Click here to go to the Home Page NC Cleric Wants Gays Behind Electric Fence – Inclusion - By The Reverend Irene Monroe - BC Editorial Board

Click to go to a Printer Friendly version of this article


When North Carolina amended its constitution last month prohibiting any possibility for LGBTQ couples to wed, it comes as no surprise the loudest voices condemning President Obama�s support of marriage equality is presently coming from there.

�The last time NC amended the constitution on marriage was in 1875 to ban interracial marriage. We look like a bunch of backward jack assess down here! Please tell your friends we don�t all fly confederate flags & thump our Bibles quoting Leviticus,� my friend Cora from Greensboro, N.C wrote me in an email.

But the passing of Amendment One, which now constitutionally defines marriage as being between a man and a woman has emboldened many of its Bible-thumping denizens of that state, especially its ministers, who not only verbally condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) citizens, to now openly speak of exterminating us.

�I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers but I couldn�t get it pass the Congress � build a great big large fence, 50 or a hundred 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,� Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C stated in his Mother�s Day sermon, responding to Obama�s public endorsement of same-sex marriage.

Worley continues his sermon, explaining what he perceives would eventually happen to us.

�And you know what? In a few years they will die out. You know why? They can�t reproduce. If a man ever has a young�un, praise God he will be the first.�

Unfortunately, Worley isn�t the only North Carolinian cleric to brazenly voice his opinion; his just reached national attention.

Rev. Sean Harris�s, senior pastor of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, reparative therapy advice to parents in his congregation for their gender non-confirming children is to engage in assaultive behavior toward them. For effeminate sons, Harris advice, is to punch them and �crack that wrist� if they are limp-wristed.

�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.�

And Rev. Ron Baity, a prominent pastor of Winston-Salem and head of the anti-marriage equality organization Return America, told his congregation favoring of Amendment One that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were once upon a time justly prosecuted.

�For 300 years, we had laws that would prosecute that lifestyle,� he is quoted as saying. �We�ve gone down the wrong path. We�ve become so dumb that we have accepted a lie for the truth, and we�ve...discarded the truth on the shoals of shipwreck!�

Given the country�s positive change toward LGBTQ civil rights, its backlash from ultraconservative clerics and politicians won�t stem our progress, but it will always remind us of our history of homophobic persecution and scapegoating.

For example, believing that the judicious way to keep account of those who were infected with the HIV/AIDS virus and to stop the virus from spreading, conservative political commentator William F. Buckley Jr. in 1986 suggested that people with AIDS be tattooed on their buttocks and forearms.

While we can perhaps now chuckle at this ludicrous suggestion, this was much of the nation�s mindset. And it was not that long ago.

Another example, in an essentialist argument where biology is believed to determine one�s destiny, all marginal people to mainstream society- women, the physically challenged people of color as well as LGBTQ people, etc. - must tune into this debate about genetic engineering.

If LGBT people are viewed as genetically flawed from a scientific point of view, and an abomination before God from both religious fundamentalist and conservative points of view that are a lot more pervasive in religious thought then we like to think, then our unique way of being sexual and loving in the world is not only looked upon as an aberration to human sexuality, but it can also ostensibly be viewed an abhorrence to human life itself that might need to be exterminated.

With science having an authoritative voice in society, any counter moral and religious arguments on our behalf lose their footing. And while we like to believe that the field of science is objective and value free of human biases and bigotries, scientists are, however, human beings who analyze and interpret their datum from their subjective and often times politically motivated viewpoints.

A classic example of how politics informs science is Nazi German�s extermination plan of gay men, and how Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code differentiated between the type of persecution non -German gay men received from German gay men because of a quasi- scientific and racist ideology of racial purity. Richard Plant, makes this point in �The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals,� when he stated that �The polices of persecution carried out toward non- German homosexuals in the occupied territories differed significantly from those directed against Germans gays. The Aryan race was to be freed of contagion; the demise of degenerate subjects peoples was to be hastened.�

NC has made a backwards move on marriage equality. And a cleric like Worley maintains the climate. Editorial Board member, the Rev. Irene Monroe, is a religion columnist, theologian, and public speaker. She is the Coordinator of the African-American Roundtable of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at the Pacific School of Religion. A native of Brooklyn, Rev. Monroe is a graduate from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African-American church before coming to Harvard Divinity School for her doctorate as a Ford Fellow. She was recently named to MSNBC�s list of 10 Black Women You Should Know. Reverend Monroe is the author of Let Your Light Shine Like a Rainbow Always: Meditations on Bible Prayers for Not�So�Everyday Moments. As an African-American feminist theologian, she speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. Her website is Click here to contact the Rev. Monroe.

Click here to go to a menu of the Contents of this Issue

e-Mail re-print notice
If you send us an emaill message we may publish all or part of it, unless you tell us it is not for publication. You may also request that we withhold your name.

Thank you very much for your readership.

May 31, 2012 - Issue 474
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble
Road Scholar - the world leader in educational travel for adults. Top ten travel destinations for African-Americans. Fascinating history, welcoming locals, astounding sights, hidden gems, mouth-watering food or all of the above - our list of the world’s top ten "must-see" learning destinations for African-Americans has a little something for everyone.