Thursday, April 30, 2009

Memphis, Tennessee gives child molesting preachers a free pass.

You know, nothing the organized Humanist, Atheist, and Freethought movements can do to turn people from religion will ever equal what Christian pastors, and their good friends on the court, do to themselves by not raising one word about the indiscretions of their own.

The number of people declaring themselves non-religious has gone up. I do not believe it's because of books by Christopher Hitchens, or the work and lawsuits of groups like American Atheists. No, in this case, it's not the Atheists who have 'won', it's Christian pastors who have 'lost'. And lost royally by not expressing anger at stories like the one below.

This is not a weird case out of left field. Bob Gray, if you recall, also got a mild slap on a wrist by a judge who, although he threw the book at other molesters, treated popular preachers with another set of standards.

It's equally unfortunate his victims approved of this. Now, a whole new crop of victims will have to deal with Haney.

Pastor gets probation for molesting boy.

The message is, if you're inclined to be a child molester, go enroll at the nearest fundamentalist bible school and get credentialed to preach.

Excerpt: One case involved a male church member who testified at an earlier hearing that Haney enticed him into a sexual relationship in 2001, when he was 15, by telling him it was "God's plan" and that having sex with the pastor would enable him to do great things for God.

The teen said Haney told him having sex with him would be "a test of faith" for the teen, who added he was rewarded with paying jobs and other favors for his cooperation.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lavetta Elk V. The United States

Here is the complete opinion of the case regarding Levetta Elk v. The United States.

Adam Horowitz, attorney for three victims of Bob Gray, won Levetta $590,000.00 in this case against the United States government.

PDF of Court Opinion.

News 4 Jax cover's SNAP protest.

Does anybody ever wonder why News 4 Jax seems to outwit the Florida Times Union every time when it comes to reporting about clergy abuse? Channel 4 seems to be the only Jax media outlet on top of stories like this!

Sure, the newspaper reports after the lawsuits are filed, but with virtually no follow-up.

I wonder if the Florida Times Union is experiencing a drop in circulation like other newspapers across the country? Perhaps if they covered important stories like this one, which actually affect the lives of Jacksonville citizens, maybe people would start buying newspapers again?

Article/Video: Channel 4 covers SNAP event in Jacksonville, Florida.

Adam Horowitz wins $590,000 for Native American woman.

Adam Horowitz, the attorney representing three victims in the upcoming civil trail against Trinity Baptist Church, has won a landmark judgement for an 18 year old girl who was molested by a military recruiter on a remote part of an Indian reservation in South Dakota.

This case is the first in the country to allow Native Americans to file suit against the United States following a sexual assault by a government employee.

It sought relief under Article I of the Fort Laramie Treaty of April 29, 1868 (the 1868 Treaty), which provides that if “bad men” among the whites commit “any wrong” upon the person or property of any Sioux, the United States will reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained.

The girl attended a Jesuit high school. The recruiter kept expressing interest in her. Asking her to movies and such. She declined. Eventually, he tried to kiss her while measuring her, and she pushed him away. Later, he appeared unannounced at her door and said they had to go for a mandatory measuring session. This involved driving to a desolate area where the assault took place.

Here is an earlier brief where you can get more details pertaining to this case:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blogger sues after Jax cops him out to 1st Baptist!

It's official:

Blogger sues JACKSONVILLE for copping him out to First Baptist.

He's not suing First Baptist, but the City of Jacksonville. You can't blame a snake for being a snake, but you can blame elected officials for doing the snake's bidding.


The lawsuit also claims the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause by disclosing the blogger’s name to the downtown megachurch. Doing so amounted to taking sides in a religious dispute between the blogger, Thomas Rich, and the church, according the suit.

The suit does not name First Baptist as a defendant because only government agencies can be held accountable for the violation of citizens’ free speech rights, said Rich’s attorney, Michael Roberts.

SNAP event today in Jax.

NOTE: wish I had this notice earlier to put up. It might have brought some extra people to this event, which is happening today.

Also, for the record, what brings extra attention to events like this is to visit a meeting of the city council prior to your event. Place notices inside the boxes of each city council member. Personal experience shows that actually brings more attention than press releases to the media.

Here is the release from SNAP:

Please try to join us for this important event! Your presence will make a difference, it shows people that sexual abuse is a crime and people want it to stop.

As trial approaches, clergy sex abuse victims beg witnesses & victims to come forward

Group fears there are more who have information & want church officials to do outreach

Protestant minister was accused of sexual abuse at least once before, SNAP says

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will emphatically urge anyone who
--- was hurt by an abusive Baptist pastor (who faces a criminal trial next month) to come forward, and call police,
--- saw or suspected his crimes to also call law enforcement immediately.

They'll also urge
--- church officials to beg those with information to step forward, so that he can be successfully prosecuted and kept away from kids, and
--- the Jacksonville Baptist Association to use their considerable resources to warn others about the accused predator.

TODAY, Tuesday, April 28, 1:30 p.m.

Outside Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist church, 1118 W. Beaver St. (corner of Cleveland St.), in Jacksonville, FL

Two individuals - a Missouri man who was molested as a child by a priest and who is the long time national director of a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( and a Jacksonville woman, Tiffany Thigpen Croft, who was victimized by the pastor and writes a blog called 'lets stop pastor darrell gilyard together'

In January 2008, Rev. Darrell Gilyard resigned as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL months after a woman had filed a complaint that he had sent sexually explicit text messages to her middle school daughter. (Later, a second victim with even more solid evidence surfaced). A criminal trial on those charges is set for next month. Gilyard has pleaded not guilty.

Documents of the text messages between the pastor and teenage church members were obtained by media, many of which to be found extremely graphic.

Court records show the church's disciplinary committee report, stating "that Pastor Gilyard has acted irresponsibly through his interaction with these teenage girls and has put his ministry and Shiloh Metropolitan Church at risk both spiritually and financially."

The police investigation shows there were allegations that Gilyard inappropriately touched one teenage girl during a counseling session. Gilyard defended his role as counselor, claiming "it wasn't all bad" since he got the girl to get better grades.

The victims feel that this is no time to be complacent, and that current and former church members and staff who have info about Gilyard's crimes have a moral and civic duty to break their silence so that he will be effectively prosecuted, convicted, jailed and kept away from youngsters.

