Tag Archive: Evangelicalism

Black Collar Crime: Pastor Charles “Tiger” Aguon II Accused of Grooming Teen Boy

charles tiger aguon II

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.

Pastor Charles “Tiger” Aguon II, headmaster/teacher at Kingdom Preparatory School in Auburndale, Florida, stands accused of grooming and sexually molesting a teen boy.

The Ledger reports:

PCSO investigators conducted an emergency forensic interview with the teen, who said Aguon simulated sex with him and touched his penis numerous times, with a specific occurrence in November and another in December.

During a monitored phone call between Aguon and the boy Tuesday, the teen told Aguon he felt uncomfortable and did not like when Aguon kissed and touched him.

Aguon then asked the boy, “Oh, the loving on you?” said Judd, referencing the phone call.

After the teen said he didn’t like it when Aguon touched his private parts, kissed him and bit his lip, Aguon then said, “You know I was only messing with you,” according to the arrest affidavit.

When the teen told Aguon a second time he did not like it, Aguon then said, “I’m sorry.”

Less than two hours later, Aguon was arrested at Kingdom Preparatory School around 1:30 p.m.

Judd said Aguon admitted to detectives that he knew his behavior was inappropriate, and that he should not have engaged in that type of behavior.

Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Doug Edwards Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor

pastor doug edwards

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.

Last year, Doug Edwards, pastor of First Baptist Church in Ketchikan, Alaska and a recently retired home economics teacher at Ketchikan High School, was arrested and charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor.  According to KRBD, Edwards  sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old church girl. Yesterday, Edwards pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor.

KRBD reports:

A former Ketchikan High School teacher pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual abuse of a minor through a plea agreement that calls for him to serve six years in jail.

Doug Edwards was charged last spring with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor for groping a then-14-year-old girl’s chest at the school, at his home and at the church where he was a pastor. The plea agreement consolidates those six charges into one Class B felony.

Superior Court Judge William Carey explained what that means to Edwards and others in the courtroom.

“So what this does is consolidate all six into one conviction, however he is basically admitting the conduct in all of them,” Carey said. “And the fact that, even though there is one conviction, it looks like the fact that other acts, multiple acts, are consolidated into this, makes the sex-offender registration requirement lifetime as opposed to 15 years.”

After he’s served his time in prison, Edwards will be required to register as a sex offender, and update that registration every three months for the rest of his life.

The plea agreement called for a sentence of 18 years with 12 suspended. That leaves six to serve, but with “good time,” Edwards could be released after four years.

Songs of Sacrilege: Christmas Time in Hell by the South Park Team

christmas time in hell

This is the one hundred ninety-ninth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Christmas Time in Hell by the South Park Team.

Video Link

Lyrics

Satan: Well I tell you what,
Maybe we’ll have ourselves a little Christmas, right here.
C’mon everyone, gather `round!

String up the lights and light up the tree
We’re going to make some revelry
Spirits are high, so I can tell
It’s Christmas time in hell!

Demons are nicer as you pass them by
There’s lots of demon toys to buy
The snow is falling and all is well
It’s Christmas time in hell!

There goes Jeffery Dahmer,
With a festive Christmas ham
After he has sex with it,
He’ll eat up all he can.

And there goes John F. Kennedy
Caroling with his son
Reunited for the holidays
God bless us, everyone!

Everybody has a happy glow
Let’s dance in blood and pretend its snow
Even Mao Tse-Tung is under the spell
It’s Christmas time in hell!

Adolf, here’s a present for you.

Hitler: Oh? O Tannenbaum!

Satan: Yes, O Tannenbaum!

God cast me down from Heaven’s door
To rule in hell for evermore
But now I’m kinda glad that I fell
‘Cause It’s Christmas time in hell!

Here’s a rack to hang the stockings on
We still have to shop for Genghis Kahn!
Michael Landon’s hair looks swell!
It’s Christmas time in hell!

There’s Princess Diana
Holding burning mistletoe
Over poor Gene Siskel’s head
Just watch his weenie grow!

For one day we all stop burning
And the flames are not so thick
All the screaming and the torture stops
As we wait for old Saint Nick!

So string up the lights and light up the tree
We’re damned for all eternity
But for just one day all is well
It’s Christmas time in hell!

