Remember Charles Worley, the demented North Carolina pastor who told his congregation that gay people should be rounded up and put into concentration camps? There was a huge protest outside his church this weekend, with 2,000 people showing up to condemn him.
Starting about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, more than 2,000 protesters descended on Newton, a small town of about 13,000 near Hickory. The town is about 12 miles from Providence Road Baptist Church, where Pastor Charles Worley gave a sermon May 13 that suggested gay people should be rounded up, placed in a sort of concentration camp, and left to die.
Sunday’s protest was organized by Appalachian State University student Laura Tipton and backed by a group calling itself Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate. Most of the protesters supported same-sex marriage and equal rights; about 100 people came to support Worley and to stand against homosexuality.
Tipton, who said she had never attended a protest before Sunday, organized it after seeing a YouTube video of Worley’s sermon.
That sermon, she said, “was a message of hate, a message of intolerance, a message of genocide, and not something we in this community could support.”
“Love and acceptance are two of the most important things you can give to someone else,” Tipton said. “You don’t need to hate somebody just because they’re different.”
There were about 100 people demonstrating in support, including other pastors:
One preacher, Billy Ball — who is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, Ga. — spoke into a bullhorn, calling out Bible verses and calling on supporters of same-sex marriage to repent.
“God loves you, yes, he does,” Ball called out. “But he does not love your sin. And homosexuality is the most tolerated, petted, pampered sin in the United States of America.” …
Brad Cheatham, a member of Ball’s church, said the members of the church drove from Georgia to the protest in Newton — about a five-hour trek — because they believe homosexuality is a sin.
Cheatham held a sign that read: “Sodomites are vile, unnatural, and worthy of death, Romans 1:16-32.”
“It looks like I’m promoting killing homosexuals, but I’m not,” Cheatham said. “It is our responsibility as a saved person to save these sodomites. … There’s no incest pride event, no bestiality pride event, no adultery pride event … homosexuality is right in between incest and bestiality. God didn’t change his mind about that.”
Oh, of course not. Why would anyone think that saying that gay people are worth of death is a call to kill them? That would be crazy talk!
Like Dispatches on Facebook: