North Carolina Parents Outraged Over Pastor’s Anti-LGBT Message At High School Baccalaureate Service

Kings Mountain High School

Kings Mountain High School

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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Facebook comments

  • Ellen H.

    A friend’s high school had a Baccalaureate, but it was optional and held at a church. That’s how it should be. If a community wants to hold one, that’s great, but don’t make people go and have it off campus.

    • RedMaij

      Did you mean don’t let them have it on campus? Your intro seems to conflict with your conclusion.

      • Ellen H.

        It says right there after the and–have it off campus. Generally a helping verb only helps the verb it is directly in front of. It isn’t meant to be for both verbs in a compound verb.

      • RedMaij

        Then you are missing a comma. It should say “but don’t make people go, and have it off campus.” I’m not trying to be a grammar nazi – your sentence structure truly made me miss what you meant.

      • Ellen H.

        You don’t put a comma before the and in a compound verb. You only put a comma in from of and if it is in a series or a compound sentence. I just looked it up to be sure.

      • RedMaij

        You must have missed the part about idioms and ambiguity. But if you want to write in such a way that your meaning is unclear, more power to you. I’m sure your 10-second Internet search trumps my years of experience as a newspaper editor. Brava!

  • Gary Menten

    The principal should be fired and the school board dismissed for violation of the student’s First Amendment rights. It’s not gonna happen, of course, but it should.

  • annum004

    Typical christian :/

    • Mark1115

      Says the typical bigot. You are as bad as Scott Carpenter.

      • annum004

        Hmmm… Must be a friend of the Pastor. 🙂

      • Mark1115

        Your vicious speculation only reveals your character.

      • annum004

        Oh, I see you got me pegged!

      • Mark1115

        Atheism is a vicious prejudice, and atheists are equivalent to homophobes and racists. Which is why people who denigrate religion so constantly rely on insults, as you just did.

      • annum004

        Back atcha, buddy.

      • Ellen H.

        Actually some atheists like some Christians are jerks. Just like in any group, you’ll find your share of jerks. I’m a life-long Episcopalian and have at least nine friends that I know are atheists. They respect my views and I respect theirs.

      • Mark1115

        There are some homophobes and racists who can act respectful when necessary, too. That does not mean that racism and homophobia are not prejudices.

        Homophobes routinely claim that they are not prejudiced because they don’t act like Fred Phelps’ did, even though they believe the same things.

      • Ellen H.

        I don’t even consider my atheist friends to be comparable to homophobes or racists. Do you actually know my friends? No, you do not. Also, keep in mind there are some Christians who denigrate people who don’t believe as they do. I’ve had “Christians” tell me I’m going to hell because I go to the wrong church. You can’t just label a group who share a stance by the words and actions of its most vocal members.

      • Mark1115

        “I don’t even consider my atheist friends to be comparable to homophobes or racists.”

        So? There are homophobes and atheists who don’t consider GLBTQ people and people of faith, respectively, to be human. What you, or anyone else, considers is not evidence.

        ” You can’t just label a group who share a stance by the words and actions of its most vocal members.”

        I’m not. Bear in mind, you are use the same argument that homophobes routinely use to argue that they are not prejudice. If a few people manage to be civil in public, it does not mean that the belief is not a prejudice, whether that belief is atheism, homophobia, or racism.

        I am using the actual nature of atheism, its function, its nature, as well as the consistent behavior of atheists across all walks of life.

        Atheism, intrinsically, rejects the testimony of most of humanity about their personal experiences of the Divine, without any evidence to validate that rejection. Atheism asserts that most of humanity is wrong about their own experiences, and is consistently articulated in terms like ‘brainwashed’, ‘recruit’, ‘delusional’. This, by the way, is the same fundamental inhumanity at the heart of homophobia.

