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. BozScaggy

    I love how the same "Government is too big...get out of my life!" people are the ones that want the government to kill you for who you love. I hope the Mayans are right about the end of the Earth...logic is already gone.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • DocReality

      I had a t-shirt made up which reads: The Mayans are so right on.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  2. Rick

    I have been taught that Christ message to his followers was to love one another and that of forgiveness in the creation of his new and everlasting covenant. So why is it that socalled christian pastors and others of the cloth reach into the old testement of the bible which comes from the jewish torah and spew their hateful messages. Make claims that those they do not agree with will go to hell.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • OOO

      You are just lucky that your bible teachers decided to leave out the bad parts. They were using their own moral compass rather than your blindly following.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      read all of the bible. you may be surprised. here's jesus threatening to kill children:

      ""Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." (Revelation 2:22-23)"

      June 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  3. Cm

    You cannot tell people what kind of crazy crap they can say in church. This really is about religious freedom. They can believe any crazy crap they want to. Just can't make it law.
    Ignore them.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      they have the right to be bigots - and we have the right to call them out on it.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  4. Wootings

    Newsflash: religion is the sociological sink for hatred, in the same way that prairie dogs are the biological sink for the plague. The difference being, of course, that the plague is nowhere near as deadly as religion.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Lena

      Religion is what makes us tick. Live by the law, and you should be saved.....

      June 5, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  5. peter out

    Jesus would not spread hate, even towards those who do not follow his teachings. He was a peaceful, loving, and forgiving person. His followers should watch how they judge others.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus certainly said a lot about love, but he also promoted slavery and some other questionable views/actions. don't be selective in your reading the bible.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  6. SokrMom

    They're definitely teaching hate. Are these people even aware that people used to point to the Bible as justification for slavery? That the Bible was also cited in support of racism against blacks and against jews? The time comes when irrational and unjust prejudices have to be abandoned. Gay is natural; hatred is a lifestyle choice.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Grampa

      Don't forget the Bible being used as justification for the subjugation of women.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible was "used" to justify slavery because the bible openly promotes slavery.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  7. No Invisible Friends

    "Blah blah blah, it's all in the Bible... blah blah". In the words of the Church Lady: "Isn't that convenient?".

    June 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  8. Dennis

    They seem to have forgotten something. The Bible!

    John 3:16-18 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

    God doesn't want to lose anybody. He send His Son for the Republican, the Democrats, the whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or any other group in particular. He sent Him to the world. Part of the problem with our world, especially in the Christian Church, is that we tend to focus on what we shouldn't be doing instead of the good that we should be doing. Sir Nicolas Winton said, "Don't be content in your life just to do no wrong. Be prepared every day to try and
    do some good."

    So please, stop and look around. There is a lot of good that can be done and loving people and showing love to them, is good.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      then why does god via leviticus 20:13 command people to kill g.ays?

      June 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • OOO

      They only forgot about SOME parts of the bible, in a similar way to what you are doing.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • OOO

      Also, you didn't say you thought, or you hoped god didn't want to losw anybody. You sad flat out that god didn't want to lose anybody.
      I always have one question for statements like that.
      How do you KNOW this?

      June 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • OOO

      Lastly, the first thing you should do to help yerself on the path of doing no wrong is to put your bible away and make your own moral decisions. The ones you know are right because they are right, not because someone else told you in a 2000 year old book.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Dennis

      In the Old Testament there was no forgiveness of sins except through sacrifices. Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins in the New Testament. I am not saying that I condone not obeying God's law, I'm saying that it is God's problem, not mine. God is far more merciful and full of grace than human beings. I do not pretend to understand everything. I know that it says that I should, "Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind and I should love my neighbor as myself." My neighbors happen to include some who are gay and I choose to love them.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      And yet that same god will supposedly consign most of humanity to eternal torture, one of the reasons being that they just didn't believe in him, or worshipped something else. Deeds don't matter in the christian doctrine, because they teach people (even little kids) that humans are worthless evil beings that can't do anything right on their own.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Dennis

      OOO – I am making my own decision. I am deciding to be as Christlike as I can. I do as much good as I can. I am doing just that, I am acting on my morals. I just happen to base them on the Bible. Each person has a right to choose. Just because it may be almost 2000 years old doesn't make it wrong.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • OOO

      "I am acting on my morals. I just happen to base them on the Bible"
      Well, are they your morals or are they the bibles? If Jesus said to cut of a sinners finger for stealing bread, would you stop and wonder about that?

