Pastor Sean Harris

Pastor Sean Harris can’t unring that bell

Pastor Sean Harris
Pastor Sean Harris

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.

Related articles

22 thoughts on “Pastor Sean Harris can’t unring that bell

    1. I first heard this on Anderson Cooper this evening while I was fixing dinner. I came charging around the corner to confirm what I was hearing and like you, almost got sick. It sounded more like some white supremacist than a so-called Christian pastor. Sickening.

          1. Only time I listen to the radio is in the car, and then it’s usually classic rock. But I can see how this would be the perfect story for radio.

          2. That’s the only time I listen, too. Sometimes when I’m on the computer if I’m working on graphics. Something that I don’t have to read or concentrate. If I am reading anything… blogs, news articles, anything, I cannot listen to music or talk shows. It has to be quiet.

            But when doing graphics or websites, then I don’t have words to concentrate on, so I often listen to pod casts. I used to listen to music. But now, I’ve really gotten deep into this upcoming elections and the stupid war on women.

    1. Now that you mention it, this would probably qualify as dangerous hate speech — if he weren’t a pastor in a church. That’s a bit of a conundrum, isn’t it?

  1. “The best disinfectant is sunlight” – I shall never, ever forget that phrase, PT, thank you. Amazing. It is astounding that there are pockets of people out there who think it’s ok to talk like this. His tone of voice is so aggressive. The only person with issues is the man himself.

    1. I once wrote after being hospitalized for five days “Never underestimate the restorative qualities of sunshine and fresh air.” Sunlight, it seems, is a pretty good cure-all for all kinds of negative things that thrive indoors and in the shadows.

  2. Next will be the “Man up for God” crusade. They’ll have all the male children up front during service and make them take a “gut shot for God.” Then they’ll get tee-shirts that say, “God gave me big balls so I could stomp roaches and play in the dirt.” Later, they’ll have a nice long gauntlet to run where everyone can whack them with sticks so they can “man up” further. Somewhere along the line, they’ll probably realize they should be breeding for manliness, so they’ll start weeding the “limp-wristers” out of their congregation.

      1. Sorry. I can’t make that promise. I might have a stroke and lose most of my mental capacity. After that I’d be looking for a new profession, and I don’t want to limit my options.

... and that's my two cents