The Difficulties With Reentry Programs Involving Churches and Convicted Sex Offenders (Child Pornography): An Example from Tuscumbia, AL.

“In 1990, there were only 7,000 hard copy images of child porn in the United Kingdom, according to non-profit group NSPCC. Today there are hundreds of millions of digital images of child porn on the Internet accessible to people around the world.

This radical development means that more children are being abused than ever.” Gus Lubin Link

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=214346&picture=jail
Jail

A few months ago, I received a call from Ed Bowman who gave me permission to use his name. He presented the following story.

Randy Walker: Pastor of COH Correctional Ministry

The Church of the Highlands assisted a group of people who purchased a run down motel in order to start a reentry program for inmates released from prison.These men would have a place to live and would provide a workforce for a local lumbar yard. The idea is noble and I appreciate the love and concern that the Church of the Highlands have for those in prisoned for those who need to begin life again once released.

I had a couple of thoughtful conversations with Randy Walker who is the pastor for the COH correctional ministry program. For the purposes of this post, I would like to concentrate specifically on the prison ministry as opposed to other ministries or doctrinal differences with Church of the Highlands. I am impressed with the extensive emphasis that COH places on ministering within the prison community. You can read about some of that here.

Two of the earliest participants in Tuscumbia were registered sex offenders.

Apparently, local law enforcement did not let the local citizens know that sex offenders would be participating in this program. COLBERT COUNTY CITIZENS UPSET AFTER NOT BEING NOTIFIED ABOUT SEX OFFENDERS.

Upset neighbors called WAAY 31 after learning registered sex offenders moved into their community and nobody told them about it for weeks.

Patrick Story was convicted of having child pornography in Etowah County on Jan. 24. He is one of the registered sex offenders living at the Four Way Inn off of Highway 43 in Tuscumbia. William Mathis was convicted of having obscene material in Shelby County on Jan. 30, he is also residing at the Four Way Inn.

Both men are in a reentry program hosted by a non profit named Outreach Reentry Ministry, which is ran by Willie Simpson. Chester McKinney bought the old Four Way Inn and teamed up with Simpson to start the reentry program

…The Colbert County Sheriff told WAAY 31 both men notified his office, but where the men live is in Tuscumbia police’s jurisdiction. It took two weeks for police to get that information. State law requires police to notify neighbors within 3 days.

“I talked with the Attorney Generals office to make sure we were in compliance. Hopefully we will be able to stay on top of these things in the future,” said Logan.

This is the program that COH was loosely involved in supporting.

Should sex offender even be included in the program? Not according to 2008 guidelines.

I was able to obtain a cope of State of Alabama Department of Corrections SUPERVISED RE-ENTRY PROGRAM. Please refer to this entry on page 17.

Inmates convicted of the following crimes, past or present, shall not be eligible for the SRP:

Inmates convicted of sex crimes, past or present. Any other case where there is not an actual conviction of record will be governed by the criteria and guidelines of the ADOC Classification Manual.

So it appears that those convicted of sex crimes are NOT eligible for this program. Why were they allowed in this instance? I believe that the citizens of Tuscumbia need to pursue this with the Department of Corrections.

However, the sheriff’s department is correct that the motel met the distance guidelines for where sex offenders can live. Many states have laws stating the sex offenders must live a certain distance from schools and other areas where there is a high density of children.

For now, the motel has to be shut down for code violations. The two offenders are living in housing in a another part of the county but still participating in the work program. It is unclear if this motel will reopen to continue in the reentry program. My guess is that it will.

Is looking at child pornography not as bad as molesting a child?

Here is where my discussions got interesting.

  1. The sheriff’s office that deals with registering sex offenders.

The woman, who answered the phone and said she was involved in putting names on the registry, refused to give her name. However, she alleged that the two men in question only looked a child pornography and didn’t actually hurt a child. She also claimed that the job was good for them since it kept their mind off those things.

2. Randy Walker said that COH has guidelines and would never accept a pedophile into the program. However,      he was initially not as concerned about those who viewed child pornography.

He was interested in dialoging with me about the issues of sex offenders. He mentioned that some men are serving time for having sex with their 15 year old girlfriends when they were 18. He also mentioned that some men were convicted of a sex offense during contentious custody hearings with ex wives. He claimed that one of the men in this program who served time for child pornography downloaded it *by accident* while seeking to view adult porn.

The difficult problems with working with with sex offender and those who were convicted of downloading child pornography.

Graphic/Trigger Warning:

I will be discussing the tragedy of child pornography which may be difficult for some who have experience sex abuse.

I reassured Pastor Randy that I was only interested in discussing actual pedophilia and the actual downloading of child pronography. We have written extensively on these problems as have many others. I discussed the pessimism surrounding pedophilia, stressing that there was no *cure.* This sad reality results in a high recidivism rate. I also stressed that 98% of cases in which children reported being molested were proven to be true, no matter what the abusers claim.

I stressed that most sexual molesters deny their crimes and are easily believed because they are often charming and convincing. That is how they attract children and that is how they get adults to believe in their innocence. Offenders must get to the children so they start by first getting to the adults who are around children.

I think many of us like to believe that we would be able to *sense* a guy who liked kiddie porn. The reality is that most of us cannot because child porn viewer knows it is illegal and therefore will lie and go to extreme lengths to cause people to *trust* him.

My former church went to all lengths to help a local public relations expert avoid a lengthy prison term because he *became a Christian and was going to Bible studies.” We wrote about this in 2009 in HOW TO CURE A CHILD MOLESTER — BIBLE STUDY! A  pastor from my former church was a character witness. Please forgive the formatting. In 2009 we used a different blog format.

Read the story carefully. This PR guy admitted that he knew he would one day get caught, though it took 12 years. He had 12 years to think up a ploy and he suckered in one of my former pastors.Thankfully, the wise judge threw the book at him.

OK-here is where it gets tough. Have any of you ever explored what can be found on child pornography?

  • What about a 5 year old girl screaming for her mommy as some man is raping her?
  • How about watching the molestation of an 8 month old baby? (Yes, it really happened. In fact, baby porn is a rapidly growing industry…It makes me want to cry…
  • What about a group of 3 men repeatedly raping a 7 year old boy?
  • How about an 8 year old child who is a victim of human trafficking and has been raped so many times on camera that she can barely stand up.
  • How about a little girl dumped by an emergency room, dead, due to malnutrition and infections?

Enough!

Does this convince those who think that child pornography is somehow better than pedophilia since the guy *didn’t actually touch the child?*

Let me add one more factor. By downloading this porn, the guy who likes watching kids getting raped is encouraging more porn producers to find growing numbers of kids to abuse online because there is big time money in this industry.

Those who download child porn have a serious psychiatric problem and it is a problem that isn’t cured by spending 2 years in prison. If you are having trouble believing me, think about this for one minute. Why would a normal guy who wanted to watch porn choose to watch a little girl getting raped? Why wouldn’t he choose adult porn instead?  The reason is quite clear. He has a psychiatric problem for which there is no clear cure.

Warnings to churches getting involved in having sex offenders in reentry programs.

Many church leaders want to believe that Jesus will cure anything. I believe that Jesu can cure anything but does not. I spent one too many days in neuro-oncology clinics with my daughter, watching children dying from brain tumors. Pastor Rick Warren and his wife tried everything they could to help their son but, in spite of doctors. meds, pastoral support, etc, their son committed suicide.

I have made the case that those who engage in pedophilia or viewing child porn have a serous psychiatric problem for which there is no known cure. They need intensive intervention in order to control their compulsions. Many need medications to deal with their issues as well.

Are you, as a church body, willing to take a risk on helping those who have serous paraphilias? If the answer is yes, then tell us how you are goin to get them the psychiatric help that they need?. How are you going to supervise them as they reenter a community? If he reoffends, is the church willing to take the hit?

Pedophilia and the use child pornography are indicative of a serious societal problem.

As a society, we have serious problem. There is little long term psychiatric and medical intervention available for those who have these types of paraphilias. Is the recidivism rate so high because there is not enough help?

Also, there are so many offenders that some communities have nowhere for these folks to live since there are  strict boundary guidelines to keep offenders away from areas where there are children.

WRAL posted Attorneys: Sex offenders face dilemma when finding housing

When sex offenders are released from prison in North Carolina, they have three business days to let the local sheriff’s office know where they are living.

…Convicted sex offenders Kevin Askew and David Talbert failed to find a place to live before leaving jail and were found to be in violation of their probations, according to their attorneys.

…“The dilemma was (Talbert) was homeless and didn’t have a place to stay,” said attorney Daniel Read.

…In court, Talbert offered to live on the streets, suggesting the sidewalk in front of the federal courthouse. Askew’s probation officer tried seven different numbers for places that all refused him.

What went wrong in Tuscumbia and what can they do in the future

  • The local community wasn’t consulted prior to bringing sex offenders into the motel or even about starting the program.
  • The sheriff’s office claims that it did not receive sufficient information from the prison system so they could alert the community. Where is there breakdown in communication?
  • COH was not prepared for the community backlash. In the future, they might consider having some meetings with the community.
  • Do not try to move in sex offenders without alerting the community. It will cause a backlash. Perhaps the church and local law enforcement could join forces and consider having question and answer sessions together with this in the community.
  • Local law enforcement and members of a church involved in prison ministry need to be given in-depth education on the issues surrounding sex offenders. These offenders are not like the kid who held up the local gas station. They have extremely difficult and unique needs.
  • The church should consider hiring a psychiatrist/psychologist to work with their offender clients just like they might hire a doctor to oversee a health clinic they sponsor.
  • Can sex offender even participate in these reentry programs? The Department of Corrections Reentry Rules for 2008 seem to indicate that they are not allowed to be in the programs. My guess is there is a reason for this restriction.

I think the citizens of Tuscumbia were blindsided by this reentry plan and they were wise to react as they did. It seems to me that there needs to be more planning in the future and more involvement of the community, before this sort of thing happens again.

If I can help any group to better understand the difficult issues surrounding child pornography or pedophilia, please email me. Education is the best way to fight this plague.

Finally, please look at the quote at the top of this post. Note what it says. Child pornography involves abusing children. It is not a victimless crime. Children are being abused in order to give some guy in a dark room his jollies. These men are directly involved in abusing these children by using these websites.

*Special thanks goes out to Ed Bowman who helped me gather material for this post and helped me to understand the concerns of many in the community.

*Thank you to Pastor Randy who was willing to listen to me, at length, as I described the horrors of child pornography.


Comments

The Difficulties With Reentry Programs Involving Churches and Convicted Sex Offenders (Child Pornography): An Example from Tuscumbia, AL. — 217 Comments

  1. I recently spoke to a Psychologist who has been conducting therapy for about 35 years in a hospital settings, VA, and the private practice. He said there is no “true” therapy that is restorative. What is he saying? Most of these persons will continue despite the church’s effort. Actually, I applaud there deep desire to help but I am convinced that most (not all) ministries trying to do therapy for drugs, alcohol, and sexual deviations are way over their heads in so many ways. I’ve become convinced as someone who has also been trained to deal with some of the most difficult situations that the most helpful and fruitful ministry is on the front end. I believe the church should passionately be investing in healthy families, specifically helping children and youth have a strong sense if identity, purpose, and values.

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  2. We talk about “getting help” and “I hope he gets the help he needs.” Please believe me when I say, there is no magic “help” out there. There is no fix for a mind that is broken in this way. All that can be done is to keep these persons away from children. And, yes, those who view child pornography are predators- they are paying someone else to do the deed so that they can watch and take pleasure in it vicariously. Every bit as despicable as those who provide it.

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  3. Once again there are mixed stories told by the Colbert County sheriff Frank Williamson. The lady in the sheriff’s office not giving her name is violating the law given her position in that office. This is not an isolated incident; it just happens to be one that is exposed. Mr. Williamson has a neighbor whose son is serving time after his conviction as a pedophile. This pedophile’s parents are defending sheriff Williamson in all he does, and there are plenty of questionable activities surrounding this man. Pedophiles, child pornography and other illegal activities are alive and well in Peyton place Alabama.

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  4. Delicate, difficult topic. Once again, Dee, you did your homework. Mind boggling, and yes, our free society, now fully wired with the internet, is struggling with these atrocities as children suffer damage. Heartbreaking. Time to rend a cloak and weep, as the OT prophets.

    State by state, we witness law enforcement and community folk struggling with what to do with these predators (dare one say, “predators-for-life” on this earth, anyway?).

    At the very least, seminarians, church leaders, and actually all involved in a church who care about their community, should be required to read your work. Empathy should be more prominent than fund raising and stage production as leadership components, with empathy for victims first. Tough love for offenders.

    At some level, church can be a risky engagement. It is highly complex, dealing with people. All types. Every issue.

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  5. Thank you Mrs. Parsons for writing this up. I have tried with dozens of phone calls and letters to get a meeting with Randy Walter and COH to get answers to why and they flat out refuse to talk with any us here in Colbert County. I pray that people reading this will be very vilgiant and if they see this in there community, they will put a stop to it. Thanks Wartburg Watch!

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  6. David: Most of these persons will continue despite the church’s effort. Ac

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_Village_(community)
    This community is for sex offenders but not those attracted to children.

    If a village for pedophiles existed, the church (clergy) could go to them, rather than have them in a church with families. For many reasons, clergy visit folks unable to attend. In other words, for an offender, there could be ministry to them without access to church children.

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  7. David: The slippery slope of culture. Accept homosexuality, not as a lifestyle choice but you are burn that way. Children as young as five years old announcing they are transgendered, years before they reach puberty, and now at of Germany (article below), the assertion that child predators are “born that way.” Can anyone see this chasm that we have crossed in the past 10 plus years??

    I object strenuously to this comment. LGBT does not equate to pedophilia. I would note that the reason child predators are punished is because children cannot consent to sexual contact. Seriously, I find this comment repulsive and it makes me very angry.

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  8. Thank you for your article. Keep up the good work and don’t let the ones who hate being exposed stop you from telling the facts!

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  9. jyjames: . In other words, for an offender, there could be ministry to them without access to church children.

    That would require reason, common sense, and down to earth pragmatism; qualities that evangelical Christianity is not known for.

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  10. dee,

    Dee, your posts are getting more difficult to deal with. Surely we are now at the AP level of TWW. Applaud your courage in doing research, making calls, etc. Not easy, but you don’t look the other way. This is so not church as usual. Loss for words here…

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  11. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: David: The slippery slope of culture. Accept homosexuality, not as a lifestyle choice but you are burn that way. Children as young as five years old announcing they are transgendered, years before they reach puberty, and now at of Germany (article below), the assertion that child predators are “born that way.” Can anyone see this chasm that we have crossed in the past 10 plus years??

