Tag Archive: Pedophilia

Sexual Abuse Victims Have the Right To Be Heard — Whenever They Are Ready

catholic church sexual abuse problem

Cartoon by David Reddick

Guest post by MJ Lisbeth

When I heard about the Pennsylvania grand jury report on children sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests, my reaction was, “Only 1,000 kids? Only 300 priests? — over 70 years?”

I am not a lawyer or any sort of expert on laws regarding child sexual abuse (or on any other kind of law, for that matter). But I do know that in most states, it’s all but impossible for anyone over the age of 30 to bring charges against a priest or church for abuse suffered at age ten, fifteen or even twenty. Depending on the state, a victim can only file a suit up to a certain age or, perhaps worse, a certain number of years (usually five to ten) after the abuse.

This all but prevents most victims from bringing their perpetrators — or the churches or other institutions that harbored them — to account. I know; I am one.

More than three decades passed from the times I was sexually molested by a priest in the parish where I was an altar boy until the time I finally told someone: my partner at the time, as we were breaking up. Until then, I had experienced a failed marriage, a bunch of other failed relationships, difficulties with supervisors and other authority figures, substance abuse, suicide attempts, financial ruin and general confusion about my sexual orientation and gender identity — the latter of which I began to resolve only after telling my now-ex-partner about my abuse.

The abuse I suffered — or, I should say, the experiences of abuse I can recall most vividly and terrifyingly — occurred when I was nine years old. I had received my first holy communion about a year and a half before that, and I was confirmed only a few months after the last of those incidents. The reason I recall those incidents most clearly and terrifyingly, I believe, has to do with the priest who committed them and the time in my life in which he victimized me. I will not get into either of them here; instead, I will try to answer the question of why it took so long for me to talk about them — and why the statutes of limitations regarding such abuse needs to be lengthened.

A Culture of Authority

That priest took advantage of my vulnerabilities — I was in a new school and didn’t have a very supportive home life — half a century ago, in the late 1960’s. That time is often associated with the Sexual Revolution and other changes in society, but those things could have just as well happened in a different world from the one in which I grew up. It was a milieu (a word nobody in that environment would have used) in which authority was to be, if not entirely trusted, then unquestioningly obeyed. Young men did not protest being drafted to fight in Vietnam; some even volunteered to go. Anyone who dared to question, let alone resist, fighting in the war was branded as a coward or traitor — or with the most damning epithet of all: Communist.

(My uncle, who was even more progressive than I am now on issues of race relations, gender roles and sexuality, nonetheless refused to watch any film, television program or other show in which “Hanoi” Jane Fonda appeared. He kept up this embargo until the day he died.)

Most of the men in my world — my own father, uncles and grandfathers, as well as those of nearly every kid with whom I grew up — were blue-collar workers.  Many had fought in Korea or World War II; nearly all had military experience of some sort. And just about all of us were children or grandchildren of immigrants who believed that their gratitude for what America offered them could be expressed only as unquestioning obedience, which they conflated with loyalty. I did, too, for a long time.

Most of them were also Roman Catholics, and their attitudes toward secular authority made them all-but-perfect candidates to follow the flock of their Good Shepherd — or, more precisely, his representatives on Earth. If you are of my generation and raised Catholic (I went to Catholic schools), you were taught that your parish priests, and even more so the bishop of your diocese, were just that: your connection to God, as it were. That, in a church, where the Pope is considered infallible.

You may not have known about that last doctrine (officially defended under Pius IX, but asserted long before that) as a kid, but you probably knew — or, more importantly, felt — the weight of the trust and authority granted to your priests and bishops. It was even greater than any power your parents, teachers or other elders held over you. When you are living under such an imbalance of power, you realize early on that if you speak up against someone who is held in as high esteem as your principal, let alone your priests or bishop, your credibility cannot hold a candle to theirs.

That is, if you can even explain what happened to you.

Human anatomy, let alone sex education, wasn’t part of the fourth-grade curriculum in my Catholic school — or most others, I imagine — in 1967. Or, for that matter, most kids’ homes, including mine. Even today, many parents avoid talking with their kids about the body’s processes, let alone sex, for as long as possible. In many families, even today, that discussion never takes place. I know it never did in mine.

So, when our parish priest molested me, I didn’t even know the names of the parts of my body he was touching. It almost goes without saying that I had no vocabulary, or any other way, to describe the ways in which my body reacted: I had not experienced anything like it before. I also did not have words, let alone expression, for the unease I felt: I knew that what he was doing wasn’t right, but I didn’t know why, and I never could have defended myself against those who would have blamed me for it. (Remember, this was at a time when the usual responses to rape were: What was she wearing? What was she doing there, at that time of day/night?) I am sure others abused by priests when they were children could say something similar.

Given the repressive conditions I’ve described — one in which authority is not questioned, church leaders have absolute authority and children do not learn about their own bodies, let alone how they can be used against them — is it any wonder that most victims don’t recount their abuse by priests to anyone but themselves — if, indeed, they ever do — until they are well into adulthood? Or that some never speak up about it? One reason, I’m sure, that the Pennsylvania report didn’t name more victims is that some have taken their stories to their graves. Needless to say, some are in those graves by their own doing. And, I’m sure, many priests parted this vale of tears before their victims could confront them. Mine did, about two decades before I told anyone, although I didn’t realize it at the time.

Whenever they are ready.

Thus, as long as there are implicit as well as explicit rules and forces that enforce obedience and silence, particularly among children, victims need the freedom and the space to discuss their molestation whenever they are ready — whether at 20 or 40 or 80. Whenever it is, we can only hope that it’s before marriages fail, jobs are lost, families are broken up, substances are abused and lives are ended prematurely. Victims deserve the right to repair or reclaim their lives; there should not be a time limit on that.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: ‘Me Too’ Designed to Distract From Hollywood’s Rampant Satanism and Pedophilia

liz crokin

Let’s look at the whole ‘Me Too” movement and let’s look at the ‘Time’s Up’ movement. Who was kind of driving that campaign? It was CAA [Creative Artists Agency]. I’m sure you are familiar with CAA, that is the biggest talent agency in Hollywood, powerful, run by Illuminati scum.

You have CAA, this horrific, evil company that was driving this campaign. They are actually trying to distract from the bigger picture and the bigger picture is that these elites are involved in raping little kids, eating babies, drinking blood, sacrificing and that kind of stuff. So they are using the ‘Time’s Up’ and the ‘Me Too’ movement as a distraction.

Don’t tell me that all of a sudden CAA cares about sexual assault…They are just trying to distract from what’s deeper down the rabbit hole and what’s deeper down the rabbit hole is what they do to children, it’s the spirit cooking, it’s the sacrificing, it’s these sick, crazy, twisted rituals they do, it’s the witchcraft, it’s the occult, and that’s what they’re trying to distract from.

Liz Crokin, Interview on The Richie Allen Show, February 12, 2018

The Catholic Church Still Doesn’t Get it When it Comes to Sexual Abuse

bernard law

Cardinal Bernard Law died on Wednesday at the age of eighty-six. At the very moment Law breathed his last breath, I believe I heard countless Catholic sex abuse victims and their relatives say, with one voice, good riddance. May you rot in hell. Alas, as this story will show, Law not only escaped hell, it is likely he escaped purgatory too.

Law was Archbishop emeritus of Boston and an American cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Law is best known for having extensive knowledge of sex abuse perpetrated by priests and doing nothing about it. Worse yet, Law often moved sexual predators to new parishes where they continued to rape and assault children in the name of God. According to Wikipedia:

One priest alone was alleged to have raped or molested 130 children over decades, while Law and other local officials moved him among churches rather than going to the authorities.

Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, only to be appointed two years later by pedophile-sympathetic Pope John Paul II to a cushy position as Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

At no time did Law admit that his behavior was sinful or criminal. In a statement made after his resignation, Law asked for prayer and forgiveness, acknowledging that he had shortcomings and made mistakes. Shortcomings and mistakes? How about owning destroying the lives of hundreds and hundreds of Catholic children and their families? How about telling the Pope you that can no longer in good conscience be a priest, and that you intend to spend the remaining days of your life atoning for your support of men who raped and molested their way through numerous Catholic parishes?

Pope Francis is generally considered a great guy, a man who understands the people and sincerely desires to help the poor and afflicted. Pope Francis damaged his good-guy reputation this week by allowing Law to have a funeral befitting a Cardinal in St. Peter’s Basilica. Nothing was said about Law’s abhorrent behavior and his complicity in decades of criminal sexual abuse. Instead, Law’s many “good” deeds were memorialized, reminding anyone who was paying attention that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church still don’t get it when it comes to sexual abuse. Even the choice of Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano to conduct Law’s funeral Mass reeks of stupefying indifference towards victims of sexual abuse. Sodano, according to John Allen, Jr, writing for The Crux:

Sodano . . . has a checkered history when it comes to the Church’s abuse scandals. Among other things, Sodano was a principal patron of the late Mexican Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ, whose own pattern of sexual abuse and misconduct was eventually acknowledged by his own order after a Vatican finding of guilt.

Emma Green of The Atlantic says it best when she writes:

Even in death, he [Law] was given a ceremonious exit: a funeral mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, attended by a coterie of cardinals and complete with a blessing from Pope Francis. The Church has taken steps to move past its legacy of clergy sex abuse over the last decade, but it still betrays moments of ambivalence like this, caught between the moral imperative to eliminate abuse and its reticence about sacrificing decorum or showing disloyalty to powerful clerics.

Moments of ambivalence indeed — a poignant reminder that Pope Francis and the Church still, to this day, do not understand how the massive Catholic sex abuse scandal is viewed by the public, nor, it seems, do they understand how memorializing a pedophile enabler such as Law rips open the psychological scars of countless sex abuse victims.

Here’s what Pope Francis should have done. Standing before the world, the Pope should have, one last time, exposed Law’s behavior, asking his victims to forgive the Church for its crass indifference towards their plight; and, in a gesture of contrition, ordered Law’s body to be buried among the heathen. In doing so, Pope Francis would be saying to pedophile priests and their enablers that sexual abuse is a mortal sin worthy of banishment on this side of the grave and hell on the other.

Jesus said in Mathew 18:5,6:

 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Instead of a millstone around his neck, Law received the praise and blessings of the Pope and his fellow Cardinals. In giving Law such magnanimous send-off, these “godly” men, once again, showed that when it comes to sexual abuse they simply don’t get it.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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

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Did You Know Most Pedophiles and Rapists are Women?

the predatory woman

Just when I think I have heard EVERYTHING, a Christian fanatic will send me an email such as the one that follows. According to the letter writer, contrary to what we know to be true about rape, pedophilia, and sexual assault, most perpetrators are actually angry ovulating females. Let that sink in for a moment. You see, ladies, it is men who are being harassed and molested, not women. It is men who must constantly be aware of their surroundings lest a woman jump out of the bushes and rape them. Birth control, according to the letter writer, has turned women into predatory animals who seek to sexually dominate men.

I suspect the letter writer is a Roman Catholic. What better way to deflect attention from the Catholic church’s sex scandal than to suggest that most sex crimes are perpetrated by women, not men. Countless children and teenagers have been sexually abused by Catholic priests, yet, according to the letter writer, the REAL scandal is sexual abuse at the hands of birth-control-using women.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter writer’s three-thousand-word tome:

CONTRACEPTION CREATES FEMALE PEDOPHILES & CHILD MOLESTERS

(To Eliminate Majority of Rape Just Ban Birth control)

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (the statistical agency of the injustice department) states: “Approximately 95% of all youth reporting staff sexual misconduct said they had been victimized by female staff. In 2008, 42% of staff in state juvenile facilities were female.”

This disproves the idea that women are more likely to molest children just because they are around them more often and have more access. No. The statistical data shows that even when the pagan women have less access to children and are less than half of the staff in juvenile prisons they end up committing a staggering 95% of child rapes. So shocking is this statistic that journalist Laura Burke of the Texas Observer out of curiosity decided to contact the justice bureau of her home state of Texas concerning the figures of female victimization of youth, since she knows that ‘nationally’ 42% of staff in child prisons are females, and that in Texas 50% of juvenile hall staff employees are females (in the Texas Youth Commission, which is the biggest chain of child prisons in Texas and dominates almost 100% of youth prisons there); now this is what she said in regard to her inquiry: “The justice bureau will not release percentage breakdowns of sexual offenses by female employees in Texas, or at individual facilities. The bureau cites confidentiality as the reason.”

Birth control creates the female pagan child predator epidemic. Women who use it are such beasts of impurity that they are driven to murder in the 1st degree in an act of ultimate betrayal the children they conceive. This vicious act utterly permanently destroys their maternal (and feminine) instincts. Contraception murders already conceived children. It prevents them from attaching themselves to the womb after conception when they travel to that place. It would also seem there are tons of female sodomites (no doubt themselves child killers) in action too, because 14% of juvenile hall youth are females and this figure in general has not changed since 1997 and yet 95% of all minors reporting child molestation say female staff did it. So statistically this means male staff are less likely to molest girls than their female staff counterparts, despite constituting over half of the staff in juvenile prisons. This tells us that it’s very much possible the majority of the female pedophiles in juvenile hall are sodomites and that the remainder who are not sodomites are nonetheless guilty of child murder (and that being a murderess of children is what drove sodomite women to be sodomite in the first place). It’s scientifically undeniable, birth control turns women into pedophiles. Young males in detention are being sexually assaulted more so by female guards and caretakers than females in detention by male guards. Female staffers are more likely to committ [sic] sexual assault and rape inmates than male staffers.

Female staff committ [sic] more forcible sexual assualt [sic] than male staff; indeed females committ [sic] 86% of it according to the 2012 BJS report of staff indecent misconduct in juvenile hall. Here is a situation in which women in complete power have no hesitation using it to hurt children. It shows that when presented with the opportunity women will rape and this should raise concerns not only about female staff in juvenile prisons, but women in general because women have much greater access to children than men. This means that people should suspect all contracepting [sic] women of being child rapists or potential child rapists and at the very least, as pedophiles. I repeat; women who use birth control are either active child predators, a developing child molester, or a child molester in training. Statistics do away with the ridiculous notion that sexual violence is always or mostly male-on-female assaults.

The epidemic of woman predators molesting school children is so bad that even CBS News has a well-updated special section on their website dedicated to showing the profile photos of teacher female molesters and briefly mentioning the details of their child molestations.

According to Richard Nixon’s Commission on Obscenity for every female prostitute there are 9 underage male prostitutes. Birth control turns women into pedophiles. An extensive study in Canada found that high rates of homeless children are being molested. Staggeringly, 3/4 of the molestations of boys were done by adult women.Arguably, pagan female child killers (among whom are many woman sodomites) are more intense in their child lust than male sodomites.

With prescience Giuseppe Cardinal Siri (His Holiness Pope Gregory XVII) wrote on June 12th, 1960 the epistle “Notification Concerning Men’s Dress worn By Women”. Logically outlining the evil effects of women wearing pants, he said it leads to “the rising of the primary instincts” which “push forward to uncontrolled acts.” For such a change of clothing “helps to diminish the vital defenses of the sense of shame” or “obstructs that sense” and “when this sense of shame is absent because of some obstacle or impediment, then the relations between men and women degrade to pure sensuality devoid of all mutual respect and esteem.” He also says: “Experience teaches us that when the woman is de-feminized, then defenses are undermined and weakness increases.” He added: “What can these women give their children when they have worn trousers for so long that their self-esteem is determined more by their competition with men than by their function as women?”

Indeed, the feminism heresy (of which contraception and wearing men’s clothing is a part) turns women into pedophiles. The statistics robustly go on. Apart from raping boys, pagan women harlots also love raping men, gang raping men, kidnapping and raping them; especially if the male victim is a handicap or blind or immobile or non-verbal or unconcious [sic] or sedated or restrained.

