Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Is it an insult to claim Sean Harris is a liar?

Sean Harris, pastor of the Berean Baptist Church of Fayettesville NC, is being oppressed by queers and liberals, including, I guess, me.

Harris was caught on video ranting about effeminate sons and urging any father of such a boy to “give him a good punch.” The Jesus whom Sean Harris follows would seem to be a manly man who advocates violence.


See a screenshot of the full retraction
(in case Harris retracts his lying retraction)
I’d heard about Harris’s egregious advocacy of gay bashing from his pulpit, but it was only today that I found out that Harris, in addition to thinking queer kids just need a punch or two to get straightened out, is a liar.

Lawrence O’Donnell calls Sean Harris out on this in a fun segment you can watch on YouTube. Harris has the audacity in his official retraction to say, “I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or pscyhologically) in any form or fashion.” As O’Donnell points out, that’s not only a lie, but it’s a stupid one, easily disproven.

I googled Berean Baptist Church because I wanted to contact Harris about his lie. They’ve taken down their Contact Us page, but the Internet Archive still has a cache of it.

I called and left Harris a message saying that he should be ashamed both for having advocated violence against queer kids and for lying about having done so. I gave my real name and phone number, did not use any profanity and kept my message brief. I probably shouldn’t have bothered because it will just add to Harris’s growing sense of being oppressed.

I also sent an email to everyone listed on BBC’s now-defunct contact page. I got an automated reply from Harris with a link to an important clarification, in which Harris claims, “My words, from Sunday morning’s sermon, about effeminate behavior in children are being completely taken out of context by those in the LGBT community. (Nearly every article is misquoting me.)”

Sorry, dude, but you’re on video saying that fathers should punch their effeminate sons, and you posted on your own blog that you never suggested children should be punched. Try to put that in context if you want, but those are not “misquotes.”

I also got a personal reply from Bill Sturm, a colleague of Harris’s, asking me “to pray for him instead of mass emailing insult.” Apparently Pastor Bill thinks that if I call out his colleague as a liar, that I’m insulting him.

Here’s the email exchange in case you want to see whether I insulted Sean Harris:

Date: 05/05/2012 9:26 AM
Subject: Don't punch your kids, gay or straight
From: David Lauri <david@davidlauri.com>
To: dpidkaminy.bbc@gmail.com, twoosley.bbc@gmail.com, tjoiner.bbc@gmail.com, ckerr.bbc@gmail.com, swilson.bbc@gmail.com, jdrullard.bbc@gmail.com, dcsmith.bbc@gmail.com, afarmer.bbc@gmail.com, sharris.bbc@gmail.com, dharris.bbc@gmail.com, bsturm.bbc@gmail.com, jandrews.bbc@gmail.com, jbrunson.bbc@gmail.com, pbrutout.bbc@gmail.com, thecafe.bbc@gmail.com, cwixson.bbc@gmail.com

Your pastor is a liar. He said that he never advocated violence against LGBT kids. God knows otherwise, and so do we because what your pastor said was caught on video. He can apologize if he wants, but to deny that he advocated fathers punching their effeminate sons is a lie. Doesn't the Bible teach us not to bear false witness?

Date: 05/05/2012 9:51 AM
Subject: Re: Don't punch your kids, gay or straight
From: Bill Sturm <bsturm.bbc@gmail.com>
To: David Lauri <david@davidlauri.com>

David,
We are not in favor of child abuse and Pastor Sean is imperfect. I ask you to pray for him instead of mass emailing insult.

Thank you, sincerely, for your feedback. Please enjoy your Saturday.

Pastor Bill

Date: 05/05/2012 9:54 AM
Subject: Re: Don't punch your kids, gay or straight
From: David Lauri <david@davidlauri.com>
To: dpidkaminy.bbc@gmail.com, twoosley.bbc@gmail.com, tjoiner.bbc@gmail.com, ckerr.bbc@gmail.com, swilson.bbc@gmail.com, jdrullard.bbc@gmail.com, dcsmith.bbc@gmail.com, afarmer.bbc@gmail.com, sharris.bbc@gmail.com, dharris.bbc@gmail.com, bsturm.bbc@gmail.com, jandrews.bbc@gmail.com, jbrunson.bbc@gmail.com, pbrutout.bbc@gmail.com, thecafe.bbc@gmail.com, cwixson.bbc@gmail.com

Could you please point out what I said that you think was an insult?

Your pastor said, and it's on video, that fathers should punch their effeminate sons, and then your pastor said that he never advocated violence against LGBT kids. That's a lie. Sure, your pastor, as are we all, is imperfect, but to lie about what he did makes his apology suspect.

Date: 05/05/2012 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: Don't punch your kids, gay or straight
From: Bill Sturm <bsturm.bbc@gmail.com>
To: David Lauri <david@davidlauri.com>, dpidkaminy.bbc@gmail.com, twoosley.bbc@gmail.com, tjoiner.bbc@gmail.com, ckerr.bbc@gmail.com, swilson.bbc@gmail.com, jdrullard.bbc@gmail.com, dcsmith.bbc@gmail.com, afarmer.bbc@gmail.com, sharris.bbc@gmail.com, dharris.bbc@gmail.com, bsturm.bbc@gmail.com, jandrews.bbc@gmail.com, jbrunson.bbc@gmail.com, pbrutout.bbc@gmail.com, thecafe.bbc@gmail.com, cwixson.bbc@gmail.com

David,
Thank you for your reply. Whether you agree that our pastor is lying throughout his apology is a judgment of yours. I pray God softens your heart toward us and our pastor.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Pastor Bill

Date: 05/05/2012 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: Don't punch your kids, gay or straight
From: David Lauri <david@davidlauri.com>
To: dpidkaminy.bbc@gmail.com, twoosley.bbc@gmail.com, tjoiner.bbc@gmail.com, ckerr.bbc@gmail.com, swilson.bbc@gmail.com, jdrullard.bbc@gmail.com, dcsmith.bbc@gmail.com, afarmer.bbc@gmail.com, sharris.bbc@gmail.com, dharris.bbc@gmail.com, bsturm.bbc@gmail.com, jandrews.bbc@gmail.com, jbrunson.bbc@gmail.com, pbrutout.bbc@gmail.com, thecafe.bbc@gmail.com, cwixson.bbc@gmail.com

Did I say that he was "lying throughout his apology"? I said that he lied about never having advocated violence against LGBT kids.

Sean Harris said in his apology, "I have never suggested children or those in the LGBT lifestyle should be beaten, punched, abused (physically or pscyhologically) in any form or fashion." He's recorded on video as having said, "Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up! Give him a good punch." He can apologize for having advocated that fathers punch their effeminate sons, but to deny that he said fathers should do so is a lie and therefore diminishes his apology.

I pray that you see that your pastor has indeed advocated violence against children and that you will take action to firmly and unequivocally disavow such actions.

 
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