    I object strenuously to this comment. LGBT does not equate to pedophilia. I would note that the reason child predators are punished is because children cannot consent to sexual contact. Seriously, I find this comment repulsive and it makes me very angry.

    I was going to say the same thing. Same-sex relations between consenting adults are no where near the same as pedophilia.

    And, I would argue that it is those who equate the two who are contributing to a slippery slope, if there is one. Since, society, even large numbers of Christians, have become accepting of same-sex relationships, if people continue to equate them to pedophilia it could lead people to the wrong conclusion, that just because they now find same-sex relationships to be acceptable, and they haven’t led to the end of the world, that we must be wrong about pedophilia as well.

    It’s like the idea that Marijuana is a gateway drug, most studies have concluded that there is nothing about Pot that would lead one to try other drugs, except for society. We spent years pounding it into people’s heads that one puff on a joint would wreak their lives and then when they try it and that doesn’t happen, they then are more likely to not believe what they have been taught about other much more harmful substances, and therefore become more likely to use them.

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  12. It is hard to turn my stomach but this did it. My question is how this is a psychiatric problem rather than straight evil preying on the most vulnerable? Calling it a psychiatric problem makes it sound like the predators are not fully responsible. Have you also researched the progressive nature of porn often found? Violence, death, children are often needed to reach the same excitement that soft porn once brought. Or so I understand. Oh, LORD! Have mercy on the children. As a grandmother of 2 tinies, this makes my blood boil!

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  13. David:
    Jarrett Edwards,

    Well if you mean that we can’t discuss the topic unless we agree with your position that anything goes with consenting adults, I guess I am going to disagree with you, or as you put it, I am offended and strenuously disagree, and believe any post you make should be removed. How silly. You can say that I am spreading lies and I can say the same for you but for the purpose of discussion, my concern is for the children. I think that anything we can do to to protect them is going to help curb the future occurrence of repeating the cycle.

    I never said you had to agree with me. Nor did I say your posts should be removed,

    I was simply pointing out that it is my belief that you are wrong in equating same-sex relationships among consenting adults to in anyway be the same as pedophilia. And that it is in fact people like you who are harming children by equating the two. For instance, you do realize that pedophiles do not only target those of the same gender, what about men who molest girls, or women who molest boys? It is wrong to group those who have same-sex attractions with people who attracted to children, just as it would be wrong to group straight people with them. Even more interesting studies that show that around 70% of men who molest boys, identify as straight.

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  14. Thanks to Dee for initiating discussion of these issues.

    I found it really harrowing to read the five examples of internet pedophilia. As I read I was reminded of the compassion of Christ towards children and his warnings words in Matthew 18 that “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the sea.” We should also note the opening words of Matthew 18 verse 7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin” and goes on to tell us in verses 8&9 that which we need to do to overcome sin. Although castration is not mentioned, to me there is a clear principle in that perhaps that is the method of treating these wanton sins against children

    I truly tremble when I read of such sins. I pray that such sins within the Church are exposed and dealt with in a quick, just and God honouring way, and are not ignored or swept under the carpet

    We need to always return to the Word of God for guidance and direction in this life and the notion that “large numbers of Christians have become accepting of same sex marriages……” tells me that those that declare to love Christ and who are accepting these marriages do so contrary to His word. They accept these things at their peril. The Bible is clear that marriage was instituited for man and woman only. Any other marriage is contrary to the Word of God

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  15. Jarrett Edwards,

    Seems to me that the evidence shows they are NOT straight if they are molesting boys. One can make a claim, but one’s actions demonstrate the reality. The claim to be straight would seem to me more an attempt to hide or deflect their actions.

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  16. I’m confused by your reply to this comment. Are you saying child sexual abuse is wrong ONLY because a child cannot consent?

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I object strenuously to this comment. LGBT does not equate to pedophilia. I would note that the reason child predators are punished is because children cannot consent to sexual contact. Seriously, I find this comment repulsive and it makes me very angry.

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  17. Deborah: My question is how this is a psychiatric problem rather than straight evil preying on the most vulnerable?

    Scripture is clear: the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Pedophila and its various manifestations can kill a child’s trust in others, steal a child’s innocence, and destroy normal relationships forever. Our society is too quick to write off evil as mental illness. The church needs to pray for the discernment to know the difference … the enemy sits in the pew and too often found even in the pulpit.

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  18. He mentioned that some men are serving time for having sex with their 15 year old girlfriends when they were 18. He also mentioned that some men were convicted of a sex offense during contentious custody hearings with ex wives. He claimed that one of the men in this program who served time for child pornography downloaded it *by accident* while seeking to view adult porn.

    Regarding these things. I used to be sympathetic to some of the things mentioned above, but now I see them as mostly a dodge.

    1. The 15yo/18yo question was mostly solved by changing laws to add ‘romeo and juliet’ ish exemptions if people were within a few years in age.

    2. Convictions during custody hearings does not mean that they were untrue allegations. They could easily have been the source of marital problems! Witness Village Church situation. That could be dismissed easily as a custody hearing issue, but we know it’s not. If they were convicted, there was some level of evidence. Instead of just taking the guys word for it, maybe look at that.

    3. I don’t know how many people get convicted on one download. Did they ‘accidentally’ download multiple images? Again, I hope the pastor is looking at the cases before taking people’s word for it.

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  19. jyjames: Delicate, difficult topic.

    Indeed. People are dangerous and will not be cured. They need to be kept away from children, but I’m not sure that the laws regarding where they live are going to do it.

    I completely understand the neighbors position, but communities will almost never want a halfway house, or a shelter of any kind. Locals here tried to block a homeless shelter for lgbt kids. I get why they might want to keep it a secret and if it weren’t potentially dangerous to the kids in the neighborhood to not know I might agree.

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  20. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    I agree with this. I used to work with a man who got caught with images of children on his work computer. He had married a woman, albeit a young, fairly androgynous looking one. Other predators of children I can think of in real life have almost been married, not same sex.

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  21. David,

    I also strongly disagree with this post. Even if your main point ‘these 3 groups of individuals say they are born this way’ that is all the equivalence they may have have & I would contend it is. The effects on other people of these things, are not that same, for a start. The consent issue is real, the harm issue is real, & wanting consensual relationships with an adult of the same gender, or wanting to feel congruence between your felt gender & biological sex do not require you to damage & defile others in your pursuit of your goal.

    The ‘slippery slope’ is such a fallacious argument too, if this then that, based on spurious logic.

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  22. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I object strenuously to this comment. LGBT does not equate to pedophilia. I would note that the reason child predators are punished is because children cannot consent to sexual contact. Seriously, I find this comment repulsive and it makes me very angry.

    Thank you. The original comment was slander. It is very common in the Church and misrepresented as loving the sinner, but hating the sin.

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  23. David: He said there is no “true” therapy that is restorative. What is he saying? Most of these persons will continue despite the church’s effort.

    Good comment. So many Christian believe that if they are involved, Jesus will heal them. They are not willing to consider the alternative which is the person will need life long monitoring and support to stay away from children. Many Christians want the “come to our program and you will be healed after spending x time with us.”

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  24. jyjames: Surely we are now at the AP level of TWW.

    You made me laugh. Frankly, this isn’t very hard. Ed called me and kept after me to write this post and gave me a bunch of info. What is really hard is I tried to be nice to the pastor and I think my write up of our conversation was accurate. Last night, he sent me a text saying that I made *false statements.*

    I immediately texted him back and asked which statements were false so I could correct them. I waited up until the wee hours and got no response. This is the sort of stuff that upsets me.

