One of Pastor Worley’s disturbing flock defends him [Brain-frying VIDEO]

(If you arrived here via a link in my HuffPo piece on Americans United contacting the IRS about pastor Charles Worley, you were supposed to end up not at this post, but rather at  NC Pastor: “Let’s put all the queers and lesbians behind electric fences and let them die.” [VIDEO]. This post is a follow-up to that one. Sorry for that linky snafu.)

I mean … what does one do with this sort of thing?

I’m starting to feel like I’m living in some kind of Bizzaro World parallel universe, where … well, where no one ever goes to a decent school, for one.

I’m not saying that this woman is stupid; she doesn’t seem particularly organically stupid at all. But that she’s pretty dramatically uneducated is painfully obvious. She seems to have almost no capacity for the most basic kind of reasoning—the kind of reasoning that is the first and primary benefit of even a solid elementary school education.

And her anger is palpable; she positively radiates hostility. And I don’t blame her for being angry. It’s a terrible thing to even say, but the truth is that the world is generally a terribly harsh place for people who are uneducated. When you don’t know how to at all reason—not to mention when you’ve been trained to believe there’s not really much you personally can do to impact the quality of your life—your world very quickly gets and remains very small.

And people aren’t designed to live lives too small. You trap most people in too stifling a place, and effectively remove their hope, and you end up with people who during most of their waking hours are looking for nothing so much as a fight.

This woman would do damage. She’ll take a motherfucker out. People are always saying that they can’t understand how everyone in Nazi Germany could have supported what the Nazis were doing. And yes, I understand that many citizens in Germany at that time had no idea what their army was doing. But basically this woman, right here, is the answer to that question. People of her ilk are exactly how the Nazi army could have done what it did.

You put this woman in anything near a mob of others like her, hand her a drink and a baseball bat, and then point her toward some gays, or Jews, or Muslims—or anyone she thinks is either of those? Some skulls are gonna get cracked. People will die. And she’ll come home, throw her bloody clothes in her washing machine, down a beer or six, and sleep that night just as sound as she could be, secure in her conviction that she’s a perfectly good, perfectly God-fearing woman.

People like her get me itchy. They make me want to start storing food and buying weapons. And I’m not sure that in America today we’re producing any more of any kind of person than we are people like her. I think she’s the norm these day. If not, she’s entirely too close to it.

I’m not saying that I’m quite yet freaking out. But I am starting to get that weird tingly feeling that you sometimes do when it feels like there’s a big, ugly storm coming your way, one that it’s just possible you’re not going to be entirely capable of weathering.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Wayne Knockel via Facebook

    that she actually claims to agree is VERY frightening.

  • Karen Schlosberg via Facebook

    that anyone thinks that was is frightening. how did they become so small-minded, so petty, so afraid of everything??

  • Marise ‘Hightower’ Tuttle via Facebook

    I think I know where the fence really needs to go………*I know, I know, that wasn’t nice..*

  • Mary

    I live in NC, John. It’s hell.

  • Susan

    Good grief…put her in a plaid shirt and a pair of Birkenstocks and someone might be thinking she belongs behind the electric fence.

  • So does my dad. I know.

  • Valerie

    Trust me my hubby and I are considering stockpiling food and weapons cause they WILL come after us. We are very outspoken in our very conservative part of Texas and they know who we are. Scary huh?

  • part of the flock being steered off a cliff?

  • Rachel M.

    I honestly feel sorry for this pitiful woman; tragically she will teach her children this convoluted path of thought and judge her neighbors.

  • Karen Schlosberg via Facebook

    *thinks that way

  • Rachel M.

    Valerie – what are you doing in Texas! Get of there, it’s dangerous. Move to a Blue State, please.

  • Wow. Linear thinking is not her forte…and I agree. The mentality is dangerous. Shudder.

  • Sue Trigger

    You’ve said it well, John. It’s is unnerving when you pause to think about it.

  • David C Thompson via Facebook

    Outside is America.

  • Kathleen

    She’s so angry. It’s my son, my child, my very heart, her pastor is talking about putting behind an electrified fence and letting “die off” but she is angry.

    How in the world has she come to believe that she and her pastor are the victims? Is this what it looks like when the majority is forced to cede power? It’s frightening. Very frightening.

  • Kristen Miller via Facebook


  • Dorothy Dove Gillman via Facebook


  • Cat Fizer-Rau via Facebook


  • Jana Harrison Currier via Facebook

    *Sigh* I’m an NC native and this is the wonderful representation people see of our citizens.

  • HJ

    So utterly blessed to live in a part of a country where her ilk are in the vast minority. She is very uneducated. My guess is sixth grade drop-out. I’d wager a bet that she hasn’t ready a single story from the Bible herself. It is fear that drives her. Does anyone know how many folks supposedly are in this congregation?

  • Perry

    I haven’t watched the video (I’m steeling myself as I type this), but I have to say that I agree with Susan…she has this butch lesbian look about her from the still shot. (**shrug**)

    OK now, I’m gonna dive in and watch the video… (**shudder**)

  • Kathleen

    I do as well, Valerie. I’m thankful everyday that we had the means to send our son away to New England to a very tolerant state for college. Even though he’s gone from a relatively rural area to living in a big city, I sleep a lot better at night.

  • Sybil Buzzkill TenEyck via Facebook

    Poor woman is just clueless, Anderson is in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

  • BR

    Oh my. Makes me embarrassed to live in NC. I honestly don’t know what else to say…..

  • Marcelo

    “Is this what it looks like when the majority is forced to cede power?”

    Yes, it does. And it will look worse as they begin to realize that they aren’t the majority anymore. I shudder. I shudder.

  • Leslie Gardner via Facebook


  • Heather Sibley via Facebook

    She’s too stupid to be frightening.

  • Blake

    Perhaps a gathering storm you say…

    I lived in fear for years — reading local gay newspapers will do that to a mindset — a couple of tips for not being so scared. 1. They’re not right behind you. I promise. 2. They’re trying to scare you because a sense of dread sells. Ever try to watch Fox News? It’s like the local news on steroids (coming up after the game; how our socialist president is ruining our country for your children). CNN’s not much better. 3. Always listen to Yoda:

  • Gillian Butler via Facebook

    It was really disturbing to watch. She felt she had to defend the indefensible, and she didn’t have a clue.

  • Melody

    Not necessarily. The cities–even Dallas–are more progressive than the rest of the state. And Austin is the most progressive of them all. That’s where I would live if I could never leave.

  • Redding Farlow via Facebook

    I’m a NC native too. I promise we don’t raise ’em all to be this ignorant and stupid. So embarrassing!

  • Sue Hulett via Facebook

    Nah, she’s not representative of anybody. She’s got a crush on her pastor.

  • Matt Algren via Facebook

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that people like this only live in the south. They’re all over; this group is just stupid enough to say it on camera.

  • Nat J. Earl via Facebook

    Scary, scary, scary.. I agree with you about the impact of being uneducated (it makes me think of Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”), but being uneducated doesn’t equal necessarily being heartless – and this to me is also heartless, at the very least.

  • Michael Matthew Overman via Facebook

    Heather it’s ignorance like hers that is inherently frightening. It’s ignorance like hers that makes way for such blatant hatred and mindless violence/intolerance. And no, she’s not representative of any whole, but there are so many others like her who share such hostility towards anyone who is different, but most explicity against LGBT persons, that it really is frightening and even more so, painful.

  • Amy

    I live in NC too, but in the Triangle, where this type of person and behavior is really, REALLY hard to find. It’s certainly not hell, here.

    But I grew up in “small town NC” which was full of folks like this. Y’know where one of those KKK “cross-lightings” (not burnings, mind you) is taking place is a stones throw from my home town. 🙁 So many of my relatives could be this woman. Thank GOD my parents raised my sisters and I differently. I have a smattering of cousins who are liberals, but we’re a blessed few among the new generation of misogynistic homophobic racists.

    Yet… even so I can’t understand why people would do this. I thought Tar Heels were a better breed of Southerners. Guess not 🙁 Since Tuesday a couple weeks ago I’ve felt horribly depressed/angry that 60% of the voters my home state think I deserve to be discriminated against in the constitution.

    It’s my home too and dammit all to hell, I’m gonna stay here and fight these people.

  • Teresa Thompson Selove via Facebook

    To think there are so many of them too……

  • It was interesting watching Anderson Cooper, of all people, conducting this interview. How he kept a straight face (pardon the expression) is beyond me.

  • Jana

    I know what you mean! I’m an NC native and I have been fighting that stereotype my whole life. This woman is scary on SO many levels!

  • Kelven

    People like this have been getting a pass on their hate for a long, long time. The internet has made the world a lot smaller in terms of what one can say with impunity, and they have no one but themselves to blame when their words create a major sh#tstorm. Righteous indignation always trumps honest introspection with these people.

  • Jana

    Amen, Amy! I’m right there with you!

  • Nita Hardgrove Kellum via Facebook

    My husband and I made a donation to The Trevor Project in the churches honor. Maybe we need to give more.

  • Perry

    Now that I’ve watched this (I wanna bang my head against my coffee table), my gut reactions are:

    1) This woman is only one rung lower on the intelligence ladder from Sarah Palin (which says a lot more about Palin than anything else).

    2) I could picture my good friends’ eight-year-old daughter having a field day with this woman, pummeling her in a “debate” on homosexuality…or to be more realistic, it’d be an intellectual thrashing to the 50 gazillionth degree.

    3) When she gets called out, her reactions and body language remind me of the guests on Jerry Springer who think that yelling “BITCH!” 23 times in a row at the other lover will somehow win you the argument.

    My God, that was painful.

  • make that “tries to defend him”…not the most articulate spokesperson.

  • As a proud citizen of North Carolina, I have to say all this hate coming form my state in recent weeks – from Amendment One to the coming KKK rally in Harmony (irony, at it’s finest) to these gay hating preachers and their clueless flocks defending them – is shameful! You hit the nail on the head with your blog John. It’s all about education, which sadly isn’t valued much in this area of the state. I moved here a little over eight years ago (I live in the foothills, just about an hour west of where this church is located) and within the first month of being here was surprised by a mailer I got trying to “educate” me on how to vote properly (sent out by a local Baptist church). They talked about how the country was being lost to the evil of liberalism, etc. and included a list of “enemies” to always be wary of. The NEA topped that list….no joke. Their #1 enemy was the National Education Assoc. It’s frightening that such people exist in my midst. The good news is that their numbers actually are dwindling. I’ve seen a reduction in just the eight years I’ve been here. But looking around at our most recent events of hate and ignorance taking center stage again, it’s quite apparent there is still a very long way to go..

  • Leslie Marbach

    It truly is all about their lack of reasoning ability. They don’t critically think about anything! They truly believe they’re “Soldiers for Christ.” She’d probably go off with that baseball bat and sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” and quoting Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (That’s the King James version because this “pastor” Worley claims that only that version is the inerrant word of God.)

    The problem I see is that they are the principalities. They are the ones entrenched in spiritual wickedness. They are the darkness of the world. And we are the ones that must wrestle against them to further God’s Kingdom here on earth.

    (Sorry if that sounds all fundamentalist and stuff…that upbringing sometimes lingers.)

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Off the subject a bit …but who picked her to do this interview? I know she might represent many of the members of that church. But why do people always put the most backwards uneducated people in the south on t.v? It really does the same thing to those of us who live here as it does to gays or anyone else. I have a great sense of humor and often make fun of my southern roots, but when you constantly see the worst of the worst from the southern states doing interviews..of course it makes people think all of us are uneducated, toothless, bigots and rednecks. It was obvious to the producers of this show that Anderson Cooper (who I happen to have a crush on) would eat her alive. 🙂 I am being a little funny, but surely there was at least one college graduate in a church that size..right? ~sigh~ Deep down I was hoping at least a handful of his congregation would have walked out that day and they could have interviewed at least one of those people. Maybe I should just move…. 🙁

  • it’s very appealing to feel like you’re the victim. the whole world is against you–anything that goes wrong is somebody else’s fault.

  • Leslie Marbach

    I was thinking the same thing, Bob. Anderson Cooper must have wanted to go throw up then shower for an hour just to get the image and sound of her off.

  • Valerie

    Trust me if I could afford to move right now I would in a heart beat. Hard part is that we both have family here and we really do love Texas. It is really hard on us watching everything going to crap.

  • I thought the same thing!! Well, you know what they say about rabid homophobes…

  • Leslie Marbach

    Right on, Amy! I have a few friends in NC who are also part of the 40%.

  • Brooke Sample via Facebook

    Wow. You know, Anderson Cooper displayed some serious patience there, and he tried to slow it down for her … but I really don’t think anyone can ever take her seriously. So hostile, so clearly idiotic.

  • Barbara A.T. Wilson via Facebook

    Yeah, and she will vote for the GOP for the same lack of reasoning.

  • That was wonderful. All anyone really needs to know about Worley and his followers is summed up in that poor woman’s inability to construct a coherent sentence – or even a coherent thought.

    I hope his parishioners all make videos just like hers, and they get distributed far and wide, so everyone can see what caliber of person listens to creatures such as Worley.

  • Yes, he was truly amazing in how he didn’t get flustered or drawn in. I could never do that.

  • Leslie Marbach

    You’re so right! The studies that show rabid homophobes are more likely to be gay themselves tend to focus only on men, but I’m positive it’s true for women as well.

    (Just for the record though…I love my Birkenstocks and plaid shirts!)

  • Warren Ockrassa via Facebook

    She needed a few gay people up her family tree; it might have reduced the inbreeding.

  • Good for you, Amy. I am originally from North Carolina and was always (until about two years ago) proud of the fact that our state seemed better educated and more politically moderate than its neighbors. I’m saddened to see that slipping away. But this lady’s style isn’t confined to the South. I live in a part of Pennsylvania where there are loads of people who think Fox News is the Gospel and think and act just like that.

  • Plain and simple sad. How can people think like this. Let em die out behind the fence. How dumb can you be. It is scary that people do think like this. Blind leading the blind in that church.

  • Sharon Aldridge Kaufman via Facebook

    Came close to having a flashback on this one. Hate and ignorance, a frightening combination.

  • Jennifer Grove via Facebook

    Not gonna watch. My brain is already well-done.

    We need to split the country and give them some small bit down by the gulf. I’ve had it with stupid people.

  • My father lives in NC.

