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. SSampson

    If all Mulsims are terrorists because some use the Quran's message by interpreting portions of it to justify thier attacks, then aren't all Christians murderers because some interpret portions to justify the killing of Gays???

    People say the Quran is ALL evil (espeically those who haven't read it) even though many say certain passages are misinterpreted.... And the Bible says 'love thy neighbour and thou shalt not kill' and yet here we have 'Christians' saying the Bible justifies killing Gays....

    All strange stuff to me – But personally, I don't judge people based on religion or anything else.... even though I do think religion itself is a tool to subdue common sense by those who want power.... (via an imaginary being created by people 1000s of years ago because they couldn't answer some basic questoins about existance)

    Like the Vatican – involved with murder, genocide, pedophilia, money laundering etc... i.e. what we would normally call 'Organized Crime' and use the RICO statue to arrest and prosecute all members of that organization....

    If we had science BEFORE religion, religion would not exist....Just as Religion is always trying to supress Science...- from the world being flat.... to burning people for witchcraft

    May 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • jasmine

      There are fanatic christians,fanatic muslims and so on. Its people like this that have their own interpretation of the book itself. They are spreading hate and I am sure both religions would not condone such behavior.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  2. Deven

    This is why I don't believe in god. Because of people like this guy.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Howdy

      Not even Jesus Christ himself would believe in their "God".

      May 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • jasmine

      You could love god and not religion.............this guy is a fanatic and he may have missed the commandment that says"thou shall not kill". God taught love not hate. This pastor has missed that msg. by spreading hate towards gays by saying they should all die. Instead of trying to save them from their obvious demise( according to the bible) he is allready condemning them.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  3. mr turner

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviticus_18.... mmmm so ya better get busy mr pastor ,,,,dont just nit pick what ya wnt to pick if the word of god is 100% dont take 2% and preach it

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

      According to Christ in Matthew 5:17-19 all the crazy Mosaic Laws still apply.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Robairdo

      He said he was not there to destroy God's law and he didn't The only law from the old testament that was gods law was the ten commandments which he restated in his covenant, so he didn't destroy. As for the prophesies he didn't destroy that either, he full filled them and at that point they became history. He repeatedly rebuked Mosaic Laws through the gospels by working on the sabbath, saving adulteres from stoning, divorce, etc.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  4. dave

    Too bad they choose not to follow all of Christs teaching ... "love one another..." "judge not lest ye be judged..." " pull the mote from one's own eye before pulling it from anothers." It just show what hypocrites they really are.
    Are we going to have to defend ourselves against these maniacs? I own a gun, thank you NRA.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Joe Shmoe


    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  6. Christian

    Anyone who promotes killing anyone else is wrong. Or am I missing something. The 10 commandments clearly state thou shall not kill. There are no conditions on it like if they were gay it is OK to kill them. It does not say thou shall not kill, unless that person is gay. What ever happened to God being the only one that judges. How can these "Christians" judge another human and pronounce a death sentence on them. If God wants someone dead, he will do so. Sounds like the power these "Pastors" have over their congregation has gone to their head. Another extremist to watch out for.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      And Leviticus says to kill many different types of people.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Best Reason I Found To Your Question

      @Hawaii Guest...

      The New Testmanent does not negate the Old Testament, rather it teaches that certain rulings no longer apply in the age of grace. That does not nullify the OT, it merely states that some rules no longer apply.

      For example, the OT ruling for adultery is stoning. Yet Jesus Christ himself showed us how to act when he said "let him with no sin cast the first stone." There are many similar verses (for example the verse "it is not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him, but rather what comes out" which shows that the deitary laws of the OT no longer apply in the age of grace) that tell us which parts of the rules in the OT no longer apply in the age of grace.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Where does Jesus say you no longer need to stone unruly children? Or kill "witches"? All you're doing is taking passages from different gospels and interpreting them to mean whatever you want. That kind of thinking has led to the thousands of denominations out there. Why would your interpretation be any more right than any other denominations?

      May 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • jasmine

      I sincerely do not look at this pastor as a "true christian" with his thought process to kill all gays. Thats radical...thats extremist.............and thats just wrong.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Then you have better morals than the god of the bible. Congratulations, and so sarcasm is meant here.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  7. Howdy

    It hasn't dawned on these poor ignorant souls that God is Love, not a book.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Afghanistan Bananistan

      This is the same God who is going to torture most of the human race for the rest of eternity in his concentration camp?

      May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Howdy

      Definitely not.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Km72

      You're partially right. God is love. However, many Christians and others fail to realize that Jesus is the Word of God. Read John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." NIV

      May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  8. zackjus

    You can't argue with ignorance!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  9. derp

    This guy obviously s uc ks a ton of d ic k.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  10. Mutt Nominee

    The Government is trying to do something with a virus that deletes the God Gene from religous people, so hopefully soon the Religous zealots will finally be sedated.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  11. Mare Nostrum

    What brotherly love!! Actually, this pastor fits the typical bus station restroom cruising closet profile. He is probably suffering terribly while repressing his hidden male desires. What a tragedy.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  12. DaveInPA

    This is the "Christian" lunatic fringe. Ignore them.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  13. bpb

    No better than the crazy muzzies.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  14. derp

    Hate the belief, not the believer.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  15. DaveW

    I wonder what he's up to behind his closet door.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • buckcameron

      Obviously trying to deny that he's gay. He should get professional help to accept who he is. Self hate is very damaging.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  16. Walker

    Lol...It's in The Bible. Bible tells you to stone your children to death if they are unruly. Bet he doesn't preach that tune. Bible says it's OK to own a slave, how to treat your slave and how much to pay your slave. Bet he doesn't preach that tune, especially to the black pulpit. Oh and before some moron points out to me that Jesus Christ and the new testiment is all about love. These messages are in that book as well. Plus, this supposed Jesus says that "all laws my father has laid down are true today as they were before." One last thing, the Bible also states that this all powerful god tortured and murdered his son to forgive sins of ppl that this god knows will sin and will continue to sin after the death of Jesus. And on top of all that God is Jesus, so what sacrifice did Jesus even make?
    My Point?????? ppl who believe stuff just because it's in the bible are morons and ppl who selectively pick only certain passages out of the bible to justify their prejudices are manipulators on a power trip.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  17. chaing

    If I am correct the Bible also said something about 'false prophets' and to beware of their BS. or something like that. This guy sure helps validate his word.........My concern is who in the world would listen to this crap? Who are his congregation? I hope they have FBI files open.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  18. Robairdo

    So what did Christ say to the only hom ose xua1 he met?

    "You have greater faith then anyone in the whole of Israel " FACT IT IS IN THE BIBLE under both Mathew and Luke!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  19. dizzylucy

    What a sad and disgusting display of hatred and bigotry. These people could not be more un-Christian.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

      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.

      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 4:22 pm |
    • Howdy

      Just like the Pharisees before them, they confuse the law for truth.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  20. longtooth

    If I believed in prayer, I would pray for all these knuckleheads.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:20 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.