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.
If Sharia Law is banned in the redneck south, does that mean radical christian terrorists don't get to impose their sick values on civilized society?
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Religion is such a hateful thing
Ignorance is such a hateful thing. Get it......nothing but an assertion.
Only for those that bring hate in with them.
I think the government should kill so called pastors! I grew up near this God forsaken town. If this idiot was in Afganastan, we would call him a Taliban Extremist.
People like this man do not deserve a voice...its a shame he found a pulpit with CNN....sometimes it is not productive allowing a racist person to have air time
In this country we do not kill those we disagree with. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't fight them with every legal means available.
I'm pretty sick and tired of reading scripture quoted on these comment boards. Until you take the time to learn Hebrew and Aramaic, you're simply spewing shoddy translations at best.
its all a fairy tale anyway, no matter what language its from.
Thank You!!! I studied theology extensively in college and could not agree more. If you look at the meaning of just ONE word and how it has changed over the past 2,000 years it is shocking. Any English translation taken of The Bible taken literally is not only naive, but sorely incorrect.
Which of the following groups lacks the mental capacity to realize that the World is not only 6,000 years old and did not begin with one man, one woman and a talking snake?
(a) New Guinea highlanders who have never had access to even a basic education
(b) unfortunate children who were deprived of oxygen at birth
(c) po.odles and corgis; or
(d) fundamentalist and evangelical Christians
Time to educate: Christians believe this is a MORAL issue. It has nothing to do with the person themselves, only the behavior. It would be no different than stealing, killing or cheating. Now some of you may say that morality doesn't exist or that it is subjective. Problem then becomes why should I listen to any of you? Morality doesn't change (not in the OT or the NT). Customs and culture's change, but morals do not. This is the classic IS/OUGHT argument. Oh and by the way, for those that say we should mind our own business....... notice that this point of view is .......anyone?........anyone?.......yes your own MORAL belief and you wish to impose it on people. Do you see the inherent hypocrisy?
It is different than stealing, killing and cheating for at least 2 reasons. 1) They are consenting to an act that does not harm another; and 2) These radical Christians aren't advocating for people to be killed for the aforementioned harmful crimes, yet want people put to death for loving each other.
It is a moral issue – duh!!! Look at the Congo where all the women are being ra-ped. When a nation fails morally, lawlessness takes over and you have what we are seeing is some other nations – Grow up. Many of the people on this blog do not have any forsight of the future or how these decisions will affect the nation down the road
"Time to educate: Christians believe this is a MORAL issue. It has nothing to do with the person themselves, only the behavior."
It's not a moral issue it's a civil rights issue, marriage is a civil right. The experts have proven that being gay is not a choice, it's not a mental illness and it can't be voluntarily changed. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
I would refer to the CDC website. Again, on the surface it seems harmless but humanity has taken something sacred to God and perverted it. By that logic, whats to keep pedophiles from "loving" kids or people from "loving" farm animals. What you do for one you have to extend the courtesy to others. Slippery slope, my friend.
"By that logic, whats to keep pedophiles from "loving" kids or people from "loving" farm animals. What you do for one you have to extend the courtesy to others. Slippery slope, my friend."
Thanks for proving you don't understand the facts on this issue. The experts have proven you wrong. By the way since you were to lazy to do your homework, children and animals can't consent. DUH!
Lol another ridiculous comparison of being gay to beastiality and ped.ophilia. First of all there is something called consent, also gays do not harm other gays like a ped.ophile would harm a child.
"Yeahright" What would say if a rapist, child molester, or person who sleeps with animals were found to be incapable of suppressing these urges? And these "association" deemed they were "born" that way, would you still be okay with letting this behavior continue? Of course not. You realize that morality does exist and is objective. Excuse me if I'm not impressed by these people you reference. It is not at all impossible in this day and age to find a person or group of people that will find a way to validate or normalize abhorrent behavior.
"I would refer to the CDC website"
So you're going to use diseases as a reason to block peoples civil rights now? LMAO!
""Yeahright" What would say if a rapist, child molester, or person who sleeps with animals were found to be incapable of suppressing these urges? And these "association" deemed they were "born" that way, would you still be okay with letting this behavior continue? Of course not
Yo moron, you're talking about issues that harm other people. A gay relationship is two consenting adults loving each other for the long term just like straight people. Wow you have no clue about the facts on this issue. Your prejudice and bigotry is based on lies.
"Excuse me if I'm not impressed by these people you reference."
LMAO! The hundreds of thousands of experts that disagree with you cause your ego can't handle you're wrong.
And yet some of them are suggesting killing a PERSON, millions or PERSONS, not an imagined behavior.
