Despite liberals frequently referencing God, the Bible, and Jesus, there is no “Religious Left.” It is an oxymoron because the two “sets of belief systems” are mutually exclusive. The Bible speaks of such people, Paul wrote, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for […]
Bible believing “Jesus” followers must not be “confused” merely by a person’s quoting of “Scripture,” remember Satan himself quoted Scripture to Jesus during the “temptation”and frequently twists it in today’s society to “deceive” Christians who do not yet have a “firm foundation in God’s word.”
AMR ResponseFunny isn’t it? How one of the first modes of attack against the Christian Left is to denigrate and dehumanize them? That is the first line of attack along with projection by the ChristoFascist Reich-Wingers of their actions upon the Christian Left. Blame the Christian Left for what the ChristoFascists of the Reich-Wingers do.
It is the same trick that Adolph Hitler and his Aryian White Supremacist ChristoTaliban “Positive Christianity” Nazis did during WWII.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTaliban invaders of this country and put the original inhabitants the Native Americans to death in their mass genocide against us. They demonized us, projected all their evil upon us and then it made it easier for other Christians to slaughter us.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used against the Pagans when they invaded their countries in their forced conversion programs.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to put to brutal deaths those they proclaimed as witches, heretics and our scientists whom proved the religious Reich-Winger ChristoFascists wrong in their teachings and theology.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to go to war against each other. Catholics calling Protestants not True Christians and Protestants doing the same to Catholics, each demonizing and dehumanizing each other which made it easier for them to get their brain-washed and mind controlled zombie Christian followers to go out and slaughter each other just because they worshiped the same God and Jesus Christ in different ways.
This is the same kind of attack against the Christian Left, of which? There are many more True Christians in their midsts than there ever will be in the ChristoTaliban Fascist Reich-Wingers like the idiots of Andelino’s Reich-Wing blog. And this is why the Fake Christians like Andelino attack the True Christians of the Christian Left.
ChristoTalibans like this fool always play the projection and dehumanization game to denigrate and defame their opponents.
The Methodist preacher turned Civil War hero is still raw after spending years fighting Confederate flag-waving soldiers and treaty-waving Indians. He’s tasted blood, and now he’s on the warpath. With hundreds of unsuspecting American Indians just around the corner, he’s found his perfect opportunity.
He stands to address his men, knowing full well that the Arapaho and Southern Cheyenne pose no threat.
“Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians!” he says. “I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God’s heaven to kill Indians.”
And then, for emphasis: “Kill and scalp all, big and little.”
He does just that. It’s a violent affair from the start.
As the chaos begins, the American Indians raise American and white flags — symbols of peace. But Chivington ignores the plea, instead raising his arm for attack.
Cannon and rifle fire rain down upon the village. Indians scatter. The hysterical militiamen charge, chasing down men, women, and children, killing them cruelly and without mercy.
The unrelenting attack lasts most of the day. The militia uses more than 1 ton of ammunition.
But once the shooting ends, the bloodshed doesn’t cease. Chivington wants victory, not prisoners. So, as the smoke clears, his militia slaughters the wounded. They scalp the dead, mutilating women, children, and infants. They cut off the women’s breasts and cut out their vaginas. They stripped the skin off the children’s backs to cure as leather. They cut off the men’s and boy’s scrotum’s to use as tobacco pouches and to wear as trophies around their necks. They ransack the village, taking supplies and livestock. Whatever is left, they destroy and burn.
In all, Chivington’s men scalp, rape, and murder hundreds of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho people. Meanwhile, the militia loses fewer than 10 men, mostly due to friendly fire and sloppiness.
According to Congressional testimony in 1865 by John S. Smith, an American interpreter present at the time of the attack, the carnage was ghastly.
“I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces … . With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors … . By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops who called ourselves Christians.”
Over the following weeks, Chivington and his men were lauded in the Denver press by the editor of the Rocky Mountain News, William Byers, who wrote in December, “Among the brilliant feats of arms in Indian warfare, the recent campaign of our Colorado volunteers will stand in history with few rivals,” and that they had carried out a “thousand incidents of individual daring” and “once again covered themselves with glory.” Chivington led the victory parade of the now named Bloody Third Regiment into Denver to a hero’s welcome.
Indian agent Sam Colley, outraged by the massacre at Sand Creek, wrote to U.S. Senator James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin, who was a member of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the (Civil) War. Colley informed Doolittle that the Indians who had been attacked were peaceful and under the protection of his Indian agency and Fort Lyon. News of the massacre continued to spread and on January 10, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives directed the Committee on the Conduct of the War to hold hearings to try to establish what took place at Sand Creek.
On March 13 1865, the Committee on the Conduct of the War began congressional hearings in Washington D.C. regarding the events which had occurred at Sand Creek. Indian agent John Smith gave his eye witness testimony as to the atrocities he had witnessed carried out by Chivington’s men. Smith told how he had witnessed around 100 Indians, men, women and children, surrounded by soldiers who fired on them indiscriminately. Smith testified that he witnessed Indians killed from “sucking infants up to warriors…women cut all to pieces, worse mutilated” than he had ever seen before, with “their brains knocked out.”
The former pastor of a local church was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in state prison and a lifetime designation as a sexual offender by Judge William F. Stone.
Larry Michael Thorne had been found guilty earlier this summer of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18 and sexual battery on a victim in the same age range, according to a press release from the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.
Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014 after the victim reported that he’d had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions. The abuse started when she was 14 and ended when she was 17, according to news accounts.
The sexual molestation included sexual intercourse. These criminal acts occurred repeatedly in Thorne’s home in Fort Walton Beach.
The sexual abuse stopped only when the child disclosed it to a pastor at the church she began attending after she had been able to distance herself from the defendant.
The jury also heard evidence from two earlier victims who had been subject to the same pattern of conduct and sexual molestation when they were in their teens.
According to news accounts, Thorne was the youth pastor at Abundant Life Church on Hill Avenue beginning in 1985. In 2007, he took over as pastor after his father stepped down. In a news article about the transition, Thorne spoke about wanting the church to be a “lighthouse to our community.”
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation, with the assistance of the Department of Children and Families and Children’s Advocacy Center personnel, and made the arrest. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Christine Bosau.
Christians love to proclaim how it is we atheists who are the rampant pedophiles and promoters of pedophilia. Well? Here is another posting, proving that it is actually? The Abrahamist religionists, especially the Christians who are the ones who are the rampant pedophiles and promoters of pedophilia.
30 More Pedophile Pervert Pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention Churches
Timothy N. Douglas Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Fort Bend County, 2016 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Texas for two convictions of possession of child pornography. Convicted in 2016; sentenced to 10 years probation. The Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force granted a search warrant that led to the arrest of Timothy Douglas. The search was conducted in January at the former pastor’s home in the 3400 block of Sentry Park Lane in Katy’s Falcon Ranch subdivision. Douglas, 49, was the lead pastor at Creekside Community Church.
Darrell Gilyard Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Duval County, 2009 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Florida for two 2009 convictions of lewd and lascivious molestation of two teenage girls, one between 12 and 15 years old and another under 16. He went back to work at another church in 2012 after serving a three-year prison term. Worked at a large church in Dallas County in the 1990s, but he left the state for Florida after being publicly accused of molesting young congregants, according to articles published by the Dallas Morning News. A church pastor surrendered to police after he was accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to the teen daughter of a congregant, authorities said. Darrell Gilyard, 45, turned himself in to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office with his attorney Monday, an arrest report said. Gilyard was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct and was released from jail on $5,000 bail later that day. Gilyard resigned as pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church earlier this month. He also resigned an appointment to a committee aimed at reducing violent crime in Jacksonville. A mother filed a report with the sheriff’s office on Nov. 29, alleging that she found obscene text messages on her 14-year-old daughter’s cell phone in October from a number belonging to Gilyard. The mother said she didn’t notify authorities for a month because church deacons had told her they would handle the matter. The arrest report accused Gilyard of soliciting the teen “to commit a lewd act by sending her lewd text messages and requesting for her to send him lewd text messages back.” Gilyard’s attorney, Hank Coxe, called him a committed community servant who’s worked hard to build the church, improve neighborhoods and help at-risk youths. Coxe said Gilyard appreciates the support he has received from his family and others, and that he has sought professional help. It is the second time accusations of sexual misconduct kept Gilyard from preaching. In 1991, he resigned his post at Victory Baptist Church near Dallas after reports he slept with church members came to light. Shiloh is a fast-growing church that televises its services and boasts a membership of at least 7,000, according to its Web site. Gilyard had been there for 14 years.
Eddie Hilburn Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Harris County, 2018 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor (soliciting) prostitution charge and received deferred adjudication on Jan. 8, 2018. Ordered to serve a year of community supervision, but he was discharged early and the case was dismissed on June 1, 2018, according to Harris County court records. A Baptist pastor charged with prostitution earlier this year will spend a year on probation after admitting guilt in a plea deal Monday, according to court officials. Eddie Hilburn, a pastor at The Woodlands First Baptist Church, was arrested July 19 by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and charged with prostitution, court records show. On Monday, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a year-long sentence of deferred adjudication, a form of probation that allows him to escape a conviction on his record if he successfully completes it. The 53-year-old joined the church in July 2012 and was a senior pastor, according to the church’s website. The website notes Hilburn is married with three adult children. He attended East Texas Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Ricardo Javier Pena Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Harris County, 2014 Outcome: Convicted of two aggravated sexual assault charges of a child under 14, sentenced to 20 years in prison. Incarcerated in Texas. Houston police arrested a Houston pastor accused of molesting two young girls, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Ricardo Javier Pena, 53, has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and was released from the Harris County Jail after posting a $60,000 bond, court records show. Pena is pastor at Doverside Baptist Church, 619 Berry Road in north Houston, Houston police said.
