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. SherryF

    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.

    Uh huh.....unless the song was followed up by a comment saying "and that's what we *don't* want people saying", it doesn't really matter what more is one the video. Someone taught the kid the song and if one believes in a deity, heaven/hell, etc etc....it can be considered hurtful.

    For those of us who don't believe in all that stuff.....I feel sorry for the people and the poor kid.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  2. One one

    I shall now pray. Dear heavenly Father, I pray for you to bring harmony between Christians and atheists. Help me understand why godless trash, who deserve to burn in hell, are offended by those of us who are holy, pious, and god’s favorite people.

    Help the unsaved filth understand that by judging and condemning them I am trying to save them from your vengeful & vicious wrath, of which they deserve, AND I APPROVE, as long as they refuse to believe what I believe. Amen.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • yep

      exactly what the inquisition said to people before killing them with love.. ya, right.. why don't you take a pill of your own medicine, since by judging, condemning and everything else, you have proven yourself no different from the "godless trash".. 20 bucks says you wouldn't have guts to follow your own medicine

      June 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • One one

      Chill out yep, it's called sarcasm.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Edwardo

      @yep – it was sarcasm... it was great! You missed the point.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • David

      I thought for a moment that you were actually serious. Good grief!

      Religion – the ultimate example of Man's collective narcissism and arrogance, to think that the entire Universe was made just for us.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Steve_PA

      And please, dear god, smite those who take everything literally and try to drain the fun out of a good rant.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Hate & Truth

      Hate defined is a strong aversion to something / someone; to dislike passionately; a strong desire that evil should befall a person toward whom that feeling is directed. Reading the comments posted here, there is a lot of hate and disrespect going around, with a few "Sons of Thunder." What does it accomplish to strike an eye for an eye? If you want to bash atheists, walk in their shoes for a while. I mean, honestly. These people believe there is no justice in the end, morality is up to whatever society says it is. This world is it. Christians fight like this world is theirs, when Jesus clearly said it wasn't. Have some compassion on them. This is their world, Christians are only ambassadors of good will.
      On the other hand if you want to bash Christians, historically and presently Christians respond overwhelmingly to disaster, disease, pain, suffering and human needs of all types (have for 2,000 years). Overwhelmingly they were/are the ones going into cities and countries where disaster is hardest hit while most of them quietly believe the Bible, which clearly states in the NT effiminates, sodomizers, liars, fornicators, drunkards, thieves, etc. etc. will not inherit the Kingdom. The humble ones of this group serve respectfully, considering their own failures first before condemning others. The immature and newly found ones tend to boast radically of things they don't understand. If you want to teach more hate, continue to post hatred. If you want to love, consider (doesn't mean you have to accept, just listen to) the other person's viewpoint.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • frodo1008

      This either some of the most extreme sarcasm I have eveer seen, or you are the biggest internet Troll their ever was. I can only wonder which????

      June 5, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • DocReality

      I shall now pray:

      Dear God,

      If You truly exist, please remove these ignorant and anxiety-ridden pigs who continue to spread hatred in Your holy name. Please take all people from all over the world who have steadfast hatred and cruelty in their hearts, and transform them into whale feces, where they can remain in darkness at the bottom of the sea.

      Here is a top-ten list for Your consideration:
      1) KKK members
      2) Neo-nazis
      3) Right-wing religious fundamentalists who are actually mentally ill
      4) Left-wing politically-correct atheists who are as mentally ill as #3
      5) Sociopaths
      6) Predators
      7) Politicians
      8) Terrorists
      9) Gang-bangers
      10) All other forms of evil


      June 5, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • aspiepoet


      June 5, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  3. Lol

    .. after all, it is a religion of peace that teaching nothing but love.. can't you see the love? can't you feel the love?

    June 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  4. MashaSobaka

    If I hit you over the head with a 2×4 and claim that it's an expression of love, do you believe my words or my actions? Yeah. That's what I thought. These people HATE gays. Plain and simple. They can deny it all they want. Their actions say otherwise.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  5. Tom

    Christianity keeps moving to a lower level. Good grief, maybe it's going to Hell.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • edgalbraith

      We can only hope.

      June 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Sal

      Some of the most unChristian-like people I know are the most devout Christians. There seems to be an inverse relationship between the level of one's piety and the amount of self examination.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • David Myers

      Wow Sal! That a great way to put it – "There seems to be an inverse relationship between the level of one's piety and the amount of self examination (or self-awareness)." I think it might be the side effects of a severe case of egotism!