  • Well, the original idea of “fundamentalism”, when it was born back in the eighteenth century, was that (a) organized churches were susceptible to worldly corruption and thus were not valid sources of doctrine, so (b) everyone should learn to read the Bible and start learning about God there. Of course, that didn’t work out so well, because there’s now a fundamentalist orthodoxy that is at least as intransigent as anything to come out of Rome, but it wasn’t a bad idea to start out with!

  • Mark L.

    Hi, longtime reader, first time commenter. I am not Christian or religious by action or thought. That means I usually sit out theological debates. I follow this blog because I was raised Catholic and I like to see a community of people who identify as Christian and who see Christian persecution of gays and lesbians as fundamentally at odds with Christianity. It’s a warm fuzzy to know that you guys are out there fighting that fight for me.

    I’m not here to harp on that woman’s very unChristian beliefs or her obvious ignorance. I think those things are clear. I want to point out that she is the type of person who needs an external moral source more than anyone. She doesn’t seem capable of reasoning her way to a proper understanding of morality. So, Christianity can do that work for her. But, it failed her. Or her community failed her. Her pastor failed her.

    I don’t hate that woman or her ignorance (I certainly wish she were less ignorant). I just imagine what she would be like if her pastor had told her to love an accept everyone instead of hating them. Instead of swallowing poison, she deserves to swallow a panacea. Her, and people like her, need to be protected from morally bankrupt people who only wish to use her ignorance against her, against me, and against all Christians.

  • Mary

    She doesn’t have to think, she has Worley (who is just as ignorant) to think for her.

  • This makes me ashamed to be an American.

  • Wow. Just sad and scary. Clearly was focused on defending her pastor/standpoint rather than engaging in a logical discussion about the fact that promoting such hateful ideas is wrong.

  • Graż Nnachi via Facebook

    now, I’m not laughing any more…. – it really is a pity they are not here in the UK, as such comments are a crime here.

  • Mary

    I live in small town North Carolina. People like her are everywhere. Churches like Worleys are everywhere. Worley is TAME compared to some. They are called christian reconstructionists. And they are everywhere. Even presidential candidate Ron Paul is connected to them. One such group out of Nebraska and Ohio were touted as endorsers on Ron Paul’s site up until December 2012. These folks advocated stoning unruly teenagers to death . I have been shocked by the research I’ve done in the last couple days on this.

  • You meant to say, “Just HEARTbreaking,” right? I mean, I can’t help but to feel sorry for people like this. Life cannot — CANNOT — be pleasant for her in any way, shape, or form.

  • Leslie Marbach

    True, John. I think the term “Fundamentalist Christian” is too far gone to ever reclaim its original meaning. Darn, the term “Christian” is almost too far gone. That’s why so many people choose to label themselves as Christ followers or something similar. I still cling to the name in the hopes that people will realize that Christians aren’t all bigoted and hypocritical.

  • It’s scary because it’s people like this that are actually reproducing.

  • Leslie Marbach

    Is it possible that in that particular church there are no educated people? I don’t live in the South but in a very rural, redneck area anyway. There are a couple churches here that are exactly like that and have not one educated person. I’m not sure the pastors are educated either.

  • Stephen Scheffler via Facebook

    Wow. Sad.

  • She’ll read the comments on her video, exclaim that she’s being taken out of context, go home or to church indignant, and be comforted by her fellow church members for being so “persecuted” by those probing questions.

  • Melody

    Wow, Mary. I knew rural NC was a hotbed for IFB churches and their kind of bigoted beliefs, but not like you described. That is absolutely appalling. Whether or not it was originally in the Bible, these people need to learn what Jesus meant when said, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Really, it’s not that hard. But then again, anyone who uses the Bible to excuse hate will find a loophole.

  • Caroline Miller

    I can’t believe I watched the whole thing. I live in Kentucky, where you probably couldn’t throw a stone without hitting someone like her. The moment that epitomized this whole interview has to be when she was asked how she’d feel about putting Jews behind electric fences, and she just raises her eyebrows. Clearly she’s oblivious to the fact that that actually happened.

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Leslie you are right, it is possible. But I have lived in a very rural redneck area all my life and even in the most fundamental churches, some that I attended growing up, they have some very educated people who think and feel exactly like she feels which is extremely frightening. But at least they could have expressed their views somewhat intelligently and had a “real” conversation with Anderson Cooper. Instead they picked someone they knew he would make look stupid which does not do anyone any good. The reality is there are many people who hold her beliefs who are quite educated. Let’s have conversations with those people to finally start truly building bridges in this issue. This “pastor” was extreme and this lady has probably never had an independent thought since she was two years old, but there are loving dedicated Christians who still cannot get past the clobber verses about homosexuality and those are the people we need to be having conversations with…not the people who just make “good news” and makes my new crush, Anderson..look good..haha

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Amen Leslie!

  • Kate

    It would be informative at this point to read about James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith Development”. Note that the majority of adults never move past Stage 3, and it is in the interest of people like Pastor Worley to keep them in that Stage. There is much on the internet about Fowler’s Stages, but this is a good summary…

  • It’s the classic case of the blind leading the blind. No offense whatsoever to those blessed people who are sight impaired.

  • Melody

    Agreed. It takes really thick skin to handle that, and I definitely don’t have that kind of skin.

  • Mark L.

    That was really interesting, thank you!

  • I want to speak at least a small word of defense for her – although her views about gays are indefensible, I wouldn’t conclude she’s stupid from a single interview. She’s a laymen who isn’t used to public speaking or debating and was kind of put on the spot. I also wouldn’t assume she’d join in violence against gays, even though she might advocate it verbally. Some of these comments are grounded in stereotypes that all country people from North Carolina are unintelligent. We should focus on the issues and the statements made, not attack the people.

  • Bmac

    I’m sorry but stupid is exactly the word I would use for this woman. She had a hard time answering very simple questions. I have known people who have had very little education and are of exceptional intelligence and I’veet people who hold degrees from establishments of higher learning who could hardly compete intellectually with a brick. Something tells me she’d have difficulty conversing with a fence post.

  • That was heart-rending. I think of how much Jesus must suffer to see such bile being spread in His name. With every roll of her eyes, with every dismissive twitch and repeat of “here we go again”, I see that she would, without any compunction, gladly see people die because they don’t meet her church’s idea of worth.

    When Mr. Cooper asks a reasonable question, her only recourse is to display utter contempt for him with every fiber of her being and return to her corner, where she can say “there you go again”.

  • This so-called Pastor Worley is right up there with people from the past who preyed on vulnreable individuals who were like this unfortunate young women. Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and David Koresh all wemployed this same tactic. They succeeded in indoctrinating vulnerable people and leading them down a road which lead to their murdering others and eventually led to their personal destruction. History is reppeating itself. That’s what is really scary about this situation.

  • Melody

    Exactly. Jesus wasn’t educated in the conventional sense in his day, but he knew his shit, plain as day. That’s what makes the difference. You may not go to college, but if you’ve been taught to think for yourself and not judge others, then it doesn’t matter if you’re flipping burgers for a career–you’re still making a difference and a contributing member to a healthy society.

  • Allie

    Oh, honey. I wish I could give you a hug. Seriously. Go find someone normal and smart and get yourself a hug, not the usual suspects like your wife, but someone you don’t ordinarily hug. It feels just awful looking at the worst of people.

    Have you read Bob Altemayer’s “The Authoritarians”? He has it online here, and I strongly recommend it.

    Basically he’s done a lot of research into this, and he’s found that while authoritarians aren’t necessarily stupider in terms of IQ, they do have an inability to use logic. Specifically they are capable of holding contradictory premises to be true, and not seeing a problem.

  • So sad & scary.

  • Jamie Stanek

    Or she doesn’t care that millions of Jews were put behind fences and systematically murdered.

  • Jamie Stanek via Facebook

    I’m neither shocked or surprised by her. Not. One. Bit. Don’t think for a moment that all the progress from Milk to Frank, or the President’s proclamation, or seeming acceptability thanks to ground breakers like Ellen, Glee, or Will and Grace, that this war is anything but just started. Prior to now, the attack on the LGBT community was just policy. Now, battle lines over basic human rights have been drawn and I think this will be practically as big as the civil rights movement in the 60s only at a more accelerated pace. Mainline protestant churches have been pretending to deal with the issue for 20-30 years now with almost no real movement. Conservative states are fighting back to protect the old order (LGBT issues and women’s issues). In the next 10 years things will settle out and we’ll move past people like this. But, don’t for a minute, think there aren’t plenty of people like this out there. They are dangerous, they should get your Spidey Senses tingling and they don’t mean to go quietly.

  • Only Koch bros. & Monsanto together are scarier!

  • I’ve seen this before, (and at a much closer and personal level,) with people who are much more educated and thoughtful than this woman is. I think it’s a general human trait that we form opinions based on limited personal knowledge and more importantly on what someone we believe has authority tells us. Even when presented with contradictory logic or facts, we ignore them and stick to our belief in what this person has told us. Much, if not most, of human action and belief is not based on logic or facts and we are naive if we think it is.

  • Lymis

    Sort of.

    She’s a laymen who isn’t used to public speaking or debating and agreed to be on national television in an interview to air her views.

    It’s not like she’s some bystander to a tragedy who got ambushed by the media.

    And point of order, verbally advocating violence against gays is joining in it, if it happens as a result.

  • Laura Bradley

    I appreciate your connection to education, John. I strive to teach my students to think critically, write analytically and speak logically, but in a test-driven, multiple choice-loving educational system, it is becoming more and more difficult. I fear for their (and our) futures.

  • Allie

    Thanks for posting this. I was going to make a comment about Fowler’s stages but couldn’t remember what his name was, which made it difficult! I think Mark’s comment is very insightful – if this woman is actually a moral imbecile, and she does appear to be, it’s the job of a good pastor to guide her where she can’t guide herself.

    Also like to mention that I know an adult with Down’s Syndrome who is a wise and gentle loving person, even though he has trouble bagging groceries, and I went to school with a genius who was a horrifying bully who ruined every life around him. Moral intelligence and mental ability are not connected at all.

  • Allie

    My husband was standing behind me watching the video and he just burst out laughing. Not at the woman, but at how ridiculously beautiful Anderson is, and how hard he was trying to control himself. Poor baby!

  • Allie

    I’m in Memphis and I don’t take it personally. These people don’t have one thing in common with me or my church or anyone I’ve ever been around. And there’s every likelihood this lady is regarded as extremely intelligent within her church and runs the potluck and writes the newsletter. How many college graduates do you think attend this obviously blue-collar church?

  • Heather Sibley via Facebook

    Michael… perhaps I should have expanded on my comment. I don’t consider this woman a threat because, in my opinion, she is too stupid to get anyone out of her very small circle to follow her. There will always be ignorance… the best we can do is share our thoughts with those that differ from ours. I pretty much guarantee not a damn thing can be done to transform that woman. Saddened by her sentiments…but not scared.

  • why are we giving this guy publicity…

  • Sue:
    > Nah, she’s not representative of anybody. She’s
    > got a crush on her pastor.

    You’d like to think. the problem with that hope, is that there have been NO other members of his congregation publicly saying “he doesn’t speak for me”

    The church holds 1200, and probably has at leas 5 or 600 members….and NONE of them are willing to disavow?

    THAT is the real telling point.

  • This lady is so stupid, you can tell by the look on her face she thinks she did a good job. I believe it was Mark Twain that said, “Dont argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”!

  • n.

    You know he’s gay, right?

  • n.

    I’ve decided to go with “christian but not religious” and see how that works.

  • Driftwood2K11

    I swear, John, your words on a lack of education and it’s effects on human beings just makes me want to hug you. Sometimes your words are exactly what my heart needs to hear.

  • Mindy

    Oh, John, THANK YOU for making the connection to education. To the ability to reason and reflect critically on the information in front of you. To the fact that being able to do those things is GOOD and GODLY, not dangerous and evil. I go to that place every now and again, where I fear for the future and want to never leave my apartment for fear of running into that woman and her friends, but then I listen to my kids and their friends and I know that there are enough of them out there who do know how to think that we aren’t quite ready to go quietly into that good night just yet.

  • n.

    My family moved to the south to be part of theonomy/reconstrutionist stuff. Thankfully we got kicked out of (or left? either was bound to happen) the group we had intended to join. Religion had turned my parents virulently homophobic but they would never actually want the blood of gays on their own hands. But if it was death penalty from the government, that would be fine. (in fact i wonder if this is what she meant when she kept making those faces?)

    My parents are intelligent and educated people but once you notice that the universal depravity part of calvinism seems to be right (i mean, people are evil, you can notice by all the terrible things that happen all over the place all the time) then all the other parts seem to be right, too.

    I went along with them in these ideas until just very recently (5ish years), and i’m (technically, in terms of years of college and degrees, if not in terms of hard-knocks) more educated than them. There were loads of intellectuals on our side, too. It just seemed safe, i guess, to be the most strict kind of christian, because you knew you couldn’t be trying to be any more obedient. And you know people are evil and sinning is natural and only by Grace can we do the right thing… A lot of it made sense.

    But it doesn’t all make sense anymore.

  • n.

    Me too and i’m only a nonconforming straight girl, raised by hippies (well, they were exhippies after a while).

  • Al

    If it’s a bloodbath this woman wants then she might be surprised to find that the bullets could just as easily come flying her way. Times have changed and if she thinks only the swamp things that make up her herd are armed and dangerous, she’s got another thing coming. America is an armed camp these days, and the bigots aren’t the only ones who know how to use a gun. Just saying.

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Allie I don’t know..but I would guess that it is many more than you think. Just because people do not view things the same way we do does not mean they cannot get a college education. I went to school at Memphis State and was from a small area in the south that you could have fit in one corner of Germantown and I found that college to have much less rigorous standards than the small Junior College I attended back home. So you can’t judge someone’s education on where they go to church or where they live. I think you are right that she may have been picked because she might have run the potluck dinners or the Toddlers and Tiaras contest in town. But I would bet there were a few other people who were better qualified as a public speaker for my hero Anderson to talk to …if…his producers had cared about that.

  • SquirrelyGirl

    n. I have heard that…but how do we know for sure?LOL And even if he is, I don’t care..I will still have a crush on him. I have had a crush on Elton John since 1971..and always will. 🙂

  • Wow. I kind of loved the interviewer though, he seemed really on the ball.

  • martha

    I think it is shameful to deduce that the woman is herself a lesbian because of the way she looks and the fact that she is homophobic. Stereotyping.

