Not only is America a Christian country, but the Constitution has been perverted by infidels and atheists, according to MAGA cultist and Trump sycophant Pastor Robert Jeffress.
He made the comments on his “Pathway to Victory” broadcast during a series of episodes earlier this month promoting the Christian Nation myth. In the excerpt below, he was complaining about Supreme Court decisions that removed mandatory Bible readings from public schools.
And here’s the question: What has changed? What has changed? In these 150 years, has the Constitution changed and nobody told us? Is that what happened? Of course not. What has happened is we have allowed the secularists, the humanists, the atheists, the infidels, to pervert our Constitution into something our Founding Fathers never intended. And it is time for Americans to stand up and say ‘Enough! We’re not going to allow this in our Christian country anymore.’ It is time to put an end to this.
It’s been said before, but conservative Christians like Jeffress always mistake religious equality for persecution because they’re so used to receiving special treatment.
It’s time to once again reiterate that the Bible says far more about welcoming the immigrant and serving the poor and marginalized than anything about abortion or LGBTQ issues — which Jeffress also brought up elsewhere in his episodes. (Interestingly enough, helping the poor would also result in fewer abortions, a fact Jeffress never seems to care about.)
Pretending we live in a Christian Nation doesn’t make it true. Lying about the past won’t change reality either. The fact remains if our government treated atheism or Islam the way we’ve historically treated Christianity, Jeffress would never stop whining about it.
This morning, Joe Biden said something stupid. (Surprise.) He claimed, perhaps jokingly, on a morning radio talk show with a predominantly black audience, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” And then, he apologized for it because it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t accurate, and what-the-hell-are-you-doing-Joe?
If you’re a Republican, that’s fodder for days’ worth of news segments. It doesn’t matter that Trump says far stupider things every day. It doesn’t matter that Trump says far more racist things every day. It doesn’t matter that Trump surrounds himself with and praises white nationalists. Who cares?!
A Democratic slip-up will always get more coverage than a Republican fuck-up.
All you have to do is shut up and let the Biden clip speak for itself.
Enter Christian author Eric Metaxas, a recently named “fellow” at Liberty University’s hilariously named Falkirk Center, who had perhaps the worst response you could imagine:
BREAKING: Just now Joe Biden tried & failed to walk back his “You ain’t black comment” by saying “Sho nuff you is fo shizzle ain’t black! Cuz Massa Trump be fixin to put all y’alls behinds back in chains! You done got yo sefs no choice in dis hyah. And that’s a FO sho fo sho!”
This is why there’s no conservative version of The Daily Show. Conservatives aren’t funny or clever. Their response to a racist comment is to be waaaaaay more racist. Unlike Biden, Metaxas hasn’t apologized. That tweet is still up. He’s just retweeting supportive comments now.
So, this actually completely undermines whatever point you thought you were making, and instead just shows you mocking African American Vernacular English, which is worse than the point you initially thought you were making.
When you accepted Trump as your lord and savior, did it come with a complimentary white hood? This is disgusting, no matter what point you were trying to make. You grieve God with this nonsense, but then, God was only a money-making tool for you, right?
— Susan Insufficiently Partisan Bagwell (@SweetieWalker) May 23, 2020
All of this comes just days after Metaxas claimed the only reason people were anti-racist was because of the Bible.
It took more than a week for Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr. to admit he’s an idiot. And even then it’s a half-hearted acknowledgment.
On May 27, Falwell tweeted this remarkably tone-deaf “joke” in an effort to mock a mandate by the governor of Virginia that people must wear masks in public spaces:
I was adamantly opposed to the mandate from @GovernorVA requiring citizens to wear face masks until I decided to design my own. If I am ordered to wear a mask, I will reluctantly comply, but only if this picture of Governor Blackface himself is on it!
Falwell was bringing up the governor’s blackface scandal out of nowhere — by using an image of a man in blackface and another wearing KKK garb — in order to own the libs.
It took all of that — and who knows how much additional pressure in private — for Falwell to issue a pathetic nonpology today.
It took all of that — and who knows how much additional pressure in private — for Falwell to issue a pathetic nonpology today.
After listening to African American LU leaders and alumni over the past week and hearing their concerns, I understand that by tweeting an image to remind all of the governor’s racist past… I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point. Based on our long relationships, they uniformly understood this was not my intent, but because it was the result… I have deleted the tweet and apologize for any hurt my effort caused, especially within the African American community.
Oh boy… Here are the problems with that pathetic statement:
He’s still trying to explain his “joke.”
The only person he labels as “racist” is the governor, not himself.
He claims he only offended “some” people.
He suggests those critics from Liberty “uniformly” knew he wasn’t actually promoting racism… which would be more believable if they said that themselves, which they haven’t yet.
He deleted the old tweet, which is a convenient way to try to scrub it from the internet. Thank goodness people took screenshots. (That said, deleting it was one of the requests made by those Black alums.)
He apologizes “for any hurt my effort caused,” but doesn’t say he was wrong to begin with.
In other words, he’s sorry for the backlash, but not the principle of what he did. He’s sorry you don’t find him as funny as he finds himself.
He’s not resigning, of course. He sure as hell didn’t say that anything would change moving forward.
Bottom line is that Liberty is still a school run by a racist. Not just a racist, but a racist who didn’t even see a problem with tweeting out a racist picture, and who then blamed the world for calling him out on his racism.
Every student who goes there will be judged by Falwell’s actions, fairly or not, but his constant awfulness should at least make them ashamed of their degrees. If they’re not ashamed, then they’re just as morally bankrupt as he is.
He wants to see Black Lives Matter and Antifa leaders executed.
Which should definitely strike fear in the presidents of those organizations…
He made the comments Thursday on the American Pastors Network’s “Stand in the Gap” radio program:
“It’s time to start crushing these enemies,” he continued. “The leaders of this defund the police movement are communists and jihadis. They’re Muslim Brotherhood organized organizations like the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America. They’re designated terrorist groups like Hamas, the Council of American Islamic Relations. They are leaders of communist organizations like Black Lives Matter and antifa, and as this country has done in the past, we should round up the leaders and execute them for trying to revolt and overthrow the government. And if this doesn’t happen soon, we will lose this.”
Nothing says the love of Christ like calling for a fatwa on your imaginary enemies…
Guandolo also calls George Floyd a “thug” — he wasn’t and it wouldn’t have mattered if he was — suggesting that his cruel death was somehow warranted.
The only people who have a problem with reforming the justice system are those who benefit from its corruption. A truly reformed system would benefit everyone who properly carries out their duties. But when you’re deeply racist, that change seems indistinguishable from treason.
A Message to Nazi Fascist John Guandolo and his kind
Right-wing conspiracy nut Rick Wiles is always preaching that liberals want to round up conservative activists and torture them. Perhaps he was just fantasizing because that’s exactly what he says Trump should do.
On Tuesday’s episode of his “TruNews” program, Wiles cheered Trump’s plan to use the military to quash nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and called on Trump to use the military to take down liberal organizations, arrest their leaders, and send them to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured.
“We were concerned as conservatives that you’re going to have a far-left regime in power that is going to try to round up conservatives, confiscate guns, put people in detention centers, and so forth,” Wiles said. “You know what? This is turning out to be Haman’s gallows. What they planned for the church, for conservatives, for patriots, what they planned is going to be flipped around on them.”“There’s a Republican president in the White House right now who’s brought the military in,” he continued. “You know who’s going to get rounded up? The left, the communists, the people who are burning down the country. That’s who’s going to get rounded up. This thing has completely flipped on them.”
“I have to think that privately, last night, a lot of them are starting to become afraid,” Wiles said. “I’m talking about the leaders, the ones who know that their names are linked to these organizations, secretly linked, that their bank accounts, the flow of money, the meetings, the trail of emails, text messages, that if the federal government comes in and begins a serious investigation, it’s going to lead to some very powerful people. And the U.S. government is going to seize their bank accounts, seize their assets, and put some of these people in prison. That’s where this is going right now, if President Trump does not let up.”