      June 5, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  6. One one

    CNN.com seems to run a lot of stories about religiously infected wackos. You finveal most none on foxnews.com. IMO,it's because they both know it makes conservatives and the GOP look bad. The problem for the GOP is that these bible beaters are giving CNN plenty of rope to hang them with.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  7. Russ

    The inspiration found in the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Edwardo

      Good response! I like!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  8. Edwardo

    I grew up in church.. not only do they hate gays, but they hate anyone who doesn't believe like them. Oh, they won't call it hate, it's totally denied and disguised... but when you peel away the layers, the hate is always in the center.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • One one

      They claim they love everyone. In reality, its more like "we love the sin cause we get to hate the sinner."

      June 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Bet

      Edwardo, thank you. You speak the truth about these religious nut jobs. Not only do they preach hate, but they have the built in excuse that "the world will hate you for preaching Jesus" and "it's just the bible predicted we are in the end times" when anyone confronts them about their hatred and bigotry.

      June 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  9. andrew

    Given the vast differences in the ones claiming to be heaven bound, there simply HAS to be fences separating these people up in heaven. Otherwise, heaven would be WORSE than hell. For example, if I make it and Rush Limbaugh were to walk past, I'd believe myself to be in hell. Who – still alive – has got the real word; the only way IN according to the entire Bible? No one, that's who, including myself. But since we're at this, I cannot see Jesus Christ letting men like Limbaugh into heaven; it would ruin it for all others, negating its very purpose.
    So I'd say, the only way it can be done, is to separate Christians in heaven so they don't ruin it. Limbaugh lives to generate negative anger in order to swing votes his candidate's way. Limbaugh seldom has a kind word, because unkind words have more impact. That's the exact opposite of what Jesus said we should do in the Sermon on the Mount. But Limbaugh needs to swing the vote for a "Christian" by calling the others running "non-christian like".

    June 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Russ

      Just exclude Americans. Would work for me.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • QS

      That was always kinda the point wasn't it? To insist that only by believing just as them would you be granted admission to heaven? Thus, every person in heaven would by definition be Christian...and the same...and boring...and dull...and not a place that anybody should want to inhabit!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  10. Rod C. Venger

    Only it's not a lie. If your brother was a drug addict, would you disown him? Hate him? Just not care? Or would you want him freed of what's killing him?

    Love the sinner means exactly what it says. We are told to love our neighbor and I think that's good advice whether you're a Christian, Jew, Agnostic or atheist.

    Hate the sin also means exactly what it says. "Brother, I love you but I hate what you're doing to yourself and to others". My own mother was a drunk and she died a drunk...I hated what she did to herself and that her choices destroyed our family. The booze ultimately killed her at the ripe old age of 56, the same age I am now. But she was still my mother and she wasn't always a drunk.

    That's the hate that you claim we preach. Ultimately our hate of your sins isn't about you, it's about what it does to you, the rest of us and it serves as a reminder that "There but for the grace of God, go I". We know that without God's grace, we too could be a drunk, or a drug addict, or infested by AIDS, slowly being eaten alive by a virus and medications that wreak havoc on the body. We'd just as soon avoid that and would be happier if you could too.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      I honestly feel the same way about many Christian denominations. I don't hate you, but I despise your hateful, disgusting, abusive faith, and I will do whatever I can to protect the future generations from being harmed by it.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Edwardo

      So, what's crib death? God's curse on babies? This "love the sinner, hate the sin" motto, is repulsive. It's a sarcastic way of saying "I hate who you are, and how you were born".

      June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Philcomix

      What a load of rubbish that is! What a sorry excuse for being a rotten human being. It won't wash, do you understand? Not anymore. You've gotten away with it for a long time, but it's not an argument anymore. If you want to be a social dinosaur, because you can't grow up & stop believing in fairy tales, that's your business, but don't shove your backward, bigoted rhetoric on the rest of us. We aren't interested. We're busy trying to get along with the rest of the world & be happy.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Rod, you're disgusting.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Mary

      Dude, how does it affect your life one teensy-weensy little bit what two grown consenting men do in the privacy of their own bedroom? Why do you even care?

