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Investigate Berean Baptist Academy

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On April 29, 2012; Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, preached a sermon entitled "Vote for Marriage: One Man. One Woman." While urging his congregation to support Amendment One to the North Carolina Constitution, which would have barred the state from recognizing any marriage other than that between a man and a woman, Harris told his congregation that if their children displayed gay tendencies, the best way to deal with the problem was to "give him a good punch." After widespread condemnation, Harris issued a retraction of the sermon on May 2. However, more than three months later, the video of the sermon is still available, unedited, on Berean's YouTube channel. There is no good-faith reason why this video should still be available. This raises serious questions about whether Berean Baptist finds child abuse to be acceptable for any reason.

If that isn't disturbing enough, according to a story in the May 2 Fayetteville Observer, the members of Harris' congregation knew he was only joking when he suggested hitting their children was an acceptable way to deal with gay tendencies. Regardless of where you stand on gay rights, no fair-minded person would find it acceptable to joke about abusing children.

This church also operates a Christian school in Fayetteville, Berean Baptist Academy. The video's continued existence is reason by itself to question this church's fitness to operate a school. Likewise, the congregation's apparent understanding that Harris was only joking about abusing children being acceptable is reason by itself to question this church's fitness to operate a school. Taken together, these factors demand that the Division of Non-Public Education investigate Berean Baptist Academy in order to determine whether Berean Baptist Church is a suitable operator.

 



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