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  25. Thank you Dee for this write up. being a Tuscumbia resident and following this about the reentry program here from the very beginning. you touched on many issues and again I thank you for bringing this issue out. It is a nationwide problem that no one wants to touch. but there is much more that people should be aware of in this case. Chester Mckinney stood in public and read emails between him and Randy Walker then the Church of the Highlands said they had no involvement with this now they are admitting they did ? Why lie about it to begin with ? What does that tell you about COH ? Also there is much more involvement from the Sheriffs office than being told to the public.Child porn is child porn any way you look at it. downloaded by accident I dont think so.

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  26. dee: Last night, he sent me a text saying that I made *false statements.*

    I immediately texted him back and asked which statements were false so I could correct them. I waited up until the wee hours and got no response. This is the sort of stuff that upsets me.

    The dilemma is pretense vs. the opposite.
    Much of the church is built on display and many sit in the pew, well aware of the cover-up, however unintentional leadership plays this out.

    TWW flies in the face of church as charade. To some, it seems almost blasphemous to be honest, but they forget that people are running the church so anything can happen (not anything goes, but unexpected and unsavory things happen, and must be dealt with – but then who wants to deal with the mess. Church is a messy endeavor – better to just wallpaper over is the direction most leadership goes. Handwave.).

    Jesus was the opposite of pretense: truthful, upright, honest, simple, open, frank, and real. The religious establishment seethed in anger that he uncovered their veneer. They went after him; then miraculously he rose in triumph.

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  27. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I object strenuously to this comment. LGBT does not equate to pedophilia.

    Not even same-sex pedophilia. There were studies which show that same-sex pedos are actually straight in orientation. It’s the pre-pubescent boy’s lack of masculine sexual characteristics (deep voice, facial hair, body hair, rougher skin, obvious prominent male genitalia) that same-sex pedos key on. The pre-pubescent boy actually shows FEMININE secondary sexual characteristics, so it isn’t REALLY Homosex.

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  28. dee: Many Christians want the “come to our program and you will be healed after spending x time with us.”

    Isn’t that their Ego speaking?

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  29. Lea: I used to work with a man who got caught with images of children on his work computer. He had married a woman, albeit a young, fairly androgynous looking one. Other predators of children I can think of in real life have almost been married, not same sex.

    It’s called a “beard”, AKA “provides cover”. (And like Doug Wilson’s pet pedo, the additional feature of breeding your own sex toys.)

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  30. Max: Our society is too quick to write off evil as mental illness.

    And Christianese society is too quick to write off mental illness (or any nonconformity) as SIN and DEMONS.
    Same thing except flipped 180.
    Funhouse Mirror reflections of each other, total opposites on the surface, identical attitudes beneath.

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  31. dee:
    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    I have removed his comments and he is in moderation. This is a guy with an agenda.

    And from what remains of excerpts in others’ comments, a guy who hits EVERY talking point of the Christianese Culture War Party Line. [Westboro Baptist slogan here.]

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  32. The latest ‘scientific research’ which mostly is compilations of statistics which look at the issues from various aspects seems to hit the secular media at least once a month, or so it seems. And the ‘findings’ are not always the same. When things get religious and when things get political then ‘amazingly’ the stats can be determined differently. And indeed, the ‘evidence’ varies with what the specific question being asked happens to be.

    So I am going to make a policy statement based solely on my own individual life of many decades of looking at ‘scientific evidence/ mostly statistics’ albeit in a different field. So here is the answer. We don’t have the ultimate answers yet. There seem to be some trends and one can speculate somewhat, but we are just now entering into a cultural/ scientific phase where oceans of information are coming forth. The information goes all the way from face to face psych interview to brain imaging.

    In the meantime I intend to be cautious and hold off in putting any ideas ‘into concrete’ so to speak.

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  33. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    There are three enemies of the soul at work in American society: the world, the flesh, and the devil. And you can find them all in church, as well. Too many churchmen (not this one) are quick to write off all bad stuff as “It’s the devil’s handiwork”, when in fact the world and/or the flesh is to blame.

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  34. “Darrell Morgan, the assistant executive director over special populations with the state Department of Pardons and Parole, … said faith-based programs like the Outreach Re-Entry Ministry are not regulated by the state. He said they could be regulated through local ordinances. He said programs that offer intensive treatment programs are regulated by the state Department of Mental Health.

    “Morgan also said there is nothing the sheriff can do about the ministry.”

    http://www.timesdaily.com/news/residents-express-concern-about-inmate-ministry/article_441d1bcd-b4a3-58d4-8d2f-287a6e0a8c16.html

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  35. jyjames: “Morgan also said there is nothing the sheriff can do about the ministry.”

    Uhhhhh … the sheriff better keep a close eye on the ministry these days! TWW has recorded several instances where the ministry covered up crimes. Let’s don’t go overboard on separation of Church and State! If the Church commits crimes against citizens of the State, it needs to pay the price. Being a church member does not give one the freedom to break civil laws, thinking he will be disciplined by church elders (at worse) rather than face the court system. Being a church member does not clear a sex-offender from being listed as such in a community.

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  36. Max: the world, the flesh, and the devil. And you can find them all

    … and in contention with each of us as pilgrims, followers of Jesus.

    Personally, I resist and go after the devil with prayer: Eph. 6.
    I deal with the world by choosing how/when/where to engage in society: 1 John 2:15-17.
    I deal with my own sinful nature by presenting myself to God for His service, and learning to walk by His Spirit: Rom. 12:1-2, Gal. 5:16ff.

    It’s a journey.

    Regarding this post, from the book of Jude:

    “… I urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

    Etc. Jude has a lot to say about dealing with stuff in the church.

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  37. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    If consent is the only criteria, that can open up a can of worms, too.

    There are zoophilia groups, pro- incest groups, pro- necrophilia groups, etc., who all claim animals can and do consent to inter-species sex, some nations argue necrophilia should be legalized if the adult consents prior to death, etc.

    I have links and commentary about all that in this post I did:

    The Born That Way Argument
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/the-born-that-way-argument/

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  38. okrapod:
    The latest ‘scientific research’ which mostly is compilations of statistics which look at the issues from various aspects seems to hit the secular media at least once a month, or so it seems.And the ‘findings’ are not always the same.When things get religious and when things get political then ‘amazingly’ the stats can be determined differently. And indeed, the ‘evidence’ varies with what the specific question being asked happens to be.

    So I am going to make a policy statement based solely on my own individual life of many decades of looking at ‘scientific evidence/ mostly statistics’ albeit in a different field.So here is the answer. We don’t have the ultimate answers yet.There seem to be some trends and one can speculate somewhat, but we are just now entering into a cultural/ scientific phase where oceans of information are coming forth.The information goes all the way from face to face psych interview to brain imaging.

    In the meantime I intend to be cautious and hold off in putting any ideas ‘into concrete’ so to speak.

    There is wisdom in what you have said. I may be more doctrinaire than you (wisely or not), but we do need to be cautious about “science”. Much of what we call science is really philosophy.

    I believe that the Bible and science is like opposite blades of a pair scissors. Neither is without the other. Areas of knowledge (language, history, nature, etc) help us understand the Bible better, hence what I heard in Bible college: “If you only know the Bible, you don’t know the Bible”. Data, such as the fossil record and the geological column, does not interpret itself; there is no system of deduction that will guide us unerringly from the unknown to the known. Logic cannot protect us from the pitfalls of wrong facts, incomplete facts, and the influence of bias and emotion.
    Among qualified and working scientists there may be as many interpretations of the fossil record and the rock layers as there theories of the origin of life and the age of the earth, for example. I believe that we must interpret data according to the philosophies of Scripture.