So unlike his fantasies of persecution, he really does want to round people up and torture them.
A MESSAGE TO RICK WILES AND HIS KIND OF CHRISTOFASCIST TRUMPTURD SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY.
You fascist little wanna be Hitler cocksucker for Trump. You degenerate piece of shit, hiding behind the Christian religion and Jesus to spread your fucking ChristoFascist ConservaCunt bullshit upon the rest of us?
Bitch Rick Wiles? I FUCKING CHALLENGE YOU TO MEET ME IN A RING SO I CAN SLOWLY BEAT YOUR FUCKING RACIST, GENERATIONAL INBRED, PIG FUCKING, CHRISTOFASCIST TRUMPTURD SHITSTAIN ASS ALL OVER THE RING. I WANT TO TAKE YOUR FUCKING PENCIL NECK AND JUST SLOWLY SNAP IT BETWEEN MY HANDS AS I WATCH YOUR FUCKING EYEBALLS POP OUT OF YOUR USELESS FUCKING SKULL AND YOUR TONGUE HANGS OUT. YOU LITTLE CHRISTOCUNT PUNK BITCH, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU ARE FUCKING LUCKY I AM NOT LIKE ONE OF YOUR FELLOW PSYCHO TRUMPTURDS CAUSE IF I WERE?
I WOULD SHOW THE FUCK UP ON THE FRONT STEPS OF YOUR RACIST, BIGOTED, HATE FILLED CHURCH OF EVIL AND PULL OUT A GUN UNDER MY 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT AND BLOW YOUR FUCKING USELESS, TREASONOUS HEAD OFF.
TOO BAD I AM NOT LIKE ONE OF YOUR FELLOW PSYCHO TRUMPTURDS HUH?
THESE RICK WILES, ARE YOUR FELLOW TRUMPTURD TERRORISTS, IF ANY SCUMBAG SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND TORTURED? IS YOURSELF AND THESE FUCKING CUNTS.
YES, RICK WILES, YOU PIECE OF SHIT, YOU FUCKING WASTE OF HUMAN SPACE, YOU SUB-HUMAN TROGLODYTE TREASONOUS CUNT. ALL OF YOU RICK, YOU, YOUR FELLOW CHRISTOTALIBANS LIKE FRANKLIN GRAHAM JR, JIM BAKKER AND OTHERS? AND ALL THESE TRUMPTURDS? ALONG WITH TRAITOR TRUMP AND ALL THE RUSSIAN REPUGNANT SCUMBAGS?
SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND BROUGHT TO GITMO, AND TORTURED, WATERBOARDED, BOUND AND TIED UP AND BLASTED WITH COLD WATER. AND THEN? GIVEN ONE LAST FUCKING HAPPY MEAN AND PUT UP AGAINST THE FUCKING WALL AND EXECUTED FOR COMMITTING HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.
SO FUCK YOU RICK WILES AND YOUR KIND AND IF YOU DO NOT LIKE MY WORDS AGAINST YOU? FUCK YOU AGAIN. CAUSE YOU HAVEN’T THE FUCKING BALLS LIKE TRUMP? TO COME AND MEET ME AND ATTEMPT TO MAKE GOOD ON YOUR CHRISTOFASCIST PUNK ASSED THREATS TO A REA LIBERALS FACE WHERE I WOULD RIP YOUR HEAD OFF, SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK, PUT YOUR FUCKING HEAD BACK ON AND THEN? FUCK YOU IN THE ASS.
SO BRING IT RICK WILES, FUCKING BRING IT YOU NAZI CHRISTOFASCIST CUNT.
This is the clear and present danger … people continuing to congregate — squeezing into close quarters like sardines — and that’s exactly what happened Sunday at a Florida Church.
The River Church in Tampa was packed to the gills with worshipers who clearly were looking for hope. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who presides over the megachurch and has been reportedly defiant over social distancing, has claimed he’ll cure coronavirus just the way he did with Zika.
