Preaching Hate

Preachers have been really hard on the gays lately. Our featured asshole today is Curtis Knapp. He’s pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas, and made headlines with his sermon Sunday in which he said this on what to do with those pesky homosexuals:

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 conversations. It tends to limit people coming out of the closet.

So, you’re saying we should go out and start killing them? No. I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.

Just so we’re clear here, this man is saying he wants a government mass-murder program. To nobody’s surprise, this caused a bit of a shitstorm. But he’s not backing down.

“We punish pedophilia. We punish incest. We punish polygamy and various things,” Knapp told KTKA. “It’s only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption.”

Knapp argued that his sermon was rooted in Biblical verse.

“‘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,’” he quoted from Leviticus 20:12. “‘They shall surely be put to death.’”

Just to keep things confusing, in the King James Bible that should be 20:13, Leviticus 20:12 is about not having sex with your daughter in law. I thought this was a typo until I got confused by some old language and noticed that it is 20:12 in the New International Version.

Anyway, I disagree with the “good” pastor, I can come up with a few more exemptions from that very book. Here’s Pastor Curtis Knapp:

On Sunday, Pastor Curtis Knapp of Kansas preached that the government should kill homosexuals.

Image credit CNN

From this picture alone I can see that he’s breaking Leviticus 19:27 by shaving and cutting the sides of his hair. 10:6 says that he should be wearing a hat, though I understand this is also interpreted as keeping your hair tidy, but even then I think someone should get him a comb. And while I can’t be certain, that shirt he’s wearing sure looks like a blend, even though 19:19 clearly forbids wearing mixed fabrics.

He’s an authority figure to his congregation at least, and he’s calling for gays to be killed, so I’m also going to vote “Guilty” of violating 19:16 for endangering the lives of his neighbors who might be perceived as gay, accurately or not. I kind of feel that he’s at least breaking the spirit of 19:18’s “don’t hold a grudge” with this massive murder plan proposal of his.

He’s also broken 19:11 by lying, because he said “My hope is for their salvation, not for their death.” after clearly expressing his desire for them to be put to death, and standing by that.

It’s probably worth mentioning at some point that in Kansas, as in the entire United States of America, the Bible has no legal weight and is in fact expressly forbidden from being treated as law by the Constitution. Which makes his legal justification for instituting the deaths of at least nine million Americans a little shaky at best.

What really terrifies me about this is that he probably thinks he’s the good guy. I wonder if he’s really thought about it. Imagine if something like this were actually implemented. About three percent of the general population is openly gay, so as soon as it starts to look like this crazy scheme might happen there’s a huge rush for the borders.

I think it’s probably a rule that if your plan results in a significant percentage of the population fleeing the country in fear for their lives, you should consider the possibility that you’re the bad guy.

For those out of the closet who lack the resources to run, things are going to be really bad. They’ll have to hide. Those who can “pass” might be able to move to a different city and lay low, likely saving up until they could afford to get to the border. Those who set off gaydar at a hundred yards are going to be hiding in attics and basements of people who don’t think they deserve to die. Probably some sort of underground railroad will form to get them out of the country.

Tell me, Pastor, does your plan include punishing the sympathizers who hide and protect them?

After the initial exodus, the fear sets in for the rest of the population. Fear that they or someone they love may be outed, or that they’ll be mistaken for gay. Fear that an enemy will get them out of the way by convincing a judge. Which brings up some important questions.

How do you tell if someone’s closeted? And hell, human sexuality isn’t nearly as simple as “gay or straight”! What if they’re only a little bisexual? Experimental phase in college? How do you choose which people get rounded up and placed into prison camps until they can be executed? Where is the line, Pastor?

In the end, what has this massive human misery machine accomplished? Lots of dead people. The rest of the world viewing the country as even more of a backwards, brutal place. Convenient political scapegoats in the form of the hated other. Fear and anger in the streets. Families in mourning. Government witch-hunts.

What was it all for? What’s so terrible about gay people that this horrifying scenario seems worthwhile to you? WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THIS?

If he has a reason beyond “Bible says so”, he doesn’t share it. But while saying he stands by his words, he refuses to own their meaning in a fine example of moral cowardice,

While sticking to his view, Knapp said he himself wouldn’t attack homosexuals.

“I don’t believe I should lay a finger against them,” the Kansas pastor said. “My hope is for their salvation, not for their death.”

You claim that you do not hope for their death and yet you said the government should kill them.

We’ve heard this one before. “Never killed anyone, only gave orders. Not my fault.” You have stood before your congregation, who holds you as a moral authority who speaks for God, and you called for mass-murder. You probably think that you’re not a violent man, and yet you call for violence to be done. Every person in your community who may be perceived as gay is less safe now because you told your flock that murdering them is morally acceptable, even laudable.

Every hate crime in your county for the next decade should be blood on your conscience.

Knapp, whose sermon was roundly condemned, told CNN affiliate KTKA that his voice-mail is filled with “things you don’t want your kids to hear.”

You know what I don’t want my kids to hear? Institutional mass-murder.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on June 1, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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