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  39. Jarrett Edwards,

    I didn’t read his post in quite the same way.

    Pedophiles, Zoophiles, pro- incest groups, pro- necrophiliacs, all use the same arguments as LGBT groups once did to seek to have their sexual behaviors normalized.

    There are zoophiles, etc, groups saying that animals can and do consent, that they were “just born that way,” etc.

    The pro-necrophiliacs argue that if an adult gives consent prior to death that his/her body can be used for sex in death, then that should be legal. (I have links to this on my blog.)

    All these groups are using identical arguments and rationales to get laws over-turned and/or to get societal approval for their sexual behaviors as LGBT once (did and still do).

    Whether someone else wants to conflate that with LGBT rights groups, or LGBT sexual behavior, is up to them, but I see that the arguments used by other groups are the same.

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  40. Highlander,

    I am so sorry that I had to give examples and that is why I placed a warning. It makes me upset to even write about it. It is so important that people understand that child porn is not some faraway picture of a little girl on a swing. It is an evil beyond imagining. Thank you for your comment.

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  41. Anna,

    She is discussing the law involved. She is a lawyer. However, if the trafficker/porn maker was caught and their was a trail he/she could have further charges: abuse of a child, selling child porn on the internet (which is a felony), and all sorts of things depending who and when.

    Consent is quite important. Only adults can consent. Even for adults, if they do not consent, it is considered rape. Jules Woodson made this statement many times. She did NOT consent. There is no circumstance when a child could consent to sex. This means an assault occurred. There would be other charges as well involving physical harms, etc.

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  42. dee,

    Dee said,”Good comment. So many Christian believe that if they are involved, Jesus will heal them. They are not willing to consider the alternative which is the person will need life long monitoring and support to stay away from children. Many Christians want the “come to our program and you will be healed after spending x time with us.””

    As with so much on this blog and ones like it, that is applicable to so many other subjects in Christianity.

    It’s definitely applicable to the mainstream Christian view on mental health issues- if you are a “true” Christian, you won’t have depression to start with,

    Or, if it is admitted that a “true” Christian can have mental health issues, then the other argument is,
    “If you just attend Bible study enough / pray hard enough / have faith enough, God will cure you of your mental health issue.”

    You can also apply this to the person in grief after a death in the family, and many, many other painful life situations.

    Everything painful can supposedly be dealt with instantly or 100% if only the person would believe in Jesus, read the Bible regularly, or have faith or attend church.

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  43. B Badger: Bible and science is like opposite blades of a pair scissors

    Nice. Science is the study of Creation, and Creation is, in and of itself, a revelation or expression of God the Creator.

    (Francis Schaeffer wrote to be mindful of the 1st eleven chapters of Genesis, noting a twisted aspect to Creation since sin entered.)

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  44. Headless Unicorn Guy: It’s called a “beard”, AKA “provides cover”.

    I’ve generally heard ‘beard’ in reference to covering for homosexuality, not this, but the idea applies I guess. (his interest was in pre-pubescent girls – which is why I found the androgyny of his wife extremely creepy in hindsight)

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  45. B Badger,

    You need to know that I believe that the earth is billions(41/2) of years old an the universes many billions older. However, I do not wish to get into a disagreement on the age of the earth. We have a number of posts that relate to that. I would prefer this discussion revolved around the difficulties inherent in dealing with sex offense as a society.

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  46. jyjames,

    I believe that science and the Bible go together wonderfully. God, in His plan, gave us science which made observations and discovered antibiotics. My trauma nurse daughter was involved in a hand transplant (from a cadaver) onto the arm of a man who lost it 50 years ago. It worked!

    A long time ago, scientists who knew the earth revolved around the sun were jailed because the church said one had to believe the sun revolved around the earth because they Bible said so. Those poor theologians were wrong. Guess what? Knowing the earth revolves around the sun didn’t hurt our understanding of God. It merely led to understanding His creation better.

    In this post, we are discussing the problem that both the church and science has with those who are addicted to child pornography. So far, neither side has offered a conclusive cure.

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  47. B Badger: Much of what we call science is really philosophy.

    I disagree on this point. Science is simply observation of what is true in the world. It is discovered by carefully applying scientific method. Real science has nothing to do with philosophy.

    There is the philosophy of science but that is not science. It is philosophy. That is a different field and does not involve the application of the scientific method.

    We are discussing the fact that neither the church nor science has come up with a definitive cure for those who have serious paraphilias- at least in this life. In the life to come, Christians who have struggled to overcome their paraphilias will find that they are free in heaven. For them the struggle is now.

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  48. dee: Christians who have struggled to overcome their paraphilias will find that they are free in heaven

    Free Will in Heaven
    (Adapted from and with apologies to Eric Clapton — Tears in Heaven)

    Beyond the door,
    There’s peace I’m sure.
    And I know there’s got to be
    Free will in heaven.

    Would you throw a fit,
    If He controlled you in heaven?
    Would it be the same,
    If He bound your will in heaven?

    You must be strong,
    And carry on.
    ‘Cause you know there’s no free will
    Here in heaven

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  49. My number one peeve are the many pastors who insist pedophiles who have served their time and “repented” are welcome at church- with an escort. Even Wade supports this. How can anyone seriously know if they have repented? I was pretty much scolded like a Jezebel over at SBCvoices a few years back for daring to outline the problems with such at church. One thing that shocked me was their constant admonition that child pornography viewers are not guilty of touching a child. it would be interesting to see what they think now that they have embraced social justice. Did they never stop and think what goes into the process of child pronography? Human trafficking, kidnapping, rape, etc, etc. It’s unbelievable how people think about this heinous crime against the most vulnerable of society.

    I advocate for a church for pedophiles. There are just some things one should never take a chance on.

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  50. Lydia:
    Loren Haas, Why always censor is the first reaction? Why not just discuss why he is wrong.

    In this instance, he was going off on a tangent that had nothing to do with the post and he kept escalating. I think he wrote abou5-6 comments in short order. I am cracking down unpeople who come to the blog and derail the discussion by starting on some other hot button issue. I am NOTn discussing LGBT issues in this post.

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  51. Headless Unicorn Guy: And Christianese society is too quick to write off mental illness (or any nonconformity) as SIN and DEMONS

    Great comment! It’s soironic how often the fundamentalist position is just the mirror image of the secularist idea they despise. Just like how YEC assumes that the only kind of knowledge is empirical and then imposes this modernist concept onto the Bible.

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  52. Daisy:
    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    If consent is the only criteria, that can open up a can of worms, too.

    There are zoophilia groups, pro- incest groups, pro- necrophilia groups, etc., who all claim animals can and do consent to inter-species sex, some nations argue necrophilia should be legalized if the adult consents prior to death, etc.

    I have links and commentary about all that in this post I did:

    The Born That Way Argument
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/the-born-that-way-argument/

    Daisy, this is a straw man argument. We do not have a bovine / porcine / equestrian sexuality epidemic. Nor will we.

    What we do have are several areas of violent church history. Amoung the chief of these, such as anti-semitism, or racism, is the persecution of homosexuals. The Church of GOD has a history of killing people. For things such as these, judgement must begin in the House of God. There are many of us who recall our history, and we recoil from any stated desire to return.

