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.