Squash the Gay out???? from the Pulpit??? Can you call this a sermon?

Karla - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 22 moms have responded )




Interesting video:


And text:

Lawrence O'Donnell laid into Evangelical preacher Sean Harris, whose horrific sermon suggesting parents "punch" their gay-acting children caused public outrage.

Harris urged his congregation to physically respond to when their sons "act girly" or their daughters "act butch." After his sermon raised many eyebrows, Harris told his local paper that he was joking during the sermon. He issued what he called an "official statement of retraction," which O'Donnell read on air during his Wednesday night show.

Harris wrote that he'd like to retract "any and all words that suggest that child abuse is appropriate for any and all types of behaviors including (but not limited to) effeminacy and sexual immorality of all types. I should not have said what I said about "cracking," "punching," and particular bias toward outward attraction of girls. Nor should I have used the words "special dispensation." I did not say that children should be squashed."

O'Donnell replayed lines from Harris' sermon and contrasted his incendiary statements against his retraction. During his sermon, Harris said, "Your little son starts acting a little girlish and instead of squashing that like a cockroach, you take pictures." O'Donnell asked, "Wait - isn't the four-year-old boy you're talking about there the cockroach that should be squashed?"

Sean Harris' statement also included, "I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or psychologically) in any form or fashion."

O'Donnell then played a clip from Harris' sermon in which he said, "Dads—the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that limp wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch, okay?"

Harris also said he did not mean to intentionally offend anyone. "What does this man look like when he is trying to offend someone?" O'Donnell asked.

O'Donnell then wondered, "What kind of holy man, what kind of man of God lies about what he has said in a video taped sermon when he is apologizing for what he said in that sermon. He did say that if your son has a limp wrist, you should punch him." O'Donnell later added, "He lies about having said that."

Can anyone defend this preacher?

*What would you say to this guy if you thought he would listen to you?

*What are your feelings about preaching this kind of message?


*If Rev. Harris was your preacher, would you follow his advice?

*Is it the preacher's right to preach whatever he wants to, even punching your child?


Karla - posted on 05/07/2012




I have attended Missionary, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian services and I have never heard a preacher advocate hate like this guy does. Harris, and perhaps his denomination (I don't know, ) are preaching a special kind of hate and they need to be held accountable.

Not only is this guy trying to get into his congregation member's personal lives in a very inappropriate way, but he's also admittedly trying to influence their vote also in a very inappropriate way. The church should lose their tax exempt status, the congregation or elders should fire this guy immediately, and child protective services should check his home and family for abuse.

Johnny - posted on 05/04/2012




I am not concerned in the slightest if my child is gay or not. But I would be very disappointed if my child turned out to be a hateful bigot like this man. I am coming quickly to the conclusion that religion is just an excuse to develop a twisted morality and then claim that it is "God's word."

Beth - posted on 05/07/2012




This is the kind of person that gives religion a bad name, and that's just a shame. Anyone who takes any stance to the furthest limits is bad news. It's especially terrifying when it's a person in a position of some power and influence, like a preacher. People are going to listen to this and follow what he says! He should be preaching with a lot more responsibility than that. And I think he needs to go back to seminary, he must have forgotten the part of the commandments about not hurting one another. I don't follow the line of thinking that homosexuality is wrong, but I suppose if that's really how you feel, then fine. But there is absolutely no excuse for causing anyone physical harm, let alone defenseless children.

Mary - posted on 05/07/2012




Jamie, all it says is that this was your personal experience with various congregations in your geographic locale. It's sort of like watching the news over the years, seeing numerous stories about crimes perpetrated by people of a specific race, gender, or ethnic background, and then reaching the conclusion that all "____'s" are criminals.

I don't condone "preachers" of his ilk in any way, shape, or form. Had I been sitting in that particular church during that sermon, I would have immediately stood up, stated loudly that I couldn't sit there and listen to someone spewing hatred and encouraging child abuse, and walked out the door.

I'm by no means what anyone would describe as religious, and for the past 15 years ago, my attendance at any denomination's services have been sporadic at best. However, I have certainly attended more than my fair share of church services in my 41 years, and never have I heard any priest, preacher, rabbi or pastor encourage the physical abuse of a person of any age, for any reason. I'm not denying that there are others out there like this asshole, but I personally have never encountered one. My experiences don't disprove or negate yours - they just show that your conclusion is not completely accurate.

User - posted on 05/07/2012




Jaime, how can you possibly say that it's the majority of preachers who preach hate? Have you heard them all?

It's only the few who preach sermons like this that hit the headlines. The preachers who regularly preach love and acceptance of others don't make the news.

For the record, I totally disagree with what this guy said.


View replies by

[deleted account]

I completely disagree Stifler's Mom. He's preaching what is in his holy book. You cannot condemn him without also equally condemning the book from which this thought pattern starts. I mean, he's pretty tame about it. The Bible calls for killing both gays and unruly children.

He just wants you to smack them around.

A step up if you ask me.

Stifler's - posted on 05/08/2012




Wow he's getting backlash and disapproval so he's retracting. How typical.

It's not the preachers right to preach what he wants it's supposed to be about loving your enemy and turning the other cheek not condemning everyone to hell. I would do stand up and leave too and never come back.

Tabitha - posted on 05/07/2012




IMHO...I think the church needs to stay the hell out of our personal lives...enough said.