Randy Lee Morrow Church Position: Youth Minister Court of Conviction: Pinellas County, 2000 Outcome: Convicted in Pinellas County on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior and sexual battery of a minor. Serving a 30-year prison sentence in Florida. Two counts of sexual battery/coerce child by an adult. Three teens who were sexually abused by a youth minister at a Baptist Church have sued the church and pastor. A Pinellas County jury convicted Randy Lee Morrow, 42, in October of nine charges involving allegations that he had sex with the three when they were between the ages 13 and 15. Circuit Judge Phil Federico sentenced Morrow to 135 years in prison for abuse that began in March 1999. The suit, filed last week in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court, says Countryside Baptist Church should never have hired Morrow and that the church’s pastor, Bruce Crawford, should have noticed Morrow’s ”unnatural affection” for the teens. At his trial, prosecutors told jurors that Morrow lured the three victims with cigarettes and alcohol, getting them drunk so he could take advantage of them by having sex in his RV, the church and local parks. The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000 from the church and Crawford. The suit also said the church failed to discover Morrow’s criminal history, including a prior allegation that he had sexually abused a minor. Morrow left Countryside Baptist in June 2000 to begin a ministry for the homeless before police learned of the allegations. He was charged in October 2000. Crawford and other Countryside Baptist officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Fritzner Jean Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Clay County, 2008 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Florida for unlawful sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old. A pastor was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl, a Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrest report said. Fritzner Jean, 35, was being held Friday at the Clay County Jail on a $300,000 bond. He was charged with one count of lewd battery and two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a jail official said. Jean surrendered to police on Wednesday after the arrest warrant was issued for him, The Jacksonville Times-Union reported. Jean was pastor of First Haitian Baptist Church of Jesus Christ in Green Cove Springs and also a truck driver. Barbara Denman, a spokeswoman for the Florida Baptist Convention in Jacksonville, said it was up to local church officials to decide whether to suspend or terminate Jean. Jean frequently visited the home of the girl’s family, the arrest affidavit said. The alleged victim told police she had been assaulted three times within three months, and that Jean forced her to have sex when he stopped by her family’s house to help her cope with her father’s illness, the report said.
Augustin Fernando Garcia Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Greenwood County, 2001 Outcome: Charged with dozens of felonies in a scandal that shocked Hispanic congregants in Greenwood in 2000. Pleaded guilty to 47 charges in 2001 and admitted to abusing 23 children aged 5 to 13; other charges dropped in a plea deal. Sentenced to at least 50 years in prison. The Associated Press reported that police found a list of names and videotapes showing victims from Atlanta and Carson City, Nev. Incarcerated in South Carolina. It will be difficult for this small town to forget how a minister hired to serve the area’s growing Hispanic population instead preyed on its children. The Rev. Fernando Garcia’s crimes are not easily discussed by the people he was supposed to help. The 42-year-old Baptist minister was sentenced to 60 years in prison Monday after he admitted to sexually molesting nearly two dozen children and videotaping the acts. “Ninety percent of the parents . . . are still in denial,” said grocery store owner Genara Bautista. Victims and their parents have turned down counseling services offered by community leaders, Bautista said. “They don’t think it will help the kids later on,” he said. Garcia admitted in court to abusing 23 children, ages 5 to 13. He pleaded guilty to 32 counts of performing lewd acts and 15 counts of criminal sexual conduct. He said he is an example of what can happen without that counseling. As a boy growing up in Mexico, Garcia said he was abused by a Roman Catholic priest. “Your kids need special counseling,” he said. “What you are seeing here is the result of somebody who never took the chance to be counseled.” Garcia stared at the courtroom floor while the mother of two of the victims, boys who were 10 and 12 years old at the time, called Garcia “this evil incarnate” and said her family would never be the same. Police said they found in Garcia’s office 26 videotapes of him sexually abusing children. The tapes came to light after an 8-year-old boy told his mother in May he had been molested by Garcia. Garcia was arrested two days later. Police also found a list of 145 names indicating Garcia may have molested more children. Police said the videotapes also showed at least two other victims, one from Atlanta and another from Carson City, Nev. They said those cases would not likely be pursued because investigators could not pinpoint where and when the attacks took place.
Joe Nix Ivey Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Frederick County, 2012 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to a second-degree sex offense in 2012 and received a four-year prison sentence (20 years with all but four suspended). Registered sex offender in Frederick County, Md. A Walkersville resident and former pastor was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but four suspended Wednesday for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in February 2010, according to State’s Attorney Charlie Smith. Joe Nix Ivey, 74, will serve at least four years of the sentence ordered by Judge G. Edward Dwyer. Ivey pleaded guilty to a second-degree sex offense on Feb. 7 in Frederick County Circuit Court. During an investigation, Ivey told the girl that what happened was between “you, me and God” and that she shouldn’t tell anyone about it, according to charging documents in the case. Soon after the sex-abuse case became public, Ivey stepped down from a pastoral position at Barnesville Baptist Church in Montgomery County. “I went into counseling to try and find out why I did what I did and why I covered it up for two years,” Ivey told the court in February. According to charging documents, Ivey sexually assaulted a girl who was visiting his home on Dublin Road for an overnight stay. The abuse occurred for about 30 minutes while they were watching a movie, the document states. Ivey said nothing before or during the alleged contact, but told her afterward, “Don’t tell anyone, it will ruin me,” the documents state. The girl also told investigators that Ivey abused her when she was 6. According to the charging documents, when asked about the incident, Ivey said, “I don’t remember. I’m 74 years old. I don’t remember that one.” Dwyer also put Ivey on five years of supervised probation. In addition, he will be on the tier III child sex offender registry. This means he will be on lifetime registry, with treatment and polygraph examinations. He will not be permitted to possess pornography.
John Lankston Anderson Jr. Church Position: Preacher Court of Conviction: Walker Co, AL; Miller County, Ark., 2002 Outcome: Pleaded guilty in 2002 to three counts of sexual abuse in Alabama and sentenced to three years. Immediately transferred to Arkansas, where he pleaded guilty to another sex abuse charge and was sentenced to 10 more years. Served prison sentences in both states. Released in 2013. Was later required to register as a sex offender in Tennessee. A prominent businessman and deacon at Emerywood Baptist Church has been indicted on 32 counts of sex crimes against children. Guy Ellis Carr Jr., 65, was arrested Thursday after a monthlong investigation into allegations of sexual assault between 1973 and 1981, according to the High Point Police Department. Information from that investigation led a Guilford County grand jury to indict Carr on 13 counts of taking indecent liberties with children, 13 counts of crimes against nature, three counts of first-degree statutory rape and three counts of first-degree sexual offense. Authorities have not released names of the alleged victim or victims, and they would not confirm the number of children involved or their genders. People in High Point who know Carr were reluctant to talk about the charges Friday, but they described him as a family man who is active in the community. Although several members of Emerywood Baptist Church declined to comment, they stressed that Carr had no part in the children’s ministry or any role with children at the church. Carr was arrested Thursday afternoon at his family’s business, Carr Mill Supplies at 1015 Manley St. He was being held Friday at the Guilford County Jail in High Point under a $1 million bond. Neither Carr’s family nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday.
Bernard Squires Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction:Federal, 2010 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to charge of distribution of child pornography; sentenced to 151 months. Incarcerated in federal prison.
Travis Ray Smith Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Laclede and Moniteau County and Camden County, 2016 Outcome: Sentenced to prison for four years in 2016 after being convicted of statutory rape, sexual abuse and statutory sodomy for offenses that occurred in 1998, 2000 and 2005 in criminal cases that involved three victims in three different counties, Missouri court and prison records show. Defendant had been acquitted of sexual abuse allegations pertaining to a different victim in 2011. The congregation of the Baptist church here stuck by the preacher even when whispers turned to criminal charges. “Brother Travis” Smith would never sexually assault a teenage girl; the flock refused to believe it. He was married. Beautiful wife, beautiful kids, including young twins. He was handsome and charismatic — his powerful sermons stirred the soul. The church grew since his arrival. One member said Smith “could have been a TV preacher.” And sure enough, Smith was acquitted of the charge in 2011. But then another girl came forward. And another. And then another — and now Smith, 45, is headed to prison. He entered an Alford plea last week to charges of statutory rape and statutory sodomy of a 16-year-old victim who said she and Smith, at the time her youth pastor, used to have sex late at night in a country cemetery until being caught by her father in 2005. As part of the plea deal, Smith pleaded guilty in cases involving two other teenage girls. After the later arrests, most members of the First Baptist Church in Stover, population 1,081, near the Lake of the Ozarks in Morgan County, continued to show up Sundays to hear Smith, who was out on bond. Not Cheryl and Tom Howser. They stopped going, even when Smith’s wife called to ask why. Cheryl Howser told her they would not be back until Smith resigned or was found not guilty. “When I would sit there on Sunday and look to the front and see his wife and kids, I saw pain,” Cheryl Howser said Tuesday in her living room. “I couldn’t do it anymore. The first time — maybe. But the others — how could that be? “I heard him deny it, deny it all, and I didn’t believe him.” Others did. Some so strongly that when Smith did resign, they went to his farm near California, Mo., where he continued to conduct Sunday services. Smith entered his plea last week in Laclede County Circuit Court in Lebanon, Mo., after a jury had heard the case against him and reached a verdict, but before the verdict had been announced. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him. Smith then pleaded guilty in the two other cases, which were filed in 2012 and 2013. Court documents say Smith assaulted those girls years earlier — in 1998 and 2000. One of the assaults allegedly took place in the back seat of Smith’s truck while a friend of his sat in the front. The trial victim was a girl at Pilot Grove Baptist Church in unincorporated Moniteau County, where Smith served as youth pastor. During testimony, Smith acknowledged the sex took place, but he said the acts occurred after the girl turned 17, the legal age of consent. Smith’s attorney, according to a story on LakeExpo.com, argued that testimony from the girl’s father indicated the man discovered the relationship during raccoon season. If the sex had occurred during coon season, the attorney argued, it must have been after the girl’s birthday. According to court records, the jury began deliberations at 3:30 p.m. April 19. Six hours later, the jury announced that it had reached a verdict. By making the Alford plea before the court had accepted the jury verdict, Smith avoided the possibility of a longer sentence. He got four years. Camden County Prosecutor Michael Gilley said the plea deal was offered after consulting with victims and their families. “All three victims were present in the courtroom to listen to Mr. Smith admit to his crimes and go from a free man to being placed into the custody of sheriff’s deputies to await transport to the Department of Corrections,” said Gilley, who served as special prosecutor in the case. On Tuesday, Tom Howser shook his head when asked what the long ordeal was like for a church in a small town. “Hell on earth,” he said. “And it’s not over yet — we still don’t have a permanent preacher.” But one is filling in for the time being. Across the street from the Howsers, Misty Brosius said some of the people who left the church had returned. She never left. Not because she believed Smith’s claims of innocence, but because the church was her church. The place was her home and the people there her family. Travis Smith nearly tore it all apart. “He thought he was a ladies’ man,” Brosius said. “But it’s not me he has to worry about on Judgment Day.”
Paul Eugene Cunningham Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Los Alamos County, 2016 Outcome: Found guilty of two counts of sexual exploitation of children/possession of any obscene visual or print medium. Given four years and six months probation in New Mexico. Registered sex offender in Texas.
John Orville McKay Jr. Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Medina County, 2004 Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in 2004. Sentenced to 10 years. Was a registered sex offender in Texas until his death in 2018. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. A pastor faces a charge of sexual assault by a clergyman for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl who attended his church. John O. McKay Jr. resigned from First Baptist Church in Hondo last month. He was arrested Wednesday in Hondo, about 40 miles west of San Antonio. Prosecutors said McKay had sex with the girl in September. She was a parishioner at the First Baptist Church, where McKay had been pastor for the past four years. An investigator’s sworn affidavit said McKay used his position as the girl’s spiritual adviser to exploit her emotional dependency. David Lynch, chairman of the church’s board of deacons, said McKay resigned at the deacons’ request in mid-March. That was about a month after the teenager accused the pastor of having sexual relations with her, Medina County Sheriff Gilbert Rodriguez said.
Terry L. McDowell Sr. Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: St. Louis County, 2012 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Missouri. Convicted in 2012 of child molestation of a 3-year-old victim. Under a probation provision of Missouri law, his 10-year sentence was suspended and he was released after four months in jail and put on five years probation, according to court and sex offender records. Rev. Terry McDowell describes his congregation at Gateway Southern Baptist Church on Tholozan Street in south St. Louis as a “church of second chances.” Let’s hope so, for his sake. Yesterday the St. Louis County police department announced it arrested McDowell last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of four. On Friday the county prosecutor’s office charged the 48-year-old preacher with child molestation in the first degree. Perhaps McDowell was wrestling with a guilty conscience when he began the introduction on his church’s website with these words…”We believe in many changes and many fresh starts. We are a church of second chances for individuals and families. But beware, NO perfect people are at Gateway.” According to authorities, their investigation began on back in May when St. Louis County detectives received a hotline referral from the Missouri Department of Social Services concerning the alleged victim. The girl reported that between January and May of 2010, the suspect, a trusted family friend, had touched her inappropriately while she was alone with him at his home. McDowell’s residence is in Affton although the victim lives in Jefferson County. McDowell and his wife had been babysitting the child for the last two years. As of yesterday McDowell remained in custody on a $50,000 bond.
Fernando David Maldonado Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Contra Costa County, 2018 Outcome: Convicted after trial of 23 counts of child molestation, including sodomy with a minor and lewd or lascivious acts with a children. Sentenced to 34 years in 2018, according to news reports. The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office charged Fernando Maldonado, a 32-year-old Concord resident, on Monday with 12 counts of lewd acts with a minor, 10 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of sodomy of a minor. The alleged abuse occurred from September 2012 to mid-2015 and involved one victim at the two churches in which Maldonado presided as a minister, said Sgt. Dave Mathers, a detective in the Martinez Police Department. The churches were Morello Avenue Baptist Church in Martinez and the Grace Bible Church of Pleasant Hill, where church leaders and congregants, including the alleged victim, moved after the church in Martinez closed, Mathers said. Maldonado, who has been removed from active ministry at Grace Bible Church and suspended indefinitely, is being held at the Martinez Detention Facility on $9,065,000 bail, according to jail records. He is scheduled to return to court May 10 for further arraignment and to enter a plea, Graves said. Detectives began their investigation April 18 after the victim, identified only as Jane Doe, reported the allegations to Martinez police, Mathers said. Officers arrested Maldonado on his way to the church Thursday morning.
Ralph Randall Melton Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Chilton County, 2005 Outcome: Prior to his death on June 14, 2018, together with his wife, Cathy, were both registered sex offenders for child rape convictions in Alabama from 2005. (Cathy Melton is still a registered sex offender). Their victims were a 1-year-old male and 16-year-old female. A former Shelby County pastor and his wife pled guilty last week to raping and sodomizing their two children almost 18 years ago. Ralph Randall Melton and his wife, Cathy G. Melton, of Jemison, pled guilty to first-degree rape and sodomy in Chilton County District Court. The couple is awaiting sentencing. Melton was arrested in April 2004 after his daughter filed charges with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office. Invesitgators said Melton and his wife raped his then-15-year-old daughter repeatedly between 1975 and 1987. Investigators began collecting evidence after the victim filed a complaint against her father in November 2003. The couple’s son also filed charges after his sister stepped forward, and the wife was also arrested. Melton was the pastor of Prospect Baptist Church in Wilsonville at the time of his arrest. He also served as pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Thorsby and Big Springs Baptist Church in Vida. The Meltons avoided a trial by entering guilty pleas on the day the court was set to strike a jury, according to V. Randall Houston, district attorney for the 19th Circuit. Houston said the two are expected to receive two 10-year sentences on May 8 when they appear before Chilton County Judge Sibley Reynolds for sentencing.
Joe David Barron Church Position: Minster Court of Conviction: Brazos County, 2009 Outcome: Drove nearly 200 miles with a box of condoms in his SUV after arranging to meet an undercover officer who Barron had been told via text was a teenage virgin. Convicted in 2009 of four counts of online solicitation of a minor based on the messages and sexually-explicit images he sent the officer. Received seven years community supervision. Registered sex offender. Joe Barron, a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas, Texas, was arrested after driving 200 miles for a rendezvous with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl he had been communicating with online for two weeks. His sexually themed messages, however, were actually being sent to an undercover investigator posing as a young teenager. Earlier this month, the 52-year-old minister suggested meeting the girl in person. He drove to Bryan, about 100 miles north of Houston, where he was arrested and on Friday charged with online solicitation of a minor. Police found a web-cam and condoms in his car. Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood, which has 26,000 members and 40 ministers, announced during weekend services the church had accepted Barron’s resignation with immediate effect. He said it was a heartbreaking week in which “you need to know that we are appalled and we are disgraced by this terrible action, an unacceptable action, by a minister on our staff.” Mr Graham added he was keen to move on and “put this in the rearview mirror” while handling “anything we need to handle in terms of our responsibilities and obligations, and any ongoing investigation”. Barron, who ministered to middle-aged, married members of the Prestonwood congregation, is out on bail. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Harley Michael Keough Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Gaston County, 2010 Outcome: Convicted of two counts of sexual battery and ordered to register as a sex offender. Died in 2013. A Bessemer City pastor was found guilty of two counts of sexual battery Tuesday. Harley Michael Keough, 73, is the pastor of King James Baptist Church in Bessemer City. His trial began Monday. Several women testified against Keough Monday, accusing him of groping them when they came to the church for help. Keough took the stand Tuesday and denied touching the women inappropriately. He said some of the women were angry because of misunderstandings of his mission. “In our church we frequently hug,” he said. “We are a loving church.” Keough will not go to prison. He was given 18 months probation and has to register as a sex offender and provide a DNA sample as often as he is asked. He said he plans on continuing work at the Bessemer City church despite the fact that he must register as a sex offender. Legally, he can continue to act as a pastor, but not within 300 feet of a church with a nursery or daycare. Keough still faces eight other charges. The prosecutor said she plans to talk to the other alleged victims to determine if those cases will go to court.
