The Freedom From Religion Foundation has alerted the Internal Revenue Service about potentially illegal political campaign activities by Pastor Charles Worley at the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C.
FFRF is a nationwide nonprofit with more than 18,000 members, which works to protect the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.
FFRF was informed by numerous concerned citizens, including North Carolina residents, that Worley demanded his parishioners vote President Barack Obama out of office. Video of the sermon, reportedly filmed on May 13, 2012, is available online.
In his sermon from the pulpit, Worley cites the president’s recent stance on gay marriage, takes a brief detour to lay plans for a Holocaust-like genocide of “lesbians,” “queers” and “homosexuals,” then states that he will not vote for Obama because of his stance on gay marriage. The relevant speech, reproduced in full, is as follows:
I’ve never been as sick in my life of our president getting up and saying it was all right for two women to marry, or two men to marry. I tell you right now, I was disappointed bad. I’ll tell you right there, it’s as sorry as you can get. The Bible’s again[st] it, God’s again[st] it, I'm again[st] it, and if you’ve got any sense you’re again[st] it!
I had a way — I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn’t get it past the Congress. Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 miles long — put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ’em. And you know? In a few years, they'll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce! If a man ever has a young'un, praise God it’ll be the first.
All of these [unintelligible]. Man I’m gonna preach the hell outa all of us. ["Amens" from the audience]
I tell you right now, somebody said, "Who you gonna vote for?" I ain’t gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover! [congregants cheer and reply, “Amen”]. You say, "Did you mean to say to that?" You better believe I did! God have mercy, it makes me pukin’ sick.
I don’t know whether you ought to say this on the pulpit or not: Can you imagine kissing some man?
In FFRF's May 23 letter to the IRS Exempt Organizations Office in Dallas, Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel said that the pastor's "bigoted, genocidal scheme" is extremely disturbing, and other parts of the sermon appear to violate the IRS regulations that give the church its tax-exempt status.
"Pastor Worley is clearly exhorting his congregants to vote against President Obama in the upcoming election," Seidel said. "There can be no doubt that he intentionally took this political stance from the pulpit: Pastor Worley asks himself, 'Did you mean to say that?' and answers, 'You better believe I did!' ”
Worley also admitted he was using the pulpit to make partisan political statements. Two sentences after preaching that he “ain’t gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover,” he wonders whether he “ought to say this on the pulpit or not. . .” He is not expressing trepidation at making political statements from the pulpit, rather, he is concerned with asking his congregants if they can “imagine kissing some man.”
Seidel added, "The conclusion is unavoidable: Pastor Worley knowing and intentionally spoke from his church’s pulpit when he said that the Bible, God, he and anyone with sense is against gay marriage and should therefore refuse to vote for President Obama.
"FFRF respectfully requests that the IRS commence an immediate investigation to determine whether the Providence Road Baptist Church violated IRS regulations prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The IRS should take appropriate action to remedy any violations that occurred."