Pastor Sean Harris

In today’s horrific homophobic bigot news, a North Carolina pastor named Sean Harris told the parents in his congregation that they are “authorized” to punch their sons and break their children’s bones if those kids act gay.

He said it in support of Amendment 1, an anti-gay measure in the state that would define marriage as between one man and one woman and would disallow civil unions and domestic partnerships.

In the audio, which you can listen to here, Harris sounds like a raving lunatic. He’s screaming, he’s shrieking, and he comes across as downright demented — because he is. How else can you describe a grown man encouraging a room full of people to physically abuse children?

Here’s the transcript of what he said:

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting to Butch you reign her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”

You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent?” Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to do that.”

So I don’t care what religion you are, there’s no excuse. In addition to the children who will now be physically beaten at home because this fuckwad told their parents it was God’s will, people like Harris are the reason that children learn to bully their classmates who are different. They contribute to the epidemic of gay kids killing themselves rather than living in a society that espouses such hateful vitriol against them.

Yes, this man will wind up on the wrong side of history — obviously. But in the meantime, he’s out there doing a terrifying amount of damage. And I’m not sure what’s scarier — Harris’ rant itself, or the fact that there are people out there cheering him on.