The CDC reference was to show you the devastating effects of a gay lifestyle. What many people fail to realize is that this is not a civil rights issue. It is about validation. They seek to redefine marriage and in doing so gain legitimacy in the world. Obama could give the gay community full federal benefits (same as hetero) and this would still not be enough. Most people don't care who you sleep with or the fact that your gay. Your upset because most "Americans" a large part who are not religious, do not agree with your behavior. Despite your tireless efforts in media (Movies, Music, Sitcoms) People are inundated daily with these visuals, and yet your still losing. Don't get me wrong, I still love you for who you are, but I will concede my values in order to make you feel better about your behavior. The jury is still out an just how much damage will be done to society down the road. One last thought, it seems to me that if this was a Civil rights issue; the very people who have suffered the most in this area would be for you (Black Americans). Recent polls show (CNN) that blacks overwhelming oppose gay marriage. Notice the silence......now be careful; you don't want to offend them. You'd be seen as a bigot!!!!!!!!! Gays vs Blacks (who's the bigger victim)
“The CDC reference was to show you the devastating effects of a gay lifestyle”
There are lifestyles that straights live they are just as devastating, Plus, AIDS was started in the by straights. Duh!
“What many people fail to realize is that this is not a civil rights issue. It is about validation.”
It’s already be validated which is why the experts have released the statements they did. It is also a civil rights issue because the US Supreme Court ruled in a biracial decimation case on marriage that marriage is a civil right! Duh!
“They seek to redefine marriage and in doing so gain legitimacy in the world.”
It’s already legal in many states and it hasn’t had the effect you’re whining about. Duh!
“Your upset because most "Americans" a large part who are not religious, do not agree with your behavior.”
I am not gay by the way and 50% of people aren’t upset with the lifestyle. Duh!
“Don't get me wrong, I still love you for who you are, but I will concede my values in order to make you feel better about your behavior.”
Your poor behavior in your unjustified prejudice and bigotry while fueling the hate towards this minority groups proves your worse than those you condemn. Duh!
“The jury is still out an just how much damage will be done to society down the road.”
You’re using the same argument that prejudice people used when trying to block African Americans and women civil rights. There were people that thought African Americans should be separate but equal too and they were proven wrong. Just like YOU are wrong.
You are a prejudice bigot who's opinions are based on real facts.
Yeah right! I see the self-refutation in your commentary. You call me a prejudiced bigot inferring that since I do not believe as you do I am wrong? You seem to feel that I am intolerant of a certain group of people? In fact, you would agree that we as a society should respect others opinions, beliefs and values? Well in the name of TOLERANCE, why do you not TOLERATE mine? Get the picture? You saying I'm judgmental while making JUDGMENTAL comments about me. Can't have it both ways buddy.......
"You call me a prejudiced bigot inferring that since I do not believe as you do I am wrong? You seem to feel that I am intolerant of a certain group of people? In fact, you would agree that we as a society should respect others opinions, beliefs and values? Well in the name of TOLERANCE, why do you not TOLERATE mine? Get the picture? You saying I'm judgmental while making JUDGMENTAL comments about me. Can't have it both ways buddy..."
Oh please what a pathetic excuse of trying to justify your unfounded prejudice and bigotry. I am quoting what hundreds of thousands of experts are stating about gays. DUH! That's the point. You are blatantly ignoring the REAL facts on this subject, that being gay is NOT a choice, it's NOT a mental illness and it CAN"T be voluntarily changed. This is an issue about CIVIL RIGHTS! You probably would have said that stupid statement to African American's and Women back in the day too. You are nothing but a prejudice bigot spreading unfounded hatred and lies about this minority group and yes that shouldn't be tolerated. DUUUUHHHHHH!
I'll bet a million bibles that this guy is really gay.
thought the same thing.
It's nut jobs like this that give christianity a bad name, which in my point of view is good, organized religion is evil, and the faster we get rid of religion the better this world will be. I know most Christains don't agree with his statement, but if you are a christian, then you are in the same group and the world will see you as such.
Be careful what u wish 4 my friend. This world is on the brink of disaster which just what the Bible predicts just before Jesus returns.
Soon, when HUGE disasters happen, the politicians will unite w/ THE world religious leader to get EVERYBODY on their side.
YOU will join in because by this time CASH will be 'interact' They will issue financial boycott on anyone who disagrees.
If only we could get the Christians to just agree on their religion. They're more split than the Muslim sects. How many variations on Christianity are there these days? Every time they disagree with part of their religion, they change it to suit them and just adopt a new name. That's why you can't hold an intelligent conversation with a group of them; because they can't even agree on what their religion is.