  • martha

    Studies are not so clear and people are drawing too many conclusions from very weak evidence. I suggest that you read the studies.

  • Blind Boy Belvedere

    This woman would make a good politician. She can face an interviewer and completely stonewall on facing his line of questioning, all the while keeping her lips moving. All she is lacking are rehearsed talking points to fall back on.

  • HicksNeunert Stephanie via Facebook


  • Don Rappe

    I’m pretty sure this interpretation is correct. Everyone knows these things.

  • Erika Beseda-Allen via Facebook

    i am more afraid that she is breeding

  • Logan Judd via Facebook

    No. Fear is just what these unintelligent hicks want. They’re like terrorists in that regard.

  • Jesse Tee via Facebook

    Oh my God, this was so painful, i couldn’t even make it through the whole thing! i pray God opens her eyes to the fact that her jumbled thought processes go against the very CORE of Jesus’ teachings.

  • Absolutely! This is exactly why we have such morons being elected to Congress, why Scott Walker is popular, and why the congressional reading level has decreased significantly the last few years.

  • Tricia Sturgeon

    Hey John, Loved your post as usual. You nailed it brother! I watched the video and while this woman dont scare me I know there are people that belong to that church and others like it who would actually put words to action if they feel their backs are against the wall. The best way I have found to deal with people like this is LOGIC!!! They cant refute it, cant deny it, and to see them try is a TRIP!!! Break it down to where a 3 year old could understand it, and theres nothing they can do but say “UMM” and parrot talk the same old message. It takes all the power out of their argument! And power and control is what they crave. Once you take that away then you may with some be able to educate them in tolerance and acceptance of ALL. There will be those who no matter how logical the argument, refuse to listen much less understand. But its still worth a try.

  • I agree. Ignorance and hate are as scary as it gets.

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Thank you for that link Allie. I have never heard it explained quite that way. And I must say that even among the love and acceptance here on this blog, some people get very upset if you even remotely mention another way of thinking or understanding or ask a question. At least it is nice to know it is a common “human” trait and we can find some comfort that there are those who will listen without becoming quickly defensive or lose all logic.

  • good luck. remember to breathe.

  • Jackie Weiss via Facebook

    Big ‘ol disconnect between the brain and the lips – that’s what happens when you’re told that thinking for yourself is “of the devil”

  • Christelle

    Now. I’m officially pissed. REALLY pissed.

  • Tina Badger via Facebook

    No…fear is what drives people like Worley and his ilk to preach what they do. They use fear to control. Been there, done that. I will not cower to this ignorance.

  • otter

    Several sayings come to mind:

    “Don’t confuse me witth the facts, my mind is made up…..”

    “You canl’t reason someone out of a position they did not reason themself into.”

    “Never wrestle with a pig. You’ll just get dirty and the pig enjoys it!,”

  • Aliyah Aldridge via Facebook

    I didn’t watch the video. I’m not planning to. I recognize the look on that woman’s face. I recognize the description you provide. I recognize the attitudes of people who see ignorance and unreason as virtues. I recognize the sociopathy, the boiling hate, and the constant self-righteous rage. I recognize it because I grew up in it and I know people still in it. Don’t need the flashbacks tonight.

    That being said, a lot of people outside of that community don’t know that people like this exist. So thanks for exposing them.

  • Amy Atchison-Fisher via Facebook

    That was painful and scary to watch. People like that vote(and run for office & win) unfortunately…

  • Melody

    The last one is comparable to “tossing pearls before swine.” It’s a waste of time trying to reason with those like Worley and his congregation.

  • Grant McNeil via Facebook

    Nothing to be afraid of. He (and she) are getting more mileage than they deserve. But then again I live in Canada where life is much saner than down there (e.g. the USA)

  • Pamela Broecking via Facebook

    Anderson OWNED her in that interview.
    and yeah, she’s wicked stupid.

  • Will Roach via Facebook

    i had to stop watching it

  • Ina

    History always repeats itself, Herbert…the Smiting of the Other is a pretty old tradition, and what were the Crusades but a horde of frustrated, underemployed yahoos with a few leaders and businessmen at the helm, pointing them in the general direction of Jerusalem? I’m gonna go stand with Al, because my parents raised me knowing that there’s always going to be another pogrom, they come in cycles, and it doesn’t matter who they START picking on – sooner or later, we’re all in the same ghetto, and it’s too late for flight.

  • Driftwood2K11

    Because sometimes it’s important to showcase stupidity in all of it’s glory. Vocalizing such hateful, bigoted sentiments as this “Pastor” has, creates a shock for a few, but if it’s broadcast to the world, it creates a shockwave and warns others just where that line of thinking leads, and that it’s nowhere pretty. People tend to come to their senses when they’ve been shocked into realizing the mindset they were believing as genuine and true, is nothing more than a cloak for deeply held bigotry and hate.

  • Mike Henderson via Facebook

    Derp dederp.

  • Andrew Raymond via Facebook


  • John, I follow your posts because you are my best reason NOT to fear the symbol of the cross, proof positive that I’m not mad for thinking that a thousand years of repression, crusades, and conversion by the sword really isn’t what Christ had in mind.

  • Mindy

    Martha, actually it is not stereotyping when studies show that the most vocal homophobes are the most likely to be fighting same-sex attraction. They fear it most in themselves.

  • Tina Badger via Facebook

    Honestly, I feel for people like her who only know how to live in fear. Listen to the disdain in her voice when she said “homoSEXual”…how must she have been raised to have such disgust for another human being. Did the Nazi’s have the same sort of disgust in their voice when they said Jew? Probably. We cannot counter this by being fearful, we can only counter it with love, strength, and equally loud voices of reason.

  • Ev Ert via Facebook

    I am sure she is wearing very sensible shoes…

  • Carol

    I’m just gonna ditto everything Aliyah said…..

  • Holy crap, this kind of blatant self-righteous ignorance makes me not want to be an American anymore. 🙁

  • Rod Alan Wildeman via Facebook

    I so loved Anderson Coopers interview! When Stacey ran out of educated responses …oh wait, she had none. She topped it with snideness. Thank you for sharing John.

  • Melissa Blatz via Facebook

    Horribly afraid.

  • David M

    She also breathes good oxygen… shame.

  • David M

    I am dittoing too. Ditto…

  • Susan

    My original comment was pretty catty, I admit. But I grew up with a dad who had very strong opinions about homosexuals, and it turned out he was one. Besides, I know lots of nice people who wear plaid shirts and/or Birkenstocks.

  • correct away

  • K

    I didn’t want to watch it but I did – it left me feeling upset but not scared.

    I think you are right John, it may get stormier before the blue skies show and we can all smile at the RAINBOW but there is going to be a rainbow after the storm.

    I’m going to do what I can to help us get us there faster.

    I prayed about this “fight” and I got the message “stay the course” – I never use that phrase so I don’t think I just thought it in my head. We’re on the right side and we just have to keep believing.

  • Susan

    Koolaide anyone? I was in a cult 30 years ago. She defends her position the same way. Falling back on “speaks the word of god” (not my God). Poor brainwashed lady.

  • It sure is scary. I live in NC and it’s disgusting that people believe this stuff.

  • Meagan: thanks. I deleted Jason’s comment. I just didn’t have the patience.

  • Brenda

    And the Democrats are having their convention there. What could possibly go wrong?

  • otter

    did she even kno she was actually talking to a gay guy?

  • John C Hoddy via Facebook

    Sad. She uses the typical excuses. Worley didn’t really mean that, he was taken out of context etc. Lord please save us from your followers.

  • JohnKathy Lehleitner via Facebook

    These people need to find a better cause! Kathy

  • Florence Davis

    You asked . . . .What to do about this sort of thing? These folk are a minority of people whose elementary school teachers could not help learn to reason . . . perhaps because God made their brains that way, who knows? Let’s not succomb to fear of them, but rather let’s lift them in prayer for God to replace their hate-filled hearts with His grace. There’s little else we can do in their case, but hate the sin, and love the sinner. How about we place them in God’s hands then in faith we watch-out for a miracle of repentance!

  • She ought to run for office. shes a pro at dodging those questions. I don’t think he got one straight answer out of her!

  • Silvia Wilson via Facebook

    Some are sicker than others… Hugs to you, John Shore!

  • Robert Wood via Facebook

    Your comment about her believing herself to be a good God-fearing woman reminded me of John’s mother from “Brave New World”. She couldn’t understand why the “savages” would see her any less than a good British woman. She did everything she was taught was right to do but yet the “savages” hated her.

  • Sandra Shomura-Takata via Facebook

    wow! and anderson cooper is the man! no snarky comments or eye that’s a good (and kind) man! 🙂

  • “Here we go again….” Crazy time!!!!!!!!!

  • What’s way scarier to me is the complete radio silence from all “the good Christians”.

  • Andrew D. Sargent via Facebook

    Afraid, but not surprised.

  • Mabel Dickerson MacMillan via Facebook

    I saw this interview with Anderson Cooper; surely I am not the only person who saw what an idiot this woman was. I know that was mean, but I was raised to tell the truth.

  • Bob it’s not “publicity” to expose abuse.

  • Kelven

    Those who choose fear over love are a dying breed. I’m sure we are going to see more of this extremism and probably worse before the storm is over, but we will weather it together. Because our love is so much stronger than their fear. Those who understand the essence of Jesus’s teachings are standing up to those that have dragged him through the mud for far too long. You all are in the trenches for us, and this gay pagan could not be more grateful.

    Here is a little balm for your sweet Christian souls –

  • Adara Pallady via Facebook

    Wow. Scary, but praying not to laugh & point.

  • Dora Angevine Mcgee via Facebook

    very sad but I don’t think the answer is education although that sure wouldn’t hurt in this case for basic logic as you pointed out but as far as acceptance of others vs. bigotry and racism and all out hatred the answer lies in relationship with others and God much more than education. There are plenty of educated hateful bigots that hold on to their hate despite education.
    This might sound crazy but maybe a half hour of watching Cam & Mitchell on Modern Family and being able to relate to them might have more impact than a lesson about tolerance to someone who doesn’t personally have gay friends. idk is that a more scary idea?
    And then, I have to admit I have to really watch myself around people with accents like hers because I can make prejudiced assumptions that could lead me to believe it might be best if ‘they’ were put behind a fence…

  • Ian

    Just wondering, was there a reason my link was deleted?

  • Sorry. That was my mistake; comments here have been appearing in doubles, so in deleting a bunch of those I accidentally snagged yours. But yes, thank you: we do know of the link you sent.

  • Ian

    ok, thanks

  • Indeed. “Victimhood” is the very source of feeling “persecuted” for your beliefs as a Christian in the United States. I felt I had to qualify my statement by faith and location. There’s a chasm of difference between being slapped around in the press for being a boor within a group of boors, and being rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and/or put to death for your beliefs. One would think that difference would be obvious. Guess not.

  • You are my new all time favorite blog!!!!!!! I just love it, so glad I found you 🙂

  • There’s a chance that she got thrown to the wolves because anyone who could have done better had the sense not to be caught on film defending this sh*t. She might have been “nominated” congregation spokesperson and been less than eager or prepared. Doesn’t excuse anything, just might be why she was on TV. Others may be willing to toe the line, but only if they don’t become the centre of attention for it.

  • Folks – just a note. Martha in fact, is more correct here IMHO. Studies “indicate” would be the correct application of what they show. However, that’s a fairly long distance from “studies demonstrate”.

    You may posit a theory that has only indicative evidence such as the peer-reviewed studies we’re referencing. Demonstrating that the theory is generally true (you never actually “prove” a theory) comes after verifying the results via statistics and experiments designed for that purpose over long periods of time.

    Holding that anyone who harbors homophobia is “likely” or “probably” or “may be” themselves repressed homosexuals hasn’t been demonstrated. It is, however, indicated in some, but not all, studies regarding same.

    Realistically – yeah, its easy enough to look at and listen to, a guy like Tony Perkins as an example, and think, “hiring his own personal luggage “handler” in 5..4..3..2…

    This woman is the face of bat-shit crazy hatred. It may very well be real and palpable. In her case, I’m willing to believe that the cigar is just a cigar.

  • I felt like she had to think about it. Like she didn’t know whether she’d mind Jews being fenced in, too. Maybe she was trying to remember if they’d ever had a sermon on it so she’d know how to answer…

  • She doesn’t know where gayy babies come from trollolololol

  • Rolling her eyes, sarcasm, it’s nausiating how ignorant she is.

  • Bruce Strine

    People seem to miss the glaring reality that only about 20% of the registered voters in North Carolina voted. So you have 60% of the 20% who voted Amendment 1 into law. What was the consensus of the 80% who didn’t vote? I don’t think this seemingly overwhelming landslide is really that great of a victory. Please share your thoughts on this. God Bless! (BTW…I am a gay Christian from Maryland who supports marriage equality).

  • Yes, very scary indeed.

  • Meg Norris via Facebook

    And yes, John, she is very close to the norm in this country. I am VERY afraid!

  • K

    I agree – he has a lot of class

  • Elizabeth

    she is a living pharisee

  • Christelle

    I finally watched the video… Anderson Cooper is my hero… What a HOT brilliant gay man!!! Obviously this woman had NO idea who she was interviewing with!!!!!! His demeanor was priceless.

  • I thought she was hilarious… but THIS is truly scary. A whole state has gone whacky.

  • On the cusp of more freedom than I have enjoyed my entire life in this country as a gay guy, I am incredibly worried that not only will my future be denied me, but that I will lose what liberties that I do have and that things will become much, much worse. I am not sure if it does get better. This is what me and my guy were talking about tonight. So close to hope and yet still so surrounded by hate. It is hard.


  • It’s hilarious, the news guy just takes her to pieces. She just hasn’t thought her arguments through and frankly I see this an awful lot with fundamentalists.

  • n.

    Somebody i know that travels a lot has seen him out (not Out of course, except in that situation) with partner.

    Impossible crushes are OK though. 😉

  • Ria Mcllduff via Facebook

    It’s basically the same mob mentality that put Jesus on a cross, and would do it all over again with glee–(“Lord give them eyes that see, hearts that feel” ) The problem with churches such as this-they worship the preacher instead of God. Is it any wonder God refers to us as “sheep”.

  • Lymis

    That’s because it doesn’t come easy, and it doesn’t come free. It sucks to be the people who are on the edge of this rather than the people who already have it pretty much settled in everyone’s minds about, but it also makes this a prophetic moment.