      And isn't there a a verse in the Bible that says, "Do not judge lest ye yourself be judged?"

      Just live your life, mind your business. And let God be the judge of gay people.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • One one

      Rod, let's be honest here. No one loves everyone. If they say they do they are either lying or insane. Anyone who tries to put that rhetoric over with thinking adults makes them loose all credibility.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • QS

      It's a convenience – nothing more, nothing less.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • tibeau


      I'm sure you believe God is all powerful and all knowing. Why not let him take care of these sinful things? The great commission says, Go yet therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. That's what Christians are supposed to be doing, let God take care of everything else. God sent not his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through him might be saved. It doesn't say God sent not his Son to judge, because the Christians would do it for him.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • David Myers

      Well stated Philcox: You really read Rod's beads! He's just another fundamentalist christian fascist trying to impose his believes, values, and judgments on the rest of us. God save us from fundamentalist fascists – whether christian, muslim, scientologist, or what have you!

      June 5, 2012 at 5:56 am |
  11. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    Right. JC had 12 guys around him, never married, and "loved John above all others." HMMMM! Pretty clear to me.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • edgalbraith

      Nice shot, Leonore.

      June 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  12. HRPuckinfutz

    Religion equates to hate.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  13. Reason & Logic

    I'm sure that some of the same people condemning Islam for its preaching of hate and murder are the same ones preaching their hatred and bigotry of gays, immigrants, and people of color, all the while cheating on their own wives, stealing from their neighbors, and wastefully killing God's creatures for the sake of enjoyment. I've always said that those closest to God's altar never realize just how far away from it they really are.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • ruemorgue

      Reason and Logic, you won't find *any* reason and logic in the minds of religious zealots.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Circ.umvent your intelligence."
      - Kirk Cameron

      June 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  14. ruemorgue

    Yeah, I know. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Liars!

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Edwardo

      I say "love the religionist, hate the religion"... it goes both ways.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  15. Max Powers

    ...then they all put on their sheets and danced around a burning cross.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  16. Evan

    "My son, I'm not about to kill you because I hate you, but because I love you and want to save your sorry soul from hellfire." These are the words I imagine a pastor saying before he slits a young congregation member's throat in the rectory. They want gays dead because they love them so much! It's all so chillingly clear, like it was to those in Jonestown as they faded away after drinking church Cool Aid.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  17. Jesus Christ

    I have returned to Earth so that you may bear witness to the one eternal holy truth: burn the Gays!

    ...and HeavenSent


    June 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus never got with a woman, hung out with 12 dudes, had long hair and washboard abs...

      gaydar BEEP BEEP BEEP

      June 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Reason & Logic

      To Bootyfunk: just to add, Christ also had this thing with a serpent in a garden. Just saying.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • SOCAL

      how about we set fire to your robe JC

      June 5, 2012 at 5:02 am |
  18. scientificpoetry

    No... they just teach ignorance...

    June 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  19. TrollID

    OK, so HeavenSent is being Identified as the obvious troll he or she is. Obvious troll is obvious. Don't feed the troll.

    That church doesn't need judgement from any of us. Everyone, according to their religion, will be judged at the end. Why bother worrying about it now, especially if all that's necessary is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior in your heart. All your sins are forgiven if you ask, so 'living in sin' doesn't matter as long as you repent. Wow! How easy is that?!

    June 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Edwardo

      I make sure I sine everyday.. that way he didn't die for nothing.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • QS

      I'll be the judge of how I judge this church and its bigotry. And if you believe gay people should "repent" for no other reason than they are gay, you are part of the problem.

      Sin is a manmade concept and is only used as a weapon of guilt by the religious to garner obedience and compliance.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  20. QS

    I have a favor to ask of any religious person...or any non-religious person for that matter – bring a recording device with you to any church gathering, to EVERY church gathering, and when the subject matter turns to gay people, hit record.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Nate

      So much this.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol, great point. see how much hatred vs love you hear from the congregation.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • JWT

      I've only gone to one church and they have never said a word about gays. No reason why they should as gays are fully accepted.

      June 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • mthomas

      I did leave a church because of the hate they preached. Hate was never intended to be the purpose of Christianity. We are given lists of sins in the Bible and of course there will be people who get offended by what is said is a sin. I think the saddest thing is all Christians are compared to these wackos! As a Christian I am fully embarrassed by these people.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:38 am |
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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.