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Twenty-Five Questions for Christians who say Abortion is Murder

abortion is murder al shannon

I have some questions for those who believe that abortion is murder.

  1. Does life begin at conception?  How do you know it does? Is your view based on science or is it based on a religious belief?
  2. If life begins at conception, why are you supporting an Ohio bill that makes it illegal to have an abortion once a heartbeat is detected? Does life begin at conception or at first heartbeat?
  3. Do you support the use of emergency contraception (morning after) drugs? Why or why not?
  4. Should a pro-life pharmacist have the right to not dispense emergency contraception drugs? Should I be allowed to opt out of anything that goes against my moral or ethical beliefs, regardless of their foundation?
  5. Is abortion murder?
  6. Do you believe murderers should be prosecuted?
  7. Do you believe that driving the get-away car makes a person just as guilty as the person who robbed the bank?
  8. Do you believe a woman who has an abortion should be prosecuted for murder? How about the doctor who performs the procedure? How about the nurse that assisted in the procedure? How about the person who drove the woman to the clinic? If you believe in the death penalty, do you support the execution of murderers?
  9. Do you use birth control pills?
  10. Should you be prosecuted for murder since birth control pills can, and do, cause spontaneous abortion?
  11. Should abortion be allowed for reasons of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother?
  12. If you answered yes to question eleven, do you support murdering the fetus if it is the product of rape or incest?
  13. Should a fetus be aborted if the mother’s life is at risk?
  14. Do you support murdering the unborn if it saves the life of the mother?
  15. Is your viewpoint on abortion a religious belief?
  16. What passage in the Bible prohibits abortion? Does this passage define life beginning at conception?
  17. Has God ever killed the unborn?
  18. In Genesis, God destroyed every human save eight by drowning them in a flood. Were any of the women who drowned pregnant? Did God kill the fetuses they were carrying? (Kill the mother, kill the fetus.)
  19. Do you support the death penalty? Do you support war? Should women who survive self-induced abortions be charged with attempted murder?
  20. If you answered yes to question nineteen, why do you oppose the killing of the unborn but support the killing of those already born?
  21. Why do you believe that killing the unborn is murder but consider an American bomb killing a baby 3 hours old a tragic result of war, collateral damage, but not murder?
  22. Do you support birth control being readily available in every school? If your objective is to reduce or eliminate the need for an abortion, wouldn’t easily available, free access to birth control reduce the abortion rate?
  23. Do you believe it is better for a severely deformed child to live for a day and die than for the fetus to be aborted? If so, explain why it is better for the child to suffer needlessly?
  24. Do you believe that God is in control of everything? Does everything include children being born deformed or with serious defects that will result in a life of extreme suffering and pain?
  25. Is someone a Christian if he or she supports abortion?

My view on abortion

3 day old human embyro
Three Day Old Human Embryo.

I do not think that life begins at conception, nor do I think it begins at first heartbeat. That said, I do not support abortion on demand. Approximately 65% of abortions occur in the first eight weeks, and 88% of abortions occur in the first trimester. I do not support any law that restricts access to an abortion in the first trimester. Once fetus viability (the ability to live outside the womb) is established, I do not support the right to an abortion except when the life of the mother is at stake or there’s a severe fetal abnormality.

I support women having full access to reproductive services (including access to birth control), as well as school-aged girls and young women. For women who have at-risk pregnancies, I support government-sponsored access to genetic testing and amniocentesis that will reveal severe birth defects. Better to have an abortion earlier in a pregnancy than to have a child born without a brain who will die a few moments or days after birth.

I support comprehensive sex education for junior high and high school students, and health education for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Since girls often reach menses at ages as young as ten, waiting until they are sixteen to educate them about reproduction is irresponsible and leads to unintended pregnancies. I do not support “Just say No” programs that take the “aspirin between the knees” approach and ignore the reality that most teenagers will, at some point, be sexually active. Yes, teens should perhaps wait, but they don’t, and everyone should agree that teenagers having babies is not a good idea. If we agree that this is not a good idea, then making sure they can’t get pregnant should be a top priority.

