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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. Jay Wilkes

    The mistake in Pastor Worley's solution to his lesbian, queer and homosexual problem is blaring. He says "they" will all die off and can't reproduce. Does he honestly believe all the parents of those leabians, queers and homosexuals were themselves homosexual? If not, then he is going to be a very busy man, rounding up babies who might grow up to be gay. Would children of parents who have spawned a gay child also be quarantined? They also carry the "gay" gene. This man, and all who follow him are forgetting the overwhelming Love of our God. My Bible says, "God is Love". The reverse is also true. Anyone who calls himself a pastor and preaches hatred might, himself, need to be quarantined.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  2. Matt

    While I do not agree with the pastor's comments about gay people, I went to Sermonaudio.com and listened to a few of the pastor's sermons. I challenge people to listen to the sermon entitled "What I know I really like." The pastor was expressing a point of view, which he believes is from the Bible, that homosexuality is a sin. If you listen to the pastor's sermons, you will find that the paster believes in the thought of "hate the sin, love the sinner." I believe the pastor is born again and cares about people. He just has a different point of view on a particular issue than some. I would suggest CNN and others should express agreement or disagreement about the particular issue and not disrespect the pastor. The pastor has devoted his life to serving Christ and people. Be respectful to the person when you disagree with a particular comment.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Stacey Pritchard is not even a member of the church and nobody in the church knows who she is. She sure didnt help his cause, did she?

    May 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Emily

    Mr. Cooper,
    One day in eternity you will realize that although this pastor's delivery may have been poor: he was correct. Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. Read the story of Sodom. My God DOES love everyone, that is why He sent His only Son to die for you and for me. He paid for our sins with His life! God wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven because He loves us. His death and resurrection saved us from having to spend all of eternity in Hell separated from Him. He loves you more than you could ever know, but He hates your sin. I pray that you will understand and accept God's unending love for you before you pass on into eternity.
    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Christian

    May 27, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Ryan

      Homophobia is a sin.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Anon Miss

    I'm a born-again Christian, and I'm a senior in high school. In all honestly I think there's something VERY wrong with SOME "Christians" around the world. Some "Christians" must not even open their Bibles, because if they read Psalm 139 it is clear that God made all people wonderfully and beautifully- NOT to be put to death. Homosexuality is NO more a sin than lying, adultery, abortion, the works. All sin, is sin. But a true Christian would see that Jesus is the representation of LOVE. In other words, Jesus = Love. This being said, a "Christian" who wishes death on another person, whether that person is white, black, yellow, purple, green, gay, straight, or wiggly, is missing the ENTIRE message of the cross and crucifies Jesus over and over again. If a gay person were about to be shot by a killer, with the power of Love from Jesus, I would stand in front of that gay person and give my life for him/her. Jesus is Love, and Love overcomes all things.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  6. Peter

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

    May 26, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  7. Kacey

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.

    According to the Bible both Stacey and her pastor are not to be allowed at the altar of God!

    May 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  8. Kacey

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.

    Doesn't that mean that both Stacey and her pastor wearing glasses goes against the Bible? They shouldn't be allowed close to the church!

    May 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  9. hypatia

    What a fine example of 'Christian charity'.

    May 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Mary

      Please don't tie this to Christians! This woman is so confused about God's love and the love that the majority of Christians feel about everyone. It's not anyone's place to judge others. This woman's belief is so out of line with my faith as a Christian.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  10. Ricky

    She's right. The Bible does say that gay people should be killed... the pastor actually didn't go far enough. We (gay people) are supposed to be taken out of the cities and murdered immediately, not just allowed to starve to death. Why anyone would look at the Bible and think of it as a moral guide is completely beyond me.

    May 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Steve

      Where does it say this?

      May 27, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  11. Mavis

    Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned."

    May 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mary

      Thank you Mavis for that scripture. It says everything I wish this particular pastor would share with his parishoners. He's playing with fire.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • eric

      Mavis that is true, no where does the bible say we are suppose to judge, love is above all things and it will not condemn and we cannot love and condemn at the same time. Christians think they are suppose to save the world but their ideas of telling other people how to live and what is correct is often lead by judgment and self-rightousness not outwardly love and accepting people for who they are, showing love. Christ only ever talked about his followers as to love, never does he say judge, he will judge based on the heart, not that actions and only he knows the heart, their for we have no business to judge anyone.

      May 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Rich

      On the other hand...Judge righteous judgment,,,John 7:24

      May 31, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  12. ann

    So how did Harry Crane from Mad Men end up on this video?

    May 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  13. hank

    i love the fact that he ripped them up and he had her flustered when he mentioned jews you can see it in her face that she like hitler would love to see them gone. all these church people who think they know everything are just like Nazis hating anything that is not them i thought it said in the bible judge not lest ye be judged and love ty neighbor. im pretty sure it didnt say judge everyone and hate them for there beliefs

    May 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  14. BMC

    OMG!!!! What a shame. There is no hope for people like her, obviously she is so closed minded, uneducated and doesn't understand why she believes what she does. It is unfortunate that people like her reproduce and teach such hateful, arrogance to future generations. Makes me sick.

    May 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  15. Sheila

    You can't fix stupid. But Anderson can make interviewing it very entertaining. I mean... seriously???

    May 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  16. Lisa in Costa Rica

    Can anyone explain why fervent evangelism isn't considered a mental disorder?

    May 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  17. 3dscanman

    People like this are making a dystopian future b-movie into a documentary. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindi, Sikh's, Buddhists... all religions have their own color, flavor and interpretation of their fellow man. The issue here for me, isn't one of dogma but rather... one of the constitution – this is why it was plainly stated by the founders of this nation there needs to be a separation of church and state. Church ideology has no place in the laws of our country – like it or not, that's the way it was written when this nation was founded and has been what led this nation to prominence as a world power. Sorry, but even "even-tempered" Christians have no right influencing or determining law. The reason is obvious, everyone that subscribes to their own dogma is limited by that dogma – and this country is the melting pot of the world – no place for religion driving the poorly conceived Amendment One in NC. That's where this "church" made its media hay, influencing voters on an extreme right wing conservative/Christian bill – and that is just wrong anyway you turn it.

    The polarization of the left and the right over the last 20 years is destroying this country from within and extremists like this idiot fuel both sides of the argument even more so. I hope she realizes that the constitution for the country she lives in guarantees certain rights – including her right to be ignorant.

    I love NC, there are a number of great people here and a wonderful culture – sans people like this – unfortunately, it is voices like Ms. Pritchard that will stick in the minds of folks from all over. For those that read this, know that she does not represent NC as a state; she represents a backwater church with a medieval solution to a perceived problem.

    May 25, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  18. NC Former Baptist Pastor

    As a former NC Baptist pastor and an openly gay man, I find this whole thing just simply stupid. One thing you need to know about these old fashioned, independent fundamental KJV 1611 Baptist churches is that they are nothing more than a cult. If you were to listen to many messages I am sure this pastor has preached as so many of them do, they preach more on whats wrong, what you aren't doing, then they do on love. Sure many of their churches are filled with many a hundred of people on Sunday morning, but if you evaluate the majority, they are uneducated people that cling to every word the pastor says. Many of them do not even know how to read the bible and understand it for themselves. It's more of the mind set of "well, if the pastor said it from the pulpit then it must be God's word to us". They fail to see that 99.9% of the IFB churches, the pastor uses the pulpit not to preach God's message, but rather their own personal opinions. Most of the time they are selective in their scripture selection. You can prove your point or disprove a point on just about any subject by simply picking and choosing a scripture from anywhere in the bible. (out of context mind you).
    As far as this member of the church. How embarrassing! This is the best spokesperson that you have? She doesn't even half understand the questions.
    Being in the IFB for so many years, and finally realizing that it was and is a cult and how it takes control on people, I am glad to say I am out. I hope for many more they will get out too! I love God, but not religion!

    May 25, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  19. dc3gal

    Unbelievable! This woman is totally out to lunch! I am so glad Anderson nailed her with the questions he did. Her defense with not being able to answer his questions was to show disgust. I am fairly disgusted with her and that attitude she showed. I am not gay but I will defend people's right to be what they are, come on how hard is that? When I was married and going to flight school, my ex and I were big into church and a woman approached him saying "your wife has no business being so close to another man in an aircraft" And people don't sit that close as passengers on any aircraft? Actually there was more space between us then an regular aircraft. Ignorance all over the place. Why is it that people put blinders on and let others think for them when it comes to church?

    May 25, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  20. WATCHDOG

    It seems that the group HEZBOLLAH, has a few new members working mortgage frauds in usa
    we have learned that top ranking members Mahmoud Razzaghi,Maryam Khavar,Mike Khavar,
    and many other names used by these people, including Khavari, Bayat, Khaleghi,Zaghami,Imani,
    hosaini,Hosseini,Abedi,Reza, Rezza,
    Just to name a few names that mortgages have been obtained through the Bank of America,
    Bank of New York, US Bank,

    properties are bought forclosed on and short saled to other family members ,,using false ids, when the properties are sold they use insurance fraud to upgrade them

    May 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  21. saruni

    sinners are dead already, Jesus In Luke 13 speaking of the destruction of unrepentant, leave alone the eternal judgement. God hates sin, hates adultery and it is more abominable when it is unnatural...read Gen.6:2 and 18:5.
    I believe Worley said that just to show how he is not Pro-gays/lesbs, to prove this let one or two of them go to him in person, he will definetelly treat them in Love and restore them if they are willing. If he wont do that, then he will be lacking balanced minitry, which I dont think so.

    May 25, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Ken

      I agree with you, but that is Gen.19:5

      May 25, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • saruni

      sinners are dead already, Jesus In Luke 13 speaking of the destruction of unrepentant of this age, leave alone the eternal judgement. God hates sin, hates adultery and it is more abominable when it is unnatural...read Gen.6:2 and 19:5. I dont know how could this part of the world called America would face life infront of the torah if it had to live in the old testament times.
      I believe Worley said that just to show how he is not Pro-gays/lesbs, to prove this let one or two of them go to him in person, he will definetelly treat them in Love and restore them if they are willing. If he wont do that, then he will be lacking balanced minitry, which I dont think so.

      May 25, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  22. Peter Hockley

    This woman is so disingenuous!

    May 25, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  23. Scott

    I live in the same county as the church in question, and I want everyone to know that this is being blown out of context. I do not mean that what he said is out of context, I feel that the media is trying to use this to showcase the feelings of everyone who voted for the marriage amendment. I voted for it, and I do believe that marriage is between one woman and one man. I also believe what was said was this church' s point of view, and is not shared by the masses.

    May 25, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  24. Lorie

    Unfortunately, this is the mentality of many people in this area. You cannot change the minds of those individuals that do not seek knowledge and live their lives with blinders. I hope this is a "wake-up call" for this town and the state of NC. It makes me sad that people in this community are not accepting of others and we have individuals teaching hate in our churches. I really cannot understand how you can defend what he said, but his followers are apparently very loyal.

    May 25, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  25. Debra

    She quoted a man of God . SHe might be right . He made himself a God of evil. I just hope he get his non-profit taxes and taken away.

    May 25, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  26. FreeNetworks

    Gosh why did they have to interview her? She has no damn clue what she is talking about. Poor thing.

    May 25, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  27. Chuck

    Most of the posts here renounce this woman yet defend religion. Do you not see that by supporting religion you enable and validate people like this? This sort of behavior was key in my loss of faith 30 years ago, along with reason. I didn't want to be any part of something that perpetuated this type of ignorance and hatred. I can honestly say I am a much better person now than I was before I left religion.

    May 25, 2012 at 4:04 am |
  28. Stacy

    Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves".

    May 25, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Tom McCormick

      You mean like Preachers? I agree.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  29. kevobx

    The world cannot stop hatred, why weary oneself with these burdens. Esau hated Jacob, but as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  30. Devan

    Anderson, I salute you for being a GREAT reporter! Your grace and poise in the face of ignorance is truly amazing and something I could never accomplish.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  31. Jeanne

    This is so sad. Yet, it is also an opportunity to make a better world.There are so many versions of the Bible, translations and interpretations...and include adulterers, drunkards, the greedy, thieves and swindlers in the same line. We then have three religions that are based on the Bible, and different understandings again. The one thing common in all three is respect, love for God. And what is basically being taught is how to live with compassion. , in all major religions. Is it possible for humanity to try to live from a place of compassion, love and giving,...sharing. We have fought wars over hate, greed and selfishness, getting us....nowhere. Please, isn't it time to stop? May we try, all of us,..to speak with kindness and acceptance for one another, and leave the judgment out. Look for kindness, caring, patience and love for one another,...and create P E A C E. May it be so!

