Protests surround pastor's controversial sermon

May 6, 2012 4:03:09 PM PDT
The Fayetteville pastor who sparked controversy around the country for his comment on gay children was back in the pulpit Sunday.

Last week, Rev. Sean Harris, of Berean Baptist Church, told his congregation to punch children if they showed signs of being gay.

"Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and you crack that wrist! Man up! Give him a good punch," Harris said.

The comment was taken from a longer message in support of Amendment One.

Click here to watch the entire sermon.

Since the sermon, the pastor has issued a retraction, but has also received backlash from all across the country.

Click here to read the retraction.

"We've received a lot of hate mail, via emails threatening and calling us profane names," church spokesperson Christi Lowe said. "We've had several phone calls from people basically who've remained anonymous who said they're going to burn our church down or they are going to come here and get us all."

Protesters took to the streets near the Fayetteville church Sunday morning to show their disapproval.

"I think we need to send a very strong message to people like Harris that his attitude, and words, and actions are intolerable, and just plain unfoundable," protester Rabbi Abraham Benzion Jernigan said.

Amidst the protests, Harris gave a response to his supporters in his Sunday message.

"You've been kind, you've been merciful, you've been awesome," Harris said.

The congregation at Berean Baptist said it is standing by their pastor.

"It's sad that when you speak the truth, you have to apologize for it," said church member James Battie.

Meanwhile, Harris maintains that his message was taken out of context.

"First and foremost, that was a vote for marriage sermon. It's being billed as an anti-gay sermon, but that's a mischaracterization of the sermon," Harris said.

This was Harris' last sermon to his congregation before voters take to the polls Tuesday to decide the controversial marriage amendment.

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