I support radical changes to adoption laws in this country. The government should make it easy and affordable for people to adopt children (after being thoroughly vetted). By changing the law, it is more likely that women with unplanned pregnancies will carry their fetuses to term. This would also put out of business adoption agencies — many of them Christian — that charge extortion-level fees for adoptions.

abortions when

Neither God, the Bible, papal decrees, nor religious rhetoric have sway over me. Showing me bloody pictures of dismembered late-term aborted fetuses also has no effect on me. I know that only 1.3% of abortions occur after the twenty-first week. In 2017, 862,000 abortions were performed in the United States. That means, roughly 11,000 abortions were performed from the 21st week to term. Why don’t pro-lifers wave around pictures of zygotes or other pictures from the chronological time period when most abortions take place? Simple: such pictures wouldn’t excite, inflame, and manipulate the passions of zygote worshipers like a bloody, gory picture of a dismembered fetus does.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Frozen Embryos: If Life Begins at Conception . . .

3 day old human embyro
Three-Day Old Human Embryo. Why He Looks Just Like his Father.

According to anti-abortionists/forced birthers, life begins at conception. At the very moment the sperm and egg unite, a new life is created. Anti-abortionists are intractable when it comes to their position. Life begins at conception . . . end of debate.

Let me tell you a story . . .

This story takes place at the We Make Life Possible Fertility Clinic, owned by Dr. David Tee, a renowned gynecologist, fertility expert, and archeologist.

Sue gave birth to a beautiful baby girl through in vitro fertilization. Her baby girl is one month old. Sue stopped by the Fertility Clinic to show off her newborn to the clinic staff.

While Sue was there, a huge explosion rocked the place and the clinic was engulfed in flames. Later speculation on World Net Daily, Charisma, Protestia, and TheologyGynocology, suggested a supporter of Barack Obama/Joe Biden/Nancy Pelosi/Kamala Harris/AOC was behind the attack.

John, named after John the Baptist, a forced birth activist, happened to be passing by the clinic when the explosion took place. John went running into the clinic hoping to perhaps save someone from the fire.

John had been to the We Make Possible Life Fertility Clinic before. His wife Purity had problems conceiving, and not wanting to wait on God to open her womb, she went to the clinic for non-vaginal-sex fertilization. While the treatment was successful, Purity miscarried a few months into the pregnancy.

John knew the clinic stored hundreds of fertilized eggs (embryos) in a freezer. As he rushed into the clinic, John saw Sue huddled in a corner with her newborn daughter trying to get away from the fire. John thought, “Surely I should save these two.”

John thought for a moment, asking himself What Would Jesus Do? Suddenly, he realized the fire was going to destroy all the frozen embryos. John told Sue and her baby Sorry, maybe Jesus will come to rescue you, and he rushed to the freezer where the frozen embryos were stored. Through John’s heroic effort, hundreds of frozen embryos were saved. Sadly, Sue and her newborn daughter were burnt to death.

Who among us would fault John? After all, he acted according to the greater good. Who wouldn’t save two hundred lives at the expense of two lives?

The above story follows the logic of the life-begins-at-conception viewpoint to its illogical conclusion. There is no difference between two hundred embryos and Sue and her baby. Life is life. It makes perfect sense for John to save the frozen embryos and not Sue and her little one. Surely John would be praised for saving the two hundred embryos, right? If the clinic is unable to reopen, perhaps the frozen embryos can be put up for adoption. After all, EVERY embryo is a life.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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If You Go to Hell It is Your Choice, Not God’s

bruce gerencser not afraid of hell

Bill Wiese is an Evangelical grifter whose claim to fame is allegedly spending twenty-three minutes in Hell before returning to share with people everything he saw and experienced.

Yesterday, Wiese wrote an article for Charisma to answer people who say, ‘I Refuse to Believe in a God Who Would Make Hell.’