    May 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  32. Jason

    This must be so embarrassing for Christians. I bet it becomes a meme.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  33. therunnersheart

    What needs to happen is this church needs to be reminded of the Gospel. Christ preached love, un-conditional love. It's not tolerance. But, this pastor needs to be removed.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  34. Mark

    The woman in the video is NOT representative of most Christians.
    This story is shocking but I am surprised that these stories come out while the ones about the New Black Panthers and the former Senator of Illinois that marched with them as early as 2008, has been avoided by the media. When Christians do well, their story is ignored. Little was ever said about the 75 million Catholics sue the government this week over forced insurance policy. In fact if the news story isn't positive when its about Barack, the story is ignored. Why?

    May 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  35. Rick

    As a Christian, I find this woman's ignorance of Scripture an abomination. She does not capably reflect the Gospel of Jesus Christ and has replaced the false teachings of her "pastor" for the Biblical truth. Her ignorance and hatred turn people away from God. I fear for her eternal destiny given her flippant attitude about such a serious subject matter.

    May 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  36. Ben

    I bet the followers of Hitler didn't think he was serious either.

    May 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  37. Amber

    Oh my. Anderson didn't even say anything to make her look stupid...she did it all on her own. This woman breaks my heart. She said nothing of value, and I'm guessing that's not just from anxiety over being in front of a camera. Not everyone in North Carolina is this ignorant. Between this pastor fiasco and Amendment One...I don't know why the buffoons are representing the rest of us. Come on NC, let's find a way to redeem ourselves, okay?

    May 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  38. Randal

    I have watched this story unfold – and it is very sad. I am a straight Christian parent that happens to have a gay son that I love very much and always will. I wonder what these people would be reading if King James, who authorized the translation of the Bible, had been put "behind an electric fence" and tormented for being gay. According to sound history, King James was gay by all accounts. It is sad to see so called "Christians" taking on the role of God. The only commandment we are taught by Jesus Christi is to love God with all of our heart and to love our neighbors as ourselves - not to only love our heterosexual neighbors or non-Jewish neighbors or white neighbors or any other "human" separation or wall or "electric fence" that we try to devise for ourselves on earth. We are not placed on this earth to be judgmental and we certainly fall short in the category of claiming to be God. My hope for my son, and all gay persons out there, is that they will know that God loves them and God wants to have a personal relationship with each and every one of them - just as he does with all of the rest of us folks out there.

    May 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  39. Em

    How about looking into the Diocese of Charlotte who had all churches read a letter from the bishop telling their congregations that they had to go to vote for the ammendment to discriminate against gays. How about removing the Cathoilc Church from tax exempt status. I'd like those taxes going into the pot!

    May 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  40. Kendra

    Here is what the SS Nazi's said on 24 November 1928...
    "So, we are now going to have a total solution to the Jewish question. The programme is clear. It reads: total separation, total segregation! What does this mean? It does not only mean the total exclusion of the Jews from the German economic system... It means much more! No German can be expected to live under the same roof as Jews. The Jews must be chased out of our houses and our residential districts and made to live in rows or blocks of houses where they can keep to themselves and come into contact with Germans as little as possible."

    Nothing different than the message of this church and many others who cannot deal with or accept others who are different. Shame on the peddlers of hate who hide in robes of religion. Shame on the IGNORANT ONES WHO FOLLOW THEM.

    May 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  41. Brian

    Wow, if this is what this church is preaching to it's congregation then no wonder why there are soo many athiests. It's hate spewing messages like that that don't belong in the church anymore!

    May 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • FreeNetworks

      True. Right on point.

      May 25, 2012 at 4:31 am |
    • Betty

      I believe in God but it makes ME wonder too. If this is what MY God believes in I don't want any part of it. Maybe if Anderson had used 3rd grade words she would have understood his questions.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  42. Dina

    Oh my god I just really didn't think people like her exist. Is there any thought process, sense of self....compassion....nothing . Its like her only purpose for existence is to lock up gay people and watch them die. Can people really be that empty? Nothing came out of her except hate, and anger and it looks like its the only thing that can sustain her...

    May 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tosc

      LOLOLOL.....and the ignorant shall be led by the ignorant with egos. OMG! Why is this church granted non-profit status? Why am I paying taxes and that church is not!

