Greensburg Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church Defends Itself
8:56 AM, May 31, 2012
Editor's Note: The video associated with this story contains language some may consider offensive.
As video shot in an Indiana church in which a young boy sings "Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven," spreads like wildfire on the Internet, the fallout continues to build.According to a TMZ report, members of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church said they have been flooded with death threats and have undertaken security measures.TMZ also said that a church member told them that Pastor Jeff Sangl and his wife left for vacation without telling anyone where they were going.In the video, adults in the crowd laughed and cheered after the boy sang, "The Bible is right, somebody's wrong. Romans 1 and 27, ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven."A man is later heard shouting, "That's my boy."A video of the performance originally posted anonymously on YouTube was distributed among gay rights groups and websites, quickly going viral.RTV6 went to Sangl's home Wednesday. A woman who did not identify herself approached and said he would be out of town for the next couple of days. The parking lot of the church was empty and the doors were locked.The story went global on Wednesday, running in the New York Daily News, Huffington Post and numerous other news outlets, eliciting strong reactions, mostly in opposition of the message and how a child who appears to be no older than 4 delivered it."No matter what beliefs you hold, teaching this child to sing a song condemning someone for their sexual practices was incredibly rude and hurtful and inappropriate, verging on child abuse," said "Trensota" in the comment section of TheIndyChannel.com.Others defended the church, its parishioners and the child."I think the church has the right to do in their confines to express their views, just as gays have a right to do as they wish in their bedrooms and openly in public," said commenter Jim Cunningham. "The song says nothing about hate. It just says that gays cannot go to heaven, as it states in their Christian Bible."Annette Gross, of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said the video is indicative that hate is taught and that tolerance is a goal not yet achieved."These children are going to grow up not understanding what it's like to be something, somebody different than themselves," Gross said.The church's Facebook page, which had been filled without thousands of complaints, was taken down. On its website, the church posted the following statement:"The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives," the statement read. "We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture."