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May 23rd, 2012
11:35 PM ET

Church member defends pastor Worley

Anderson Cooper speaks with a member of Pastor Charles Worley's church who defends his anti-gay sermon.

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Filed under: 360° Interview • Religion
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. linda

    I dislike that the piece about the reverend even made it on air. I am a Christian and it embarrases me to see such nonsense, hatred and judgement. Whenever someone is pointing a finger at someone else they have three pointing back at them, God wants us to love like He does it is horrific to hear such ignorence and stupidity don't give them anymore on air time let their 15 minutes of fame be over pray for them because they need the most prayer.

    May 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • mikezauner

      Linda, I must say that I'm rather bothered by the fact that you see more issue with this going public than what he actually said. This has nothing to do with their "15 minutes of fame". This has to do with horrific things being done to people in this country by supposed "christians". Look at Matt Shepard. Hell, I live in a rather theocratic part of the US, and just a few short months ago, a gay man was beaten into critical condition with baseball bats as "Christians" called him a "F*cking Queer" and telling him to go to hell.

      The point is, Christians have a dirty house, and you can either address the bigotry and hatred within your ranks, or you can continue to hemorrhage believers as you have been doing. Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. He did, however, overwhelmingly deal with loving others above all else. I'd argue that anyone who is against gay marriage is a Christian in name only. You can't quote 3 verses from NT by an after the fact follower of Jesus (Paul) when hundreds by your very own savior say otherwise. Likewise, you can't quote OT Judaic law unless you plan on following all of it. Quite frankly, the actions of various "Christian" sects, from Catholic, to Baptist, disturb me enough to never want anything to do with Christianity again. When people like Worley end up in heaven, I'd rather be in hell with "bad" people like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and others, thanks.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  2. LizzyBorden2011

    I have to say I actually feel sorry for this backwoods lady... She has no clue what she is even agreeing with! She is defending a statement and in the same breath saying it was taken out of context. Lets put her in an electric fence... it's about "stupidity" and she's wrong.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  3. rjt

    Wow, that gal was just strange. How else would the words of her pastor be taken except literally. How sick.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  4. Gina

    At one point I was laughing at this woman, WOW...I understand her beliefs, and everyone has their own. But does it affect YOU and your life that there are gays in this world? Do they harm you? I say we worry about the bigger problems in this world that do harm us like our Economy, Jobs,or people who are harmed every day by criminals or bullying...It's NOT our job to judge others....

    May 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  5. Mikey M

    She barely knows how to string sentences together.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Brittany

    This lady needs to watch her own interview and see how illogical and uneducated she sounds. Very embarrassing to be from NC with people like this making the rest of us seem the way she is. Have to say I've become a fan of Andersen Cooper after watching this video. But I hope some people can realize that not everyone in NC agrees with these terrible beliefs.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  7. Keith Sullivan

    What a poor attitude from a person that has no clue!!

    May 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  8. 66muds99

    With people like this, gay marriage may be accepted by majority of the general public faster than anyone ever thought.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  9. 66muds99

    With people like this being a spokesperson for opposing gay marriage, it might become accepted by a majority of the public a lot faster than we ever thought.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Iter

    She seems like a smart girl... Real marriage material, good looking, intelligent and charisma from the heavens.. :p

    Is this the start of a new westboro baptist church?

    May 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  11. Ken Stobbs

    I have been visiting the United States regularly for more than 40 years and I have never met anyone like this. Where do you find these people all the time? Do you go in to institutions or hire actors? I have a hard time believing that this woman is real.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  12. HL Gibson

    Well in my opinion, she is a representative of the majority of so-called christians of North Carolina who use the bible as their weapon to bash people that don't agree with them and making it sound christian by saying, "Hate the sin, not the sinner". What chapter and verse did Jesus have that to say? The people represented in that church have the same mentality as the people of the church I attended as a child, and is why I stopped going to church as an adult.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Independent Thinker

    I wonder if the Church knew the worst possible person just spoke up for their church. I don't agree with anything a church says but in this case the Church's best course of action is to tell it's 'sheep' to shut their mouth and not talk to anybody about the topic.

    "Give man fish and he will eat for a day. Teach man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach man religion and he will die praying for fish."

