To The Rest of America from North Carolina

I’m motivated. Motivated by the need to explain to the other 49 states in America that not everyone in North Carolina subscribes to the thinking of the most recent examples.

Unlike Jodie Brunstetter, the wife of Republican North Carolina state senator Peter Brunstetter, not all of us believe that the only way to save the Caucasians (we’re in danger? I didn’t know) requires the repression of equal rights for the LGBT community.

Unlike Pastor Sean Harris of Fayetteville– my Army-Brat-approved hometown– we don’t all advocate beating the gay out of our children.

It’s important, The Rest of America, that you understand that many of us consider ourselves native North Carolinians– and we don’t believe this way.

Just once– JUST ONCE– I would like to see my hometown/state in the news for something not related to crime and/or redneck bigots*. Which requires the law-abiding non-redneck bigot voice to speak louder.

*Note: Not all rednecks are bigots; not all bigots are rednecks. Conversely, redneck bigots exist outside of the South. Case in point, Pastor Harris was born in Massachusetts, so damnit, NC doesn’t have to take all the blame for him.

My Loud Voice:
I grew up in Fayetteville. My childhood home located less than a quarter mile from this church; I spent 5 years at the public school next door to Berean Baptist. I’ve watched it grow from a smallish church with some modular buildings to a mega church looming on a busy corner. The proximity of this place to my childhood memories makes me feel queasy and unsettled.

Dear Pastor Harris,

I spent most of last night listening to your sermons–many of them, not just the notorious one; I read all of your blog posts. I read your church’s Articles of Faith, and your Constitution (though navigating to it today proves difficult, glad I PDFed that sucker).

I found very little reason and logic, but one bit of good advice:– that a person has to explore the before and after of an event to truly understand the context. Of course, you were talking about verses in the bible, and I’m talking about your personal world view.

I understand the over-reach of political correctness is often a minefield. But–really, the blind guy doesn’t care, because he didn’t the spit coming? Gah, this made me feel icky.

He [referring to Jesus] pulls him [the blind man] out of town. He is not trying to have a big show of healing people in this town. He’s going to take care of this man, grabs him, leads him out of town, spits on his eyes. Gross! Right?

Moreover, if you are blind, it is not quite as big a deal.

It is not like you saw it coming.

Because of my time spent in your head— and listening to your words, reading your thoughts–provided me with a most unsettling glimpse– I’m 100% confident that not there wasn’t one iota hyperbole in the April 29th sermon. And I listened to the whole thing– all 54 minutes. A few times.

Even now I’m listening,– helps me focus– and I must say, dude, your micro-expressions and body language conflict with the words coming out of your mouth. In those moments when you start speaking of homosexuality, I find myself hearing the vehement hatred in your words, in your tone of voice, and watching the exponential increase of hand-flapping. That level of…is it self-directed hatred Pastor Harris? It’s hard, I imagine, to feel such loathing without personal experience.

I have complete faith in your belief that a parent can beat the gay out of their children. Who was it that beat the gay out of you?

Was it the pastor that “dealt” with you so very long ago?

I must admit, Pastor Harris, that when considering everything in context, that I find myself thinking that yes, you drove around Fayetteville lusting (your words, not mine)– but that it wasn’t females stirring your holy pole.

You, Sir, both moron and bigot, embody the perfect example of the supporters of this marriage amendment. I sat astonished at your bastardization of statistical facts and the absurdity fueling your political rhetoric. Around the 36 minute mark when you manage to draw a correlation between the closure of NC textile mills with the rampant procreation in the Malaysia? All for support of why we cannot allow gay marriage– because there will be no more children to be exploited in textile factories?

Oh my– priceless.

Though I am a bit perplexed at how you are registering folks (see minute 3:38, “not too late. you can get a voter registration form this morning”) to vote and maintaining your tax exempt provisions?

I’m also confused why y’all refer to yourselves as a corporation, yet don’t pay property taxes?

But, back to the point at hand:

A large part of me would like very much to “squash like a cockroach”– oh, you SO weren’t joking when you said that– the straight out of you. However, I payed a teeny tiny bit of attention during biology– so I understand that’s just an excuse for violence against something that disgusts me. That disgust, by the way– all for you.

Of course, you seem to believe that a person chooses homosexuality. According to you, this fact stems from the studies (not cited) of differing sexual preference between identical twins. Because if homosexuality were genetic, then both twins would be gay. Um, you do understand that for the first 6 weeks of gestation all fetuses are females, right? And while identical twins start from the same egg, that there is a lot of really complicated stuff that happens afterwards? Otherwise we’d all be born with tails?

Just saying.

You spend some time talking about the sin of stealing and correlating that to homosexuality. Because they are ALL SINS.

I admit I’m pretty hazy on many parts of the bible– something for which I thank my parents for every single day– but I’m reasonably certain that lying is one of those sin things y’all talk about.

On Wednesday, Harris said he regrets his choice of words and doesn’t advocate hitting children.

So, Pastor Harris, if you don’t support hitting children could you address the verbiage in your church’s constitution and articles of faith?

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To The Rest of America from North Carolina by Scattermom, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  • Chuck Holloway

    Outstanding Article Stephanie … simply outstanding!

    • Scattermom

      Thanks Chuck! High praise, indeed. :D

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  • T-Mama

    Very well stated, and very well researched. I do not have the stomach to read or listen to this beast for more than a few minutes at a time, but I am glad that you did. My hope is that this guy is so far out there that he will actually help steer some people (those who haven’t decided which way to vote yet and could go either way) to vote against this ridiculous amendment.

    Don’t get me started on how the IRS handles the financial records of “churches”. Or, I should say, how they DON’T handle them.

    “In those moments when you start speaking of homosexuality, I find myself hearing the vehement hatred in your words, in your tone of voice, and watching the exponential increase of hand-flapping. That level of…is it self-directed hatred Pastor Harris? It’s hard, I imagine, to feel such loathing without personal experience.

    I have complete faith in your belief that a parent can beat the gay out of their children. Who was it that beat the gay out of you?”

    Bingo! Brilliant observation. One can only hate relative to the level of love that one once felt. Perhaps one can only travel to the extreme side of a spectrum if they’ve been to the other side. Just my $.02 :-)

    Well done. It’s upsetting to me to know this person just from the internet. I cannot imagine what it must be like to actually drive by the building and know what goes on inside. I shudder for you.

  • Steve

    These are some of the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, also known as sociopathy:

    *Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
    *Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations
    *Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence
    *Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment
    *Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society
    *Deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
    *Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

    Sound familiar? Fits him perfectly. The reason why he doesn’t show any empathy is because he is incapable of it. Political, corporate and religious leadership are one of the few fields where sociopathic behavior is really rewarded. It’s no wonder so many megachurch pastors are afflicted with it.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.com Andrea

    Sigh. I can’t even stomach this individual who I won’t respect enough to call a man.

    When I read your post I felt so sad. And then my eyes widened about the story of his own “straightening” – for lack of a better word. Damn. Is this why he’s so fired up? Wow. What a freakin’ mess.

    NC is so much better than this. So much better than these people who show up on the news as what represents this state. After all, that’s why so many peeps like me relocated here!