News of Rev. Louie Giglio being removed from giving the benediction at the Inaugural address over his past anti-gay comments serves to remind everyone that gay bashing is still a favorite past-time in certain evangelical Christian communities.
When it comes to anti-gay pastors specifically, there are those with feelings of hate and those with something so far off the wall that you wonder if supernatural demon possession is to blame. This list is filled with the latter. (It should be noted that Jerry Falwell isn’t on this list because he is no longer alive to see the gay zombie brigade obliterate the earth. He still deserves special acknowledgement post-mortem though.)
Here are America's top 10 gay-bashing pastors.
1. Jeff Smith, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Coconut Creek, FL
In December, Florida Pastor Jeffrey Smith helped us realize that we have a serious moral problem in America. In a sermon titled the “Homosexual Perversion” Smith equated homosexuals with serial killers, rapists, and child molesters. That explains it. I always knew there was something funny about Ellen DeGeneres. Homosexuality in his eyes is not only a sin but a sickness, and gay people are perverted and supposedly suffer from made-up ailments like "gay bowel syndrome."
The sad part is Pastor Smith is probably the most innocuous of anyone on this list. If you’re offended by Smith’s comments, you might want to stop now.
2. Andy Gipson, Braxton, Mississippi
Andy Gipson isn’t just a minister, but also a state representative in Mississippi. It wasn’t enough for him to spread his anti-gay message in his church, so he decided to blast it on Facebook to his followers. It should come as no surprise that he picked Leviticus 20:13 stating “if a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Additionally, he faulted this "unnatural behavior" with spreading disease and confusing children about proper gender roles.
When pro-gay groups and supporters submitted a petition calling for him to apologize and take his post down, Gipson ignored them and doubled down. You have to wonder what his gay constituents must think about having someone in office representing them who also wants them dead.
3. John McTernan, Defend and Proclaim the Faith Ministries
What caused superstorm Sandy to be so bad? Global warming? Don’t be silly. As Rev. John McTernan will tell you, it was homosexuals, Mitt Romney, and President Obama’s support for marriage equality. Obviously! A messenger of God, he didn’t even wait for Hurricane Sandy to be over before making his sentiment known. Instead, he wanted those suffering in the middle of a superstorm to remember that they only have homosexuals to blame. Classy.
4. Dennis Terry, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, LA
Pastor Terry has publicly equated gays with alcoholics, drug users, liars, and thieves. Actually, that might be him holding back. When he’s really honest, he’s quick to remind you that gays are coming after your children and your grandchildren and sexually transmitted diseases are God’s punishment for homosexuality.
He’s not just a Christian though, he’s also a patriot. A real American. And real America “was founded as a Christian nation” where “We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammad, we don’t worship Allah!” If you disagree, then "get out!" Oh, by the way, our economic troubles won’t be solved until we “put God back” in government. Yeah. We’ll get right on that.
5. Dennis Leatherman, Mtn. Lake Independent Baptist Church, Oakland, MD
Pastor Dennis Leatherman’s fifty-minute sermon titled “Homosexuality and the Bible” described his internal struggle. He believes homosexuality is a sin that “grieves the Holy Spirit. It violates Scripture. It is wrong.” It’s so wrong he regularly struggles with his fleshy temptation to kill gay people. Don’t worry though. He knows killing is a sin, so he won’t. I guess we should thank God he’s got spiritual self-control?
6. Curtis Knapp, New Hope Baptist Church, Seneca, KS
Curtis Knapp has identified an important role for government: killing gay people. He said as much in a radio interview. Apparently, the part of the Preamble of the Constitution about “forming a more perfect union” forgot the addendum "so long as that union isn't gay." Otherwise, government can “ensure domestic tranquility” by killing the gay away. Don't get him wrong. Knapp admits that the government won’t do this, of course. But it should. Oh, yes it should.
7. Sean Harris, Berean Baptist Church, Fayetteville, NC
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In a sermon given in April 2012, Pastor Harris took that to a whole new level with his solution to the gay problem: punch gay-acting children. “Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and you crack that wrist. Man up! Give him a good punch.” Yup, that’ll teach ‘em, especially because nothing says “my son is gay” like a limp wrist.
After audio of his sermon leaked online, Faithful America gathered 10,000 signatures from people completely appalled by Harris’ statements. Harris has since apologized stating that he didn’t intend to offend the LGBT community and was just trying to ensure that parents understand their responsibility to keep the gender roles that God created. Understandable.
8. Charles Worley, Providence Baptist Church, Maiden, NC
Not all gay-bashing pastors are created equal. Clearly, gay people are a plague, but who has a cure? Pastor Charles Worley, that’s who. According to Worley, we just need to build an electrified pen and shove all of them in there:
“Build a great, big, large fence, 150 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 till they can't get out. Feed 'em. And you know what? In a few years they'll die out. You know why? They can't reproduce.”
Brilliant. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Oh, and thank you for clarifying that lesbians are neither "queers" nor "homosexuals." It all gets so confusing.
9. Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS
The list of things Fred Phelps does not hate may actually be shorter than the list of things he does. The leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church regularly pickets military funerals, political rallies, and gay pride gatherings to spread the message that the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan is God’s punishment for tolerating gays. But not only does he feel this way, he opposed anyone who doesn't. When evangelist Billy Graham left the political sidelines to support North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage initiative, Phelps actually said Graham didn’t go far enough and began protesting Graham, too. That might explain why Phelps’ own son thinks what he's doing is ‘evil.’
10. Pat Robertson, 700 Club
Was there ever any doubt? It’s hard to top a guy who actually has his own television show spouting some amazingly inflammatory comments week in and week out. No stranger to controversy, the host of the 700 Club has done some outrageous things on his show like encouraging a father to seek anti-gay conversion therapy for his gay son, as well as compare gay marriage with polygamy, bestiality, and pedophilia. With Falwell dead, someone needed to inherit the anti-gay throne. That someone is Pat Robertson. He should be careful not to sit on the scepter.