      May 25, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  43. Olivia

    I watched this video through, and I am a Christian and believe that homosexuality is wrong by Gods standards. I also believe that the way that this women and the church that she attends is coming at this the wrong way. God has punished people for their wrong doings and will continue to do so for the rest of time but he does not punish in anger he punishes in love. This church is talking about electric fences and killing off the gays which I believe to be a punishment in anger. I hope that you all see that she is standing up for what she believes in but is going at it the wrong way no one should be killed at the hands of people (murder – also a sin) but their punishment as I believe will be given by God in his time.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Ann

      But aren't we all God's children and if God loves all his children, shouldn't we try to emulate God?

      May 25, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Dave

      "...he does not punish in anger he punishes in love."

      ಠ_ಠ

      You don't punish in love, this is why nobody takes Christians seriously. You all sound mentally disabled.

      May 25, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • Dan

      As a thinking human being I believe worshiping Jesus is no different than worshiping Thor or Zeus. It is ridiculous for any human to try to speak for "God". I am sick and tired of having to pay lip service to other people's fairy tales, especially when their beliefs have real-world consequences in the lives of actual Americans.

      May 25, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Jason

      punishes in love? As in, I love you so get behind this electric fence?

      May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • ann

      I am a Christian also, and I would never, ever seek to see someone punished for being born a certain way. I did not choose to have brown eyes just like gay people did not choose to be gay. So no punishment, either good or bad, is relevant here.

      May 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  44. David

    Well, I'm sure glad you found the smartest member of that particular congregation. I'd hate to hear what the ignorant ones think.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  45. David

    Well, I'm glad you found the smartest member of that particular congregation.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  46. Paige

    What an embarrassment. I hope that people understand that there are many of us from North Carolina who are Christians and who are horrified by this whole situation. I was saddened and ashamed by the passage of Amendment One and I am simply embarrassed that someone from my state spoke so ignorantly.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • CJay

      "...I hope that people understand that there are many of us from North Carolina who are Christians and who are horrified by this whole situation..."

      The way to make sure that message is delivered, you and other N.C. Christians need to provide your support(show up with your own signs of Christian tolerance ) to the protest that will occur this Sunday. Without that type of display of support many people country wide will continue to have the wrong idea about N.C. Christians.

      Christians that talk about murdering any of gods children, even if they feel they are doing it in gods name, are no better than a demon that would tempt a soul to break one of gods ten commandments.

      These so called Christians need to stop worrying about other peoples sins and take a deep look into a mirror and start worrying about their own soul.

      May 25, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  47. Mary

    .... there would be more gay people born 'outside the fence' haaaaaaah! Love me some Anderson Cooper

    May 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  48. Katie

    Though I am sad to admit it – I live very near this town – and it is sad to me that the voice of Jesus comes through more in what Anderson Cooper is trying to convey than in what Ms. Prichard says. Thank you for being willing to ask the hard questions – because the reality is that CHRIST calls us to LOVE others – it is NOT our job to judge – much less "kill off" parts of HIS world. I really do appreciate your attempt at showing that there are Christians here who love ALL people – regardless of who they are or whom they love.

    May 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  49. Keegan

    It's upsetting just how many people are unwilling to use reason, rather than emotion, to make an argument. Having been raised by a religious family I can understand what it feels like to struggle with these concepts – and I respect that it can be very difficult to do so... however, what we've just seen in this video is a person who has simply decided to ignore the discomfort of dealing with their own conflicts over the issue – she would rather just charge blindly ahead. So sad.

    May 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Ben

      You have hit the nail precisely on the head.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  50. ALorch

    Bless Her Heart!!!!!!!!!!!! I bet you she doesn't even have a clue who in the world Anderson Cooper is. Her ignorance has just been displayed all over the world and I hope she feels like the moron that she sounded like! When he asked her about what if it was Jews that were going to be put behind and electric fence, she said they wouldn't really do that.....He had to remind her of the Holocaust. Ignorant!!! I am thinking long and hard about going up there Sunday. Do you know how ashamed I am to have gone to that church as a child?!?!?! It's right in our back yards people! Right off the front porch!

    May 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • NQRY

      Wait, who has their front porch in the backyard? I'm confused.

      May 25, 2012 at 4:25 am |
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