    What is required of us is to recall our instructions of Scripture. We are not given permission to judge those without the Church. 1 Corinthians 5 informs us this is to be left with God.

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  53. dee: In this post, we are discussing the problem that both the church and science has with those who are addicted to child pornography. So far, neither side has offered a conclusive cure.

    Exactly. Both have much to learn in regard to behavioral science, which is, indeed, a science – the study of human behavior.

    Roy Hazelwood, a Christian (may he RIP), and Richard Walter, an atheist, are scientists who have highly contributed to behavioral science and criminal sexual activity.

    Church leaders seem to respect behavioral science regarding marketing in their branding, business enterprise and fund-raising. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be much leadership interest in the damage/safe-guarding of children and promoting a safe society (Christian values?).

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  54. jyjames: who have highly contributed to behavioral science and criminal sexual activity.

    … meaning the study of … NOT engaging in – criminal activity, of course.

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  55. Lydia,

    There’s much we can agree upon here Lyds.

    So long as there are tried and true protocols which guarantee that ex-offenders
    Have No Access To Kids I don’t have a problem with ex-offenders attending the church of his/or her choice.

    But like you say, if said church starts getting fuzzy-headed with stuff about the ‘equality of all poor sinners’, it’s just a matter of time before an ex-offender will gain access to kids again.

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  56. dee: In this instance, he was going off on a tangent that had nothing to do with the post and he kept escalating. I think he wrote abou5-6 comments in short order. I am cracking down unpeople who come to the blog and derail the discussion by starting on some other hot button issue.

    And this blog has been flooded many times before with escalating/sidetracking comment attacks by Faithful defenders of the Corrupt/Pedo Pastors. Usually with generic names or handles we’ve never seen before, suddenly coming out of the woodwork as a Truth Squad.

    I am NOT discussing LGBT issues in this post.

    Even though it’s The ONLY Thing to Christianese Culture Warriors.
    Can’t change their mind and WON’T change the subject.
    Besides, “The Fag Card” is the PERFECT snarl word to detach every neuron above the Christianese brainstem and wave the Bright Red Murder Flag in front of what’s left. Two Minutes’ Hate material.

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  57. Lydia: I was pretty much scolded like a Jezebel over at SBCvoices a few years back for daring to outline the problems with such at church. One thing that shocked me was their constant admonition that child pornography viewers are not guilty of touching a child.

    “I did not Know that woman in a Biblical Sense.”
    — Douggie Phillips ESQUIRE, when he got caught keeboarping his Handmaid

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  58. dee:
    B Badger,

    You need to know that I believe that the earth is billions(41/2) of years old an the universes many billions older. However, I do not wish to get into a disagreement on the age of the earth. We have a number of posts that relate to that. I would prefer this discussion revolved around the difficulties inherent in dealing with sex offense as a society.

    I understand (now) that you want us to stick to the topic. It is true that I was harking back to that issue in an earlier thread (uh, just as an illustration [cough]).
    I hope that my basic point is relevant (when it comes to experts’ opinions, today’s treasure may be tomorrow’s trash).

    I have been reluctant to post in older threads due to fear that few if any will read them. Have you any thoughts on this?

    Did I explicitly state my opinion on the matters referenced? (You did guess correctly, though.) What may be relevant to this topic and others, and what I think I was hinting at, is the pitfall of calling one opinion religion (snicker [less prestige]) and another opinion on the same subject science (chanting and bowing [greater prestige]), a manipulative tactic. If one understands the classification of knowledge (sets and subsets), wouldn’t it make sense that any opinion on a particular topic must be placed in the same larger, inclusive category, whether it be science, philosophy, theology etc? If evolution were science, then wouldn’t creation be as well? If creation, on the other hand, is religious philosophy, wouldn’t evolution be as well?

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  59. dee: I disagree on this point. Science is simply observation of what is true in the world. It is discovered by carefully applying scientific method. Real science has nothing to do with philosophy.

    There is the philosophy of science but that is not science. It is philosophy. That is a different field and does not involve the application of the scientific method.

    We are discussing the fact that neither the church nor science has come up with a definitive cure for those who have serious paraphilias- at least in this life. In the life to come, Christians who have struggled to overcome their paraphilias will find that they are free in heaven. For them the struggle is now.

    I understand your last point and hope to have at least something to say about that issue.

    I would also call observation science. I don’t know what to say about the scientific method (and my ability to reason scientifically is poor). I would use the word philosophy for the interpretation of data. The disciples on the road to Emmaus formed conclusions based on data without reference to Scripture and were rebuked for it.

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  60. B Badger,

    The data is the data. So, if it shows that using treatment modalities x, y and z, the outcome doesn’t change then we know that using x, y, and z the outcome doesn’t change if all other things are equal.

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  61. dee,

    Well, when it comes to solving the inevitable problems that arise in my construction work, there is such a thing as trial and error! I also need to be analytical on the job, observing and deducing. I make mistakes, of course, but that is part of the cost of learning and doing.

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  62. I disagree with Muff Potter who thinks pedos could theoretically go to a church. There are always children in a church. I don’t think they should be allowed to darken the doorway of a church as once one did mine. If a sexual pervert is truly repentant he can meet w some guys for a Bible study and watch church on t v! He has to be away frowhat tempts him. It would be too easy to get the names of children and find out where they live. I left my church over this issue and have never looked back when the pastor said “he can attend but not go into the side rooms”. Seriously????? Risk the children? Sorry but this sin disqualifies such a man from many aspects of true fellowship. Deal with it!

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  63. This is a difficult subject.

    I agree totally with Dee, they need very strict boundary and support. Absolutely stay away from kids. Also, most churches do not have the knowledge and resources to deal with this group of people. However, I do not want to entertain the mindset of Javert in Les Miserables. Javert is so certain his is right that he looked down and treated people like Valjean less than a human being.

    They are people. They did evil but God’s creation none the less (book of Jonah). They do need a place to live, work to self-support and friends.

    I want to be clear that I understand the crime in Les Miserables is different. That is not my point. I am thinking of the scene that Jean Valjean had to tear up “passeport jaune” in order to function in society. Otherwise where can he go? Forced to violate the probation terms and be back in prison? Be a homeless beggar? Commit more evil to get back in prison?

    I do not know what a good solution should be. Heart break subject in all areas of life.

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  64. Abigail: I disagree with Muff Potter who thinks pedos could theoretically go to a church.

    The problem is that they actually do go to church. Anyone in a sufficiently large church is almost guaranteed to have one or more in regular attendance. Which ones are more dangerous, the registered (known) offenders or the ones who have not yet been caught? Churches need to have appropriate measures in place to keep kids safe from all potential offenders and should not be fooled into thinking the kids are more safe simply because none of their attendees are registered offenders.

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  65. The thread that unites abusers of all stripes is power. It’s the kick that drives the compulsion. Taking an unwilling or naive or suggestive person. Using their innocence and trust against them.

    Whether it’s children, teens or even the men and boys coerced into getting a footrub. It’s the power.

    And there is no bigger power magnet in our society than religion. In North America, that is predominantly Christian. I even felt the power of faith when I was a Christian.

    Power of deity, obedience, closed community. Some churches have it all there for the taking. Throw in the naivete that Jesus can heal anything and boom. An abusers playground.

    Reducing the power of the institution may help. By this I mean put the power back with the congregations. Or if you really believe put the focus back on God, not pastor, pope or elder.

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  66. Whoa. Ken is spot on!!!!! The abuser the ny church taught Sunday school. He is absolutely correct that we need to assume they are in our churches! And act accordingly!!

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  67. Daisy: If consent is the only criteria, that can open up a can of worms, too.

    There are zoophilia groups, pro- incest groups, pro- necrophilia groups, etc., who all claim animals can and do consent to inter-species sex, some nations argue necrophilia should be legalized if the adult consents prior to death, etc.

    Consent is a good marker that covers a lot of scenarios, but not all, obviously. It would cover your animal scenario, as animals, obviously, cannot consent, despite what these whackjobs would say.

    I’d also argue it covers your necrophilia example as the dead cannot consent, obviously. And there are a number of “consent” situations where we’ve otherwise outlawed sexual contact, and that would be mainly in statutes covering incest and polygamy. There’s a couple of towns in far north Arizona where there’s a graveyard filled with thegraves of children who died from fumarase deficiency, which is rampant in the closed FLDS polygamy group due to the inbreeding.

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  68. We are discussing the fact that neither the church nor science has come up with a definitive cure for those who have serious paraphilias- at least in this life. In the life to come, Christians who have struggled to overcome their paraphilias will find that they are free in heaven. For them the struggle is now.

    I used to believe that salvation (Christ) was a cure-all and promoted that concept (abundant life gospel). I have probably swung over to the opposite extreme: blase about my faults and failures (as long they don’t threaten to bring catastrophe).

    I don’t know if this concept is true, but first imagine our lower nature dwelling in our bodies: utterly corrupt, cannot be reformed, cannot be eradicated, gives prompting to our souls (mind, emotions, will). Then imagine a new nature in the spirits of true believers: utterly pure, cannot be corrupted, cannot be eradicated, Holy Spirit sends promptings to our souls. “He who is born of God cannot sin [with his spirit].

    What about our souls and bodies, though? Salvation of the spirit may be complete, but can salvation of the soul ever be complete in this life? Do our minds, emotions, and will automatically obey God’s Word after salvation? Can any ground gained in this area be lost again? Yes. What the body? Is any physical salvation (health, healing, preservation) entire and forever, or will all be lost one day. (I am increasingly feeling the effects of a deadly infection: AGE.) Only in the next life will be new bodies without a sin nature and restored souls. Only then will it be natural, easy, and pleasant to always do what is right.

    Differences in makeup and training mean differences in characteristic virtues and vices. With all of us there will be certain virtues that come fairly easily to us; others will be so difficult that we will need the help of God and man. Some vices will grip us easily and firmly while others will have little or no appeal. It may be that all of us can identify with Rom 7: behaviors that we believe that we should stop but don’t seem to be able to and actions that we believe that we should take but can’t seem to get around to. The most popular columnist of the Globe and Mail wrote an article entitled Lessons From a Lifetime of Self Improvement. After decades of effort, she was essentially the same person as when she started. Rom 7 for her too.

    If the best of us is deeply flawed and fallible, what about the worst?

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  69. Jack: The thread that unites abusers of all stripes is power. It’s the kick that drives the compulsion. Taking an unwilling or naive or suggestive person. Using their innocence and trust against them.

    Whether it’s children, teens or even the men and boys coerced into getting a footrub. It’s the power.

    Exactly! It is all about the power, and sadly we have a strong strain of authoritarianism in the Church, especially among Pastors and Elders, that attracts those who want to wield such power.

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  70. Daisy,

    CONSENT IS THE KEY TO ALL OF THIS. We must teach our children and each other that consent is the key to relationships of all kinds. It is why date rape and martial rape is STILL rape. I’m not a Calvinist, so I don’t believe in predestination, and for me when someone “Asks Jesus into their Heart” what they are doing is giving GOD consent to save them and have a relationship with them. And since I believe that God needs our consent to save us, it is imperative that mankind would need consent from another person to have a sexual relationship with them.

    These groups can argue consent all they want but children cannot by legal or moral definition consent to sexual activities or in fact most activities, so their argument is invalid.There is good reason we don’t allow children to vote, join the military, etc… Animals cannot give consent either, because they cannot verbalize or understand consent.

    That is what separates those groups from Homosexuals, and invalidates the slippery slope argument, two adult men or two adult women can and are capable of giving consent to each other, just has they are capable of giving consent to another adult of the opposite sex, but Children and Animals are not capable.

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  71. Jarrett Edwards: It is all about the power, and sadly we have a strong strain of authoritarianism in the Church, especially among Pastors and Elders, that attracts those who want to wield such power.

    With centralized at-the-top power, heavy on authority and control, the institution devolves into a playground for the predators. Go figure. How does that happen?

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  72. Muff Potter,

    There isn’t a protocol that can keep a pedophile from undressing little Susie in his mind at church. My question is why a truely “repentant” pedophile would want to put so many others in such an awkward position.

    Years ago, I accompained a group of therapists to interview about 25 pedophiles at the state prison. This was long before internet child porn. Most had 75+ victims before caught. I was struck by their openness, charm and sincerity. They are master deceivers. And if caught, we should be grateful. Not an easy task. The one thing we can do is send a message there will be no normalization after such a heinous crime. There can’t be.

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  73. Ray,

    “They are people.”

    A good question, actually. Most people have been taught that to be human means that you “do” some evil thongs. It’s expected. I don’t think that is what the metaphorical “born again” means at all. I don’t believe in a concept of sinless perfection because we are born in corrupt bodies on a corrupt Earth. But I do believe that the more evil we “do”, the less human we are. I think an often-overlooked concept of the Christian Life is In being “blameless” and what that entails. It’s a big subject. Most teaching is centered around the concept that we are all sinners and remain sinners. One of the problems is that we tend to put everything from Petty offenses to vile crime into the same sin pot. That thinking most likely comes from the concept of original sin and inherited guilt.

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  74. Lydia: Years ago, I accompanied a group of therapists to interview about 25 pedophiles at the state prison … Most had 75+ victims before caught.

    1 Timothy 4:1-2 comes to mind “whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.”

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  75. I do believe that we must distinguish sexual orientation (preference) from behavior. People with essentially the same orientation may behave very differently. A “heterophile” may be celibate, confine intimate behavior to marriage and/or masturbation, stray beyond its bounds, and illicit activities may have a predatory rather than an acting out motive. Would the same variation in essence apply to other orientations? (Legitimate marriage is not possible for some of them.) Whether pedophilia, hebephilia (pubescents), ephebophilia (post-pubescent teens), gerontophilia (elderly),heterophilia, biphilia, homophilia, polyamory, shouldn’t they be treated essentially the same in terms of potential. Should “child molester” be used
    as a homophobic slur, for example?

    C S Lewis was alert to and concerned about the misuse of words, e g his preface to Mere Christianity, and might or might not have had something to say about this. He is not around anymore, but Wikipedia is!

    “Pedophilia/misuse of medical terminology”: (after referencing the use of pedophile and pedophilia for adult’s sexual interest in pubescent and post-pubescent teenagers)
    “Another common usage of pedophilia is to refer to the act of sexual abuse itself, rather than the medical meaning, which is a preference for prepubescents on the part of the older individual….” (Reference is also made to using the term for an age gap considered inappropriate even when the younger person is adult or of legal age or the older person is in a position of authority over the younger.) “Researchers state that the above uses of the term pedophile are imprecise or suggest that they are best avoided. The Mayo Clinic states that pedophilia ‘is not a criminal or legal term’.”

