And the Crowd Went Wild.

As children, one of the ways we learn proper behavior is by the response of the people around us, especially our parents and those close to us. The upside is that it’s pretty universally effective. The downside is that your parents could be a couple of shit kicking morons who live in a town populated with homophobic loons, and things like this could end up happening:

The latest in the popular series of “Hate the Gays to Fill the Pews” comes from Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana. Check out the video at around 0:25 after his line “ain’t no homo going to make it to Heaven”. Hear the crowd go crazy and cheer. See pastor Jeff Sangl, who was already all smiles, nod energetically as if a one-two punch had just been delivered to the Gay Agenda itself.

His response was one of immense pride in a job well done … the job of getting some four year old kid – who hasn’t the first clue about human sexuality, to say nothing of homosexuality – to parrot back some pointlessly hateful song lyrics that the rest of the congregation not only thinks is cute and endearing, but worthy of raucous applause and cheers. High Fives ensue when he sits back down later on. This kid did good.  Playstations for everyone this Christmas!!

Behold one of the youngest victims of homophobia and institutionalized hatred still desperately trying to masquerade itself as “God’s Love”. Obviously this child has no real idea what he’s doing, other than singing a song he was told to sing. If I had to take a guess, his only concerns were remembering his lines and not accidentally relieving himself in front of everyone. No shame in that, of course; it’s probably what would have preoccupied my mind at that age too. Hell, I’ve felt that way giving some presentations in recent years.

Given what he was forced to do at such an early age, it’s likely that he’ll grow up convinced it’s his God-given duty to hate homosexuals just because the bible and his parents say so. Alternatively, he may get the opportunity to leave this backwoods little town at some point in his life, realize that there’s a somewhat wider reality that doesn’t conform to what he was told to think by his church elders, and come to the conclusion that the people he was taught to hate are in many ways the same as he is.

I obviously hope for the latter, but that’s a tough road to travel especially considering the entire congregation’s response to his song; they loved it. It will be very difficult to divorce yourself from that mindset when the positive reinforcement is so pervasive in your life.

I think the church website made some feeble attempt at damage control after the story broke. Here’s what’s on their front page as of today:

We’re smiling because we know we’re right.  And NOT GAY.

“5/30/12 – 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.”

Bullshit.  Look, if you’re going to teach a song called “Ain’t no homo going to make it to Heaven” to some unsuspecting four year old, you should at least have the honesty to admit to the world that you most certainly DO condone, teach, and practice hate. You hate homosexuals!  You even give the reason in your video!  Now, whether you hate adulterers, those who break the Sabbath, or women who don’t cry out loudly enough when being sexually assaulted with the same level of religious fervor, I’m not sure.  These days, the bible doesn’t appear to say much about anything other than gays, with a thin section in the back on how hormonal contraception supposedly works.

Also, don’t say you don’t condone hate in one sentence and then proclaim your adherence to a book that calls for their execution by stoning in the next.  You don’t come off as genuine, and people know it.

Lastly, be careful about promoting the “family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible”.  Just ask Lamech, Esau, Jacob, Abram, Gideon, Elkanah, Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijah.  How many wives can we count among these men alone?  What about beating your child and your wife?  Or treating the latter as property?

How about if you find out she’s not a virgin on your wedding night?

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her … and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say … these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. … But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21

Indeed, it’s the sin of homosexuality we have to worry about.  Thanks for putting the word of God into perspective for me.

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Religion and Public Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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