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Does Evangelical Christianity Inoculate People From Committing Sex Crimes?

roy mooreIf you are familiar with vampire lore, you know that pure silver and garlic can protect you from vampires. Vampires are real, dammit. I watched all seven seasons of HBO’s hit series True Blood, and I am currently watching the final season of From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. After watching these shows, I have absolutely no doubt that vampires are real.

I’ve lost my mind, right? Anyone with a bit of common sense and reason knows that vampires died out with the dinosaurs. Okay, I am just pulling your leg. Vampires aren’t real. I have been reading all the defenses of Roy Moore, along with the emails I receive from Christians saying their pastor couldn’t have committed the crimes he is accused of in the Black Collar Crime Series, and I am starting to wonder if Evangelicals think Christian salvation — being born from above — is some sort of talisman that protects Christians from committing sex crimes.

I frequently receive emails from people who object to one of my Black Collar Crime stories. One woman told me her pastor couldn’t have committed sex crimes. Why? He’s a man of God, and true men of God don’t sexually molest girls. I didn’t respond to her, knowing that any attempt to talk sense into her Bible-addled mind would be futile.

As you know, Evangelical darling and Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexually assaulting minor girls back when he was a thirty-year-old district attorney. He has also been accused of having a creepy obsession with female teenagers when he was younger. Moore is now married. His wife Kayla was in her early twenties — fifteen years younger than Moore — when they married. Moore’s wife says they met at a Bible study and she considers him to be one of the nicest men she has ever known. He certainly couldn’t have done what these women are accusing him of.

Dean Young, a Republican political consultant who calls himself Roy Moore’s “number one adviser,” resolutely believes that Moore is innocent of sexual misconduct. Why? Young believes that the fact Moore is a Christian inoculates him from doing such things. Young is quoted in the Washington Post as saying:

“Who says you all aren’t paying someone to do that? Go pay more people to say stuff. It’s a waste of money because people here know Judge Moore and we know he does believe in a Christian God, so that fake stuff doesn’t work with us.”

Evidently, much like vampires with garlic and silver, asking Jesus to save Evangelicals from their sins immunizes them from committing crimes. Yet, every day in the Fake News are stories about pastors, missionaries, evangelists, TV preachers, parachurch leaders, Sunday school teachers, deacons, worship leaders, church workers, and Christian family values politicians committing crimes — including rape, child abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.  Based on the evidence at hand, it is clear that Christianity does not provide immunity from committing crimes; that Evangelicals can and do behave no differently from the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world. Character, not Christianity, is what inoculates people from doing the things Moore is accused of. One need not believe in Jesus to treat women with respect. One need not be washed in the blood of the lamb to keep his hands off of children. All Evangelical Christianity does for perverts, predators, rapists, voyeurs, and child molesters is give them a façade to hide behind as they commit their crimes. Knowing that Christians are inherently naïve and quick to forgive and forget, these perverse men of God and followers of Jesus act with impunity, quickly explaining away whispers about their behavior. Much like vampires in the light of day, many Evangelicals cannot or will not see what is right in front of them. Their unwillingness to see things as they are only emboldens abusive Christians, leading to greater depths of depravity. This kind of thinking must cease, with Christians being brutally and critically honest about their culpability in the explosion of Evangelical sex crime stories.

It’s time to put a wooden stake through the heart of the belief that Christianity makes people morally superior. It doesn’t. The majority of Americans are Christians. This means that the majority of crimes committed in the United States are perpetrated by people who believe Jesus is their savior. I know of no evidence that suggests that atheists or other non-Christians are more likely to commit crimes. (Please read Misinformation and Facts  About Secularism and Religion.) Thus, it is clear that Christianity, in and of itself, does not keep people from doing anything — legal or illegal. We know that purity vows and thunderous preaching against premarital sex doesn’t keep Christian teens from having sex. Much like their secular, non-Christian counterparts, Evangelical teens, with hormones raging, lustily engage in sexual conduct which Evangelicals deem “immoral.”

Did Roy Moore do what he is accused of? It is likely that he did. Like Bill Cosby before him, Moore is now facing an increasing number of accusations of sexual misconduct. If there were just one accusation, it could be chalked up to he-said, she-said. But now that there are numerous women claiming that Moore acted inappropriately, there is little doubt of his guilt. As is often the case with Christian family values politicians, their talk is cheap. Pay attention to what they do, not what they say. In Moore’s case, it’s evident that he had a thing for teen girls, and sometimes his behavior went beyond that of an older man hitting on high school girls.

The same goes for Evangelicals who object when I turn the Black Collar Crime spotlight on their pastors and church leaders. In most instances, there are numerous reports of criminal/sexual misconduct. The likelihood of collusion or conspiracy is remote. I know it is hard for people when the sins of their religious heroes are exposed for all to see. Surely, everyone is lying, right? Occam’s razor applies here. The shortest, simplest explanations are usually the truth. Evangelical churches (along with Catholic churches) have become havens for bad men to commit despicable acts. Worse yet, it is unlikely that these “fallen” Christians were caught the first time they acted inappropriately. More often than not, these men left behind a trail of victims, fearful people too ashamed to speak out. I hope we are reaching a point in our society where children, teenagers, and women can, without fear of recrimination, stand tall and expose religious predators for who they really are.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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  1. Avatar

    Just one comment about vampires, they dont sparkle and they disengrate in daylight. If your teenage daughter reads those atrocities that think they do, just know that the relationship is probably abusive and can lead to no good.

    As for the main topic of this post, jesus power doesn’t stop preachers/priests/sunday school teachers/christian school teachers from being perves who use their influence to prey on kids. It just stinks that people think God can forgive and transform anyone and then blindly put their trust in just about anyone claiming the label. Keep the black collar crimes series going, the more people see that the people on top of the evangelical pyramid are nothing but hypocrites the sooner we can see a better world hopefully.

  2. Avatar
    Andrew Dove

    I am an evangelical Christian. Most of my close friends and acquaintances are Christians. I thank God for his saving and transforming power. I find the slanderous attitude towards Christians on this site to be absolutely staggering. Tragically there are a small minority of people who do commit sex crimes. Some are Christians. We are in agreement there. Now do you accept that some are athiests. Some are religious people. Some are Satanists. I find it staggering that you do not mention those cohorts on your site. Contrary to what is written on this site, Christians do not try to whitewash sexual misdemeaners of other Christians.
    In my own home area there was a respected preacher found guilty of abusing children. It was well covered by the local and national media. Every evangelical Christian that I know utterly condemns his actions. He is banned from preaching in every church in the province. He can only enter a church under strict supervision as he is rightly on the sex offenders register. The truth is that born-again Christians care for Children as indeed The Lord Jesus Christ did. Jesus Christ said “woe unto any person who harms one of these little ones.”.
    In my own home area there was a leader of a local satanic coven charged with possessing thousands of indecent images of children. The same individual had previously molested little girls and boys but escaped justice by a technicality. BUT: there was not a peep about it in the media. Maybe if he had been a Christian it would have been thoroughly covered. That is the truth.
    Christians do not hide sex monsters whatever their religious persuasion. Myself and all Christians I know believe in complete justice for any person who harms a child (or indeed anyone) whether they are Christians, Satanists, athiests, religious or whatever: unlike this website which is only concerned if the perpertrator happens to be a Christian

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Well, this site focuses on Evangelical Christianity, so it would be normal, yes? if the articles were about Evangelicals?

      You are naive or deliberately blind if you think for one moment that Christians/churches/pastors don’t cover up sex crimes. They do, as story after story on this site shows. Facts matter, and the facts on this subject tell us that Evangelicals have a huge sexual abuse problem.

      • Avatar
        Andrew Dove

        It is important to consider all of the facts.
        There have been Christians who have committed sex offences. There have been a few (although one is one too many) who have shamefully covered things up. BUT:
        For every case of a Christian covering up for sex offenders, there are tens of cases of Christians delivering sex offenders to the law enforcing authorities. You can use selective statistics to prove anything but it is important to look at the whole picture. We are in agreement that when a Christian commits an offence against a child or covers up for such a person it is inexcusable.
        I would like to hear response to the following question:
        When an atheist or Satanist or religious person commits a similar act or covers up for such, do you view the deed with the same (justifyingly) severity?
        God is no respector of persons. I would appreciate your honest response. You have no reason to find that question offensive.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          I provided you links to articles to read, yet you read none of them. Hmm.

          You don’t get to decide what is offensive to me. Your question is indeed offensive and I will not dignify it with an answer.

          Do your homework, Allen. People who actually take time to read my writing would never ask such a question.

          You are coming off as a defender and justifier of Evangelical/clergy sexual misconduct.

  3. Avatar
    Andrew Dove

    Just one other thing to consider. The nationwide campaign for Sarah’s Law. A campaign organised and ran almost entirely by Christians.
    Just in case you think I am bashing athiests, religious people Satanists etc let me say that I realise there are many such people who are heavily involved in prevention of cruelty to children. As indeed is my church. It is only a tiny minority of people whether they be Christians, Muslims, Catholics, Satanist (yes there are charitable Satanists), religious, athiests that would harm a child or cover up for anyone who would. My strong gut feeling is that you would protect a child from any perpertrator regardless of creed or culture. I would just have preferred you to spell it out as clearly as I have. I don’t think however that you have taken the same offence if an atheist, a religious person, a muslim had asked the same question.
    No personal offence meant at all. Being from Northern Ireland we are straight talking and thick skinned.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      My work speaks for itself, end of discussion.