He has vowed he will never close his church … despite every doctor and scientist saying social distancing is the only thing that will prevent the disease from spreading even more.
The Pastor boasted his place was white-glove clean, saying, “We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place, and uh, if somebody walks through the door it’s like, it kills everything on them. If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralize it in split seconds. We have the most sterile building in, I don’t know, all of America.”
Howard-Browne said on March 17, “We are not stopping anything. I’ve got news for you, this church will never close. The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place.”
The Pastor has peddled ridiculous theories in the past, but this takes the cake.
The scariest part … all these people showed up elbow-to-elbow. If they contract the disease, they are the ones most likely to spread it, because they are clearly not practicing or understanding social distancing.
Margaret, if you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, this week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner. And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy. To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.
A dead brothel owner. I’m sorry. I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.
Now, I know that some of you Democrats out there, especially in Florida, Georgia and Texas, are filling a bit blue today and not in a good Blue Wave way. We’re feeling blue because we fell in love with Andrew, Beto and Stacey and hoped that racists in red states would be standing in line at a Cracker Barrel instead of a polling station. Damn you Cracker Barrel! What happened to your all-you-can-eat chicken fried opossum steak on Tuesdays?
Honestly, it was going to be an uphill battle and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, this is Florida, Georgia and Texas we are talking about. They are GOP red mixed with a little scarlet, crimson, cardinal, ruby, magenta, brick, carmine, rose, vermilion, cerise, coral, and burgundy. The fact that Beto was even in the hunt and the other two are still too close to call is pretty amazing. Sure, it stung. But we really do have a great deal to celebrate. We took back the House. Our wave was big enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression, sending several hundred state and federal members of the GOP packing.
If you are feeling a bit down, maybe this will pick you up. Here are a few of my favorite casualties:
Karen Handel. Remember her? This homophobic, she-devil in wolf’s clothing managed to destroy the otherwise stellar reputation of the Susan G Komen Foundation when she picked a fight with Planned Parenthood. Komen recovered somewhat but it never returned to its former glory. Well, now a Democrat in Georgia named Lucy McBath is my new favorite person and Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s newest Representative. Kiss my ass Karen. The only organization I liked more than Komen was Planned Parenthood and you damaged one in order to attack the other. Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Ever. By the way, McBath ran on more gun control… in Georgia.
Kim Davis. This walking hairball in need of a hairstyle became famous in Kentucky for refusing to give marriage licenses to same sex couples, claiming Jesus told her to hate people. She then crashed a party pretending to be the Pope’s BFF and became the white trash darling for white trash religious nutjobs everywhere when she traveled to Romania to fight gay marriage there. Wait. What? Listen, folks. The cheese slid off this gal’s cracker years ago. Thank goodness that Kentucky Democrats dropped a house on Kim. To be honest, she lost by less than 700 votes, but that was to be expected considering she was related to, married to, divorced by and otherwise had children out of wedlock with a sizable percentage of the male voting population in the county. Hypocrisy is what the GOP now calls a family value.
Jason Lewis. I bet you don’t remember this asshat from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District unless you’re a slut… I mean a woman… I mean a slut. Lewis complained that political correctness had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even call a woman a slut anymore without getting in trouble. He lost to Democrat Angie Craig. I don’t know you Angie, but I love you regardless of what Jason is most assuredly calling you at this moment.
Jack Phillips. He’s probably the most famous baker in Colorado, but not because his cakes taste good, bad or otherwise. Jack is the Colorado Baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and took his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. He then tried to sue the Governor of Colorado because he didn’t want to bake a pink and blue cake for a transgender woman. Guess what? Jack now has a new Governor in Colorado. His name is Jared Polis and he’s gay. Please, please, please Governor Polis, order your inauguration cake from Jack if for no other reason than shits and giggles.