The victims will also call, for the first time, on Jacksonville Baptist Association's churches and leaders to do outreach too, since some abused by Gilyard may well have joined other Baptist churches, and to show children who've been sexually assaulted in Baptist congregations that church leaders take such crimes seriously.

SNAP is a confidential, independent Chicago-based support group dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded.

A native of Palatka, FL, Gilyard had been pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church for 15 years.

The group is also urging the public to attend an upcoming screening of a new documentary on clergy sex abuse called "All God's Children." It will be shown Thursday, May 14th, at 7pm at the Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 2001 University Boulevard West in Jacksonville.

David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell), Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688),
Tiffany Croft (904-962-5970)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on civil cases against Trinity Ministries of Jacksonville

Just heard back from Adam Horowitz, attorney for the survivors of abuse experienced on the grounds, or by the founder, of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

Three cases are still pending. Four have been dismissed due to statutes of limitations (as opposed to the merits of the case).

The first district court of appeal upheld the dismissal of the four lawsuits.

Adam writes, "Unfortunately they didn't write an opinion explaining why they ruled the way they did for our four courageous survivors."

You can view the documents at the First Court of Appeals by clicking below:

Cases for Attorney HOROWITZ, ADAM D. (376980).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

in addition to the FBC Lawsuit

Visit his link again and read the comments:

Moving to a New Phase.

I'm pleased and surprised that most of the posts are supportive of the blogger's upcoming legal fight with First Baptist.

When Bob Gray (Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville) was arrested, I spoke with a man in the media who told me that he believed Gray received a 'head's up' before the arrest went down. Many believe that when Gray was arrested, he was actually in the process of leaving the country because of this tip.

Well, I have good reason to believe that the warning probably came from someone within the JSO, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and/or one of the media outlets. I was expecting Mr. Media to do a full blown expose about who actually gave Gray a 'head's up', but that never happened.

The blogger behind the upcoming FBC legal dilemma is about more than just his identity being unmasked. It's about the abuse of power that occurs when mega churches utilize their members, who happen to have positions of influence in government (and possibly, media) for either political influence or the cover up of crimes.

If First Baptist is smart, they will want to settle with the blogger.

Let's encourage this man NOT to settle.

The implications of his case are staggering.

NOTE: Although he is suing the City of Jax, and not FBC, it wouldn't surprise me if the city wanted to settle. Of course, the city will not want to settle until they're through with all their chest thumping and laughing about the lawsuit. Once they realize this is serious, they'll want to settle. Let's support this blogger so he does not feel tempted to settle.

First Baptist Church of Jax to be hit with a lawsuit!

NOTE: Actually, the blogger is suing the City of Jacksonville for disclosing his name to First Baptist.

Holy Toledo! Pop some popcorn and wait for the entertainment to begin. I'm so glad this blogger decided to fight back:

Article: Moving to a New Phase.

Separation of church and state was a phrase fundamentalists threw at their congregations back in the 70's. They stopped using that phrase toward the end of the 90's. Now, they seem hell bent on getting that phrase thrown out of the public lexicon.

Doesn't it just blur the church/state boundaries when institutions like First Baptist are able to utilize members, who have positions of influence within government, to do their bidding?


I am committed to using all legal means necessary to find the truth, and then prevent these types of things happening again in Duval County and elsewhere. Government officials involving themselves in the affairs of a church matter under the pretext of a criminal investigation, for the purpose of identifying and exposing an anonymous dissenter to a large, powerful, religious institution is completely wrong, and unacceptable.

I have retained the services of the J. Scott Nooney law firm in Jacksonville, Florida in the forthcoming lawsuit for the issues mentioned above. With the aid of this law firm, I fully intend to find the truth, and to hold those accountable for any wrongdoing in that process, and to effect necessary change such that it won't happen again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

ALL GOD'S CHILDREN to be screened in Jacksonville, Florida.

ALL GOD'S CHILDREN, the amazing story of how abuses at missionary schools were allowed to flourish until parents were brave enough to confront the Christian and Missionary Alliance, will be screened in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Luci Westphal, the director, will be present at the Jacksonville screening.

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 - 7pm
Lakewood Presbyterian Church
2001 University Boulevard West
Jacksonville, FL 32217
Phone: 904-733-8055

There will be another screening at:

McDowell Baptist Church
16 Bay View Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 - 7pm

movie info: All God's Children - The Film

Schizophrenic Christianity and Bible Madness up for auction.

from the auction listing:

SCHIZOPHRENIC CHRISTIANITY: How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths , Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters. By, Jeri Massi, copyright 2008.

This book by Jeri Massi documents abuses within fundamentalist Christianity. Emphasis given to those refusing to bring child predators, who work as bus captains, pastors, etc, to justice.

BIBLE MADNESS, directed by Dwayne Walker, concerns two bible college students going 'soul winning' in a swinging singles complex in the mid 1990's. One has political ambitions, contemplating a run as a stealth candidate. He plans to run on issues like synchronous stoplights, only to switch to moral issues once elected. His partner, played by Bart Aikens, from HOT SEAT WITH WALLY GEORGE, meets Diana Murphy (played by Joanne Rubino) a woman who was abused by a church leader. She has rid herself of fundamentalist 'demons' by becoming a female bodybuilder competing on the circuit.

"An absorbing and thoughtful meditation about the role of religion in contemporary society."

Scott Von Doviak, FILM THREAT.

This DVD also includes DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH, a short movie that highlights the excuses leaders give to victims to keep them from going forward with their accounts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It wasn't me, I swear!

Article: Ivy Leaguer `infiltrates' Falwell's university.

No, it wasn't me! Although Bob Jones University liked to think of themselves as 'second only to Harvard', the reality is it's more in the Kudzu League. Hey, I know! I took long walks around Greenville and kudzu was everywhere.

Oh, the phrase 'spring break missionary' is used in this article! Wow!

Why is that significant? It's personally significant as the only time I've seen those words together was when I chose to call my book about growing up at Trinity, 'Spring Break Missionaries':

Spring Break Missionaries. Now at the amazing low price of $45.00. lol.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

an open letter to the three students expelled from Trinity Christian Academy.

NOTE: While the school might have been within their rights to expel the students, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it's Harper Valley PTA time!

Here's some music you can play while reading my open letter:

To Whom It May Concern,

I read with interest the article which indicated you had been expelled from Trinity Christian Academy. I attended Trinity Christian Academy between the years 1978-1980 and engaged in Super 8 filmmaking.