[deleted account]

I live in the Bible Belt and I have been to a ton of churches. Every single preacher, the first sermon I hear from them is about how everyone in the world is going to hell because of homosexuality. In my experience and in the majority of my friends' experiences, this guy is the norm.

The only preacher who never preached hate in my experience ended up leaving the church because he was gay. So if that doesn't say anything, I don't know what does.

[deleted account]

fucking disgusting. had i been there during his sermon i would have gone off on him. i can't stand preachers who preach hate and sadly that's the majority of them. like i said, disgusting.

[deleted account]

I don't give a damn what a preacher says because nothing they say is as bad as what's in their holy book. Personally I will never understand why statements like these are shocking when the book they believe openly calls for killing homosexuals.

A preacher can preach anything they want to - that's free speech. However if you're STUPID enough to follow it without thinking, then that's another matter.

Sylvia - posted on 05/04/2012




I read about this on slacktivist.com and was like O_O What a sorry excuse for a community leader.

The worst thing is, there must have been kids in the congregation that day. Kids who heard one of the most influential figures in their community saying hateful, horrible, cruel things about them or their siblings or their schoolmates. Kids who heard and saw the adults around them nod and laugh and just generally act like this was all good and normal. Adults in that congregation who disagree with Harris's anti-gay platform have options: they can speak out, or they can leave and find a more congenial religious community. Kids don't have those options: they're stuck. Some of those kids will be encouraged to be horrible to other kids; some will be encouraged to hate themselves. Talk about a lose-lose situation :( :( :(

I don't think we should be too hasty in blaming this on religion or on Christianity. Lots and lots of Christians and other religious people support marriage equality and are just as appalled by the "Reverend" Harris as more secular people are. It's just unfortunate that more conservative religious communities provide a matrix in which this kind of poisonous plant can flourish, while at the same time they have such a loud (not to say strident) voice in public discourse at the moment...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/04/2012




Makes me so very sad! Children are only trying to figure out this big world they live in. They deserve the help and guidance to do so. Let them be children and love them no matter what.

What makes me the saddest is how there would have been children listening and witnessing this hatred. My goodness. How very confusing for them. My heart goes out to every single one of them. ♥

I'd like to string this guy by his balls and see how he liked that feeling.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 05/04/2012




So... boys and girls should only practise for traditional roles later on in life and since my 7 year old rides her bike, hits boys back who hit her and runs around on the playground I should slug the gay away... niiice.

Karla - posted on 05/04/2012




I believe this was his motivator

The 2011 General Assembly approved a measure (Session Law 2011-409) that would put language into the North Carolina Constitution related to legally recognized marriages in the state.

The proposed amendment to Article 14 of the North Carolina Constitution would add a new section, to be called Section 6. It would read as follows:

"Sec. 6. Marriage.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or

recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."

The General Assembly also approved the language that voters will see on the ballot this spring as they

consider this constitutional amendment:


Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the

only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.

Is it worth it, Preaching hate to influence the congregation to vote against not just gay marriage but gay unions?

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2012




This is so sad. There were parents in that congregation saying "yeah!", laughing and agreeing with him. Their poor children. He should be removed from his post as preacher, priest, minister or whatever he identifies as. If the Catholic church were honestly as holy and good as they make themselves out to be, they would speaking up against this man. I bet there were children in the "audience" that day too, what did they go home thinking? Even if straight, I bet they were afraid of acting too girly, or too boyish.

Just yesterday, my daughter was playing in the mud with a truck, she then went bug hunting and pretended to be Superman. I taught her how to build a dam, we learned what an ant colony is and I made her a cape. Last week, she told me she wants to marry a lady just like me. I took it as a compliment, not a sign of future "gayness". And if she is gay...SO WHAT?! This man is an abomination to man kind...not just the Catholic church.

Karla - posted on 05/03/2012




Here's what I would say to Sean Harris if I thought he would listen and understand.

Dear Rev Harris,

Perhaps in your own way you believe you are not preaching hate and violence. I challenge you to imagine being a child again, say 4 or 5 years old, and your dad punches you or "cracks" your hand because of the way you are... because you walk, or run, or hold your hand in a way that makes your dad angry. How do you think that would effect you? Let's just say this doesn't just happen once, but rather you live with it your whole life. How would it effect you?

If you were treated that way growing up, with the very methods you preach in your own "sermon," you would have been shown more abuse then many young people today. These are young people who, even without that harsh treatment, feel so worthless and rejected that they are suicidal. And why? Where do you find any validation for your words? What convoluted interpretation of the Bible are you using for this message? Do you really believe that is what Jesus would do?

I can only suppose you were abused as a child and that is why you are so filled with this distorted interpretation of parental love.

It would be an awful day in this world if we eliminated all the "effeminate" boys and "butch" girls, or tried to beat their behavior out of them. A very sad day indeed. You really need to stop preaching, something is truly wrong with your message; it is not full of God's love, but rather it is full of hate and rejection. It is wrong and disgusting.


[deleted account]

I think preaching should be illegal. Preaching of any kind. I'd rather have a gay son than a son who pretends to be something he isn't and ends up miserable for his entire life. I'd rather be the mother of a gay son than the mother of a son who kills himself for being afraid to come out of a closet. Preaching is bad. All types of preaching. Bad news.

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