Charles L. Worley seems to be training others to be just a awful as he is

OK, it’s getting late in the day and my plan of cooling down to a calm, rational tone to discuss this still isn’t working.

So let’s discuss the Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C.

Actually, let’s just make that Charles L. Worley — there’s nothing “reverend” about this bastard, regardless of what the clueless, hateful club-members of this local congregation try to say. He’s not “pastor” Worley. Pastor means shepherd, and Worley’s not shepherding a flock, just fleecing a bunch of rubes — the kind of easy marks who beg for a second shot at the offering plate after hearing their bigoted leader endorse concentration camps.

Yes, concentration camps. Which is why this subject comes pre-Godwined.

No matter how they play dress up, Worley ain’t a pastor and Providence Road ain’t a church. As Ramona writes: “If you could turn off the sound and watch this man Worley as he clutches his bible and moves around his pulpit, you might be lulled into thinking you were watching a man of God preaching in God’s house. No such thing exists in that building posing as a church.”

Here’s what Worley had to say this month in the “sermon” at his “church”:

If you can’t watch that video, here’s a transcript of the lowlights:

I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn’t get it past the Congress. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified ’til they can’t get out. … And you know what? In a few years, they’ll die out.

Let’s be clear: This is eliminationist talk. Worley is advocating rounding people up and putting them in camps until they die off. This is something that has been done in the past and Worley is suggesting doing it again.

I’m sure Worley will try to say he was only “joking” — that he wasn’t seriously suggesting rounding up millions of Americans and locking them away until they die. But he isn’t joking in that video. The only playfulness in his comments is the smirking “I couldn’t get it past the Congress,” and that, for Worley, is the joke here — that concentration camps are what we ought to do, if only, alas, we could.

CNN reports today that Worley’s rant is getting “mixed reactions” around Maiden, N.C. — meaning others are appalled, but the members of his congregation support their “pastor.” These people are ignorant Bible-carriers who don’t show the slightest hint of ever having cracked the spines of those books:

“He said he would feed them!” some church members told CNN, referring to Worley’s idea for rounding up gays.

Worley “takes a real firm stand on the Bible and what it says about different things,” said church member Joe Heffner. “Whether I like it or not or whether anybody else likes it.”

Another church member, who declined to give his name, said that “Being gay and lesbian or homosexual is wrong according to the Bible… it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

(Rule No. 17: Anyone who says “… not Adam and Steve” imagining that they are either being clever or invoking the meaning of the Bible is thereby proved to be someone who is utterly incapable of either being clever or invoking the meaning of the Bible.)

The local NBC affiliate reports that “Members stand behind pastor’s anti-gay sermon“:

Geneva Sims said she’s been listening to Worley preach the Gospel since the 1970s.  She wasn’t surprised by the 71-year-old pastor’s now infamous sermon.  In fact, she supports him and his message.

“He had every right to say what he said about putting them in a pen and giving them food,” said Sims.  “The Bible says they are worthy of death. He is preaching God’s word.”

So Sims was probably present back in 1978 when Worley preached a “sermon” in which he spoke longingly of the good old days in which “homosexuals … lesbians and all the rest of it” would have “hung and blessed God from a White Oak Tree.”

Geneva Sims has spent four decades of spiritual and moral formation sitting at the feet of Charles Worley. This is why Geneva Sims is a horrible person.

Attending a so-called church filled with horrible people and led by a horrible so-called pastor will do that to you.

I’ll come back to this to round up some of the wiser, more temperate responses to Worley from around the Intertubes, but let me close here by highlighting one excellent response (via The New Civil Rights Movement), from the North Carolina group Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate. They’re organizing a peaceful protest this Sunday, May 27, beginning at 10 a.m.

We are organizing a PEACEFUL protest against Pastor Worley’s bigoted and hate filled rhetoric. Regardless if you are gay or straight, Christian or not… this rhetoric is dangerous and harmful. Taking a peaceful stand for our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is paramount.

This event is a peaceful protest organized in the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi. All participants of this direct action must vow to remain peaceful and non-violent. We will not scream, shout or taunt Pastor Worley or his church’s members. We will not vandalize, threaten or injury property or persons. We will allow law enforcement to handle harassment and disputes that may arise. Protest Peace Keepers will be in charge and will provide instructions.


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  • christopher_young

    It gets so monotonous, pointing back to Hitler all the time. Stalin,
    Mao, Pol Pot, Hirohito and the Romans deserve some attention too.

    I believe the British actually invented the name, in South Africa. Although, as  you say, plenty of people had used similar methods at earlier dates.

  •  I don’t suspect that Worley believes that people are born gay (even if it’s with an apparent misapprehension that only “lesbians, gays, and queers” are the ones who directly pass on the trait), but rather he thinks that if he rounds up all of the current QUILTBAG individuals alive today and cuts them off from contact with the outside world they will lose their ability to recruit others.

    Additionally, such an action would serve as a warning to any members of future generations unwise enough to choose such a lifestyle.  “Firm up those wrists, boy!  You want to end up in the camp?”

    It would also be a deterrent for anyone Worley and company missed in the initial culling.

    Also, fuck him.  If I were as inclined to round up people and put them into camps as he is, Worley and his flock would  be on my guest  list.  And because I’m not a kind, loving Christian like he is, I wouldn’t be “nice” enough to feed them.

    Fortunately for him, I’m not so inclined…

  • He has a history of Acephobia as well which seems to come from the same place as that terrible attack on the rape victim – absolute disbelief that someone might deny sex to someone they claimed to love.

    Rape culture is when anyone says “if you loved them you’d have sex with them” not just the person who wants to have sex.

    (And apart from that asexual does not necessarily mean repulsed by sex or lacking libido – it just means you don’t feel sexual attraction).

  • Tonio

    Worley’s nightmarish scenario has a special terror for me, because I was regularly mistaken for gay in middle school and high school. I was never beaten up for it, but it was enough that even today, I don’t feel comfortable when I’m around other men who seem tough or aggressive, like athletes, construction workers, police officers or military service members. When I hear Worley, I can easily imagine myself before a kangaroo court that assumes “gay until proven straight” and then sent off to the showers with no water. Not that liquidating straights by mistake is any worse than liquidating actual gays, I’m just descrbing my own reaction.

    They may not feel sexual attraction for the opposite sex but they are capable of the act of heterosexual sex.

    I would have thought that most of them weren’t capable of even being aroused by the opposite sex, which is not the same as attraction. Worley might be one of those people who doubts that orientation exists, wrongly believing that homosexuality is just people disregarding any restraints on sex.

  • ako

    Not that liquidating straights by mistake is any worse than liquidating actual gays, I’m just descrbing my own reaction.

    I understand that.  “They’ll go after me” would scare anyone, and if you’ve already been mistreated due to your perceived sexual orientation, it makes sense to worry about your own safety.  And I’m pretty sure straight people wouldn’t be entirely safe under Worley’s system, considering that one of his fellow haters advocated hitting little boys for not keeping their wrists in a stereotypically heterosexual position.

  • Jurgan

    If you’re looking for consistency, you’re making a mistake.  HATE THEM HOMOS is the only true principle these people have.

  • Even if Worley just means the Soviet gulag equivalent, that’s still sentencing QUILTBAG people to years of hard labor on little rations with prison guards very eager to use their bullets and guns should anyone try to escape. DX

  • On ways you can help, I just saw something that is better than a protest…mailing lists! This is a great, ingenious solution for using one person’s hatred to inspire many more to good deeds…

  • C

    I think I’d pay to see that movie.

  • friendly reader

    I would have thought that most of them weren’t capable of even being aroused by the opposite sex, which is not the same as attraction.

    It’s called using your imagination. And given the number of homosexual men and women who have been parents of children in straight marriages before coming out, this is entirely possible.

    I mean, as a straight woman I can get aroused without anyone around, much less a guy I found attractive. If it somehow became necessary for my very survival that I have sex with a woman, I’d close my eyes and think of Matthew Fassbender.

    (I could be misreading your comment, and if so, I apologize.)

  • Tonio

    While you have a point, “using your imagination” still amounts to being aroused by someone or something other than the opposite-sex partner. Back when the closet was the norm, most gays and lesbians in straight marriages probably did exactly what you would do with Fassbender, perhaps with the men imagining  Cary Grant and the women imagining Bettie Page.

  • The_L1985

    He seems to think that Teh Ghey only springs from gay people “infiltrating” the Godly institution of marriage for the sole purpose of spawning more gay people. Thus, locking them away and keeping them segregated by gender will keep more gay people from being born, ever.

    Because no loving, committed straight couple has ever produced gay offspring. Nope!

  • friendly reader

     Ah, I see what you meant now. But given the initial quote – that people with a homosexual orientation are still able to have heterosexual relations – I though you meant “How can gay people physically get aroused around members of the opposite sex?”

    I guess the answer is what my (comprehensive) sex ed class taught me: the most important organ in sex is your brain. What’s going on in your head can make all the difference in your body.

    (Also, no love for James Dean, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, or any of the other studs of the era? ^_~)

  • The_L1985

    I haven’t heard the rape story, and he’s said that while some women climax from Tab A In Slot B alone, 80% of women do not. He generally offers the “I can’t satisfy my female SO” crowd a reminder of the most common way for a woman to achieve that state. That is not quite the same thing as “This is the only possible way to satisfy a woman.”

    The transphobia looks like something that’s slowly improving over the years, but is still pretty bad.

    Maybe you should stick to the ways in which Dan Savage actually is an asshole. There’s no shortage of those.

  • Tonio

    Also, no love for James Dean, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, or any of the other studs of the era? ^_~

    Heh. I was thinking of the ’40s, not the ’50s. And I thought Heston wasn’t a sex symbol, but more like a B-level John Wayne idol for straight men. But unlike Wayne, he supported civil rights early in his career and didn’t turn hardcore conservative until later.

  • The_L1985

    Um, there’s nothing in there that says, “Suck it up and have sex with your husband.” It just says, “Stop having sex, period, until you’ve been to a therapist.”

    Seriously, even Savage Love fans can tell the guy’s an asshole. But this isn’t a case in point.

  • Nathaniel

     Please point out to me where Dan Savage told the women was obligated to have sex with anyone.

    Her husband was depressed and angry because “My skin crawls” whenever he attempted any sort of touch. According to her letter, her husband by that point was demanding sex, but a break off of sexual liaisons with her boyfriend. The one she was fine continuing to have sex with.

    But hey, I’m sure the husband was being a selfish prick. I mean, what kind of jerk could get upset at his wife continually saying, “The thought of you touching me makes me feel disgusted and repulsed, but sex with my boyfriend is still totally awesome.” 

    Also note that she says she had not sought therapy for the issue of her assault, and has a hard time “believing that my husband and I will ever get be able to go back to the way things were before.”

    So in response Dan Savage told her to get into therapy yesterday, or put the marriage out of its misery.

    But hey, she’s a victim. That means she has no obligations to anyone or anything, regardless of who she hurts. Because sexual assault is a “get out of harming behavior free” card.

  • The_L1985

    I’m not seeing that at all. He’s saying, “Look, you were traumatized. A lot. But why are you ok having sex with another man, while simultaneously not being on having sex with your husband? Why are you having sex right now when YOU NEED THERAPY?”

    Where are you getting this “You need to have sex with your husband now, PTSD or no PTSD” thing?

  • The_L1985

    He said she was cruel and selfish for HAVING SEX SITH THE BOYFRIEND.

  • The_L1985

    What? Are we reading the same advice column? Because I remember a lot of “if you’re asexual, find an asexual or low-libido person to love, so that there’s no pressure to have unwanted sex” and very little “you don’t really love someone unless you’ve been in their pants.”

  • Trixie_Belden

    Sorry, but that’s just bollocks.  I read the column, and even though I’m usually not all that crazy about Dan Savage’s advice, I think he was spot-on.

    Remember the woman is claiming she 1) still loves her husband, but 2) finds she can no longer enjoy sex with him due to being raped by a former partner, however 3) she very much enjoys sex with her other boyfriend, so 4) although her husband is very hurt and is suffering, there’s just nothing she can do about it.  Savage simply points out that 1 and 4 are contradictory.  He’s right .  He sad nothing about the woman owing her husband sex.  He simply said that if the woman really doesn’t want to hurt her husband as she claims, she can either get to counselling to find out why she has problems with him, but not her boyfriend, or she can admit she actually prefers her boyfriend, and do the honest thing and end her relationship with her husband.

    I also think that it is beyond dispute that people who suffer trauma don’t automatically become angels.  I found the woman’s described behavior toward her husband vaguely sadistic.  “I’m sorry, I still love you and I want us to stay together, but I don’t want you to touch me because of what X did to me.  Now I’m off to have wonderful sex with my boyfriend who makes me feel whole.  Don’t wait up.”  Savage was right to call her out on it.  As for him “not considering any reasons she might have for being comfortable with one man and not the other”, that’s not his job – it’s the woman’s job to work out these reasons, and Savage simply advises her to do so. 
    Recall that her husband did not rape her, it was a former partner.  She states that she still loves her husband and she appears to want to remain in some sort of relationship with him.  Under these circumstances I don’t see the husband as wrong for hoping to resume their sex life, and it must indeed be painful for him when she rejects him and them goes to her other lover.  She seems to be letting him twist in the wind.

    OK, so having sex with her husband triggers her, for some reason.  She also claims to still love her husband and she claims she feels bad about  the pain he feels when she goes off to have sex with her boyfriend.  If so, she should try to find out why her husband triggers her and see if there’s anything she can do about it, and if she can’t fix it, or if in truth she doesn’t want to fix it, she should just end the relationship with her husband.

  • I’m not even going to respond to this because that advice is exactly the problem.

  • EllieMurasaki

    How so? My understanding is that everyone who wants a partner is better off (all else equal) with someone with a sex drive neither significantly more nor significantly less active than one’s own. While it is of course highly unfair to expect Asexual Alex to have sex, it’s not particularly fair to High-Libido Hannah to expect her not to have sex. If Hannah and Alex are a couple, there’s a Problem. Okay, yes, Hannah could masturbate till her hands fall off, or with Alex’s consent find an alternate sex partner, but not every couple will find either of those an ideal solution.

  • Lori

    With some trepidation I’m going to stick a toe into the issue of the Dan Savage column. It’s a perfect example of why I sort of hate advice columns. Advice from a total stranger based on a letter is of limited value and columnists all seem to have major problems figuring out where that limit line is.

    As someone who has some experience in therapy work with trauma victims my opinion is that there was only one correct answer Savage could have given to that woman. He should have told her that she needed to a qualified therapist as soon as possible and left it at that. The situation was well past the ability of a non-therapist to offer anything useful, especially based on a letter.

    There are some major things going on in the letter writer’s situation and it’s virtually certain that not all of them are directly related to the rape. Savage jumped to a conclusion about what some of those issues are*, or might be, because he has a blind spot the size of the sun about sexless marriages and he’s nasty about it. He knows this about himself, or should, and should have known that even if some advice columnist could have said something useful to that woman, he could not.

    *Savage’s assumption that the woman must not really love her husband could be correct, but it is not remotely the only possible reason for her situation. I thought of at least 4 other possibilities right off the top of my head and I doubt that any of them even occurred to Savage. Because he is not a therapist and really isn’t qualified to deal with serious issues of this nature.

  • The_L1985

    1. You just did.

    2. Ellie said it for me. Remember that most divorces are over money, children, or sex. Therefore, you should find someone who is compatible in each of those three ways.

    Obviously, people aren’t necessarily going to find a partner with the same exact kinks, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

  • Lori


    My understanding is that everyone who wants a partner is better off (all
    else equal) with someone with a sex drive neither significantly more
    nor significantly less active than one’s own. 

    This is true, but in the case of the letter writer the issue isn’t really one of incompatible sex drive.

    The main thing that jumped out at me in the letter was that the woman said that she was considering therapy. As opposed to what? Waiting for the situation to resolve itself? Continuing as things are indefinitely? The former is unlikely and the latter really is a problem WRT her marriage and that doesn’t (necessarily) make her husband a bad guy.

    There’s a limited amount that can fairly and accurately be said even about that though because A) the rape was apparently fairly recent and B) I need more information than I can get from a very brief letter. Especially since that short letter was almost certainly edited down from a longer letter and the edited would, of necessity, reflect what Dan Savage considered to be the key points.

  • Tricksterson

    I suspect you can’t which is why so many Jews went into the camps willingly.  They knew there had been persecution and pogroms in the past and that’s basically what they thought this would be.  When they saw the slogan of (pardon any mispelling) “Arebeit mach Frei” they thought, “a work camp.  This will be tough, maybe even brutal but we can survive this.  After all if they want us to work they’ll have to treat us at least semi-decent, right?”  You have the advantage of their (and many German gays) experience.

  • My understanding is that everyone who wants a partner is better off (all else equal) with someone with a sex drive neither significantly more nor significantly less active than one’s own. 

    I would agree with this if “wants a partner” were replaced by “wants exactly one sexual partner.” Which I gather is what you meant.

  • Tricksterson

    The LGBT  version of The Great Escape, we’ll make millions.

  • Tricksterson

    Well, I got the penis part.  Forgive me for forgetting the vagina and uterus.

  • Tricksterson

    Yup, me too.  Basically I grew up in an place and time where the only criteria for having your masculinity questioned was being able to walk erect and speak in words of more than one syllable and where “queer bashing” was one step away from being a spectator sport.  A bit better now but not as much as one would hope, I’ve known too many real gays whose families thought they could “beat the gay out of them”.

  • Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowre

    If he were a real Christian, he would have done so long since.

  • Dan Audy

    I have to say I am very grateful that I grew up in a extremely tolerant area and community.  Despite having EVERY member of my immediate and extended family, along with most my acquaintances assume I was gay and hiding it*, I was never put in fear for myself and received nothing worse than the standard stupid school mockery for being intellectual and unathletic (which while it shouldn’t happen either, isn’t nearly so harmful).

    *I’m (mostly) straight but extremely private about my relationships and didn’t want to expose them to my family unless I had to or I was ashamed because I was in an abusive relationship.  After my girlfriend (now wife) and I had decided to marry I took her to meet my family (though we didn’t tell them about marriage plans for awhile).

  • Mau de Katt

    …formal logic and sound argument construction should be one of those things that is part of mandatory education….

    Why do you think public education has been one of the main institutions targeted for destruction, and gradually & continually whittled away,  by the Right Wing (secular or religious) for so many decades?

  • Joshua

    How dare he say people like my little sister should be treated like Jews in 1933 Germany. 

    Or, for that matter, like about 4 million actual gays in Nazi Germany.

  • Joshua

    It does make me wonder, since Worley is treating this almost as an abstraction,what would happen if you would actually start talking concrete details. Like oh sure, let’s build a small-scale prototype, we can put it right over there. And start talking about plans for rounding people up. If at some point his pathetic excuse for a conscience would kick in and say “hey wait a minute…” 

    My feeling is that this is pretty much how the Final Solution actually occurred. Except no-one, or at least not the right people, ever said that.

    I don’t think even Hitler in his private mind would have seen it as a concrete part of his program until well into WWII. Just an idle and impractical daydream, like this guy.

    Cue people who know the history better to correct me…

  •  There has been rather a bit of debate among Holocaust scholars regarding exactly that.

    It is probably reasonable to suppose Hitler would have been just as satisfied with kicking all Jews out to Madagascar, or somewhere in Africa – i.e. somewhere he didn’t care about as long as they were not in the Reich.

    That being said, it is also reasonable to suppose that Hitler had no serious objections to the notion of simply killing them all instead. Certainly he gave Himmler a very free hand in that area.

    The Soviet Gulag started similarly – the Chekists had jails and internment camps, and so on, and as Stalin gathered like-minded “revolutionary thinkers” around him, they became eager to satisfy his notions that only by mass arrests and executions could the Soviet Union be saved from “kulaks” and “counterrevolutionaries”.

    Likely the only reason the Gulag never graduated to industrial-scale mass murder was the need for the USSR to wring out as much of the labor from the inmates as possible while they served their sentences.

  • The_L1985

    The thing about asexual people and amount of sex drive was in response to Dan’s column in general, not that particular letter. :)

  • The_L1985

     I assumed that, simply because poly people are not that big of a minority. >.>

  • There aren’t that many openly poly people, agreed.
    There are a lot more people who have more than one sexual partner at a time for periods of their lives, though, than there are people who identify openly as poly.

  • Lori


    The thing about asexual people and amount of sex drive was in response
    to Dan’s column in general, not that particular letter. :)  

    I was responding to Ellie who, as far as I could tell, was talking about the problem of the couple in the letter. He wants sex with her. She does not want sex with him. My point is that in that case it wasn’t a matter of sex drive and therefore has to be treated differently.

    When it comes to couples with widely varying sex drives I do tend to agree in general with Dan’s position.  In the case of the letter writer I think he totally missed the mark.

  • EllieMurasaki

     I was responding to Ellie who, as far as I could tell, was talking about
    the problem of the couple in the letter. He wants sex with her. She
    does not want sex with him. My point is that in that case it wasn’t a
    matter of sex drive and therefore has to be treated differently.

    Was not talking about that particular letter, for the record. Disqus’s commenting system sucks, especially when someone neglects to hit reply-to the comment they’re replying to and to quote the comment they’re replying to, but I responded to Becka’s “I’m not even going to respond to this because that advice is exactly the problem”, which was in response to The_L1985’s “What? Are we reading the same advice column? Because I remember a lot
    of “if you’re asexual, find an asexual or low-libido person to love, so
    that there’s no pressure to have unwanted sex” and very little “you
    don’t really love someone unless you’ve been in their pants.””

    I don’t think I actually have talked about that particular letter, so again for the record, if she wants sex, fine, if she doesn’t want sex, also fine, but if she wants sex with one person and not with another, and she has a husband and he isn’t the one person she wants to have sex with, then something else is going on and she needs to get herself to a therapist posthaste, preferably with husband in tow, and it’d be wise if she refrained from further sex until the problem between her husband and herself is sorted out.