        Atheism prejudges most of humanity, without a shred of evidence, telling us that we are wrong. That alone makes it a prejudice, a pre-judgment. And atheism consistently fails to provide any evidence for its own assertion. Most frequently, atheists simply assert that they have no need to prove anything. The problem is, that position is itself dehumanizing, for it completely ignores the perspective of people of faith.

        Atheism is consistently and routinely articulated in all of the same arguments, tactics, language used for homophobia: “those people” are a threat to society, delusional, dangerous, mentally unfit, stupid, ignorant, deceived or deceitful, etc. The purpose of the personally abusive characterizations used by both homophobes and atheists to describe their respective targets is to characterize homosexuals and people of faith respectively as inferior, dangerous, expendable, other, worthless.

        All prejudices are the same basic psycho-social mechanism: denigrate others to make one’s self appear superior in the eyes of one’s peers and to one’s self. Atheism is consistently expressed in this way, so much so, that is the only demonstrable purpose of atheism, just as it is the only demonstrable purpose of homophobia, or racism.

        Sure, you may know some atheists who can be polite in public, I know homophobes and racists who can do so as well. But that superficial act does not change the nature of homophobia, or racism, or atheism.

      • Ellen H.

        You are the type of person who can’t see past your own preconceived notions and realize that not everyone is the same or as you picture them. You are doing exactly what you say atheists do. So, we’re done since you can’t seem to get past your it’s us versus them mentality. I guess I should add it’s people like you that make me glad I was raised the way I was.

      • Mark1115

        Your use of personal attack only reflects poorly on you, Ellen. It demonstrates that you cannot or will not address, much less refute, what I wrote.

        “You are doing exactly what you say atheists do.”

        No, I’m not, you are bearing false witness against me. As a life-long Episcopalian, you should know that it is sin to bear false witness.

        Frankly, your attempt to feed your ego by insulting me raises doubts about your atheists friends and whether they are as decent as you make them out to be.

      • Ellen H.

        I’m not really feeding my ego, but you seem to be feeding yours. I am stating what I have observed not only in my interaction with you but also in your interactions with others. You are basically telling me that my observations of atheists I know personally are wrong. Well, how do you know that? You don’t because you don’t know my friends. I don’t see them as evil. I see them as people who are at a different place in life than I am. They have all had different experiences with Christians or Christianity that either were so horrific or disheartening that they arrived where they are now in their stances. I don’t judge them or berate them. I don’t equate them with racists or homophobes. Now, there are some atheists out there who can be awful people, but there are also Christians out there who can be awful people. I prefer to get to know each person on an individual basis before making a judgement based on just one aspect of that person. I’m more concerned with how they treat others than if they believe the same things I do.

      • Mark1115

        “I’m not really feeding my ego, but you seem to be feeding yours.”

        Of course you are, that is what all the insults are about.

        You are presuming that your observations are accurate, and that is an appeal to your ego.

        ” I don’t see them as evil.”

        But you’ve been explicitly rude and abusive to me, which might explain why you don’t see the intrinsic malice in atheism.

        “I don’t equate them with racists or homophobes.”

        That is your failure then. It does not change the nature of atheism, homophobia, or racism. Again, you are appealing to your ego, not reason, or evidence.

        “I prefer to get to know each person on an individual basis before making a judgement based on just one aspect of that person.”

        That is not what you’ve done here. You’ve slandered and falsely accuse me, several times, without know me at all.

      • Ellen H.

        And you saying my observations aren’t accurate is an appeal to your ego. Let me add that disagreement doesn’t equal insult.

      • Mark1115

        First off, Ellen, you are bearing false witness when you accuse me of saying your observations are not accurate. Of course, that dishonesty on your part does now call into question the accuracy of your observations.

        What I did say what that your observations don’t prove anything. And instead of addressing that, you slandered me.

        “Let me add that disagreement doesn’t equal insult.”