These swine love to abuse the role of “care giver.” 12 years ago one careerist pedophile with the usual indiscretion, candor of snobbery and mockery, said: “Had an incident the other day, a pt. had a tight foreskin. First i couldn’t get the thing to go back, THEN couldn’t get it to go back over!! What didn’t help matters is that there wasn’t much to take hold of. Plus 5 sets of eyeballs watching.” Indeed, one only need peruse the blogs owned by nurses (which will not be named here because they are awful and moreover frequently criticized by doctor blogs and websites and a few nurse blogs as unprofessional and incredibly damaging to the profession) to discover their unladylike strange appetites; their supercilious ribaldry and shocking amount of inappropriate comments they make regarding the physique of boy patients, their belittling comments; detraction, their disturbingly fanatic attraction to minors, their fascination with personal areas of the body, their frank admissions of how they love it when they do “physicals” on boys, how they love to undress them and digitally penetrate the male part of boys with a catheter while the person is drugged under sedation (and in most cases then removing it prior to the child awaking, who never find out that they were undressed and lost their virginity) and this undoubtedly would constitute rape (this also happens to male adult patients). They also constantly love to gloat and bask in their status of total impunity and predation, the wide culture of acceptance of these deviancies, and how co-workers with ogling eyes watch and even participate in it. Any place of care of the vulnerable has always been a magnet for these types of perverts, who take pleasure in the degradation, hurt and humiliation of their victims. Indeed 6 female Minnesota teens at a nursing home raped their elderly patients. I mean, high school girls unleashed their devastating desires on the elderly, presumably after taking birth control.

….

SHOCKER: MORE MEN ARE VICTIMS OF RAPE THAN WOMEN

“More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal:  “More men are raped in the U.S. than woman, according to figures that include sexual abuse in prisons. In 2008, it was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time, according to the Department of Justice figures. That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison.”

Sexual misconduct is not an uncommon complaint to state boards of nursing. 38 to 52 percent of nurses report knowledge of colleagues who have had sexual misconduct with patients. The NCSBN reports that in some states sexual activity with a consenting adult patient is considered a criminal offense (since it is statutory rape for a person in a position of trust to use it for lewd activity).

According to individual state boards of nursing disciplinary records; the ratio of female nurses committing boundary violations as compared to male nurses is 26/1. That is for every male nurse that has sex with his patient, 26 female nurses have done so as well.

CONTRACEPTING FEMALE PAGAN (HARLOTS) CAN BE MORE VIOLENT THAN MEN

Contracepting female [sic] are just as violent, if not more violent than their male counterparts: “It has often been claimed that the reason CTS studies have found as many women as men to be physically aggressive is because women are defending themselves against attack. A number of studies have addressed this issue and found that when asked, more women than men report initiating the attack.”  According to CDC study: “Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”

USA FLAG INSPIRES FEMALES TO BE CHILD MOLESTERS

Another factor driving female pedophilia is venerating the anti-Christian USA flag whose tricolor represents the condemned rebellious masonic slogan “liberty, equality, fraternity” under which millions of Christians were murdered (it represents man against God and the overthrow of Christian order and Monarchy which uphold inequality). This purges all their moral sensibilities, drives them to lust and therefore birth control and child molestation. After speaking to a rebellious foul-mouthed heretic in the South who audaciously pretends to be Catholic, I should point out in regard to the tricolor, that anti-Christian France and the USA republic are masonic creations. Both colonial and French freemasons [sic] collaborated in fomenting the revolution in America (1775-1783) and France (1789-1799); so the significance of the tricolor ‘red, white, and blue’ as representing the heresy ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ remains. When adopted and used by masons, it carries a particular meaning; in the same way that the rainbow though given to mankind by God as a sign of peace and promise that he would never destroy the world again with a flood; when that symbol is used by secular religion it takes on a whole different meaning, namely, the total repudiation of Marriage and the family, which is the lifelong union of man and the woman. When the Cross is used by Christianity it signifies Christ but when used by American religion especially on gravesites [sic] of the USA missionaries (I.e soldiers) it represents the condemned doctrine of ‘universal salvation.’ When Christians use the upside down Cross on the Feast of St. Peter it represents his upsidedown [sic] crucifixion martyrdom, but when used outside that context it represents Satanism. The more pagan woman tries to conform to the women of Christianity (the only authentic standard of womanhood) the better; for pagan women would not generally be harlots and murderesses of innocent children in the 1st place.

….

I think I can now safely say that women really are to blame for EVERYTHING! Pity us men. It is unsafe for us to even leave our homes with female sexual predators prowling about seeking to drop their pants and ride every man in America. Men must demand action be taken by law enforcement to protect them from angry, ovulating, birth-control-popping, child-molesting, rapist females.

Or we can safely assume that the writer of the aforementioned screed is bat-shit crazy, a Roman Catholic loon who hates women. What say ye, female readers? Has the letter writer exposed the truth about women — that it is women, not men, who commit most sexual crimes? Please share your angry, hormone-driven, birth-controlled thoughts in the comment section.

The Pastor as Gatekeeper and Why Evangelical Churches Continue to be Rocked with Scandals

gatekeeperAs the Black Collar Crime series makes clear, Evangelical churches have just as big a problem with sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct as Catholic churches do. Thanks to the internet and an increasing awareness of sexual abuse, people are now more willing to speak out, and if warranted, report their assaults to law enforcement. Some victims are turning to civil courts to extract justice from their abusers and those who facilitated a climate where sexual predators could prey with impunity. Churches and their leaders are learning that it is quite expensive to ignore or cover-up allegations of sexual impropriety.

I am convinced that we have yet to see the full depth and breadth of criminal conduct that has gone on behind the closed doors of countless Evangelical churches. As I think about the fifty years I spent in the Christian church, including twenty-five years pastoring Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan, I am increasingly grieved over how little churches and pastors did to address allegations of sexual misconduct. Victims were routinely disbelieved or accused of lying. Why Deacon Bob would never do such a thing, Sally. Why are you lying? Sometimes, victims were believed but told to forgive their abusers. Jesus forgave you, Sally. Shouldn’t you forgive Pastor Billy Bob? Other times, predators were run out the church, and told never to come back. He’s gone now, Sally. It is time to move on. That what Jesus would want you to do. What rarely, if ever, happened was the arrest and prosecution of offending pastors, evangelists, missionaries, deacons, worship leaders, Sunday school teachers, and congregants.

I can only remember one instance where a predator was accused, arrested, and convicted of his crime, and this only happened after he was caught a second time sexually assaulting a teen boy.  Even then, after “justice” was served, he joined up with a new Evangelical church and is “faithfully” serving Jesus. As a pastor, I regularly attended pastor’s conferences and meetings. It was not uncommon to hear whispers and stories about this or that pastor being accused of sexual misconduct. I would hear stories about pastor so-and-so abruptly leaving his church, only to find out later that he was caught at a motel with a church teenager or was fucking the choir director’s wife. One pastor was having sex with his secretary in his church office every Saturday while devoted members were out knocking on doors, inviting people to come to church and hear their “godly” on-fire pastor preach.  He was run out of the church, but later surfaced, as Jack Hyles’ son David did, in another community busily “serving’ Jesus.

Years ago, a concerned congregant told me that an unmarried man who had been attending our church was inviting young boys to spend the weekend with him on his farm. I investigated the issue and concluded that the man was probably a pedophile. What did I do? I ran the guy out of the church. I angrily told him that I knew exactly what he was. I also called the pastor of another Evangelical church the man attended and told him about the allegations. He agreed that the man, who is now dead, was likely a pedophile. Both of us thought we had done our duty by protecting church children from a predator. However, neither of us reported it to law enforcement, knowing that doing so would embroil our churches in controversy and harm the reputation and “testimony” of our respective churches. I now know that I did not do all I could have and should have done.