    It gives us all a chance to talk about what freedom means, what the underlying principles are that our country and our faith operate by, and to actually be called to put them into practice.

    We can focus on people like this woman and her pastor, or we can focus on the far larger group of people who don’t feel the need to go out of their way to say hateful things. I think John is right to periodically share these with us, because otherwise we’re at risk of creating a bubble around ourselves and pulling it in. We are supposed to be salt of the earth, not salt of the salt shaker.

    But that doesn’t mean we should focus on the hatred and ignorance. We need to be soberly aware of it, (or even playfully aware of it) while at the same time focusing on loving our neighbor – and often, which has been a lot harder as a gay man during my lifetime, being sufficiently open and vulnerable to let my neighbor love me.

  • Lymis

    The video is painful to watch. I agree that her education – especially her moral and spiritual education – failed her badly, but it failed her badly on more than one level.

    I won’t argue that the biggest failure is a church that teaches her and supports her in the sort of knee-jerk hatred and condemnation that underlies her whole attitude. Anyone who can listen to the vileness that Pastor Worley spewed and feel the desire to support it has been failed, and badly.

    But what was more painful to me was watching her struggle with the complete inability to discuss even the most basic ideas about her faith. While I would completely have disagreed with her, the concept she was struggling for was that Pastor Worley was speaking metaphorically. (I’m not sure he was, but that’s what she was trying to say.)

    No doubt some of it was the pressure and unfamiliarity of having a television camera in her face, trying to talk to someone in a studio hundreds of miles away. But part of it appears that she doesn’t even have the basic tools to discuss things like symbol and metaphor, principle, and deep meaning. And I’m not sure she is even aware of the lack. And that’s tragic.

    Because on one level she’s right. Any even moderately reasonable person (and I realize in context, I’m setting that bar very low) understands that whatever his actual literal preference is, at least in the near future, gay people aren’t going to be rounded up and put in concentration camps. Focusing on the literal idea of electric fences misses the point. And that’s too bad, because it is the underlying point that needs to be discussed – the idea that it is okay to declare, in the name of God, no less, that gay people do not belong in society, should be marginalized and shut out of any contact with straight people, and that society has the right, and Christians, the obligation, to cause us to die out.

    It’s that idea that underlies things like the Constitutional amendments to ban marriage equality, the fights against anti-bullying campaigns. It is the idea behind the proposed laws to make it illegal to even mention gay people in public schools.

    Putting the “lesbians and queers” behind fences away from society until we all die off, even if you humanely drop food by helicopters is conceptually not all that different from the very real demand that we all go back into the closet and become invisible, or the idea that God calls us all to a life of solitary celibacy.

    And with people like this woman, we can’t even have that conversation, because nobody has helped her have even the spiritual ideas of myth and metaphor, principle and symbol. For her, it is either a literal fact that you profess, or a literal fact that you deny. Period, end of story.

    So many people have been taught that you either believe, and profess every single aspect of it as a monolithic whole, or you are denying it all. We see that in the “if you want to put a single line of Leviticus into historical and moral context, then you are calling God a liar and saying the Bible is worthless” sort of reasoning. Teach someone that, and then strip away all ideas of metaphor and deep symbol, and the only choices they feel they are left with are hating their neighbor or denying that God even exists.

    What a horrible place to be.

  • Ria Mcllduff via Facebook

    What if she was the most articulate and “camera ready” of the group? Now THAT should scare you even more!

  • Lymis

    I’d agree with you if we didn’t have 31 states with constitutional amendments making LGBT people second class citizens, all passed by popular vote. Yes, she is in a very small circle, but there are a LOT of those small circles, and it’s really easy to create a mob from them.

    I’d like to think that the days of literal mob violence are largely over, but these days the mobs use the Internet and the ballot box rather than torches, pitchforks, and nooses, but it’s still there.

    You’re right that fear isn’t the solution, but we need to take the reality seriously.

  • Lymis

    She doesn’t care because it’s ancient history and it was done by Bad People. She is not a Bad Person and neither is her pastor, so therefore anything a Nazi said or did has nothing whatsoever to do with her.

    Besides, all the Jews had do to was stop being Jews, right? So they missed their chance to be saved when they had it. No point in getting upset about what happened to a bunch of people who were going to hell anyway, right?

    Her pastor was clearly talking about the good kind of electric fences.

  • Lymis

    She might actually be confused if you asked her if there were any Jews in the Bible.

  • Churches put their preachers and priests so high up on pedestals that it becomes impossible for them to see their leaders as fallible humans. The holy man becomes deified. Of course churches are not the only ones to fall into this messiah leader trap. It is scary.

  • Gail Sider Brandt via Facebook

    Hatefulness hiding behind blind acceptance of the “word of God.” No desire to reason….impatience with Anderson Cooper’s remarkably even-handed and measured questions. Christians need to recognize this as hateful and immoral perversion of Christ’s message of peace. Btw, her disdain of being pinned down by thoughtful questioning reminds me of S. Palin. Yikes!

  • vj

    “to be the most strict kind of christian, because you knew you couldn’t be trying to be any more obedient”

    The really sad part is that, in trying so hard to follow the *rules*, so many of these types of Christian miss out on developing a real LOVE *relationship* with God (which, I think, is a big part of why they struggle so much to love people!). One of the main themes of Tim Keller’s book ‘The Prodigal God’ (which examines the parable of the Prodigal Son) is that the older (rule-following) brother was just as alienated from his father as the one who went off and squandered his inheritance… And, from the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector, we know that those who loudly proclaim all the ways in which they _don’t_ sin are less justified in the eyes of God than those who simply acknowledge that they are sinners in need of forgiveness.

  • otter

    Lymis, I love your posts…. you are unfailingly thoughtful, witty and spot on.

  • vj

    Agree 100% 🙂

  • Melissa Mosher via Facebook

    Hats off the Anderson Cooper for not screaming at her. Dang, that pissed me off.

  • Some years back I came across a rather long essay that speaks to what so many here, including you Jamie, are touching on. I wish I could find that essay again.

    The author looked at all the times throughout history society experienced a great sea-change. The main point was that progress always, ultimately, wins, but as these changes begin, and less-enlightened people begin to the see the change coming, they become scared. People generally don’t like change, and some people just can’t imagine a world different from the one they’ve created (or been told to create). So out of this fear emerges resistance, and this resistance escalates over time as the change becomes more pronounced.

    Eventually, the change becomes engrained in society, but the author’s point was, as has been said here, it does get worse before it gets better. Most recently we saw this in the civil rights movement. As blacks moved forward with their demands for equal rights, and as those began to take hold, the resistance escalated to outright violence, even violence by government.

    So, in short, it does get worse before it gets better. These people are lazy. They want someone to tell them how they should feel / what to believe, and this is even more potent when it includes religion, especially religions which base their adherence on the threat of “eternal damnation.” For people like her, who’ve spent a lifetime being frightened into their belief system, she can’t imagine a world where gay people aren’t despised, at least those that are out about it. She doesn’t mind the gay guy leading the choir, so that nice young man who has stayed single to take care of his mother, etc. (Don’t ask, don’t tell.)

    So it does scare me. The Nazis spent great energy over some years teaching lessons in schools about how all the problems of the world, especially those of Germany, were the fault of the Jews. They engrained that belief, and that is what many in the evangelical church are doing today, and they’re not afraid to couch it the terms of war and militarism that are common in the Bible. So we shouldn’t be surprised if it ultimately results in an escalation to violence.

    People like this woman have a small life, and they want someone to blame for that small life. It can’t be their fault. They are, like the pharisees, being good Christians, so God should be blessing them with a big house, nice cars and perfect children, but he’s not, so it must be because of some other reason. And remember, I think we can already assume she’s too lazy or scared to think for herself, so along comes her religious/spiritual leader to tell her that all the problems we’re facing in this country are the result of an angry God, but he’s not angry at her, but at the Teh Gayz…just fix or get rid of them, and God will bless America again. With a picture like that in her head, how could we expert to believe any different?

  • Lori Bauerlein via Facebook

    It amazes me she has the ability to get up and dress herself. If you’re going to believe in something that’s fine, I may not agree with you, but okay. But if you can’t put together a coherent sentence defending and enplaning your beliefs then I’m sorry, you’re excused.

  • Drew


  • n.

    no, if you look at it from her perspective, yes, obviously straight couples have all the babies. And of course a good nice christian is not going to Talk About Sex on National Television!

    BUT she’s not allowed to believe that ANYBODY is having gay babies.

    She’s only allowed to believe that gays are turning people’s kids gay (convincing them that it’s OK to Choose to be gay) by the influence of the Godless Public Schools and Liberal Media. AND by being allowed to live among the rest of the population.

    So i think this is what she’s trying not to say, because it’s so painfully obvious to her.

    She thinks the Liberal News Anchor won’t get it because he’s brainwashed by (or brainwashing with) liberal ideas the way everybody is nowadays and that’s the problem.

    What she doesn’t realize is that sometimes people don’t get stuff because it makes no sense in light of current knowledge.

  • Soulmentor

    God made no such reference. MEN did.

  • Soulmentor

    That’s because they are UNABLE to think, as Lymis so eloquently illustrates above.

  • Eric S Weiss via Facebook

    The eternal conundrum: To what extent can one go in making fun of people and their views, as crazy and as evil as their views (and by extension the people themselves) might be, before one is in some ways doing the same dehumanizing that one is ridiculing them for doing?

  • DR

    I’m inspired and challenged by those who have decided to conduct a peaceful protest of this church. I’m also challenged by those who’ve encouraged a more loving response, reminding me of the essentials of education and the trap that we create for ourselves when we don’t understand that we make *choices* to believe this kind of thing.

    When I doubt the power of love and kindness, I’m doubting the Holy Spirit. So thanks to those of you who’ve reminded me of the necessity of that. I still believe that anger is an activating agent, that it’s fine – even productive – to express anger and outrage. I’m also convinced that when we follow the example of the UK and make these kinds of statements illegal, things will really change (some people only choose to be decent when they are afraid of legal repercussion, they need to be protected from themselves and their environment.

    I’m so glad this kind of thing is getting exposed. My outrage seems quite limited as I think of this kind of thing happening for so many years in silence, unchallenged, unacknowledged. The suffering in the gay community prior to any kind of challenge like this is hard to think about.

  • Soulmentor

    Sometimes that’s the only way to answer John’s starting question in the blog. Problem with that is that is humiliates them, causing them to bunker down and seethe and become more dangerous. So, as John asks, what CAN one do with such a mindset? She’s too far gone for education to work. The only thing that will is a change in Spirit. And that doesn’t come from us.

    Hopefully, Anderson’s interview reached into a tiny corner of her tiny brain and planted a seed of thought, but at the end she seemed almighty pleased to have gotten to speak her piece to a famous man. Sigh!

  • Karen

    Scary, and sadly there are many more like her. 🙁 Having moved to a very conservative community where the same sort of anger and hatred is more the norm than the exception, I have felt for some time that I have moved into some weird alternate and terrible reality. I have come to several conclusions about my neighbors and friends: 1) There is absolutely no reasoning with folks who lack critical thinking skills and to try and point out any fallacy brings out more ignorance. I have been told ‘not to be so open minded that my brains fall out,’ ‘Jesus didn’t mean love Everybody, just those whom one would consider neighborly’ and ‘science is the devil’s tool.’ etc. 2) John is so right when he talks about the tiny little scary world these folks have. Education SCARES them. Science SCARES them. Thinking SCARES them. To step out of the tiny little boxes would expose them to differences and ideas that might destroy the world they have created and feel safe in. 3) Most of the folks I met and have come to know in this weird little world of mine sometimes respond to gentle reminders of Jesus’ teachings of loving each other…. and most are basically decent people except for when they are repeating the hate messages that a leader (religious or political… could be either) has passed on to them.

    Yes, I am very fearful when they are fired up and in a group. The mob mentality can be strong. I have told my husband (who also lived in a tiny little box of hate when I met him) that if I get hurt or killed at work, the hate-mongering got out of control. All I can say is this. John, keep spreading the Word as you have been doing so brilliantly and for the rest of us not to add more fear and hate, but to teach those who can be taught and love those who can be loved.

  • I thank my lucky stars I live in Canada….

  • The sad thing is that she is incapable of realizing how ignorant she sounded. She could not come up with a single intelligible rebuttal to Mr. Cooper’s questions. If you believe in reincarnation you’re sure to be saying she’s a reincarnated Nazi aching to “cleanse” the human race. My fear is that people like her are breeding, producing more of themselves and if they become too numerous they may begin to actually start killing off all the people they hate so much, just like the Holocaust.

  • Ford

    Brilliantly said, Lymis. I know that people like this don’t want my pity; but I can’t help but feel sad for them. So much anger and hurt and frustration bubbling to the surface. I’m a Christian who is gay and in my self indulgent moments I have felt victimized by the church. But this example makes it clear that the “in” group is also being victimized. Stoking fear and anger about “the [imagimed] war on religious freedom” and the “attack on the family” is the very opposite of a pastoral approach. It makes me sad. Very sad.

  • Now that everybody’s had a good chuckle at this woman’s inarticulate defense of the indefensible…

    Remember her pastor is a pastor in small town America. This means to his congregation he’s seen as the guy who cares about them, who visits when they’re sick, who helps them find legal assistance when they have problems, who prays with them and for them in their moments of concern, who comforts them when they are sad and who shares their joys when they are happy.

    He’s not a monster.

    He has bad, bigoted ideas, but he’s not a monster. Just a regular, normal human being who is the prisoner of his upbringing / culture / education / environment just like the rest of us. If we’re fortunate enough to have the insight to realize his concentration camp idea — even if meant a hyperbolic metaphor — is evil and unjust, don’t presume we have perfect clarity of vision re everything we think / say / do.

    This woman is no monster, either.

    I noticed she was not identified as an official spokesperson for her church but simply as a member. I’m guessing she was the only one who was too angry to realize there’s no way to win in a debate with a guy who owns a microphone & so she volunteered when everyone else shied away.

    I’ve no way of knowing her personal character, but if she’s like most small town church going ladies, she’s going to show up on your doorstep with a casserole when she hears you’re sick, she’s going to let your kids come over and play at her house when you need to take your mom to the doctor, she’s going to help out on various projects you’re involved in at the church.