Wiese says that unbelievers reject God due to either their refusal to turn from a sinful lifestyle or their ignorance of the Bible. To that I say “sigh.” (Please read Why I Use the Word “Sigh.”) I was part of the Evangelical church for fifty years. I was a pastor for twenty-five years. I have a Bible college education and spent over 20,000 hours reading and studying the Bible. I know the Bible inside and out. Where can I take an exam to test out on this idea that people who reject God do so because they are ignorant of the Bible? Wiese insults the intelligence of millions of former Evangelicals with his suggestion that they are ignorant of the Bible. We know the Bible. Doubt us? Ask!

Wiese also says that unbelievers reject God because they refuse to repent of and abandon a sinful lifestyle. Again, “sigh.” Can unbelievers do bad things? Sure. Humans do what humans do. But it is ludicrous and dishonest to suggest that unbelievers are worse than believers or that Evangelicals inhabit some higher moral plain.

I can confidently say that I am, on balance, a “good” person. Not perfect; not without fault, but I am generally a good person. And so are most of the unbelievers who frequent this site. I am sure I have readers who are bad people, but they are not the norm. Yet, Wiese says that self-proclaimed good people are:

guilty of lying, cheating, arrogance, envy of others, sexual immorality, disobedience to their parents, greed, unforgiveness, complaining, being unthankful, backbiting, gossip, cursing and evil thoughts. They don’t read the Bible or pray. They don’t assist the poor. They don’t even keep one of the Ten Commandments, and they support ungodly laws and leaders. The list goes on. When looking at this list, surely you must realize that none of us are good.

While all of us on any given day can check off a few things on Wiese’s list, I suspect most people are innocent of the charges Too-Holy-For-Me Wiese levels against unbelievers. In fact, instead of worrying about how unbelievers live their lives, I suggest Wiese focus on the lives of his fellow believers. Plenty of sin to go around in his backyard.

Wiese shares three things he wants unbelievers to know about Hell:

1. God is the one who has provided the only way to keep you out of hell. If you choose to reject Him, hell is exactly where you will be going.

2. The God you think of as cruel for making hell is the same one who suffered a horrible death on the cross. He died in your place for your sins in order to save you from hell.

3. Hell was prepared for the devil, not for man. It is a horrible place because God withdrew His goodness from it.

All of these are standard Evangelical nonsense that has been challenged and debunked countless times. Exposed for all to see is the fact that Wiese holds aberrant theological beliefs; that he has no understanding of the sovereignty of God and his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. God, knowing the end from the beginning, knew who would be saved and who would end up in Heaven from before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4, Matthew 25:34, John 17:24, Hebrews 4:3, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 17:8)

Wiese says, instead,

Each person sends himself to hell by his own rejection of Jesus Christ. Yes, hell is horrible, but that should not be your focus. How to stay out of hell is what you should be concerned with. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the only way to heaven. You have the choice to believe Him or not. You decide. If you are willing to turn from your sin and put your trust solely in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you will escape hell. But if you choose to reject Him, you will suffer the consequences of your foolish decision.

While Wiese’s theology is, at best, heterodox, it is not uncommon, especially in Charismatic circles, to find preachers who believe that all humans have naked freewill; that we alone choose whether or not to be saved; that our eternal destiny rests solely on us. The Bible says, however, that “salvation is of the Lord.” Jesus himself said in John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Could Pharoah, Judas, or even the Jews come to Jesus for salvation? Not according to the Bible. God hardened their hearts, rendering them unable to be saved. The same can be said for apostates and reprobates such as myself. I can’t be saved. I have crossed the line of no return. (I wish Evangelical zealots would get the memo and leave me alone. I am not a prospect for Heaven.)