There were other instances of allegations of sexual misconduct or physical abuse, where I reported matters to the appropriate authorities. Later in my ministerial career, a man confessed to me that he had viciously murdered his girlfriend. I immediately called the police, who I knew were looking for him, and he was arrested. The man is now serving a life sentence in an Ohio penitentiary. Early in my ministerial career, my father-in-law, with whom I worked with as assistant pastor, came to me and told me that a congregant had confessed to shaking his infant baby to death. At the time, the cause of death had been attributed to SIDS. I told my father-in-law that he should immediately report the crime to the police. He did, and the man was arrested and convicted of manslaughter.

child sexual abuseThe common thread running through the anecdotal stories above and current allegations/crimes is that often pastors serve as gatekeepers for their respective churches. Congregants are encouraged to bring ALL reports of sexual misconduct or other criminal behavior to their pastor. It is up to the pastor, then, to decide whether the authorities should be called. Keep in mind, pastors are not lawyers, nor do they have investigatory skills as law enforcement professionals do. Unfortunately, pastors are often treated as a jack-of-all-trades. Most Evangelical pastors are not qualified to provide competent, professional counseling to congregants, yet, countless congregants are counseled by pastors who know little more than to quote Bible verses. Pastors are often considered vast repositories of wisdom and advice. Few congregants ponder whether their trust is misplaced. When pastors hear of accusations that could tear their church asunder, their natural inclination is to protect their churches’ reputations, thinking that in doing so they are protecting God.

Pastors wrongly think that they and their churches are indispensable parts of their local communities. Why, if scandal rocked the church, it would ruin our “testimony,” pastors think. There are souls to be saved and chicken dinners to be served. And just like that, pastor rationalize keeping wraps on all sorts of sexual misconduct, including the sexual and physical abuse of children. Where, oh where, are pastors who are willing to sacrifice everything to stand along-side of victims of abuse? Is it not better for a church to close its doors than for it to silently stand silently by while sexual crime goes unpunished. No pastor, deacon, Sunday school teacher, or congregant should be above the law. Yes, making allegations public can and will cause harm to churches and the families of abusers. But, the only way to stamp out sexual abuse in churches is for people in the know to be willing to report allegations to law enforcement and child protective services.

It is time for churches to take the gate keys away from pastors and other church leaders. It is time for congregants to be instructed to take their allegations to law enforcement and let them determine whether crimes have been committed. The duties of pastors are simple: preach, teach, and eat chicken dinner at potlucks. When pastors hear whispers of sexual misconduct that could be criminal in nature, they should not pass Go, nor should they collect $200. These men of God should IMMEDIATELY pick up the phone and call law enforcement (and if a police officer attends the church, he should NOT be the person to whom the alleged crimes are reported). Pastors shouldn’t investigate, call a board meeting, accuse the perpetrator, or pray about it. All of these things can wait until law enforcement has been contacted. The only people who matter are the victims. Yes, an allegation doesn’t equal guilt, but it not up to pastors and other church leaders to determine guilt; that’s for police and prosecutors to do.

Local prosecutors can help prod pastors and churches along by prosecuting them if they fail to report alleged sexual abuse. Many states consider pastors and church leaders mandatory reporters, who are REQUIRED to immediately report sexual abuse allegations; not investigate and then report, not pray and then report, not get your ducks in a row and then report; not huddle with church board and then report. Throwing a few pastors in jail for not reporting might help other pastors “see the light” concerning sexual abuse.

The days of covering up allegations of sexual abuse are over. Pastors and churches who ignore this, do so at their own peril. From jail time to million-dollar awards, pastors and churches are learning that not only did Jesus take a dim view of those who harm children, so do those of us who believe that children deserve protection from those who dare to prey on them in the name of God.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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

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Roy Moore Defender: IFB Pastor Franklin Raddish Says More Women are Sexual Predators Than Men

pastor franklin raddish

Franklin “Frank” Raddish, pastor of Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries and a staunch defender of Roy Moore, had this to say about women, LGBTQ people and pedophile:

More women are sexual predators than men.  Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don’t hear about that because it’s not PC.

These people aren’t the good neighbor next door, they’re out to target young children. They must recruit their heritage. As many of them will die from AIDS, the only way they can keep their numbers is to recruit. Pedophiles and men dressing like ladies, their objective is recruitment of children.

The pedophiles will be here tomorrow. The men who dress like women will be here. The world wants to educate our children to be tolerant of homosexuals. The homosexuals can’t grow in number unless they recruit. How do they recruit? They sodomize. That’s the only way.

(Raw Story)

 

Pastor Raddish, please….come out of the closet before you have a stroke.

Video Link

Video Link

Raddish attended Bob Jones University — shock — and graduated from Tabernacle Baptist College in Greenville, South Carolina.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest John Sweeney Accused of Forcing Child to Give Him a Blow Job

john sweeney

John Sweeney, a Roman Catholic priest, stands accused of forcing a ten-year-old boy to give him a blow job.

CT reports:

A now-retired Roman Catholic priest is accused of forcing a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy to perform oral sex on him after counseling the 4th-grader about misbehaving on a school bus.

The state attorney general’s office said Monday that the Rev. John Thomas Sweeney committed felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against the boy at St. Margaret Mary Elementary School in Lower Burrell.

Prosecutors say the alleged assault occurred during the 1991-92 school year, and that the boy was given milk and cookies afterward.

The Greensburg Diocese says the 74-year-old Sweeney was removed as pastor of Holy Family Parish in West Newton in 2016 after church officials learned of the allegation.

Court and diocese officials were unable to identify a defense lawyer for Sweeney. Sweeney made no comment to reporters when he turned himself in.

Sweeney continued in ministry as a priest for approximately 16 years after abusing the victim and was in contact with children on a regular basis.

….

Action News-4 adds:

The alleged assault happened in a conference room next to Sweeney’s office after the fourth-grader was sent to Sweeney for discipline because he had been disruptive on a school bus, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

“After Sweeney finished sexually assaulting the 10-year-old boy, Sweeney’s parish secretary brought the boy milk and cookies,” Shapiro said.

The alleged victim now serves in the U.S. Coast Guard. Shapiro commended him for coming forward with his allegation.

“This courageous young man found his voice, and brought that voice before the grand jury. Now our job is to follow through,” Shapiro said.

Citing the ongoing investigation, the diocese declined to comment on Sweeney’s arrest.

In addition to Lower Burrell, Sweeney’s parish assignments between 1970 and 2008 included Holy Family in Latrobe, Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Saint Hedwig in Smock, Saint Mary in Freeport, Saint James in Apollo and Holy Family in West Newton.

His arrest is part of “a broader investigation into sexual abuse by priests,” said Shapiro, who asked the public for more help to identify alleged abusers and their victims.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Felix Colosimo and Syracuse Diocese Sued Over Sexual Abuse Claims

felix colosimo

Greg Mason, a reporter for the Observer-Dispatch, writes:

A former Utica-area priest and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse each are facing a $25 million lawsuit from a man who claims the priest sexually abused him as a child.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Connecticut by California man Matthew Strzepak, accuses former priest Felix Colosimo of molesting Strzepak from 1987 to 1990. Strzepak was between 12 to 15 years old when the acts reportedly were committed, according to the lawsuit.

In a statement Friday, the diocese revealed it had stripped Colosimo, who was retired by then, of his priestly duties in 2014 when it found Strzepak’s accusation credible. The diocese stated the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office was informed of the allegation.

Colosimo served locally in the past at St. Peter’s Church in North Utica, St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent, St. Anthony of Padua Church in East Utica and Our Lady of the Rosary in New Hartford. Now age 78, Colosimo said he retired as a priest at Our Lady of the Rosary three years ago for reasons unrelated to the abuse allegations, according to a Syracuse.com report.

When reached Saturday, Colosimo declined to comment in detail about the allegations against him.

“Again, same what I said from the very beginning, it’s not true,” he said. “The allegations are false.”

Strzepak told Syracuse.com that the abuse began in 1978 or 1979 when he was 4 years old, but New York state’s statute of limitations expired for those claims.

….