    Don’t presume to know this woman based on 2.5 minutes of bad TV interview in which she felt she had to defend someone she believed was unjustly maligned.

    Fight their ideas, but don’t hate them. Christ told us we were to love them as much as we love ourselves.

  • Christ referred to himself as the good shepherd & made reference repeatedly to us as his sheep. Since we Christians believe Christ is God incarnate, that pretty much means God did refer to us as sheep.

  • I am actually feeling a bit afraid about my trip
    To the demonstration on Sunday.

  • DR

    Buzz at what point are you going to ease off the lectures? If wanting to put peopled shine an electric fence so they did out isn’t “monstrous”, I’m not really sure what to call it. Hitler loved animals and art. He made sure that German poor kids were fed. He killed six million people. Enough.

  • Lymis

    ” I’ve no way of knowing her personal character, but if she’s like most small town church going ladies, she’s going to show up on your doorstep with a casserole when she hears you’re sick,”

    If you think that, I don’t think you know these people. She sure as hell isn’t going to show up at MY door with a casserole, and she’s more likely to encourage her kids to bully mine than to take them into her house.

    Or were you just assuming everyone is straight, and that all this is some theoretical intellectual exercise?

    Yes, she’s probably nice to people she thinks are just like her.

    And she’s on national television calmly defending someone who says he wants some of us dead.

    Don’t presume to tell us whether we are allowed to be offended by people WHO WANT US DEAD.

    Let’s see, what’s that short, concise phrase that can’t be said on TV and gets a movie a PG-13 rating? It’ll come to me. Oh, and say hello to the horse you rode in on.

  • Lymis

    That’s assuming that you take for granted that there was a stenographer present who was taking everything down in modern English.

    Some of us don’t.

    But even if that is exactly what was said, and the word that was intended, that doesn’t mean that every aspect of every idea you can tack on to the metaphor is what God is thinking.

    Either that or God also thinks we’re all lilies.

  • Lymis

    Eh. What I post may be unfailingly thoughtful, witty and wise. What I mutter at the screen, not always.

  • Heron MinzenBee via Facebook

    “Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us. Normal fear motivates us to improve our individual and collective welfare; abnormal fear constantly poisons and distorts our inner lives. Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • I grew up among these people, DR and Lymis. They aren’t monsters. They can believe / say / do terrible things, but they aren’t monsters.

    If we treat them as monsters, they have no incentive to change; quite the contrary, they have every reason to sick to their beliefs. Regardless of what you may think of them, THEY “know” they aren’t monsters; calling them such only convinces them you are the monster.

    (See how that whole “do unto others / as ye judge so shall ye be judged” thing works? You can’t attack your enemy w/o harming your own cause. Pretty smart guy, that Jesus fella…)

    Reverse the polarities. Being told they were immoral did not convince gays their cause was wrong. Being told they were sub-human did not convince African-Americans they weren’t worthy of being treated as equals. Being told they weren’t smart enough to vote did not convince women to stay away from the polls.

    What changed in all those situations were the mindsets of the oppressors, and they changed when people just started ignoring what they had to say as irrelevant.

    Without an enemy to demonize them, the anti-black / anti-female bigots just withered away.

    Now, it’s not a quick and easy victory, that’s true. But the victory is achieved in exactly the opposite order of Gandhi’s famous quote:

    “First you fight the bigots, then you ridicule them, then you ignore them, then you win.”

    Each step of the struggle requires one side to take legitimacy & authority away from the other.

    Don’t feed their hate, starve it.

  • mike moore

    hey John, you know how I can get my tasteful boxer-briefs in a twist, and you know I love to go on a good rant … so, for a nice change of pace for this holiday weekend, let me be the voice of calm reassurance today.

    Let me be your human Xanax. Don’t freak out. It’s going to be OK.

    From the day I first kissed a boy, there has always been a big ugly storm brewing, and at times we hunkered-down to survive, while at other times, we raged against the storm.

    Fade back to a time when bell bottom pants were not worn ironically. Anita Bryant. The Briggs Initiative. The Moral Majority. Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the US Supreme upheld, in 1986, sodomy laws (see earlier references to the throwing of burning trash cans through the front doors of the Federal Building,)

    The AIDS crisis, a gay plague which was a tailor-made opportunity to legally force the internment of homosexuals to protect the public safety. An epidemic on a national scale. Tens of thousands of Americans dead or dying without a SINGLE word from the President.

    Focus on the Family. DADT. DOMA. Epidemics of gay-bashing and bullying. 30+ states voting on (and negating) our civil rights. American Christians drafting death-penalty-for-homosexuals laws for African countries. A coordinated, well-funded, fear-driven, and intelligent rhetorical and legislative Holy War has been waged against the LBGT community for decades.

    Can you see why we love the rainbow?

    Do you see – for all of my own rants and anger-management issues, as demonstrated on your blog and elsewhere – the over-arching and multi-hued beauty of the past 50 years of gay history in the USA?

    Anita: shunned, divorced, bankrupt. Briggs defeated. The Moral Who? The US Supreme Court’s stunning reversal of it’s own Bower’s precedent in Lawrence v.Texas.

    Increased AIDS funding becomes bragging rights for centrist politicians and even Republican Presidents. FDA trial protocols are forced, by gay activism, to change, opening the doors to speedier and easier access to all medications for AIDS, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers,, and on and on.

    James Dodson, along with several other conservative religious leaders, publicly admitting they’ve lost the culture war. DADT gone and open service for gay and lesbian soldiers. DOMA is in it’s death throes.

    In 1981, we had TV parties and crowded around our huge gigantic 27″ screen to watch the first prime time gay kiss (Dynasty.) Then we saw our first same-sex wedding on Friends. By 2012, Mitchell and Cameron on the hit show Modern Family are adopting (no spoilers, now) their second child.

    The President of the United States of America endorsing same-sex marriage.

    And the single most stunning accomplishment? In face of pure hate, general public disapproval, the opposition of Islam, orthodox Judaism, and the vast majority of Christian denominations, and the opposition of almost every legislature in this country …. on August 29, 2008, overlooking the Atlantic ocean in Chatham, MA, I legally married the man I have loved and cherished, through rich and poor, sickness and health, since 1986.

    Don’t worry, John, we’re gonna be OK.

    (Now, where’s my pitchfork and torch? There’s a church, about an hour from here, filled with some of the stupidest people on the planet, to which I need to pay a visit.)

  • kullervo

    It wasn’t the German army running the camps. Camps may have started with SS staffing, but the military was quickly moved to the front. The concentration camps that carried out Hitler’s final solution were run by civilians. These people were accountants, plumbers, bakers, painters, whatever. So don’t imagine that the surrounding communities did not know what was going on. Nor were the camps hidden in the countryside. The camp at Dachau is right in the suburbs. I do not know how many of the camp operators were conscripted and how many were volunteers. But looking at this video, how hard would it be?

  • Mindy

    Yeah, most of us here in St. Louis are utterly appalled by the whole Limbaugh thing. The bust was planned and ordered (at the whim of our House Speaker, who happens to hale from near Limbaugh’s hometown, before his Sandra Fluke episode, and the actually had the installation ceremony in secret (!!) for fear of the backlash. And it is, I have been told, being taken out.

  • Melody

    I don’t know about the members of his congregation, but there is no doubt in my mind that Charles Worley IS a monster. Just like Hitler was a monster. Just like KKK members are monsters. Only a monster would proudly support and call for violence against a group of people. And as long as there are people who take these monsters’ words seriously, the gay community is in danger. As I said to MAB the other day, “kill them with kindness” doesn’t work with those of Worley’s ilk. He is a danger to the gay community and has no love in his heart, as evidenced by his videos. No amount of kindness will soften his heart.

  • mike moore

    Buzz, you are out of your fucking mind.

    These people are the very definition of monsters.

    We can cry for the innocent children they once were. We can acknowledge that they are victims. We can understand that their education (or lack thereof,) their upbringing, their culture, their church, and any other number of factors not within their control have turned them into who they are today.

    None of this changes the fact that at this moment, they are monsters. Serial killers are typically not born, they are made, by years of abuse. African warlords who send 11, 12, and 13yo kids out on murderous rampages were, once, innocent children themselves. They are all monsters and need to be recognized as such.

    I’m not telling you to hate them. But fool yourself, or others, that this woman is not a monster.

  • Please remember folks, not all Southerners are ignorant homophobic racists. Many of us are educated and enlightened down in the South. It’s just that we’re usually outnumbered by the dumbasses.

  • Rebecca Smith via Facebook

    She’s her own grandpa.

  • Chelsea Lynn Dill via Facebook

    Cannot stop laughing at her blatant inability to answer the questions put in front of her. She skirted around every question asked, and never actually answered a question. Pathetic though that she’s just one of his sheep…

  • Joshua Tree Whittle via Facebook

    WTF? Seriously? Did the “CHURCH” appoint this “spokesperson” and if so, did they realize how incredibly unqualified/UN-prepared/uneducated she was?……..or is she possibly the “smart one” in the congregation….which would be understandable. This woman is completely terrifying, and so is this church.

  • They find the one person with a hair cut like that in the whole church .. and pick her to go on national t.v. and talk about “the homosexuals”. Nice work crazy baptist church in North Carolina.

  • Joshua Tree Whittle via Facebook

    Do you think she gets the irony of the fact that she is cultivating a very, I love the Indigo Girls and other ladies look, yet she think gay people should be carted off holocaust style? I’m guessing no. You know what really rules? That we as Christians are required to love this woman. Ugh.

  • God help us, indeed, John: because “Pastor help us” clearly isn’t cutting the mustard.

  • Isn’t her ’15-minutes’ over already ?

  • Sandy Rose Gergits Kazenko via Facebook

    That was ridic!

  • Naomi

    We didn’t start the fire

    It was always burnin’

    Since the world’s been turnin’

    Rock on!

  • When a person continually makes life critical decisions based on emotion and not fact and logic, that’s a major defect in reasoning. That’s the best example of insanity I can find. Ever notice how Republicans have the same defect in reasoning as alcoholics, drug addicts, and religious fanatics? Republicanism is a mental disorder… Granted this is never more true than when this affliction is found in a Republican woman. A Republican Woman? A Gay Republican? A Black Republican? Good God, that’s like a pro KKK African American or a pro Nazi Jew, especially by today’s GOP misogynistic, homophobic and racist standards. But there are way too many studies recently that prove the Right Wing mind is clinically irrational. We have all been told by our mothers, “Never ague with stupidity.” A Republican has to want to help themselves first in order to ‘break through’, otherwise you’re talking to a wall, just like an alcoholic. They have to hit rock bottom before they become open to help. I have found that it usually takes six to eight years of constant effort to get a Republican to think rationally, but that’s taking into account there is an iota of commonsense in their head. Another problem with Republicanism it’s patriarchal. It’s seared in during early childhood… The Jesuits said, ‘Give me the child till they’re seven and you can have the man.’ Tragically… they’re broken… Just saying…

  • When a person continually makes life critical decisions based on emotion and not fact and logic, that’s a major defect in reasoning. That’s the best example of insanity I can find. Ever notice how Republicans have the same defect in reasoning as alcoholics, drug addicts, and religious fanatics? Republicanism is a mental disorder… Granted this is never more true than when this affliction is found in a Republican woman. A Republican Woman? A Gay Republican? A Black Republican? Good God, that’s like a pro KKK African American or a pro Nazi Jew, especially by today’s GOP misogynistic, homophobic and racist standards. But there are way too many studies recently that prove the Right Wing mind is clinically irrational. We have all been told by our mothers, “Never ague with stupidity.” A Republican has to want to help themselves first in order to ‘break through’, otherwise you’re talking to a wall, just like an alcoholic. They have to hit rock bottom before they become open to help. I have found that it usually takes six to eight years of constant effort to get a Republican to think rationally, but that’s taking into account there is an iota of commonsense in their head. Another problem with Republicanism it’s patriarchal. It’s seared in during early childhood… The Jesuits said, ‘Give me the child till they’re seven and you can have the man.’ Tragically… they’re broken… Just saying…

  • cathy

    Thank you Mike you made my day!

  • Sharla

    Not exactly… the Pharisees were actually very educated, at least in terms of their Scriptures and Law, and sought to apply them to the changing situations of their people’s lives.

  • Linda Burton via Facebook

    So scarey, I am speechless at the lack of world education or knowledge about anything outside their own bubble.

  • Jason

    Dear John,

    [dickish “comment” deleted.]



  • Peet

    I may be naive, but I actually think that most Americans are pretty well-educated. High literacy rate. Access to news. Capable of thinking.

    Which is why I am glad this woman made her comments. Because if you want proof that the anti-gay forces are shooting blanks, she’s Exhibit A. They’ve run out of arguments and are left with nothing but hostility. If I was a lawyer, I would happily put her on the witness stand. Followed by a comment to the jury: “Is this what you want for the future of America?” 30 years ago, the verdict would have been ‘yes.’ I don’t think we’d get the same answer today.

  • Allie

    Buzz. That’s what monsters look like. Hitler loved dogs and people loved him. The same is true to a greater or lesser degree for every monster ever. All monsters started out as ordinary people with bad ideas.

  • Aggie

    Personally, I think Buzz is right and that demonizing people leads to more hostility. IMO, all this publicity on this pastor’s horrendous message is exactly the kind of thing this movement needs. I’m definitely not saying to agree with this sort of nonsense on the clip; I’m saying dispute it, resist it to the end. My view of history though is that in many cases it is the high road that wins out– Gandhi and MLK show this. Many people can become embarrassed when they say things like this lady did. She is clearly having trouble justifying her beliefs and is feeling the cognitive dissonance between what she is saying and the love with which she is supposed to be filled. How much greater will that dissonance be if people who utterly reject her view are loving (but firmly opposed to) her in return? It happened in India with Gandhi, it happened during the civil rights movement, I believe it will happen again in the days and years to come.

    FYI, I’m an agnostic (so this opinion was not approved by the Holy Spirit). I believe you progressives are going to win this one. Sieze the high ground, I think it belongs to you.

  • Diana A.

    “I noticed she was not identified as an official spokesperson for her church but simply as a member. I’m guessing she was the only one who was too angry to realize there’s no way to win in a debate with a guy who owns a microphone & so she volunteered when everyone else shied away.”

    The first time I attempted to watch this video, I turned it off. It was clear that the woman was well beyond her depth. I wanted to know where Pastor Worley was, where the rest of the church leadership was, why they were hiding behind this woman’s skirts, when I’m certain that they believe that wives should submit unto their husbands and that women should shut up and do as they’re told.

