Anger and Christian Virtue

The linked article is a very good analysis of how Christian leaders have somehow distorted their understanding of perceptions of evil and their responses to it, particular as it pertains to child sex abuse by clergy. This article was written from the perspective of the Catholic church, but it can be transposed directly to apply to the Protestant church.

Anger and Christian Virtue


Church and Pastor Sued in Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Grace Brethren Church in Mansfield, OH, and Rev. Sonny Thayer are among those named in civil lawsuits relating to alleged sexual abuse by David Harvey against two children. According to the linked article, the suits alleges negligence on the part of Grace Brethren Church and Thayer, claiming Harvey sought counseling from Thayer regarding sexual behavior with children and Thayer failed to act.

Youth Pastor Richard J. Wagner Sentenced for Child Sex Abuse

Former youth pastor Richard J. Wagner, of Kenai, AK, was sentenced today to 13 years in prison, with 8 years suspended, plus 3 months hard jail time, 7 years probation on each count, sex offender treatment, and permanent banning from work around children. According to the linked article, Wagner had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of possession of child porn, in exchange for dismissal of four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of indecent exposure and 10 counts of child porn possession.

Pastor Darrell Dunn Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Pastor Darrell Dunn of Crosby, TX, has been arrested and charged with multiple counts related to child sex abuse allegations. He is charged with molesting two teenaged male students and sending sexually explicit photos and text messages to them. Police suspect there may be additional victims from the Living Praise Church and Academy and ask for anyone with information to contact them.

Denomination Sued in Sex Abuse Case

The Church of God denomination is being named as a defendant in four lawsuits related to sex abuse charges. Former pastor Sandy Martin Cook was sentenced in February on multiple counts of third-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or a custodian. He was sentenced to 20 years to 60 years in prison.

Three of the plaintiffs in the case and one additional alleged victim have now filed suits against Cook and the Church of God. According to the linked article, “the suits maintain that the Church of God knew of Cook’s ‘propensity of sexual misconduct on minor children’ in the 1990s, yet did nothing to stop it. The suits accuse the church of conspiring to hide Cook’s activities and of ‘using threats, intimidation, religious doctrine and coercion to ignore and prevent the abuse from being reported.”’

This case is significant because this will be the wave of the future if denominations do not immediately take warning. Church autonomy will not be an adequate legal dodge, especially when collusion, corporate denominational intimidation, foreknowledge, and deliberate neglegence can be both proven and documented.

Former Assistant Pastor Daniel Silverman Sentenced in Sex Abuse Case

Former assistant pastor Daniel Silverman was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison for sex abuse charges. Silverman pleaded no contest to charges, stating his innocence and his desire that the child involved not be required to testify. The prosecutor in the case said that Silverman previously confessed to the charges. There was no proof offered in the linked article to support either Silverman’s or the prosecutor’s statement.

Tulsa’s Grace Christian Fellowship & School Sued in Sex Abuse Case

Grace Christian Fellowship and Christian School in Tulsa, OK, are being sued for negligence in not preventing or stopping abuse by Aaron Thompson, a former teacher who pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges in 2003. He was charged with abusing 9 boys in the school, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 15 years of probation.