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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LBCF, No. 190: ‘Something happens’

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  • SisterCoyote

    To be fair to the other people who hate me, “endless rounds of
    ineffective and psychologically scarring conversion therapy” is less bad
    than “throw you in a concentration camp until you die”.

    This is the hardest I’ve laughed and cried at the same time in …a long time.

    I just… I don’t even. What. No, how, what.

  • thatotherjean

    Response #47 on “More NC Pastors Encourage Violence” at Dispatches from the Culture Wars links to links to a site called

    which has the best response EVER to Charles L. Worley’s anti-gay tirade, complete with the address, website, and phone number of his church, and a list of organizations working against this kind of awfulness who could use a donation, made in Pastor Worley’s name.  There’s even a postcard to download so you can mail it to him to let him know he’s getting the credit for your generosity.

  • JonathanPelikan

    Sometimes I understand why the krogan just want to shoot everything in sight.

  • Ursula L

    Indeed. In such instances, calm is irrational and rational is irate. 

    Quoted for Truth

    And I believe that this deserves to win an internet.

  • JonathanPelikan

    So, are you literally incapable of processing that a message that allows for people of sound mind and reason and morality to somehow remain as Christian is, if nothing else, infinitely more practical as a message for us heathen to advance in fucking America, land of Teh Jesus, as compared to ‘all Christianity must burn and if you’re in it you’re just like Fred Phelps’?

  • Tricksterson

    Note he said “feed them”, he said nothing about hygiene or medical care.

  • Tricksterson

    “And I’ll form the penis!” 

     Which of course is where all the armament is kept.

  • Note he said “feed them”, he said nothing about hygiene or medical care.

    And I’m sure he’d be so willing to arrange to sell my house, car, 401(k), and so on to benefit himself and the other selfless souls who setup and maintain the camp.  Right.  

    He really doesn’t understand that he’s talking about PEOPLE.

  • Sorbus

    I don’t even know how to get over the reaction of “oh my god there is someone who wants to put ME and MOST OF MY FRIENDS into a concentration camp with the aim that we will DIE IN MISERY AND SQUALOR”.

    How do you accept the fact that people want to do this to you, and not wind up traumatized?

  • Ursula L

     …there’s nothing “reverend” about this bastard …


    My dear Fred, I believe you owe an apology to everyone who has ever happened to be born to parents not married according to the laws and customs of their community.  

    Illegitimacy is no reason to libel anyone by placing them in the same category as either the Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. or my paternal grandparents. 

    I do, however, consider it utterly appropriate say:

    ..there’s nothing “reverend” about this bastard unthinking individual as degenerate as Ursula’s grandparents, Nazis that they were … 

    Classify like with like, although I’ll grant that my grandparents were worse, having had been somewhat effective in their endeavors while this individual appears to be a wannabe Nazi who is all talk and hot air.  However, since the Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C.  apparently considers them role models, it is fair to assume he’d see the comparison as a complement rather than an insult. 

  • Katie

     If you’re going to form ‘Queer Voltron’ you need a bisexual and a transgendered person.

  • Aww, look, the Westboro Baptist Church had a baby! Hello there little Evangelicaling!

  •  Dunno what the word means to you, but this sure as hell looks like an attempt by Fred to disassociate himself from these assholes.

    Hint: “Disassociate” does not mean “Abandon your beliefs because of the evil of some others of similar views”.

  • Tonio

    When people like Worley talk like this openly, I wonder if it’s time for the QUILTBAG community to start stockpiling military weaponry. At worst, they wouldn’t be taken without a deadly fight.

  • P J Evans

    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

    Can someone explain how that improves a sermon? Because I grew up in a main-line church, and the minister didn’t usually engage in that kind of activity – he was more likely to make you laugh by telling a joke. (And occasionally someone in the congregation would help by leaving a cartoon on the pulpit before the service.)

  • DorothyD

    Note he said “feed them”, he said nothing about hygiene or medical care.
    Well, he did mention he couldn’t get it past Congress. Maybe that was in his original proposal.  

  • Kiba

    Does he fear that lesbians all have super handyman skills that will allow us to take down the fence, gay men all have super sewing skills that will allow them to sew perfect disguises, and if we’re all in the same big pen, we’ll form an unstoppable escape team?

    This makes us sound like an awesome combination of Macgyver and the A-Team.

  • I’m suddenly thinking of “Escape from New York” and the notion of a secretly QUILTBAG Snake Plissken character detailed to … retrieve this Mr. Worley who has crashlanded in the camp zone very much pleases me.

  • JayemGriffin

    May the gods of all the underworlds move this reprehensible excuse for a human being a bit further up on their list of souls to collect. Although I’m not sure any of them would want him…

  • SisterCoyote

     I’m a Christian, and I’m genderqueer, and you can shut your mouth.

    Their god is not YHWH, their god is their own arrogant hateful ideology, their smug sense of self-righteousness, and their mammon.

    It’s Not Okay to point to the Taliban and go “Muslims! What reasonable/loving/kind person would be in the same group as them?!” It’s Not Okay to point to this… thing that calls itself a church and go “Christians! What reasonable/loving/kind person would be in the same group as them?!”

    Just… stop.

  • Emcee, cubed

    On one of the articles I read about this had a number of commenters swearing that this guy must have been hired by the left to say these things so Obama could justify putting pastors in jail. That HAD to be the case, they said, because nobody, especially a pastor, would EVER say something like this. They apparently lead very sheltered lives.

  • How do you accept the fact that people want to do this to you, and not wind up traumatized?

    In my observation/experience? You don’t.

    On the other hand, it’s not like this is unique to QUILTBAG folk. The same could be said right now for most non-white (especially Black or Hispanic) or non-Christian (especially Muslim) USians, to some degree or another. I bet it wouldn’t even be that hard to find contemporary examples of such rhetoric against ethnic and religious minorities, if one wanted to, though I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

  • Sorbus

    Completely irrelevant to this discussion, but oh my god I love your blog.

  • ako

    I think it depends on the person?

    I find it creepy and upsetting to hear about things like this but not actually traumatic, and part of the reason has to do with privilege and being flat-out lucky.  I’ve never been in a position where a scumbag like this had enough power over me to really scare me.  I grew up in a fairly liberal area and have always been lucky enough to have a supportive family and friends.  This slimeball and his ilk have a certain amount of indirect power over me as I’m American and they impact American politics, but in practical terms it’s always added up to stuff like slowing down the progress towards marriage equality, not leaving me wondering if I’ll make it through the night unharmed.  (Many QUILTBAG people have directly experienced violence, homelessness, and immediate fear for their personal safety because of people like Charles Worley.  I’m kind of a lucky exception.)

    Coming from that kind of place, it’s relatively easy to look at scum like that and go “I don’t respect anything about him or his opinion, I don’t think he’s likely to ever have the power over me to implement his monstrous fantasies, and I can see there are a lot of people who care and want to stop it.”  So I yell about it intermittently on the internet and spend the rest of the time getting on with my life.

    (If I had any reason to think his evil little extermination plan was making any actual progress, it’d be a whole different deal.)

  • DorothyD

    Classify like with like, although I’ll grant that my grandparents were worse, having had been somewhat effective in their endeavors while this individual appears to be a wannabe Nazi who is all talk and hot air.

    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…”

    It’s horrifying even contemplating having that conversation. I can’t even imagine.

  • nemryn

     You forgot “I’ll form the uterus!” and “I’ll form the penis!”

  • Makabit

    This makes us sound like an awesome combination of Macgyver and the A-Team.

    But at the same time, more fabulous than either!

  • ConservativeWhitebread

    Nobody ever takes the frontal lobe…

  • Does North Carolina have a Stand Your Ground law? Because if I were a gay man or a lesbian woman living anywhere near this church, I would carry a gun at all times and be ready to use it. 

  • ConservativeWhitebread

    Out of sheer curiosity, what is it about Fred that makes him special enough for you to save from the Christian supremacy he’s so obviously embroiled in?  Why him and not, say, the rest of the commenters here?

  • Well I, as an atheist, do not associate myself with your type of atheist. Except when yelling at you online. Stop being on my side, you make my side look bad.

    And you need to learn history before talking about it, because I’m starting to develop an eye twitch every time I see your name, because I know something like 85% of the time you’re going to say something ignorant and at best overly simplistic about human beings who lived and died in the past in order to make some ignorant and at best overly simplistic grand sweeping statement.

  • c2t2

    Let’s take bets:

    How long until he whines that he’s being persecuted? (For being Christian!)

  • Don Gisselbeck

    Time to quote J. Swift again; “The tritest of maxims; that religion being the best of things, its corruptions must be the worst.”

  • You forgot “I’ll form the uterus!” and “I’ll form the penis!”

    There is a certain amount of… imagination, that I wanted to spark.  ;)

    After all, if I listed every possible thing that might go into a giant combining QUILTBAG robot, there would not be much incentive for others to follow up.  

  • This makes us sound like an awesome combination of Macgyver and the A-Team. 

    The Mac Q-Team?  

    “I pitty da’ foo, who don’t respect others’ orientations!”  

    “Don’t thank me, thank the laws of physics and tolerance education.”

  • Makabit

    As appalling as it all is, I can’t rid my mind of the image of Worley building these different pens and saying “OK, so this area’s for the lesbians, then all the homosexuals go in this one, and of course this one’s for the queers”. And the contractors, all of whom know what words mean, are just staring at him like a couple of confused puppies.

    Actually, I’m imagining one very large contractor of my acquaintance explaining to him kindly that OSHA is not gonna go for this, and BTW, did the contractor show him the pictures of his daughter’s wedding yet?

  • Matri

    Wow, that’s the darkest silver lining I’ve ever found in a story like this.

    Actually, that’s mercury. Don’t touch it.

  • reynard61

    “Let’s take bets:

    How long until he whines that he’s being persecuted? (For being Christian!)”