Maybe we should go back to the Romans and throw the christians to the Lions
Thank-you CNN for stirring up more hatred for the Christian community. Look at all of these comments!!?? You are responsible for this as a news or-ganization. Very unbalanced reporting at a fragile time between these two groups. You are like a 10 year with a machine gun
You are like a 10 year old that believes in Santa Claus.
I don't think most people hate Christians, we just don't think they are very smart or well eductaed.
If you guys stopped being so stupid, CNN wouldn't have anything to report.
They should also stop reporting on anything that happens, no matter how newsworthy, if the person involved happens to be affiliated with any type of group. You know, just to be fair. Murderer? Well, he's a Christian, so don't print it. Pedophile? Well, he's a member of the GOP, so let's nix that. YEESH! Is that a real throught process you had? Or some kind of aneurism?
CNN hunts the globe and finds every backwards, hillbilly christian who is a jerk and then reports it like this is who we are!!!! You know two can play that game.....lets go looking in the gay community closet and see what we find...hmmmm
Mila, I guess you're just throwing up an idea with no real basis on how to prove it
Mila, probably your father, brother and a few ex-boyfriends.
This is why I left the church years ago even though I was raised Christian and attended a Christian school. I couldn't sit in the pew and pretend to believe, nor would I choose to believe the the ideas I felt were illogical, morally corrupt and lacking in reason. The idea of questioning the bible, we were taught, was the devil "testing you." Actually it was a reasonable mind saying, "aaaah no, that just sounds a bit goofy." We also were taught that gays would go to hell. Then I met gays, found out they weren't scary, they didn't try to "change me" and were often way more intelligent than those who were condemning them. People just want to live their life. I don't believe in creationism / intelligent design etc. But if man was created in god's image, why did god create people who were gay? The hate continues, my decision to leave the church all those years ago...was a good one. I don't preach or promote my atheistic views to anyonoe, but I find them very comfortable and accommodating. Hate on my Christian brothers and sisters...hate on.
it is a good thing the vast majority of americans are christians in name only – cino – and prefer not to know or just ignore the uncivilized contents of their so-called book.
What an ignorant statement. Southern Fool is more like it....we love and stand for the bible. Jesus preached love and we who read the bible follow it....the largest part of the poor in the world today are fed by christians. the largest care coming to orphans today are from Christians – wake up
Maybe its time to start eliminating some of the religious nuts that are wishing death on innocent people.
Sick and primitive.
I would imagine that Hitler probably sounded very similar to these guys when he spoke of the Jews. People shouldn't be so full of hate toward someone just because their beliefs are different or they don't follow your rules. This is sad.
Good to know hypocrisy is live and well within Christianity. First, the "religious leaders" complain about government interference in religions, then they call on government to kill people based on a twisted, sadistic religious belief. What's sick about this is that I'm not all surprised. Organized religion, the biggest scam the world has ever known.
Liking being penetrated in the anus is not normal. It is sadomasochism
Lots of folks do. Gay men. Straight men. Straight women.
Um, I'm not all that sure about lesbians on this one, but probably.
Lesbians like it too to my lucky surprise, Bobama.
It's only sadomasochism if you're doing it wrong. Try a smaller b*tt plug.
When you talk about being anus penatrated, are you talking about gay men, or priests and altar boys?
Tell me again how fundamental Christians are different from the nutballs in the Middle East.
That we don,t blow up people in the name of God, that we believe in Jesus as our savior, that He died for all of humanity sin and some other beautiful and wonderful things
You have in the past. Perhaps you have forgotten about the Crusades and the Indian wars.
No, but you do have a history of displacing entire races of people and blowing up women's clinics in the name of God.
Because those nutballs in the Middle East will kill you for speaking against Islam. You wouldn't dare say anything against them. You have no problem doing that with Christians. There is a difference.
Yeah, Christians just claim that you hate America.
Fundamentalist Christians may not kill you in person, but they have a history of killing people's souls through blacklisting anyone who disagrees with them.
Better check with an American Indian on that one.
Alex, you're right, you guys don't blow up any bodies. You just like blowing up minds and making them useless.
The other "beautiful and wonderful things" you guys do include condemning non-believers to hell simply because they don't believe, that the whole universe was created in 6 24-hour days 6,000 years ago, and we are all cursed because some woman ate an apple.
The Bible doesn't say that Eve ate an apple, as it does not specify what fruit was eaten.
The Bible doesn't state that Eve ate an apple. It only states that she ate the fruit.
"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." – Bertrand Russell.
That day can't come soon enough for me. It's incidents like these that show how harmful religion really is. It's just ancient mythology and ignorant superst!tious nonsense. When will human beings become intelligent enough to throw off the shackles of ancient mythology and stop living in fantasy worlds?