Last night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on The Last Word both took on the case of North Carolina Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church, who had suggested constructing a genocide-like concentration camp into which all gay people would be airlifted and dropped until they all die out.
Anderson Cooper interviewed Rev. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, who said Pastor Worley’s words were both un-Christian and un-American, and that he had disrespected the Bible and the Constitution:
In one fell swoop this angry minister managed to discredit from his pulpit, both the Constitution of the United States and the compassion that we find in the Bible, and additionally, he did a very dangerous thing by planting seeds of hatred in sick minds that in the right circumstances can act on them and do the kind of violence that has no place in our world.
Martin Bashir also took on Pastor Worley.
His guest, Anthea Butler, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at University of Pennsylvania said there’s no justification for any of these religious attacks. Bashir opened with clips of three North Carolina pastors who have been highlighted for preaching anti-gay hate, then showed Pastor Worley.
Butler says that the Christianity of the 21st century that allows those who are different to be vilified “is just wrong.”
Bashir, also took to task the parishioners, asking why they are always so “docile, when surely they should be challenging this kind of preaching.”
Butler insisted that there is a line between civil rights and religion, and what to do if a person of faith doesn’t understand that:
I would say we need to sit down and look at scriptures together. Just as much as they say there is not a biblical justification for [same-sex marriage], people on the other side can make the justification from scripture. The problem about this is they are conflating two issues. One is a civil right and the other is what is their religious right and everybody interprets scripture a different way. So I think what we have to do is stop allowing people to come on TV and quote scriptures all the time and say that’s it, God settles it. If they don’t know the different between an errant, literal and infallible means, they shouldn’t be talking about it.
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