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  5. THUNDER!!


    May 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • john

      Well said, this guy is nothing but lonely and gay himself. he probably likes little children too.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Jesus was a single man, hung around with a bunch of other men, had an artistic profession, was kind to people... Hmmm...

    May 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Really?

      Please dont. Just because one man is a little extreme in his teachings doesnt mean you should make such a comment on the religion. Isnt this what we learned in recent years, that just because there are extremists in Islam that we shouldnt hate and say offensive things about the religion?
      Let the guy have it, please leave offensive comments about Jesus out of it. Its not necessary.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  7. eno1

    Religions sole purpose is to divide people and control the idiot masses....

    May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Guest

      Watch out, your pedestal is getting pretty high up there. I'd hate for you to fall and hurt yourself.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  8. TC

    It's always easy to scream against imagined "sins" that you can't possibly commit yourself. Funny how that works for these sick folks.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  9. jnpa

    If this so-called messenger of God thinks the government should kill all gays then why doesn't God just kill them all himself? On second thought, why did he even create them since they were born that way?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Joe F

      For the same reason that Winnie the Pooh doesn't bring me biscuits with honey for breakfast every morning. Because (capital H) He is imaginary.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Rick

    Jesus offered the world salvation through his message/life of love and forgiveness. This "christian" pastor is a minister of hate and bigotry!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    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 4:07 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    Okay God... bring on your wrath...
    Yea, we are threatened with it all the the friggin' time, so let's just get it over with and bring it.
    Is anyone else getting sick of this BS of how some imaginary figure of a few is somehow going to do damage to someone who doesn't even believe?
    My Flying Spaghetti Monster is going ot get you because you made him mad... so there!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Betty

      You mean he doesnt make you 'scared' lol

      May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Really?

      @Ol' Yeller
      Because your post is the most mature way of refering to someone's religion. Thanks for the example.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Michele

    Pastory Curtis Knapp of Kansas, you should be put to death! I have never heard such a vile speech disguised as Christianity. You sir, have obviously no idea what it means to be a human being, let alone a Christian. I believe the Nazis had the same beliefs some 60 years ago. Haven't we learned anything from history?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Steve

    Wow. Just plain scary. This is exactly the reason why blacks should never / will never forget slavery and civil rights abuses, and Jews will never forget the Holocaust. This country and world is short of so many things but never, ever short on hatred.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Really?

      Your suggestion of saying that we shouldnt forget doesnt really help though, to help get rid of that hatred that is instilled in the new generations for something that doesnt involve them and was done by a generation of the past. It just further divides us when we should be focusing on something productive and working towards getting rid of hate as much as we can...

      May 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  15. Rick

    This pastor a follower of Christ? Not in the least! His words promote hat and Jesus taught love!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  16. zebrakid

    So, the good Pastor quoted Leviticus 20:13 dosent the New Testament ( written after Jesus's death) forgive all that? After all he did die for our sins right??? right??

    May 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Really?

      I'd like to know where Jesus told us it's ok to break commandments. the act of breaking said commandments is defined as 'sin'. He did die for our sins. But that just means that repentance is possible, that mercy can take hold if we repent like He taught. Hate sin, not the sinner, as He taught.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  17. Larry

    One more nutcase reading from the Bible, Phred Felps edition.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Really?


      Agreed. If someone wants to pull bits of the Bible out of context to support what they're saying, just about anyone can support anything claiming the Bible teaches it. The same with any book, record, etc. which is where we get any extremist from.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    The sad thing is according to the Bible he is right. 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.

    According to Jesus, to this day, Christians must not eat pork, wear blended cloth, should murder gays and non-virgin brides, stone their disobedient children and women must marry their rapists.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • .

      TROLL ALERT – click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll. This posts has been answered many times.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • YeahRight

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

      Keep showing the world how dense you are. It's part of the Holiness Code, 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!

      May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • STEVE

      0mg-go away already

      May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

      No rational response has been provided as Christ made it very clear the insane Mosaic Laws stand.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

      @YeahRight, as I replied to you, and as included in the last sentence, according to Jesus the Old Testament Law stands so yes women must marry their rapists. If you can ignore what Christ clearly taught then you can ignore what He said about homosexuality.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Doc Magnus

      I don't think other posters get the sarcasm of your comment or its attempt to point out a literal inconsistency between old and new. In the New Testament, Christ also praised the golden rule, taught us not to judge others, scorned hypocrisy, and said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I was taught, if a more conservative time in a conservative church, that the idea of Christ fulfilling the Old Testament was a confirmation of prophecy, and that there is a distinction between keeping kosher, etc., which was no longer necessary, and following the Ten Commandments, which I think even an atheist would admit, are transcendental teachings (after number one anyway). So, Christ fulfilled the Old Testament's prophecy, the Old Testament's "lesser" dictates are obsolete (otherwise Exodus 22:18 has us all out killing sorceresses), but the Commandments remain divine law within a general stricture of "Be excellent to each other." (Bill & Ted 1).

      Is this closer to what you are saying? The sarcasm is a little oblique and casual readers are confused, unless I'm giving you too much credit.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Really?

      Again, example of someone taking things out of context. You cant just cite a verse and take it as is. You have to know what was going on and what was being talked about in order to understand about what he is refering to when he says 'the Law'.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  19. A Sepent's Thought

    Gays say they can't help themselves but Bi-sensualists can go either way? What's wrong with this picture? Who's kidding who and why and for what goal(s)? The only way(s) the gay agenda can broaden its' population is to encourage the very young to have consideration for becoming part of their gay-cult and stand boldfaced against their parents' heteralist lifestyle!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • tb63

      You're delusional.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • TC

      "Gays say they can't help themselves but Bi-sensualists can go either way? What's wrong with this picture? "


      Some people can be attracted to only one gender, and some people have the ability to be attracted to both genders.

      It's not that difficult to understand.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Really?

      Like TC said, it's a choice. That's all it is. Whether they want to claim they have no choice, that because they were "born that way" that they have no say in the matter, basically saying in a nutshell that they have to give in to every instinct they feel, etc, that's just simply their justification for making that choice.

      May 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  20. Stop Hating

    One word...Holocaust. This guy has obviously learned nothing.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      He learned how to like it. Hitler would be proud of him and these other preachers.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:05 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.