    The second time I attempted to watch this video, I focused solely on the woman and was able to watch it all the way through. I feel sorry for her. This may be the wrong reaction, but I don’t care. I feel sorry for her. But the very attitudes and attributes that she demonstrates that make me feel sorry for her are what make her dangerous.

    “You put this woman in anything near a mob of others like her, hand her a drink and a baseball bat, and then point her toward some gays, or Jews, or Muslims—or anyone she thinks is either of those? Some skulls are gonna get cracked. People will die. And she’ll come home, throw her bloody clothes in her washing machine, down a beer or six, and sleep that night just as sound as she could be, secure in her conviction that she’s a perfectly good, perfectly God-fearing woman.”

    What John wrote in his post is exactly right. Once again, John Shore nails it.

  • Bullshit. Winston Churchill once said, “Have no contact with the Nazi. Make him feel, that he is the moral outcast of all mankind.”

    I’m a Jew. I can tell you from first hand experience that since the time of the First Crusade, when thanks to the rhetoric of the RC Church, the German crusaders, on their way to Antioch, first molested, raped, pillaged and murdered Jews up and down the Rhine. Prior to that, no such hatreds seemed to exist among the early Gothic-German tribes and the Jews who settled there.

    In the past 1,400 years, Buzz – no such practice on our part toward Anti-Semites ever “starved” the haters into acceptance. I won’t go into the entire history of the Ghettos of the Middle Ages, the burning/banning of Jewish literature culminating with the deaths of 6 million human beings in Western Europe and perhaps as many as 20 million in Eastern Europe, not counting the war dead.

    These people do NOT go away – they DO NOT fade into oblivion. And thanks to Obama Derangement Syndrome and the divisive nature of the GOP over the past 4 years, the KKK has announced in PUBLIC, a goddamn CROSS BURNING in NC! Note: The Klan hasn’t advertised cross burnings in decades. Rallies, yes. Cross-burnings? No – and in fact, they have denied they officially support them.

    Men like you have *always* been wrong when it came to that sort of pacifism. Pacifism is a legitimate form of response in some cases – not this one.

    The sheer ignorance of these people, led to believe what their pastor has told them about the “evil” of homosexuality and how it should be dealt with, has its roots in the RC Church convincing its new German supplicants that Jews were evil – abominations, Christ Killers centuries ago.

    Yes, Buzz – they ARE monsters – by any practical definition of that term. I couldn’t give a shit how many apple pies this woman makes for a sick friend or the church picnic.

  • Jason

    well said, Peet!

  • Please excuse any grammatical errors above.

  • Sharla

    Behind the Biblical shepherd/sheep metaphor is the understanding in the Ancient Near East that leaders were supposed to be to their people as shepherds are to sheep. There are good shepherds and there are bad shepherds. (In the Fourth Gospel when Jesus is portrayed as describing himself as the Good Shepherd, he may well be defining himself over against bad shepherds, as described in Ezekiel 34, for instance.) But it is a metaphor, and shouldn’t necessarily be carried out into discussions of how we are similar to sheep.

    This Worley character is clearly a bad shepherd…

  • Diana A.

    “FYI, I’m an agnostic (so this opinion was not approved by the Holy Spirit).”

    I dunno. The Holy Spirit does work in mysterious ways. 😉

  • Allie

    I know this is contrary to the instincts of the nice folks who post here, but laughing and pointing is the only thing that’s likely to reach her. She’s NOT smart. She’s incredibly herd-bound. The only morality she understands is doing what she thinks she’s supposed to be doing to be part of a group. Convince her that the group is mocking her as an idiot, and she’ll suddenly love gay people, at least in public.

  • Gordon

    Cheers? Really?

  • Diana A.

    This is a good point.

  • Jason

    I thought “For the Kingdom!” would have been over the top. An evangelist I know signs his emails that way.

  • Thanks, Sharla – I’ve been meaning to address this. I’ve been meaning in fact to address a post John wrote awhile back, “what non-christians want Christians to hear”, and ask if he’d consider an updated post, “what Jews want Christians to hear”.

    I have the material written, I’m going to copy and paste some of it here. This particular blog post is probably not the right forum, but I get really upset when I read, “Pharisees this and Pharisees that”, because the NT is shockingly inaccurate in its depiction of Judaism and the Jewish Temple culture in 1st century Judea, thanks to its apologetic nature.

    The Pharisaical movement (synonymous with, “The School of Hillel”) which had preceded the Roman occupation had this message: Let’s shift focus from weighing down our brother with rules that crush him beneath their burden and be mindful that loving God with all your mind, being and soul is the “heart” of the law and the rest of it, commentary. Treat others the way you would wish to be treated in kind.

    This was Hillel’s message inasmuch as it was handed down. The “Pharisees” of Jesus’ era were the legacy of the movement he helped found. Jesus was certainly familiar with Hillel – he used his material. And he didn’t need to credit him. Hillel’s teaching and legacy – the core of the Pharisaical school of thought would have been plainly evident to all or most of the Jews to which Jesus preached.

    Jesus was not alone in continuing to preach the Hillel School. There was no deficit of Pharisees. Many of them would have been his confederates and admirers as opposed to merely Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus – the “good” Jews of the NT.

    If Jesus had been a conventional Rabbi of this era, if his message wasn’t by degrees more radical than his predecessor Hillel, then without question, Jesus could be considered, a “Pharisee”. He can certainly, given his reliance on the teachings of Hillel alone be considered part of the Pharisaical school but his message is just radical enough to move him beyond it. I break somewhat with Rami Shapiro in this opinion.

  • I think we have unmasked the confoned email writer!

  • The document that I used here has not yet been edited for grammar, etc. My apologies in advance.

  • Diana A.

    So you self-edit. Cool!

  • I don’t think Anderson Cooper is used to talking to stupid people. He seemed a little unsteady.

  • The first subtitle was something like “Lesbian prays for Pastor Worsley”. My first tought, before hearing what she said, was “it must be her”.

  • n.

    the only thing i can’t excuse is that you almost said you were around 1000yrs old. but i get what you mean.

    and my jewish ancestors on that side of the family had the same first hand experience as yours.

    and i agree about this not being something that can go away by ignoring.

  • Calvin

    Poor baby. I just couldn’t stop laughing.

  • Diana A.

    “So, as John asks, what CAN one do with such a mindset? She’s too far gone for education to work.”

    Call me an optimist, but I disagree. Education could work, but only if we start at her level. Kindergarten. Maybe even preschool.

    I’m not saying that to be mean. But in my view, what it would take to teach this woman a different way of looking at things is one person with an ocean of patience who was willing and able to gently and persistently question her attitudes and feelings until she herself came to see the flaws. Not easy.

    Maybe the Holy Spirit will come into her heart and change her. One can only hope.

  • Diana A.

    Nope. Laughing and pointing will only make her more stubborn. Especially since she already has a community that is in agreement with her. She can just convince herself that the rest of us are going to Hell in a handbasket. On the contrary, if she was to have an experience in which one of her perceived enemies were to be kind to her, that might open her eyes to the realization that the perceived enemy is human just as she is and might make her question all of her assumptions about evil and good.

  • Took me awhile to catch that – I think I started off with one route and switched to another. I promise I’m really careful with my college work – I tend to write very quickly when I feel I have something to say.

  • Hadn’t thought of that. And wish I wasn’t now…

  • n.

    i teach college and i have to have others in my department check my stuff. it’s hard to be exact in the first draft when you get excited about a topic.

  • n.

    good girls don’t need rights.

  • Lymis

    You’ve created a false dichotomy, and you are doubling down on the wrong side of it.

    You’ve set it up as the only two choices being that she is a monster or that she is a nice church lady who shows up with casseroles and takes care of the neighbor kids.

    I’ll agree that she is not a monster. I never said she was a monster. But I won’t pretend that what she believes isn’t monstrous. And no number of casseroles excuses supporting the rounding up and execution of millions of people, even if she thinks (but can’t express) that it’s just a metaphor. And you can’t convince me that her views don’t carry over into actual expression against any LGBT people who pass her way. She isn’t taking casseroles to sick lesbians and queers.

    “What changed in all those situations were the mindsets of the oppressors, and they changed when people just started ignoring what they had to say as irrelevant.” And then you cite Gandhi. Really? ‘Cause Gandhi is so famous for ignoring what his oppressors said and did.

    And please, pick a philosophy. You start out by saying that everyone should stop having a chuckle at her expense, and then riff on into exhorting everyone to treat what she says as irrelevant. Well, what in the world do you think that looks like? Ignoring these people and pretending they don’t exist isn’t the answer – this whole blog is based on the concept of bringing these things to light and making sure that they don’t stand as the public voice of Christianity.

    Treating her as the Antichrist would be out of line. Recognizing that what she is saying are the words of the hatred that have directly cost thousands of lives and ruined millions of others – in the name of God – isn’t out of line. Not by a long shot.

    You have it wrong. It isn’t the bigots that fade in the absence of the enemy. It is the mushy middle, the undecided, the people who really don’t care, but find it easier to go along with the bigots than to stand up to them, who participate, or pretend to, because of their often justified fear of being the next target. The actual bigots, the actual bullies, the actual haters, have to be stood up to. Otherwise, nothing is going to stop them from hurting others.

    And if we aren’t willing to make that opposition physical, often the best tool to take them down is, in fact, ridicule.

    She agrees that we should be dead. And went on national television to say so. But making fun of her hair or her lack of ability to string a sentence together isn’t nice.

    Golly. That’s sad.

    There’s pretty much nothing we can do that will change a mind that closed. But we can influence the minds of the people around her, point this out, rally people around genuine compassion, genuine Christianity, and change the culture that makes her think it’s okay to spout things like this on national television. And that doesn’t happen because people crawl into a hole and pull it in after them, or congratulate bigots on their casseroles.

  • Rachel M.

    Seriously, you need to swallow some humility. It can taste bitter, but you’ll feel better later. It’s for the Kingdom!

  • Go away. Go start your own blog and you can pull the grammar nazi routine on anyone who posts there.

  • Barbara Rice

    Worley didn’t start out as a monster, but he has become one. He is surrounded by sycophants and non-thinking sheep who gladly give him the adulation and praise that eventually he comes to believe he deserves – because he’s a pastor. There is no accountability. There is no one to tell him, “You’re wrong.” If someone does cross him and his insanity, they’re branded in public as being from the devil himself. It’s a short hop from there to absolutist rule. Because no one challenges him, he believes his own press and believes his views are the only correct ones. And he preys on the sheep in the fold, like this poor vacant woman who can’t answer simple questions except by referring back to what Worley said.

    He is indeed a monster of his own creating.

  • Jason

    [dickish comment deleted]

  • Lymis

    Thanks for that perspective. Roughly, it sounds like the Biblical condemnation of the Pharisees is similar to modern criticism of Christians – not for what they believe, but for not doing what they say they believe.

    I do have this question. How offensive (as opposed to simply inaccurate) would you say the modern use of the word Pharisee is (as meaning, roughly, self-righteous hypocrite)?

    Other than, and not to minimize, the whole “Christian good, Jewish bad” subtext, are there still people who identify as Pharisees or their religious descendants who are offended by the term, or is it roughly equivalent to having messed up views of Druids and the followers of Mithras?

  • Maria Lillian via Facebook

    I’m still just really impressed at how the News Guy was so somber and serious in his questions. I don’t know if I could have done that interview without cracking up in incredulous laughter. Props to him for being very professional while having to carry on such idiotic discourse. I’m fairly certain my six year old understands reproduction better than she does…..

  • Jason


    [dickish comment deleted]



  • Lymis

    I think we come at it sideways, by reaching the people who can be reached. The world is full of stories of people who were rabidly anti-gay and refused to listen to a gay person, but who did listen to a straight neighbor whose grandkids have gay friends, or some other person.

    We can’t reach this woman. But we might be able to reach people who can.

  • Melody

    Exactly, Barbara. Hitler didn’t start out as a monster. He made himself one. Worley has done the same, and he’s so far gone that being nice to him is futile. I’ll bet the good people of Germany thought they could just ignore his regime and it would go away. Well we all know how that went. Everyone saying we should kill them with kindness and just ignore them is dreadfully in denial.

  • Looks like the Providence Road church may get their tax exempt status revoked.

  • quite frankly being slightly familiar with Anderson’s tactics in producing his show, he deliberately went out of his way to find someone who wouldn’t give coherent answers. we also don’t know how the interview was edited.

    but it’s maybe the most illuminating, really, in that it’s from patent looking at this that this lady’s attitude (which is fairly-likely typical) is one of besiegement. she feels like her church and pastor are being beaten up on unfairly, and they’re “victims” (e.g. “why do you keep harping on that?”). this is an appealing mindset, because if we’re the victims, somebody else is at fault.

  • *”I am inclined to think…” should be part of the first sentence. i don’t have any proof of that.

  • Tara Kennedy via Facebook


  • This is the one part of Christianity that I can’t get my head around. There’s a great lyric from the BareNaked Ladies called, “Maybe, Katie”:

    Do you know everyone you ever swore you’d love for life

    I don’t know them anymore

    I know their names

    I’d recognize them on the street and I don’t love them

    I hold that it is humanly impossible to “love” in such a manner, regardless of the faith that teaches it. Apply that “love” to Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin. Ted Bundy. Whereas we can hold another person in high regard, hold humanity in high regard, “loving” someone unknown to you. Would you mourn them when they die? Feel even a twinge if you saw their name in the obits? Feel any sense of loss? No? Bingo.

    I guess it requires a definition of “love” I’m unfamiliar with.

    I mean nothing personal, Josh – I’m just in a mood and that last sentence really got to me.

  • Jana Harrison Currier via Facebook

    That’s funny, Lois! Sadly, the confined person is easily smarter than this woman.

  • Jana Harrison Currier via Facebook

    *confoned – damn auto correct!

  • Devin

    I appreciate you; whoever you are.

  • Devin

    Glad to see your ever abundant charity towards those you feel you must reprimand for simple grammatical errors. If John succeeded in communicating the point then he did an infinitely better job than the woman in the video. Comparing the two on a basis of this makes little sense and serves mostly to drive the conversation away from its bulk; as has happened. I can understand, for this reason, why he would wish to remove the clutter from his Facebook page that you had seemed to cause. Grammar is one thing, etiquette is another.