Your movies are more exciting than mine ever were.

My movies were quite boring. Senior trips. Church activities. One shoot in a graveyard and another in the boy's room the elementary school at Trinity. Now, before you start reading things into that last one, scroll below and read the article about the origination of that film. It was rooted in exposing the hypocrisy I experienced at Trinity.

Now, you might be wondering, "What exactly were they upset about? Was it because we engaged in acts they condemned? Has no one from Trinity ever engaged in these acts? Or was it because we videotaped ourselves and turned into a public spectacle that reflects poorly on Trinity?"

Let me take a stab at this and suggest it might be the latter.

Most people when they graduate from a fundamentalist high school will either stay in the faith, and continue to be friends with the like. If they 'fall off the wagon', so to speak ('backslide', 'become worldly' 'turn against Christ' 'join the Democratic party), most will never speak to that person again. It is for this reason, most turn their backs on the Christian schools they attended and never return.

That didn't happen with me. I read a book called 'GOD'S CHOICE' by Alan Peshkin. He was a Jewish professor from the University of Illinois who studied a fundamentalist Christian school . He lived with one of the families, attended class, and studied the lives of students.

The Christian school did not want its identity to be revealed. Peshkin had a difficult time finding a Christian school that would allow him access to their daily lives. The people at 'Bethany Baptist Academy' were independent fundamentalists.

Bob Jones University was the big school they sent their kids to.

Peshkin took their statements of faith literally. Too literally, I thought. You read the book and came away with the idea that Christian school students live highly moral lives and are fearful to disobey.

That wasn't my experience at Trinity!

GOD'S CHOICE was a very illuminating book about the fundamentalist experience. It was published in 1986. Christian schools were still relatively young, most, like Trinity, beginning the 1960's. It was because of this Peshkin said it was difficult to draw conclusions about the how Christian school graduates would fare in the real world.

I called him and we talked. He was not planning any sequels, or further study. He did say that only people like me, who lived the experience, could truly document what life is like in these independent Baptist schools.

Well, I always felt like an outsider and thought I could not do that. I did manage to keep in contact with a variety of alumni, partly because I was curious as to how time would treat us. Would we live according to what we were taught? How would those who 'departed' be treated? Who would be successful? Who would not?

Nearly hands down, most everything you are reading in your high school yearbook will prove the exact opposite twenty years from now. The 'Most Likely to Succeed' probably won't, but the most underestimated (why isn't there a category for that in high school yearbooks?) will probably surprise everyone.

And everybody feels like an outsider.

Even the insiders feel like outsiders!

Yes, you are not the only ones to engage in pre-marital sexual activity at TCA. Nor, if the poster below is correct, the first to engage in sex with multiple partners at a young age.

Hey, at least you don't have any teachers in that video!

Your only 'social crime' was getting caught. If the act was not caught on videotape, and if you were related to any of the pastors, or just lucky enough to have wealthy parents, I think it is doubtful you would have been expelled.

Suspended? Possibly.

Expelled? If the publicity makes the school look bad, but there's no record of the 'sin', you could have escaped with ease.

Consider the recent flap over the founding pastor! The man allegedly molested kids in his office, which was equipped with sound proof walls (Wally Bebe supplied this tidbit in his book, The Second Man). Yet, when people complained, it was decided not to embarrass the church.

Bob Gray, exercising free choice, left the United States to serve as a missionary to Germany. He had a meeting with the congregation. Told them he wasn't guilty of anything that was 'sexual nor immoral', and not a word was said about it until his arrest in 2006.

Nobody videotaped Gray. That would have been a crime.

Gray allegedly committed his crimes in an atmosphere where no one could hear him, see him, or record him.

Messer apologized for 'harm done to you' in letters to victims, but didn't spell out exactly what caused the harm.

Was it was out of rebellion from such hypocrisy that many Trinity students wondered:

"Why should I listen to them? They can't even protect us from child molesters! Why should I even bother listening to them about sex?"

No, I don't believe it's rebellious to question authority.

It's common sense.

I blogged about the scandal here at Christian School Confidential and one thing I kept reading in e-mails was the sentiment, "We never talked about this back then!"

They were right. Pre-1960's America was an era when even secular society allegedly accepted remnants of Christian morality. The heart of the fundamentalist Christian experience can be summed up in the bible verse, "To obey is better than sacrifice."

It did not matter who did the wrong thing. If a leader says 'ignore it, it doesn't concern you', you must obey him even if he's wrong.

Why would God appoint a child molesting pastor, and an enabling church board, if he didn't mean for you to obey him? Maybe God's testing you!

After all, God told Abraham to kill his first born. Can you imagine being a child and having your father tie you to an altar? Then raising a knife? It's about to stab you! Now, he suddenly hears an invisible voice and says, "God does not want me to kill you. He was just testing me."

Okay, if you accept that, perhaps it's a piece of cake to accept the idea that God had a reason for appointing a founder just as abusive. Old habits die hard, and generational abuse becomes commonplace when people are afraid to question.

Child abuse was never discussed until it became okay to discuss consensual sex. That didn't happen until the 1970's when people like Phil Donahue and Tom Snyder had talk shows.

When Christian morality was in vogue, nobody even talked about child abuse. Unless we're talking about physical abuse. They talked about getting beat up by their parents, but that was about it.

It wasn't until sexuality became open that we were able to discuss both the dark and bright side of sex.

All of this is to say, I truly hope none of you gets send to a girl's or boy's home over this. I'm also hoping all of you were fully conscious. If one of you was not, or forced to do it against his, or her, will, that's something I oppose.

If you engaged in this out of youthful curiosity, channel that energy into something positive.

If you feel you have been wronged, make a video expressing that.

Todd Russell, the director of DUCK: THE CARBINE HIGH MASSACRE, got his start making fetish movies. He must have been 19 or 20, and young Misty Mundae fresh out of high school. They were over the age of consent, though, and made pretty silly movies.

Columbine happened. Russell was outraged over how his peers were being stereotyped. Through making silly fetish movies (my description), he inadvertently acquired the skills to make a full blown motion picture expressing his outrage.

He was arrested for that movie on trumped up charges of bringing a weapon on school property. All weapons used in this movie were non-operational. DUCK has since gone to cult status and I hope to work with Todd Russell one day. I'm a big fan.

