Is Demeaning or Beating a Child Ever Funny?

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Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., has now “apologized” for a delivering a sermon in which he told parents to “punch” their “limp-wristed” sons and force their “butch” daughters to “dress up” and “smell nice” from time to time. However, he claims that his words were meant “in jest.”

That is outrageous, as even the most open-minded and generous viewing of his sermon will quickly reveal. (Click on the link above and see for yourself.)

Having seen the remarkable documentary “Bully” just last night, I couldn’t sit back and swallow his calling this “a joke.” I sent him the following email this afternoon.
Dear Pastor Harris,

I hope this finds you well. I wanted to thank you for the apology you issued with regard to your sermon advocating parents getting strong with kids who don’t conform to your idea of appropriate gender roles. I take you at your word that you did not mean to insult members of the GLBT community or to advocate violence toward children.

However, what I do not accept is that you meant what you said “in jest.” I’ve seen the video of your talk. I’ve watched your comments in context. There was nothing the slightest bit funny in what you said. What, precisely, is the meaning of your “joke”? Where is the humor in telling a father to “punch” his “limp-wristed” son or a mother to force her too-“butch” daughter to be “attractive” and “smell nice”? Explain to me the hilarity of telling parents that any non-gender conforming behavior they observe in their children should be “squashed like a cockroach.”

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