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. Matt

    Send the Pastor your comments.

    pastorsangl at apostolictruthtabernacle.net

    June 5, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  2. Mary

    CNN, why won't you post my comment? 🙁

    June 5, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  3. James the Just

    Let us all be literalists for a moment, let us forget politics. Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of MARRIAGE itself as the “religious” not the “state” recognized union between a man and a women. Christ could care less about your taxes, legal or medical rights. There are two issues within this argument; Church recognized Gay Marriage and State recognized G-ay Marriage. I have the freedom of religion and the state cannot tell me how to believe and neither can you. So if its matter of me religiously recognizing G-ay Marriage, and if that’s your goal CNN??: you are wrong on so many levels it’s scary.. and I am not speaking germane to just Biblical interpretation either.. the smart ones will figure it out..

    And I believe the state should provide all the rights enjoyed by Hetero couples to G-ay couples... but that's not enough.. You want me to religiously recognize it.. like I stated earlier; neither the State, YOU and or a politician can force me to accept any religious doctrine... So you want to talk about violation of ones rights...??

    June 5, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • James the Just

      But as far as the article is concerned; this is pure hate and should NOT be in the Church or anywhere else. It's crap and the parents are to blame, the preacher should also be removed...

      June 5, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • rlj

      Nobody's asking you to do religious ANYTHING – just let others do what they want.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I don't think anyone is asking for churches to be forced to perform religious marriage ceremonies for g.ay couples. But if they are, you're right. The state should have no right to force a religious inst.itute to perform a ceremony if they don't want to, just as churches should have no right to stop the state recognizing same s.ex marriage.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Margot707

      No, you don't have to accept or approve of gay marriage. You just need to keep your religious views to yourself, out of civil issues, and to stop expecting everyone to live by your rules.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Mac

      You can't call for the removal of a pastor of a church you do not go to. He can say whatever he wants. You stay out of his church and he'll stay out of your gay bar.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • rlj

      James, thanks for saying that – yes, the parents are poisoning their children with hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • justme

      thank you jt just for making sense and saying what all sides can not understand. and it will become evident soon enough what the truth is and what the bible really teaches.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Primewonk

      James – a couple points –

      Marriage is a civil contract. Without a state issued marriage license, you are not married.

      Marriage predates your version of a cobbled together deity.

      The US is most certainly NOT a theocracy. Whatever your version of a god wants, needs, desires, or demands, is irrelevant, because neither your god, nor any other god, has standing in our secular laws.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Stephanie

      If marriage is a religious issue and not a state issue, then why is the government getting involved and trying to ban it? If we truly have freedom of religion then those people who chose not to have a religion should not be held to a law that is based on a religious belief.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • justme

      way to go steph and those that do not want to live by the laws of the church should not attend

      June 5, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's asking you to 'recognize it', James? Nobody cares if you or your church perform gay marriages. Nobody is attempting to force any church to do so. Where do you get the idea that your religious beliefs have any bearing on the issue? What counts is the government. Your church wedding means not a thing legally; what matters is that the state has given you and your beloved a license. Without it, you aren't legally married no matter what God says. With it, you and your partner receive the benefits granted all legally married couples.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • sam stone

      james: if the state is granting the license, they have to provide equal protection. if they grant marriage licenses for straights, they have to for gays. churches (and individuals) can do as they please

      June 5, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Turnaway

      James the Just, step aside, this topic is for that of a higher grade, God! Not a one gather here today, can cast the first stone. Wrong is wrong and right is right, anything in between, are just ones opinion. In the end, we all will know the Truth. I know that in humans and animals, their nature more times then not, there is a male and female, who parts are designed to fit together like a perfect puzzle. Coming together as one to produce another one. The but hole is not designed for penis intake, it is designed for wast disposal. But, no pun intended, We live by free will, so have at it.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  4. kaber

    Churches like this only advance atheism

    June 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Ken


      June 5, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • rlj

      Yes, if this is what God stands for, rational people will choose to go with their own judgement.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  5. rlj

    ""The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”
    Yeah, except when you do.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  6. cworr

    I am absolutely amazed at all the hate-filled left wingers who post their blasphemous, hateful rhetoric on this site hypocritically accusing Christians of hate. I don't see any Christians posting anything similar. There are 7 Billion people in the world. 2 Billion are Christians. 1.3 Billion are Muslims. 900 million are Hindus. 300 million are Jews. And .00000001 are trolls who post on cnn.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Then you obviously have extremely poor reading skills. Christians post threats of people being tortured eternally all the time and speak of hate and bigotry towards those who disagree with their world view.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • miketofdal

      welcome to your little piece of heaven on the web, troll.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Mac

      And .ooooooooooooooo1 are gay pretending they ate 10 percent of the population.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm not left wing and I hate Christians. You'd be surprised how many of us there are. I'm not an anomaly.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Petercha

      TruthPrevails – Comments about eternal torture (I assume you mean Hell by this) are warnings, not threats. Learn to distinguish the two. A warning is a GOOD thing, meant to help others avoid something unpleasant.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Do as I say or you'll be tortured forever.

