Earlier today we brought you news of the now viral video featuring a young child singing in church “Ain’t No Homos Gonna Make it to Heaven,” much to the applause and celebration of the congregation.
The church in question has been revealed as the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle, part of the Apostolic Pentecostal Churches ring, a ministry in Greenberg, Indiana, headed by founder Rev. Jeff Sangl.
Reactions to this story have been uniform in their condemnation, but a few have raised interesting, even devestating points.
The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle is in Greensburg, Indiana. That’s the town where Billy Lucas was bullied to death for being perceived to be gay by his classmates. I wonder if they stood up and cheered at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle when Lucas died—hey, another homo in hell. I wonder if any of Lucas’s tormenters attend services at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle. And remember: I’m an anti-Christian bully for pointing out the connection between what straight kids are taught about “homos” in the shithole mega-churches they’re dragged to by their parents and what they turn around and do to “homos” they encounter in classrooms. And what if that precocious little four-year-old singer is gay?
Billy Lucas was of course the 15- year-old boy who took his own life in 2010 after he had been persistently bullied for being believed to be gay. His death was one of the first high-profiled suicide cases that would eventually prompt Dan Savage to set up the It Gets Better campaign.
Author Anne Rice who, though still identifying as a Christian, famously disavowed organized religion, has commented on her Facebook page:
The church involved has now been identified. Perhaps national scrutiny — and polite criticism — will encourage these people to think about their behavior.
I also think Care2′s own Annie Urban speaks for many parents when she comments on her blog phdinparenting:
I’ve written in the past about how much I value conversations about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to parenting, how stating the benefits of one approach over another doesn’t equate to judging parents who have made a different choice, and how I detest it when parents who hate being judged point their finger at others.
And, I’ve also written about the type of parenting that I do judge. … This is an example of the type of parenting, and community for that matter, that I judge.
Don’t be that parent. End Hate.
The church, it seems, has been inundated with people leaving messages on their Facebook wall, many polite and some, from a civil discourse standpoint, less than desirable. However, controllers of the church’s Facebook page appear now to have started blocking people–though how widespread this practice is remains to be seen.
Care2 has sent an email asking for comment from the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle however, as of the time of writing, no reply has yet been given.