My movie, CATHOLIC SCHOOL CATFIGHT, was made after writing a book about Trinity, commissioning a comic book zine about fundamentalist high schools, and making the movie Bible Madness. The zine caught on well! When it appeared on-line, I heard from victims all across the country. Including one lady who actually witnessed the opening of Dave Hyle's briefcase which contained polaroids of him with various semi-nude ladies of the church.

That is, according to the person who e-mailed me.

The briefcase incident was first mentioned in Voyle Glover's book, FUNDAMENTAL SEDUCTION. So that's not an exclusive coming from me.

You know about Dave Hyles, don't you? The 'world's youngest youth director'? Not anymore, of course.

Dave was a great friend of Trinity Baptist Church back in the day. All the scandal that man heaped on himself never stopped him from being accepted by his peers, and neither should it stop you!

Okay, back to the subject at hand:

I created all these works, but not to any public acclaim.

I didn't think anyone cared about what I had to say! So, I gave up and made this stupid little movie about a Baptist minister who lost control of his daughter. He does not want to send her to a fundamental girl's home because he wants his dirty secrets kept. So, he takes her to a Catholic school where he tells the priest, "I'm a blood bought Baptist who stands against the wiles of the Great Whore of Babylon, but since my daughter's not a ten year old boy I think she's safe with you!"

That was made in 2002.

Bob Gray died before his trial ever took place. A conference was held in Jacksonville for victims of religious abuse, but I was not allowed to attend. Was it because of the Catfight? Or was it because of my past activities with the Humanist Association of Los Angeles and Atheists United? Or, something else?

That didn't stop me. I made a short movie called DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH which addressed the roadblocks victims of clergy abuse experience.

DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH was made five years after Catfight. It was on the strength of that short movie that I was justified in having an event when that conference ended.

The media showed up and victims, and their families, got a chance to speak about their plight! It became the lead story on WTLV-12.

Here's the irony: without CATHOLIC SCHOOL CATFIGHT there would not have been a DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL CATFIGHT was actually inspired by reading Lloyd Kaufman's EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING I LEARNED FROM THE TOXIC AVENGER. Most of the cast was recruited during the Los Angeles premiere of Kaufman's CITIZEN TOXIE. He wrote the best way to get an idea across to the public is to introduce commercial elements into a non commercial idea. I thought of all my experiences in fundamentalism, then thought, "What commercial ideas can I inject into this story?"

DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH followed the same principal.

You just made a movie that got press.

Forget what the movie was actually about.

You got publicity.

Hollywood calls that 'gold'.

I suggest: roll with it!

Make another movie, but keep your clothes on. Let it reflect your experiences as a student of Trinity Christian Academy.

Turn it into a video blog!

What happened to you after you left Trinity?

How are people reacting to this?

Are they hypocritical?

Do you feel guilty?

Do you feel defiant?

I will end with this:

My only regret from my days at Trinity is not rebelling more.

I obeyed too many rules.

Way too many.

In many ways, I think I was too good for that school.

One of my teachers even sent me to the office, knowing I didn't have any demerits, because my hair just barely touched the ear.

He smiled and said, "It will keep you humble."

That makes me laugh, actually!

Today I realize he was right.

I needed that demerit.

In fact, I needed more demerits.

Dwayne Walker
Trinity Christian Academy
Class of 1980

PS. You can view the short movies I mentioned at my YouTube channel:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Okay, DON'T send me a copy!

In case you didn't catch the comments two articles below, here is the unedited comment. It does shed some light on the incident regarding students who got expelled from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

Anonymous said...
I attend the school and the two students took turns taping each other gang bang thhe girl

April 20, 2009 5:03 PM

Dwayne Walker said...
That sounds more like a threesome than a gang bang. Big difference.

Will there be charges brought against them? If they are under 18, I don't think they can be prosecuted. If one of them is over 18, he, or she, is up a creek without a paddle.

I do think the idea of prosecuting under 18 year olds for 'child pornography' is ridiculous. That should be saved only for adults videotaping minors. The easier it is to take pictures and videos with cell phones, though, the more this kind of stuff will happen.

April 20, 2009 11:26 PM

Just to continue the thought:

I would like to ask the question, "Was the girl unconscious? Under the influence? Or did it look like all were willing particpants?"

If they are under 18, they cannot consent to sexual activity with anyone over 18. I'm not sure what the age of consent is in Florida, or how the law deals with minors taking sexually provocative photos of their peers. We don't throw kids in jail for 'playing doctor'.

How their parents, their future schools, friends, and overall society reacts to this, will affect them more than the actual act if they were willing participants.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

'Adult' is and 'adult' does.

An open letter to the three students who got kicked out of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, for making an 'inappropriate' video:

Send me a copy! However, ONLY send me a copy if it's non-pornographic. I have no desire, or reason, to see anything that involves minors in sexually provocative positions. That would be illegal.

Considering this is Trinity, though, I'm well aware that what they consider pornographic can be anything from a picture of a woman in thongs to a John Steinbeck novel!

You read me correct: back in the 70's they were big on Jack Hyles who preached against pornography and included John Steinbeck in the mix. Plus, I remember a fellow being sent to the office for reading Voltaire's Candide. They found the picture on the book to be objectionable.

The police aren't releasing the details, and Trinity just calls the content 'inappropriate'.

What exactly is inappropriate?

If you feel you have been wronged, and that there is nothing pornographic about the content in your video, drop me a line at

Here is Trinity's statement:

Trinity's statement about expelling three students.

3 seniors were expelled on Tuesday for making an inappropriate video off campus that clearly violates the values of our Academy. The 3 students that were involved have been expelled. We regret the decisions of the students and although they are no longer enrolled in the school our church has a desire to help them Spiritually.

TCA Seniors expelled for sex tape.

Article: Three TCA Seniors expelled for 'sex tape'.

This article reminds me of the first movie I ever made that addressed hypocrisy in fundamentalism. It was actually made in the boy's room of the elementary school at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. It was after I left Bob Jones University in 1980. My friend, at the time, helped me move a teacher's desk into the bathroom.

We were both concerned about the hypocrisy regarding how rules were enforced. It appeared those in the church families, deacons, real estate moguls, basic upper middle class, got a break. It didn't matter if they were caught smoking, mooning the opposing football team, or even spending too much 'quality time' with a teacher of the opposite sex.

But let someone NOT in one of the major church families break a rule, and out they went!

It was as if right and wrong didn't matter once you reached a certain economic curve.

It was a sewer!

Sooooo. . .taking my cue from 'sewer', it made sense to have a principal's office set in a bathroom.

My 'principal' got decked out in a coat and tie and sat behind the desk, with a line of urinals behind him.

I thought class was over for the day.

One by one, boys came in and we stopped rolling the Super 8 camera. Each one came out and said, "Two guys are in there making a movie!"

Naturally, the teachers didn't believe them at first, until more than one told the same tale.

Eventually, the teacher walked in, saw the unbelievable situation, and just cracked up laughing!

The other teacher, or assistant, came in, and found our set equally absurd.

Believe it or not, we screened this one shot 'epic' in front of a group of students and the kids properly ignored the movie.

The Sheriffs Department wouldn't return phone calls regarding these three students who made the 'adult' video? Gee, the Jax Sheriff's don't seem to mind doing grunt work for the churches in the area. They don't mind talking about all the other people they arrest on television, but let it be from church known for wrapping its arms around the cops, and silence is the rule.

First, a Jax police detective uncovers the identity of a blogger critical of First Baptist Church, while using taxpayer money to do that!

Now, even though they'll talk about every other crime scene they bust in the Arlington area, they'll keep mum on the contents of this video that's associated with Trinity Christian Academy.

Where's the outrage, Jax?

Is there actual sex involved?

Or, is it simply girls not wearing culottes?

Hey, this is Trinity we're talking about here!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

False Accusations do happen.

Did anybody catch this documentary on MSNBC? Witch Hunt is narrated by Sean Penn and is a sobering wake up call for those claiming to be child advocates and advocates for freedom and liberty.

I've blogged about the McMartin Pre-School trials during the early days of this blog. That was occurring when I first moved to California. There is no doubt that so-called repressed memory, social workers who were too enthusiastic, and political power junkies, worked together to undermine the name of Raymond Bucky.

This documentary centers on an overenthusiastic group of politcos and police in Bakersfield, California, who went hog wild with accusations of child molestation against several families in the area. Without any real scrap of evidence, police detectives barged into people's houses, arrested parents, and accused them of molesting their children.

I'll drop a spoiler alert right now because, by the end of the movie, we learn that the authorities hid evidence that the children were examined by doctors. Not one report indicated a child had been molested. In fact, the evidence proved the opposite. The children were never molested.

Years later, the children, now adults, admitted they had been co-erced by the authorities to testify against their parents.

On a personal note:

I once found myself on the wrong end of the convenience store check out stand and was robbed back in the early 1980's. The day after, police called me in to look at photos of those taken into custody.

Let me tell you, I got the feeling the police wanted to arrest me because I did not immediately finger anyone in the photos!

"Are you sure?"

The cop got gruff, acted angry, and gave the distinct impression he believed I was chickening out of fingering anyone for the crime against me. Fortunately, the last set of polaroids I looked at was of the two who robbed me. I was relieved, not because justice was about to be done, but because I could get this angry cop off my back.

I had the disturbing feeling if I had just fingered anyone, they would have jumped into prosecuting them, with or without any evidence at all.

Jacksonville justice.

Now, imagine that cop with a five year old kid, who can barely speak, going, "Did they tie you up? If you're not telling the truth, other children will be molested!"

Between the suppressed evidence, and the way the leading questions were asked, it was indeed a witch hunt in Bakersfield. Eventually, they brought in the good ole' standby of Satanic ritual abuse and their case began to fall apart. Yet, in order to protect their reps, those who were falsely accused still remained in jail.

When the children grew up, and told the truth, the prosecutor hounded them with accusations, disguised as questions: "WERE YOU LYING THEN OR ARE YOU LYING NOW?"

This is not good for child advocates. True, I'm throwing a wet blanket of a movie on you, but we need to realize that anytime the words 'child abuse' or 'child molestation' are thrown about, people are going to be arrested.

Guilty or not. Innocent or not.

In the case of Bob Gray, who inspired this blog, we have letters from Tom Messer apologizing for the wrongs that had been done to the victims. Why would he apologize if he did not believe Gray actually committed a wrong?

We have Bob Gray, on tape, admitting to have french kissed a minor. Although not a felony back in the seventies, today things have changed and you can go to the pokey for that. So, if he admitted to that, and you have Tom Messer writing letters apologizing for the wrong that was done, plus another tape recording, made by the husband of a victim, where Messer admits Gray was not forthcoming when he confronted the congregation about an infraction he committed that was 'neither sexual nor immoral', I don't see the Gray incident as a witch hunt.

I'd hate to be a Baptist minister these days. If anyone points a finger and says 'child molester', you're basically up a creek without a paddle.

These are the thoughts that were in my mind as I watched this movie.

I had to remember things like Messer's letters to the victims, and the tape recording made by the husband of the victim, and my own personal experiences at Trinity, just so I could reassure myself of the facts of Gray case.

I certainly would not want to be overzealous like the prosecutors in Bakersfield. That's the power of this movie!

Witch Hunt reminds us of the sobering reality that people's lives can be turned upside down by the mere accusation of child abuse, regardless of whether the charges are true. Children may not lie (according to the pop psychology that got the parents arrested in the first place), but adults can, and have, intimidated children into making false confessions.

It's telling that none of the prosecutors in the Bakersfield case have been held accountable for their witchhunt. Hopefully, this movie will set the record straight, and be a wake up call for child advocates not to be too quick on the trigger when accusing someone of molestation in public, be it on the web or television.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

. . .and now for something a little different.

Evan Ginzburg, the associate producer of this movie:

. . .is the producer of my latest movie:


It was seven years in the making.

But it’s finally here.

Wrestling- Then & Now- The Movie is a documentary from noted underground film director Dwayne Walker and the Associate Producer of The Wrestler, Evan Ginzburg.

Go on the road with Evan as he talks to the greats of the sport in a film that has something for everyone.

If you’re a fan of “old school”- who better than the late, great Killer Kowalski, Nikolai Volkoff, and Don “Dr. Death” Arnold to show you the ropes as they talk about not only wrestling but their philosophies on life and the extraordinary experiences they’ve had travelling the world?

And if you’re a fan of today’s wrestling, see a young, outspoken Homicide, hardcore icon Lowlife Louis Ramos and indie stars from coast to coast talk about all aspects of the sport: injuries, “the road”, the women’s division, overzealous fans, the ever-present “paying dues,” and much, much more.

Plus one of the casualties of the wrestling game, Tiger Khan, talks about the path he was on- filmed just a few years before his untimely passing at age 33.

It’s a film that takes you deep inside the pro wrestling world- and particularly the real East Coast indie scene.

And for you fans of women’s wrestling, you don’t want to miss the clips of ultra stiff body builder, Kasie Kavanaugh, in her ring debut with former WWE worker Bryan Walsh. This is truly different.

For a taste of the movie check out this You Tube link:

Women in Wrestling

Multiple DVD extras add to this great value at only $20.00 including shipping and handling available from Dwayne Walker. Overseas add $3.

Checks/money orders can be sent to:

Dwayne Walker
P.O. Box 2546
Seal Beach, CA 90740

Whether you’re “old school” or love the wrestling of today, you won’t want to miss Wrestling- Then & Now the movie. Order your copy today.

What do Catholics and Baptists have in common?

They'll go nuts after homosexuality, but look the other way and pretend child abuse does not warrant their full concern.

Wait a minute!

They're NOT pretending. . .

Catholic Church investigates lesbian nuns.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

to the blogger's of Jacksonville

My hat's off to you! You've got First Baptist Church using city detectives to discover your identity so they could kick you out of the church, even if you already left. LOL!

That happened to Thomas Rich of

Article: Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist/Sheriff's office.

A few years ago, I championed the idea of someone within an abusive church to start a blog but NOT be anonymous about it. A church, which is non profit, cannot keep you from attending their meetings because of your opinions. If they keep you out, then their meetings are not really open to the public. Their non profit status can now be put at risk.

No one did that. Not until now, that is.

We have Thomas Rich.

Thomas was already leaving FBC when they had a detective, who happens to be a member of their church, use his position with the city to get google to unmask the identity of Rich. Now, even though he's left, they're making it look like they're the ones who kicked him out.

Tom, you need to make a U-Turn and STAY at First Baptist Church and keep blogging. Don't pretend you just want to go away and worship the Lord in peace. You did this to make a point, now go back and make it.

You have a court case, Tom! Go for the jugular and put their non profit status at stake! And take it to the Federal level, not the state.

FBC has now created by-laws to deal with members who are bloggers.

Thomas, you want them to intimidate more bloggers?

Get back to FBC!

Let them know if they keep you out, their tax exempt status is at risk.

It's the only language they understand.

Watch the video of FBC adopting a resolution to deal with bloggers within their midst:

FBC's response to blogger's criticism.

Here is a transcript of the motion that passed. For the life of me, I can't exactly make out what they are resolving to do. Deal with things in a scriptural manner? Confront rebellious members? They need a resolution to do that?

It's all a bunch of 'whereas', but little 'action'. Mainly smoke and mirrors:

Whereas it has come to the attention of the deacons of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville that the ministry, staff, leadership, pastor, and people of the church have come under severe but false criticism and ridicule by means of a blog site on the internet which publishes to the world.

And whereas a current blog site owned and administered by an immediate past member of the church calling and advocating for the dissemination of such harmful opinions, false statements, and doctrine to all members of the church by using whatever contact means that are available including Sunday School rolls, with home and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.

And whereas said member within the last three weeks has requested his letter be transferred to a sister church in Jacksonville, Florida but only after being advised that the discipline committee of the deacons would recommend to the deacon body that disciplinary action be taken against him for such conduct which the deacons find is contrary to Scripture and the bylaws of the church.

And whereas such opinions and false statements have the potential of causing financial and spiritual risk and damage to the church and its personnel, ministries, reputation, and good will however and by whatever means communicated as well as having the intent to be divisive and cause strife and disgruntlement among church members against the ministries, staff, leadership, pastor, and people.

And whereas the deacons believe it is in the best interest of the church that a policy be adopted by the deacons, trustees, and the church body condemning such action and conduct both now and in the future by any person or persons who are then members of the church whether such action and conduct is done, advocated, or communicated to other members of the church by whatever means is available to them.

And whereas members who participate or actively pursue a course of conduct like that described above will be confronted with their sin and approached in accordance with the biblical pattern for the purpose of reconciliation, restoration, and/or scriptural discipline.

And whereas it is not the intent of this resolution to suppress thought or freedom of expression in casual or official encounters but those which have a manifest aim and intent to cause a mood of disgruntlement, strife, and/or division among members of the church toward any person, ministry, operation, leadership, and/or pastor of the church.

And whereas the trustees of the church are charged with managing the legal and financial affairs of the church and are an integral part of the deacon body for the purpose of organizational and scriptural unity for the work and ministry of the church, and said trustees have likewise unanimously adopted such a resolution as this on February 18, 2009.

And whereas it is the belief and expression of the deacons herein that division, strife, and discord caused to church members and unjust criticism and ridicule of the ministry, staff, leadership, pastor, and people expressed to the general public at large in any form and by any means by any member of the church should be viewed as an attack against the Lord's church contrary to scriptural truth and confronted aggressively in accordance with Scripture and the disciplinary provisions of the bylaws of the church.

And whereas in such circumstances it would be detrimental to the ministry of the Lord and His church not to take any action or to defer taking action or to simply maintain and update a responsive website or to attempt to resolve any such issue in a court of law.

Now therefore be it resolved by the deacons of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville that the foregoing policy of biblical confrontation and restoration as stated above is hereby adopted and approved for the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and requests this resolution be presented to the church body at its regular monthly business meeting to adopt, endorse, and encourage a policy strongly dealing with discipline and issues such as described above but in strict accordance with scriptural authority and the bylaws of the church by voting on this resolution.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Religious Right concedes defeat, but refuses to state 'why'.

If you consider James Dobson the living embodiment of the religious right, you have to take into account how he referred to the Mark Foley scandal as 'silly'. Foley, you might remember, championed a ruling that forbade drawings (not photos) of children in compromising positions. He was then caught soliciting sex from a minor in D.C. Although, in D.C. the age of consent is 17. Still, that was enough to cause a scandal since Foley proved he was no different than those he was fighting against.

What was Dobson's response? He called it 'silly'.

Dobson said this while the drama of preachers, being caught for child molestation, and deacons covering them up, occurred all across the nation. And he wonders why he lost moral credibility?

This man, who spent his life 'breaking the will' of children and fighting the rights of consensual adults, suddenly revealed his morals are as situational as the Humanists he opposes.

This isn't the first time they conceded defeat, though. The last time was after Clinton won re-election. It didn't take them long to give us George W. Bush, even though some are trying to distance themselves from his legacy.

Funny evangelists! They all apologize, but for the wrong reasons.

Article: Religious Right concedes defeat.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More 'Citizen of the Year'

NOTE: Both links appear to have been removed.

Here is a link from Lancaster's official site that mentions Paul Chappell being named 'Citizen of the Year' by Mayor Perris:

from: Citizen of the Year.


“I am honored to present to Pastor Paul Chappell a donation from me and my wife Carrol in the amount of $10,000 to continue the good service he provides to the community.”

The article often quoted from the Antelope Valley Press does not appear to be coming up. Fortunately, Paul Chappel printed the entire article on his blog.

Here is the link that does not work:

Link to AV article that does not work.(now removed)

Link to Paul Chappell's blog that reprints the article: removed)

Excerpts (from removed articles):

>"A lot more can be said about the greatness of who you are," Baca told Chappell.

>Other dignitaries at Sunday's ceremony included Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith, Councilwoman Sherry Marquez, and City Manager Mark Bozigian, plus Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Field Operations Region 1 Chief Neal Tyler, Cmdr. Carl Deeley, and Capt. Axel Anderson, Lancaster Sheriff's Station commander.

Also making presentations were Lew Stults, field representative for Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita; Vince Fong, field representative for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield; Larry Grooms, district director for Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Norm Hickling, field deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

Shaking Chappell's hand and sharing a hug, Parris said he has no doubt that Lancaster's efforts will go far and that current achievements are only the first step.

"Lancaster is changing the world. In a short period of time we are going to become the model of how America is supposed to run," Parris said.

There is a video attached to Chappell's article where the mayor talks about going to China with Chappell.

My favorite quote is when the mayor says, "It's not about holding people accountable, it's about holding us accountable."

LOL! Yeah, we all trust our elected officials to hold themselves accountable. Isn't that how it always worked?

He talks about how bible college students were 'terrorized' and had people following them from the parking lot. He does not talk about how some appointed students are sitting in trucks and monitoring the strangers visiting their town. That happened to me the last time I was there.

LANCASTER - Lancaster Baptist Church Pastor Paul Chappell was called an "inspiration, a blessing to the city and a man of great vision" as city officials honored him Sunday as Lancaster's Citizen of the Year.

City Councilmembers, law enforcement officials, lawmakers and their representatives, plus thousands of congregation members, joined Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris on Sunday evening in recognizing the pastor's efforts to fight crime and improve the community.

"No one deserves it more than he does," Parris said. "Our lives are richer in so many ways, tangible and intangible, due to the services provided by Pastor Chappell's ministry. I am very proud of what his organizations have contributed to Lancaster and I am excited about the good work he continues to do for our citizens. He is undoubtedly a citizens who leads by example."

Parris said the Citizen of the Year award goes to a person who performs exemplary service and helps promote business and community growth by enhancing programs that improve the community.

"The idea of Citizen of the Year is discussed with many of us. We talked about many potential people that would be worthy and it kept coming down to Pastor Chappell," the mayor said. "And every time it came down to him, I kept saying 'No, we can't do that. The pastor and I are friends.' So we discussed it more and discussed it more and it still came down to Pastor Chappell. And it came down to Pastor Chappell for a every good reason; it's because he deserves it more than anyone."

Speaking during the church's Sunday evening service, Parris and other dignitaries praised Chappell's work through the church ministry, the West Coast Baptist College, and the Antelope Valley War on Gangs and Crime, a grass-roots efforts he started with Parris in 2007.

In 2008, Palmdale and Lancaster officials reported a 10% overall decrease in crime from 2007, in addition to a 33% drop in gang-related crimes. Sheriff's officials calculated Lancaster's 2008 crime rate as 398.4 serious crimes per 10,000 residents, down from 449.4 in 2007. Palmdale's rate was calculated at 329, down from 371 a year earlier.

On Sunday, Parris reported an almost 30% drop in crime in the last three months and added, "It's still dropping."

"He is a man of great vision," state Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, said of Chappell. "It is good to be here tonight to congratulate and also to recognize and to agree and to affirm the wonderful selection of Pastor Chappell as Citizen of the Year. You know, one of the issues that is still key to making community work Ö is individuals that have vision for what it is they like to contribute and then bring people along with them in order to see that vision fulfilled and that certainly is what we have here."

Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca agreed.

"A lot more can be said about the greatness of who you are," Baca told Chappell. "It's a privilege to be here today with all of you. I like the principle of him being the visionary in all of us. I want to be that plow for him: the person that plows the soil to create new life, to create new opportunities for more life and secure life needs some help. I want to join and continue to help this man to find strong plows, so we can make the garden of effective life here something that everyone will envy."

Other dignitaries at Sunday's ceremony included Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith, Councilwoman Sherry Marquez, and City Manager Mark Bozigian, plus Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Field Operations Region 1 Chief Neal Tyler, Cmdr. Carl Deeley, and Capt. Axel Anderson, Lancaster Sheriff's Station commander.

Also making presentations were Lew Stults, field representative for Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita; Vince Fong, field representative for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield; Larry Grooms, district director for Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Norm Hickling, field deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

Shaking Chappell's hand and sharing a hug, Parris said he has no doubt that Lancaster's efforts will go far and that current achievements are only the first step.

"Lancaster is changing the world. In a short period of time we are going to become the model of how America is supposed to run," Parris said.

Tiffany Croft's blog, and others, investigated by Jax Sheriff's Department.

from the article:

"In an age of church shootings and other violence, he said, they simply wanted to determine if any of the events were related."

Hmmm, now why would First Baptist even assume people critical of their past cheerleading of Daryl Gilyard would want to shoot anyone? Besides, aren't they a big Second Amendment church? If they had their way, wouldn't we be packing heat on the way to the grocery store?

Paranoia reigns in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. Good thing I don't live there! They probably would have investigated me, also. Actually, they did and the best they could do was get me kicked off an internet forum. I know, I read the stats. LOL!

The best they can do is intimidate you.

Separation of church and state? Not in Jacksonville!