  • Timothy Wells

    “I’m not saying this pretty woman is stupid”

    If it was a male being interviewed would we have needed any assessment of her attractiveness? It doesn’t help the situation that the assessment was a positive one, because all it does is reinforce to women that an assessment is always being made.

  • Jason


    [dickish comment deleted]


  • Lymis

    Um, in context, yes, we generally would have heard some sort of redneck comments, especially if his hairstyle or dentistry met the stereotypes people have of people who sound and think like this.

    Your point about women being evaluated on their looks is valid, the idea that male rednecks aren’t is an error.

  • Allie

    Unfortunately what I read as the subliminal subtext was “she’s overweight and dressed like a redneck and I’m pretending to be too nice to have noticed.” Saying nothing would have been better.

  • Barbara Rice

    As they should.

  • Melody

    “This woman is clearly not the smartest.woman in America.” Understatement of the year. I’m sure you.think you’re God’s gift to John to correct his tragic grammar, but I’d say you’re hardly in the position to tell him how to write. John is Einstein compared to this woman. You’re a pompous dick, and nothing more. Go get a life and stop looking for fights to feel better about your pitiful existence.

  • Melody

    Don’t let the door hit you on your smug ass on the way out.

  • I thought that she appeared angry, but also troubled. This church has been happily motoring along in relative obscurity until someone…filmed a sermon and put it out into the world. Then the world attacks. That’s the thing about social media. Interestingly the last couple of weeks, there has been a big firestorm in the horse community about Tennessee walking horses and their abuse. Its been an ongoing problem for decades. Only this time… it got on Facebook, and Twitter, and YouTube, then people posted links, to the sponsors of horse shows of the abusers, like Pepsi, and Ford. Links to people in law enforcement, in the breed’s administration, of politicians, and other media. Suddenly things are different. They lost their sponsors, their phone is ringing, their email is jammed, their websites crash. It is no longer their dirty little secret. I strongly suspect that some of the Tennessee Walking Horse abuse people are also the homophobic, racist, hate group, people who might very well go to churches like this. That congregation has to be wondering who the hell took the video. Was it one of their own? Do they have a gay-lover in their congregation? Gasp! Maybe they even have a gay person in the congregation? Or maybe one of their visitors. Now are they going to be able to invite people to their church? That is a quandary, because all church folk like to welcome new members, and maybe have an altar call, have some folks walk up to the front! But what if they are spies? And in her heart of hearts, I bet there is an un ease… why are so many people interested in this? Why are so many people focusing on HER, and her minister, and not in a good way? Why does it feel so shitty? Maybe, John, she is going home and sleeping well, thinking she is a God fearing woman, but are you saying that good God fearing people, never have any doubt? Of course not. And I bet she is feeling pretty uncomfortable right now.

  • DR

    I love the passive-aggressive dickishness of comments like these.

    Jason for the record, I saw your comment and it was way more than talking through the grammatical errors. You’re delusional if you think it was only that.

  • DR

    You’re pretty creepy.

  • DR

    Jason, you’re lying. There are tons of us who saw your comment and it was filled with your typical passive-aggressive hostility of a guy who can’t handle conflict very well and uses something stupid like grammatical errors to express his anger.

    You certainly know when to turn the “my nice Christian words” hose on but they are transparent and after seeing the comment that was deleted, makes me sad and embarrassed for you. You have no real self-awareness of what it is you’re really communicating and you’re clearly terrified of just telling it like it is.

  • Jason

    Your reply, Melody … [dickish comment deleted]

    Peace be with you, Melody.


  • DR

    To point out that someone is uneducated is not “belittling”. It is an accurate assessment of their level of awareness around a particular subject.

    I’m amazed that John has the patience to deal with those of you who do this, I really am.

  • Jason

    Hi DR,

    [dickish comment deleted]

    For the Kingdom!


  • Jason: my correcting the little grammar and spelling mistakes in this post had jack to do with your braying about them. I was insanely busy yesterday, as busy as I’ve ever been for twelve hours straight in my life. I threw that post up there without doing ANY of the proofing–or taking any of the sort of time—that I routinely do with each of my posts, knowing that my readers would be okay with its minor errors—that they would understand—until I finally had time to later that evening clean it up. And when I finally had five minutes to spare last night, I cleaned it up.

    I axed you off my Facebook page (and will after this from my blog) because you’re always leaving smug, passive-aggressive, snarky little comments that are … well, exactly like the kind you left on my FB page–and have, I see, left here. I’m just tired of you, is all. Go be pissy somewhere else.

  • Jason

    Hi again, DR,

    [dickish comment deleted]



  • DR

    This is *exactly* the kind of Christian that is incredibly dangerous. Christians like Jason say they “agree with everything”. But they divert time, energy and focus on these inane, ridiculous points of contention that have nothing to do with the actual massive battle of awareness, prevention and repair that must go on regarding the abusive rhetoric and oppression that Christianity either promotes or passively allows to continue unchallenged.

    It’s the Jasons of the world that terrify me, who don’t have the common sense and/or intellect to see that this kind of energy spent diverts time and attention away from the real issue they say they care about (which I don’t believe for a second, but that’s just me).

    Dangerous. Way more dangerous than this woman featured because there are millions of them, they have the capacity to change and they just won’t.

  • Jason

    Hi DR,

    [dickish comment deleted]

  • Sharla

    Good for you. I made mine to GLSEN. My heart breaks most for children and teens who grow up hearing those messages of hate and come to realize that they, themselves, are the targets.

  • DR

    See below. Your choices on this thread are just exactly why Christians like you who are just as dangerous to the GLBT community than this poor woman featured who doesn’t know anything else. You are having a temper tantrum that you got blocked because of the needless, stupid microscope you put on a typo or two that has zero to do with education. Zero. And now you’re all over the place, talking about specks, logs, etc.

    And on top of that, it’s really creepy to watch you losing it while wrapping it in your “evangelist, for the Kingdom” candy-coated Jesus wrapping. If you’re a troll (which I think you might be), you’re doing an excellent job.

  • DR

    Ahhh. You’re a troll! You’re mocking what an Evangelist Christian would do in this setting, there’s no one reasonable who’d act this way. Wow, you got under my radar, nicely done.

  • DR

    You’re either a troll or someone who might be a little emotionally troubled. Hard to tell on the internet.

  • DR

    (thanks John)

  • DR

    20 bucks on Jason faking another profile and coming back for more.

  • Sharla

    Unfortunately, a great many fundamentalist Christian churches teach that Jews are going to hell unless they accept Jesus and become Christians. And years ago my mom said she heard some radio Bible teacher say, very emphatically, “Jesus wasn’t a Jew; he was a white man!” That may have been a long time ago but I suspect that belief still has some adherents here and there…

  • Melody

    In my experience, they often go hand in hand. I say both. He desperately needs a life.

  • I’m THE most forgiving person of typos. Because I’m a grammar fanatic but very busy and so. while I know better, everything I write online is often full of typos. I’m throwing comments up on the go and, if the meaning is clear, that’s a success. Who cares if I spelled “there” as “their” of missed an apostrophe. You edit when you can, and when you can’t, you don’t hold back the message for the sake of a typo. I fully, completely agree.

    I do find sometimes people here DO criticize grammar and typos. My instinct is far from to chastise, but to get self-conscious because I know I’m no better. I feel they are talking about ME.

    No excusing trying to turn that back on you, of course. It was far more dickish (just the right word, John!) than any mockery here. it was like he was trying to turn your own bit against you and failed, badly.

    Looks just hilarous now, though.

    Hi everybody!

    [dickish comment deleted]

    Love and Hugs in Jesus!

    …followed by serious replies, repeated a half dozen times. Totally cracked me up. I appreciate the editing choice.

  • Melody

    There are. I was unfortunate enough a few years back to stumble upon a website called “Jew Watch” that had an article on why Jesus wasn’t actually a Jew, and it rambled on using Bible verses trying to explain this in the most convoluted way. It ended basically saying, “My savior isn’t a Jew, thank God.” And as bad as that is, it gets worse. There are actually some Aryan supremacists that wrote their own “Adamic” version of the Bible because they believed that what we consider the Bible today was corrupted by Jews, so they believed Aryans should rewrite it. It’s incredible the lengths people will go to defend racism and hate.

  • Allie

    Since some years ago there was a Federal law passed mandating USDA inspections for Tennessee Walking horses, it’s hardly the first time it’s been under a spotlight. Not to drag the conversation off-topic, but those guys are gangsters, in the literal sense that they threaten to break the knees of anyone who opposes them. Look up “Champagne Watchout” if you want to learn about a true hero in action – a 16 year old black girl who dared to ride her flatshod horse against Big Lick horses despite death threats and riots.

  • HicksNeunert Stephanie via Facebook

    Lord, deliver me (us) from your followers.

  • Dawn Pedigo Long via Facebook

    This woman clearly entered a battle of wits unarmed.

  • Yeah, Allie, it is unfortunate that you think so little of me. Sheesh. I think she’s pretty, so I thought I’d compliment her. If it was a man, I’d have thrown in the word handsome.

    But, screw it: I’ll go take it out.

  • Diana A.

    “Go be pissy somewhere else.”


  • Allie

    You’re right, that was a little unfair. What I got out of it was more, “I’ll head any comments of that sort off at the pass.” But thinking that does imply noticing that. Sorry if I misjudged you, but I myself am overweight and have long noticed that pointedly calling someone overweight “pretty” usually has a subtext.

  • n.

    I get that, and if i’d noticed it i would have probably had the same reaction as you.

    Sometimes i don’t notice what a person looks like if i am concentrating on the content of their conversation. When i watched the video i was struggling to understand what the faces she was making really meant: fear, anger, disgust, distrust, etc?

    But actually looking at her again in the still picture, when she isn’t making ornery faces, she *is* kinda pretty.

  • Matt

    As you’ve pointed out here, John, people like me offend and injure bigoted cis heterosexual people’s values, ideas, and worldviews. And that’s hard. I genuinely sympathize.

    But these people injure and kill LGBTQ people’s bodies. You know, flesh and bone. Stuff that leaves permanent scars and corpses. There’s a reason that one of the few times the transgender community comes together (since we are few) is to remember those of us who were murdered in the last year.

    And it’s so sad that it could all just be avoided with some education and varied life experiences. No one is too stupid for an education in loving their fellow human being.

  • vj

    “Looks just hilarous now, though. ”

    Yup – have arrived late to this particular party, but it is pretty funny to see all his deleted comments and faux-cheeriness interspersed with serious replies…. thanks, John, for not deleting the whole thread!

  • vj

    There’s a difference between the warm & fuzzy love *feeling* that makes us miss a loved one, and the *choice* to act in love to anyone. It’s easy(ish) to act in love towards those we like/approve and are fond of, it’s often really hard to act in love towards the really sucky people – to remember that they, too, are loved by God, and to try to seek their best (which is *not* to excuse their suckiness, but to try to see beyond it, and not become sucky ourselves in our dealings with – and attitudes towards – them).

    God’s ‘definition’ of the love we are to have is found in 1 Corinthians 13:

    “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self–seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

    7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

  • vj


  • vj

    Now every time I read your posts I’m going to be picturing you venting in front of your computer… 😉

  • Lymis,

    I would certainly agree with your first paragraph as it is precisely the sam analogy. For the variety of issues religious Jews have with the Christian Movement, they lead to the single observation: Christians (and the World) might have been much better off had they chosen to follow Jesus’ social teaching and social action instead of worshiping him as a deity.

    Further understanding can be attained by looking at what Jewish life in 1st century Judea was like. Think of Vichy France in the 1940s. The Sadducees were the priestly class – the wealthy. They held positions of power and collaborated with Rome and received certain “perks” for that level of cooperation. And yet it is still difficult to condemn them too harshly: They managed to keep Judaism and its culture alive and vital and shielded the Jews from Roman violence as best they could. Judean=Jew=Juif=Jude – its where our modern name comes from. A “Jew” is a Judean. Our Temple-centered life in 30 CE assured our continuity. Jesus’ “radical” departure was not that he proclaimed himself “Mesiach” or “Son of God”. Rather, his radical departure was offering his Good News to both Jew and Gentile. Jesus sought to bring an end to the Jewish tribal culture – “to go into the world”. A whole other “new kind” of “Chosen People”.

    The Pharisees walked a pretty fine line. They were certainly more popular than the priestly class. The Pharisee was your local Rabbi. He’s the one who visited your family, took care of your spiritual needs. They collaborated on one side, but helped Jews “underground” so-to-speak in another and helped mitigate violent responses from the Romans by placating and interceding on the part of one of their “targets”.

    It helps to remember also that all of these religious leaders faced another threat – and a real one: The Zealots. And ultimately, the Zealots sealed Jerusalem’s fate long after Jesus left the scene.

    I don’t want to go here – and some point I may petition John to allow me to submit the finished document as a topic of discussion at some later date, if he would so honor me.

  • “I don’t want to go into more here”, rather. “Same” for “Sam” above. Arghh!

  • Lymis

    My question still remains – are there any people around today who identify with being Pharisees who are therefore personally insulted by the modern Christian understanding and use of the word, or is it a historical relic and vocabulary drift?

    In other words, at the risk of being offensive, it’s obviously a current and unacceptable slur to use “Jew” to mean someone who is trying to manipulate a financial transaction for their own gain. Is using “Pharisee” to mean someone who is a religious hypocrite a similar current anti-Semitic slur? Are we offending anyone by using it that way, or just being historically uninformed?

  • Lymis

    I’ll agree with your main point, but not with the idea that it’s in response to.

    Yes, if she were to break down by the side of the road, or have her house burn down, and be rescued and taken in by a wonderful gay couple, especially if she was ignored or shunned by the people she expected help from, it might be a huge shift for her.

    But I don’t think that carries over to people being polite on a blog. People being civil and polite and restrained in conversation about her is more likely to reinforce the ideas that she and her pastor are right in their views – see how calm everyone is? – or at least that the idea of rounding up the queers is a valid topic for polite conversation among reasonable people.

    I agree that the experience of having some of the godless perverts be kind to her would be a potential opening in her heart and mind.

    I don’t think she would see calm, reasonable, and polite conversation as being kind. She’s far more likely, if she thinks about it at all, to see it as a slick trick of Satan than restraint and compassion from people who feel hurt and offended.

  • Diana A.

    “I don’t think she would see calm, reasonable, and polite conversation as being kind. She’s far more likely, if she thinks about it at all, to see it as a slick trick of Satan than restraint and compassion from people who feel hurt and offended.”

    You may be right about this. In fact, you’re probably right about this.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t express honest anger and disgust with the view that “rounding up the queers” is an appropriate and valid thing to do. For anyone to say something like this is disgusting–especially since we’ve been there and done that (and it wasn’t just the Germans either. During WWII, the United States “rounded up the Americans of Japanese Descent” and put them behind fences too. It could be argued that we were kinder to the Americans of Japanese Descent than the Germans were to their victims. Even so, it was still a dehumanizing experience for them–the conditions were squalid and a prison camp is a prison camp even under the most humane conditions.)

    When I express an objection to pointing and laughing, I speak as one who spent the years from 5th-12th grade being a school outcast. This is small potatoes I know, but it had a major impact on me. I knew that if I gave in and started kissing up and trying to get these kids to be my friends, that I’d just be shark meat. So my response was to become even more stubborn in my “weirdness.” They didn’t like me? Up theirs! I didn’t like them either. It was clear that they just weren’t smart enough to appreciate someone as wonderful as me.

    I can own the pain now. But at the time? The only thing worse than being the School Outcast would have been admitting how much it hurt. No, fuck them! (Not terminology I would have used at the time.) I was better off without them anyway.

    My opinion isn’t just the result of my childhood experience. As an adult Christian who’s dumb enough to brave the shark-infested waters of Huffington Post, I’ve noticed that some of the atheists on HP make a point of ridiculing any religious viewpoint, no matter how mildly expressed. Even atheists who express openness toward those of us with a religious point of view are fair fodder for the hardcore “all religion is stupid” crowd. This ridicule does not make me anymore inclined to become an atheist. On the contrary, I used to have fairly positive feelings toward atheists until I started hanging out on Huffpost. Now, I end up continuously reminding myself that “not all atheists are like that.”

    Pointing and laughing solves nothing. It may feel good at the time, it may even be justified, but it solves nothing.

  • I’d say more of the latter than the former. Given what the Pharisaical movement was, it comes off as pretty ignorant (or uninformed, which is less contentious). But mostly, it will illicit snickers from a Jewish audience. “Seriously? So how come you guys became exactly like the very objects of Jesus’ scorn?” is probably the thought-form.

  • Sharla

    It’s worth keeping in mind that Judaism as we have it today survived the crisis of 70 c.e. because of the Pharisees, and as such, the Jewish faith they shaped once the sacrificial system of the Temple was gone is the distant ancestor of modern Judaism.

  • Indeed! Jews are accused today of “conspiring” to cover up instances of births of “red heifers” to delay the “second coming”, i.e., there are some Christians who believe that the Third Temple period would herald the return of Jesus.

    There’s no “conspiracy”, per se. Its the one thing that most Jews can agree upon. We don’t want a return to the caste system of the Priestly order or a return to animal sacrifice. Hells Bells – a lot of us have been making a fair amount of noise regarding ritual slaughter methods used by the kosher meat industry. Its antiquated and cruel and survives, in the US anyway, thanks to claims to 1st amendment rights.

    And waaaaay to many Cohens, Cohans, Kahns, Kohns, Levis, etc., who are too goddamn stupid to be allowed the kind of authority that would engender. In fact, it was this kind of thinking on the part of Enlightenment era philosophers that finally brought us out of the the age of Kings: Why the fuck would be stupid enough to let morons rule over us by deign of their birth “right”?

  • Diana A.

    “’Seriously? So how come you guys became exactly like the very objects of Jesus’ scorn?’ is probably the thought-form.”

    A thought-form with which I strongly agree. Perhaps, rather than using the term “Pharisees,” (which I plead guilty to having used as shorthand for “people [particularly Christians] who preach one thing and practice something else”) we should use the term “hypocritical religious leaders.”

  • Diana A.

    “Jews are accused today of ‘conspiring’ to cover up instances of births of ‘red heifers’ to delay the ‘second coming’, i.e., there are some Christians who believe that the Third Temple period would herald the return of Jesus.”

    Oh my goodness gracious me. I’ve actually heard some Christians (not in my circle, thank God!) express the view that “Jews are conspiring to delay the second coming.” I hadn’t heard this particular detail. It’s this kind of thing that makes it embarassing for me to call myself a Christian.

    “And waaaaay too many Cohens, Cohans, Kahns, Kohns, Levis, etc., who are too goddamn stupid to be allowed the kind of authority that would engender. In fact, it was this kind of thinking on the part of Enlightenment era philosophers that finally brought us out of the the age of Kings: Why the fuck would we be stupid enough to let morons rule over us by deign of their birth ‘right’?”

    I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure of reading Peter McWilliam’s book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do,” but I think it was that book (I might be wrong) that theorized that one of the reasons why Hitler went after the Jews first is because the Jewish Experience has sensitized Jews to recognize a potentially oppressive government early enough to sound the warning for everyone else. Thus, they had to be neutralized early enough in the game so as to prevent them from sounding the warning bell. I think there’s a lot of truth to this.

  • Danielle

    Ah, the two-sided coin of freedom of speech… (sigh)

  • Slewfoot

    Sadly it is the norm for some areas of the country (aka the bible/bigot belt)…but I do disagree in that there are many more open minded, freethinking people out there to combat these types of people and I dont think our numbers are decreasing I think our numbers and supporters are increasing with each generation! We also have highly educated, genius minds that can carry on a conversation and conjugate a complete thought.

    I can research 1 and find the statistics but with each generation the church is dying off and the numbers prove it!!! The younger generations do not want to go to church and learn to hate and judge! They are more tolerant and more accepting and religion is just not something they want!!! These backwards little hick towns are always going to exist, I would not underestimate them, however I would not fear them, and I would not assume to give them more strength in numbers then they truly have! No way am I intimidated by these people! I am excited to see them GO!!! This country may be moving at a snails pace, but we are moving forward not backwards, these hate filled, bigots do not represent the nations thinking as a whole. Many of us are just getting our traction, coming out of our shells to speak up, stand up and not allow this kind of hate to go on unnoticed! A small and declining group of people has been portrayed as tremendously powerful and growing so rapidly that they might take over the country—when in fact that number of converts among this group is down and dropping. They are rarely able to convert and adult, middle-class American. Their share of the population is not 25 percent, but at most 7 percent of the country and falling. All these numbers come from the churches themselves.

    Again these are my opinions, take them with a grain of salt…..and don’t forget the shot of tequila 😛

    Evangelicals are not the fastest-growing faith group in America. Neither are Pentecostals. Nonbelievers are the fastest-growing faith group in America in numbers and percentage. From 1990 to 2001, which was the last good count, they more than doubled, from 14 million to 29 million. Their proportion of the population grew from 8 percent to more than 14 percent. That means there are more than twice as many people who claim no religion as there are participating evangelicals who subscribe to beliefs that have made the religious right powerful. Wicker, 53 (citing “The American Religious Identification Survey) ↩

  • Barbara Rice

    I think you’re right… see comments by someone calling themselves dooooowop… the troll has resurfaced.

  • While I certainly find Paul’s words appropriate for the concept of love I’m familiar with, it seems wholly inappropriate again, for the examples I listed.

    I could however, easily apply Paul’s concept to a suffering humanity in general, and to individuals in need, individuals with whom I interact.

    I can also write people off in a heartbeat, or seek legal or social remedy for their actions. I needn’t “love” them. Sometimes, you have to take out the trash, flush the toilet, sweep the kitchen – which ever metaphor you prefer.

  • Liza Chigos via Facebook

    Wow! As we say in Texas, “Bless her heart!” This poor woman’s world view and understanding of this situation is so tiny. How frightening it must be to go through life never knowing what is around the corner…unless you stay to a very small geography…I hope at some point she takes a leap of faith and allows her heart and mind to open.

  • vj

    So, how do you know which people deserve to be flushed away? Where/how do you draw the line?

    When I am confronted with behavior that, to me, defies excuse, then, as repulsed as I might be, I also think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ and ‘judge not, lest you be judged’ and ‘vengeance is Mine, says the Lord’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. I can’t bring myself to think that there is anyone that God does not love, and if God loves them, who am I to NOT?

  • Nicole

    I didn’t mind it. It actually made me notice that she was, indeed, pretty. I like that John thought that when many would dismiss her looks because she isn’t the media “ideal” of what pretty should be.

    I thought it was nice.

  • Nicole

    This thread is a hoot now that all the “dickish” comments were deleted. 😀

  • Allie

    English isn’t a very good language for talking about love. In this instance you’re confusing eros with agape and philia. And refusing to allow someone to harm you isn’t incompatible with loving them.

    I think the first step towards understanding God’s position on love is to try to really, really grasp the fact that you did not make yourself. You didn’t create yourself smart, or handsome, or good-tempered. Knowing that, and knowing that the temptations and difficulties you face in dealing with others are completely different ones from the ones they face, then consider how you should be grateful and gracious to everyone around you.

  • Right?! Thank you.

  • Aggie

    Great discussion. I thought I’d add a couple of Gandhi quotes I really like. I suppose they could apply to Pastor Worley, this member of the congregation, and/or our response.

    “It has always been a mystery to me how some men can feel themselves

    honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

    Easy to say them, hope I get better at living them…

  • Ellen

    I agree. While it came off like Cooper was just looking for a way to produce a segment for people who are already on his side to point and laugh at when he says “gotcha!”, while managing to make people with views like hers…recognize exactly what was going on. Did you see her expression at the end when she said “thank you very much?” She knew. People can justify feeling like victims if they want, we’ve seen it happening on the religious right for years and years, but things like this just look like fuel for that fire. I hate anti-intellectualism but I can understand that it’s rooted in “he wouldn’t let me finish my sentence, and then he made me look like an idiot” moments like that.

    When I was looking for a church to join, support for gay marriage and families was one of the requirements. I find views like hers absolutely wrong and sad and horrifying. Yet I STILL felt uncomfortable watching that.

  • Ellen

    Argh. Forgive the compositional train wreck that is the second sentence, I guess I revised on the fly and didn’t proofread.

  • Nobody cares—or should care—about punctuation or whatever in blog comments, of all places.

  • DR

    Why are those of you suggesting that Anderson

    Somehow edited this to create a “gotcha” moment so confident in that assertion? How else could this have been edited? What other conclusions could have been drawn?

  • Karen Lamb

    That’s hilarious! I was thinking the same!!!

  • I can’t. Not necessarily because I don’t want to. I can’t even begin to be able to define, let alone feel the kind of “love” you’re describing. See below regarding the Greek words that translate in English as “love”.

  • I agree in principle. And most people have some quality that is redeeming. None of us know this woman personally. But I don’t owe her my understanding or indulgence.

    On the other hand – do I hate her? I don’t know her well enough to hate her, either. I’ll leave it open as to whether she could persuade me.

    But there again, while I respect the teachings of Jesus the Sage – I incorporate what makes sense and sounds like “truth”. I feel no obligation to try to aspire to what I don’t have the capacity to feel.

  • n.

    I was told that the kind of love we had to have towards our enemies was “wanting the best for them”. I always sort of took a sideways comfort in the idea that this could include wanting them to stop being awful.

  • Diana A.

    Exactly. Because in the end, they hurt themselves far more by being awful than they do anyone else. In some ways, goodness, kindness, love, is it’s own reward and evil is it’s own punishment.

  • Thanks John! I refer folks to your site all the time. So many people think they haven’t a reasonable choice between being good Christians with being anti gay. For my Christian friends who struggle with what the Scriptures say about homosexuality I offer the following. A wonderful book that really helped me with this issue called Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? Revised and Updated: Positive Christian Response, by Letha Dawson Scanzon and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Harper-Collins. Here are some other great on line resources to consider: ,,, Thanks again John, you are a real blessing!

  • vj

    Well said!

  • vj

    You might try reading John’s post about ‘What Jesus left out of the Great Commandment’ – when we focus on the FIRST part (loving God), we feel/know/understand how much He loves us, and are THEN able to begin to live out the SECOND part (love your neighbor as yourself). We don’t need to manufacture a *feeling* in our own strength.

  • Nicole

    Well, sure! 🙂

  • Fine John I’ll say it. This woman is completely ******* stupid. Why are people so scared to say what we’re thinking when we observe knuckle dragging troglodytes like this woman. You want to know what is really frightening to me? The fact that there are a lot more people like her…and they’re all breeding. They’re giving birth to more stupid people who are going to be just like this woman in the video. Their world view is ignorant, she’s stupid, and they’re wasting perfectly good air that the critical and rational people of society could be utilizing right now.

    I don’t only loathe these Sheeple, I hate them. I despise the fact that they’re the ones that decide or influence public policy, that they obstruct science being taught in public schools, that they propagate injustice and prejudicial treatment of minorities, that they influence politics and teach their inbred hillbilly redneck children how to hate. These stupid Sheeple encourage their offspring to not question or challenge authority and to believe a man simply because he stands behind a pulpit and claims to know the word of god. If I had my way I would not only place them behind an electric, I wouldn’t even bother to feed them. I would let them all die and laugh for joy as one ignorant redneck passed away after another. Good bye hillbilly Sheeple I wouldn’t have to abide them in the United States any more.

  • n.

    I teach at a tech college in the south and some of those people are my students. And if we go around saying that ANY kind of people is a waste of air, lebensunwertes leben? To me, that’s also dangerous… That’s to say that people can be so wrong that they should just die? No. They are so wrong that they should just CHANGE. Some do change. Some do learn. And you never know who will until you give them a chance.

    5 or 10 yrs ago i never would have guessed how many of my ideas would change… Maybe i wasn’t uneducated but i was sheltered and stubborn.

    I’m not saying we should be nice to people who are THAT wrong. There’s a point at which one runs out of nice.

    But i grew up hearing that some people didn’t deserve to exist, and that’s a part of my past that i want to get away from, not just change the target of.

  • Thank you, n. I have been bothered by the tone of some of our brothers’ and sisters’ comments here, and I appreciate y our speaking out on this.

    The ideas she espouses, the environment that made her as unreasoning as she seems, and the hatred evident in it all are “unworthy of life”, but Christians must remember that His Sacrifice was perhaps more for her than it was for us, if I may say it that way.

    She is showing more evidence of the sickness that we all share. She needs healing, not hating, as does her pastor and the rest of his misled flock.

  • cathy

    They need to lose their tax exempt status!