We’ve got to toast together, and make it quick!
We’ve gotta make room for Andy di*k.
Wake his mother and ring the bell

It’s Christmas time…

(Christmas time… Christmas time… Christmas time…)

Christmas time…

(Christmas time… Christmas time… Christmas time…)

It’s Christmas time in hell!

Merry Christmas Rooming House!

How My Relationships With Women Have Changed Post-Jesus

temptress

I grew up in a system of religious faith that taught me a negative view of women. Every Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor and professor who instructed me in the True Christian Faith® taught me the following:

  • Women were created by God to be their husbands’ helpmeets.
  • Women are commanded by God to be keepers of their homes. Their primary tasks are housekeeping, cooking meals, caring for children, and spreading their legs whenever their husbands want sex.
  • Women, when compared to men, are weaker vessels and need the protection of males.
  • Men are the head of their homes and their wives are to submit to their rule and authority.
  • Women are temptresses, leading men (and teen boys) into sexual immorality.
  • Women have the duty to dress in ways to keep men from lusting after them. Women, then, are sexual gatekeepers.
  • Women cannot be pastors or serve in any church capacity that puts them in authority over men. Some of pastors and professors taught me that women were to be silent in church and were not permitted to participate in church governance.

These beliefs were modeled — albeit imperfectly and hypocritically — to me throughout my primary, secondary, and post-secondary years. It should come as no surprise, then, that once I began preaching and pastoring churches, I taught these beliefs to congregants. Multiple generations of people were taught by me that women were inferior, dangerous beings best suited for domestic work, teaching women, preparing church dinners, and staffing the nursery.  Women who violated these Biblical truths were viewed as rebellious towards God, their churches, and their husbands.

My wife and I lived by these beliefs for many years. Our home was what I would call a traditional IFB home. Not only did Polly care for the home, she also home schooled our six children. For five years, she taught our children and others in our church’s private Christian school. Polly did work in a church day care (Temple Tots, a ministry of the Newark Baptist Temple) and taught third grade one year at Licking County Christian Academy in Heath, Ohio. Polly received a lesser wage than male teachers because I was the head of our home; she was  not.

Ten years before we deconverted, Polly took a job cleaning offices at a local manufacturing concern. She works for this company today as a manager, recently celebrating twenty years on the job. By the time Polly started working at Sauder Woodworking, our marriage had evolved, taking on more of an egalitarian quality. Our quest for true marital equality and egalitarianism continues to this day. Old habits die hard, but we do work presenting an egalitarian model to our children and grandchildren. I suspect this late in the game we will never outlive the deep marks complementarianism has made on us personally and on our marriage.

It wasn’t until I deconverted that I was able to have female friends. As long as Jesus and I were best friends, I had no female friends. How could I, since I believed that some women were temptresses out to seduce and bed me? I had women I considered acquaintances, but I always kept them at arm’s length out of fear of being tempted to sin. I was taught to avoid the very appearance of evil. Thus, I was not permitted to enjoy the company of women if my wife was not present. No social interaction whatsoever was permitted. Of course, this kind of thinking cut me off from a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. When it came to the churches I pastored, I ran the show, and when serious decisions had to be made, it was the men who made them. Women were permitted to vote in business meetings, but there was no doubt about which sex and which member of that sex was in charge.

in 2008, I divorced Jesus. Once free of Christianity, I was then free to be friends with whomever I wanted, regardless of their sex (or sexual orientation). Now, this doesn’t mean that I am oblivious to the fact that close company with the opposite sex can and does lead to moral compromise. That said, I don’t “fear” women. I own my sexuality, so it’s up to me how and to what degree I interact with women. Both Polly and I are free to enjoy the company of the opposite (or same) sex, even though, quite frankly, we enjoy one another’s company the most.

Earlier this week, I had my beard trimmed. I was starting to look a lot more like Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomer, than Santa Claus. Prior to this appointment, my hair — when I had any — and beard had always been trimmed by men. This time a woman trimmed my beard. I became casually acquainted with her (and her husband) several years ago as I photographed my grandson’s baseball games. Her son played on my grandson’s team. I have run into her many times since at baseball games, high school games, and school events. A month or so ago, I ran into her at a local high school basketball game. I knew that she cut hair, so I asked her if she trimmed beards. I told her my previous barber was quite a hack, and I was looking for someone to care for Santa’s beard. She told me she trimmed beards, so this week I had her cut mine. She did a wonderful job. I must admit that it felt strange having a woman not named Polly run her fingers through my beard. That said, she’s the beard trimmer for me.

As Polly and I were leaving, I told the woman who trimmed my beard, “you are the first woman to ever cut my hair or trim my beard in almost sixty-two years.” I did not tell her that it took divorcing Jesus for me to be comfortable with a woman who is not my wife touching my hair and/or beard. I believe she is religious, so I don’t want to have THAT discussion while she has scissors in her hand.

Did you avoid relationships with the opposite sex due to your religious beliefs? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve 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.

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.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Phillip Buckson Accused of Impregnating Teenager

phillip buckson

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.

Phillip Buckson, pastor of Cleveland Chapel Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, stands accused of repeatedly having sex with a minor, beginning at age thirteen, twice getting her pregnant. The pregnancies, according to The Charlotte Observer, were terminated. Buckson has been charged with four counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He is divorced, and father to two young children.

Buckson’s church bio page says:

Pastor Phillip J. Buckson, a native of Gaffney, SC. Born and raised in Gaffney, Pastor Buckson also was converted at the tender age of 9 and he’s been serving God in various capacities.

….

Pastor Buckson was educated in Gaffney for twelve year then furthered his education in Psychology at Spartanburg Methodist College. While attending SMC, Pastor Buckson was a stellar basketball player in which he earned national recognition and is now currently enrolled as a student at The N. J. Brockman School of Theology (Cowpens EXT.) Pastor Buckson serves as one of the coordinators for the Cherokee County School Curriculum Counsel.

Pastor Phillip J. Buckson was licensed to preach the gospel under the tutelage of Pastor C. A. Wallace at the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, Gaffney, SC.,

Pastor Buckson served in many capacities. He later joined the Cleveland Chapel Baptist Church where he served as Assistant Minister under the leadership of Rev. Anthony R. Wilson..

In 2011, Pastor Buckson was called to Senior Pastorate Pine Grove Baptist Church, Iva SC.  He was ordained by the Little River Missionary Baptist Association were Pastor Joseph Caldwell is the Moderator.

In 2014 Pastor Buckson founded Phillip J. Buckson Ministries. Ministry that focuses on ministering to the total  person, God is really elevating his ministry.

In November of 2014, Pastor Phillip J. Buckson was called as the Senior Pastor of the Cleveland Chapel Baptist Church, Spartanburg South Carolina.

Pastor Buckson also served as President of The Young Pastors/ Preachers Association for the E &M Baptist convention of South Carolina.

Pastor Buckson has been called to many parts of the state and others states including Georgia, Chicago, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee to preach the word of God.

Pastor Buckson’s motto is “Don’t Despise small beginnings; what God has for you is for you!”

Updates

Buckson has his bond set.

The Voices of Atheism: The Best of Christopher Hitchens — Arguments and Comebacks

christopher hitchens

Christopher Hitchens

This is the first installment in The Voices of Atheism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. Know of a good video that espouses atheism/agnosticism or challenges the claims of the Abrahamic religions? Please email me the name of the video or a link to it. I believe his series will be an excellent addition to The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Today’s video features the late Christopher Hitchens. Enjoy!

Video Link

Books I Recommend by Christopher Hitchens

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

Mortality

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Hitch-22: A Memoir

The Voices of Atheism: Christopher Hitchens on Religion

christopher hitchens

Christopher Hitchens

This is the first installment in The Voices of Atheism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. Know of a good video that espouses atheism/agnosticism or challenges the claims of the Abrahamic religions? Please email me the name of the video or a link to it. I believe his series will be an excellent addition to The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Today’s video features the late Christopher Hitchens participating in a panel discussion on religion. Enjoy!

Video Link

Books I Recommend by Christopher Hitchens

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

Mortality

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Hitch-22: A Memoir

Evangelical Pastor Dean Curry Starts New Church After Being Fired Over Sexual Misconduct

dean curry

Last July, Dean Curry, pastor of Life Center Assembly of God in Tacoma, Washington, was fired over sexual misconduct allegations. You can read my posts on Curry’s firing here, here, and here.  After sixth months on the disgraced pastors shelf, Curry has resurrected himself and started a new church in Tacoma, Washington. Called OURCHURCH, Curry’s new gig purports to be an inclusive congregation:

CHURCH. It’s a word with some baggage. Almost always defined by or linked with a term Jesus never used: “religion.” OURCHURCH isn’t about religion. We’re about Jesus. And Jesus is about truth, love, grace, peace, and life to the full. For everyone.

OUR: belonging to or connected with us; the possessive form of we

By definition, OUR is inclusive. You, me, us, we. OURCHURCH is simply a community of people learning to love Jesus and love people well together. Sound like something you’d like to be part of? Welcome to OUR.

I wonder if “inclusive” means accepting LGBTQ as they are and admitting them into the membership? I doubt. OUR CHURCH’s doctrinal statement is quite Evangelical, so I suspect that Curry will continue to preach against homosexuality, premarital sex, and same-sex marriage. The church’s doctrinal statement doesn’t mention Hell, though I suspect, again, Curry believes such a place exists and all non-Christians will end up there after they die.

Curry in an expert at hiding his real beliefs behind cutesy, evasive words, but make no mistake about it, Dean Curry is a card-Carrying Evangelical; an Evangelical pastor with sexual misconduct allegations in his past. Not that that has ever stopped a disgraced Evangelical preacher from starting a new church. You see, men such as Dean Curry (and Bruce Gerencser) are addicted to the ministry. They love the power, attention, and adulation. The ministry gives them meaning, purpose, and direction. The sum of their life is the ministry.  It is for these reasons, and others, disgraced preachers rarely leave the ministry altogether. Once a preacher, always a preacher, the thinking goes. And if men such as Curry believe God has “called” them, they even have Biblical justification for their continuation in the ministry despite their crimes and/or misconduct:

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Romans 11:29)

I have no doubt Curry believes he is “called” by Jesus to start OURCHURCH and be its senior pastor. When someone believes God talks to them personally, there’s little anyone can do to change their minds. It will be interesting to see how many people join with Curry at his new gig. Something tells me, he will draw more than a few people from his former church; people who believe the accusations against Curry are false or they believe he is sufficiently repentant for his past ill behavior.

The current leaders of the church are as follows: Dean Curry, Senior Pastor, Brandon Perritte, Lead Pastor, Melanie Grassi Wood, Executive Pastor, and Tait Stocking, Pastor to Kids and Families

OURCHURCH’s Facebook page.

Sacrilegious Humor: The Best of Bill Maher on Islam and Christianity

bill maher

This is the fifty-eighth installment in the Sacrilegious Humor series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a comedy bit that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please email me the name of the bit or a link to it.

Today’s video is a compilation of Bill Maher’s bits on Islam and Christianity.

Video Link

Sacrilegious Humor: Compilation of Comedy Bits on Religion

atheists-go-to-heaven

Comic by Mark Lynch

This is the fifty-seventh installment in the Sacrilegious Humor series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a comedy bit that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please email me the name of the bit or a link to it.

Today’s video is a compilation of various comedians doing bits on religion.

Video Link

Guest Post: #ExposeChristianSchools Part 2

exposechristianschools

Guest post by by ObstacleChick

In the wake of Karen Pence’s decision to accept a position at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, which requires parents of admitted students to sign a statement that they do not participate in or condone any sexual immorality, including homosexuality or bisexuality, ex-evangelical Chris Stroop created the social media hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools. Please see Part 1 for some of my experiences in a fundamentalist Christian school from 1981-1988.

After reading an article that Ms. Pence had accepted the position, I went to the school’s website to find out more about the school before jumping to conclusions, and I found that it is very similar to the fundamentalist Christian school I attended in the 1980s. While I am not surprised that Ms. Pence would support such a school, and I believe she has a right to teach wherever she wishes, I also believe that she should not act surprised or offended when other people call her out on teaching at a school that promotes bigotry against LGBTQ people.

One of my friends from the fundamentalist Christian school came out as gay after he left the school. Fortunately, his parents were very supportive of him. He and I have stayed in touch through the years because I was one of the few former classmates who did not treat him like a pariah due to admonishments from writings of ancient, ignorant people.

I noticed my friend shared the story of Ms. Pence’s acceptance of the job at Immanuel Christian School on his social media page with the comment, “I went to a private Christian school. I wish I had come out during my time there to shake things up.” It made me sad to read his comment, knowing that he would have either been silenced or expelled. Knowing full well that my post would probably upset former teachers and classmates, I posted my own #ExposeChristianSchools story. I believe it is important that people from my post-evangelical life understand what these schools are and that they may actually know someone who attended one of those schools. Also, I felt it was important for people from my past and present to realize that people can change their views.