Of course, nothing I say will change Wiese’s mind. He’s been to Hell and back. The only hell I know is the one we humans have created on planet Earth. My goal is to lessen the hell for everyone and increase their happiness and well-being. Threatening people with eternal torture in a lake of fire — where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched — does neither.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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A Family of Eight: Yes, They Are All Ours

gerencser children 2023

My partner, Polly, and I have six children, ages 44, 42, 39, 34, 32, and 30. Our oldest son was a “mistake,” the result of two naive, immature, ignorant young Christian adults lacking comprehensive sex education. Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) sex education is simple and direct: don’t do “it” until you are married, and then only in the missionary position for the purposes of procreation. We decided to go the spermicidal foam route, not knowing it had a high failure rate. Six weeks after we married, Polly informed me she was pregnant. Six weeks before our first anniversary, little Jason was born.

The rest of our children were planned. Polly was what you would call a fertile myrtle. I could look at her and she would get pregnant. Polly breastfed all six of our children, another, somewhat ineffective, birth control method. Our first three children were born over the span of five years. Better birth control methods kept Polly from getting pregnant again, so we thought that three children would be all for us.

Five years later, after immersing ourselves in Evangelical Calvinism and adopting an absolute position on the sovereignty of God, we decided to have more children — as many as God would give us. We believed that it was God who opened and closed the womb, and Polly would not become pregnant unless it was the will of God.

Over the space of the next five years, we had three more children. During the delivery of our youngest son, Polly’s obstetrician told her that she should stop having children; that further pregnancies could kill her. This left us with a dilemma: should we ignore the doctor and trust God, or should we abandon our belief in the sovereignty of God and follow the doctor’s advice? After pondering life as a widowed father with six young children, we decided to obey man, and not God. While we felt guilty for being hypocritical and not standing firm on our convictions, we knew that we made the right decision. God didn’t seem to care one way or the other. 🙂

One day in the mid-1990s, we went to the mall with our children — all eight of us. Our children behaved well in public. When we walked through stores, we walked in a single file line, always to the right, avoiding getting in the way of others. One day, I noticed a clerk out of the corner of my eye counting how many people were in our family. One little, two little, three little Gerencsers . . . I went over to her and said, “Eight. There are eight of us. 🙂

Another time, a loan officer at a finance company asked me how many people were in our family. I replied, “Eight,” to which she stupidly responded, “Don’t you guys know how to use birth control?” I retorted that we had all of our children on purpose, just as God intended.

I am occasionally asked if we had to do it all over again would we have a large family? While we love our children (and sixteen grandchildren) and thoroughly enjoy our relationships with them and their families, if we had to do it all over again we would have stopped after having two or three children. This doesn’t mean we didn’t want our younger children, but it does mean we recognize the financial difficulties we had raising such a large family on poverty wages. Sure, we survived and our children have turned into productive, educated adults, but life was harder than it needed to be not only for Polly and me, but also for our children.

Hopefully, we all live and learn. We make decisions based on what we know at the time. We truly thought that God would meet our needs; that he would never leave us nor forsake us; that he would never leave his children destitute, begging for bread. Instead, we found that God was nowhere to be found; that we were on our own. By then, we had six children, and to some degree have spent most of our lives digging out of a financial hole we dug for ourselves as young adults.

No regrets, just the realization that different choices might have had different outcomes. I say “might.” Who is to say what might have happened if we had chosen a path with two or three children instead of six. Do you have a large family? Why did you have so many children? If you had to do it all over again, would you still have a large family?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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An Open Letter to Preachers Trying to “Explain” Why So Many People Are Deconstructing

deconstruction

Dear Pastor _________,

I have listened to your sermons, read your blog posts, or perused your articles in Christianity Today or The Gospel Coalition about why so many Evangelical church members are “deconstructing.” I have carefully noted your excuses and justifications for why people are fleeing Evangelical churches in droves. I have snickered and rolled my eyes as you blame anyone and everyone except yourself and your church for the decline in attendance and income. It’s the culture, or Hollywood, or postmodernism, or LGBTQ rights, or socialism, or atheism, or countless other things you blame for why Evangelicalism is rotting on the vine. And if all of these “blames” ring hollow, you label those who deconstruct as “cultural” Christians; trotting out the No True Scotsman Fallacy. Those who deconstruct and ultimately leave Evangelicalism aren’t True Christians®. Never mind the fact that many of the people exiting stage left from Evangelical churches were committed followers of Jesus; people who faithfully attended church, supported the church financially, and lived according to the teachings of the Bible. Lots of former Evangelicals frequent this blog. Few of them were cultural or nominal believers. Instead, they served the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and might. Yet, one day, or over many days, months, and years, they took a careful, painful look at Christianity and its attendant beliefs and practices. They decided they were no longer believers in the Evangelical sense of the word. Many of them became atheists, agnostics, pagans, or nones — people indifferent towards organized religion.

Instead of talking to these disaffected Evangelicals, Pastor __________, you marginalized them, ignoring their honest, open questions and concerns. You labeled them as worldly, carnal, backslidden, or some other pejorative label. And finally, you asserted, without evidence, that those who deconstructed lacked spiritual maturity and Bible knowledge. In other words, they just didn’t know any better. (Who taught them all those years, Pastor? Aren’t you to blame for their lack of knowledge?) Had they known better, they would have remained in the church. After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (I John 2:19) End of discussion, right?

If you really want to know why people are deconstructing (and deconverting), Pastor _________, let me suggest a few reasons that come to mind:

  • The politicization of the pulpit and the church. Evangelical churches have become the propaganda wing of the Republican Party.
  • Donald Trump. Eighty-two percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump — twice. Trump is morally repugnant, and an evil man, yet Evangelical pastors and churches promote him as God’s candidate — even going so far as to say that he is a Christian.
  • Evangelical churches largely ignore environmental concerns, especially global warming, and catastrophic species decline. Why worry about the environment — Jesus is coming soon!
  • Evangelical churches generally demonize LGBTQ people — especially transgender men and women.
  • Evangelical churches tend to promote complementarianism, encouraging treating women as “less than.” Misogyny is common.
  • Evangelical churches are anti-abortion (pro-life), while at the same time supporting capital punishment, killing immigrants, and war.
  • Evangelicals generally ignore what the Bible about caring for the least of these: the poor, marginalized, sick, hungry, widows, orphans, and people of color.
  • Pastors and churches over-emphasize certain “sins,” ignoring others. Sexual sins are given far more attention than other sins — especially icky homo sins.
  • Church scandals and sexual misconduct by pastors are legion, routinely ignored or swept under the rug.
  • Hypocrisy. People who deconstruct often say that they became weary of the “Do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy by church leaders.

While none of these reasons prove that Christianity is false, they do show that there is a huge disconnect between what pastors and True Christians® say they believe and how they actually live their lives. This often leads, as it did for me, to a reexamination of sincerely held beliefs. One need only read the emails, blog comments, and social media messages I receive from Evangelicals to see that Evangelicalism is a barrel of rotting apples. Sure, there are a few edible apples in the barrel, but not many.

Pastor __________, if you want to really know why people in your church are deconstructing, may I kindly suggest that you stop making excuses and justifications and look in the mirror. You are to blame for the sheep jumping over the fence, never to be seen again. You value political power and social control over meeting people where they are. You choose to point fingers instead of actually asking doubters and questioners why they are deconstructing. And after they left the church, you made sure to call them out and lambast them from the pulpit — even if you, wink, wink, didn’t mention them by name. You made sure that the sheep still in the pen knew these black sheep were sinful or deficient in some way, even going so far as to say that they were never, ever Christians.

If you really want to talk about deconstruction, I am game. Send me an email or have me on your podcast. There’s no reason for you to continue in ignorance one day longer. Or maybe you are not ignorant. You know why people are deconstructing, but you have an earthly kingdom to preserve, so you lie or misattribute motivations. The cure for your dishonesty is to actually talk to — not at — people who are deconverting or who have gone through the deconstruction process.

Seek and ye shall find, Pastor.

Saved by Reason,

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Updated: Black Collar Crime: Sharon and Donald Windey Sentenced to Years in Prison for Abusing Adopted Children

sharon, donald, and steven windey

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2018, Sharon Windey was accused of abusing and neglecting her adopted children. Her husband, Donald, and their biological son Steven, were also charged for their part in the abuse.

