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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Leader Mark Cuprik Accused of Sex Crimes

mark cuprick

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.

Mark Cuprik, a youth leader at Victory Christian Center in Boardman, Ohio, stands accused of sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and importuning.

WFMJ-21 reports:

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former local church youth group leader who is the subject of an eight-count indictment accusing him of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Mark Cuprik, 22, allegedly drove to Beaver Township Memorial Park with the girl last March.

According to police, Cuprik was a friend of the girl’s family, as well as a youth group leader at Victory Christian Center.

Police say a family member began chasing Cuprik’s car.  The chase involved high rates of speed and a disregard for traffic control devices, according to the report.

Cuprik eventually dropped the teen back off at the park and she was reunited with family members.


Following an investigation into social media accounts, the grand jury indicted Cuprik on charges of Sexual Battery, Unlawful Sexual Conduct With a Minor, Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor,  Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles, and Importuning.

According to the indictment Cuprik engaged in sexual conduct with the teen from late February through late March.

Investigators say Cuprik also possessed material showing a minor engaging in sexual activity.

Victory Christian Center released the following statement:

Any abuse, especially that of a minor is abhorrent and should never be tolerated. We are incredibly grieved in regards to the allegations and indictments of of a former youth leader at our Boardman campus. Our Board of Directors are aware of the matter and cooperating with the appropriate authorities. The accused leader was removed immediately from any and all involvement with in the church when the allegations first surfaced under previous leadership of VCC in January of 2020.

When current VCC leadership learned more details about the matter, a statement was read to the Boardman Campus providing transparency and condemning the actions of the former youth leader. VCC leadership also made extra efforts to stay in close touch with the victim’s family, providing support and offering professional counseling to them, offering to pay for all such expenses.

Given that this is now an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further.

Cuprik’s father may be the pastor of the Boardman campus.

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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  1. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    Over the months that I’ve read your “Black Collar Crime” series I have been shocked by the huge number of Youth Ministers/Leaders who are sexual predators. They’re opportunists thinking only of their own sexual gratification. How much of this goes on undetected? How much went on in years past?

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    From what I have read it seems clergy actually commit sexual offenses against children at a lower rate than public school teachers. This doesn’t make it right of course but we need to understand some adults who have access to children engage in sexual abuse of them, be it secular or religious. It simply needs to be crushed when it happens.

    My next issue is why have a 22 year old youth minister? Even a well meaning one ( unlike this one) simply does not have the life acquired wisdom to lead youth in a mature manner. Especially with older teens you simply have a possible attraction dynamic between them and the minister. I remember when I went to church as a teenager ( 16-17) our youth leader was a nice woman named Dory. She was in her early twenties and cute . I will confess I went to church more to get hugs from her than any other reason. Now I do not want to remotely suggest she did anything inappropriate. But seeing I was going to church lessons it seems it would have been better to have an older, wiser in the world adult leading that class.

    I suspect part of the problem is churches want to be “hip” and ” understand” the youth instead of leading the youth.

    I am 43 years old. I am retired from the Army and a teacher now. I am far wiser now than when I was 22. I understand youth far better now than I did at 22 as I have had decades to reflect on my thoughts as youth and understand why I concluded as I have as an adult. I can care less for being ” hip” and prefer simply to lead.

    Some churches might want to consider this approach. They would get far less sex offenses and probably a far more intelligent youth