Article: Jacksonville Sheriff's office investigates bloggers critical of church child abuse cases.!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The movie they're afraid to show in Lancaster, CA.

Paul Chappell, one of the friends of the late Bob Gray, my former pastor who was on trial in Jacksonville, Florida for multiple accounts of child molestation, is the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, CA. His church and college dominate the city of Lancaster, and the mayor, who is a member of his church, named him the 'Citizen of the Year' about a week ago. I believe they've even had city council meetings in the church.

Here's the article about him being named 'citizen of the year':

Paul Chappell, Citizen of the Year.

This personally incensed me as Chappell did not preach, or make one comment, regarding the Bob Gray situation. If I am mistaken, please let me know.

Actually, LBC is in the same situation Trinity was in before Bob Gray's arrest. All talk and ambiguous internet postings until someone was brave enough to speak out about the abuses.

Soooo, after he was awarded the Citizen of the Year title, I contacted the only freethought group I could find to host a public screening of both DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH and BIBLE MADNESS. I want to do something in Lancaster similar to what I did in Jacksonville on February 9, 2008. That screening, you recall, became the lead story on WTLV-12's 11:00 news.

Here is what I received last night:

Hello, Mr. Walker,

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I've actually
been giving your offer a lot of thought, but I don't think
we're ready for a screening, at least at the moment. Mr.
Chapell is very politically powerful in our town, having played
a large part in getting our currect mayor and at least one
council member elected. Confronting him publicly with your
film could have very serious consequences for our relatively
small group.

I hope you understand our situation, and I wish you all the


I'm withholding the name and organization so I won't put anyone in 'danger'.

I understand where they're coming from. I felt the same sense of 'danger' when I went to Jacksonville. Between the anonymous e-mails containing lengthy scriptures threatening judgement, and victims canceling out, there was enough reason to be hesitant.

The fear was just an illusion, though. The meeting went fine. A small contingent of brave people showed up to help shine a light on a grim social problem most would prefer to keep under wraps.

I will still pursue a screening in Lancaster. If there is anyone in Lancaster interested in helping to sponsor a screening, please get in touch with me by writing

To check out the movies, visit

Here is DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH, which was screened in Jacksonville, Florida:

Here is the news report of the event where DON'T GO IN THE CHURCH was screened:

This time, I promise not to hold a bottle of creme soda in my hand while the media is present!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The End of Christian America.

Joe Meacham wrote this insightful article in Newsweek concerning the fact that the number of people identifying themselves as Christian has fallen 10 points over the last two decades. He tries to soften the blow by writing, 'rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian.'.

What is on the rise is the acceptance of other religions and 'other gods'. Okay, not 'post Christian', but in the eyes of most politically minded fundamentalists, might as well be. If you are a teen growing up in this internet society, it's common place to see a few people on myspace claiming to be wiccans, pagans, or atheists. Many decades ago, you could not do this, hence it was a novelty to meet someone who claimed to be a wiccan, pagan, or atheist. Today, thanks to the internet, it's commonplace.

Reason also dominates on the internet. YOU CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS to emphasize shouting and to manipulate your 'congregation' into a frenzy of guilt, but most will turn you off. You can type snide comments, but most will type an equally snide comment before reading the more reasonable argument and making their decisions. It's not just the beliefs, but the style in which an argument is presented, that is winning the next generation for freedom, liberty, reason and tolerance.

It has been the political involvement of fundamentalists that ultimately helped lead to the corruption we've been seeing. In the case of Trinity Baptist Church, of Jacksonville, Florida, the reason this blog came into existence, politics has been the main reason the powers that be were silent about the accusations of child molestation against Bob Gray.

Trinity was always a church married to the Republican party. When I first came to Trinity during the seventies, Anita Bryant was the guest of honor with her anti-gay crusade. A year later, Jerry Falwell was introducing his Moral Majority to the nation and the congregation of Trinity.

After Bob Gray was arrested, Tom Messer led Trinity into an even more pronounced political crusade. Perhaps he felt if he did so, people would interpret the attacks on Trinity's silence as politically motivated?

Mike Huckabee was invited to speak at Trinity. Lindsey Graham, the representative from South Carolina, also made an appearance that same day. Huckabee cancelled, probably because of the backlash started by SNAP, but gave his speech via TV monitor.

Daniel Davis was the President of the Jacksonville City Council during this period. Davis was a deacon of Trinity who issued a 'no comment' after Bob Gray's arrest, which was ironic considering the highly moralistic stances he took against adult businesses in order to protect Jacksonville's children.

Question: how many children accidently wander into adult establishments?

Answer: Nearly zero.

Question: how many children wander around churches inhabited by predators of children?

Answer: You don't want to know!

If the first amendment is the 'last refuge of the scoundrel', then politics is the last refuge for corrupt church officials. They always run to the politician when their dirty secrets are made public!

The beast, in Revelation, was always interpreted as a combination of the political and religious. We certainly saw the effects of 'The Beast', as it manifested to protect predators, enablers, and con artists in general, during the election season.

The defining point for me was when McCain attacked Obama for allegedly wanting to teach sex education to kindergarten students. The reality was the program Obama endorsed was specifically designed to warn children about sex predators and how to stand up for yourself when confronted by them.

I blogged about this, but did not notice one single Christian based, victim defending webpage, devoted to child advocacy, taking McCain to task for his exaggeration.

This told me a lot. It told me that, in many ways, Christians, fundamentalists or not, are so entwined in politics that the fear of being labelled a 'liberal' is so great they would never stand for common sense approaches to stop pedophiles.

It was the politics that motivated them to convince victims not to go public with accusations. If Trinity, one of the most politically influential churches in Jacksonville, failed to protect their children, wouldn't that give the liberal groups a Christmas present? Better to stay silent than give the liberals one more thing to laugh and brag about!

The sad thing: most of 'the liberals' are hooked into the same political machinery that Christians are in. They won't reveal their dirty secrets because of fears the right wing Christians will have a hay day with it! So, you have both groups, on polar opposites, keeping quiet, refusing to address this controversial issue, while the victims are on their own.

In the end, it just doesn't matter. Both sides are silent. Still, it's a good thing we're becoming a post-Christian society, as opposed to a post-religious,society. It means more people are thinking for themselves and not opting for easy answers.

Article: The End of Christian America.

Related Article: A Religious Right Crack Up?