ABC-2 reported:

A De Pere woman and former Wisconsin State Trooper has been charged with several counts of child abuse and neglect of her adopted children. The abuse allegedly went on for over a decade despite reports to police and officials.

Sharon Windey, 54, appeared in Brown County court Thursday on charges of physical abuse of a child; strangulation and suffocation; battery; child neglect; and mental harm to a child.

A 42-page criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News details years of emotional, physical, and mental abuse inside the Windey home.

The complaint states the investigation found “overwhelming” confirmation that since 2006, there have been Child Protective Services referrals, police contacts and reports from school officials about the three children being victims of physical abuse, mental abuse, child neglect and inappropriate sexual contact in the home on Sullivan Street.

On Feb. 12, 2018, De Pere Police assigned a sergeant to investigate reports of possible abuse at the home where the children lived with Sharon Windey, her husband Donald Windey, and the couple’s 25-year-old son Steven Windey. One of the kids described Steven as a “third parent.”

Investigators started interviewing the three adopted children–a girl aged 15; a girl aged 14; and a boy aged 15.

The kids described being punched, choked, spanked, thrown against a wall, hair pulling, food punishment and exercise punishment.

Both girls said the parents used “excessive feedings of oatmeal” as a punishment. The boy once threw up the oatmeal and the father “made him eat his own vomit and the oatmeal,” reads the complaint. The father told the boy “people were dying in Africa and he needed to eat the puke and oatmeal.”

One of the girls described locks on the freezer, cabinet and pantry.

One girl told investigators that her dad would make her sit on his lap and he would kiss her on the lips. She said he would also touch or grab the girls in other places on their bodies.

She also talked about a punishment in which the kids were forced to strip down to their underwear and kneel in front of a fireplace.

The kids described a shower punishment. If they took a shower longer than seven minutes, they would have to pay money for every minute they go over.

One of the girls said the parents are “very careful” to try not to leave visible marks on them.

The boy described the parents as “delusional … religious freaks.” The boy said his dad hears his guardian angel who tells him what to do.

“They are outgoing and they try to put up the facade of being the perfect family outside of our house,” the boy told investigators. “They will scare us with punishments. They will take things out of our room. For being disrespectful, they will hit them; slap them across the face and stuff. The hitting has happened multiple times.”

The boy described the day of Feb. 11, 2018. He said Donald wanted the kids to go to church but they refused. The father told them to clean everything out of their rooms. One of the girls was denied medicine for not going to church. He said the mom started struggling with one of the girls. During the struggle, the mother was pushed down the stairs. The boy said Steven heard the commotion and charged at him and started to punch him in the head.

The police arrived at the home. The boy said the officers told Sharon and Steven to call the police earlier so it doesn’t escalate to this point. The officers left.

Later there was another fight when when of the girls wanted medicine. After the fight, the kids went to a friend’s home. The man at the home called police to report the abuse.

….

Neither Donald Windey or Steven Windey have been charged. They are identified by name in Sharon Windey’s criminal complaint.

In 2020, Sharon Windey was sentenced to four years in prison for abusing four children over twelve years.

The Green Bay Gazette reported:

A De Pere woman was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for abusing her adopted children.

A jury found Sharon M. Windey, 56, guilty on eight counts of abusing four children over a span of 12 years. 

Her sentencing came a day after Brown County Circuit Court Judge John Zakowski found her husband, Donald A. Windey, 53, guilty of multiple counts of physical, mental, and sexual abuse of the children.

Their biological son, Steven D. Windey, is scheduled for a plea hearing on Feb. 7 in connection to charges related to his role in the abuse.

One of the three children told investigators that police officers who visited the home on Feb. 11, 2018, did not seem to believe the children’s statements that they’d been hit and choked because their home didn’t appear to be a “typical house for abuse,” according to court documents, because the children appeared to be well-fed and went to a good school. 

