Sunday Protest Set at Berean Baptist by MASH Fort Bragg Group
Comments that have sparked national attention draw in local protestors.
Last week, local pastor, Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church spoke from the pulpit on the North Carolina's proposed Amendment 1 from the support angle, interjecting his own stance, offending many.
He started an uprising that caught the attention of national media sources when he commented to the congregation that if their child exhibits gay behaviors that as a parent they should "punch boys with limp wrists" and urged parents of girls who are "acting too butch" to make them "walk like a girl and talk like a girl, and smell like a girl." After negative media attention he later retracted the remarks publicly and on the church's website apologizing to anyone he "unintentionally offended."
An interfaith effort comprised of both Christians and non-Christians is thought to be in the works in this normally polarized military town. The Fayetteville Police Department has granted the Military Atheists & Secular Humanists of Fort Bragg (MASH Fort Bragg) a permit to protest near the Berean Baptist Church.
The group plans to protest on Sunday, May 6, from 9a.m. to noon. Fayetteville Police Department have estimated that attendance will be 500-600 people.
"We’re all on the same team here. The issue is child abuse, not ‘attacking religion,'" said Justin Griffith, Military Adviser for American Atheists, Inc. "This one interpretation of religion needs to be handled. Our hope is that Sean Harris, and similar bigots are shuffled to the ‘fringe’ of Christianity where they clearly belong. They’ll be good company with their friends at Westboro Baptist Church. Several like-minded Christians have come forward also hoping to implement some real quality control for these extremists."
Organizers stated that transgendered, gay, and lesbian former students of this church’s oppressive school will be in attendance.