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. Paul

    Hating sin is a family value.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  2. Doc Sammy

    Shame on you, Greensboro... SHAME.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  3. chan

    Disillusion denial as usual. (No offense to good Christians)

    June 5, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  4. Mom of Three

    They do, however, lie.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • GBfromOhio

      But not with members of the same gender ... so they SAY.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  5. Jeremy

    We don't teach hate, god exists...equally valid statements.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  6. DawnOfDawns

    I did a tour in the Marines and one of my best friends was from Indiana, and he'd tell me how the racial hate and the KKK are still strong there. This article does not surprise me at all, just hate with a diferent target.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  7. Psychologist

    Strangely enough, Karma can work in mysterious ways. Wouldn't it be ironic if this young boy chanting the anti-gay chanson came out of the closet in several years to come?

    June 5, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • GBfromOhio

      Great minds think alike, see two posts down. 😛

      June 5, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  8. Sigh

    Sugar coat it as much as you try – but this is exactly why Christianity increasingly comes off as a exclusionary cult and your numbers diminish every year.

    You say you believe in the omnipotence of God. His word says you will be fishers of men. This means you are supposed to welcome all sinners into His house so they have a better chance to be influenced by the guidance and glory of God. Out of one side of your mouth you agreed, "Hallelujah, YES! That's our duty!" Out of the other side you do your best to make everybody possible feel unwelcome so you can look down your noses at them and rejoice in YOUR superiority and perceived moral righteousness. If you truly had even an infinitesimal faith in God – eye, needle, camel and such – you would trust HIM to be able to remedy/cure all sin. But you're too busy trying to elevate your own stature so you don't even bother trying to follow the Word.

    People are not stupid. They see you for exactly what you are and would rather distance themselves from you than you consort with your facetiousness. God is good, but people become worse every year – including "Christians." But, hey, keep teaching your children how to "welcome" people into His arms – you're awesome! Don't stop letting the Word get in your way of YOUR mission.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  9. GBfromOhio

    Methinks the kid doth protest too much. In a few years he will come out of the closet.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  10. gah

    i love how people like to decide who gets into heaven. if jesus or st. paul or some divine being is supposed to be the ultimate judge, how can they possibly say they know who's getting in or not?
    the words I live by I didn't learn from my preacher: Be excellent to each other!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  11. jim

    more non-christian behavior from so called christians. why am i not surprised.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • gah

      because the Christians that make the news aren't really Christians. The people who actually practice the "gospel of love" don't make headlines for being bigots

      June 5, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  12. GBfromOhio

    We don't teach hate, but if you're gay you will burn in hell for all of eternity. Have a nice day and remember ... God loves you.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • jamessavik

      and here's my finger d*ckhead

      June 5, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • GBfromOhio

      You do recognize sarcasm right? Or perhaps I offended your religion?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Bobby Mukaisu

      I think he was being facetious...

      June 5, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • GBfromOhio

      Aha, he understood my sarcasm and was being facetious, my bad I guess. Facetious is a neat word BTW, has the five vowels in order.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  13. Hello

    I think there is a fine line between pointing out sin & hating. But Christians do need to continue to point out that God is a just God and people should strive to live better lives.. And... this needs to be fair. Just focusing on certain things builds up anger in people and is not right. Both Christians and non-Christians need to be careful about cherry picking Bible verses to prove a point and refer more to Jesus' overall teachings of kindness to each other. But also not forget Jesus didn't say just continuing to go around sinning is a good thing either.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Relictus

      Apostle Matthew makes it clear. People who point out sin are hypocrites, because everyone sins. The man who preaches on the street corner preaches for his own glory, not God's, and that's clear in the Bible. Maybe people could get away with this type of behavior when the mass was in Latin, and few people could read. A man is known by his works, and if he is teaching his son hypocrisy and hate, well, then that's what that man is about. A bunch of haters and hypocrites – of course they deny it! But if there really is a God, what will they tell him? No lawyering will save them.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  14. 1225

    Jesus founded Christianity because he detested the Pharisees and their laws (Leviticus). He said pray to the Father by saying the Lord's prayer and follow the Ten Commandments. There is nothing about being gay in the 10 Commandments. There is however sin against killing, stealing, Adultery, etc., which no one seems to care about these days. It's Probable that a great deal of the population has committed adultery and more. Why focus on the one thing that people cannot change? That is being born gay.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Relictus

      It's a great way to separate the Christians from the hypocrites. A Christian, having read Matthew, keeps his opinion to himself. The ones who point their fingers at gays commit a basketful of sins – hypocrisy, false witness (because we are all sinners), vile works. They can say "hate the sin, love the sinner", but what is one more lie when they tell so many?

      June 5, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  15. Maya

    A fundamentalist Christian can beat anyone at talking out of both sides of one's mouth any day.

    These people are clearly delusional. The video says it all. They can make any excuses that they wish, but it changes nothing. If they had any dignity, they would at least own their hatred instead of hypocritically pretending to "love" everyone.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Relictus

      I agree. But let them stay oblivious to their faults, that others may see them for how they truly are.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  16. jamessavik

    I wonder if KKKristians ever considered that anywhere that they might be would be hell for rest of us.

    If heaven is where you j@ck@sses are bound, I'd rather fly coach.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • gah


      June 5, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Relictus


      June 5, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  17. Rogue351

    If you are teaching American Christianity you are teaching hate. If you are teaching most forms of Islam you are teaching hate. Religion in general in most areas are anti something or other. Be it antigay anti other religion, anti liberal it is all teaching disgust and hate. Not exceptance, only judgment. Yes I am being extremely critical of religion in general. Why because I am a non member and when my family needed help did I see anyone from any church step up ... NO. But when things are good they all knock on the door asking for me to join so I can donate. The point is I am a believer but I am not a believer in organized religion. They promise salvation and deliver nothing but dirty looks, judgment and hate in all forms. Your not dressed nice enough to be in our "church". Or your not the right color to be at this church, they only thing I have found in organized religion is a hypocrite on one side and a man in a $3000 suit with is hand in your pocket on the other side. If religion was working would we have the political divide we have right now in the USA ? No we would not because people would be understanding of others views even if they differ from their own. People would not be so quick to label. The day I read about a pastor saying all gay people should be put to death is the day I will no longer have anything to do with ANY organized religion, you are all guilty of this, so climb down off your high horse and think about it the next time you say "those dam liberal" or Jews, or Muslims. It is you that is dividing this country when you have the so called teachings to do just the opposite right in front of you.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • rzarc2

      Great post. That about sums it up.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • 1225

      Good point. Everyone is "brainwashed" into their religion by their parents and clerics from the time they are born, just as their parents and grandparents were. Just follow your religion faithfully (blindly) you're told whether it true or not.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  18. zeyn2010

    Seems like anyone can teach and instill anything in the name of religion these days – mostly politically inclined. That's what makes me worry the most; religion is open to too much interpretation. Not only that, but it also depends on where on earth one is born, so our planet's future seems pretty dark when it comes to peace...

    June 5, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Rogue351

      You are 100% correct and then they can turn right around and write it off on their taxes. They can evan make comments suggesting a certain type of person be put to death. If you ever read about religion and have that thought, that sounds like something hitler would have said then religion has gone totally off the rails. The really sad part is the hate is so deeply intertwined that most continuously do not even know it as hate. Putting god before family and your fellow man is not baking us any stronger as a nation. Humanity, exceptance and humility, kindness is what use to make this country great now all we have is a$$ h0les on the phone flipping people off on the highways and the rich jacking up the price instead of giving back.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  19. JJ

    Geez, more backassward backwater a55wipes. Darwin! Git! You got gene pool toilets to flush! Move!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  20. C130dude

    What's wrong with pointing out the sin? However I disagree with that particular lyric because I think that the few gays who believe and accept Christ will go to heaven; just like every other sinners who believe and accept Christ. Singling out one group isn't correct, but the fad of the moment have shined on the gay community.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • sam stone

      yeah, no one is in a better position to percieve sin (particularly in the 21st century) than iron age sheep mounters

      June 5, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • bigtuna

      still believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny too?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Rogue351

      What is wrong with point out sin. It is only sin because you have been taught it is sin. Your moral code was developed by years of twisting words to form what you call sin. Not to mention it is none of your business what others do. Take care of your own house and keep your nose out of mine. You want the government out of our everyday lives well I want people like you who judge everyone out of my life. It is not your place, your not judge and jury. You are an observer, nothig more. Remember that .

      June 5, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Relictus

      Read Matthew 6 and 7, all of it. If you still feel like pointing fingers after that, you may as well toss your bible in the trash.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      Nah. I'd just recycle it.

      Anyway, why put so much emphasis on one part of the bible while ignoring other parts? Why do christians wear mixed blend fabric or eat shellfish? Why do men shave their beards? These things are also proscribed by the bible. Are you truly a christian if you choose not to obey biblical laws that are inconvenient to you?

      June 5, 2012 at 1:40 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.