I mentioned the other day that I was becoming impatient and intolerant. So you can imagine how apoplectic I became after learning what Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC, told his congregation recently:
So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed…. Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”
Makes that mom who took her daughter to the tanning salon look like a bleeping saint, doesn’t it? Is it any wonder America is coming apart at the seams when we have people like this running around loose preaching their ignorance and hate to entire congregations of followers who hang on their every word?
Yes, yes, of course I’ve always known on some intellectual level that individuals like this exist. But actually hearing the venom (see video) turns my stomach. Ignorance. Willful, ugly, vengeful ignorance being spread like the horrible crippling illness it is. And in this case it’s the children who will be hurt by it, both physically and emotionally.
I wish science would invent a way to drill into heads like Harris’s and pour in some education, some knowledge — some enlightenment!
For what it is (or isn’t) worth, Harris issued an “retraction” today that began:
The purpose of this document is to issue an official statement of retraction of any and all words that suggest that child abuse is appropriate for any and all types of behaviors including (but not limited to) effeminacy and sexual immorality of all types. I should not have said what I said about “cracking,” “punching,” and particular bias toward outward attraction of girls. Nor should I have used the words “special dispensation.” I did not say children should be squashed. I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or psychologically) in any form or fashion….
It goes on, but you get the idea. It’s one of those “I’m only apologizing because I got called on it” apologies. Too late, pastor. The horse is out of the barn, the bell has been rung. (The entire statement appears on his website.)
Erik Kain over at Forbes had a nice take on this controversy:
The wonderful thing about the combination of the internet and free speech is that when someone says something really ugly and horrifying, their words are called out. We don’t need to clamp down on speech like this through any legal means. The best disinfectant is sunlight, as the saying goes, and social media is the best sunlight we have when it comes to hateful speech.
Wish I’d written that. But those who know me know I’ll go to my grave defending the right to free speech, even for people like Harris.
Still, I don’t have to like it.
- Amendment One Pastor: ‘Crack’ Your Four-Year-Old Son’s Limp Wrist (thinkprogress.org)
- “Marriage” sermon suggests squashing girlishness “like a cockroach” (pinkisforboys.wordpress.com)
- Pastor Sean Harris Apologizes for Encouraging Abuse (randythomas.co)
- Pastor Sean Harris ‘Retracts’ Advice to Parents to Beat Kids Who Seem Gay But Says It’s Still an Abomination (towleroad.com)
- North Carolina Pastor Jokes About Physically Abusing ‘Effeminate’ Boys (patheos.com)
- North Carolina Pastor Sean Harris Urges Parents to ‘Punch’ Their ‘Girlish’ Sons, Crack Their Limp Wrists: AUDIO (towleroad.com)