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.
You all need to re-listen to this video. This man is brave and absolutely correct. We condemn all other acts of immorality. Looking at indecent material, molestation, and other abominations. Why have we let this mental disorder flood our country? Keep standing up for them. Keep on. I hope you have an answer besides, "I'm sorry God, I didn't believe in you." Good Luck!
It's so cute when one group gets to decide what an 'abomination' is.
The Bible didn't condemn polygamy, which this man includes. He's not only a hypocrite and a bigot, but he's ignorant. The Bible also sanctions slavery, marriage of siblings (at times), public humiliation of women, and slavery. Did I mention slavery?
I'm sorry I don't buy into what you're selling. I have a head on my shoulders and believing in mystical father figures living somewhere in the sky doesn't really make sense to me.
Jesus said Christians should follow all secular laws that don't prevent them from worshipping God. Therefore, STFU.
Seems you are the one with the mental disorder, Chris.
This man is a bigot, as are those who support him
we should kill christians....
I think that's a bit harsh. But belief in religion should be recognized for what it is–a mental deficiency.
Stuart: sorry bro, you're wrong. WE shouldnt kill Christians. "the government" should. LOL.
And if you look up to the top you will see a Troll in his natural habitat. Just ignore him and he will buzz off.
This man says OH I don't want to kill the gays but the GOV'T should.I wonder what JESUS thinks about that.GOD made this world(according to the bible) and gave humans the right of choice.because some disagree with gay as a choice it doesn't make it wrong.Judge not lest ye be judged.Jesus's message was LOVE so what's happened.You get people who think that their way is the right way or no way.The bible don't forget was written by humans,not GOD.
He's no Ned Stark that's for sure. Hoist the sword yourself if you're so sure of your righteousness.
The Bible and religion in general just gives people a reason to hate others who they may have otherwise been friends with.
Let's try that again.
The Bible and religion in general just gives people a reason to hate those with whom they may have otherwise been friends.
There we go.
Anyone condoning harm to another and profess Christianity are paper Christians. Like the article states , hate the sin , love the sinner. This what Christ taught. Don't try to twist it to mean anything else.
This isn't really news as this kind of stuff goes on in churches all across America every day as it has for decades. The difference is that CNN for some reason wants to give a national platform to these bigots for their offensive and un-American views.
Don't the Jews always say "We must learn our history and study how this tragedy came to be and then make sure it never does again" ? Isn't building a walled city and killing people EXACTLY how it happened?
This is the same message Hitler had "HATE".
I've read the bible more than 5 times and never heard jesus preach hate, the closest he got was when he tore the tables apart in the temple when they were selling trinkets (like the stuff schueller sells) and they turned the house of GOD into a rummage sale instead of healing and feeding the poor, disabled, elderly and so on... God says you will know a man by his works, so if your preacher sounds alot like hitler you may want to change church's, that is if you care about your soul !
Jesus preached love thy neighbor, feed the poor, treat others the way you want to be treated, turn the other cheek, building a walled city or killing was never taught by christ.
This is not about Jesus. Try reading the Old Testament. Frankly, sir, you lack the courage of your convictions.
Jim, it's funny how people cherry pick the bible too. Wasn't there something about not wearing clothes made from two different materials, and how about not eating shellfish? Or what about cheating on your S.O? It's all about legitimizing hatred and that's it.
Dear "." : Damn right! It's funny how these people cherry-pick the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon. However, when they get inside a classroom, they find out real quick that they can't cherry-pick a textbook and pass the class. No wonder the rate of Fundies with legitimate Higher Education is so damn low.
Down with gays! It is just so gay!
Tax the Christians! And subject them to the same punishments their God commanded to be done to others in the Old Testament!
watch out they may be zombies!
They're tax exempt, so isn't this basically government sponsored hate speech? How much longer should our govt. sponsor hate speech.
Why is it "hate speech" when someone comes out against gays but not normal christians? The term "hate speech" is stupid anyway. If you don't like it don't listen.
I agree with your final statement about "if you don't want to hear it don't listen". If he wants to sound like an idiot he has a right to. But the government should not sponsor hate speech
Yup. The Roman Empire had it right. CRUCIFY these Christian bigots...or feed them to the lions.
Karma is a beotch!
This pastor and christians will GO TO HELL.
Not for standing up for what is right, No sir.
Why would gay people want to go to heaven full of bigots anyways?
chris: the only ones who percieve he is standing up for what is right are inbred bigots
Its a sin to hate.You can hate the sin but once you begin to hate the sinner..you serve the god of hate.
