Pastor Preaches Anti-Gay Sermon at Public School Graduation Event

This time of year we always find out about baccalaureate services all over the country. Public schools often sponsor such events at a local church, where attendance is not mandatory but it’s still a public school promoting religion. One such event just backfired on a school district in North Carolina:

Students and parents are furious that a North Carolina pastor told graduating seniors they would go to hell if they were gay – but he insists he was just showing his Christian love.

“Do I hate anybody? Absolutely not,” Pastor Scott Carpenter told WBTV. “I just love them too much not to tell them the truth.”

Carpenter, interim pastor at Temple Baptist Church, made the comments during the baccalaureate service at Kings Mountain High School.

“It’s a public school, (and) there are children here,” said parent Chuck Wilson. “I think there should be some level of responsibility of the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience.”

He described the pastor’s comments as “bullying.”

“Bullying doesn’t have to happen from the back hallway of a school or a back parking lot,” Wilson said. “It can happen from the pulpit, it can happen from the stage.”

In this case, the service took place at the school, which makes it even worse. In other districts, it’s held at a local church but the school helps promote it. Look, if a church wants to hold such a service for graduates who attend their church, that’s fine. But the school should not have any involvement whatsoever with them. Can you even begin to imagine that outrage if a mosque did this and the school helped promote it to graduates?

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  • D. C. Sessions

    Can you even begin to imagine that outrage if a mosque did this and the school helped promote it to graduates?

    Well, sure. But that’s because the Founders weren’t setting out to create an Islamic Republic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    I understand graduation as a rite-of-passage for teenagers. But, unless the entire graduating class could fit comfortably in a one-room school house, the pastor must have known there were at least a few LGBT students in the audience. So, this ass-hat decides that now is the moment to get in a few swipes from his bully-pulpit.

    Also, “loves[s] them too much to lie”? Does that mean I should tell my wife the truth when I think a dress is unflattering, or does it mean I don’t love her that much… after 35 years of marriage?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    This is a Religious Liberty issue. You Liberals and other Athiests are trying to crush the pastor’s First Amendment right to harangue homokids at his own religious service. If this oppression keeps up, you people will make sure he never gets invited to any public events to yell at The Gays. Look, it’s not the Public Square if pastors can’t hector homos.

     

    Besides, if the Homos didn’t like it, they had the Liberty to leave “their” baccalaureate service in “their” public school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    Modus, you would do a great service to humanity if you would leave your brain to science once you shuffle off this mortal coil. Imagine the advances we could make in snarkiness if we could study your brain!

  • BobApril

    “It’s a public school, (and) there are children here,” said parent Chuck Wilson. “I think there should be some level of responsibility of the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience.”

    Would it have been any less “taking advantage of a captive audience” if he had restricted his remarks to mere sectarian proselytization, and not gone all the way into preaching the evils of Teh Gay? I wonder how much that would have reduced the outrage…

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    eoraptor, I’m not letting pencil-necked eggheads anywhere near my brain. It’s a waste of time. All they’ll do is peek at it, poke at it, then put it in a jar. I do that already.

  • hunter

    “I just love them too much not to tell them the truth.”

    If your idea of love starts with judgment and condemnation, I think you’ve missed the point.

  • ZugTheMegasaurus

    Why the hell was a pastor speaking at the graduation in the first place? I do not understand this need to include religion in every single thing you can possibly do. What is the possible connection between this preacher and this graduating class? It’s like having some guy from the local water treatment plant give a speech. It just makes no sense to me.

  • D. C. Sessions

    eoraptor, it’s not Modus’ brain that he pulls these from.

  • He Who Shall Not Be Blamed

    @ Eoraptor #4

    “Imagine the advances we could make in snarkiness if we could study your [Modus’] brain!”

    Careful – that might lead to the Snark Ages!

  • dingojack

    And the uncontained recitation of Lewis Carroll poetry…

    Dingo

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    D.C Sessions@9

    Well, if getting them from where I think you’re implying, it’s awfully hard to study a hole without including the matrix.

    He Who Shall Not Be Blamed@10

    I pay you the highest compliment: I’m running from the room, holding my nose, and groaning.

  • eric

    Can you even begin to imagine that outrage if a mosque did this and the school helped promote it to graduates?

    Yeah, we really need some sort of Islamic equivalent to the Satanic Temple. Proposed motto: anything you can do, we can do mosque-ier.

    @2 and @8: this was a baccalaureate service, which is a private Christian graduation ceremony (but often has a lot of administration buy-in). It was not the ‘official’ graduation ceremony, so the student attendance might not have included everyone. Nevertheless, its nice to see in this case some students and parents complaining about the inappropriateness of the comments.

    Also not to be confused with IB, which is not the same program (i.e., we are not talking about an IB graduation ceremony, at least as far as I know).

