Many parents in Kings Mountain, North Carolina are outraged after a local pastor spoke at Kings Mountain High School’s annual baccalaureate service and told students in the audience that they would go to hell for being homosexuals.
According to local TV station WBTV, the pastor was invited to lead the service, which is not sponsored by the school, but it is held on school property and is very much religious in nature. This isn’t unheard of in much of the Bible Belt where the separation of church and state is often ignored and written off as an intrusion by “godless liberal atheists” and the federal government.
The pastor in question, Scott Carpenter of the local Temple Baptist Church took it upon himself to veer off the already religious message and go straight to condemning the LGBT community, which he claims it is his duty to do.
“Do I hate anybody? Absolutely not. I just love them too much not to tell them the truth,” Carpenter said.
But what Carpenter calls truth, is being summed up as something else to Kings Mountain parent, Chuck Wilson.
“This is bullying. Bullying doesn’t have to happen from the back hallway of a school or a back parking lot. It can happen from the pulpit, it can happen from the stage,” Wilson said. (Source)
First of all, why are religious services being held on public school property? Can you imagine the outrage from the same people who thought it was a good idea to have a Baptist pastor preach to students if a Muslim cleric or a Wiccan group had a service in the school auditorium? They would be up in arms and screaming on Fox News about how the principles they think America was founded on are under attack, and demanding a return to traditional America values, a code phrase which really means a return to a time when only white, heterosexual Christians had rights – and everyone else was a second-class citizen.
I wouldn’t think it would be a violation of church and state if he gave an address that didn’t touch on religious beliefs or bigotry, but this is utterly ridiculous and completely over the line. Having lived in the Bible Belt all of my life so far, I can tell you that far too often, the separation of church and state is taken as seriously as “No Littering” signs or the USDA’s food pyramid.
As for the pastor involved, he isn’t apologizing or denying the accusations.
“Nobody got bashed or anything. All I did was simply speak biblical truth… The number one audience that I have to please is God,” Carpenter said.
The service was held on campus and Cleveland County Schools tells WBTV that was their only involvement in it. They say they had no part in the selection of speakers, which was left up to religious leaders in the community.
The service was optional for students but Wilson says that doesn’t matter.
“It was just simply an inappropriate topic for a baccalaureate service,” Wilson said.
“Was I trying to be mean spirited? Absolutely not. Was I trying to hurt somebody’s feelings? Absolutely not. I was simply had to do what I had to do as a Christian minister,” Carpenter said.(Source)
It’s bad enough when LGBT kids are bullied at school by their peers; it’s even worse when you add hateful adults to the equation who are using religion to torment and persecute them further. You can let the Cleveland County School Board know how you feel about their decision to allow religious events on school property by clicking here for their contact information. Keep it polite and professional, please.
Watch the video from WBTV below:
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