In churches across the country, bigoted pastors with political missions are preaching hate speech every Sunday.
Despite the Bible’s message of love, compassion, and respect, there are an unknown number of conservative congregation heads using their pulpits to push animosity and hate — aimed mostly at the political hot topics of the day.
In the fallout from President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality, video and audio has cropped up of several right-wing pastors in different states advocating physical violence toward gay people and generally disparaging the LGBT community. Here are some of the worst religious messages being shared at church:
—North Carolina Pastor argues for a gay concentration camp. Charles Worley told his congregation, “Have that fence electrified so [the homosexuals] can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and– And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”
— Kansas Pastor says gays should be put to death. Curtis Knapp tells his church, “Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them? No, I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.” Listen:
— Indiana Pastor says gay marriage leads to abuse of children. “A decision to allow same-sex marriages today lays the foundation for the definition of marriage to become Silly Putty tomorrow capable of endless reshaping in the future,” says Pastor Paul Brewster. “That, in turn, is a recipe for children to be made victims of all sorts of abuse and the welfare of our society to receive a fatal blow.”
— Maryland Pastor says his ‘flesh’ likes the idea of killing gays. Dennis Leatherman shouts, “Kill them all. Right? I will be very honest with you. My flesh kind of likes that idea. But it grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture.” Listen:
— Pastor advocates child abuse on gay children. Sean Harris says if a son shows what is perceived as effeminate behavior, a parent should “squash that like a cockroach,” and if they see their son “dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch.”
— At church, a child sings “ain’t no homo gonna make it to heaven” — in the same town where a fifteen year old killed himself after being bullied for being perceived of as gay by his classmates. Pastor Jeff Sangl of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle cheers on.Watch it:
These incidents were caught on video or audio, but there are likely many, many more sermons where hate speech goes unrecorded and unrecognized. These pastors, of course, do not represent Christians broadly, but where this hatefulness goes unchecked, it discredits religious institutions as a whole and harms every neighborhood that it infiltrates.