      Sounds like a threat to me.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "Comments about eternal torture (I assume you mean Hell by this) are warnings, not threats"

      In order for that to be true you first have to prove that hell exists and given that you nor anyone else who believes it can provide the evidence for it, it is safe to as.sume it is a threat.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • closet atheist

      Like Rational Libertarian, I'm not "left wing".

      I'd vote for republicans if they didn't pander to the christian right so bad.... and I'll probably vote for Romney just to get the socialist current president out of office.

      What's with this retar.ded fundamentalist uprising in this country?? Can we pretty please focus on our struggling economy, our failing education system, etc....?? 20 years from now we will be a third-rate country.....

      June 5, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • sam stone

      right....and those empty proxy threats that the faithful post, what are they?

      June 5, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • sam stone

      Petercha: You have no authority to issue threats or warnings. Doing so just makes it look like you are playing god. Does it make you feel all pious?

      June 5, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • sam stone

      i am not left wing and i do not hate christians. however, i do hate bigots hiding their bigotry behind a bible

      June 5, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Turnaway

      Hostility from the World – John 15:18-20
      "If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me first. If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you like it loves its own people. But I have chosen you out of the world. So you don't belong to the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the lesson I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If people did wrong to me, then they will do wrong to you too. And if people obeyed my teaching, then they will obey yours too."

      June 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  7. notatall

    The hate and negative judgement from so many so called Christian churches is what turns people away from attending church. If Christian pastors would stick to the words and deeds of Christ, the entire Christian religion would be as it should: loving, supporting, healing.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Turnaway

      Right, right, right . . . all Christian should support sin. just to get along. I don't think so. Like Jesus did, time to turn over the tables at the Temple. (Luke 12:53) They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

      June 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  8. Haggy

    Hateful Churches like this make all of them look bad. The only churches you hear about are the bad ones, never the good ones. My Catholic church teaches acceptance and forgiveness

    June 5, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why would they report a church preaching love and acceptance? That's what churches are supposed to preach, isn't it? News networks don't report planes arriving at their destination, they report crashes.

      However, given the fact that many church congregations seem to be reverting to the Dark Ages socially, maybe a church that does preach love and acceptance is newsworthy.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • DCBuck

      EXACTLY. But, it's up to us Christians to stand up and counter their hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Petercha

      I agree, Haggy, there is a strong anti-Christian bias in the far-left media. It would be nice if they report facts like "this church's views only represent a tiny minority of Christian churches" or some such, but no, they report things like this in such a way as to stir up anti-Christian hatred. Sad.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • rlj

      More real Christians who follow Jesus should speak out against this kind of hatred – that's the only way to keep Christianity relevant. Without acceptance and compassion religion becomes nothing but a ritualistic circus.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      Your church teaches forgiveness for being born gay?

      Why? Do they teach forgiveness for being born left-handed? How about for being born black?

      Proclaiming that being born gay is wrong makes as much sense as proclaiming the sun revolves around the earth.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Primewonk

      Peter wrote, " It would be nice if they report facts like, "this church's views represent a tiny minority of christian churches".

      In North Carolina Amendment 1 passed with 61% of the vote. Wanna bet on what percentage of those folks were "good christians"?

      In Mississippi, half of all republicans said that interracial marriage should be illegal. Wanna bet on what percentage of those folks were "good christians"?

      And again, down south, 80% or higher of republicans said that President Obama was not a christian, and half said he was a muslim. Again, wanna bet on what percentage were "good christians"?

      You claim that the haters do not represent "true christians". You obviously are wrong.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  9. rockysfan

    Really? Not preaching hate? Ok, I'll buy that; you're TEACHING it and that is worse! The road to h e l l is paved with good intentions, and these intentions are not even good.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  10. Christine

    "We don't teach hate"??? This church can talk the talk all they want, but their actions suggest otherwise.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  11. BethTX

    No, of course you don't teach hate. Why would anyone think that? Oh, yeah, the anti-gay thing.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  12. Honey Badger Dont Care

    And that is where christians come from. So sad.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Hey You

      Do not tar all Christians with this brush.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Mac

      If you don't want us thinking that all gays have the gay bowel syndrome disease and HIV, and are flaming hair and fashion designers, then don't lump all Christians together either. There are over 2 billion of us.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's funny Mac how you don't want to be generalized into a group which you clearly belong to.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  13. moe smith

    If you aren't teaching acceptance then YOU ARE TEACHING HATE...




