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 (MASH Fort Bragg) a permit to protest near the .

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.

Mark Rowden May 05, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Pastor Harris should be praised for his bold stance in scripture. People get so bent out of shape over things. If America don't stop allowing such ungodliness to go unchallenged, we'll find our nation like Sodom. We forget the Bible says "spare the rod, spoil the child"
erica clark May 05, 2012 at 10:12 AM
You must be kidding. Pastor Harris and those who support him are sinners of the lowest form and do NOT represent us "good Christians". These neanderthals who promote hatred and violence in the name of God surely will not be going to heaven. Demonstration today should bring more global attention to these criminals who promote violence toward children. Shame on you, Mark!
erica clark May 05, 2012 at 10:19 AM
And yes people do get "bent out of shape" when the Church advocates violence toward children then lies to cover it up. People get bent out of shape when people use God to promote hatred and people get even more bent out of shape to know there are people low enough to support this type of thinking and call themselves Christians!
Charlie Charles May 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM
YOU FAUX CHRISTIANS NEED TO CRACK A BIBLE ONCE: Pro 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Pro 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Charlie Charles May 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM
GOD HATES FAGS, Jesus said if your eye offend you better to pluck it out and enter heaven with one eye rather than enter hell with both. and you whiney faggots call disciplining your brats ''violence'' sthu
Pat Quarry May 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Actually, the Bible doesn't say "spare the rod, spoil the child." Ben Franklin said that in "Poor Richard's Almanac." Idiot.
Justin Griffith May 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Pastor Harris has 'boldly' distanced himself from his comments, 'triumphantly' saying that he was only joking. We know from experience within our group that this man screams at people with vile hatred, recently for 2 hours straight at the Dogwood festival. If you want to stop letting atheist groups like us get the EASY 'moral high ground' victory, you need to shed this hatred. So many other Christian groups are right there WITH us on this one. You're now the fringe, but that's a recent development. So we're all still angry. In a few years, you'll simply be the laughing stock you deserve to be, just like your buddies at the Westboro Baptist Church.
Justin Griffith May 05, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Do you beat your children with a rod, or in any other manner?
priscilla parker May 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Oh we do Charlie. Proverbs 20:30 "Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts." You believe your God sent his only son to be chastised for our transgressions I presume. You belief that sacrifice of life, whether it be of animals or humans, is the method which your God chose to cleanse his own creation from falling short of his standards even though he was the creator. Perhaps, sir, instead of instructing others to crack open a book that relays such a message, you should close the book. Physical abuse, whether of children or women or animals or even men, is not something that should be taught or tolerated and neither should the individuals who perpetuate such ideas.
Ivana Westin May 05, 2012 at 08:59 PM
You are another excellent example of the "christian morals" Mark Rowden. But be aware that humanists and atheists will not accept advocating child abuse in any form any longer.
Mriana May 06, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I think we should thank and support MASH, fine military officers, for protesting Harris' remarks on child abuse and harm to others. I personally think it is a wonderful thing they are doing and they are doing it peacefully. IMHO, it does not matter what excuse one makes concerning abusing a child- abuse is abuse. It does not matter the excuse for hurting anyone either. It's all the same, IMO, and I would join the protest if I lived in the area.
lynn james May 06, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Give the man a break, people. Sean Harris is only human. Perhaps he didn't choose the best words to get the message across, but you all should be ashamed of yourselves for taking his comments out of context just so you can push your own agenda! If the marriage amendment wasn't on the ballot next week, this wouldn't be an issue.
Kelly Twedell May 06, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Lynn, sorry you are confused - what does the marriage amendment have to do with the protest group? Nothing. They are not tied together. It would be an issue, elections or not, and has sparked an outcry beyond Fayetteville.
romans3_21@live.com May 06, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Actually Ben Franklin didn't say it either. But I can't call you an idiot b/c then I'd be intolerant. Nevetheless, Porverbs 16.24 does say something very similar. And by the way Sean never said he was joking. That was how the Fayetter Observer decided to phrase his words. Nevertheless what has been proved is that when he does apologize it isn't accepted. Why because you cant stand any one to questions your choices. There can be no real dialogue when a man apologizes and people refurse to accept it. God have mercy on us all. WE ALL NEED IT.
romans3_21@live.com May 06, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I guess we see you in the morning. Please don't curse at me like you have all week in the e-mails. By we I mean all of us at Berean Baptist Church and Acdemy who have been called horrible names etc. Your love and tolerance has gone along way. JK
