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05/02/2012

I proudly, unapologetically reject Sean Harris' non-apology

by Jeremy Hooper

People misspeak. I realize that and am genuinely forgiving of it. Especially in our modern media world, with cameras constantly on and distribution remarkably easy, a person's less-than-articulate comments face an ever-greater chance of going wide.

Sometimes, those comments can be handled with smart apologies. We all say boneheaded things from time to time; if these inopportune quips generally are in the realm of brain-fartage or are an example of emotions getting the best of the speaker, said quips can usually be managed by the speaker's explanation and apology. I respect that. I respond in kind.

The thing is? There are certain words that should never be on (or even near) a person's tongue. There are certain ideas that should never strike a person's brain. There are certain views that should never find their way to one's bank of consideration. There are certain jokes that are never funny. There are certain sentiments that should never have the opportunity to spill out of one's mouth as the sentiments are too out of the ballpark of possibility to ever make their way to verbalization.

Threatening violence against LGBT children falls firmly in that latter category. Especially when said violence is encouraged in a church. Especially during a sermon deliberately designed to foster discrimination (i.e. negative message in to LGBT people) via a proposed state marriage ban. Especially when the violence-fomenting sermon comes from a pastor whose church also operates a school.


So that all being said, let me now say, as firmly as I possibly can: I reject Pastor Sean Harris' "explanation":

A Fayetteville pastor says he was joking when he told parents in a sermon Sunday to hit children who show signs of being gay.

Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church on Glensford Drive, said he does not advocate hitting children and wishes he could take back a remark encouraging fathers to punch boys who act effeminately.

But he defended his belief in the need to reinforce traditional gender roles in children.

"If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt," Harris said Tuesday. "Those weren't planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I'm not going to compromise on that."

KEEP READING: Berean Baptist pastor disavows advice to punch gay kids as a joke [FayObserver.com]
(h/t: Good As You reader and strong ally StraightGrandMother)

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