    June 5, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Not necessarily. You only have to preach tolerance. I tolerate the behavior of others, it doesn't mean I have to accept it.

      People listen to Nicki Minaj and watch The X Factor. I don't have to accept their tastes, just tolerate them.

      Secularists shouldn't ask Christians to accept h omos exuality, just tolerate it (and more than anything, not try to legislate their archaic beliefs onto the rest of society).

      June 5, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  14. rinsac

    Of course not, you just model and practice it.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  15. Josh

    "We don't teach hate, church says"

    They please explain how hate is the message your congregation leaves each sermon with?

    June 5, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  16. Rational Libertarian

    The more viral videos that keep appearing, the better. It's showing people the hate that many religious denominations and congregations spread.

    All rational people know that Pastafarianism is the one true religion, so sayeth Mosey the Pirate, bringer of the 8 I Really Rather You Didn'ts.

    June 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care


      June 5, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  17. Reality

    Only for the eyes of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

    June 5, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • jungleboo

      Yes, of course. The rooting and florishing of a new sentiment at the time, that all men were worthy of love and respect, took the Mediterranean Basin by storm and mixed with the deific ideas from other cultures who followed the roads to Rome. After a few centuries of philosophic chaos, the Roman Empire redesigned itself as The Holy Roman Empire (thanks to Mr. Constantine), creating a standardized creed supported by a smattering of scripts. Some scripts were banned, others codified, and the new State Religion swept all of europe into The Dark Ages. I could go on. It is a fascinating study for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The growth and spread of religion is indeed fascinating, but it's also a damning indictment of the fear and hatred prevalent in humanity.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  18. Rational Libertarian

    "The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church"

    That sounds more like the actions of a cult leader than the leader of a Christian congregation (is there any real difference?).

    Passage of time + large amounts of real estate = Religion
    Short existence + little real estate = Cult

    June 5, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  19. WASP

    In the Book of Proverbs (Mishlai), King Solomon stated that the Lord specifically regards "six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth." namely"
    1.A proud look.
    2.A lying tongue.
    3.Hands that shed innocent blood.
    4.A heart that devises wicked plots.
    5.Feet that are swift to run into mischief.
    6.A deceitful witness that uttereth lies.
    7.Him that soweth discord among brethren.

    June 5, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • notatall

      Shhh. Most hateful Christians like those at this church don't want to hear that. They want to hate anything and everything different from them whether it is a racially mixed US President or people they don't even know while they worship the almighty capital gain.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Petercha

      The liberal media is guilty of a lot of those things.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  20. jungleboo

    I did some math for a few minutes on Wikipedia:

    The USA accounts for only 5% of the world's population, at 313 million people, (five percent). Of that number, 75% affiliate with a religion.

    In the most recent survey of USA citizens who actually affiliate with a religion, less than 10% stated that religion was "THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THEIR LIVES." That means that only .4% (point 4 percent) of the world's population could conceivably be in the same camp as The Sunday Fundies and identify as USA citizens. That camp also would include rabbid fundamentalists hassidic, muslim, mormon, etc.

    So imagine the graph: less than .4% of the world's population. That's four people in a thousand, (and you could easily dismiss one to account for the hassidic/mormon/muslim factor) who have a BAC fixation on some kind of "salvation/eternal reward/afterlife in heaven".

    Believing that you possess a Truth that allows you to scorn others who have no reason to notice you is abject selfishness. You are only .4%, four in one thousand, never ever to convert the world to your way of thinking, especially with the wonders of the Internet in place.

    You are being exposed by a brilliant light for the cancer that you are, and bit by bit (bite by bite – or should I say byte by byte), you will be erased from the face of the Earth as barbaric throw-backs to a time when man didn't even know why he itched.

    June 5, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      have you not been touched by his noodley appendage?!?

      all hail the great Flying Spaghetti Monster!

      for some info on Pastafarianism, goto:


      June 5, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      And to that let me say "May the sau'ce be with you!!"

      June 5, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      And at supper, the only son of the his holy noodliness said,"these noodles are my flesh, this sauce is my blood. Seriously. But the garlic bread is just garlic bread. And I bought that wine, was it supposed to be red or white wine? I think red."

      June 5, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Jen

      this thread is giving me life right now, omg. lol.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ bootyfunk/mirosal/lunchbreaker ~~ Thanks for the morning laugh!!

      June 5, 2012 at 9:25 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.