June 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET

We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Greensburg, Indiana (CNN) - About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.

The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.

At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."

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In the first Sunday service since the video surfaced, congregants arrived to the church as protesters jeered them over the video.

A church leader, who would not give his name, told CNN that journalists were not allowed inside the church and declined to offer anyone from church leadership to comment on the video.

The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church because it had received threats over the video and asked CNN to leave the premises.

Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online

The local sheriff's office said the church had not reported any verifiable threats.

No one answered the door at the home of Jeff Sangl, the church's pastor.

The video of the singing boy was the latest in a string of viral anti-gay videos that have surfaced from independent churches.  Those videos have been resoundingly condemned by religious leaders, even by conservatives who believe homosexual sex is a sin.

The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle posted a statement on its website that says in part: "The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”

The pastor's son, Josh Sangl, told CNN his father was away on vacation and that there was much more to the video than we were being told, though he wouldn’t elaborate.

The majority of the church members wouldn’t comment about the controversy or respond to questions about the parents of the young boy.

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"I think it's blown out of proportion, you know," said Robert Kirby, who is not a church member but was attending Sunday's church service in support of his daughter, who teaches Sunday School there. "They love everybody.

"They don't love sin though," he said. "It's all in the Bible."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (3,151 Responses)
  1. tiredofthepandering

    funny they cover this but won't dare say a bad word about rev wright and his spewtred of hate of america, all the while reaping benefits of being able to spew his crap,, same old cnn/nsnbc

    June 5, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  2. Cassarit

    There's nothing wrong with hating degenerates an there's nothing wrong with beating those who defend them to a pulp. The reporter who did thios idiotic story should have gotten his head smashed in.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • John Danielson

      So we'll go with the safe assumption here that you'll claim to be Christian. Have you actually READ what Jesus teaches? Love and tolerance? Either do what Jesus said, or stop claiming to be a Christian, unless your religion requires you to lie. (Which would be a perfectly valid religion, but, of course, no one in that religion would ever admit to lying, or even being in the religion.)

      June 5, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • sam stone

      You sound like a real tough guy, Cassarit. Whatsa matter, did the good father not give you the common courtesy of a reach around at your last "confession"?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Bet

      Excellent. Keep proving how messed up religion is. You're doing a wonderful job.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  3. No Truth, Just Claims

    It's not hate to cheer and applaud at the idea of people they don't like being tortured forever......that is LOVE!!!!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  4. JohnnyK

    What more would you expect from Hicksville, USA – where finishing Grade Six is a challenge !

    June 5, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • markishere

      Hicksville USA = everything between NY & CA

      June 5, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  5. FedUp

    Biggest pet peeve: When Christians are called closed-minded and judgemental by individuals who disrespectfully bash and reject anything the Christian community has to say. NEWSFLASH: This makes you closed-minded as well. You have your beliefs, we have ours. We live in a nation that encourages a freedom of religion... Just because a church preaches something that you do not agree with does not make them a bunch of judgemental bigots. If you don't want to be a Christian, that's your call. But don't expect to gain sympathy from anybody when you can't treat them with respect... That not only makes you look hateful, it makes you look uneducated. There are certainly many beliefs out there that are contrary to my own and I accept that. Maybe you all should, too. Word to the wise: JUST BECAUSE YOUR ANGER IS JUSTIFIED DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR RESPONSE TO IT IS.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You a member there, Feddy?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Joe Paycheck

      I'll respect Christians when they respect the rights of others.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • shawna

      Dear fed up: cool. As a Christian though, I have to say that I am FED UP with the way fundies try to force their beliefs on others. Have your beliefs, by all means, but quit trying to force others to live by them. And as a Christian, I think it's up to God to decide things when it comes to gay people. It is our duty to just... love our neighbors (so to speak). What goes on in a bedroom by two consenting adults is nobodies business but there own. AND, I think it should be that if a person is injured or dying, they can have anyone they choose be there for them. I don't care if that's a gay friend/boy friend or a "straight" person.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • jesus saves

      I think Christians have more religious tolerance than anyone. They can't say a friggin' thing without offending others, yet are subjected to all sorts of criticism and "non-tolerance".

      June 5, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Maya

      Your logic is invalid. No one is saying that these people are judgmental bigots because they do not agree with what they preach. They are saying that these people are judgmental bigots because they judge people (hence "judgmental") and are intolerantly devoted to their own irrational prejudices (hence "bigot").

