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. Jon

    These Christian Right freaks sure do have the love of Christ in them.............................NOT! Being overweight and smoking are also both sins but we do not see little children singing that fat people and smokers aren't going to heaven. What is wrong with these people!

    June 5, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  2. k9d9r

    The bible is just a story book and a poorly written one. It's just like the Brothers Grimm, but people don't believe in that. You live in a time when there is more freedom than ever before in the history of mankind and you choose to be a slave to a lie and blinded to your own hypocrisy. What the kid sang is only true because there is no heaven and that is inclusive to everyone.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  3. Angelikabertrand

    jesus was all about love. love your neighbor like you want to be loved.Adults who hate, show their children that hate is a normal thing.Christianity should not be about hate.I tolerate every human beings!No matter of who or what they are.You who profess to be Christians, and who profess to speak in the name of the Lord, I tell you you are speaking in vain and with faulty tongues!if you true Christians, you would not be against GLBT people.We all deserve to be respected with dignity and with true Christian love! God bless from a Unitarian Universalits friend

    June 5, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  4. blinky

    I can just see Nazi skinheads singing a song glorifying the Holocaust, then issuing a statement, "We do not condone, teach or practice hate." Exactly the same here.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Blane

      Have you completely flipped out? You don't know the difference between singing a song about truth (that gays are not going to heaven) and singing about the deaths of six million Jews?

      June 5, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • blinky

      Blane, Take another look at your reasoning. The Nazis thought THEIRS was the truth, too, just like you think yours is. But reason brings one to recognize that belittling groups different from yours is hateful and wrong.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Blane. That is a rough statement. I would hate to be the type of person who declares who does or does not go to Heaven.

      "We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low." Desmond Tutu.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Snik


      My statement still stands. There is a big difference singing about gays not going to heaven and singing about the deaths of six million Jews.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • blinky

      Snik, Hate is hate. You can tell because the song calls gays by a denigrating name, and they are proud and laughing using that bigoted language. We're not just talking about dislike or intolerance, but outright hatred waged at a minority group. Why aren't Christians out there picking on adulterers JUST AS AGGRESSIVELY? Because there are too many straight adulterers among them.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  5. bp

    Without question, Christian churches have become the primary source of bigotry and intolerance in America today. Jesus would be aghast at those who use his name and teachings to justify their hate of others.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." – Susan B. Anthony

    June 5, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  6. yeahright

    Ok, so they might not teach "hate" per se, but they DO teach CREATIONISM which is absolutely BS and @ss backwards.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  7. Gwoman

    GodFreeNow, couldn't have said it better myself. There is intelligent life on this planet.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  8. niceguy

    CNN, stop attacking churches and bring up stories about gay and christian, Is CNN who put hate in people's mine. Who really cares what a child said, or what a small group said, they could change any thing. CNN rating are down and they will go down, because there not real stories, But a lot of BS

    June 5, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • yeahright

      Stop attacking people that are DIFFERENT FROM YOU.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • bp

      Very Christian of you.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:19 am |
  9. Jim

    Who is worse, the pathetic church people, their stupid leader and the puppit offsprings thinking
    they are the righteous ones or "you", CNN for continuing to provide space and a forum for
    their open hate of gays messages. I believe it is you. I won't be accessing your website
    for my information. All gay men and women should voice their disgust at these articles and
    discontinue use of CNN as well. You are all so sad. Hitler had convinced his followers he was
    right, also.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Jim

      The video was uploaded to YouTube. So... blame YouTube? (we are not the same Jims)

      June 5, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  10. Blane

    Hom.os.ex.uality is an abomination and should not be tolerated. You all are trying to redefine right and wrong. Saying that hom.os are not going to make it to heaven is the truth. It is from the bible. I can't believe some of the comments here. So much hate and angerby gays while trying to accuse others of hate. They are the real bigots here.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Jim

      you child talking back to you is an equal abomoniation–stone the little buggers. Oh, and only male-to-male relationships are addressed in the Bible, female-to-female relationships were not condemned... hmmm... maybe because dudes dig that–and dudes wrote the Bible?

      June 5, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  11. John E

    All metaphysics are product of the human imagination. From Allah to Zeus. Jesus to crystals. At best, a person looks like a damned fool when he or she takes it seriously. At worse, read article.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Rachelle Marie Suko

      @John E And you KNOW all metaphysics are imaginary how? Oh that's right, you DON'T. So keep the baseless assertions to yourself.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:00 am |
  12. ma & pa

    @Dennis at8:35 pm...THANK YOU.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  13. foxic

    19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  14. bp

    It's time to state the obvious: Christian churches in the US have become breeding grounds for hatred and bigotry, and pedophilia. Were it not for the fact that they have so much political power, they would be under investigation for conspiracy and hate crimes.

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

    June 5, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  15. Bootyfunk

    you hear the entire congregation laugh and cheer when the kid sings, "ain't no h.omo gonna make it to heaven."

    yeah, you teach hate.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  16. thes33k3r

    Isn't supernatural thinking a beautiful thing?

    June 5, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  17. unk

    All religion is based upon hate.


    All of it creates a hierarchy among people which ends up boiling down to 'we better than them' and 'they tryiing to hurt us' so let;s get them before they get us.

    History has proved this beyond any argument but only to those wise wnough to recognize it..

    June 5, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Vertex

      @unk Oh, so YOU are among the so called "wise" and THEY aren't. I though "us and them" thinking was the problem with religion. Way to contradict yourself. Time to brush up on reason and take another run at religion bashing.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Jim

      Remember Gallileo and Copernicus... the religious nuts in their day said how could they be right and the "people" be wrong. Ooops.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  18. Steve

    What makes this story really ignorant is first you have to believe in heaven or hell, no such thing unless your living it right here right now on planet earth. CNN makes stories out of nothing.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  19. GodFreeNow

    When we hear about people making racist or hateful statements about people's lifestyles or s.exual preferences, we don't have to try very hard to imagine the kind of people that say these things. If they left off the headline and just talked about someone doing something hateful to some gay guy or whatever, and I asked you to imagine who is doing that, does anybody seriously imagine some scientist in a lab coat who works for the CDC? Of course not. It's always coming from a religious insti.tution or some other congregation of below average intellect.

    People coming on here saying that god is about love and religion should accept all people... This is nonsense. Religion by its very nature is exclusiveness. It employs the base evolutionary practice of kinship. Are you one of us, or are you other? As long as people are controlled by these lizard-brain, unevolved patterns, there can never be full acceptance of one group by another.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Steve

      Well said, nice to hear the thoughts of some intelligent life. Gives me hope.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  20. MalcolmXcrement

    Am I the only one that thought the video was hysterical? My SIDS are STILL hurting after two days!!

    June 5, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Bet

      Your Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is still hurting? Maybe you should call a doctor.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:22 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.