Thousands protested on Sunday against a North Carolina Pastor that thinks gays and lesbians should be put in concentration camps.
Video of Pastor Charles L Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden emerged recently in which he said:
I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there… Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out… And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die.
Following this video going viral, Anderson Cooper spoke to a parishioner, Stacey Pritchard, who supported Worley:
It also emerged that a sermon from 1978 from Worley is online in which he says:
I’m God’s preacher. I just believe the book. Living in a day when, you know what, it saddens my heart to think that homosexuals can go around, bless God, and get the applause of a lot of people. Lesbians and all the rest of it? Bless God, forty years ago they’d have hung ‘em, bless God, from a white oak tree, wouldn’t they? Amen.
Writing for Huffington Post, local resident Evan Adams points out that this rhetoric had real life consequences:
I am faced with the fear that a member of the Providence Road congregation, possibly even Mr. Worley himself, will literally do whatever it takes “to get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”
He reported Worley to the local cops, but was told that until someone is physically injured as a result of Mr. Worley’s rhetoric, the police will do nothing to intervene.
Bill Leonard, professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School, told the Associated Baptist Press:
Pastor Worley said things that are repugnant in any Christian pulpit, that shame the name Baptist and undercut the gospel itself. Although I’ve sometime been embarrassed to be a Baptist, until now I’ve never really been ashamed.
Leonard compared Worley’s statements to the 1980 remarks of then-Southern Baptist Convention president the Rev. Bailey Smith that “God Almighty does not hear the prayers of a Jew.” He said:
E. Glenn Hinson, then my colleague at the Baptist seminary in Louisville and one of the most Christ-like human beings I have ever known, said of that [Worley’s] statement, “Such is the stuff of which holocausts are made.”
The protestors came out in force to bring a message of love and acceptance. Their signs bore bold statements like, “Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out just fine.” And “I am a gay, moral, conservative Christian.”
Sheriff’s deputies and Newton police officers kept the peace as the protestors stood by the side of the road and cheered every time a car drove past and honked in approval.
Counter protesters carried signs including “Sodomites are vile, unnatural and worthy of death. Romans 1:21-32″. Worley was greeted at his church with a standing ovation.
Watch this (there are many) immensely moving video of the thousands who turned out for “love not hate:”
Local news report: These haters are losing.