Strzepak told Syracuse.com that most of the abuse occurred in the rectory of St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent, while some occurred at St. Peter’s Church. According to the report, Colosimo threatened Strzepak with violence if he told anyone.

The lawsuit indicates the abuse occurred in various locations in the Northeast, including Connecticut.

Colosimo raped the 12-year-old Strzepak in Connecticut in the fall of 1987, according to the lawsuit. Strzepak alleges the abuse continued until 1990, while he claims another individual — called John Doe in the court papers — also was sexually abused.

This abuse often would occur with Strzepak and Doe at the same time, with many interactions videotaped, according to the lawsuit. Doe is stated to have committed suicide sometime thereafter.

In his lawsuit, Strzepak claims he suffered serious and permanent injuries, both physical and emotional, that were exacerbated “by lack of timely treatment.” He stated this includes panic attacks, emotional distress, anxiety, frustration, disassociation, post-traumatic stress disorder and permanent psychological scarring.

In addition to the $25 million being sought from both Colosimo and the diocese, Strzepak is seeking special damages for medical expenses, past and future lost wages and other costs, according to the lawsuit.

Strzepak submitted his allegations to the diocese in writing in 2013, noting that the allegations were found credible a year later, according to the lawsuit.

In March 2016, the diocese reportedly agreed to pay for six counseling sessions for Strzepak in return for all of the treatment notes and records from his counselor. Whereas the lawsuit states counseling notes are used for insight by the diocese regarding potential legal liabilities, Strzepak indicated in the court papers that he also submitted a video recording — one depicting him and Doe shirtless — to the diocese in 2014, but the diocese has not turned over the video to law enforcement and the video’s whereabouts are unknown.

….

Black Collar Crime: Former Youth Pastor Charlie Hamrick Charged With Forty Counts of Child Sex Abuse

charlie hamrick

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

In April, Charlie Hamrick, a former youth pastor at Pine Forest United Methodist Church and high school football coach in Pensacola,Florida,  was arrested and charged with forty counts of child sexual abuse.

The Boston Herald reports:

A Florida high school assistant football coach and youth pastor, who has been charged with more than 40 counts of child sex abuse, may have abused more victims, authorities say.

“We have identified an additional eight victims,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan tells PEOPLE.

The new victim tally came about after the sheriff’s office held a press conference last week to announce the arrest of 54-year-old Charlie Mabern Hamrick, who is accused of molesting young boys as far back as 1997.

“Anytime he had contact or was in a position that could almost be looked at as a target rich environment for someone of that proclivity, we wanted to make sure our community knew,” says Morgan.

The abuse allegedly occurred while Hamrick worked as a karate instructor, an assistant football coach at Tate High School in Pensacola, and as a Sunday school teacher and youth pastor at two local churches.

“Those are perfect venues if you are of that mindset,” says Morgan. “It is a steady stream of victims. They don’t wear certain clothes and they don’t look a certain way. Pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes.”

Morgan says he is doubtful more charges will be filed because the statute of limitations has expired on the eight cases.

“We are interviewing those victims and taking their reports and sworn testimony and providing that to the state attorney even though they won’t be filed on to the best of my knowledge,” Morgan says.

One of the alleged victims is a member of the armed services. “He made a call and he is currently on active duty and he passed along to us his contact and what it amounted to,” Morgan says.

Morgan says investigators are also looking into allegations that Hamrick gave unlicensed physical exams to Tate High School football players.

….

Police began investigating Hamrick last fall after three victims came forward claiming he allegedly exposed himself and inappropriately touched them while they were riding four-wheelers on his property and fishing in his pond, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Another victim told police that Hamrick abused him several times when he was between the ages of 8 and 11. The abuse allegedly occurred at Hamrick’s home when his family was there, but they were unaware of the abuse, the paper reports.

Hamrick was charged in March with 40 counts of child abuse including sexual assault on a victim younger than 12, providing obscene material to minors, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim younger than 12, and lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim age 12 to 16.

….

Prosecutors later dropped many of the charges against Hamrick, choosing to focus on the crimes that could result in life in prison for the defendant.

North Escambia reports:

Charlie Hamrick, 54,  was originally charged with over 40 criminal counts, but now faces 10 charges — six counts of sexual battery on a child under 12, one court of  giving obscene material to a minor and three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. He remains in the Escambia County Jail without bond.

Thirty of the charges dropped by state were sexual battery on a child under 12 in a case that reaches back to 1997 when the alleged victim was as young as 8 years old. Six of the life felony charges in that case remain active.

“When spread over an extended period of time  sometimes it is hard to prove the exact specifics of each individual incident down to the what happened and exactly when,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said, explaining why the charges spanning 1997 to 2000 were dropped.  “It is not unusual to limit the number of cases to cover all events.”

When law enforcement makes an arrest they do so on probably cause,” he said, “where we must prove each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He said it can become more difficult as time passes for victims to remember specific events down to the time and place of each. Marcille stressed that eliminating such large number of charges in no way indicates that prosecutors do not believe they have a strong case against Hamrick.

“This does not mean that we believe there is a problem with any of the cases,” the assistant state attorney said.

If Hamrick is convicted on any one of the sexual battery on a child under 12 charges, he will face a required sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

….

Update

A November 28, 2017 Pensacola News Journal report states:

The alleged victim of former Tate High School assistant football coach Charlie Hamrick told a jury Tuesday that Hamrick began sexually abusing him as a child and that the abuse escalated over a period of years.

The victim, now 28, said Hamrick was a close family friend who abused him for years after the pair met at church. He said their two families grew so close he referred to Hamrick as his “uncle.”

Hamrick, 55, was arrested in March and charged with more than 40 counts of child sex offenses ranging from molestation to sexual assault over the course of 20 years from multiple victims. The state has since reduced some of those charges.

Some victims claimed Hamrick assaulted them through his work as a taekwondo instructor and others said he gave them unlicensed physicals while working at Tate High.

The trial that began Monday addresses one set of allegations pertaining to a then 8-year-old boy who said Hamrick touched him inappropriately during sleepovers and family trips from 1997 to about 2000.

Prosecutor Erin Ambrose told the jury during opening statements Tuesday morning that this case is built on secrets. She said the victim didn’t tell anyone the extent of what allegedly happened to him for 20 years because he thought what Hamrick did was not unusual.

The victim described instances in which Hamrick allegedly touched his genitals under a blanket while his wife and children were in the same room during sleepovers. He said other times Hamrick would move his own sleeping children from a pull-out couch in the playroom at his house to perform sex acts with the child.

The abuse ended when the victim was 11, he said, and his mom found him sitting on Hamrick’s lap on a boat at Pensacola Beach during a family trip and realized Hamrick was touching her son under his shorts.

“(She called my name) in a shriek that I still remember today,” the victim said.

The victim said he could tell she was angry and worried but he didn’t comprehend that the cause of that anger was the result of any action of his or Hamrick’s.

From then, the families stopped seeing each other outside of church. The parents told the victim what Hamrick had allegedly done was wrong, but they decided not to go to the police and instead prayed about it, thinking what happened at the beach was a one-time offense, Ambrose said. The victim testified that after his parents knew about the beach incident, he was scared and embarrassed so didn’t elaborate about what had allegedly happened to him in the years prior.

The victim said he didn’t interact with Hamrick again until about 2013 when he began volunteering with Tate High School. The victim said he took the position because he heard Hamrick was working on the coaching staff. He said he felt uncomfortable knowing Hamrick was around children as the freshman coach, and he thought his presence would remind Hamrick of the abuse and act as a deterrent.

….

Hamrick was found guilty and sentenced to six life sentences.

Our Pastor Looked at Child Pornography and Took Inappropriate Pictures, but He’s a Really Nice Guy

father stephen pohl

I have known Stephen Pohl since the day he was born. I seriously doubt that these allegations will be proven. He said mass at my mothers [sic] passing and has been a friend to my family for over 50 years. It is painful because we are again seeing the pillory [sic] of another priest. Father Joe Hemmerly has been dogged by allegations all stemming from putting Lotion on the Sun Burn of a camper at the summer camp he ran. Many priests are unfairly targeted and I will be seriously surprised if these allegations pan out.