Is the god of hate like a sith? That comes from an entertaining fiction book too.
Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:
"Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'
Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'
And I quote: 'Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval.'
Too bad you don't have much to show for it, you arrogant airhead.
Really? Because the guys that flew airplanes into the World Trade Center didn't seem to forget God. Of course, "their" god is probably nothing like your god, right? Your god is the true god. Funny thing: they think the same thing. It's almost as if people create gods in their image, and not the other way around.
If we need 'God' to be kind to each other, then we have failed as a species.
Solzhenitsyn was talking about the Russian Orthodox version of God. If you had read much of his later works, which clearly you have not, you would find some of his harshest words aimed at you.
The least religious countries on the planet are the ones with the happiest and healthiest citizens, lowest levels of corruption, low crime rates, low STD rates, low abortion rates, low teen pregnancy rates, high levels of education, the most egalitarian societies, etc. The most religious countries on the planet are the exact opposite: corrupt hell holes plagued by instability and war, famine, disease, and poverty. If god(s) reward those who believe in their religion, (s)he/they must be using reverse psychology. Note that these statistics also hold true for our states. The most religious states in the our union are the ones with the greatest poverty rates, least healthy and happy citizens, high divorce rates, high teen pregnancy rates, high STD rates, high abortion rates, etc. The least religious states have the opposite statistics. Now correlation does not imply causation, but it sure takes the wind out of the argument that you need god on your side for prosperity and happiness.
In the future, people such as that pastor will be thought of as very very mentally deranged individuals. For real...it is only a matter of time. Remember the fat ruling freaks of the Inquisition? It is scary that people are dumb/naive enough to listen to that idiot.
i am sure he is just going mad because his company (or church) is being sued by the abused victims and that he is not going to get paid for his job. poor fella
Is it just me, or are Christians in the south completely imploding right now?
This is just their way of acting out after realizing that they lost all their God-given, Bible-sanctioned slaves. Takes them a while to catch on. Poor little fellers.
They do it because it what they were taught..or they are just bored
It's beginning to sound like desperation.
omg.. how many gays in churches will have to die ?
the only good thing about the bible is that it is c h e a p e r than c h a r m i n
Just watch out for the red words. They tend to leave a rash.
is it just me, or does this guy have crazy written all over his face?
I applaud this pastor for having the guts to tell it like it is. The gay lifestyle is an abomination punishable by death according to the bible. I don't advocate we kill the gays but we should not be encouraging their lifestyle choice. If we had more people like this pastor we will not have the gay problem like we do right now
And if we had more people forcibly standing up to pastors like this, we wouldn't have the fundamentalist Christian bigot problem that we have today. Thank God for CNN, for having the guts to publicly call attention to this man's atrocious, hate-filled, shameful statements. May his wife leave him, and may he commit suicide upon realizing that the life he lived is a joke.
Gee, good thing we don't live in a theocracy where the Bible governs us! Remind me to avoid Dayton if its full of backwards Bible-bashing rednecks like you. Must not be a very pleasant place.
Tim, what is this 'gay problem' we have?
The looney left loves gays. Almost as much as dead people and illegal aliens. Those are three voting blocks they have cinched.
And why do they refer to themselves as "Gays AND Lesbians"? Isn't gay, just gay regardless of your gender?
I truly hope your are trying to project sarcasm and failing miserably.
Dear Tim and Dayton,
I hope the remarks that you made were not closeted and defensive and that both of you come out really soon.
"If we had more people like this pastor we will not have the gay problem like we do right now"
Now what does that mean or imply? You said you don't advocate we kill the gays, but in the same breath, you applaud this pastor and say we should have more people like him..... hmmm......
Tim: regale us with your definition of 'gay problem'. I think it would be enlightening.
Never mind. I think what you mean by 'problem' is that all these guys you don't know keep sucking your dick and you're not sure why, or how to make them stop.
Problems like the gay marriage nonsense won't exist if we had more people with guts like this pastor
God, Tim, that makes fantastic sense! If we could just get more crazy old guys to stand up and complain about it, and say outrageous things that make them look foolish, that would scare away those pesky gays back to Gayland where they belong!
I can't believe no one else sees this deep, meaningful and obvious logic.You are a fucking genius.
Tim: An abomination? According to iron age sheep mounters?
Well, I hope you don't wear clothes of different fabric, or farm (or purchase food from a farm) which puts different crops side by side, or mind if I buy your daughter at a decent price (though I don't know the going rate, but I could sure use the worker), or that you don't work on the Sabbath, or eat any kind of shellfish, or get a hair cut, or play football. That would mean that you would have to be put to death...