Kevin Yoder. I know nothing about this congressman from Kansas except he was a Republican in Kansas, which is rarely a good thing. He lost to a Native American woman named Sharice Davids. Now Sharice has a remarkable story and you should read about it. But I don’t want to talk about that now because I am being a little selfish. I just want to sit a minute and imagine Donald Trump watching Fox News on Tuesday when they gave a Democratic pick up seat to a woman who happens to be Native American and who also happens to be a lesbian and a mixed, martial arts fighter. Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee… Sharice honey, if you meet the President, please kick him where it counts.
Barbara Comstock. When Florida Parkland Students came to talk to her about gun violence, she refused to meet with them. Barbara lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Bye, bye Barbara. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Listen. I was sad. I wanted Beto as much as anyone. I really did. But here in Texas we picked up so many down ballot Democrats because of Beto that I don’t think being sad is an appropriate way to remember Beto, or Stacey or Andrew. And maybe its not even over for Stacey who is still fighting the good fight. Good luck Stacey. Every vote counts. But no. We can’t be down. We have just too much to be excited about.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who gave us the Affordable Care Act the last time she had that title
That is huge. We took back the House and turned a huge section of the country blue, while Trump kept Georgia, Florida and Texas red… barely. We changed everything. He changed nothing.
Maybe the Blue Wave wasn’t as big in some parts of the country as others. As it swept from east to west across the country like an invading army of immigrants… no wait. As it swept from east to west, it hit patches of gerrymandering and mountains of voter suppression. But it indeed swept across the country no matter how large or small it seemed at times. One thing we know for sure, if left unchecked, Trump could bring out the worst in all of us. And sadly, he’s proud of that. But then again, he’s an idiot. The blue wave came, and it was big enough. I mean it. Really.
These disgusting trodlogytes for the Pedophiles of Bob Jones University love to unmercifully attack the victims of the disgusting pedophiles of the Bob Jones University. They love attacking anyone who DARES help defend and support the victims of their Bob Jones University Pedophiles.
Psycho Sally and her BJU Rapist and Pedophile Defending Crew says none of any of this happened. They attack the victims as liars and go after them in unmerciful and vile and evil ways. They think their gang of creeps can bully the victims of Bob Jones University’s rapists and pedophiles into silence or anyone who dares to help them. I got news for Psycho Sally and her crew. She met someone who has absolutely no fear of punk assed bullies like her or her crew. Or any pedophile or rapist or defenders of pedophiles and rapists cause all they are? Are the lowest form of sub-human shitstain trodogytes on the face of the planet and deserve to be eliminated off the face of the planet so they harm no one ever again.
NO MERCY should be given to ANY rapist or pedophiles, especially religions ones. They never give mercy to their victims or survivors do they? Well then they deserve what they sow back and shown and given absolutely no mercy. A death penalty punishment should be automatic for pedophiles and rapists. They are vermin who deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth and if we put dogs to death for biting children? How much more should we put these rabid religious dogs who rape children or others to death?
So here is another edition exposing the vile evil den of rapists and pedophiles at Bob Jones University.
Raised in a conservative Mennonite home in rural Ohio, Katie Landry was a sheltered kid. She hadn’t even held hands with a boy when, at age 19, she says her supervisor at her summer job raped her. Two years later, and desperate for help, she reported the abuse to the dean of students at her college.
“He goes, ‘Well, there’s always a sin under other sin. There’s a root sin,’” Landry remembers. “And he said, ‘We have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.’ And I just ran.“
Landry ended up dropping out of college, and didn’t tell anyone else for five years.
Her college was Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., the flagship campus of American fundamentalism, which teaches a literal interpretation of the Bible and separation from the world. Last year, BJU hired a watchdog group to investigate how it may have failed victims of sexual abuse. The so-called “fortress of faith,” one of the most closed-off Christian colleges in America, was finally opening itself up.
In an America Tonight investigation, five former students detailed similar and scarring treatment at the hands of BJU faculty. They spoke of a larger culture that heaped on shame and pushed them to silence — one focused on purity and reputation, and insistent on unquestioning obedience. But most damaging was how, through the language of Scripture, victims say they were told that their sins had brought on their rapes, that their trauma meant they were fighting God and that healing came from forgiving their rapists.