      Nice try.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • allday

      Respect all hate. Respect for one's right to hate speech. Great message.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • FedUp

      Shawna: While I don't agree with you 100% and I won't get into all of that now, I do agree that it IS the job of a Christian to love their neighbor, regardless of who that person is and what they believe. Again, I'm not at all saying that I condone what was said (better yet, how it was said), just that we all have a right to our own opinions.

      Joe: “Men are respectable only as they respect”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Maya: Call it what you like... Christians are often labeled as "judgmental" because they state an opinion that everyone else disagrees with. I have never in my life spewed hateful speech towards someone who was gay, and I never plan to... I find that ignorant. However, generally speaking, I would be labeled as another judgmental fanatic simply for stating my opinion on the subject. Also, "irrational" is a matter of opinion. That implies that only your way of thinking is rational, which demonstrates my earlier comment about being closed-minded.

      I hope none of this came off as rude, that's not my intent at all. I appreciate all of your opinions and comments... I just want to get my POV out there and remind the people on here that not all Christians are hateful, so please don't disrespectfully treat us like we are.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  6. Miranda

    "Hate the sin, not the sinner." Oh sure. But it's apparently OK to call the sinner a slur while you're hating their sin. These so-called Christians are as bad as The Taliban.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  7. Colin

    Anybody ever heard of a group of atheists getting together of a Sunday morning and doing anything like this bizzare abomination?

    Says it all.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Joe Paycheck

      I assure you, if we did, we'd never hear the last of it.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  8. MuyGuapo

    Maybe CNN should focus on other things like the Nation of Islam that is making threats and making all kinds of racist comments about white people (instead of spending so much media attention on a Sunday schooler and his corny little song).

    June 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • bp

      You got it. We need to remember that when Christian fanatics commit hate crimes, they are aberrations and not true Christians at heart. When Muslim fanatics commit hate crimes, they are typical of their faith. Right.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • joesa

      News channels not only focus in one issue. Why do we talk about Islam while religious priests are molesting young kids ? They are much worse than Islam. We know Islam very well and can't be fooled by them. What about this moron priests whom we trust them but mess with our kids. It is better to deal with them first before talking about Islam.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Chicken noodle

      U sir are a fool

      June 5, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  9. bp

    It's becoming abundantly clear for some time that Christian evangelicals and so-called religious conservatives are the most intolerant and hate-filled group in America. It is striking to see so-called Christians behave in ways that are anything but Christian.

    "I like your Christ. Christians, not so much." – M. Gandhi

    June 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  10. jimmy

    Why are Christians not considered a hate group?
    They sure do seem to be rather hateful. Not as significant as the Nazis, but close...

    June 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • bp

      Because this is the Christian States of America. You can commit cold-blooded murder, be hailed as a hero and have people lining up to praise and defend you, so long as your victim (for example, a worker at a Planned Parenthood clinic) can be linked in some way to a position religious conservatives object to.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  11. Polopoint

    Sure you do.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  12. redseca2

    Adolf Hitler would insist he was not preaching hate.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  13. Daniel

    Wow a kid sings a song that is true and it is called hate? Does not make sense.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Miranda

      Daniel, still wetting your bed every night?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • JLO

      You have the right to your opinons/beliefs but you do not have the right to your own truths. This is such a sad country.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  14. southside mike

    I love Christianity but I'm starting to doubt about Christians

    June 5, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  15. Joe Paycheck

    Sure, Apostolic Truth Tabernacle, you don't teach your community to hate. Keep telling yourself that. Meanwhile, I think the rest of Humankind would like to try find a way to coexist, if that's alright with you.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  16. Sal

    Well, these people don't know The Bible, they don't know Jesus...and they certainly don't know God. None of that video smacks of What Jesus Would Do, and the inability of any of the parishoners to speak coherently of this most unChristian-like behavior speaks volumes.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  17. Jim DiGriz

    No, they don't teach hate – they blast it into everyone's skulls using extortionist threats, peer pressure, and other forms of brainwashing. That's not teaching, that's a crime against humanity!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  18. Karl

    They can teach a small child hate, but not proper grammar.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Suz

      Ha ha ha ha ha! Great comment!

      June 5, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  19. sosume

    That child was not born with the hate expressed in that song. He has been brainwashed, and, sadly, he learns hate from his parents and their peers. Unless they are blessed with, and give, a little bit of genuine love, he will grow up being a hatemonger the same as the parishioners in that church.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  20. Emily

    Most "Christians" are not. They are simply people who are so afraid of being human, that will do or say anything to convince themselves that they are above it all. Jesus would be mortified at what Christianity has become today.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:03 am |
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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.