Over the past few weeks, bizarre and distressing video and audio files purporting to show anti-gay sentiment in U.S. Christian churches have been emerging.
First, there was the story of a pastor who quipped about parents hitting boys who appear effeminate (he has since attempted to better frame his words). Then, there was Pastor Charles L. Worley, who touted putting gays and lesbians in an electric fence, where they would inevitably die off.
And who can forget the small child who is seen on video singing about how homosexuals won't be entering heaven. Now, there's yet another audio file emerging of a pastor claiming that the government should kill gays. While it seems almost unbelievable on the surface, the clip, which was published by GoodAsYou.org, showcases some shocking words coming from Pastor Curtis Knapp of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas.
In the audio clip, a voice that is attributed to Knapp can be heard saying, in part:
"They should be put to death. That's what happened in Israel. That's why homosexuality wouldn't have grown in Israel. It tends to limit conversions. It tends to limit people coming out of the closet. Oh, so you're saying that we should go out and start killing them? No, I'm saying the government should. They won't, but they should."
Listen to this portion of his sermon, below:
Knapp appeared on CNN (via the network's KTKA affiliate this morning) to discuss the controversial March 27 sermon. Rather than backing down on his words, he defended them, claiming that they were Biblical in nature.
"We punish pedophilia. We punish incest. We punish polygamy and various things. It's only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption," he said, going on to say that gays shouldn't have fear about his words. "I don't believe I should lay a finger against them. My hope is for their salvation, not for their death."
Watch his CNN appearance, below:
In making his case, the preacher cited Leviticus 20:13, which reads, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act. They shall surely be put to death."
It's important to note that such sentiment is not a commonality in the majority of Christian churches. Nonetheless, the existence of such rhetoric continues to gain widespread coverage.