Several friends from my post-evangelical days thanked me for posting and sharing the story. None of them knew my background with regard to religious indoctrination. Many commenters were members of my husband’s family or were former coworkers. I am sure they were shocked to find out I was raised that way, especially as I no longer hold the bigoted views espoused by these types of schools. Only one of my former classmates commented, and she thanked me for posting and admitted that she did not think about these things while growing up, is currently sending her children to this type of school, and struggles with the legalism.

My father-in-law, who attended Catholic schools through grade school and undergraduate university, was concerned that I was judging all Christian schools, so we had a telephone conversation and cleared things up. My brother and my former mathematics teacher, however, were not pleased with my assessment. I had already decided that if any of my teachers saw my post, I would not feel bad, as they must be held accountable for their complicity in such a system regardless of whether they were active perpetrators of abuse. While my former mathematics teacher is a nice lady who is in her early 90s, she still holds unapologetically to the abusive fundamentalist evangelical beliefs that I wish to expose. I thanked her for her response, but she did not apologize for being part of the system and I did not offer absolution.

My brother, about whom I have written before, stated unequivocally that he cannot understand how we were brought up in the same system yet have such completely divergent world views. He and my former mathematics teacher then proceeded to orgasm over each other’s conversion stories and how Jesus has saved them from their depravity. I let them have their little orgasmic bonding on my post, hoping that previous commenters would read what sounds to outsiders like ridiculous ranting and raving in order to solidify the points that I was trying to make. I won’t bore you all with the details of their stories, but suffice it to say theirs are typical tales of “I was a sinner and Jesus totally saved me glory hallelujah amen praise Jesus.” Evangelicals really have no idea how ridiculous their “testimonies” sound to those outside the system.

In any case, my husband and I were concerned that my brother would cut us off as we have feared, given my brother’s increasing zealotry. This particular interchange led me to realize that my brother is too far gone to have a rational discussion about religion, and I have determined not to bring it up to him anymore. If he wishes to persist in his beliefs, he will need to follow his own journey. My pointing out scientific and historical flaws in his beliefs has no impact on his desire for faith in ridiculous (and harmful) views. I commented a few days later on one of his few non-religious posts, and we had a nice banter back and forth, so he is not averse to banalities. I think he understands that my children and I are the only blood relatives with whom he has any type of relationship, and if he cuts us off, he will only have his wife’s family. They are definitely more Christian than we are, but even they do not seem to be participating in his hard-core fundamentalist zealotry. I don’t think he has any friends outside his Skype men’s prayer group.

In any case, I accomplished my goal of raising awareness about the abuses in fundamentalist Christian schools. And while I am not ready to be completely public about my atheism for fear of prompting my brother to sever ties, I will say that my name is Laura, and I #ExposeChristianSchools.

Please share your experiences with Christian schools in the comments. We would love to hear your stories.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Phil Robertson Says He Doesn’t Need Medical Insurance

phil robertson aids

We have been given — contrary to what Kamala Harris said — she says, ‘Elect me and everything’s free!’ Look! Everybody can have their own health care, the government is going to finance the whole thing! It’s not going to cost but $30 trillion. I’m offering you the greatest deal you ever had. Elect me and everything will be free!

What I’m saying is that, Kamala, I already have health care. It’s given to me by God. Eternal health care. I’m guaranteed to be raised from the dead. I have life and immortality given to me by God through Jesus.

(“People get sick on Earth,” Cavuto pointed out.)

The temporary reprieve is not worth it. I’m telling her, I have eternal health care and it’s free.

….

(The “Duck Commander” went on to insist that President Donald Trump never lies.)

A man that talks a lot like the president of the United States, he’s going to make some mistakes. I’m just saying the news media, according to Jesus, the evil one is the father of murder — that kind of fills in the blanks on why we’re such a murderous nation all the way down to killing our sons and daughters in our mothers’ wombs. And he’s the father of lies. I’ve never seen the extent of this kind of lying coming out of the news media. I’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve been on the Earth.

(“But you don’t see it out of the president?” Cavuto pressed.)

I would say Donald Trump is not a liar. [And Bruce says, Phil Robertson has dementia.]

— Phil Robertson, Crooks and Liars, Duck Commander Yells About Medicare For All, February 5, 2019

Want to hear more nonsense from Fundamentalist Phil Robertson? Watch the video, but make sure you have a barf bag handy. Trust me, you’ll need it.