By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com May 04 2012 8:11 PM ET
The full hour-length sermon of North Carolina Baptist preacher Sean Harris was released Friday, and it shows him not only urging violence toward children, but also telling congregants to take to the polls to ban marriage rights from the state's gays.
In recent interviews, Harris claimed his sermon actually displayed compassion for gays and lesbians if seen in full instead of in the snippet that spread online. The full video seems to belie that, and it shows him diving fully into a political issue from the pulpit.
"Your failure to exercise your duty could result in the defeat of [the antigay ballot initiative Amendment One]," he told the church on Sunday. "My objection this morning is to so motivate you that you will make it your priority to register and cast a ballot in the next eight days and if you have not registered it is not too late."
Harris also warns his congregation at the tax-exempt Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville that they could be forced to pay health insurance to same-sex partners if they don't constitutionally ban gay marriage through the proposed Amendment One. Voters go to polls on Tuesday.
His diatribe against gays goes on for an hour — the typical speech about Adam and Eve and one man, one woman takes up a chunk of it — with him advocating punching and attacking effeminate toddlers and forcing "butch" girls to soften up by dressing nicely.
Harris goes on a tirade against transgender people, laughing with the congregation at the possibility anyone could need gender reassignment surgery.
"God designed you to be a female before you were even created," he says. "God knew you and ordained that you would be a male or that you would be a female, and anytime you indicate gender dissatisfaction you are sinning toward God."
Then Harris condemned any church that welcomed trans people in its congregation.
"Transgender operations are an affront to God, they are an affront to God," he said. "And yet we have evangelical churches — and we use that term extremely loose this morning — who in fact have people in their congregations who were born females, and now have done whatever it takes to present themselves as males. That is an affront to God. Men ought to act like men. And women ought to act like women. Living out gender distinctions glorifies God."
Harris later apologized this week for "offending" the LGBT community but said he still thinks gay people are going to hell. "However, I do not apologize for the manner in which the Word of God articulates sexual immorality, including homosexuality," he told the media.