      My skin is plenty thick, thank you. I’ve been writing about Evangelicalism for a decade. Thousands of Evangelicals have dumped loads of shit in the comment section. Countless others have emailed me. These comments and emails remind me that the decision I made to walk away from Evangelicalism was the right one. Atheists and other non-Evangelicals are far from perfect, but I’ve yet to see from them the venom and hostility I’ve experienced from people who supposedly walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

  4. Avatar
    Andrew Dove

    “my skin is thick” ???
    “venom” ???
    “hostility” ???
    I was giving you a very fair chance to explain yourself to someone who does not know you.
    Certainly I have not displayed any venom or hostility towards you. (Yes I now you did not specifically quote me).
    In a way I am a bit disappointed. I was expecting an intense challenging debate. (after all I am an Ulsterman) But I was not expecting it to get personal.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      There’s nothing to challenge or debate. Again, take the time to read through the links I provided you. You will find HUNDREDS of stories about Evangelical’s committing all sorts of sex crimes, along with theft and murder. Do your homework. That is unless you cant bear to have your preconceived ideas and beliefs go up in smoke.

      I don’t owe you an explanation about anything. You are free to read or not read. After you have actually spent time reading what I have provided, I will be more than happy to answers any questions you might have. Until then, please do not expect me to approve any further comments from you.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      And quit using your Irish heritage as an excuse for your boorish behavior. I’m a Hungarian, with gypsy blood. I’m left-handed and have red hair too. None of these things are germane to the subjects at hand.

      • Avatar
        Andrew Dove

        I brought that into it to try to lighten the discussion as I was concerned that it was turning unpleasant. We are not going to agree on the question at hand so let us be respectful about it. I wish you no ill will whatsoever whatever you believe. I will assume that the sentiment is reciprocated. Unless you specifically state otherwise.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          You seem to conveniently forget your grand entrance to this site. You said, “I am an evangelical Christian. Most of my close friends and acquaintances are Christians. I thank God for his saving and transforming power. I find the slanderous attitude towards Christians on this site to be absolutely staggering.”

          You say my writing is slanderous, yet you don’t read my writing. Remember, if you aren’t familiar with how websites work, I know exactly what pages you have looked at. You refuse to do your homework, so what conclusion do you think I am going to come to?

          It is an incontrovertible fact that Evangelicalism has a huge sexual abuse problem, every bit as high as the Catholic church. The Black Collar Crime series is evidence for the accuracy of my claim, as is the fifty years I spent in the Christian church. I spent decades on the inside of Evangelicalism. I know whereof I speak. To put it bluntly, I know who fucked who, and I know where the bodies are buried. What’s changed, thanks to the Internet and the willingness of victims to speak up, is the exposure Evangelicalism is now receiving.

          Over the past year, I have posted 352 stories in the Black Collar Crime series. These stories represent only a small fraction of the actual abuse that is going on in Evangelical churches. Most victims don’t report they have been assaulted out of fear of recrimination or not being believed. Instead of worrying about whether I’m giving atheist abusers their just due, how about you focus on the pig sty you call Evangelicalism. I write about these stories because Evangelicals are largely silent on sexual abuse and other acts of malfeasance perpetrated by so-called men of God.

          And as far as atheists are concerned…atheists can and do commit crimes. That said, I am confident in saying that the rate of sexual abuse among Evangelicals is much higher than that of godless heathens/Satanists/non-Christians. One reason for this is the unhealthy, anti-human viewpoint Evangelicals have concerning human sexuality. Fundamentalism (and Evangelicals are inherently Fundamentalist) drives dysfunction because it calls normal, healthy behaviors “sin.”

  5. Avatar
    Andrew Dove

    Very disappointed that you chose to delete my last comment. It contained absolutely nothing which could be construed as offensive. I would be grateful if you would show me your reason for not authorizing my post which sympathised with victims of sexual abuse. Indeed I went the extra mile and specifically expressed sympathy with those who had suffered abuse at the hands of evangelicals. I have been far more magnanimous than you have been.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I don’t intend on approving any further comments by you. I am the God of this blog, so my decrees are final.

      I’m tired of your passive-aggressive approach and your inability to understand why some of your words might be offensive.

      The final straw was you saying that you and I would just have to disagree on statistics. Are you fucking kidding me? Facts are facts, not personal opinions. The United States is infected with this kind of thinking thanks to Donald Trump. Facts become fake news; statistics and reports become personal opinions.

      Generally, per the commenting rules, Evangelicals are given one opportunity to say whatever it is that “God” has laid on their heart. You’ve had ample opportunity to say your piece.

      I will give you one opportunity to say what you think you need to say. Any attempt to minimize clergy sexual abuse by suggesting it is rare or no different from atheists will be deleted.

  6. Avatar
    Andrew Dove

    Much appreciated.
    As I said in the deleted comment:
    I wholly sympathise with any persons reading my comments who have been subject to sexual abuse from whoever or whatever.
    To summarise I also said most importantly that as a Christian I particularly sympathise if you abuser was a Christian.

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Bruce Gerencser