This kind of talk is a stain on religion, in this case Christianity specifically. A lot of people already associate religion with backwards thinking, small/close-mindedness, and the like. This incident greatly exacerbates this problem. not only this, but there are unfortunately people who will hear the message Harris was sending, and act on it. Children will be abused because their parents may merely think they may end up gay (regardless of the child's actual sexual orientation). Children are some of the most defenseless people in society. If their own parents start abusing them, what recourse will they have.
To make matters even worse, the pastor gave a half-assed "apology." He "apologized" for the words, but not the intent. Your classic non-apology that tends to come after someone says something homophobic. There is no doubt in my mind that he meant every word he said during that sermon. When you take the way that the original message was given (he was passionately shouting) and compare that to the "apology," the insincerity is obvious. While there have been a handful of conservative/religious figures that have condemned the pastor's sermon, most seem to be silent (and thus complicit in whatever people take heed to what the pastor said).
It's no wonder so many people make a point to stay away from organized religion. Even I (a Christian) can't blame them. So far as I'm concerned, anyone who advocates for violence against children in this fashion is no true Christian.
Now for something good out of North Carolina (it seems like ALL of my attention has been focused on this state this week). A group of junior high students made a trip to UNC-Chapel Hill to drum up some support in the fight against Amendment One. I mentioned this story in yesterday's Wrap-Up, but if you haven't seen the article, you can find it HERE. It is truly heartening to see kids that are willing to stand up and fight for the rights of others. Some these kids have family members who are gay, some have friends who are gay, and some are just decent people doing the right thing. I'm so glad that the next generation is making their voices heard.
To go along with that, groups of university students from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke are mobilizing their fellow students to vote against this measure, especially early voting since school will be out by the actual Election Day. Here is a video about their efforts:
And lastly on the Amendment One/student front, over half of the students in the Campbell University School of Law (a conservative Baptist university) signed a resolution denouncing Amendment One, even though the school's official stance is for the amendment. This all demonstrates the fact that there is a huge generational shift taking place on the issue of marriage equality, which is of course not news. What will be news, one way or another, is whether or not that shift has thus far been enough to tip the scales at the polls in favour of marriage equality.
Make sure you are all spreading the word to friends in North Carolina about the harm that will be caused if this amendment passes.
Also, Happy Cinco de Mayo.