  • http://www.facebook.com/hmoulding Helge

    “I just love them too much not to tell them the truth.” ~ So if I said vile things to the pastor I could tell him it was all out of love. I’ll keep that in mind.

  • erichoug

    God! Shut up! Just shut the fuck up. Quit acting like your speech has anything to do with anything other than your own fucking bigotry and homophobia. The people in question are human beings and they are made that way and they deserve the same love and respect that anybody else does and you should stay the fuck out of EVERYBODY’S sex life.

    We don’t ask you about yours so just shut the fuck up about everybody else’s.

  • Synfandel

    @13 eric, I had to look up that term. I wondered why high school students were receiving baccalaureate degrees. Seems it has a US-specific meaning.

  • dingojack

    Helge – no, no, no you don’t understand!

    Even the mildest criticism of Christians is like crucifying them, sending them to re-education camps, gulags, Pol Pot, Stalin, HITLER!!! (everything is ‘bad’ like Hitler to them, eventually).

    But them hatin’ on the Gheys, Blacks, Women and etc., why that’s God’s Love™!

    @@ Dingo

  • scienceavenger

    @8 “I do not understand this need to include religion in every single thing you can possibly do. What is the possible connection between this preacher and this graduating class? ”

    You’ve apparently not spent much time around the truly godsoaked. To them, everything is connected to God. Had a nice lunch? God was smiling on you. God, please get me a close parking space, look, we are blessed. Wasn’t the Lord’s sun shining brightly this morning?

    I wish I was kidding.

  • sugarfrosted

    @16 Must be a regional thing, because I never heard it used that way.

  • tbp1

    You’ve apparently not spent much time around the truly godsoaked. To them, everything is connected to God. Had a nice lunch? God was smiling on you. God, please get me a close parking space, look, we are blessed. Wasn’t the Lord’s sun shining brightly this morning?

    Where I live it’s become almost de rigueur for certain types to say “Have a blessed day” after any kind of interaction. The exterminator said that when he left yesterday. He’s a nice guy, does a good job and all, but really…

  • Sastra

    “It’s a public school, (and) there are children here,” said parent Chuck Wilson. “I think there should be some level of responsibility of the speaker coming in to not take advantage of a captive audience.”

    Ha ha ha. Really? This was a Baccalaureate service, which is religious by nature — and you think there’s some easy, convenient way to make sure that expressions of faith aren’t going to violate some nonexistent nonconfrontational clause and say something divisive?

    It’s religion. It’s already divided the believers from the nonbelievers, the rational from the faithful, and there IS no rule about being ecumenical or it’s not really fit for a public school baccalaureate service and a “captive audience” which willingly came to hear truths about God. Which God? No matter what is said, someone is going to be butthurt about the genuine god getting short-changed.

  • Artor

    Whew! Scott Carpenter happens to be the name of an old childhood friend. But I looked up a pic of the pastor, and he has about 10-15 years on either of us. I’m glad an old friend didn’t turn out to be a dipshit.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Where’s the backfire? He got to do and say exactly what he wanted.

  • Lofty

    Where the definition of “love” is indistinguishable from emotional blackmail.

  • howardhershey

    look at it positively. To some students this level of expressed Christian bigotry (er, truth) might be enough to push them to become rational human beings so as not to be so repellent.

  • rietpluim

    Now we’ve torn this pastor’s “love” apart, let’s go after his “truth”.

  • dingojack

    rietpluim – both as imaginary as his god.

    Dingo

  • marcus

    ZugTheMegasaurus @

    It’s like having some guy from the local water treatment plant give a speech.,,

    No it’s not!

    (There is a possibility that they may have learned something from some guy from the local water treatment plant. )

  • eric

    @16 – don’t feel bad, I hadn’t heard the term used in this way before this year, either. It seems to me this may be a relatively recent phenomena, or at least a recent expansion of a previously rare type of event. Kinda like alternate proms: some families don’t want to associate with those students, so they hold their own events. Those were basically non-existent a decade or two ago (AFAIK), now we seem to hear stories about them every springtime.

  • Peter the Mediocre

    This stuff is not new. Many years ago (about 1965) I was in the Jr. High school choir. We started practicing religious songs for “Baccalaureate”. I didn’t know what that was. Not long before the event we were given copies of the program and it was obvious to me that it was a church service and nothing else, so I didn’t show up to perform and never went back to choir. I wish that at the time I had spoken to my parents about it, but it was a long time ago and I didn’t expect support. I was in an affluent suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, not deep in the Bible Belt.

  • Anri

    Protip for Pastor Scott Carpenter:

    When speaking to a wide audience, cherry-pick your bible lessons more carefully. Nothing pisses Christians off more than being reminded about the bits of the bible that make them uncomfy.

    (Please continue to ignore the non-Christians – if The Most Perfect Being Ever thinks they deserve eternal torture, worrying about them is clearly well above your pay grade.)