    Fainting couch and clutching pearls in 5…4…3…2…

  • I heard the zeal with which he yelled out “homosexual lover”.  If you replace the word “homosexual” with an N word and you have what Atticus Finch was called in To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Back in high school, I kept a serious demeanor and wore semi-formal clothing every day.  This was ironically because doing so stopped people from calling me a nerd as a slur (it is not a slur if you show you are proud of it.)  It was very counter-intuitively effective.  

    None the less, I was often slighted by students in fresh-off-the-lot, parent-bought SUVs as they drove past me waiting at the bus stop after school (the school was located in a much more affluent community than the one where I lived.)  Many of these comments were assertions about my sexual orientation that were false, and I had no means of providing these people (who’s only contact with me was yelling at me from a fast moving vehicle) any assertions to the contrary.  

    While he was dining with my family one night, I asked (at my mother’s prompting) a long-time family friend who happened to be gay why they would use such a term as a slur.  He told me it was because society had shamed them out of using the “n-word”, and the just found the next most generic slur that they could think of.  People like that have a need to think that they are somehow better than others, and make irrational attempts to demonstrate that with whatever target they think is convenient.  

    I eventually started recording their license plate numbers and reporting them to the school police officer, who would then call their parents directly.  The incidence of slurs dropped sharply a few weeks into that practice.  

  • SisterCoyote

    Y’ know, I’m thinking about how the other day, I searched “Dan Savage” on Twitter to add him to my newsfeed, and one of the first things that came up was an article lambasting him as a horrible bully.

    So, just to recap. Putting every sexual minority in the country into a concentration camp? What Jesus Would Do.

    Swearing at people who want to put every sexual minority in the country into a concentration camp? Bullying.

    (I know, dude’s not perfect. But… come on now.)

  • I should amend, I wonder if calling Worley’s parents would be effective?  I mean, assuming that they were not as dead as they very likely are.  

    Maybe we should get a spirit medium to come into his church, and get them to speak through them?  Just be ready with the paddles and holy water, there will be an inevitable call for exorcism and we will have to cast the demon out…

    … of Charles Worley.  

  • Dan Audy

    Guys like this make me wonder if Europe really might be onto something with their hatespeech laws.

  • I don’t know the context of your quote. But Dan Savage told a woman who had been raped that she was a horrible person for not enjoying or wanting to have sex with her husband. 

    He is a bully. 

  • SisterCoyote

     …Wow. Alright, that I won’t argue.

    (The context of my quote was some jackass attacking the It Gets Better campaign as a way to bully Christians.)

  • Nathaniel

     He told a woman who was triggered by having sex with her husband but was fine with having sex with her secondary lover that she might want to work on getting comfortable with her husband again if she wanted him to remain her husband.

    His commentators are a different matter entirely.

  • malpollyon
  •  IIRC, he also told her she was a total shit, and dismissed her PTSD. Because obviously, the husband’s desire for sex totally overrules her trauma. And because the husband demanding sex from her whether she wanted it or not couldn’t possibly be triggering flashbacks to being raped…

  • And he was incredibly nasty and uncaring in doing so, showing absolutely no empathy toward her for being raped, and not considering any reasons she might have for being comfortable with one man and not the other. He told her she was “cruel and selfish” for being triggered by her husband touching her. He accused her of not loving her husband or valuing her marriage.

    Re-reading that vile attack made me furious and weepy all over again. It’s worse than I remembered it.

    Savage never acknowledged that the fact that her boyfriend makes her feel whole and her husband makes her feel like shit might be due to the fact that her husband IS PRESSURING HIS WIFE FOR SEX AFTER SHE HAS BEEN RAPED.

    “Your first priority in the wake of your assault had to be your own physical and emotional safety”

    Had. But not any more! Now she’s “emotionally abusing” her husband for not wanting sex with him when sex with him TRIGGERS HER.

    Savage’s answer to that woman was disgusting, despicable, vile, and wallowing in his own privilege. Dr. Laura would have given the same “advice” — actually abuse. Beat down that rape victim, make sure she knows her silly feelings are invalid, tell her she owes sex to someone, and tell her that by being triggered she’s actually the one victimizing someone. 

    Oh and tell her she’s “playing the victim.” Pshht, she was only raped, why on earth should she think she is actually a victim? 

  • Nirrti

    As the older sister of an out-and-proud lesbian, I say Eff this dude. Eff him with a rusty chainsaw covered with jalopeno pepper juice. How dare he say people like my little sister should be treated like Jews in 1933 Germany.

    And may his wife leave leave his sorry-ass  for a woman. 

  • I think it’s probably the breeding thing. He’s probably aware that gays and lesbians are quite capable of reproducing if they want to. They may not feel sexual attraction for the opposite sex but they are capable of the act of heterosexual sex.

    I’d say that makes him a smidge more intelligent than the dumb people who use the ‘planet queer’ argument but then there’s the whole concentration camp thing which more than cancels that out on the stupidity meter and is a whole other level of Evil (with a capital E).