The women interviewed for this article attended BJU during the course of three different decades – from the early 1990s to the 2010s – and none of them have fully recovered.
I. Root sin
In 2004, Landry worked over the summer for an ambulance company in Columbus, Ohio. One night, she was counting supplies in the back of an ambulance, when she says she felt the prick of a needle.
“I just couldn’t move and he came over and he took my clothes off,” she remembered. “I could still speak, so I was telling him, ‘No.’ And he raped me and my eyes filled with tears, but I couldn’t brush the tears away.”
Told that he “would do worse” to her 9-year-old sister if she didn’t come back, Landry said she had five more shifts, and was raped three more times, before she left for her freshman year at BJU.
Landry didn’t know the word rape; she only knew adultery, and liked the man’s wife, she said. Afraid of her attacker and deeply ashamed, she said she failed most her classes first semester, and kept her assaults a secret until her junior year.
“I just needed help,” she said. “I needed help really bad.”
Landry said she was referred to Jim Berg, then the dean of students. After she shared her story, she said Berg asked whether she’d been drinking or smoking pot and if she’d been “impure.” When he brought up her “root sin,” she said she raced out of the building.
“He just confirmed my worst nightmare,” Landry said. “It was something I had done. It was something about me. It was my fault.”
A page from the book, “Becoming an Effective Christian Counselor,” in the section on incest.BJU Press
BJU practices, preaches and instructs a version of Christian counseling that rejects “secular psychology.” In the school’s worldview, almost all mental problems – beyond the medical – are the result of sin. As explained in the 1996 book, “Becoming an Effective Christian Counselor,” “most people in mental hospitals are not sick; they are sinful.”
Written by Walter Fremont, who was the dean of education at BJU for 37 years, and his wife Trudy Fremont, a former BJU professor, the book specifically addresses incest and rape, advising counselors to emphasize that blame lies with the abuser. But the authors also make clear that being sexually assaulted is no excuse for the sinful feelings of discontentment, hate, fear, and especially, bitterness – unresolved anger that “in reality is rebellion and bitterness against God.”
In a 2009 BJU chapel service, former adjunct professor Rand Hummel recounts how he instructed a young woman to ask her abuser – her stepdad – for forgiveness for her bitterness, and that afterwards, he received a letter from her saying, “Finally, for the first time in my teenage life, I can smile.”
After asking her rapist for forgiveness on the instruction of her BJU counselor, Sarah didn’t smile. The man was a family member, who had abused her for several years as a child.
“I didn’t even know what sex was at that point,” she said. “All I knew was that it hurt and that I didn’t like it.”
When she started at BJU in the late 2000s, Sarah said she was haunted by flashbacks, nightmares and a deep fear of men, and was excited to finally get help. She was referred to Pat Berg, a professor of counseling at BJU and the wife of Jim Berg.
“I would say that the impact of the two years of counseling I had with her is that I felt like I had been raped all over again,” she said.
In their many sessions, Sarah said Berg fixated on her “sin,” and then blamed her when she failed to “get better.” She said Berg told her that she needed to repent of any pleasure she experienced during her abuse. Since BJU doesn’t recognize psychiatric concepts like post-traumatic stress disorder, she said she was also told that she was choosing her trauma symptoms.
“I remember her looking at me and saying, ‘You know that the nightmares are your own fault, because you’re choosing to replay pornographic thoughts in your mind,’” she said.
According to emails, Berg also advised Sarah to call her rapist and ask for forgiveness. Sarah said Berg told her that if she didn’t forgive, God wouldn’t be able to “use her.”
But talking to her rapist didn’t make Sarah feel better.
“Picking up that phone that day and calling him was one of the most gut-wrenchingly hard things that I ever had to do,” she said. “It didn’t bring me closure. Instead, it was like sticking a knife inside me and twisting it harder.”
Suicidal and overwhelmed by flashbacks and nightmares, Sarah said she kept going to counseling because “she was so desperate for some ray of light.” But instead, she said Berg told her that if she’d asked God’s forgiveness, she should be fine, and Sarah “walked out of her office for the last time with no hope.”
