Demand North Carolina Pastor Apologize for Telling Parents to Abuse Their Gay Children

Target: Berean Baptist Church Senior Pastor Sean Harris

Goal: To secure a public apology from Pastor Harris over his potentially dangerous assertions that parents should physically harm their gay children.

For one North Carolina pastor, extreme measures are necessary for parents who want to “squash” their children’s “effeminate” behavior. Sean Harris, the senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church, told his congregation that if one of their sons starts to break gender norms, they should “crack that wrist” and “give him a good punch.” Tell Pastor Harris that advocating violence against gay youth is dangerous and completely unacceptable.

The conservative Fayetteville pastor made these cruel statements during a recent sermon supporting North Carolina’s Amendment 1. Though LGBT people can’t marry in the state, the amendment would define marriage as between one man and one woman in North Carolina’s constitution. If passed when voters hit the polls on May 8, 2012, civil unions and domestic partnerships would be made illegal.

According to audiotape acquired by LGBT blog Good As You, Harris told his congregation, “Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok?”

And Pastor Harris’ hurtful words didn’t end there. When he finished telling fathers to physically harm sons who don’t follow traditional gender norms, he moved to bashing “butch” daughters.

He explained that parents should tell their “butch”-acting daughters, “’Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl…and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'”

In response to public outrage over his comments, the Fayetteville Observer reported that Pastor Harris now claims his words were meant in jest. However, he refused to issue a public apology, further stating that “effeminate behavior is ungodly.”

Pastor Harris must be told that advocating violence against those who defy gender norms is no joking matter. By signing the petition below, you will demand an immediate public apology from this church leader.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Pastor Harris,

The children in your congregation at Berean Baptist Church all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. By urging parents to give “effeminate” boys “a good punch” or force their “butch” daughters to dress up, you are putting these youths at risk for abuse.

Your words can have real repercussions for young LGBT people or those who question their sexuality or gender identity. These are statements that should never be taken lightly or as a joke because they promote hatred and intolerance against children who are different.

It is imperative that you cease making these hurtful comments and issue a public apology for your words. Please commit to taking action immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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2 Comments

  1. Rees Gallacher says:

    I didn’t see the point of signing a petition to make this man apologise – words can not be taken back, the damage is done, and from what he has said in clarification of his “sermon”, he truly believes gay people to be outwith God’s love/jurisdiction – whatever.

    The first reaction to hatred like this is inevitably anger, but that just makes you like him – you don’t understand, therefor be angry! But if someone is so threatened, so wound up about how other people choose to live their lives, is he not more to be pitied? It doesn’t make him any less dangerous – there are people out there who will welcome his twisted message – but petitions, youtube, wordwide news coverage gives him worldwide notoriety and coverage. He doesn’t deserve it, let his words go unheeded and his message will die.

    And if he really believes what he’s saying, and if he is really 100% behind his message, why can’t I e mail him directly through his church’s website? Why, when I try to click on contact, so that I can tell him what i think of his sermon, has the “page been temporarily removed”? Can’t take the heat? Maybe he should get used to it, considering where he’ll be going…..

  2. Lolabird says:

    Sean Harris should not be able to wear the title ‘pastor.’ He obviously possesses some very disturbing, deep rooted psychological problems–most likely he’s gay himself.
    What’s most disturbing is that people are listening to him, and they will promote his violence in the name of religion; however, they are a wicked cult.
    Jesus specifically warns those who would harm a child and your punishment will be like having a milestone around your neck.
    Sean Harris is Charles Manson in training.

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