    May 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Colleen

      Funny about your post, a man named Billy Ball of Faith Baptist Church in Primrose GA is a big supporter of this church and it's pastor. Billy intends to be at the protest on Sunday preaching to us all. On his church web page he has : "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with free monthly minutes, food stamps, section 8 housing, a forty ounce malt liquor, a crack pipe and some Air Jordan's and he votes Democrat for a lifetime" . These are not normal people.

      May 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • from that other Carolina

      "I wonder if the Church knew the worst possible person just spoke up for their church" Actually she is probably one of the sharper knives in that drawer.

      May 25, 2012 at 3:46 am |
  14. Gweninterrupted

    As much as it pains me to hear the vile things that this woman and her pastor are saying to the world, I think it is very important right now to expose this kind of hatred and bigotry so that more people can understand why equal rights for LGBTQ Americans are so important to have put in place- to ensure the safety and dignity of every person sharing this nation, which benefits all of society by creating an atmosphere of fairness that we can all trust to be there each day when we wake up. Without equality for all, there is truly equality for none. Anderson Cooper, stay strong, and keep fighting the good fight. You are making this a better place for all of us by doing so. Thank you.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  15. David Hoover

    How pitiful and what a sad commentary on the state of our country in WAY too many places. Anderson was quite the gentleman and more courteous than I ever could have been. Either way, she came off as a buffoon.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  16. DLorette

    This is what is wrong with our country....right here...sheep following lunatics filled with passion for their hate and ignorance. This idiot isn't going to let a little thing like logic and fact get in the way of her hateful views. God is ashamed of you lady. There are atheists out there who are more "christian" than you.

    May 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Dan

    I weep for my state...

    May 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  18. Wesley Curtis

    Isn't she soooo eloquent? I mean, with her rich vocabulary, sharp commenting, and lightening quick mental game, how can we possibly win? Most gay people I know would just crumble under her witty and insightful responses. I mean who ever heard of an intelligent and witty gay person? SHEESH!!! How can we hope to gain equality with the sheer brilliance of our adversaries who would only pummel us with above par debate skills.

    May 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  19. Meri Justus

    of course she is going to defend him and was probably told exactly what to say that's why she just keeps saying the same thing over and over they are sick people.
    WE ARE ALL HUMAN and our differences should NOT matter we are all different for a reason and i believe it is so we can learn tolerance no matter what your Orientation is, your skin color, your religion, where you are from.
    WE ARE ALL HUMAN the one thing we all have in common and we should all be treated the same way and if you don't like what some one else is doing you do not have to participate just live and let live.
    as long as someone is not hurting someone else (murder, Rape, Robbery,Abuse,......) then leave them alone
    and as long as both people are consenting adults it is NO ONE else business what they do behind closed doors and if the bible is right they will be judged by god in the end but right now hear on earth it is not for other humans to judge one another.
    If It Harm None Do As Ye Will.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  20. Wes (Long Beach, CA)

    Anderson- Great job on highlighting the ignorance of this pastor and his supporters!

    May 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  21. Judy Blair

    This pastor and his followers are what is wrong with our society , because they feel the need to "judge " people who are not like them , they breed contempt , predujuice, and bullying . What kind of educated human says a thing like that , I think it is bordering on the Hitler syndrome , let people live their liver and you keep you nose where it belongs , in your OWN business , I hope all your kids are GAY, your Pastor more than likely is and is throwing suspicion off himself !

    May 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  22. chris

    Context!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!............... the christian's most used phrase

    May 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  23. Marcel

    Yikes. What kind of people live in the United States?

    May 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  24. akismet-e03c15469bb92cbfa9e8eb8434ad86ec

    I don't think this woman has ever read a word in her bible. This is the problem with blind faith and fundies. She didn't even want to hear that this kind of thing happens every day around the world. She really makes me sad for our country.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  25. Kara

    He ears are pierced. Leviticus anyone?
    I live abut 20 min from here and I'm embarrassed to be associated with this ignorance.

    May 24, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  26. D Allen

    This poor lady obviously wasn't cut out for interviewing with you Anderson. You were pretty tough on her.

    May 24, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  27. Brent Slensker

    He SAID it, he MEANT it!