Through a BJU spokesman, Pat Berg said Sarah’s allegations were “patently false.” BJU wouldn’t respond to any of the other claims until the results of the independent investigation are released. Jim Berg has yet to respond to requests for an interview.
Writing through the university Facebook’s account, a school representative said, “We certainly encourage victims to report any illegal activity to applicable law enforcement agencies as these types of criminals may strike again.” None of the former students interviewed said that they were ever told their abuse was a crime.
This response to rape reports isn’t unique to BJU, according to Peter Janci of the Portland law firm O’Donnell Clark & Crew. In the dozens of sex abuse cases he’s brought against religious organizations, Janci says he’s found this type of victim-blaming reaction to be “all too common.”
“We’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg of the issue of sexual exploitation in Protestant churches,” said Janci, who grew up in an evangelical home. “They haven’t been held accountable.”
The method of counseling at BJU ends up punishing victims far more than their abusers, according to Julia , a former BJU student, who was also counseled by Jim Berg.
“[The offenders] are able to quickly move on. They say they’re sorry, they’re repentant, so they go right back,” she said. “As the victims continue to struggle in the aftermath, we are the ones seen to be in sin. Struggling with fear, confusion, anger, talking about what happened, or any other reaction to trauma is seen as sin. We are expected to repent of those sins and live as though nothing happened.”
Twenty years ago, Julia received counseling from Jim Berg for an eating disorder. Growing up in a ministry, she was familiar with fundamentalist views on sexual abuse, and so never brought up the abuse she says she experienced as a child.
“You’re worthless if you’ve been abused,” she said. “I knew enough to never, ever, ever, ever mention what had happened.”
Berg said her eating disorder was “a lifestyle of sin,” and Julia graduated believing “God has spit me out,” she said. Seven months later, she says a co-worker and Bob Jones ministry student raped her. She thought of him as “the tool that God used to punish me.”
Within a week, she said Berg found the man responsible and expelled him, but three semesters later, he was allowed to come back. When she expressed her fear to an administrator, Julia said she was asked whether she would really want to prevent a “Godly man” from getting an education that would allow him to “serve the Lord.”
A couple years ago, Julia found out that her alleged rapist was in Christian ministry in another country, and was wracked with guilt that she never reported him.
“He’s a sex offender and he’s in ministry,” she said, “and what if he hurts somebody else?”
At the request of BJU, the nonprofit Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) is currently investigating the university for how it’s handled sexual abuse. More than 100 people have come forward to GRACE investigators, and the report is due out in the next few months. Boz Tchividjian, the head of GRACE, believes Christian organizations across the country have failed victims in similar ways, and that the Protestant world could in fact be “worse” than the Catholic Church.
After graduating BJU, Sarah took matters into her own hands and reported her rapist to the police. He was recently convicted of sexual battery of a minor under the age of 12.
“If you would have told me that dark day when I walked out of [Pat Berg’s] office with no hope, that one day my rapist would be convicted and sentenced to prison, that I would be living a stable, successful life and that I would be healing from my abuse, I would never have been able to believe you,” she said. “But those are the miracles that I have seen my God do.”
Last year, Landry, now 31, moved to New Orleans, and started a tour business of the city’s historic madams and brothels. She still has dark days, but says she has no anger toward BJU, or regrets about going there. She remembers in particular her Bible teacher telling the class about the Greek word “metanoia”: It’s translated as “repentance,” which suggests anguish; but more accurately, it means to completely change the way you think about something.
“I’m going to use the language that Bob Jones University should definitely understand here, when I say, I want you to repent, I want you to metanoia of your leadership,” she said. “I want you to repent, I want you to metanoia of covering up and protecting men who have sexually abused young women and children – and many. I want you to repent, I want you to metanoia this rape culture mentality that you have bought into and tried to sprinkle God over.”
1. Sarah asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.
2. Julia asked to remain anonymous out of concern that she might negatively impact the GRACE investigation.
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.