      June 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • demrules

      BOOTYFUNK: Leviticus 20:13 is a valid scripture. However, many of these New Testament Churches are the first to state that Jesus fulfilled the law (Leviticus) thus negating the practice of these laws. To say they are a "new testament" and advocate the "old testament" is a contradiction. They have the right to believe what they will, however , I think they should give up their 501c3 federal tax status of non-profit. 501c3 clearly points to pulpits and platforms that take advantage of this non-profit (government) benefit are to abstain from these types of public displays. P.S. President Obama did not implement it either, it's been in place for a long time! LOL!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Dennis

      @OOO – I understand your point and I'm not going to convince you and that is okay with you. I, however, do not claim deity. I do not claim absolute understanding, but I do understand that Jesus commanded us to forgive, so I do. As DemRules stated, the law was fulfilled and now we have the opportunity of forgiveness. If God can forgive, then I should as well because I do not consider myself greater than God.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • OOO

      Do you only forgive because Jesus told you to?

      June 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk


      the NT doesn't replace the OT - it adds to it. jesus himself says you cannot drop a single letter from the OT, that all God's laws are eternal. so again, it's christians making excuses for the heinous views/actions in the OT. not a valid argument, according to the bible.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  9. javadanny

    Wow! A church that feels it is even necessary to send out a message that it doesn't preach hate. Wow!

    June 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  10. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Actually, I have more respect for those who show their hatred openly than those who say to your face "God bless you" or "Jesus loves you", and then stab you in the back at the first opportunity. I have known a lot of the latter.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  11. Dan

    The boy is lucky that a Priest did not teach him singing lessons.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  12. Laura

    Well they certainly don't teach love. So it must be ignorance and intolerance. That boy's parents should be ashamed of themselves.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  13. Aacon

    You know times are changing when the churches start backing up bullies & encouraging killings.The old ideas are dieing out.Good riddance !

    June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  14. The Christian Left

    I am a liberal Christian and churches like this disgust me. They give all Christians a bad name, not unlike how the 9/11 terrorists make all Muslims look.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • jduff

      Religioua people of any relogion give themselves a bad name because they close minded backwards and stupid. Relion has created some dangerous people because it gives them an avenue to push their deadly ideologies

      June 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • iheartyou

      Aw, come on, don't do that, Jduff - let's not lump all religious people in with the ones that are wackos. I am not religious at all, but do know some kind and loving religious people who truly want to be good and kind to everyone and do not believe everything some man on a pulpit tells them. My sister's in-laws are religious and fully support equal rights and marriage equality for gay people among other things. There are all kinds of people of faith out in the world, not just the crazies. Peace.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actually, sounds like you practice what i call 'christianity light'. the bible is very clear about killing g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend. the bible openly promotes slavery. if you are a good christian, shouldn't you support these biblical views?

      June 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  15. jduff

    If you don't like church, don't go. If you don't like abortions don't get one. If you don't like gays then get that penis out of your mouth.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • QS

      Church is not the sole existence of religion.

      I wish it were that easy to get away from religion, just by not going to church which I avoid like the plague!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Mac

      So aren't the gays making threats haters? Or is that just anyone that doesn't agree with them?

      June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  16. Rudedog

    Ten thousand atheists could not harm Christianity more than some religiofascists with their hatred.

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

      Nor do they

      June 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • SLTsherey

      so true, rudedog, it's almost like cheating! 🙂

      June 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  17. sick of christian phonies

    "christians" are among the most bigoted, disgusting fecal matter on the planet.

    As people and society evolve and intelligence and education levels rise, they move away from the primitive, bronze age beliefs that have held sway for millenia. What you have left, then, are the ignorant, uneducated, bigoted, and just plain stupid sheep that call themselves "christians" (or Muslims, or Hindus, or whatever...)

    June 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Mac

      Funny you would say fecal matter since the epidemic gay bowel syndrome is one of the gay world's dirty little secrets. Is that all you people think about?

      June 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • gay bowels

      Mac: I wish I had gay bowels. Unfortunately, mine are frequently very unhappy and expel large volumes of liquid matter accompanied by cramping. Oh how I wish I had "gay bowel syndrome"! Why can't my bowels be gay???

      June 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Lena

      Well, we sick of people like you. specilyoung hate thruout the page.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • James

      Your comment about "christians" seems to be among the most bigoted, disgusting fecal matter on the planet.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  18. Kris

    I try not to dislike religion as a whole, but really. So much of what they preach is intolerance and hate. I think it is time we realize that the bible was written by human beings with their prejudices and ignorance and probably misinterpretation of events. I just wish people(religious zealots) would realize that their faith does equal the law of the land. And thank god for that.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • tony

      Religion has to steal the ownership of human pleasure, and ration it back to us, in order to justify their existence. That's why guilt is so important as a tool of regulation and control.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • QS

      I try to do the opposite – I try, at any given moment, to point out the flaws, dangers and evils inherent in religion. To do anything else is to condone by non-action!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  19. Marc

    More right-wing Christian fanatics in denial. Do me a favor, step outside the crazy ring for a moment and take a look back inside. I think you'll see a different result.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • QS

      Sadly, the indoctrination process is so complete and successful much of the time, that when they leave and look back in...they simply miss it!

      June 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  20. Chrisitans hate YOU!

    The world would be better off without these heinous christian lowlifes.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
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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.