    May 24, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  28. JK

    She can't seem to comprehend that her pastor saying that he has a solution to homosexuality- to put them all in an electrified detention camp to die– might be viewed as going against the teachings of Christ. She is so obviously put off by Anderson Cooper's questions, like she can't be bothered to explain the contradiction that though he suggests hateful solutions, he would never act on them... Pastor Worley is a hateful man but don't worry, he is a Godly man.......

    May 24, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  29. Robert in Atlanta

    It amazes me. If a "pastor" had given such as speech calling for concentration camps for any other identifiable group of Americans (through race, ethnicity, religion, etc.) he would be out of business by the end of the week. But apparently it is still ok to spew Nazi-level venom at people because of their sexual orientation.

    Since his hillbilly followers have defended the speech because it was actually aimed at a political point, I say "Ok, but that means you are now a political organization and should be taxed as such."

    May 24, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  30. Darlene

    REALLY" I can't believe this!!! We have no jobs in this area and people lossing there homes. so I'll say this is so "stupid" we get on national news for this. Makes me a shamed that I live here!!!!

    May 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  31. Randy Brown

    Wow...the ignorance of some people..

    May 24, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  32. hdub

    I fail to see how me being gay effects anyone's life in a negative way. Does it keep people from being happy? Prosperous? Having children? No, the emphasis on who you are with has gotten out of hand. Stay out of my business and I'll stay out of yours. Just remember, if you cast stones you better be living in a glass house.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  33. Steve P

    How stupid is she? Gay people do not make gay people. Straight people make gay people. It's all taken out of context? As usual, bigots twisting the bible all out of context.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  34. Colleen

    What an inarticulate woman. I was hoping she'd explain how this was taken out of context when the video was out there for us all to see. If he (Worley) was somehow misrepresented then perhaps he should have used the sermon he gave a week later to explain how this was not the 2012 version of the Final Solution, he did not. I truly wish a long life for Worley and his flock so they can celebrate with the rest of us when marriage equality is a reality in this country.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  35. Amberdee

    People from all over the world can see this and she sounds so ignorant! I'm embarrassed to even live near that area... I promise all North Carolinian's aren't like her and that bigot church.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  36. John Hickok

    This confirms my theory that there are two species of human living side by side today: ones that use their brains, one that don't. This is the car wreck that happens when they attempt dialogue. Note how painful her attempts to think and speak sound, like trying to start the engine of an old car found in a barn.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  37. Thinker

    No thought processes working there. Its hard to believe that in this day and age, people have no idea about the holocaust, or they give it a wink and a nod. One very sick congregation.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  38. KishinD

    SIGH... isn't it about time we classify religious fundamentalism as a mental disease? This woman is suffering from acute cognitive dissonance and overwhelming willful ignorance. Thank you Pastor Worley for showing half of America why religion should never, ever be used as a basis for civil law – it's irrational, inflexible, and way too prepared to round up and imprison/murder large segments of our population. Thank you Stacey Pritchard for showing us that fervent belief in such hateful rhetoric (found in the Bible, not just from the pulpit) can only be justified by refusing to even comprehend simple questions that display how offensive this is to all moral humans.

    Stacey has no morality: she has doctrine. Thankfully, most Christians DO have morality and use it to wisely ignore the parts of the Bible that are hateful, bigoted, or abhorrent.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  39. cindytaylorphotography

    I am a christian and this is ridiculous! as christians we are supposed to hate the sin, not the sinner! a normal christian DOES NOT agree with this pastor or this crazy lady! and i live about 15 minutes from maiden where his church is and no one i know supports his thoughts!

    May 24, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  40. Bill

    I can't believe nobody else has commented on this video. Has nobody seen it?

    It is about the funniest thing I've ever seen. Anderson is a genius. His questions got right to the heart of just how "wise" this woman is, and how "christian" her views are.

    This video should go viral !

