A church in Indiana said it does not condone hate in the wake of a video, apparently shot inside the church, that shows a child singing "ain't no homo going to make it to heaven"—to the delight of a cheering congregation.
The video surfaced last week on YouTube. According to CNN's Belief Blog, about 20 people gathered outside Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg on Sunday to protest. According to CNN, journalists were not allowed inside the church on Sunday, and church leaders refused to comment on the video or protest.
Late last week, the church posted a statement on its website addressing the controversy:
The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives. We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.
According to Time magazine, church members "ratcheted up security" following reports of death threats aimed at pastor Jeff Sangl over the video, though a local sheriff later said he was unaware of such threats.
The video and is the latest in a series of church videos featuring anti-gay speech—a response, in part, to President Barack Obama's historic public support for same sex marriage.
Last month, a North Carolina pastor delivered a homophobic sermon that suggested rounding up all "queers and homosexuals" and quarantining them inside an electric fence.
"I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers," Charles L. Worley told worshippers at Providence Road Baptist Church on May 13. "Build a great big large fence—50 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 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!"
"It makes me pukin' sick to think about," Worley added. "Can you imagine kissing some man?"
A video of his comments went viral, drawing hundreds of protesters last month to the Catawba County Justice Center, 12 miles from the Maiden, N.C., church where Worley delivered his Mother's Day rant.
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