Joel Dean Joslin Church Position: Church leader Court of Conviction: Texas, 2003 Outcome: Registered sex offender for conviction in 2003 of sexual assault of a child. Victim described as a 15-year-old male, according to Texas sex offender registry. Discharged from probation. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Joseph Edmund Conger Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Camden County, 2009 Outcome: Convicted in 2009 of statutory sodomy for incidents with teen in 2003. Pleaded guilty and sentenced to prison for seven years in 2009, Missouri court records show. Subsequently died.
Joshua Ross Hyles Church Position: Church leader Court of Conviction: Texas, 2003 Outcome: Registered sex offender for conviction in 2003 of indecency with a child by sexual contact. Sentenced to seven years probation on April 9, 2003, per sex offender registry Discharged from probation. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Michael Lee Jones Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Harris County, 1998 Outcome: Registered sex offender for two counts of sexual assault of a child in Harris County in 1998. Victim reported to be 16-year-old female. Received deferred adjudication; deferred adjudication terminated in 2006 after eight years probation, according to court records. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Morris David Roberts Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Bexar County, 2005 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to indecency with a child by exposure in 2005. Received deferred adjudication and was placed on probation for 10 years, which he completed in 2015. He died in 2016. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Andres Ybarra Garcia Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Sutter County, 2007 Outcome: Registered sex offender in California for conviction of lewd and lascivious conduct with a girl under 14 years old. Served less than a year, according to sex offender record.
Billie Lewis Minson Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Smith County, 2009 Outcome: Pleaded guilty in 2009 in connection with charges he engaged in sexual contact with a child under 17 and was given a five-year deferred adjudication. Released early from deferred adjudication in 2012. Ordered to have no contact with the child and undergo counseling, among other conditions. An East Texas pastor is arrested on charges of indecency with a child. Billie Lewis Minson, 56, was in Austin visiting family, where Austin police say he allegedly molested a 12 year old female family member he shared a bed with at a LaQuinta. According to Austin police, when she returned home she told her mother she woke up to Minson abusing her.Police will not release her relationship to Minson or her name, due to her age. Minson is currently still a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Swan, just north of Tyler.He was released on 60 thousand dollars bond.
Danny O. Hill Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Ford County, 2005 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Illinois who was convicted in August 2005 of sexual assault. During his trial, jurors heard recordings police made of phone calls between Hill and the victim, according to KSHAW. A Ford County jury on Friday found a Gibson City minister guilty of repeated sexual assaults on a woman over a six-year period that began when she was 14 years old. Following three hours of deliberations, Danny O. Hill, 54, who listed an address in the 800 block of South Lott Boulevard, was found guilty of two counts of criminal sexual assault. Hill is a Baptist minister who has served at churches in Gibson City and Fisher. He also has worked as a substitute teacher at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School and as a chaplain for Carle Hospice in Champaign-Urbana. Hill faces between four and 15 years in prison and fines up to $25,000 on both counts. He will be sentenced Sept. 26. The victim, now 22, had testified on Thursday that Hill sexually abused her hundreds of times for six years. When Hill took the stand in his own defense on Friday, he denied taking part in any sexual activities with the woman. Hill claimed the woman was reliving in her own mind sexual assaults from her childhood when she lived in another state. As part of the woman’s therapy, Hill said, he would frequently take part in role playing with the woman, portraying her abuser. “I would become the person who inflicted harm on her,” he said. “I would ask her, if I were that man, what would she say.” Hill said that he believes the woman was referring to those role plays during four wiretapped telephone conversations that were played for the jury on Thursday.
Derek Gillett Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Cherokee County, 2008 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Georgia. Pleaded guilty to two child molestation charges in May 2008 and sentenced to 10 years in prison; 10 years probation. Released.
Douglas W. Myers Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Calvert County, Lake County, 2007, 2012 Outcome: Sentenced to seven years for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor (under 12) in Florida in 2007. After being released, convicted in 2012 in Maryland of child abuse for offenses that occurred in 1997, 1999 and 2001. Serving a 15-year sentence in Maryland. Related civil lawsuit. A jury in Lake County has awarded $12.5 million to a man who, as a child, was sexually abused by a Baptist minister, his attorney announced Monday. The jury agreed unanimously on the award Saturday morning after a six-day trial on the issue of damages. A separate jury in May 2012 held the Florida Baptist Convention liable in the case, saying the organization didn’t adequately investigate Douglas W. Myers, 64, who previously had been accused of inappropriate conduct with children. “This was a long journey for this child who needlessly suffered because the institutions he trusted failed to protect him,” Weil said in a statement. “In light of the evidence presented, the jury surely understood the devastating impact on this young man.” The boy, now 21 and a college student, is still living with the effects of the abuse, Weil said. Myers recruited the youth as a volunteer to help start new churches and spread the faith, saying he wanted to be a mentor partly because he and his wife had lost a child, Weil said. Myers founded two churches in Lake County in the mid-2000s: Harbor Baptist Fellowship in Howey-in-the-Hills and Triangle Community Church in Eustis. Both have been disbanded. The first jury found that Myers was an agent of the convention in his “church-planting” efforts but not an employee. Myers served a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to lewd and lascivious molestation. He met the boy at Bay Street Baptist Church in Lake County and abused him over the course of six months while also taking him on trips to Walt Disney World, giving him money and driving him to school. During the trial, the victim testified that Myers “told me it was a normal part of growing up. He told me he had done it with plenty of other kids at other churches.” Myers was accused of improprieties with children while he briefly served as pastor at Dunkirk Baptist Church in Dunkirk, Md., and Concord Baptist Church in Russellville, Ala., before he and his wife moved to Florida. The allegations included taking children skinny dipping and cornering a 10-year-old boy. After he was released from prison in December 2012, Myers faced charges in the old cases in Maryland. He entered that state’s equivalent of a no-contest plea to three counts of custodial child abuse and was sentenced in October in Calvert County, Md., to 45 years in prison with 30 years suspended, news reports show. The offenses occurred in December 1997, April 1999 and March 2001. Testimony in the liability portion of Myers’ Florida trial showed that the Jacksonville-based convention ran criminal-background, motor-vehicle and credit checks on Myers but failed to check his references or contact the churches where he previously worked.
Forrest Lee Hudson Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Pierce County, 2010 Outcome: Pleaded guilty in 2010 to two counts of assault of a child in the third degree, Pierce County court records show. Other charges dismissed as part of a plea deal. The assault counts plea did not include allegations of sexual motivation, according to a sentencing memo. Stung by criticism since appearing as a character witness for a former church youth worker who confessed to child molestation, a leader in the African-American Baptist community Asheville, N.C., pledged to find ways to help churches protect children from sexual abuse. L.C. Ray, president of the Buncombe County Baptist Ministers Union and pastor of Greater New Zion Baptist Church in Fletcher, N.C., was one of six ministers and three others who appeared in court last month asking for leniency for Leonard Smith, 53, a former music director who worked with youth at Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ in Asheville. Smith received a 14 year prison sentence after pleading guilty to five counts of indecent liberties with a child. The charges involved three children dating back 20 years. Three more serious charges dropped in a plea bargain dated to 1976.
“It really hurts,” Ray testified, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. “But I can’t get around the fact that God calls me to fall on the side of mercy.” The newspaper reported Nov. 29 that about 50 people turned out in support of Smith. Another minister said Smith “is still needed in the church.” The other side of the courtroom, where the family of one of the victims sat, was nearly empty. “We have been ostracized,” said a spokesman for the extended family. “Not one church leader has reached out to us.” But in a story this Tuesday, Ray told the newspaper he did not know the charges facing his longtime friend until he was in the courtroom, despite media attention given the case. Christa Brown of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said seeing people rally around an accused minister while the victim’s family is ostracized sends a strong message to other victims of clergy sexual abuse. “It tells them that, if they speak of it, they and their families will be shunned,” Brown said.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Puyallup, Wash., on Tuesday charged a Baptist pastor with four counts of child molestation for allegedly fondling and kissing two sisters, now ages 12 and 13, whose family attend his church. Forrest Lee Hudson, pastor of Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, denied the allegations and entered a plea of not guilty. Hudson’s is attorney said he would “vigorously fight” the charges, according to The News Tribune in Tacoma. The church is listed as affiliated with both the Southern Baptist Convention and the Northwest Baptist Convention, a regional body of Southern Baptist churches in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and one congregation in northern California.
Gerald “Jerry” Ray Hutcheson Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Covington County, 2007 Outcome: Convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Alabama in 2007 and served four years in prison. Released. Registered sex offender in Alabama. Previously registered in Tennessee based on a 2004 sexual abuse offense.
Read and hear survivors’ stories, and learn about the depths of crimes and misconduct of church leaders they trusted. This database contains information on 263 people who were convicted or took plea deals.
Part One: 26 Pedophiles, Child Sex Traffickers and Child Porno perverts, a Video Recording Peeping Tom Pervert Pastor, a SBC Pastor Murderer and a Former SBC President moralist busted for hiring prostitutes
Daniel Stephen Johnson Church Position: Missionary Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018 Outcome: Johnson, a missionary, was investigated by the FBI at the request of Cambodian authorities. Arrested in Cambodia by U.S. authorities in 2014. Convicted by a jury in 2018 of eight federal charges, including charges for traveling to a foreign place and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with six different minor boys. Johnson has since filed a motion for a new trial and to set aside the jury’s verdict.
Johnson was arrested in December 2014 after authorities in Cambodia handed him over to FBI agents who then brought him to Oregon. At the time, Johnson had just completed a one-year prison sentence in Cambodia for sexually abusing five boys who were in his care at an orphanage that he had operated there. Federal authorities said Johnson’s victims were between 8 and 17 years old.
Michael Wayne O’Guin Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Denton and Tarrant counties, 2004 Outcome: Ordered to complete two years community supervision without adjudication of guilt in 2004 after pleading no contest to the felony sexual assault made by a child victim. A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2006 after prosecutors claimed he failed to complete conditions as required. News Story https://www.stategazette.com/story/1025922.html
Travis Payne Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Miller County, 2012 Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault (victim was reported to be a 3-year-old). Sentenced to five years in prison. A Miller County jury Tuesday found South Texarkana Baptist Church pastor Travis Payne guilty of sexual misconduct with a 3-year-old girl and sentenced him to five years in prison. Later died. News Story https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2012/feb/29/pastor-found-guilty/288194/
Daniel J. Moore Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Johnson County, 2010 Outcome: Convicted in 2010 of sexual misconduct with a minor and other charges in Johnson County. Sentenced to 10 years. Paroled. Registered sex offender in Indiana.
A former Southern Baptist pastor in central Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old church member in a relationship that began with him counseling the girl because she was not getting along with her mother.Daniel Moore, 50, former pastor of New Whiteland Baptist Church near Franklin, Ind., pleaded guilty March 15 to felony child solicitation and sexual misconduct charges in exchange for a 10-year sentence. A Johnson County circuit court judge approved the plea bargain at a sentencing hearing April 8.
The girl’s mother, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of her daughter, said she was satisfied with the sentence because she didn’t want to put the now soon-to-be 17-year-old through the trauma of a jury trial.
Entering the courtroom April 8, the mother said she was surprised how many people from the former church were there to support their former pastor. At the end of the hearing, she said, Moore’s stepdaughter said to her daughter, “I hope you rot in hell,” for her role in assisting in the prosecution of the case.
Luis Federico Garcia Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Shelby County, 2007 Outcome: Registered sex offender. Convicted in 2007 of three counts of sexual abuse in Shelby County, Ala. A former pastor of Spanish ministries at the First Baptist Church of Pelham is charged with sexual abuse of three young girls. Luis Federico Garcia, 63, of Alabaster, was arrested on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse for the alleged abuse of two 7-year-olds and one 6-year-old, Pelham Lt. Scott Tucker said. The alleged abuse occurred from July 2002 until May of 2007, Tucker said. Garcia has been released on a $30,000 bond. Now lives in the Dominican Republic. News Story https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/DA/20031011/News/606114298/TL/ Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4901453-AL-Garcia-LuisFedericosexoffender.html
Benjamin William Nelson Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Hill County, 2018 Outcome: Used social media to lure a 13-year-old girl into sexual encounters and was convicted of sexual assault with a child (two counts) indecency with a child (two counts) and online solicitation of a minor afterward. Sentenced in February 2018 in Hill County to 20 years in prison. Incarcerated in Texas.
A Hill County pastor and former student at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for using social media to lure a teenage girl into a sexual encounter last year. Benjamin Nelson, 27, pastor of Peoria Baptist Church west of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, two counts of indecency with a child by contact and online solicitation of a minor. Judge Lee Harris of Hill County’s 66th State District Court sentenced Nelson to five concurrent, 20-year sentences in a plea bargain Nelson reached with Hill County District Attorney Mark Pratt. Pratt said Nelson posed as a teenager while talking to the 13-year-old online and convinced her to meet him in a parking lot in Whitney.
Christopher Donald Beam Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Wayne County, 2017 Outcome: Convicted of unlawful touching of a child and exploitation of a child. Sentenced to five years in 2017. Incarcerated in Mississippi. A Wayne County pastor is sentenced to five years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Christopher Beam pleaded guilty Monday to lustful touching and exploitation of a child. On Monday, he was sentenced to 30 years with 25 years suspended. Investigators said Beam was a substitute teacher and bus driver at Beat 4 School in Wayne County in January 2016 when he kissed a 12-year-old girl in the school’s bathroom. The victim told officials she was texting Beam when he convinced her to leave class and meet him there. Beam was fired from both positions at the school and his roll at Evergreen Baptist Church in Shubuta after his arrest. According to officials, the victim’s family was “very pleased” with Monday’s outcome.
Edward Earl Prince Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Desoto County, 2013 Outcome: Listed as a sex offender in Mississippi for a 2013 conviction of child exploitation. A Mid-South pastor has been charged with possession of child pornography after he was found surfing on a library computer. Hernando police said the computers in the library have software to keep people from viewing inappropriate material. However, investigators said the Hernando pastor managed to get around the filters and firewalls. Edward Prince, 63, is the pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Hernando, Mississippi. He is being charged with possession of child pornography after staff at the Hernando Public Library told police Prince was viewing inappropriate images on one of the computers. Police found that Prince had downloaded and viewed child pornography on the computer in the public library. The illegal downloads were tied to his computer login. “You have to register and that’s one of the ways we were able to determine what belong to him,” said Champion.
Joseph Raleigh Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Federal and Hughes County, 2016 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to attempted human trafficking after arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover agent who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison in 2016. Released. Registered sex offender in South Dakota. Joseph Raleigh, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Miller, S.D., pleaded guilty June 28 in federal court to Attempted Trafficking with Respect to Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor, a federal law making it a crime to recruit or transport persons for forced labor. Raleigh, 35, an Ohio native who served as pastor of Hysham Baptist Church in Hysham, Mont., before moving to South Dakota in 2013, was arrested Oct. 24, 2015, in a sting by federal, state and local agencies after negotiating a deal on the Internet with an undercover officer posing as a pimp to have sex with a 15-year-old girl. He resigned as pastor of the 50-member Southern Baptist church within a day of his arrest. The guilty plea was part of a deal with prosecutors reducing the crime from stiffer charges of Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of Children and Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet. Due to his lack of criminal history and other factors, his recommended sentence ranged from 30 to 37 months, but U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange increased it to nearly four years in prison, finding that as a pastor Raleigh had violated a position of trust.
Holland Farrell McMorris Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Rapides Parish, 2010 Outcome: Was convicted in 2010 and is serving a 25-year sentence in Louisiana state prison for sex crimes, according to a state prison spokesman. A former Louisiana Baptist preacher was sentenced to 25 years in prison Oct. 3 for sexual abuse of a young female relative. Holland Farrell McMorris, 64, was arrested in June 2010 and charged with 15 counts of aggravated incest. Two months later a grand jury increased the number of charges to 473, indicting McMorris on 157 counts of aggravated incest, 157 counts of sexual battery, 157 counts of molestation of a juvenile and two counts of attempted aggravated rape. Authorities say the crimes occurred between May 2006 and August 2009 when the victim was between 11 and 14 years old. She is now 16 and has undergone counseling. The 2009 Louisiana Baptist Convention annual listed McMorris as pastor of Paradise Baptist Church in Ball, La. The 80-member congregation founded in 1952 is listed in online directories of both the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention. Quoted by the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper, the girl’s mother said in court that McMorris used his status in both the family and the Baptist church to take advantage of her daughter. According to the newspaper, McMorris told the court he was a social worker at Central Louisiana State Hospital and that he holds two master’s degrees. He admitted guilt but did not apologize. Assistant District Attorney Monique Metoyer said the victim’s family was “quite generous” in agreeing to the 25-year plea deal.
Coy Privette Church Position: Past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, trustee/chair of the SBC’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and a trustee of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Court of Conviction: Rowan County, 2007 Outcome: Retired Baptist minister and former state legislator. Pleaded guilty in 2007 to aiding and abetting prostitution and was given probation. Died in 2015. Moral activist and conservative Southern Baptist Convention leader Coy Privette received “deferred prosecution” on six charges of aiding and abetting prostitution during his hearing Aug. 22. Privette, a Rowan County, N.C., commissioner and former executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, admitted to investigators that he had sex with an accused prostitute, according to the prosecutor at the hearing. Deferred prosecution means Privette, who resigned from the state convention’s board after his arrest in July, will have his record wiped clean if he performs 48 hours of community service, complies with probation requirements for a year and pays court and probation costs. According to the prosecutor, the case started June 27 when a Cabarrus County bank refused to honor a check being drawn against Privette’s account because it seemed high. Bank employees alerted police in Kannapolis, N.C., where Privette lives. A police investigator interviewed Tiffany Summers, who said she had received the check from Privette. She also said she had sex with Privette on a number of occasions in two hotels. Summers showed the investigator a photo of Privette that she took with her cell phone. The prosecutor said Privette had signed in to the hotels under his own name six times. Hotel security cameras showed both Privette and Summers, according to the prosecutor.
Samuel Allen Nuckolls Church Position: Pastor/Minister Court of Conviction: DeSoto County, 2012 Outcome: Serving a 10-year sentence in Mississippi state prison on three counts of video voyeurism, prison records show. Nuckolls originally faced 13 charges of video voyeurism in 2012, but the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned 10 of 13 counts in a ruling in 2015. Required to register as a sex offender. The Mississippi Supreme Court has reversed 10 of the 13 counts of a traveling Southern Baptist evangelist convicted three years ago of video voyeurism. Sam Nuckolls, a former youth camp pastor for LifeWay Christian Resources, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 for making secret videos of 13 women taking showers in his home in Olive Branch, Miss., between June 2007 and October 2011. The Supreme Court ruled Dec. 10 that law enforcement failed to prove that 10 of 11 videos found copied on a laptop computer seized from Nuckolls were reproduced within the jurisdiction of DeSoto County Judge Gerald Chatham, who decided the sentence based on stipulated facts in September 2012. The Supreme Court upheld one of the appealed sentences, saying a video made in Olive Branch ending with Nuckolls shown possessing a silver laptop consistent with the Apple MacBook Pro he purchased Jan. 5, 2011, was enough to reasonably infer the recording was made after that date. Nuckolls did not appeal two counts of surreptitious recordings that occurred within the statute of limitations on Oct. 14 and Oct. 19, 2011. Judge Chatham sentenced Nuckolls to consecutive five-year prison sentences for those charges, with all the remaining five-year sentences running concurrently to his time in jail. Nuckolls secretly recorded women ranging in age from 17 to 26 at two different residences in Olive Branch. Most were friends or acquaintances, including wives of ministerial colleagues. Nuckolls was first arrested in Gosnell, Ark., after a woman who lived in the house where Nuckolls was staying while in town to preach a revival found a spy pen in her bathroom that contained video of her inside the bathroom. Nuckolls pleaded guilty in Arkansas in exchange for five years of probation. Similar allegations investigated in Texas were outside the window of the state’s three-year statute of limitations. He was also investigated in Virginia, where video voyeurism is a misdemeanor. After his release from prison Nuckolls must register as a sex offender and undergo treatment and monitoring for another 10 years.
Joshua L. Spires Church Position: Minister Court of Conviction: Delaware County, 2009 Outcome: Registered sex offender in Texas for life. Under probation/community supervision until 2029. Convicted in 2009 after guilty plea to 10 counts of lewd molestation of a minor; served nine years in Oklahoma state prison. Released Feb. 28, 2018. A former Delaware County pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old girl who attended his church, a prosecutor said Friday. Joshua Spires, 28, of Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty in Delaware County District Court on Tuesday to 10 counts of lewd molestation. Spires was sentenced to 10 years on each count and fined $10,000. All the sentences will run concurrently, said Bryce Lair, assistant district attorney. According to court records, the sexual assaults occurred every Sunday at the Jay church about an hour before services began. Spires will have to serve 8 1/2 years before he becomes eligible for early release, Lair said. As part of the plea agreement, Spires confessed in court to the sexual misconduct with the teenager, who once was in his youth group. The sexual relationship began in 2007 and lasted until Nov. 15, when the girl broke off the relationship, according to an affidavit. Both the victim and Spires told authorities the relationship was consensual. Oklahoma law states that a 15-year-old cannot consent to a sexual relationship.
Christopher Alan Hogge Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Isle of Wight County, 2017 Outcome: Pleaded guilty to 19 child pornography charges in 2017. Serving a 16-year sentence. Incarcerated in Virginia. Release date 2033. Christopher Alan Hogge has pleaded guilty to the 19 child pornography charges he faced. Hogge, the Pastor of Battery Park Baptist Church and Director of Franklin Social Services was arrested in May of 2016 on eight child pornography charges. Additional charges were filed against him in July. He entered a guilty plea on April 12. For 15 of the charges, Hogge was sentenced to five years behind bars with five years suspended. On four of the charges he was sentenced to tens years with five years suspended. He will serve those five years sentences consecutively, at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail. According to court documents, pictures of children in sexual positions were found on Hogge’s Twitter account. The IP address for the account was traced back to Hogge’s home, which is connected to the church, where Hogge served as a Pastor. Though, that’s not the only place Hogge allegedly viewed and distributed child pornography. During an interview with Detectives, Hogge reportedly admitted to using the printer at Franklin Social Services to print more than 200 images of male child pornography five years ago. He kept those pictures at his desk there, according to court documents.
David Glenn Boyd Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018 Outcome: Sentenced to 120 months in prison by a federal judge after being convicted of a charge of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.” Former Wheelwright Baptist Church pastor David Glenn Boyd was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison on child pornography charges. The 53-year old Floyd County man pleaded guilty back in December to one count of distributing child pornography. Prosecutors say they recovered a laptop with dozens of inappropriate photos and videos involving children, some under the age of 12.
Ralph Lee Aaron Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Covington County, 2010 Outcome: Convicted of four felonies, including production of obscene matter (three counts) and sodomy. Sentenced to four consecutive 99-year terms. Incarcerated. Registered sex offender. The former pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship is now facing charges on 152 “atrocious acts” stemming from allegations he sexually abused and tortured young boys while on camping trips. At a press conference Tuesday, Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks and the case’s lead investigator Wesley Snodgrass revealed the current scope of the case against 54-year-old Ralph Lee Aaron. The investigation began last Tuesday after a mother, who had heard rumors of a previous incident involving Aaron, had a “straightforward” conversation with her son. That incident stemmed from a 2005 complaint that occurred while Aaron was serving at Andalusia’s Victory Baptist Church. No charges were filed in the 2005 complaint, which was investigated by the Covington County District Attorney’s office and the Department of Human Resources. As a result of that conversation, the mother determined her son may have had inappropriate contact with Aaron, and she elected to contact authorities. “Surprisingly, (the victim) was open and honest, and they discussed it at length before contacting law enforcement,” Snodgrass said. “It was quickly identified as a substantial case.” When officers arrived at Aaron’s home Tuesday night, they seized numerous items of computer equipment and camera equipment. Snodgrass said they found more than 100 pornographic images Aaron allegedly downloaded from the Internet as well as some images taken of his alleged local victims. As the investigation continued, it was determined the majority of Aaron’s alleged victims ranged in age from 8 to 12 and were all male. No specific number of victims was released, as the investigation is still ongoing. Snodgrass said the alleged abuse occurred when Aaron, while acting in his capacity as pastor, took the boys on camping trips to local areas. It is not believed any of these incidents occurred at the church, Snodgrass said. “We also have some evidence that shows other abuse occurred at Aaron’s residence,” he said. However, there is no evidence that shows Aaron’s family had any knowledge of his actions, he said. “From all accounts, Mr. Aaron was believed to be a decent man, but he obviously had a secret life,” he said. “He was able to do (these acts) because he befriended (the parents), the children and the church family. That’s how he got into their lives.” Aaron is now charged with the following: 38 counts of production of obscene matter containing visual depiction of a person under 17 involved in obscene acts. 3 counts of dissemination of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts. 97 counts of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts. 3 counts of sexual torture. 3 counts of first-degree sodomy. 8 counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 He is currently being held in the Covington County Jail, where he is separated from the general population “for his own safety,” Snodgrass said. His bond is set at $24.2 million. Aaron could face additional charges as the case continues, Snodgrass said. “I would say that Mr. Aaron has not been fully cooperative throughout this investigation and, in my opinion, seems completely and entirely unremorseful,” Snodgrass said. “Right now, he’s more concerned about his current situation than he is with anything else or our victims.”
Phillip Rutledge Church Position: Pastor Court of Conviction: Texas, 2003 Outcome: Registered sex offender because of two 2003 aggravated sexual assault charges against children, Texas records show. CHURCH GIVES SEX OFFENDER A SECOND CHANCE Pastor Phillip Rutledge is on the pulpit Sundays at Ranchland Heights Baptist Church. He’s also a low-risk sex offender because of two Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child charges back in 2003. He is registered with the state. CBS 7 received a call from someone who went to the church concerned because they found out about the pastor’s status by word of mouth outside of the church. Church officials confirm they knew of his status before hiring him. “Our administration knew about Bro. Phillip’s history before the hiring, and the vast majority of the church knew about it as well. We believe that God can change people, and we believe that God has forgiven Bro. Phillip as well.” They also confirm not all of the congregation is aware that Pastor Rutledge is a sex offender. “I can’t tell you that 100 percent of the people know, but the vast majority know.” said Deacon DJ Rambo. While the law does not say sex offenders can’t serve in church, it is up to the discretion of the congregation. “We make sure children are never by themselves in the sanctuary or any activities alone with the Pastor. He is very cautious of it as well.” said Rambo. In a photo on the church’s Facebook page, the pastor is seen helping baptize a youth at the church.
That was the warning Lionel (not his real name) alleges Christian Brother Rex Francis Elmer gave in an attempt to silence him after he sexually assaulted him at a Melbourne orphanage in the 1970s.
The words rang in the boy’s ears long after.
Elmer “kissed me on the forehead and said well done” after molesting him, Lionel said.
“He then told me not to tell anyone. He said to me, if you tell anyone, Jesus would come down from heaven and take me away and you will not see your family or friends ever again,” he told police.
“I was scared and really believed what he had said, that Jesus would take me away if I said anything. I was an altar boy and I believed this.
“The word ‘Jesus’ was ringing in my ears.”
The assaults continued, as did the warnings, for more than a year, Lionel said. It was a vicious circle.
“This sort of incident happened at least two to three times a week,” Lionel said in his witness statement to police. “The same sort of thing. I would piss the bed scared at night that [Elmer] would come to me. I was petrified of him. I couldn’t tell anyone because I was scared of getting a flogging and being taken away by Jesus.”
Another boy who had complained about being abused by Elmer was flogged with a cane by another brother then removed from the St Vincent de Paul Boys’ Home, Lionel said.
“He dobbed Elmer in for doing something sexual to him. It was two days later that this guy who got hit and dobbed got taken from the home.”
He said he told another boy at the home about the abuse. That boy replied that Elmer had also sexually assaulted him. “We were both scared that Jesus would come to take us,” Lionel said. “This is what we thought happened to [the boy who left].”
Lionel said he also confided in a nun from a nearby convent. “I told her what Elmer had been doing to me. She said ‘Darling, please do not say a word to anyone, I will fix this for you’.”
Soon after he confessed to her, Lionel alleges, Elmer and two other brothers brutally beat him, including with a cane, in an assault that left him bleeding from his behind and bedridden for more than a week.
While he was still recovering, Lionel said, Elmer abused him again. He punched the boy repeatedly, giving him a black eye and bloody nose after the boy vomited on the brother during the assault.
“When I spewed, he punched me in the face with a clenched fist … three or four times. I couldn’t see out of my left eye for a few days until the swelling went down. He said to me ‘Jesus is coming to get you’. This is the last time that I ever saw Elmer.”
In mid-1976, Elmer suddenly left St Vincent’s. “I don’t know what happened to Elmer, but he was gone from the home,” Lionel told police.
Lionel, now aged 59, said of the ongoing effect of his abuse: “I get teary talking about this but I have learnt to deal with it. It is always in my mind and it always hurts me.”
On Monday, Elmer pleaded guilty in the County Court to the indecent assault of two other complainants, also from St Vincent’s, in the 1970s, after which prosecutors did not proceed with charges related to Lionel’s accusations. That meant that Lionel’s witness statement was never tendered and Elmer never faced his allegations.
Court documents show the 75-year-old was charged in 2018 with 19 counts of indecent assault and one of false imprisonment in relation to three victims during the 1970s.
The first complainant, who had been in state care since infancy, told police Elmer repeatedly abused him between the ages of 11 and 13, usually while he was sleeping in a dormitory.
He said the first assault occurred when Elmer threw off his bed covers, demanded he do as he was told, and put his hand down the boy’s pyjama pants. The assault, however, was interrupted. “Someone has approached the bed as he was being assaulted by the accused, who then fled,” according to the police brief of evidence.
“The complainant was summoned to the office of the now deceased Brother in charge, Brother Carey … Shortly thereafter the complainant recalls being sexually abused by the accused on many occasions.”
The second complainant, who came to the orphanage aged seven after his parents died, was sexually abused by Elmer repeatedly between the ages of nine and 11.
On one occasion Elmer led the boy, who had been playing in the grounds of the home after school, upstairs into his private bedroom at the end of a dormitory.
Elmer produced a large book with pictures of human anatomy and made the boy sit on his knee while the brother asked him to name various body parts, including male genitalia, and masturbated against the boy’s back during the 20-minute assault.
As dormitory master at St Vincent’s, Elmer was responsible for up to 40 children at a time, aged between seven and 14.
The most senior Christian Brothers officials in Victoria knew in mid-1976, when they removed Elmer from the orphanage, that he had abused boys there.
Later that year they made Elmer principal of St Joseph’s, a Catholic boys primary school in Warrnambool.
Elmer was in charge of the school from 1976-81. He worked in the town alongside several other notorious paedophile clerics including priests Paul David Ryan and Robert Claffey, and fellow Christian Brother Edward Dowlan (all since jailed for child sexual assault).
Elmer left Warrnambool after more complaints about his behaviour at St Vincent’s reached his superiors. In 1988 he reappeared, in an article from a small Tasmanian newspaper called Western Tiers, published in his home town of Deloraine.
“Brother Rex Elmer will be spending Christmas at home with his mother … and family before leaving to go to Africa to set up a Mission School at Arushia [sic] in Tanzania with two other Christian Brothers,” the newspaper reported proudly on page 3.
“Rex was a pupil at Our Lady of Mercy College and St Patrick’s [College] and has been teaching at various schools, including Warrnambool in Victoria. He is hoping to see old school friends while at home and we all wish him well in the future.”
The school Elmer helped found in northern Tanzania is now run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers East Africa District and has more than 1300 students.
Elmer left the school in 1993 after more complaints surfaced, and was sent by his order to the United States for counselling at the St Luke Institute for paedophile Catholic clergy in Maryland.
He was charged In 1997 with 69 counts. He was convicted the next year of 12 counts: one charge of indecent assault against each of the 12 boys. The judge sentenced him to five years in prison with a minimum of three years and four months.
At his sentencing, Judge Thomas Neesham described Elmer, then 53, as a man of God who had indulged in “depraved self-gratification”, The Age reported at the time.
“Each of your victims was a small boy in your care. Each was an inmate,” he said. The boys, many of them orphans or wards of the state, were aged between eight and 12.
“They were helpless,” Judge Neesham said. “Who could they tell, who would believe them?
“All your victims wear deep emotional scars to this day as is brought out by their victim impact statements,” he said. “As a teacher and a man of God, how could you not have had an inkling of the devastation to your victims’ faith … by your act of misbehaviour.
“Your victims will have to live in the misery that you inflicted upon them … You will have to live with the disgrace that you brought on yourself and your family.”
Elmer had been living in a Christian Brothers home in Brunswick at the time of his first conviction and was still working for the order in an administrative role. In 2002, after his release from prison, he was placed him on “restricted ministry”.
He now resides in a property owned by the order in the same suburb. His bail was extended following his guilty plea this week until his sentencing in July.
“The accused is currently retired and resides within the Christian Brothers Community,” a police brief from his current case states.
The order has received 22 claims for redress from people who allege Elmer sexually abused them as children, according to documents it provided to Austalia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which reported its findings in 2017.
Those claims all related to accusations of multiple assaults alleged to have occurred between 1969 and 1985 – from when Elmer was a novitiate (a Christian Brother in training) to the years when he worked in South Melbourne and Warrnambool, mainly during his time at St Vincent’s.
The documents also show the order knew that a number of victims had alleged that other clergy had participated in the abuse by Elmer.
Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) refused to cover the Christian Brothers in relation to any claims of abuse by Elmer after 1976, ruling the order – including its most senior cleric, then provincial Brother Patrick Naughtin – had “prior knowledge” of his crimes.
“Whilst the Visitation was in progress [13/06/1976], a Child Welfare Office reported to Brother [redacted] Acting Superior that Rex had been interfering with little boys; this was true and it had been attended to by the Provincial,” said a CCI document submitted to the royal commission.
In a letter dated June 20, 1976, Naughtin wrote to the acting superior of the orphanage: “Thank you very much for the report on the situation which developed … in connection with Br Elmer. It is indeed a serious and most unfortunate state of affairs and I am grateful for your bringing it to my attention so promptly.”
In his letter, Naughtin (who died in 2010) expressed concern for Elmer’s reputation, not for the welfare of the children he had abused. He also referenced the illegality of Elmer’s actions but did not report him to authorities.
“I have interviewed Br Elmer and discussed this position with him. He is clearly aware of the serious nature of his actions and I took pains to point out his legal and moral obligations in the matter.
“It seems to me extremely unlikely that there will be any recurrence of what had happened … It would seem to me best at this stage not to transfer Brother … immediately, though I would propose to announce his change next August – the usual time for releasing details of staffing for the following year.
“In coming to this decision I have been guided by the Brother’s assurance for the future, by his excellent record to date and by consideration for his reputation which would undoubtedly be harmed by a sudden transfer at this time.”
When Elmer left St Vincent’s he was replaced by Edward ‘Ted’ Dowlan, now one of the most notorious paedophile clerics in Victoria. They later worked together at St Joseph’s in Warrnambool.
A 1996 letter from an unnamed Christian Brother was submitted to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2013 into the handling of child abuse by institutions, including religious orders. It sheds light on how widespread the abuse was at St Vincent’s, and how determined the church was to dismiss it.
“I accepted with good faith the sudden departure of Brother Elmer from the school and the appointment of Brother Dowlan to fill his position,” the letter reads. “Indeed, I spent many extra hours, which I could ill afford, assisting Brother Dowlan to understand the nature and behaviours of the boys and the teachers.
“As you are probably aware, many of St Vincent’s residents had been sexually abused, and often displayed overt and outrageous sexualised behaviour. Furthermore, they expected or requested that this behaviour be reciprocated by the adults in their lives. A major part of our endeavours at St Vincent’s was getting these boys to a point where they would expect not to be abused. Now I find that all of this work could have been compromised by the presence of a man like Brother Dowlan …
“I take note of your congregation’s position that the brothers were unaware of Brother Dowlan’s tendencies and activities. I cannot accept this as a reasonable position. I cannot believe that the number of allegations against this man could have been kept from his various communities’ and the congregation’s superiors. I find that expecting the public to believe this is preposterous. I do not believe this plea of ignorance.”
St Vincent’s orphanage closed in 1997. It was home to more than 6000 boys over 140 years.