    • Avatar
      Brian Vanderlip

      Kris asked, perhaps rhetorically: “My next issue is why have a 22 year old youth minister?”
      As one who has survived evangelicalism, son of a Baptist minister and now close to entering my year seventy, I have come the long long way around to realize that a question like yours might be naive. I say that without meaning offense but to offer that asking this question simply doesn’t apply in the overall picture. To me, coming out of the evangelical meatgrinder, it is like asking a woman why she put her face in the way of her husband’s raging fist.
      Christianity is designed to harm when it is practiced as it is in American evangelical life. It is designed to ruin individual freedom and responsibily to replace common humanity with uncommon abuse. Who better to use to ‘minister’ to young people than a wonderful example of Christian youth, a 22 year old professor of the faith. Of course he is young but the harm done to him is sufficient to set him in his role as abuser for some 15 year old harlot. Now, I am using the word harlot rather harshly here but this girl must be blamed for being harmed, for putting herself within reach of the 22 year old. Is she too not fallen and evil in heart? What was she thinking? And the young man, well, what is he to do, a worm, a worthless nothing who lusts and whose mind imagines all kinds of filthy things?
      Christianity has its basis, its foundation in the abusive concept of the ‘fall’ of man so it is no wonder that this foundation builds sick human constructs full of delusional ideas. Why would we install a youngster to lead youngsters? Because he is such a good example, such a fine delusional creation of the believers. And did he get the job done? Ohh yeah….
      I have been told that I represent a cynical stance regarding evangelical Christianity and I understand that from many views, that seems to be so. Certainly, I would have thought this of my own views if I had been exposed to them while I was still a believer. I would have seen the devil roaming around and a poor fellow who misunderstands the gospel and is in need of prayer and a merciful God. But I have seen too much as an old man, seen to many cycles of harm come and go around like the offering plates do.
      I do not agree with your statement, Kris, about the problem possibly being wanting to be ‘hip’ instead of leading. Your experience in the army boot camp is another abusive paradigm and I wonder if you might be assuming it is a healthy, wholesome experience for people. That may not be so. It might in fact be more the vision of Stanley Kubrick in Full Metal Jacket. USA is a warring, sick nation in serious decline partly because of endless war chosen, not assigned by some God. Perhaps you are not the authority you think yourself to be and perhaps you would do better to be led by the youngsters you ‘teach’, given direction by them regarding what is worth knowing in their world. A wise man once whispered, ‘First, do no harm…. Second, let the child lead …’

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        I simply do not have your intense rabid dislike of all things American Christian even if I myself am not Christian. Be exact if given the choice in company I would prefer to keep company with Evangelicals over pretty much any Progressive or especially SJWs. Evangelicals are less judgmental in my experience, and far more willing to listen to other people than Progressives and SJWs. They are certainly grounded much more grounded in reality too. I find a lot of Evangelical advice if listened to would really benefit people such as “get a job” and don’t be dependent on government handouts would work wonders. Don’t screw around much less have children out of marriage would do much to help people and would do more to end poverty than any government assistance ever could. It would greatly improve education too as such kids would be more structured. Reduce crime too . Reduce abortion rates also. That is wiser counsel than many offer the public even if it might hurt some feelings.

        I can imagine you in the 1850s screaming at abolitionists as they were devout American Christians for daring to want to impose their values on all the US. I can imagine you screaming at Civil Right Activist in the 1950s as many of them were Black Evangelicals. Seriously for a group of people who follow such an abusive concept it looks like they managed to do some decent stuff too. I don’t recall reading about American Atheist doing much for Civil Rights and ” American Deist” was strangely silent on abolitionism. Why it took religious believers to do these thing as it seems us secular types were quite content to sit these out at first.

        What do you think Basic Training is supposed to be? A Hippy convention? It’s preparing people for the possibility of going to war. You know that thing that has existed since the dawn of human time. I do think my time in the military was an eye opener into what hardship really is as opposed to this crowd who seems to think a mean word makes them some sort of victim. I do not recall reading in any history book how various European countries with weak Militaries were treated really really kind by the Nazis because they could not protect themselves. Pacifism is a nice philosophy but as of them comment humanity is not a pacifist species and does not seem likely to be one soon.

        By the way what exactly is the US declining into? Last I checked we are pretty much top dog of the planet.

        ” Let the children lead the way” is about the worst idea there is. Children by the nature of being children simply do not have much knowledge about the world, be it learning on subjects or experience. They also have immature minds and emotions. They make very rash decisions. That is why adults need to teach them and lead them. Seriously do you know of any species that delegate any decisions to it’s young. Right now my son is eight years old and as I type this comment he is running around holding his pet bearded dragon singing a song he made up about how he is bearded dragon. Should I seek his counsel on property taxes? On Federalism in the US? Perhaps he has profound foreign policy insights he could offer the Biden administration. No he is eight and I am going to treat him like an eight year old by taking him trick or treat tonight. I am going to teach him how to be a responsible adult.

