Posts Tagged “pastor”

Photo from Highpoint Church event page, via their Web siteIt’s clear that things are, well, quite simply different among the good Christianist folk of the South. I mean, most of the time they disapprove of things like sexual assault. Such as when a former Democratic president has been accused of it, and his wife is running for president herself, and somehow they view that as disqualifying her from office. Yeah, they hate sexual assault so fucking much that they’d punish someone for it, who (herself) hadn’t even been accused of it.

But … it’s quite another story, when one of their own stands accused of it.

We saw this in the case of ex-Judge Roy “Decalogue” Moore who nearly won a Senate seat in Alabama despite allegations he’d had various rendezvous with teen girls while he was in his 30s. Many of the good Christianist folk of Alabamistan actually bought into the notion that these stories were “fake news,” or that it was no big deal for a very-adult Moore to troll habitually for teens in a mall, ’cause’n after all, y’all gots ta get to ’em while dey’re still young, ya see (Archive.Is cached article).

I’m not happy to report there’s been another example of this phenomenon — even though it confirms everything I’ve long known about American Christianism. Newsweek, among many other outlets, reports a congregation actually gave a standing ovation to a pastor who admitted sexual assault of a minor, years ago (WebCite cached article):

A Tennessee pastor who publicly confessed to having a “sexual incident” with a high school student in 1998 received a thunderous standing applause when he asked to be forgiven.

Before asking for forgiveness, Andy Savage, the megachurch pastor, sat on a wooden stool on the stage at Highpoint Church in Memphis on Sunday and admitted that he was guilty of sexual activity with a teen, according to video footage of the event.…

After his confession, the congregation congratulated the pastor for his honesty with loud cheers and a standing ovation.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with these people, but their raging hypocrisy is on display for all to see. Just check out video of it for yourself. This is, of course, a serious problem for Christians, because as everyone knows — or should know! — the founder of their religion explicitly and unambiguously forbid them ever to be hypocritical … at any time, or for any reason. Period. They very simply cannot be hypocrites. There are no caveats, no exceptions, and no wiggle-room.

P.S. This story should lift the hearts of all those Catholic apologists out there who keep pointing out that “it’s not just a Catholic problem!” I’ve never, ever said clerical sexual abuse was solely a Catholic problem — and this case further confirms it’s not — but I still keep getting a lot of kvetching about how supposedly I think it is.

Photo credit: Highpoint Church Web site.

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Hartford, CT: First Church of the Nazarene / Hartford Courant photoNote: New reporting just came in on this story; please see updates below.

There’s been a rash of shootings in my home state’s capital over the last week or so. One of the more disturbing of those happened Sunday morning, the victim being a church pastor. As the Hartford Courant reports, police now think it might have been a hate crime (WebCite cached article):

City police said Tuesday they are investigating the possibility that the shooting of a pastor outside his church on Sunday was a hate crime.

“The church is very accepting of and open to the LGBT community,” Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. He said the attack on the minister is “obviously troubling to the police department and the city.”

The Rev. Augustus Sealy was shot in the leg and shoulder while planting small U.S. flags on the lawn of The First Church of the Nazarene at 932 Capitol Ave. at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. His wife, Dr. Sharon Sealy, said his femur was shattered, and doctors had to put a metal rod in his leg. The shots came from a moving vehicle.

Since this was first reported there was murmuring here in the Nutmeg State that the Rev Sealey had been shot because he’s a Christian or because he’d been putting up Memorial Day flags, by anti-Christians (more specifically, of the Muslim sort) or by flag- or military-haters respectively. Conspiracy theories based on these assumptions have been brewing, mostly centered on Leftist antagonists (e.g. Muslims acting on Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s orders).

But the possibility this may have been an LGBT-related hate crime, if true — and right now I emphasize that “if” — that would seem to point, instead, toward some agent of the political Right. Yet it might turn out to be something else entirely, since that seems, to me anyway, a little far-fetched. As the Courant article explains, and I mentioned initially, there’s been a spike in violence in Hartford, so really, not much can be ruled out, not even a case of mistaken identity.

Update 1: Today Hartford police released more information on this case. It seems this shooting was related to another that took place shortly after, and it may have been an effort to divert police from the “real” target (cached). So the “hate crime” scenario appears less likely than before, although police haven’t yet fully ruled it out.

Update 2: Hartford police no longer view this as a “hate crime” (cached):

[Police] also said that there is no evidence the shooting of the pastor was in anyway a hate crime. Instead, it appears to be a random crime in which the pastor was not specifically targeted.

I guess that’s it, then.

Photo credit: Hartford Courant.

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Note: There’s been some news about this; see the update below.

'You will know them by their fruits.' / Matthew 7:16a, NASB / PsiCop original graphicAh, the “religion of love” in action, once again. I continue to be amazed at the kinds of privileges Christians — in this case, one who claims to be a “pastor” — arrogate for themselves. Rather unbelievably, this loving Christian decided she didn’t need to pay a tip to her waitress when she dined out, according to the Consumerist (WebCite cached article). Part of a group large enough to trigger an automatic 18% gratuity, which asked for separate checks, he zeroed out the tip line on his own check and wrote something fairly insulting in its place:

The photo, which began tearing up the Atheism page on Reddit [cached] not long after it was posted a few hours ago, shows a receipt for $34.93 with an automatic gratuity of 18% ($6.29) included.

But the diner has scratched out that tip, writing instead that “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18? and adding the word “pastor” above his signature. And instead of leaving a tip that was merely less than the 18%, just wrote a big “0.”

Here’s a photo of the receipt in question:

'I give God 10% why do you get 18,' signed by a pastor, via Reddit r/atheism

‘I give God 10% why do you get 18,’ signed by a pastor, via Reddit r/atheism

I admit to being at a loss to understand this “pastor’s” objection to paying an 18% tip. Is he saying that, if 10% is good enough for his God, it should be good enough for wait staff, too? If so, he need not have zeroed out the tip; he could have tipped 10% and written in $3.49 instead. Does he object on the grounds that he thinks the 10% he pays God shouldn’t have to go to the waiter? If so, he should have tipped the difference, 8%, and written in $2.79.

But the bastard for Jesus did neither of those. He tipped a big, whopping, generous, charitable “0.” What’s worse, he wrote out his objection, and topped that off by saying he’s a “pastor.” As though that somehow excuses his stingyness.

P.S. I’m aware there are lots of people who object philosophically to having to tip. But Mr Pastor is not one of them. At least, he didn’t indicate so on the receipt. His stated objection was clearly and solely religious. As for folks who refuse to tip … I hate to break it to them, but tipping at dine-in establishments is the custom in the U.S. Every American knows it. If you don’t like having to tip, the solution is simple and obvious: Just don’t eat in such establishments. I would urge Mr Pastor to follow that policy from now on.

Update: It was not the stiffed waiter, but another server in the same restaurant, who posted this receipt to Reddit, and the Consumerist reports she’s been fired (cached). And the Smoking Gun reports the name of this non-tipping pastor (cached); she’s Alois Bell. Ms Bell has apologized for her rudeness, and claimed she left a $6 cash tip, but this doesn’t jibe with what she wrote on the receipt. And the Applebee’s in question ended up charging her the 18% “autograt” anyway. My thanks to the commenter who tipped me off to this (pun intended!)

Photo credit: PsiCop original graphic, based on Mt 7:16a.

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Stephen BrodenPeriodically I’m accused of being paranoid or of lying, when I say that there are Christians in the US who want to dispense with the government we have, and establish a new, Christian-theocratic, one. Ordinarily I’d be one of the first to be skeptical about something so ridiculous and insane-sounding. However, the dominionist and Christian reconstructionist movements are all too real, and they are quite active in American politics. Of course, most of the time they’re circumspect about what they want, and they present an often-credible-seeming facade of reasonability.

But once in a while one of these Christofascists blurts out what it is they actually want … and this happened recently with a Republican Congressional candidate in (you guessed it!) Texas. Making this a bit worse is that the candidate in question is also a Christian minister, by vocation! The Dallas Morning News reports on his alarming but clear admission (WebCite cached article):

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising “is not the first option,” but it is “on the table.” …

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation’s government as tyrannical.

“We have a constitutional remedy,” Broden said then. “And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.” …

Watson asked if violence would be in option in 2010, under the current government.

“The option is on the table. I don’t think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms,” Broden said, without elaborating.

First of all, “revolution” is most certainly NOT a “constitutional” remedy. There is no description in the Constitution of how a revolution is to be conducted, and no procedure for beginning one. The possibility of “revolution” is not mentioned anywhere within it. Any “revolution,” then, can only be decidedly extra-constitutional. Second, that the Founders had to resort to revolution was because the regime under which the Colonies existed was not one that could be altered by any legal means. Our present Constitution, on the other hand, does provide a means for changing the government (via Constitutional amendment). So long as amendments are possible, revolution is unnecessary.

The local Republican party tried to distance themselves from Broden:

[Broden’s comments] drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks “inappropriate.”

That said, however, they haven’t truly disavowed the idea of revolution; instead they’re painting it as a “marginal” comment, nothing more:

Jonathan Neerman, head of the Dallas County Republican Party, said he’s never heard Broden or other local Republican candidates advocate violence against the government.

“It is a disappointing, isolated incident,” Neerman said. He said he plans to discuss the matter with Broden’s campaign.

Ken Emanuelson, a Broden supporter and leading tea party organizer in Dallas, said he did not disagree with the “philosophical point” that people had the right to resist a tyrannical government.

Clearly, Broden’s local GOP is triangulating here … appearing to denounce him just enough to make themselves not look like raging lunatics, but not really disavowing the principle he laid out.

Way to go people. It would be laughable, if not for the fact that these people are fascists who want to destroy the US government and remake it into a dour Christian theocracy. They’re against “tyranny,” except when they set themselves up as tyrants.

As for religious reactions, I haven’t yet seen any stories that mention any reaction from his congregants (at the Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Dallas), or from any of his fellow pastors. They’re running silent on the matter, it seems.

Update: KXAS-TV in Fort Worth, TX reports that Broden lost his bid to unseat incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson (cached article). I’m not sure that’s too good for the country, though, since Broden marches as a member of Glenn Beck’s “Black-Robed Regiment” of militant Christian pastors and theologians who are spoiling to go to war over their theocratic vision for America. That he won’t be doing this from inside the House of Representatives isn’t much comfort.

Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

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