Information provided by the Catholic Church to the royal commission showed it had received 114 claims of sexual abuse at the home, the highest number of any Catholic institution in Victoria.
The Christian Brothers declined to answer The Age’s questions about Elmer, citing “ongoing legal proceedings”.
If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, beyondblue 1300 224 636, or CLAN on 1800 008 774.
“At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and led an army against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the LORD the first thing coming out of my house to greet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
“So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory. He thoroughly defeated the Ammonites from Aroer to an area near Minnith – twenty towns – and as far away as Abel-keramim. Thus Israel subdued the Ammonites. When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter – his only child – ran out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “My daughter!” he cried out. “My heart is breaking! What a tragedy that you came out to greet me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and cannot take it back.” And she said, “Father, you have made a promise to the LORD. You must do to me what you have promised, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites. But first let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.” “You may go,” Jephthah said. And he let her go away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. When she returned home, her father kept his vow, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.”
1 Kings 13:1-2 and 2 Kings 23:20-25 Josiah and Human Sacrifice
1 Kings 13:1-2 At the LORD’s command, a man of God from Judah went to Bethel, and he arrived there just as Jeroboam was approaching the altar to offer a sacrifice. Then at the LORD’s command, he shouted, “O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: A child named Josiah will be born into the dynasty of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come here to burn incense, and human bones will be burned on you.“
2 Kings 23:20-25 He [Josiah] executed the priests of the pagan shrines on their own altars, and he burned human bones on the altars to desecrate them. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem. King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in the Book of the Covenant.” There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah. This Passover was celebrated to the LORD in Jerusalem during the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign. Josiah also exterminated the mediums and psychics, the household gods, and every other kind of idol worship, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to all the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the LORD’s Temple. Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.
Deuteronomy 13:13-19 Burn Nonbelievers
“Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.”
Judges 19:24-29 Sacrifice of a Concubine
“Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.” To put it very bluntly this poor, young lady was murdered by her mate for being raped.
1 Kings 16:34 Ahab sacrifices his sons Abiram and Segub
34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
If there is no God, then there can be no objective standards of right and wrong. All we are confronted with is, in Jean-Paul Sartre’s words, the bare, valueless fact of existence. Moral values are either just expressions of personal taste or the by-products of socio-biological evolution and conditioning. In a world without God, who […]
Funny. Christian morality? Said it was perfectly ok for Christians? To commit the worst case of mass genocide and extermination in human history against us Native Americans. Christians called us the savages, the evil people, the demons and devils, as they slaughtered us. They sought to teach us the Christian moral way of thou shall not murder? By murdering millions of us. They sought to teach us the morality of Jesus greatest commandments of which? One was to love all your neighbors as you do your god, and as you love yourselves. By trying to wipe us off the face of the earth. By starving us. By forcing us on thousand mile death marches to places they called reservations, but we called concentration death camps.
They sought to teach our Native children their Christian morality by kidnapping them, literally stealing our children away from us, forcing them into these Christian Industrial Schools, where they were beaten, abused, terrorized, raped, starved, and even? Put to death. In an attempt to wipe out all their heritage, all their language, all their ways of life and turn them into good Christians.
Christians? Made it a death penalty punishment for Native Americans to practice any form of their spirtual ways of life. It was not until 1974 that Native Americans finally started getting those rights back, though Christians? Keep fighting us and doing all they can? To prevent us from doing so.
Christian morality supposedly teaches you, that you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, you shall not steal, you shall not murder, etc. It also says should you so much as harm the hair on the head of a child? It would be better for you to hang a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than face what god is going to do to you.
BUT? CHRISTIANS THREW OUT ALL THESE MORAL TEACHINGS, WHEN THEY DID ALL THEY COULD? TO WIPE US NATIVE AMERICANS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND JUSTIFY IT BY SAYING THEIR GOD AND JESUS GAVE THEM THESE LANDS TO CONQURE AND SUBDUE…SAME AS WHAT MUSLIMS SAY WHEN THEY INVADE A COUNTRY. BUT OF COURSE? CHRISTIANS? ARE THE SAME AS MUSLIMS ARE, AND THAT IS A FACT AND TRUTH? CHRISTIANS CANNOT ACCEPT OR COMPREHEND.
I find it interesting, as a former Christian and now an atheist, when I hear some Christians speak about us atheists. Of course, a lot of Christians are still afraid of us. They still call us the most evil people on the planet. They still insult and denigrate us. They call us baby killers, baby cannibals, satanists, etc.
In a recent article published in the American Sociological Review, Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann reported their findings, on how atheists are perceived, based on data from a national survey. To the question, “This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society,” ten groups were listed as options: religious groups (Muslims, conservative Christians, Jews), racial groups (Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans, and White Americans), homosexuals, recent immigrants, and atheists. By far, the most “detested” group were the atheists. To the question, “I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group,” eight of the latter groups were included (homosexuals and recent immigrants were excluded). Again, the least desired group were the atheists. This might be one of the saddest scientific findings that I have ever read.
1 The share of Americans who identify as atheists has increased modestly but significantly in the past decade. Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 show that 4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 2% in 2009. An additional 5% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 3% a decade ago.
2 The literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods,” according to Merriam-Webster. And the vast majority of U.S. atheists fit this description: 81% say they do not believe in God or a higher power or in a spiritual force of any kind. (Overall, 10% of American adults share this view.) At the same time, roughly one-in-five self-described atheists (18%) say they do believe in some kind of higher power. None of the atheists we surveyed, however, say they believe in “God as described in the Bible.”
3. Atheists make up a larger share of the population in many European countries than they do in the U.S. In Western Europe, where Pew Research Center surveyed 15 countries in 2017, nearly one-in-five Belgians (19%) identify as atheists, as do 16% in Denmark, 15% in France and 14% in the Netherlands and Sweden.
But the European country with perhaps the biggest share of atheists is the Czech Republic, where a quarter of adults identify that way. In neighboring Slovakia, 15% identify as atheists, although in the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, atheists have a smaller presence, despite the historical influence of the officially atheist Soviet Union. Like Americans, Europeans in many countries are more likely to say they do not believe in God than they are to identify as atheists, including two-thirds of Czechs and at least half of Swedish (60%), Belgian (54%) and Dutch adults (53%) who say they do not believe in God. In other regions surveyed by the Center, including Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, atheists generally are much rarer.
4 In the U.S., atheists are mostly men and are relatively young, according to the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. About seven-in-ten U.S. atheists are men (68%). The median age for atheists is 34, compared with 46 for all U.S. adults. Atheists also are more likely to be white (78% vs. 66% of the general public) and highly educated: About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 27% of the general public. Self-identified atheists also tend to be aligned with the Democratic Party and with political liberalism.
5 The vast majority of U.S. atheists say religion is not too or not at all important in their lives (93%) and that they seldom or never pray (97%). At the same time, many do not see a contradiction between atheism and pondering their place in the world. About a third of American atheists say they think about the meaning and purpose of life at least weekly (35%), and that they often feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being (31%). In fact, the Religious Landscape Study shows that atheists are more likely than U.S. Christians to say they often feel a sense of wonder about the universe (54% vs. 45%).
6 Where do atheists find meaning in life? Like a majority of Americans, most atheists mentioned “family” as a source of meaning when Pew Research Center asked an open-ended question about this in a 2017 survey. But atheists were far more likely than Christians to describe hobbies as meaningful or satisfying (26% vs. 10%). Atheists also were more likely than Americans overall to describe finances and money, creative pursuits, travel, and leisure activities as meaningful. Not surprisingly, very few U.S. atheists (4%) said they found life’s meaning in spirituality.
7 In many cases, being an atheist isn’t just about personally rejecting religious labels and beliefs – most atheists also express negative views when asked about the role of religion in society. For example, seven-in-ten U.S. atheists say religion’s influence is declining in American public life, and that this is a good thing (71%), according to a 2019 survey. Fewer than one-in-five U.S. adults overall (17%) share this view. A majority of atheists (70%) also say churches and other religious organizations do more harm than good in society, and an even larger share (93%) say religious institutions have too much influence in U.S. politics.
8 Atheists may not believe religious teachings, but they are quite informed about religion. In Pew Research Center’s 2019 religious knowledge survey, atheists were among the best-performing groups, answering an average of about 18 out of 32 fact-based questions correctly, while U.S. adults overall got an average of roughly 14 questions right. Atheists were at least as knowledgeable as Christians on Christianity-related questions – roughly eight-in-ten in both groups, for example, know that Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus – and they were also twice as likely as Americans overall to know that the U.S. Constitution says “no religious test” shall be necessary to hold public office.
9 Most Americans (56%) say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral, while 42% say belief in God is necessary to have good values, according to a 2017 survey. In other wealthy countries, smaller shares tend to say that belief in God is essential for good morals, including just 15% in France. But in many other parts of the world, nearly everyone says that a person must believe in God to be moral, including 99% in Indonesia and Ghana and 98% in Pakistan, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center international survey.
10 Americans feel less warmly toward atheists than they do toward members of most major religious groups. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey asked Americans to rate groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 (as cold and negative as possible) to 100 (the warmest, most positive possible rating). U.S. adults gave atheists an average rating of 49, identical to the rating they gave Muslims (49) and colder than the average given to Jews (63), Catholics (60) and evangelical Christians (56).