        I will pass on your advice Brian as I think it is the simply worst counsel possible in many areas.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          I’m not going to wade into your comment — I disagree with virtually everything you said — but the only thing the United States is top dog in is “defense” spending. By any other metric (education, infrastructure, quality of life, social happiness, longevity, etc) we are middling at best. Our political system is broken beyond repair and democracy is decline, if not on life support. Tens of millions of Americans believe the last election was stolen, Trump is the rightful president, and have bought into countless conspiracy theories. We are a nation on the verge of collapse, yet you think we need to “listen” to Evangelicals — good blokes grounded in “reality.” Really?

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            Maybe you should try taking good ideas from Evangelicals. You know how we took the good idea of abolitionism from them. Or the good idea of Civil Rights. Maybe they are onto something when they recommend don’t sleep around, don’t have children out of wedlock. Every study ever shown has indicated children do better in two parent households. It doesn’t even have to be a religious thing, you know how the Confucian code also teaches this.

            What is the issue with our education system. We have excellent colleges. Excellent public schools. But we also have populations that simply are resistant to education for various cultural reasons. You cannot make people learn in the end.

            Quality of life. We have plenty of immigrants who come from 3rd and 2nd world countries. They were poor in these countries. Why are you surprised they are not suddenly middle class in the US? Why are surprised they do not achieve good educational outcomes when they did not achieve that in their countries of origin? They had poorer life spans in their countries of origins, again why should this magically disappear when they get North of the Rio Grande. They can overcome this given time and culture changes and many are.

            If whatever Scandinavian country you are thinking about had once had race based slavery and many immigrants from 3rd world countries their systems would have the same issues we do and the same disparities we do. Well they didn’t have slavery as their environment was a poor fit for that labor and they don’t have a lot of immigration , much less from third world countries. So your basically demanding we be like them without considering we are nothing like them because of history and immigration policies.

            Many Democracies are having trouble now because Left Wing elitism is coming into conflict with Right Wing Populism. In a nutshell, many people in many democracies think leftist and their policies are trash and they are letting this view be known.

            Again if someone wants to improve their lot in life I can tell them a path forward. Work hard. Get an education that can directly lead to a job. Don’t have children out of wedlock. Don’t be materialistic .Do those steps and there is a good chance you can change your economic status in the US.

            You cannot single parent, broken home and welfare people out of poverty. Even if I disagree with Evangelicals on many issues in this regard their advice is quite good. Why do you think Evangelicals tend to be middle class after all? Clearly you don’t think God gave them the money; therefore it has to be cultural practices.

            Verge into collapsing into what? Do you think we are the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century? We are the worlds largest economy and military power. We have excellent education systems, hospitals and so much more. We have societal tensions to be sure but that could be solved by allowing states to govern their populations more in accord with the cultural norms of their populations. What is good in California might not be good for Texas and vice versa.

            I should note though you cannot blame rampant single parent homes on slavery. That practice came about in the 1960s and it didn’t come about because of Conservatives or Evangelicals,. That was liberals who created that blight.

            This is not exact a new thing. To quote Malcolm X

            “The whites who are now struggling for control of the American political throne are divided into “liberal” and “conservative” camps. The white liberals from both parties cross party lines to work together toward the same goal, and white conservatives from both parties do likewise.

            The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.

            Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These “leaders” sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These “leaders” are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders.”

      • Avatar
        Karuna Gal

        Brian, I was a 15 year old girl once. In those days I would have listened and trusted in anyone with authority. And because of my naïveté and lack of understanding about sexual boundaries I could have been easily seduced. This poor girl – who you so callously call a “harlot” – could have been ME. What a terrible fate for a child! She could become pregnant and/or catch a venereal disease. Where is your heart? She was more sinned against than sinning! Do you have daughters? Would you have wished such a fate on them? Would you have called them harlots, too?

        • Avatar
          Brian Vanderlip

          Karuna Gal, I am sorry I have hurt you with my use of adopted voice. I sometimes speak as a black-and-white evangelical in order to baldly present that hateful view of humankind. I in NO WAY blame this young girl for being victimized by a predator and only used that term to represent how the victim is judged in that environment. I am so sorry it hurt you and I grieve with you regarding the position young people find themselves in when brought up in the consdervative, evangelical bubble.
          (Perhaps I would be wiser to preface my writing with clear explanations as Bruce often does, letting the reader know what is to come.) Again, I am sorry to have hurt you with my expressions from the cave of ‘belief’.
          Those of us raised inside these systems suffer such naivete as you state and our understanding of he world is severely hampered by the indoctrination and isolation. Thanks goodness we have places like this to share. And thank-you for you setting me straight! I canbe very harsh in my representations of a certain kind of ‘Christianity’ and it is because I abhor what happens there particularly to the most vulnerable.

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            Karuna Gal

            Brian, apology accepted. I read and reread your post before commenting, and I did not catch its satirical tone at all. Yeah, next time you might want to write a preface to a satiric passage, explaining what you’re doing. I bet I wasn’t the only one who took the post in the wrong way.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Ugh !!🤮. This story about Mark Cuprik makes me think about all the creepy sex incidents at those residential schools that Native kids in America and Canada were forced to attend. No matter what the denomination was,all this perverse behavior was,and still is rampant !! What are people being taught at these Bible colleges, that gives them the idea that they can attack children and get away with this ?? Even caretakers of missionaries’ kids in Africa got into it. I read about that in Christianity Today some years back. It just stunned me,what the one victim, a man, went through. Thank you for reporting on this sick ****, Bruce. Man, someone’s gotta do it ! Because it calls attention to the fact that something is REALLY WRONG with America’s Christianity, for this to ever happen !! Gah !🤬🤬

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    Brian Vanderlip

    Just for the record, I am not aware of any sustained proof of abuse of kids being of a higher percentage among clergy than school teachers or others in authority over kids. Religion per-se does not cause abuse. Teaching as a profession is not inherently abusive. Nevertheless, a certain perecentage of kids get abused at school and in church just as happens in a certain percentage of families at home.
    We will never crush child abuse by changing education or religion. Guidelines are obviously needed but abuse of children is only finally defeated by treating a human being with decency from birth forward, living in relationship and not in authority, not leading but accompanying, not teaching but learning with and through relationship.
    One day, more of us will see how obviously wrong and backward it is to visit violence on a child for any reason whatsoever. We will see that rules are wrong and that guidelines promote open humanity and more profound nurturing of our kids. Childhood must never emulate bootcamp. Bootcamp is a sick construct used to harden humanity, not nurture.

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      Well I am aware of the evidence and I am a teacher now so you can hardly accuse me of wanting to lie on my own profession. I am not going to bother posting endless links on this topic as there are simply too many.

      You probably never will get rid of child abuse. Be exact we still haven’t got rid of slavery in any country. In many areas people cannot even agree on what child abuse is. I think some spanking is fine. Bruce thinks it is abuse. Richard Dawkins thinks it is child abuse to raise children with religion. William Lane Craig has bemoaned children being raised atheist. But in reality what other values should a parent teach besides theirs? If not their’s then whose? Who has the right answer on abuse? Me, Bruce, Richard or William? Take your pick.

      When I was in Iraq in 2005-2006 we had children laying out roadside bombs that killed US Soldiers and Shia. Ending that required violence but mercifully most times the kids could be taken alive. African Counties use child soldiers because they are more brutal than adults. Gangs around the world recruit children just because they are more dangerous than many adults. How else do you propose we stop these children from doing horrific violence besides checking it with violence. Now I do think we should take into consideration their young age but again this idea we should never visit violence on children is absurd. Do you think the Hitler Youth were just sweet and cuddly? How about the youth in China’s Cultural Revolution?

