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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor George Swain Indicted on Child Rape Charges

greater victory temple

In November 2020, George Swain, pastor of Greater Victory Temple in Mattapan, Massachusetts, was arrested on child rape charges. Boston-25 reported:

A Boston pastor facing child rape charges involving three different victims was arraigned over the phone in a hospital bed on Monday.

71-year-old Reverend George Swain, of the Greater Victory Temple in Mattapan, was originally set to appear in court in Dorchester.

….

Prosecutors allege that the abuse involved boys between the ages of 8 and 16, and that two of those victims were sexually assaulted inside the church.

The charges stem from allegations that date back to the late 90′s and early 2000′s.

Last week, Swain was indicted on child rape charges.

Boston-10 reports:

Prosecutors say Swain sexually abused three boys between the ages of 8 and 16 from 1997 to 2004.

The three victims, who are now in their 30s, were members of the church and trusted Swain, investigators say.

“Bishop Swain is accused of using his position of trust and authority to ingratiate himself to his victims and their families, grooming them in order to gain access to targets for his sexual abuse,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rollins said in a statement Thursday. “He allegedly preyed on his victims’ faith and used it as an entryway into their lives.”

“He was seen as a role model, and the victims’ families all looked up to him,” Assistant District Attorney Audrey Mark said in court last year.

Investigators allege Swain abused two of the boys at Greater Victory Temple and the third boy at his Dorchester home where the youngest child sometimes spent the night.

The abuse went on for years, prosecutors allege.

Greater Victory Temple is a Pentecostal church that has been part of the Boston community for 19 years, according to the church’s website.

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In her statement, Rollins commended the strength and courage of the survivors who came forward in order to make sure Swain has to answer in court for his actions.

“It can be incredibly difficult to disclose childhood sexual abuse, whether as a child or as an adult survivor. The survivors who came forward to disclose abuse by Bishop Swain showed a tremendous amount of strength and bravery,” she said. “It can take decades for victims to make the decision to come forward about sexual abuse, as is what happened here.”

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so. Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Poking Geri Ungurean, An Evangelical Conspiracy Theorist

geri-ungurean

Geri Ungurean is an Evangelical conspiracy theorist. You can read here rants at the Absolute Truth from the Word of God: Jesus Has Every Answer blog. Ungurean is a Trump-supporting, anti-vaxxer, anti-masker hater of George Soros — who is Satan personified. Ungurean believes that Facebook and WordPress are out to get her due to her “truth” telling. I will leave it to readers to peruse her site and determine how truthful she is. I am of the opinion that Ungurean is a liar and full of shit. And the other day, I told her so:

geri ungurean comment

As you can see, I used Ungurean’s name to comment. 🙂

In classic tinfoil hat fashion, Ungurean turned my comment into a conspiracy theory:

You see, this person created a gmail account using my name. My gmail is grandmageri422.

This morning I wrote an email to this imposter. I told him/her that I forgave them and that I only had one response:

(Lengthy Plan of Salvation deleted)

God knows who the person is who responded to my article on George Soros.

I am asking the readers to Pray for this person. Yes – let’s corporately send prayers up to heaven asking our Lord to reach this person for Him!

First, I did NOT create a Gmail account in Ungurean’s name. This is a lie, and she knows it. Second, if she actually sent an email to the fictitious address I used, it should have bounced back to her. She would then KNOW that I did NOT create a new account in her name. Third, Ungurean published her FULL Gmail address on a public blog. This is really a bad idea. I was able to leave several more snarky comments in Ungurean’s name. Just having a bit of fun while I slowly die. Might as well leave this life being a pain in Evangelical asses, right?

My main beef with Ungurean is that she is a liar, that she deliberately spreads things she knows are not true (or should know if she did a bit of legitimate research). Ungurean is not stupid, but she has so deeply immersed herself in Evangelical dogma and right-wing conspiracy theories that she has lost the ability to think critically. Her writing is a good example of the pernicious nature of Fundamentalist thinking.

I genuinely feel sorry for Ungurean. She’s my age, a grandmother, so I know it is unlikely that anyone can say anything to change her mind. That’s what Fundamentalist religious beliefs will do to your mind. I know that was the case for me. Your beliefs keep you from seeing any “truth” but yours. And when you are in the Evangelical bubble, it makes perfect sense. Your beliefs and practices perfectly align with the “truth” of the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, saying to you, Praise Jesus! I am right. To those outside of the bubble, however, you are viewed as a bast-shit crazy lunatic. That’s why many Evangelicals-turned-atheists can only shake their heads in disbelief and shame when they think about what they used to believe and how they lived their lives. I once was Geri Ungurean, so I understand where she is coming from. That said, I was a liar and full of shit then, as she is now. And that’s the truth.

Let me conclude this post with some of the comments on Ungurean’s blog about my comment. Funny stuff, to say the least:

Dale:

Keep preachin’ it girl! Heap those loving truth burning coals on their heads. People like this live on hate not love. If they knew Christ they would know real love. It’s not “feelie” or “gimmie” type love but love based on true commitment. John 15:13 describes the commitment part of real love & He did that for us undeserving sinful jerks. He loved us first, He saves us from God’s wrath, He sanctifies us, He keeps us, He takes us with Him at death, He keep us forever with Himself, He cannot ever lose any of his sheep. An excellent deal, and its free. He paid the entire price & He guarantees it FOREVER! The clear Gospel msgs we send to people like this may go unheeded but the Lord will on “J” day present these msgs as evidence against them. They will be without excuse.

Oh yeah keep the correspondence simple, its obvious this person’s vocabulary is very limited.

Jim:

Geri, whoever wrote you was a sick person. Keep preaching it. God/Jesus loves you. You are a very brave woman that you wrote many articles that were proven FACTS!!! Satan and demons hate the truth. The world are getting darker and darker. Time is short. I truly believe the rapture is very near. I pray this year, 2021!!!!!!

You will getting a crown in the Heaven.

Marianne:

I am praying also for this person now.

Bryan:

Take all of this as a ‘back-handed compliment’ from the “father of lies.” You have SO rattled his cage, so to speak, that he has resorted to plain old simple forgery and abuse. Then you’ve responded with Love and concern for the poor soul who satan has manipulated to attack you – it’;s pathetic really. As i often say to he enemy-of-our-souls “Is THAT really the best you can do?” (with as much contempt as i can muster.) If THIS is satan’s “master plan” to shut you up, then you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about!

I agree with my brother “Keep heaping on the burning coals” of Love, Compassion and concern, plus relentless resistance of the devil’s doomed strategies, then watch him FLEE!

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so. Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Spaniard VIII Slut Shames Women

slut shaming

Don’t be amazed, my brothers, as you take a trip to the supermarket and all of a sudden, you notice many women wearing tight leggings. It leaves nothing to the imagination. This tactical move from the devil is ancient. Job, a servant of the Lord, was a righteous man who also had to overcome the stumbling block of lust. This was his solution…“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” (Job 31:1)

Making our eyes look straight ahead, away from any potential landmine, is a way of avoiding falling into the sin of lust. Satan will station these stumbling blocks in every corner of your life to eventually capture you off guard.

….

And for the women who wear clothing that will make your brothers in Christ stumble, don’t think that you will escape God’s discipline. You won’t. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your own husbands to fall into the same trap with another woman. Rather, adorn yourselves for Christ.

— Spaniard VIII, Spiritual Minefield, Fixing My Eyes On The Lord So That I Won’t Stumble, March 28, 2021

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so. Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Robert Aaron Long Is A Symptom

guest post

Guest post by MJ Lisbeth

Even after the Trump (mis)administration and a seemingly endless string of mass shootings, Robert Aaron Long’s killing spree shocked me. But it also stirred up other reactions that I’m just now sorting out.

On one hand, I felt disgust at Long because he attacked members of an ethnic group that is under siege. Within a few days, within a few miles of my apartment, Chinese and other Asian people—including a woman in her 70s—were brutally beaten. Moreover, his victims were also further marginalized and stigmatized because they were sex workers. Very few people actually choose to make a living that way: More often, they are paying off a debt to a smuggler, drug dealer or pimp, or simply find themselves cast adrift with no other skills or means of survival. I think now of the young queer people in the LGBT youth group I co-facilitated for two years. Some were kicked out of their homes when they “came out,” or ran away from home because they were bullied. A few, I knew, were turning “tricks” minutes after our group sessions ended.

