“Build a great, big, large fence – 150 or 100 mile long – put all the lesbians in there… Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”
These words weren’t part of any protest on the streets or a work of fiction, they were uttered from the pulpit of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. These words spewed from Pastor Charles L. Worley’s mouth were in response to President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality and his total disdain for the current administration’s record of pro-LGBT rights.
Worley wasn’t shy about who he’ll be supporting in the upcoming election, “I’m not going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!” The more he said, the more incensed his congregation became, answering him with loud “Amens!” and boisterous cheers.
Worley then turned inward and went for the gold… “It makes me pukin’ sick to think about it – I don’t even know whether or not to say this in the pulpit – can you imagine kissing some man?”
That’s what you were worried about saying from the pulpit? The mere mention of two men kissing was all too much for your congregation to hear, but when you were calling for the mass genocide of an entire population of people, that was acceptable to shout from the mountaintop? Round ‘em up, lock them away and then wait for them to starve to death… that’s your version of Christianity? That’s your interpretation of the New Testament?
I’m sorry, I must have missed that chapter. You know that part of the bible, when Jesus sat down with his disciples and shared the good word on how homosexuals should be drawn and quartered, burned at the stake and completely extinguished from the earth. Oh wait, that part of the bible doesn’t exist? You sure?
Even before President Obama announced his support for marriage equality, opponents of same-sex marriage used religion and strong, vitriolic language to express their disdain for the LGBT community. This is not new. We’ve been told we’re going to hell, AIDS is God’s way of punishing us for our sins and that we’re all pedophiles dead-set on harming children. We’ve heard language like that from our families, our neighbors and our clergy. We’ve heard it so much we no longer give credence to such nonsense, and neither do most people, but these words from Pastor Worley change the dialogue completely.
To call for the mass extermination of a segment of society because you don’t agree with them crosses a line. It’s frightening how soon we forget how conjuring up images of the Holocaust, the slave trade and countless other genocides and then longing for such horrific events to happen again could possibly affect people. Worley called for the death of innocent human beings and was received by cheers and bursts of applause. Good, “Christian” folk cheered.
The political discourse in this country has veered so far off course that average, rational individuals can no longer converse about current events without jumping to extremes and hurling expletives at one another. It’s not enough to disagree with the president, one has to loathe him. They’re required to question his heritage, his faith and his legitimacy because they can’t bring themselves to accept someone in a position of power who’s different from anyone we’ve seen before.
The past few months I’ve listened as politicians have made outlandish claims regarding certain sects of our society. One politician said firmly that African-Americans believed the Civil Rights era caused them more harm than good and that they were better off as slaves. Another denounced the existence of the Holocaust while others argued that effeminate male children should be punched until their behavior corrects itself. How have we allowed these people to be in positions of power? Are that many people in this country that ignorant?
I don’t believe that many Americans have that much hatred in their hearts. Instead, I believe our fault lies in the fact we give these bigots too much attention, too much power and we continue to fill their pews as they take to the pulpit. Granted, there are numerous Americans who share racist, misogynistic and homophobic viewpoints, but I don’t think they’re the majority… they just have the biggest mouths. Maybe it’s time we start yelling back.
For centuries, many have perverted Christianity to justify their ignorance. Pro-slavery forces cited the Curse of Ham to rationalize the enslavement of both the Israelites and Africans. Using religion as an excuse for hatred and ignorance goes against the very meaning of Christianity. Love thy neighbor, do onto others… have these just become empty words for us?
Quite honestly, I’m tired of making rational arguments against irrational people. It doesn’t seem to have any impact. I guess that’s what makes people like Worley ignorant in the first place. Facts be damned… let’s just do what we want. The problem is that we can’t continue to thrive as a nation with beliefs like these. Our ignorance to the truth is unraveling the very fabric that makes us American. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.
Distorting religion to match your beliefs while using it as a tool against others is not a religion at all, it’s hatred. Plain and simple. And the ignorant ranting of Pastor Worley cannot be ignored. People of all beliefs and backgrounds should speak out against his words and call for his resignation. An insincere apology is no longer good enough and will not be accepted. The genocide of millions of Americans won’t solve your problem because the problem is you. You, and the hatred that consumes you.