According to the criminal complaints and prosecution statements: 

The children were required to do a prayer ritual while standing on one foot wearing nothing but underwear, and were beaten with a belt if they lost their balance and put their foot down.

The girls were forced to strip to their underwear and sit on Donald Windey’s lap and kiss him. They were forced to sleep with Donald Windey in bed when Sharon Windey was away, and he would touch and kiss their intimate parts.

Steven Windey was often the designated enforcer of the physical abuse and put his hands around one of the children’s throat during a Feb. 11 incident.

Donald Windey forced a sick child to eat vomit-covered food after they became ill during a meal.

Sharon Windey used food as a form of punishment — often serving oatmeal for all three meals because the children didn’t like it. 

Sharon and Donald Windey locked kitchen cupboards so the children didn’t have easy access to food.

Donald Windey told the children he was “seeing demons” and “hearing voices” who were telling him to treat the children in this manner and that by doing so he was doing right by God.

Sharon and Donald Windey told the children they didn’t like them anymore and that they could no longer call them mom and dad.

Sharon and Donald Windey donated all of the children’s belongings to Goodwill in February, leaving each child with a bed and five days’ worth of clothes.

Donald WIndey was sentenced to seventeen years in prison on more than a dozen convictions of physically, mentally, and sexually abusing his adopted children.

Channel 2 reported:

A De Pere man convicted of more than a dozen charges of physically, mentally, and sexually abusing his adopted children is now facing 17 years in prison followed by supervision.

Donald Windey was found guilty on felony counts of repeated sexual assault of a child, being party to the crime of physical abuse, strangulation, or suffocation, and four felony counts of causing mental harm to a child.

As Action 2 News has reported, the criminal complaint said children living with Donald and Shirley Windey were inappropriately touched and kissed, as well as physically hurt and given food punishments.

At his sentencing Wednesday, Windey said he was “very sorry for the ways in which I failed as a father.” He said he was sorry for the times he made the children scared, made jokes at their expense, didn’t provide or know the help they needed, and that they didn’t feel the love for him that he felt for them. He said he had to be strict based on their behaviors.

He pointed out he didn’t have a prior criminal record and was involved in his church for years. He said he and his wife have lost everything, including their home, jobs and reputations.

Sharon Windey was sentenced in January to 4 years in prison.

Brown County Judge John Zakowski said at sentencing, “Don, you are a wonderful person, but you can be mean, too. I have seen it.”

He rejected Windey’s claim that the children conspired to tell a story so they could get out of the Windeys’ home, pointing out the kids’ claims went back years.

Zakowski also said he was irritated that the kids were put in this place. He said the Windeys, who believe in corporal punishment, should not have been allowed to foster or adopt these children.

“This should have been red flagged, and then the Windeys wouldn’t have been put in that situation, the kids would have been spared. The system failed. It’s a tragedy of immense proportions,” Judge Zakowski said.

Steven Windey was sentenced to eighteen months probation.

The Green Bay Gazette reported:

A De Pere man will spend 18 months on probation for his role in the abuse of his parents’ adopted children.

Steven D. Windey, 28, was often the designated enforcer during the physical abuse, according to court documents.

In interviews with investigators, the children described a February 2018 incident in which one of the children started arguing with their adoptive mother, former Wisconsin State Trooper Sharon Windey, who tried to push the 15-year-old but the child pushed her away instead.

She called for Steven Windey, who lived at the home, and told him the teen had pushed her down the stairs, according to court documents.

According to the children, Windey chased the child, pushed the child down on the couch, and put his hands around the child’s throat.

One of the children said that although Windey took responsibility for what he did by pleading guilty to battery and disorderly conduct, he should be held to the same standard as his parents, Sharon and Donald Windey.

“I’m sorry you couldn’t be strong enough to resist. I know everyone did what they had to do and your way was to become a puppet,” the child said.

Windey was initially charged with intentionally causing bodily harm to a child but that was reduced to the battery charge.  A felony charge of attempted strangulation and suffocation was dismissed but read in during his sentencing. 

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser