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.
Behold, ye, the Mittens Base.
Love the sinner hate the sin. Killing gays would be killing people, killing people is a sin, so that pastor is just as sinful as the gay populace. There are plenty of hate filled pastors in hell.
Just have the courage to say what you believe. Your little paper "love the sinner hate the sin" shield is as flimsy as, well, paper.
Being gay is not a sin, nor is it a choice; hating on gays is both.
How would youknow? Been to hell lately?
Love the believer, hate the belief.
God killed plenty of people according to the bible. Is he a sinner ?
If you think that being gay is the SAME as killing someone then there is something seriously wrong with you.
Makes me wish there was a Jesus that could rise from the dead and lay the smackdown on all these bigoted charlatans. Like in a Samuel L. voice, "My bible teaches love, not hate you muthahumpah" then a bit*hslap of biblical proportions.
I think these so called christians had bettrer sweep off their own door steps before saying gays should be killed. A real true Christian would never say anything like this. These people who call their selfs Born again Christians they have ghost following them and thet is why they think they should be born again. OMG! This born again crap! I have never known a person who died and was then born again and I do not think any of you have either. But to think a preacher or what even you'd like to call these people who think gays should be all dead maybe they should take a step back and look at their own life before saying things about others as well. Personally I do not think they even know anything about gays either. So I do think you should go back to school before you preach another word of GOD as God would not even think the way you think about gays. I also know about all these churches do not want any part with gays either but remember KARMA! Its on it was to get you and faster than you think. GOd bless all oF YOU CHRISTIANS who have so much hate in your lives for GAYS!
I do not think the government should kill them.
I believe that they should just segregate them from normal human beings. Good for them, they don't have to deal with normal people's criticisms, good for us, we don't have to suffer and gag as they attempt to shove their corrupt lifestyles down our throats.
Everyone lives in peace, until they finally die off, from lack of procreation. That's what I call a winning strategy, for everyone. I mean sure, the strange ones will fade away, but at least they will go living the life that they chose, while at the same time not being able to influence any regular people with sinful ways.
...yet meanwhile, common, decent people have to "suffer and gag" from the proximate existence of people like you, spouting your ignorant hatred and bigotry proudly like a 10 cent wh ore waving her dirty pan ties in an old lady's face on national television.
Gays are shoving their lifestlye down your throat? Ha. Don't be so graphic ! Can you imagine what I'm picturing?
First, I do not think the human race is in any danger from dieing off....
Second, wo exactly, are the "regular" people. You?
Don't pay any attention, you guys. 'Truth' has this idea that gay people will break into his/her house and shove things in places. And Truth? Dont even pretend you'll gag. I highly doubt you have a gag reflex.
1. I hear all the time about how the gay lifestyle is being shoved down everyone's throat. Yet I never hear examples. EVER. Can you please give some? I live in a state that allows gay marriage and work in another. Not once have I been dragged into a gay forced conversion chamber. Everyone I know who was straight before is still straight now.
2. So...gay people only come from other gay people? You do realize gay people were born to, at minimum, mothers who were straight for a night. Where do you think gay people come from??? Do you think before you...ah nevermind.
That remark was disgraceful.
All gay people have been born with a mother and father. Segregate them all you want. 10% (approximately) of all births will result in a gay human. To be separated from you and the likes of you is just a wonderful thought
"I believe that they should just segregate them from normal human beings"
Gays are normal human beings. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. 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."
You're on a roll! Don't stop there... For the same reasons, we should forcibly isolate, sterilize, and possibly euthanize anyone who (a) is mentally retarded, (b) has a genetic disorder, or (c) is nearsighted. Clearly, God did not make these people to be perfect, either, so why tolerate them? Having them around just means we are more likely to catch their abominable conditions, right?
Please tell us what the logical stopping point to murdering the imperfect will be, you moron.
If he was of Muslim background he would be considered a terrorist.... What makes one person better than the other? If some one can't be "Gay" then Everyone should not be able to practice religion on any kind. Same principle apply's to all. If you dont want people telling you what to do, then dont tell people what to do.
Why so many still believe in religious bigotry in 2012? I don't get it.
Can someone cite a bible verse where Jesus says you can embrace the parts of the OT you like and dismiss the parts you don't like ?
Oh... the ol' "Let's-get-the-government-to-do-our-dirty-work" routine. Yeah, that's how they crucified Christ too. The temple priests couldn't do it, so they got the Romans to do it. Some things never change.
And this preacher, like Pontius Pilate, would "wash his hands of it" if the government starting doing the killing...
My money says he is a NASCAR fan
Im a christian.... This Man Does Not Represent Me!!!!!!
Whatever. He's quoting accurately from your Holy Book. Deal with it.
Okay, fine, but why do so many Christians have so much difficulty with basic English?
You must not be a Christian. He is spot on for Christians.
I support throwing christians to the lions so I guess we're about even.
(though the gays don't seem to be calling for the extermination of those religious wackos, so it's not really an eye for an eye.)
Damn straight. Nero had the right idea. Christians make excellent torches.
Maybe the government should kill religious fundamentalists instead. They actually cause a lot more harm to society. Never heard of a gay man bombing an abortion clinic, organizing a lynch mob or other such acts of terrorism.
"Thank god" for secular government.
And I was worried about Sharia Law taking hold in the USA.
Only if Santorum gets in office.
I live in Carolina, people like him is why a carry a gun.
Okay, now I have two good reasons to avoid the Carolinas.
The fake is surely going to Hell
One day, probably not in our lifetime, religion will ultimately and finally fade into nonexistence. People will read about us and wonder how we could have been so stupid. The way we feel when we read about 19 people (and a dog) who were hanged for being witches in 1692. Our "faith" comes from the fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of not seeing our loved ones again, and fear of suffering in the "afterlife". Lose the fear, people. It's how the ignorant masses have been controled for thousands of years. Death feels like the time before you were conceived. Did you suffer then?
Wow where did you get that crystal ball man. Religion is crazy, but fortune telling isn't?
Just using deductive reasoning there, Sue. The ancient Greeks believed in multiple gods. We call them "myths" now. I believe all other religions will suffer the same fate one day. Or, maybe I DO have a crystal ball! It's about as useful as the bible.
Actually deductive reasoning would tell you, if you are being honest, that while many local religions have come and gone, Christiantiy, Islam and a few others have continued to grow throughout history. But don't let the facts get in your way.
"Christiantiy, Islam and a few others have continued to grow throughout history. But don't let the facts get in your way."
Cite your source on that since CNN just did a piece on people leaving the church.
I think this fine fellow should show his faith in the lord's protection by jumping into a furnace lol!
The government should kill him. He completely contradicted his own view. He's a complete idiot.
He's a moron, alright, but the government shouldn't kill *anybody*, gay, moronic or otherwise. A government with the power of life and death over its citizens is the real abomination, regardless of whatever Bronze Age tribal scriptures have to say on the subject.
If anti-gay christians truly have faith in the Bible, shouldn't they be satisfied in their belief that God will keep gays out of heaven? This is after all just life on earth, isn't it??? Why don't these crazies work on their own final destinations instead of worrying about everyone elses.
God will destroy gays. The problem is that they also bring God's wrath on the nation. We cannot ever be a righteous nation until we solve the gay problem.
I mark your forehead with the sign of the TROLL.
Excellent point! It's like the religious nuts who try to ban books in schools. Why can't they just keep their kid from reading it? Why do they have to stick their noses in everyone else's business? I think the answer is because their bible tells them to. This, in itself, is a paradox.
Sure the atheistic govt in China and Russia didn't kill people and ban books at all.
Gibb – your god isn't smart enough to just kill the "bad" ones? He hasn't evolved past the 3rd grade teacher's method of punishing the whole class for a bad kid or two?
Funny how your god is impotent, petty and vicious as you. God didn't make man in his own image. Man made (and makes) god in his own image.
@gibb. What do you have in mind for "solving the problem", the final solution ? That sounds familiar.
"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."
– Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2
Susie, your apparent hard-on for going on about Russia and China for pages is getting old.
The New Testament does not call for punishing anyone for sins. The only action taken against those who deny God's truth or continue to sin in rebelion to God is to removve them from the church and treat them as non believers. The church is not here ti judge but to warn people.
sam– Wow I was truly impressed by your reasoned response to my comment. You should probably get back to your 4th grade social studies class now.
Aw, Susie, that's so cute! The good old 'you must be immature in comparison to my wisdom' schtick. Are you new to the internet?
You're floundering here. Give up before you embarass yourself too much more.
I cannot say this with 100% certainty, but I definitely think fundamentalist christians must have some of the lowest IQ's found anywhere on Earth. Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ which are the New Testament yet these goons pick and choose scriptures from the Old Testament (Judaism) and blend them up to support their own values. How can they proclaim to be Christian when Christs teachings are not of the Old Testament? This in many ways is the same extremism that some Islamists interpret into Islam.
I'm not so sure Jesus told everyone to ignore the old testament. Until he does, you will have this problem.
Jesus explicitly told everyone to obey the old covenants to the last degree. He never said his death would change anything. That was part of Paul's weirdness. Indeed, Jesus expected the end of the world within a couple decades, so he really was not trying to church-build or create lasting doctrine.
hobbling...The Old Testament Laws were a Covenant between the Hebrews and God...they do not apply to Gentiles and this is reiterated in the New Testament. If you have minimal knowledge about something don't try to use it in a debate.
It's great how chrisitans can't agree what their bible even says. That's reassuring.
Well Susie, allow me to remind you of Jesus' direct instructions from the Sermon On The Mount, Matthew 5:17-20:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, 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. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
Sorry, but you are the one with limited knowledge.
He sure does sound effeminate. And put on a BRO, BRAH.
Yes he does. It sounds like his father should have punched him more as a kid. "You crack that wrist!"