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North Carolina

NC pastor who advocated violence against gay kids: ‘I was misquoted’

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

North Carolina preacher Sean Harris, the Senior Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., who is heard in an audio clip telling his congregation that, should their children show any signs of “homosexual” behavior, it is their responsibility to use violence as a corrective measure to prevent that child from being gay or lesbian, now says he was misquoted and just joking.

The audio clip, obtained by Jeremy Hooper at GoodAsYou.org, and published by LGBTQ Nation yesterday, reveals Harris advising parents to that when their see their “girlish sons … dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist … Give him a good punch. Ok, adding, “And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in.”

Listen:

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Harris has responded to growing criticism of his Sunday sermon, telling the Fayetteville Observer that he was just “joking.”

Sean Harris

And in a post on his blog, Harris said Tuesday that nearly every article had misquoted him:

By now you may know that my words, from Sunday morning’s sermon, about effeminate behavior in children are being completely taken out of context by those in the LGBT community. (Nearly every article is misquoting me.)

Clearly, I would like to have been more careful with exactly what I said, but sometimes I say things without enough clarity. I trust you understood my intent in the context of my total preaching ministry.

[...]

For the record, I want to ensure everyone that I do NOT believe physical force is capable of fixing effeminate behavior or homosexual behavior. Parents should not punch babies or children. (Ultimately only the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to deliver one from sexual immorality and behavior including effeminacy; )

I would never advocate for such discipline or actions on behalf of a father or mother. I misspoke. Hopefully, you understood that I was speaking in a forceful manner to emphasize the degree to which gender distinctions matter to God; and therefore, must matter to each of us and especially parents.

[...]

As I emphasized in this sermon, as well as the week before, we must not be hateful toward those whose behavior is an abomination to God. But we also cannot compromise on what we believe the Bible teaches on all sexual perversions and immorality.

“If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt,” Harris said Tuesday, according to the Observer.

“Those weren’t planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I’m not going to compromise on that,” he said.

After listening to the sermon Tuesday, a divinity professor at Campbell University called it “one of the most disappointing and un-Christ-like diatribes I have ever heard.”

“I would not dishonor the word ‘sermon’ by identifying it as such,” said Tony Cartledge, who teaches Old Testament at Campbell, a Baptist university in Harnett County.

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50 more reader comments:

  1. He’s on tape! Smdh

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:26am
  2. No no, he wasn’t.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:27am
  3. HE’S KINDA RIGHT

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:27am
  4. Misquoted my ass hahahaha wow. Some people just keep digging themselves a hole. Fucking moron, just apologize already.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:27am
  5. Thou Shall Not Lie you dick! It’s all on TAPE!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:28am
  6. hes kinda right?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:28am
  7. Apparently he misquoted himself, then. It’s on an audio recording plain as day…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:28am
  8. oh im sure the tape recording misquoted him for sure. lol. tape recording.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:29am
  9. They claim there is a war on religion well You have to hear this to believe it…

    This minister is advocating beating gay children. And the congregation is giving the “Amen”. This is pure hate and need to be pushed back on…… PLEASE SHARE THIS.

    THOSE MOTHER FUCKERS ARE THROWING THE FIRST PUNCHES….. This is out-fucking-ragious. And they are the people that run the Republican party and set the republican agenda… RISE UP PEOPLE AND LET THESE MOTHERFUCKERS HEAR YOUR OUTRAGE…. This is not the Christianity I was raised with and that was extreme in its self…..

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:30am
  10. Oh, so the tape-recording misquoted him? I’m sorry, but unless video footage can somehow develop it’s own consciousness…lol. What a tool. If you’re going to be a bigot, at least own up to your words!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:31am
  11. Ugh! The devil made him do it! Idiot! Should not be doling out advice, Ever!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:31am
  12. so much to answer for…………Preachers are held at a higher judgement….

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:32am
  13. This monstor should be band for being around of all children he is dangerous … he is like that pastor on the movie Red State .