      Be exact a month ago I had to stop a student from beating up a mentally handicapped student. You know how I stopped this? I jerked him off the other kid. I tried reading him some John Lennon and invoked flower power chants at first but strangely enough this didn’t work so I pulled him up. I found out later why he was beating this poor child. He was mad at his mother for not giving him some money when he left for school so he wanted to take this kids. And vent some anger. But we should let this kid lead the way right Brian? I am sure he is far wiser and more ethical than adults right?

      It must be nice in your part of Canada but don’t assume the rest of Earth is like that or ever will be.

      • Avatar
        Bruce Gerencser

        Violence begets violence. Peace is never achieved by violence. Cessation of hostilities? Yes, but not peace. Peace requires us to lay down our weapons of war; to stop using violence as means to gain our objectives — be it obedient children or obedient Afghans.

        I’m sure you think I’m delusional — utopian thinking. Perhaps, but the United States is a nation founded on bloodshed, violence, and war. If we want a better life, a peaceful life, a prosperous life, we must choose a different way.

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          Every dang country is founded on bloodshed violence and war. Do you think the Indian tribes that lived here were nice and peaceful? Do you think the Spanish, French and the English were nice and peaceful. We have been making weapons to use against each other since the beginning of humanity. History teaches that the unarmed person is quickly the dead person, or worse.

          Did it work out well for defenseless populations when the Mongols, Nazis or Communist went on their genocidal rampages. At best we can have a cessation of hostilities when people are strong. If we laid down our weapons we would be massacred. You know like the Japanese did to the Chinese.

          You can have peace in Heaven but that is only because God has infinite power. Seeing you don’t believe in that and I am skeptical of it myself I have to content myself with the methods that keep hostilities down.

          The odds of us getting Utopia are about the same as the odds of Jesus coming back.

          • Avatar
            Bruce Gerencser

            Your general argument seems to be …. history … the way we’ve always done things … live with it. You seem to think that wanting equity, justice, and peace is impossible or a delusion. Sorry, I don’t think that way. We will never make lasting change until we try. Sure, all we’ve known is bloodshed, violence, and war — a failed worldview, if there ever was one. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to choose a different path. Same goes for socialism.

            You and I are not going to have a meaningful discussion on these things, so I will leave it there.

      • Avatar
        Brian Vanderlip

        Kris said, summing up: ‘But we should let this kid lead the way right Brian? I am sure he is far wiser and more ethical than adults right?’
        Kris, you display a very shallow perception of my presentation regarding letting the child lead. Of course as adults we try to be balanced and respectful and when we see a youngster harming themselves and/or someone else, we intervene. But the intervention is not simply to apply the punishment paradigm but to apply relationship and connection with the kid. The bully harming another needs intervention, needs perhaps for an enlightened witness to hear his pain around his mother and to seek to make it clear to him that visiting our own pain on others is a poor choice. In the case you cite here, Kris, intervention was responsible and the adult perogative. Sarcastic reference to a brilliant artist whose message is timeless, is undue and again displays a lack of depth in perception and understanding. As the adult in the situation, the authority figure, did you focus on the bully’s pain too as you tore him free of his victim? Did you see the opportunity for connection with him in this crisis or was your only goal to stop him and see that he was properly punished, as a soldier is punished for disobeying an order. You completely misunderstand the guidance offered us by ‘first, do no harm.’ And you seem completely in left field when I say, ‘let the child lead’. I would never suggest you treat yourself with such disrespect as to just allow a kid to anything, anytime to anyone at all. Why would you take such a dull view of yourself. I am suggesting more relationship, not less, sir, more open-hearted brave interaction with another human being rather than your abdication.

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          Get real.You made a completely absurd comment about children that is utterly devoid of any relationship to reality. I tore it to pieces. I don’t care one iota if that comment about children was set to music it is still complete utter nonsense. It makes as much sense as telling people to lose weight by eating fried food and sweets. Yes intervention was responsible and part of that intervention involved a very low level of violence toward a child, you know the thing you assured us is always wrong Brian. No I did not focus on the bullies pain I focused on the pain of his victim. Let me guess Brian if you came across a woman being raped once you stopped it ( but would you use violence to stop it ) you would make sure to address the rapists need for connection and resentment toward women. Amazing how stupid this stuff sounds when applied to other criminal dynamics.