So, perhaps, I could say that I took Long’s actions personally, not only because of those young people, but also because my status is not much greater than theirs, at least in the eyes of some people. As a transgender woman, I have been falsely accused of all manner of sexual misconduct by people who knew they could invoke stereotypes and caricatures to exact revenge against, or simply bully, me.

At the same time, while I do not condone what Long did, what I feel about him is more complicated than what I felt about, say, Dylan Roof. I had an easier time condemning and—dare I say it?—hating Roof because he seemed to act on a purer kind of hatred and bigotry: He admitted he killed nine African Americans because he wanted to start a race war. And, quite honestly, from what I learned about him—not much, I admit—he and I seemed to have little in common.

In contrast, I can find some points of comparison, if not identification, between myself and Mr. Long. While I don’t think I’m a sex addict, whatever that means, I can understand, at least somewhat his anxiety over his sexual desires and impulses. Though mine, I imagine, are and were very different from his, I think we share this: Our desires (and, in my case, my identity) were seen as “sinful” by the religious communities in which we participated, as well as by the secular authorities (his, via his family and community; mine, products of the time and places in which I grew up) that ruled our lives.

I was raised as a Roman Catholic half a century ago. Later, I would “answer” what I thought was a “calling” from “the Lord” (which I now realize was a kind of breakdown) by “accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior” and becoming with an Evangelical church and organization. In reality, what I needed were a good therapist and a support group. The particulars of Long’s religious life were surely different from mine, but I believe we shared this: Inculcation with an intense belief in an implacable being that caused us no end of anxiety.

As someone who was sexually abused by a priest, I can attest that one of the ways the church gets its “hooks” into young people is by filling them with guilt about their biological and psychological impulses, however common they may be. Those impulses conflict with their fealty to the Divine, according to the teachings of the Church, and must therefore be extinguished (via celibacy) or sublimated into a sanctioned relationship that leads to the production of more future church members. But whether you celibate (I know, you’re not supposed to verb adjectives) or procreate, your faith can never be enough.

I suspect that something like what I’ve described is at work in other Christian churches. Certainly, it was in the Evangelical church in which I was involved, and from which known and suspected homosexuals, smokers and other “sinners” were expelled. The fear of losing one’s community (and possibly family) compounds the anxieties someone might have about not being “saved” and being thus consigned to eternal torment.

Now, I won’t pretend to know the exact nature of Mr. Long’s sexual desires. He says he was an “addict.” His claim begs this question: Was he always so? Was he—or anyone—born to be a “sex addict?” Or did suppressing his desires in the name of faith cause him to occasionally “binge” like students on Spring Break in South Beach after being cooped up all winter? Could William Blake have had someone like Mr. Long in mind when he wrote, “Prisons are built from stones of law/Brothels from bricks of religion”?

One thing I know: Having to deal with suppressed desire, and anxiety over a seemingly implacable God and church, makes quite a load to bear. Especially if you are young. (Modern neuroscience shows us that the human brain doesn’t fully develop until about age 25.) Especially if you have been surrounded people and institutions that inculcated you with anxiety about your destiny and shame about your desires.

As I mentioned earlier, I neither condone nor excuse what Robert Aaron Long did. But he is not the only villain in that tragedy. He must be held to account but he also needs help as much as–again, dare I say it?—I needed it when I was abused. As I needed counseling and therapy (which, to be fair, almost nobody in that place and time knew how to do), Robert Aaron Long needs some serious de-programming, not only from a belief in the need to please an unpleasable imaginary being, but also from the notions about gender roles and racial hierarchy that enforces. So do many other young people; so did many of us: We got the same kinds of indoctrination, reinforced in similar ways. Unless those are dismantled, indicting and punishing Robert Aaron Long will serve no other purpose than to indict and punish Robert Aaron Long.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so. Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Bruce Gerencser