Julie May 06, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I feel sorry for you. You said, God hates fags. Disgusting. Maybe your god and Sean Harris' god hates. My God doesn't.
Julie May 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
And Harris' "love and 'tolerance" has enraged half the country.
Julie May 06, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Mark, you have the right to feel however you want. Half the country sees that Harris is filled with hate for anyone who doesn't conform to his beliefs. Is that "godly"? I read on the berean church's web site that he doesn't care too much for Catholics either. It's sad.
Vince May 06, 2012 at 04:45 PM
My god has a bigger penis than your god....
Vince May 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
..... If he/she were a guy.
Concerned May 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM
In response to Pat Quarry 12:59 pm on Saturday, May 5, 2012 Actually, the Bible doesn't say "spare the rod, spoil the child." Ben Franklin said that in "Poor Richard's Almanac." Idiot. How sad that we have to revert to such childish behavior as name calling and act as children and not as an adult. Although not in the exact words as spare the rod, spoil the child, Proverbs does speak of correcting our children. Prov 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)." Prov 19:18: "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Prov 22:15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Prov 23:13: "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die." Prov 23:14: "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel)." Prov 29:15: "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." Sure Sean Harris, did have poor choice of words,but what kind of example are all these adults showing these children they say they are concerned for. Is violence the answer for violence in wishing him dead. Hope none of you that are wishing that on him ever mess up. Wow, we will have more deaths and more deaths all the time will we not. I thinks our prisons are full enough with violence seekers don't you?
Volleygirl May 06, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I agree with everyone here on saying that child abuse should not be tolerated. I agree that we should not harm others. I agree that child abuse is not a joking matter. That's why I attend Berean Baptist Church! The people of this church DO NOT propose child abuse. We do not hate anyone. My pastor is not afraid to preach the Truth of the Word of Gid. Yes his words could have been better, but when you don't preach from a manuscript and you are very passionate about something, words might come out that aren't the best. I'm sure everyone here has said something they regret. I believe whole-heartedly in what he said and in the point he was trying to make. If you knew our pastor, promoting child abuse is totally against his beliefs and of this church. For the Christians on here saying that they are ashamed of what they think this pastor believes or what you say he is promoting, shame on you. Christians should be rejoicing that a Christian pastor is proclaiming the Truth. More need to do it. Our church stands behind our pastor. This is a loving church. We are called to be tolerantly intolerant. We cannot ignore sin, we hate sin. But we love the sinner. I challenge each and every one of you to listen to the sermon from this morning. If you think that we are haters and child abusers, and "bigots", then I hope that the Holy Spirit of God can turn your heart around. He loves you. God is Sovereign. Our church and our pastor love you. I pray that you will see this.
Concerned May 07, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Well said volleygirl
Concerned May 07, 2012 at 01:32 AM
My daughter also attends Berean and teaches in your school. Praying for the pastor and church.
David W May 07, 2012 at 04:19 AM
A passionate, Godly, pastor preaches truth from God's Word inside the sanctuary of a local church. The congregation hears, understands, and welcomes the message. A vocal and insulting minority, from outside the church and some from outside the community, takes offense at some of this truth - and then begins to exaggerate and take out of context almost everything connected to the "story". This minority group, composed of admitted atheists and alternative lifestyle folks, chooses to focus on allegations that the pastor advocated child abuse. Hummm. The message and 'controversy' spread via modern media and the internet - and suddenly the pastor and staff members of Berean receive hateful email and telephone messages. (The people who demand tolerance are intolerant themselves.) It is very apparent that an ungodly agenda is rampant among this outspoken minority - and I wonder why anyone is really surprised. The main issue of the sermon was the sanctity of marriage, as introduced by God, and it's definition of one man to one woman. At the heart, this is a pretty simple message - except some people who choose to deny the existence of God while demanding that we all accept their own perverse behavior simply will not understand it. Welcome to the fool festival. Psalms 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Sin remains sin in the eyes of God. We will continue to support the pastor and have already voted for the NC marriage amendment. Next 'issue' please.
Peter DeSanto May 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Is that why some of those loving people at your church were calling our "Right!" and "Amen!" just after he said to crack that limp wrist or give him a punch?


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