          I will choose to maintain a relationship with reality Brian even if you clearly walked away from it a long time ago.

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    Show me on planet Earth one time and one place where your or Brian’s ideas have ever once worked. If you can show me a place in reality where they did work with your predicated outcomes then I will stop calling those notions divorced from reality. I tell people unicorns are not real, you know why, no one has ever found one. That is the same category as what you and Brian are proposing but unlike unicorn people taking this stuff seriously gets people killed. France tried your advice in the 1930s and refused to accept the menace that was Nazi Germany until it was far too late. France was invaded and conquered along with it’s neighbors. This stuff has real world consequences. Philosophers such as Russel and Sarle denounced efforts to rearm and made comments stating they could not see a difference between Nazi Germany, France and the UK. Do you think they ever apologized for this horrid nonsense they put out and how they helped create an environment which spawned the Second World War and the Holocaust. Why do I doubt it?

    You want equity,do you think all cultures and values are equal? If not how to propose to create this equity? Guess what the Communists tried that with a 100 million dead count. You can only cut all people equally down to size.

    Justice,that is what we have the court system for. Oh you want cosmic justice, that is God’s job. But you don’t believe in God so that kinda eliminates that option doesn’t it. Oh maybe we can try huge wealth redistributions and somehow think this won’t plunge the country into a civil war. Pig’s will fly too.

    Peace hardly. Your ideas have been tried again and again and they caused hell on Earth.

    Theists believe in the concept of a deity that does not contradict everything we know about how the universe operates.Now that doesn’t mean a deity exists mind you but at least one cannot show a contradiction. But with your views I can show endless times how your stated outcome never happens and how reality is always the opposite. That is a contradiction. So which are more unreasonable?

    Logically a deity could have rise Jesus from the dead. The idea is not contradictory. But on the other hand telling people to disarm and not fight back to prevent death to warfare seemingly always gets more people than if they had simply fought back. Do you think it worked well for Nanking not resisting the Japanese in 1937? How well did not resisting the Nazis work for the Jews?

    Your and Brian’s ideas simply do not survive the acid test of reality. So of course they survive in the only two places they can: universities and the internet where ideas never once have to work to survive.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      You will keep insulting people, but not here. You’ve made your point. I hear you loud and clear. Brian hears you loud and clear. I am well aware of what is. Unlike you, I still hope for what might be —- a better world, a better tomorrow, a world not controlled by capitalists and their violent armed enforcers. You have been commenting on this blog for years, Kris. My views on these things are well known (as are Brian’s). Did you think insulting me and offering up your version of human history was going to change my wind; that I would say, damn, skippy, you are right? Silly me, I’ve been wrong all these years?

      I appreciate your past support of this site. That said, it’s evident there’s no discussion to be had with you on these issues, so I won’t comment further.

