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Op-Ed: Pastor Sean Harris, remember his name

By Erin P. Capuano     May 4, 2012 in Politics
Fayetteville - Pastor Sean Harris of North Carolina makes news regarding his remarks advocating abuse by parents of children who exhibit homosexual tendencies. His sermon was in reference to the Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage in N.C.
Pastor Sean Harris, of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C. has been in the news a lot lately not for his work with the homeless or his sermons on, love thy neighbor and help the sick and poor. No, Pastor Sean Harris in the news because of a sermon he gave on Sunday May 1st to his congregation on homosexuality and what parents should do if they believe their child is going down the path to being a gay or lesbian. During one part of the lecture he instructs fathers who "see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist." Harris also said that gay tendencies in young children should be "squashed like a cockroach" and if the parents see their sons acting like girls, fathers should "give them a good punch. When your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in, you're going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl, and that means you're going to be beautiful and you're going to be attractive and you're going to dress yourself up." Even with all of this on video and the evidence of what he said overwhelming his apology, or lack thereof was defending himself stating that he did not advocate abusing children or using physical punishment on your children. Pastor Harris told the Fayetteville Observer newspaper on Tuesday that he "would never ever advocate" hitting a child. "If I had to say it again, I would say it differently, no doubt," Harris said. "Those weren't planned words, but what I do stand by is that the word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I'm not going to compromise on that."
Right now in North Carolina there is the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment that will appear on the May 8, 2012 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would define marriage in the state constitution as between one man and one woman, and would ban any other type of "domestic legal union" such as civil unions and domestic partnerships ( Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina and all this amendment would do is add a ban to the state constitution, the GOP picking another fight with a minority group instead of addressing the real issues of the country and states like the economy. The ideological fights just like this one continue you on in other states as well but this one has been most prominent for it's outright discrimination against the LGBT community. Pastor Harris made his inflammatory comments during a sermon that was addressing this exact amendment in the hopes of getting his congregation to vote for it.
The language that the voters will see on the ballot reads as follows: Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State (
Constitutional Changes would amend Article 14 of the N.C. Constitution: [i]Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts[/i]
This echos the same sentiments going on in the state of Missouri however in this instance they are trying to erase homosexuality from reality completely. HB2051, or the Don't Say Gay Bill as it's called in mainstream media, would "prohibit the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction" (South County Times). This ballot aside from being bigoted would further fuel the anti-gay bullying that occurs in schools and banning the discussion in extracurricular activities would see more than 80 Gay Straight Alliances closed down in the schools further alienating LGBT youth. It also raises the question of the students First Amendment Rights their right to gather and discuss topics that are important to them without fear of retaliation or prosecution. This would also make it illegal for a teacher to council a student who is being bullied for being gay or lesbian or suspected of being LGBT. For a political party that is so amped on the constitution they tend to no little if anything about it and try very hard to take those rights away from the citizens of this country. Vic Lenz, Lindbergh School Board member and the president of the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA), said he was a little surprised that legislators have time for a bill like HB2051, when they seem unable to come to an agreement on a school funding bill for the state as the end of this session of the legislature nears.
Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst (R), a co-sponsor of the bill was quoted in Huffington Post as saying of school curriculum, "there is no need to talk about Billy wanting to marry a goat." These types of bigoted comments have been floating around for decades by people who constantly want to link homosexuality with bestiality, polygamy, and anything else they deem outside the norm or immoral. Two consenting adults who love one another and want to be committed to one another is nothing like having sex with an animal or taking on multiple wives or husbands and bearing 20 children it's a ridiculous and obscene argument by very ignorant people.
Social issues are taking a front and center role in this year's elections and my suspicions are that the Republican party cannot run on the economy since they ran it into the ground with George W. Bush and now that President Barack Obama is seeing better economic numbers due to his work their only alternative is to go back to the social issues. The War on Women and the continued War against the LGBT community has shown to be overwhelmingly unpopular in the country. According to a Gallop Poll in 2011 53% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by law with the same rights as marriage between a man and a woman or heterosexual marriage this is up from 44% when polled the year before. The trend is towards acceptance the American people realize that the real fight isn't about social issues it's about economic prosperity, growth, bringing jobs to the U.S. becoming a country that exports products again, made in America. The polls time and time again show this trend upward in favor with many Catholics favoring gay marriage and now with the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) many are seeing that the fake fear of our military crumbling because of it was just more fear mongering by hate filled ignorant politicians.
Throughout history there have been groups that have been discriminated against and held back from making strides in government and society and throughout history there have been people, citizens willing to stand up and fight for what's right. The epidemic of bullying isn't something that can be ignored any longer and the adult LGBT community is standing up for it's youth to ensure their safety when they are in and out of school. Their homes and their schools should be safe places for them and our country has failed them in that respect they are unable to feel safe at school and sometimes even at home. The church has turned their back on them, their parents have disowned them and now teachers won't even be able to protect them. What that says to our youth is that we don't care about you, we don't care about what happens to you and when you are being bullied or abused we won't be here to help. Denying that LGBT activists and icons in history exists will not make Gays and Lesbians disappear denying science and denying history will not "save" people from what you feel is evil it will only empower them to search for more answers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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