        Nice one, stealing a play from the homophobes. But no one said that disagreement equals insult. You went beyond disagreement. You stated about me “You are the type of person who can’t see past your own preconceived notions”

        That is a vicious attack on my character, completely unfounded. It is sin on your part. You didn’t like my position, obviously, so you attacked my character with a vicious slur.

        And instead of repenting, you are compounding your sin against me.

        The funny thing is, people constantly use insults to try and defend atheism, but since the purpose of an insult, and of a prejudice like atheism, is the same, that tactic does not ever work.

      • Ellen H.

        Wow, just wow. There is no reasoning with you. So am I to accept that you know everything there is to know in the world and know all my friends and what they are like? No, you’re the one with the major ego by telling me that my life experiences are dishonest. I’m sorry you’re so sensitive to any challenge to what you think about people in the world.

      • Mark1115

        Your insults, Ellen, only reflect poorly on you.

        You have not used reason, you’ve used insults, and your extremely limited and not necessarily reliable personal experiences to dismiss my position.

        By being so abusive, Ellen, you only make your self look bad.

        “No, you’re the one with the major ego by telling me that my life experiences are dishonest.”

        No, Ellen. I told you that your repeated lies to me about me call into question the accuracy of your observations. But again, you lie about what I wrote. Since you lie to me about my own words, is it highly likely that you lie about everything else as well.

        I understand that you don’t like the idea that atheism is a prejudice. But your repeated personal attacks on me don’t change a thing. When GLBTQ people first began arguing that homophobia was a prejudice, there were “allies” who claimed to support us, but defended their anti-gay friends, saying that those friends were not prejudiced. So I have heard your “They respect my views” ploy before. It was not convincing when it was used to defend homophobes, and it is not convincing when it is used to defend atheists. Or racists. Or anti-Semites.

        Atheism is a prejudice, it demonstrates the diagnostic qualities found in all other prejudices. Being nasty to me, lying about me to me, Ellen, as you have done – is not going to change that.

      • Ellen H.

        You respond the same way to anyone who disagrees with you slightly. It’s okay for you to tell people they are wrong, but if anyone questions you, we are insulting you. I don’t think you know what an insult is. I am finished with you. I’ve been quite nice compared to other people on here. You need to develop a much thicker skin.

      • Mark1115

        Your derogatory fantasies are not helping you.

        Don’t your realize that your ‘to anyone who disagrees with you slightly’ claim requires you to know about absolutely every single conversation I’ve ever had? And since you cannot have that knowledge, you are simply slandering me to make yourself feel good.

        “but if anyone questions you, we are insulting you.”

        Nice lie. It is not about questioning me – you haven’t asked questions. You’ve repeatedly attack my character with false, degrading assertions.

        “I’ve been quite nice compared to other people on here. ”

        No, you have not.

        ” You need to develop a much thicker skin.”

        No. No one should have to put up with the verbal abuse you dish out.

        Now, you claimed to be “a life-long Episcopalian” and you have sinned against me. I’m asking you, again, to repent of your sins against me.

      • Mark1115

        By the way, the way that you have turned this dialogue into your excuse to revile me, instead of actually discussing the subject (atheism is a vicious prejudice) is itself degrading and vicious.

      • Nathan Aldana

        “I know you are but what am I” is such a thrilling argument.

      • Mark1115

        Since I did not make that argument, you have no reason to be thrilled.

      • RedMaij

        Stop feeding the troll. He’s not good enough at it to be worth the trouble.

      • RedMaij

        Oops. Replied to the wrong comment. I meant that Mark1115 is the troll and to leave him alone.

  • BoiseBoy

    RW Christian at the pearly gates: “Well no, I didn’t help the poor, the ill, or the widows… but I hated the hell out of the gays…”

  • BoiseBoy

    Not all American Christians are hateful and greedy. There are a few good ones who actually follow Jesus, rather than Leviticus. See The Christian Left on Facebook.

  • Mike stearns

    When I graduated in 1968, I did not attend that service because I didn’t feel like listening to that bullshit and I still don’t.