    May 24, 2012 at 6:17 am |
  41. LkL

    I am so angered by this whole issue. I don't know what gives anyone or any religion the right to dictate to anyone outside of their beliefs. If you belong to a church and you decide that you don't want to allow gay people to join fine. The rest of the world, state, country, religions, don't have to abide by your beliefs. I can tell you this there is a place where all of us would be put behind a fence based on some religious doctrine. Think Al Queda, the Holocost, Mormons, the world is full of beliefs that would condemn, or dictate certain behaviors, of everyone of us for one reason or another. What gives one pastor the right to condemn anyone outside his church and the people that subscribe to his views. The bible, the Torah, etc. ... Contain various "rules/virtues" to follow, they all have a place for the person who believes.
    Since it is gay marriage that sparked this mess I will say this; what does it have to do with you? Your benefits are not affected by the marriage of two people who love and support each other. Your life is not affected in any way.
    Furthermore, if you live in this country, we live in a country that decided long ago on the separation of church and state. Therefore you must follow this or lest I decide that based on my religion ignorant, judgmental, hate filled, people should be put behind a fence.
    I should say that I am a 43 yr old women, married to a man, with a child, and I have many gay friends and have had them all my life. I grew up with my mom's best friend being a gay man and his "partner" that we're together longer than any couple I've ever known.
    I don't know how anyone can consider it their business if two people love each other and want to get married? If you think that you are above it and have the right to impose your belief on the rest of our country I say this; if you are a women-move to a country where you cannot be seen or heard, if you are an American- go to a country that thinks we are not worthy of living, if you are African-american- hang out with the kkk, and then tell me which rules reign.
    In this country the right to religious freedom allows opposing views to co-exist, what if we decide that only one view is allowed?
    I wish every gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, person would pick a day, any day, June 10, maybe, and not go to work, not spend any money, not do anything! I think you would be quite amazed at how much of an affect it would have on how this country runs and you would see just how many people you would be putting behind that fence.
    Furthermore, it is unfortunate that your defense of your beliefs makes you contradict yourself and you are willing to look foolish in order to hold on to something that makes no sense when followed through to it's conclusion ie. adultery, has the same punishment according to your beliefs as homosexuality and yet you overlook "Gods" teaching on this. You don't even follow your own beliefs. Or does that come down to the law? It would be against our laws to follow through with some of your beliefs. I hope you can see the the point here.
    Our laws should not discriminate against anyone and your religion does not dictate our laws.
    Look deep, or someday you may find yourself on the other side of that fence you created, based on some other persons views.

    May 24, 2012 at 6:16 am |
  42. Stevie

    This is incredible. I am completely mind blown! This just goes to show how naive people are. I mean, I don't know your standpoint on the gays and lesbians, Anderson, but your points were so valid and on point that I am surprised that it didn't shut her up. She just kept sticking her foot in her mouth. It definitely made her think. Just a little tid bit, both my mother and father are gay and I am as straight as they come. They are two of the most amazing people in my life! I wouldn't change a single thing about.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  43. Clay

    PLEASE tell me that she makes the ridicuList!!!

    May 24, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  44. Guy Lee

    I live near this church and nobody I know agrees with this perverted use of the Scriptures.

    May 24, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  45. phil

    I used to think that most people were decent people.. but Ive come to realize that pretty much every socially conservative / evangelical christians are full of hate. Its a shocking and depressing conclusion that I have slowly come to over the years. Sad, sad, sad.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  46. fordi

    Don't have a valid response? Taken out of context, obviously.

    May 24, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  47. jsteward

    She's obviously not well-educated in the bible and otherwise, so one can't really expect her to answer questions on church doctrine with any degree of depth. As a gay person I feel rather sorry for people like this who are exploited first by their pastors and then by the media.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  48. Rich

    AC,
    I get what you were going for. But did her ignorance really deserve more than 20 seconds on air?

    And as a side note, it scares the hell out of me that she gets to vote.

    May 24, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  49. Sarah Brown

    Ahahahaha! Oh man! Anderson Cooper! That was absolutely wonderful. watching you interview that woman...the most noticable thing and difference between you two is definitely your IQs! I cant even be upset with a human as unintelligent as she. Oh my... Love you anderson! Lol! ;)

    May 24, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  50. Crystal

    This was astonishing to watch. Her lack of moral judgement aside, how does she not understand that gay people are born from heterosexual parents every day? What a sad, sad woman.

    May 24, 2012 at 12:03 am |
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