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:33am
  14. “Misquoted?” We all heard the Hatred that spewed forth from this ABOMINATION!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:36am
  15. now that the heat is on him he wants to change his story ; pretty simple he should have chose his words more carefull preaching hate is not the christian way !!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:37am
  16. For someone preaching the literal interpretation o the bible, he seems to have forgotten one of the top ten commandments… Something about bearing false witness?! It is on tape, and he admitted it by saying he “would have said it differently!” The devil does quote scripture and he should “man up” and take the criticism he brought on himself by being a bigot!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:37am
  17. Where is the recording?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:39am
  18. Liar!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:40am
  19. Bull Crap!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:41am
  20. Quote this not bloodly likely.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:41am
  21. Doesn’t one of the Ten Commandments say Don’t bare false witness. Or something like that. Isn’t false witness telling a lie? To say he didn’t say it is a lie. Looks lik he couldn’t follow the top ten.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:41am
  22. HLN had the tape on this morning. this guy is a homophobic, hate mongering jackass to the 10th power!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:43am
  23. Now he can eat the backlash and choke on it.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:45am
  24. Fucker thinks he can just say ‘I was misquoted’ and everything’s fine. That’s the same as a man who beats and rapes women and children, goes into a confessional to ask to be forgiven, is forgiven, and does the same thing all over again.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:46am
  25. “misquoted” ??? yeah, right, dude

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:47am
  26. this Republican self righteous hypocrite needs to shut up

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:48am
  27. Hey “Kinda right?” Question for you….
    So you agree that beating someone because they are different is ok? Or just if you think they’re gay?
    Nope. There is no excuse for this kind of stupidity and hatred. What an ass.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:49am
  28. One word explains it all:
    …Aliens.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:50am
  29. misquoted?! right…. what a jerk

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:54am
  30. Boy, after having it blasted over the media this guy is doing a major backpedal!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:55am
  31. This guy has pissed me off for the day.. I just want to punch him instead.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:55am
  32. violence begets violence. fight with your mind!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:58am
  33. His false witness includes not only his recent statement that he was “just joking.” It also includes using his authority to promote the myth that physical abuse will change someone’s gender identity. The Bible sure doesn’t say that, and psychological research doesn’t support that. In fact, we know that rejection by parents causes depression, low self-esteem, and may lead to self harm.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:03am
  34. He received so many emails within the last few days that he shut down his email. That is the only reason he is recanting his bs.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:05am
  35. You know.. I have heard that gluttony/greed is a sin… I would bet this guy has more obese fat ass greedy bigots in his church than any gay person. He should stick to demonizing his own into submission first…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:16am
  36. If any kid/teen in his congregation suddenly commits suicide, he should be held accountable for contributing to that demise!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:26am
  37. I have emailed the church and this pastor since seeing his disgusting sermon; now he’s blaming LBGT that he was misquoted. Keep sending emails to this church ,it’s working!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:30am
  38. no he wasnt misquoted just more bs from mister perfect christian talaban

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:40am
  39. “…effeminate behavior is ungodly…” Just can’t remember what part of the Bible that’s from. Hmmm

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:18am
  40. And you know gender distinction is important to god because?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:24am
  41. yeah, right!! What a lying sack of szyt!! Everytime someone gets caught being hateful, this is the excuse they use..yup, you were misquoted..and I’m wearing a size 30-inch waist pair of jeans, too…UGH!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:29am
  42. How in the name of all that is reasonable, factual, and provable can this man claim he was “misquoted” when his speech – hardly a sermon by a religious definition – was RECORDED! And, no, sir, I do not believe for one minute that you were joking. People who are joking do not yell and scream and pontificate the way you did Sunday morning.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:21pm
  43. they’re always “misquoted” when caught in the act… asshole.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:45pm
  44. how can this fool say he was misquoted–when his tirade is on tape?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:51pm
  45. okay, how do you misquote in a recording

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 1:04pm
  46. now, when the shit has hit the proverbial fan, he claims he was misquoted. he also probably opines that this happened due to the liberal, jewish controlled gay mafia in the media. he, like bryan fischer, is using the bible like a club to beat fealty into people. assbag bigot.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 2:25pm
  47. uh…no…I heard the fucking spiel…he is an asshole.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:58pm
  48. he is the worst liar ever

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:56pm
  49. Don’t you try and cover this up, Harris! You’re just saying that because you’ve brought outrage upon us and you’re just as weak as all those other Religious Reich pundits who can dish it out but can’t take it! Maybe you could put up a fight if you had a passable rebuttal! If you were really misquoted, what else could you have said?!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:01pm
  50. He claims he was “just joking”?

    I’m sorry, but you don’t joke about stuff like that. You don’t joke about child abuse. You don’t joke about telling parents to beat their kids because they may show signs of being slightly more effeminate or butch than HE thinks a boy or girl should be. And the main reason why? People TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY. Just IMAGINE what the people at his “sermon” were thinking. I guarantee you 99.9% of them not only believed what he said, but completely agreed with him.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:38pm