As I wrote about earlier this month, there were protests planned for anti-gay zealot and bigot Pastor Charles Worley after he was recorded preaching this sort of hatred towards lesbians and gay people from the pulpit in his Baptist church in North Carolina: NC Pastor: Put an Electric Fence Around Gays and Lesbians to Make Sure They "Die Out."
Anderson Cooper followed up on those protests on CNN this Monday evening and apparently the pastor isn't quite ready to give interviews to anyone in the media yet, even though he appears to be doubling down with his church members on his prior statements.
I'm glad to see the national media giving this guy some more attention. If he thinks what he said was acceptable and that it's okay to be preaching that type of hatred from the pulpit, he ought to have to answer for his remarks to the press. The fact that he got the standing ovation from his congregation as they reported sickens me, but I guess it should not be too surprising given they have been willing participants in agreeing with or promoting themselves the type of garbage this man has been preaching for who knows how long now.
Given the fact that he was running from the media when CNN showed up outside of his church, I don't expect we'll see the pastor defending his remarks on television any time soon. So basically he's a hate monger and a coward who is not willing to defend what he said once it's put up to public scrutiny.
Here's to the media continuing to stick a camera in this man's face whether it be local or national until he's forced to explain why he thinks it's acceptable to say we should be rounding up gay people and putting them behind electric fences.
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
COOPER: Well, the North Carolina pastor who preached that gays and lesbians should be rounded up and put behind electric fences to die was back on the pulpit this weekend.
A local newspaper says that Pastor Charles Worley got a standing ovation at Providence Road Baptist Church. Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered to protest the pastor's message outside.
Gary Tuchman went to North Carolina to try to ask him if he stands by his words. We'll have that in a moment. But first, just a reminder of how this all happened with that sermon on May 13. Pastor Worley railed against President Obama's support for same- sex marriage and then talked about how he would eliminate gays and lesbians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. CHARLES WORLEY, PASTOR: I figured a way out -- a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn't get it past the Congress. 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 so they can't get out. Feed them. And you know what? In a few years they'll die out. Do you know why? They can't reproduce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, since that sermon gained nationwide attention, the pastor has refused to talk to reporters. He's not returned our calls, so Gary Tuchman went to ask him in person.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We haven't seen or heard from Pastor Charles Worley since his anti-gay sermon went viral. Until now.
(on camera) Pastor would you like to take back anything you said? Pastor, we want to give you a chance to take anything back, if you care to.
(voice-over) Pastor Worley had plenty of opportunity to answer either question. He chose not to. Instead he was on his way to his church for a Sunday service on the same day that hundreds of people from North Carolina and other parts of the country protested the pastor's now infamous sermon.
WORLEY: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt that he was preaching bigotry. My God is a loving God. My God loves everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a preacher. This is a bigot.
TUCHMAN: The protesters demonstrated several miles away from the church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to that which is against nature is against very nature.
TUCHMAN: ... where they encountered a small but loud opposition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't be a practicing lesbian and sodomite and be saved by the grace of God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must repent, friend, because we've broken God's laws.
TUCHMAN: Pastor Worley's supporters carried signs that many here felt were nasty and antagonistic, as well as not necessarily accurate.
(on camera) Let me ask you: where does it talk about AIDS in Romans 1:27.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't.
TUCHMAN: Why do you have that here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's just a phrase that we put on there.
TUCHMAN: There's been all kinds of opportunity for confrontation here. People on one side of the issue are marching on the sidewalk; people on the other side of the issue are yelling back at them. But so far there's been no problems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm glad I'm a proud member of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina. My pastor, and his brother.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): For the most part Worley's supporters were ignored and instead the focus was on the pastor's anti-gay sermon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's absolutely anti-Christian. Which is why I wrote this message, "Would Jesus really do this?" No.
TUCHMAN: And many protesters brought their children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want my teach my kids to love everyone. I don't want them to see black or white, gay or straight. I want them to show up and love everybody.
TUCHMAN: Nobody was arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I'm telling you the reason that heterosexuals go to heaven is because they repent for their sins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need your identification.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, sir.
TUCHMAN: But this pro-Worley supporter got a citation for using a bull horn, which had been banned.
Meanwhile, at church a few miles away, we asked one of the church board members if Worley would talk to us there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not issuing any comments or statements.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Can I can't talk to the pastor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): There would be no talking to Charles Worley, at least on this day.
(on camera) Pastor, any comment at all?
(voice-over) The pastor is either not ready or not interested to publicly defend his sermon. But as far as defending him, his family and supporters seem ready to step up. Five men walked out the door of his house when we asked the pastor questions. Notably, one of the men appeared to have a gun in his waistband.
COOPER: Gary Tuchman joins us now live from North Carolina. What did you learn about -- about what went on inside Pastor Worley's church service yesterday, Gary?
TUCHMAN: Well, I should tell you first, Anderson, we wanted to go into the church, but we were told that no reporters were allowed on the grounds of the church. And people know who I am.
But there was a reporter who wasn't as well known, a local reporter with the newspaper "The Hickory Daily Record." And they were saying in the beginning that -- he told us that the pastor got a standing ovation.
In addition to that, the pastor told the congregants -- hundreds of people were inside -- that he appreciates their support. And he also added, "I've been preaching for 53 years." And, quote, "Do you think I'm going to bail out on this now?"
COOPER: It's interesting, though. For someone who, you know, says he's not bailing out, he still refuses to answer any questions to anybody.
TUCHMAN: Yes. And I don't think he's interested at all in talking to outsiders. Particularly the news media.
I have been told, though, by that director who I talked with, that they are consulting with their lawyers right now. So ultimately, perhaps their lawyers will advise the pastor to talk. But as of now, it's clear. You saw, Anderson, I gave him every opportunity to make a statement. He decided not to.
COOPER: Of course, our invitation is open for him to come on this program any time. Gary, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.