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      Brian Vanderlip

      A parting note to Kris: Though it is clear to me that you do not tolerate certain concepts and find them ludicrous, I want to tell you just a jot or two about a remarkable man I knew, now departed, a teacher too and a man who almost died by his own father’s hand. Norm used to be beaten senseless by his dad and nearly succumbed to the abuse but did not. As a young man, Norm surveyed his life lived in such violence and decided that he would not continue that violence in the world and that if he had children, he would never raise his hand to them. How could a young man ever have such strength, Kris? To choose a path completely unknown to him? Norm accomplished this and raised boys who understood what it was to be respected and loved by their dad. Norm was so affected by his own experience as a child that he became a teacher and child-advocate, speaking on behalf of Parenting without Punishment….. Yes, Kris, I said without punishment. He teamed up with others who were saavy regarding the long-term harm of the punishment paradigm, men like Jordan Riak and for his entire life, Norm worked tirelessly to help adults move away from violent parenting and into relationship with their children. You do not understand this, Kris, I get it. But it works. I will be seventy years old next May and I have two adult children whom I am so thankful to have never hit, never slapped or knowingly shamed. They are remarkable young people, one at university studying theatre and philosophy and the other finishing up commercial pilot training and already an award-winning young film director. These are directions I suspect you would not respect because you are so afraid of the malevolence of the world but I am telling you it is possible to live in another way, a way of respect and love for others, a way to sit with a child and learn what it is to be more fully human. Norm Lee eventually left teaching in order to pursue child advocacy. One day, as I explained to him some of the challanges of having my daughter in a kindergarten, he said to me: Brian, I have only this advice about schooling now: The schoolhouse is on fire. Rush there and save your children! Don’t wait! How many times this wise counsel has been confirmed over the years in my life, I cannot count. But you, Kris, have once more reminded me of the wonderful human being who was called Norm Lee. You, Kris, have confirmed yet again, how very wise a man he was….. thank-you for everything, Norm Lee.
      My very best wishes to you Kris. First, do no harm. Second, let the child lead.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Kris,sorry things turned out this way, but this column is basically about the Kuprick family,about this pervy person who took over a church youth group,with ulterior motives. He’s a criminal, like Josh Duggar. How this devolved into a conservative diatribe, I don’t know how things got so off- topic. The Kupricks are a menace to society. Enough said !

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    Politics got brought up because Brian responded to my original comment with some left wing points and platitudes. I responded to that comment and then Bruce responded with other left wing talking points. So if you want to ask who brought up politics look at Bruce and Brian. I simply responded.

    Bruce I went through and checked my comments. I did not insult a single person. Now I was very hard on people’s views point and I called it like it is but that is not insulting people. I will put it this way, if someone told you that horse medicine and vitamins are excellent treatments for Covid you would call that absurd. Now is that insulting the person who said it, no is not. Harsh maybe but not an insult.

    Now last time I looked around here people are free to ask for evidence when people make claims. If someone came here and said he knows Jesus is alive because they have a nice feeling then we would all demand evidence. So really I am just being consistent here with you Bruce and asking for actual evidence that your pacifist views work in the real world. Do you have the evidence, yes or no? This is pretty simple. Now I listed numerous examples where your views did not work, but can you provide counter examples where they have? Yes or No?

    If no then I rest my case. If you wish to say it is simply a belief then say it but don’t get annoyed when religious people say the same thing.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      Telling people who have a different worldview from you they don’t live in “reality” is insulting — especially on issues that have been debated for hundreds , if not thousands of years, And you did this more than once. The discussion I hoped for was one about hope, of what might be, what could be. Instead, you demand we continue to walk down the same bloody, violent, warring path . . . . cuz that’s just the way it is.

      “Just the way it is” will one day lead to the destruction of the human race and the climate of its planet. Wendell Berry said war never begets peace, just a cessation of hostilities until the next time we violently shed blood in the name of “peace.” Thomas Merton called nuclear deterrence or a “winnable nuclear war lunacy. Both men are right. We are on a path of destruction unless you choose a better way. My life is committed to finding and promoting that better way.

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        You cannot show anyone any evidence period to support your views and the outcomes you expect they will produce. If they never once work as you claim they will and furthermore they always produce the exact opposite result of what you claim happens then they are not grounded in reality. You know if someone truly believes lead will float in water and it always sinks that show the belief lead will float in water to be false. It’s not reality.

        This is why I say your views are not a part of reality.

        You have an entire blog dedicated to telling Christians they do not live in reality. Do you think that is insulting to them? People tell other people they do not live in reality all the time. You know when you tell people horse medicine doesn’t treat Covid despite their sincere belief it does you are telling them their views are outside of reality. When you tell someone gays are not demon possessed that is telling their views are not grounded in reality.

        Wendell Berry is correct, guess what that is reality.

        Guess what why do you think we have never had a nuclear war? What prevented such a war. Mutual Assured Destruction.

        In the real world vast sums of humans get destroyed when people and countries embrace your views, not mine.

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          Bruce Gerencser

          You’ve made your point, please stop. Repeatedly suggesting that I am delusional for wanting a better world for my children and grandchildren is not helpful. I find it insulting.

          We don’t know what would happen if the world adopted my views, because we’ve never tried. And until we do, we will continue to have more violence, bloodshed, war, and death.

          Color me what you will, but do it elsewhere.

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            If predators renounced the predation of herbivores and became vegetarian we would have a lot more animals being happy. IF

            If wishes transformed into fishes we could end world hunger. IF

            It always nice to imagine ” if” but ifs do not magically transform into reality.

            In the real world Bruce people like you just get people killed.

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          Kris, I can assure you that people who are marginalized in the United States system can tell you the system is broken. The capitalistic, God inspired, follow our conservative rules, government leaves millions of people living with inequality and bigotry, or even the threat of abuse, assault, or death.

          It does not take much effort to see the problems of this society. But you seem to be saying that the problems exist now have always existed, so we just need to accept it and move on with life. The powerful always will take what they want, so either fight back or just accept that you must bow to the power of the strongest.

          You should remember that It is possible that your reality is a bit skewed, just as it is possible my reality is a bit skewed. You seem to believe your reality is 100% accurate and should not be challenged. When it is challenged, you choose to fight back instead of listening and understanding. I suspect most people who read this blog, whether atheist, agnostic, or otherwise are willing to listen and even change their views when it is clear that a change is needed.

          Just one more note. The Jesus of the Evangelical friends you support was a very serious pacifist. The last will be first, turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, serve your master, love those that persecute you, and even apparently allowing his own death at the hands of the superpower of his day. He could have snapped his fingers, wiped out the Romans, and then told dad “ I didn’t kill just one Roman, or a hundred, or a thousand. I killed them all. All Romans, everywhere” but, apparently, the Christian god felt pacifism was the proper way of life.

          None so blinds as those who will not see.

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            Every country and every society has had marginalized people since the dawn of human history. Do you think various communist didn’t have these issues? Do you think the Sumerians didn’t. It’s it how thing are in reality. It will never ever end. Our so called “enlightened ” leftist in many university systems marginalize conservatives while they bemoan this practice elsewhere. It’s unfortunately how things are.

            Capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than any government program has ever done period. Productivity and commerce lift people from poverty. Remember all humans started off poor, not all humans started off middle class. Why don’t we try studying how people lifted themselves from their poor state instead of scolding those who did.

            Why do you think we should have equality? Have people ever once had that? How do you propose we get this ” equality”. Both the Gypsies and Jews have nomadic populations. One values education and work. One does not. Do you think they should get equal economic benefits? How do we determine when this ” equality” has been achieved? Should we “reeducate ” those who oppose ” equality” or simply kill them. Isn’t 100 million bodies enough for people like you to accept this stuff never ever works.

            You might want check the FBI database as you will find the killers of marginalized people are other marginalized people. So maybe you should be telling them to knock it off instead of trying to blame it on others. Maybe they should try to study how others groups lifted themselves out of poverty. You know like how Asian Americans did. Or how Nigerian and Caribbean Immigrants are doing it now. I will give you a hint, they didn’t have kids out wedlock, they worked hard and didn’t consider government handouts to be an income. Same thing the Jews did.

            The Jesus of Evangelicals also told his followers to buy a sword if they don’t have one. There is also the entire Book of Revelation where Jesus was hardly a pacifist. But I am not Christian so I will let the Evangelicals deal with this issue.

            I agree there are none so blind who can’t see. But I am not the blind one around here. Maybe my view is not 100% accurate. But when pressed for evidence for a single time in history that pacifism or “equality” has ever once produced the outcomes it’s proponents claimed would happen no one can give me a single instance. I can show how always the opposite happens. Your argument is akin to saying don’t use the map as some of the street names are old, we should just make it up as we go in order not to get lost.

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    Kris….Wow, and there you have it. You finally reveal your true self. This is a whole post of stereotype, bias, and trope. Now I finally know who I am dealing with.

    Cue indignation and outrage…

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