Father Stephen Pohl Supporter

Another day, another catholic priest is arrested/charged/convicted of sexually molesting children. In August, 2015, Stephen Pohl, 57, a pastor at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky was arrested and charged with the possession of child pornography. According to the Courier Journal, Pohl “admitted to accessing the pornographic images of nude underage boys on computers at the church rectory and office between January and August 2015.” In January, Pohl admitted his guilt and signed a plea agreement that could result in him spending 33 months in a Federal penitentiary. Pohl would also be required to register as a sex offender and face a “lifetime of supervision by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services.”

According to Courier-Journal report:

The federal case began after a 10-year-old St. Margaret Mary student told his mother that “Father Steve” singled him out at an after-school club to take a series of “weird” photos on his cell phone. The youth posed with his hands on his knees and legs spread apart, following the priest’s orders, according to the affidavit.

When the parents eventually confronted Pohl about the pictures, the affidavit details, they saw similar pictures of another child on the priest’s phone and reported it to law enforcement.

According to another Courier-Journal report, Louisville Metro Police Crimes Against Children Unit detective Dan Jackman is quoted as saying:

“One can clearly see up the child’s shorts and underwear,” Jackman wrote of one of the photos while another is “focused on the child’s genitals.”

You would think that St. Margaret Mary parishioners would be calling for Father Pohl’s head. Nope. According to WLKY, several Pohl supporters have written U.S. District Judge David Hale, asking him to be lenient when sentencing Pohl on March 29th. After all, Pohl is “presently working with a psychologist. It has assisted me in understanding what is happening here.” What is happening here? What is happening is that a Catholic priest is sexually attracted to boys and he got caught accessing internet child pornography. He also took photographs of young St. Margaret Mary boys. What more does anyone need to know? Pohl is a pedophile. Does anyone honestly think this was Pohl’s first time looking at child porn? Does anyone seriously think that he looked but didn’t touch? Not me.

While I don’t think Pohl should be locked away for life, I have serious reservations about any treatments that purport to “cure” pedophiles. If there is no cure, should men such as Pohl be permitted to roam free in public? Should they — after 20 hail Marys and 50 Our Fathers — be permitted to return to the church and have access to children? I hope not. Pohl should NEVER be permitted to be alone with children.

And what’s with those who write letters of support? I have noticed in other sex crime cases involving children/teenagers and clergymen that these predators always have supporters urging the courts to not be too hard on the convicted felon. Several years ago, Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, was convicted of a sex crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. I was astounded by all the letters that were written in his support. Schaap’s supporters commented on this blog, suggesting that Schaap was not to blame for his crimes. He was tired, had medical problems, the girl seduced him, said Schaap supporters.

Why is that many Christians are unable to see people as they are? I suspect the main reason is cognitive dissonance. On Sundays, members see nice, loving, kind, and supportive Father Pohl or Pastor Schaap. During the week, these “nice” men are surfing child porn sites or shagging church teenagers. Every year, hundreds of “nice” preachers are arrested, charged, and convicted of sex crimes. How can these things be? cry church members. On Sundays, these men preached sermons, blessed the communion elements, and glad-handed with parishioners after services. During the week they visited the sick, cared for widows, and took groceries to the hungry. Everything about their lives said, these are “nice” men. Yet, in the shadows of their lives, these men committed crimes that Christians and atheists alike find reprehensible. The cognitive dissonance is so great that parishioners convince themselves that their sexual predator pastors and priests are misguided and weak — but still “nice” men. Yet, when asked if they would let their children or grandchildren spend an unsupervised weekend with these men, I suspect most parents and grandparents would emphatically say, NO!

I have long argued that the Christian notion of atonement and forgiveness gets in the way of people seeing sexual predators as they are — men who prey on trusting, defenseless children and teenagers. No amount of prayers, magic mumbo-jumbo at an old-fashioned altar, or confessions can erase the fact that these men committed heinous crimes. They are not “nice” men. They are sexual predators who deserve punishment for their crimes. Let the mothers of convicted sexual predators tell the courts how nice their sons are. That is what mothers do. Church members should spend their time helping the victims and making sure such crimes NEVER happen again. Louisville Catholics should be demanding a full accounting from diocese officials. What did they know and when did they know it? Were they aware of Pohl’s perverse desires? If they were, what steps did they take to make sure he no longer had access to parish children? As is the case in many Catholic parishes, sex crimes by priests are buried with the hope that they will remain so until the statute of limitations runs out. Just what Jesus would do, right?

Notes

Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

According to SNAP, “Stephen Pohl is at least the 65th Louisville Catholic cleric to be accused of child sex crimes.”

Pastor Art Kohl Equates Homosexuality with Bestiality, Incest, Rape, and Pedophilia

andy gipson tweet on homosexuality

2012 tweet by Andy Gipson, a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Gipson is a Southern Baptist.

Art Kohl is the pastor of Faith Bible Baptist Church in Eden, New York. Faith Bible is a church that believes in “soul winning, worldwide missions, old fashioned music & preaching, modest appearance, and loving God” and only preaches from the “King James Holy Bible.” Recently, independentbaptist.com posted an article by Kohl titled Just Because I’m Against Homosexuality Doesn’t Mean I Hate You; Here’s What The Bible Says!  (link no longer active) This is a reprint of an article written by Kohl in 2002.

In the article, Kohl trots out the usual Evangelical objections to homosexuality:

  • The Bible (God) says homosexuality is a sin and an abomination against God
  • Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle not a sexual orientation/sexual identity
  • Homosexuals choose to be an abomination and by the saving grace of God they can choose not to be an abomination
  • Homosexuals don’t live as long as heterosexuals (a thoroughly debunked argument, BTW)

 Nothing new, right? Change the faces, the same codswallop comes out of the mouth.

What I want to focus on is Kohl’s subtle equating of incest, bestiality, rape, pedophilia, torture, and  beating his wife and children with a baseball bat with homosexuality. Since the state legislates against the former, why not the latter? Kohl writes:

“Stay out of our bedrooms, stay out of our private lives,” is a defensive posture we hear from pro-homosexuals. There are many different laws that affect each of our private lives. Laws against adultery, fornication, pedophilia, beastiality, incest, torture, rape, even seat belt laws. Most laws in some way legislate morality. Do not kill, do not steal, etc.

For the average Evangelical church member who lets their pastor think and speak for them, this argument might seem incontrovertible. However, let me show how easy it is to dismantle this argument.

When it comes to incest, rape, pedophilia, torture, and beating your wife and children with a baseball bat, are there two consenting parties? No. Even with bestiality, the animal cannot consent, so there is only one consenting party. However, homosexual sex, like heterosexual sex, is between two consenting parties. While we have laws that govern the age of consent, once that age is reached there is no prohibition against who a person has sex with. Consenting parties have every right to expect the government to stay out of their bedroom or any other private place they engage in sexual activity.

Kohl is using an apples and oranges argument. Many of the actions mentioned by Kohl are violent acts against others, especially women and children.  We rightly, though our laws, punish those who behave violently against others. To quote the opening line from Law and Order SVU, “sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.” There is no victim when two men or two women have sex. We’re human and sex is what humans do, along with eating and drinking.  And we are not alone. According to Wikipedia, homosexual and bisexual behavior has been observed in 1,500 species.

None of this really matters to Kohl because the ONLY issue is what the Bible says about homosexuality. If homosexuals would only agree with the Bible when it says that homosexual behavior is “abusers of themselves with mankind”, all would be well. All homosexuals need to do is deny WHO they are and behave contrary to their nature. How hard can that be,  right? Well, based on the various sexual scandals over the years involving Evangelical preachers, it must be pretty hard.

In almost every IFB church there are repressed homosexuals who, out of fear of God and man, hide who they really are. It is a sad existence, one that is exacerbated by continually being pounded by the sin verses found in the Bible. As a former Evangelical preacher, I have a lot of guilt over how I used the Bible to hammer parishioners into what I perceived was God’s rigid mold for sexuality. At the time, I did not know that there were homosexuals sitting in the pew. I now know differently because I have talked to them and asked for their forgiveness. I still shudder when I think about my preaching against homosexuality. I can only imagine how hurtful my words were to those trapped in a religious system that forced them to play heterosexual.

There’s no hope for preachers like Art Kohl until they see how harmful their preaching is. Until they are willing to chuck the Bible into the dustbin of history, they will continue to demand everyone live by the antiquated morality found in the Bible. Well, at least some of the moral teachings found in the Bible. I was curious about Kohl’s preaching on divorce. The Bible has a good bit to say about divorce, yet many IFB preachers seems to ignore what the Bible says, either because they are divorced or they have divorced parishioners. It’s one thing to preach against homosexuality, knowing that no one in the church is going to cop to being a sodomite. But, when there are tithing church members who are divorced, well that’s a whole other matter. Listen to how kind and compassionate Kohl is to those who are divorced:

…Divorce is devastating to those involved. Whether it becomes ugly or is “amiable,” few entered marriage expecting this result. Sayings like, “It is better to have tried at love and failed, than to never have loved at all,” do not help. It comes into your mind everyday. It never goes away. Some feel like they are labeled, “Unclean, Divorcee!” They feel like outcasts to family, friends, neighbors, fellow employees and especially churches.

Your relationship may have ended but your life has not!…

…I ha’ve never been able to answer all the questions and complexities that come with some divorces: lawyers, alimony, child support, custody battles, garnished wages, in-law problems, financial pressures, hurting children who blame themselves, anger, emotional agony, visitation rights, and so on. But one thing I can tell every divorced person for sure: God in heaven is very personal and he loves you very much. You can have a real relationship with him that can never be broken. He has said in his word, the Bible, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God knows the hurt of divorce.

He was divorced, too! God had married the nation of Israel but she departed from him (Jeremiah 3:14, 20). God had to give her a divorce. Jeremiah 3:8 says “…Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce;…”

This was a spiritual relationship, but God still knows how it feels to have someone so close to you leave. He knows your hurt and feels your pain.

Why don’t you get to know this God?…

Imagine how different things might be if Evangelicals like Kohl treated homosexuals in the same manner? In 2011 Kohl stated:

“It seems we hate and we get angry at certain sins and love and coddle and pet other sins and befriend them if we’re not careful. We ought not to hate the sinner but we ought to hate the sin.”

Most observers of the last thirty years of the culture war would agree that homosexuality has been elevated to the status of THE sin above all sins. Look at how Evangelical pastors, parachurch leaders, and Republican candidates for President responded to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Conspiratorial hysteria, the end of Western civilization. No “sin” has had a greater effect on Western civilization and the American family than divorce, yet these same pastors, leaders, and candidates for President are strangely silent. Why is this? (and they are silent on many behaviors their Bible calls a sin)

Here’s what I think. There are a lot of closeted Jesus-loving homosexuals in the Evangelical church, many of which stand behind the pulpit preaching against the very desires that secretly rage in the dark recesses of their life.  Many of them will spend a lifetime denying who they really are. Others will act on their desires thinking no one can see them, only to be exposed through some sort of scandal. And a few others will realize that the BIBLE is the problem, and they will seek happiness and fulfillment through embracing their sexuality. Among those who are exiting the Evangelical church for political and social reasons are those who can no play the heterosexual game. They leave because they want the freedom to be who they are and not who the church, pastor, and Bible says they are.

Evangelicals Use ‘We Are All Sinners’ Argument to Justify Sexual Abuse

josh duggar

One would think decent, thoughtful people would agree that a fifteen-year-old teen boy touching the genitals of five little girls is criminal. One would think decent, thoughtful people would agree that we should do all we can to protect children from those who will use them for sexual gratification. One would think that decent, thoughtful people would agree that covering up and not prosecuting sexual abuse is not in the best interest of the victims or society.

One would think…and you’d be wrong. I have been astounded by Evangelical excuses, justifications, explanations, and dismissals of Josh Duggar’s criminal sexual assault of five girls. Consider for a moment the universal condemnation of Congressman Dennis Hastert over his decades- old sexual abuse of a student of his. According to Hastert’s indictment, he paid a male student $1.7 million “in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” him. Hastert used money to cover up his criminal behavior just as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar used their influence to cover up their son’s crimes. Why is one universally condemned and the other explained away as a teenager playing doctor, a “youthful mistake,” or “that’s what boys do”?

Let me illustrates this with three Facebook comments made by Fundamentalist Christian, Quiverfull defender, Duggar and Bill Gothard loving Rick Boyer:

rick boyer 1

rick boyer 2

rick boyer 3

Let me cut through all Boyer’s super spiritual, holier-than-thou, braggadocious, religious bullshit. He is using the “we are all sinners” argument to defend, excuse, justify, and explain a 15-year-old boy putting his hands on little girls vaginas and a grown man who manipulated and sexually molested girls and young women.

It seems that any time a darling of Evangelicalism finds himself in a compromising or criminal position, the first excuse trotted out by his defenders is “we are all sinners.”  While I don’t believe in the Christian concept of sin, for the sake of this post, I am going to accept as valid the notion of sin. I will then, in the rest of this post, gut the “we are all sinners” argument.

First, we may all be sinners but most of us don’t sexually molest children or groom and assault girls and young women. Such behaviors are deviant and vile and deserve punishment. We the people, through our elected officials, have enacted laws that protect children and vulnerable adults from predators like Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard. Thanks to the statute of limitations and a big help from law enforcement, neither of them will be prosecuted. The fact that they are not being prosecuted doesn’t mean that they are not guilty. Both admitted their behavior, though their admissions leave a lot to be desired. One would think that this would be enough for people like Rick Boyer, but it isn’t.

Imagine if Richard Dawkins, who was abused as a child, was accused of molesting five little girls. Why the Evangelical outrage would be swift and earsplitting. Evangelicals would demand his prosecution and would write voluminous blog articles about Dawkins’s crimes against children being proof that there is no morality without God. And here’s the thing: atheists such as myself  would demand Dawkins be prosecuted. Because the issue is CHILD ABUSE and not obtuse, never-ending arguments about sin, God, and morality.  We have laws, and we expect people to obey them. Both Duggar and Gothard broke the law. They got by with their crimes because people covered up their behavior. It wasn’t until a victim made her story public or an investigative reporter sussed out the facts, that the public  learned about their crimes. And, as a person who thinks the rule of law is important, and that protecting children is a key part of a just society, I expect people like Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard to be prosecuted for their criminal behavior.

Second, Rick Boyer blames all the outrage on pagans and gullible Christians. This is blame-shifting extraordinaire, a game played by those who want to deflect criticism or judgment. Anyone who has raised children has seen this game played. Johnny gets caught throwing food at Sally and when his Mom confronts him he says, but Rudy, Johnny’s little brother, was throwing food too. Mom rightly replies, but I am talking to you, Johnny, about what you did, not what Rudy did. The wise parent does not let her children blame- shift. Those who do end up having children like Rick Boyer.

I thought Evangelicals were the personal-responsibility wing of Christianity. Since their politics are overwhelmingly right-wing, they have demanded Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton accept responsibility for what was done on their watch. BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI, is the nightly cry of Faux News, and uncounted Evangelicals want President Obama impeached and Hillary Clinton criminally prosecuted. Yet, when it comes to Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, many Evangelicals are strangely quiet about “personal responsibility.” Why is this? Why has this been the case my entire life? Big name Evangelical gets in trouble and his defenders flock to internet and protect their boy. No matter the crime, they are quick to justify and forgive. I wonder if they would be so understanding or forgiving if it were their daughter or granddaughter who was sexually molested by Josh Duggar or Bill Gothard? Something tells me that they would be calling for the perpetrator’s head to be cut off as swiftly as Geoffrey cut off Ned Stark’s head in Game of Thrones.

Third, it seems that no matter what an Evangelical superstar does, the God of forgiveness and the blood of Jesus provide a get-out-of-jail-free card. While Evangelicals will feign concern for the victims, their real concern is for the perpetrator. He’s a star and is so important to God and his work here on earth that anything and everything he does must be forgiven. No matter the crime, the sin slate must be wiped clean. After all, King David, a man who committed adultery, was a polygamist, and had a man murdered so he could have his wife, is called in the Bible, a man after God’s own heart. If King David can have his slate wiped clean and be best buds with God again, surely the same can happen for Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard.

Sadly, Evangelical beliefs about sin, atonement, and forgiveness turn Evangelicals into lobotomized lemmings unable to see things as they are. What we have with Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard are clear cases of sexual abuse and abuse of power. Every non-lobotomized person knows this. The facts aren’t in dispute, yet many Evangelicals blithely preach up the love, grace, and forgiveness of God as an excuse for heinous behavior that is rightly condemned by Christian and atheist alike. It’s only Evangelicals who are defending these men. Why is this?

Most Evangelicals believe that the forgiveness of ANY sin is but a prayer away. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Let me use an extreme example to explain Evangelical thinking about sin and forgiveness. There are eight people in the Roberts family. The Roberts’ are a Christian family, noted for their love and devotion to Jesus. Well, except for Becky. Becky is sixteen and she has a boyfriend who is not a Christian. Her parents demand that she break up with Clint and never see him again. They remind her that the Bible says that believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers and God says premarital sex is a sin. Becky continues to see Clint, often sneaking out of the house late at night, meeting Clint at their “special” place. Over time, Becky  becomes so angry at her parents and their constant Bible- quoting and judgmental attacks on Clint that she decides  to kill her family, all seven of them. Her boyfriend, enthralled with Becky and the sex they shared, says he would be willing to help her kill her mother, father, and six siblings. And one night, that is exactly what they did.

According to people like Bill Boyer and other grace and forgiveness Evangelicals, forgiveness for Becky is only a prayer away. She was a love struck teenager, kinda like Josh Duggar, and even though she did horrible things, one simple, heartfelt prayer will wipe away the blood of her dead family. Isn’t God awesome?

Oh Bruce, such a fantastical story, one that would never happen in real life. Really?  Then you have never heard of 16-year-old Evangelical teenager Erin Caffey who is serving two life sentences plus twenty-five years for the slaughter of her mother and two brothers and the attempted murder of her father in 2008. You can read about the case here. Let me ask readers, would you or could forgive your daughter for slaughtering your entire family? Yet, according to Evangelical belief, forgiveness is not only just a whispered prayer away, it is demanded by God regardless of the circumstance.

Erin Caffey’s father Terry, being the good Christian that he is, forgave his daughter and the boyfriend and two friends that murdered his two children and wife. Here’s what Caffey had to say:

“I planned my own suicide. I decided that when I got well enough to travel, I was going back to my property, and I was going to end it. So when that day came, I went back there and stood on the ashes and began to cry to God. I said, ‘God, I don’t understand why you took my family. Why did you do this? I just don’t understand.’

“No sooner than I said that, I looked down and saw this scrap piece of paper from a book. It was burned around the edges. I picked it up, and it read, ‘I couldn’t understand why you would take my family and leave me behind to struggle along without them. I may never totally understand that part of it, but I do know that you are sovereign. You are in control.’ When I read those words, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It brought me to my knees.”

“People ask me, ‘How could you forgive your daughter and how could you forgive those who murdered your family?’ I am not trying to justify anything. This is my daughter.”

Sadly, because of Evangelical indoctrination, Terry Caffey has lost the ability to  feel anger and hate. As a father, I understand the love a father has for his children, but every child can cross a line where no love and forgiveness remains for  him or her. Evangelicals have had drilled into their heads the idea that they must love unconditionally and forgive any and all who transgress against them. Besides, some day, in the sweet by and by, Terry will be reunited with his murdered children and wife. And Erin will be there too, maybe with her fellow murderers who found Jesus while in prison. One big happy murdered family reunion. Until their reunion in God’s Big House, Terry Caffey travels America telling his story. Caffey has a ministry called A Cross America Ministries: Enabling Today’s Youth to be Tomorrow’s Christian Leaders. He has written a book, been the subject of a People Magazine feature, been on the Dr. Phil Show, and has a new wife and kids.

I wonder, if there were no heaven, would Terry Coffey be so forgiving? Would Evangelicals be so willing to forgive and forget the crimes of Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, and uncounted other Evangelical superstar abusers and perverts, if there were no divine payoff in heaven? Evangelicals are taught that forgiveness is mandatory. As God has forgiven them, so are they to forgive others. Now, in real life, the forgive- everyone requirement is often ignored. As those of us who were in the Evangelical church for many years know, some of the most mean, nasty, vile, unforgiving people can be found at First Baptist Church on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. And some of them are standing at the pulpit.

Fourth, man this post is getting way too long, but let me take some time to point out the hypocrisy of Evangelicals like Rick Boyer. If two consenting adult men have sex, Evangelicals are outraged. If two consenting adult lesbians get married, Evangelicals are outraged. From gay sex to non-married hetero-sex to teenage blow jobs, Evangelicals are outraged. Quoting a plethora of Bible verses that many of them ignore in secret, and calling on God to judge America, but just don’t judge them, they demand Biblical justice be meted out to these unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines. What happened to grace and forgiveness? Well Bruce, Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard confessed their sins, God forgives them, and they promised to never, ever, one time, I mean never, never ONE time, touch a little girl or young woman again. Those queers, adulterers, and fornicators refuse to stop their sin, so there is NO forgiveness for them!

Way too many Evangelicals naïvely believe that people like Josh Duggar, Bill Gothard, Jack Schaap, Geronimo “Pastor G” Aguilar, David Hyles, Jimmy Swaggart, John Paulk, Jack Hyles, Paul Crouch, Douglas Goodman, Ted Haggard, Earl Paulk, Paul Barnes, Lonny Latham, Michael Reid, Todd Bentley, Tony Alamo, Eddie Long, Gilbert Deya, Coy Privette, Joe Barron, George Rekers, David Loveless, Isaac Hunter, Sam Hinn, Paula White and uncounted other Evangelical superstars, have stopped doing what got them in trouble.  Why should they stop screwing church members, abusing children, and acting in ways most respectable people would consider decadent? Just pray, be contrite, promise never to do it again, wink, wink, and all is well.

What these modern-day Elmer Gantrys have learned is that Evangelicals are gullible, always ready to love, forgive, and forget. Perhaps some of them have learned their lesson and stayed on the straight and narrow, but my gut and six decades of exposure to Evangelicalism tells me that what has really has happened is that they have learned to be more careful. I am of the opinion that all the God, praying, and forgiving in the world won’t fix a child molester. Pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia aren’t curable. Those who desire and molest children will continue to do so until they are stopped. Anyone who thinks Josh Duggar’s or Bill Gothard’s behaviors are one- time events, never to be repeated, is either ignorant or fell on his head when  he was a kid. This is why I support  the incarceration of child molesters. Children will never be safe as long as we treat child molesters as sinners that can be fixed by God, prayer, and forgiveness.

Is Josh Duggar a pedophile? I don’t know. I do know he molested five girls and this is enough for me to say that he should never be allowed near children. Mark my word, in a few years Josh Duggar will write a book and start a ministry that will extol the wondrous grace of God; how that God forgave and delivered Duggar from his sins. And many Evangelicals will embrace him as the father did the prodigal son. All will be forgiven and no one will consider whether Josh Duggar might be a pedophile who should never, ever be allowed to be near children again.

Notes

Three excellent articles on this subject: Homeschooling Activist Defends Josh Duggar Against ‘Pagans’ Attacking Him  (link no longer active) and HEAV’S Rick Boyer Defends Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, Claims “Abuse is the New Racism” and Listen-Up Ovaried Americans: Quiverfull Boss Biblesplains How This Whole Morality Thing Works

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