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  76. “I discussed the pessimism surrounding pedophilia, stressing that there was no *cure.*” (Dee)

    “consequences of sexual perversity … slaves of their degenerate minds” (Romans 1)

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  77. Lydia: One thing that shocked me was their constant admonition that child p*** viewers are not guilty of touching a child.

    I would think anyone who thinks this either needs a huge education in the reality of this stuff, or should be massively side eyed.

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  78. Muff Potter: So long as there are tried and true protocols which guarantee that ex-offenders
    Have No Access To Kids I don’t have a problem with ex-offenders attending the church of his/or her choice.

    I’m not sure how effective these protocols are likely to be, so that’s a factor. Are they escorting them into the restrooms and everywhere else? I think you could do it, but it would have to be very careful. It’s better to separate them out, if possible.

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  79. Jarrett Edwards: I’m not a Calvinist, so I don’t believe in predestination, and for me when someone “Asks Jesus into their Heart” what they are doing is giving GOD consent to save them and have a relationship with them.

    I kind of like that concept of consent. This fits well with ‘I stand at the door and knock’, you still have to open the door (and not to derail the thread, but when I hear comp folks talking about husbands ‘being like jesus’, well, what does that really mean?)

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  80. Lydia: Muff Potter,
    There isn’t a protocol that can keep a pedophile from undressing little Susie in his mind at church. My question is why a truely “repentant” pedophile would want to put so many others in such an awkward position.

    I think another concern would be that little ‘susie’ knows Joe the Pedo from church, so when she sees him out she is somewhat disarmed.

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  81. Lea: I’m not sure how effective these protocols are likely to be, so that’s a factor. Are they escorting them into the restrooms and everywhere else? I think you could do it, but it would have to be very careful. It’s better to separate them out, if possible.

    I did read that one distinction that often fails to be made, especially important when it comes to treatment; is violent, sadistic, hate-motivated child rapists who are fueled be eroticized anger and lust-motivated, seductive molesters. A lesser distinction would be molesters who use fear and coercion and may not wait to attack and those who first groom their victims (build a relationship so that when abuse finally starts, it seems like a natural part of a loving relationship). The former in each case would certainly require constant watching, for the latter it would be more a case of nipping it in the bud.

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  82. Max,

    I believe in redemption but I want to be wise when it comes to the vulnerable of our society. I still maintain a truly repentant pedophile would not want to put people in that position at church. I think many pastors are gullible to the detriment of others because they want to promote the red3mption angle. But, They can’t even live near a school for good reason.

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  83. Lydia:
    Max,

    I believe in redemption but I want to be wise when it comes to the vulnerable of our society. I still maintain a truly repentant pedophile would not want to put people in that position at church. I think many pastors are gullible to the detriment of others because they want to promote the redemption angle. But,They can’t even live near a school for good reason.

    Agreed. There are verses about sexual perversion from Romans 1 that cause me pause: “God gave them up to uncleanness” … “God gave them up unto vile affections” … “God gave them over to a reprobate mind.”

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  84. Max: 1 Timothy 4:1-2 comes to mind “whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh.”

    St Paul was describing what we now call a Psychopath or Sociopath in the language and terminology of his place and time, cautioning Timothy to watch out for Sociopaths trying to infiltrate the church for their own destructive ends.

    However in today’s Christianese, the most common application is “THEE, NOT ME!” fingerpointing.

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  85. jyjames: With centralized at-the-top power, heavy on authority and control, the institution devolves into a playground for the predators. Go figure. How does that happen?

    FEATURE, NOT BUG.

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  86. jyjames: Church leaders seem to respect behavioral science regarding marketing in their branding, business enterprise and fund-raising. Too bad there doesn’t seem to be much leadership interest in the damage/safe-guarding of children and promoting a safe society (Christian values?).

    Not to their Personal Gain.

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  87. Ricco: Headless Unicorn Guy: And Christianese society is too quick to write off mental illness (or any nonconformity) as SIN and DEMONS
    Great comment! It’s soironic how often the fundamentalist position is just the mirror image of the secularist idea they despise.

    Communism begets Objectivism.

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  88. Lea: I think another concern would be that little ‘susie’ knows Joe the Pedo from church, so when she sees him out she is somewhat disarmed.

    I can think of another danger. One time I started talking to a 5 year old girl who had been brought to work and left to play outside. I was surprised/amazed at the immediate sexual turn her conversation took. “I know how to make babies. Mommy told me.” (Her knowledge proved to be general.) I later heard her rationale through the grapevine: she had detected a sexual interest on my part (I was unaware of it) and decided to play along.

    Female children and their adult counterparts tent to encourage male interest and attention. While prepubescent girls are not able to send sexual signals, they otherwise use the same tactics as adults to reinforce such behavior on our part. (Since they normally only want what we have to give them vs us, such behavior is called leading on.) One such tactic is pseudo-interest in sex. Do little girls, eager to please, need to know anything or much about it to pick up on our interest (general or directed toward them) and delight and play the part? (Eager manner) “What’s sex?” (In front of her parents and cutely) “I’d like to have sex with you”. (Her mother smiled in agreement and amusement when I said in reply that I didn’t think that she knew what she was saying.) For the opposite reason, mockingly, “I’m not going to sex with you”. “If a boy wanted to give me a hickey, I’d let him! I don’t care. Not on my neck! But on my arm or leg. Taking her words at face value and concerned: “I don’t go around kissing girls, and I certainly wouldn’t be giving one a hickey”! She smiled warmly, but I later this. Her story of seeing boys giving girls that kind of kiss was made up; any sort of hickey was revolting to her; I was interested in her, and I must be interested in other girls, and I must kiss them.

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  89. Lydia: Peds are master cons. Yes, they are there, already. And it is a triumph we don’t understand when one that was caught can “repent’ and be welcome. It’s such a catch 22 for churches.

    Lydia: They are master deceivers. And if caught, we should be grateful. Not an easy task. The one thing we can do is send a message there will be no normalization after such a heinous crime. There can’t be.

    Okay, point well taken (Lea too).
    There is no such thing as a perfect system, I realize that.

    Let me say then, that The first ‘firewall’ a church should have (and should be using) is a data-base of known offenders:

    1) Let each church go from there with what they want to do.
    — or —
    2) Enact the same law for churches that holds for schools and other places where kids are gathered.

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  90. Lydia: One of the problems is that we tend to put everything from Petty offenses to vile crime into the same sin pot. That thinking most likely comes from the concept of original sin and inherited guilt.

    Agreed. Platonism (Greek thought patterns) crept into the Christian religion early on.
    And yeah, the thinking that ‘we’re all in the same sin pot’ and short of absolute perfection, is a product of it.

    There’s no such thing as a ‘petty offense’ in much of Western Protestant theology.

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  91. Lydia: Peds are master cons. Yes, they are there, already.

    I completely ageee. This is a big part of the problem, and perhaps the main reason churches are such lucrative targets. A truly repentent offender would not only not want to put him/herself in tempting situations, but would also repent of manipulation and grooming. The irony is the more truly repentant the person is the more likely people will know about them being in their presence, which has the effect of making them less risky (lots of watching eyes). The dangerous ones are the ones who know how to not get caught and who know how to manipulate people. Thinking we can keep our kids safe by restricting known offenders is about as helpful as a store thinking they can eliminate shoplifting by banning shoplifters. Churches need to create environments where offenders have no room to operate, irrespective of whether or not they are registered.

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  92. Grainne,

    Grainne, I have known church leaders who confessed to struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse during younger years, and others who had served time in prison for robbery and other crimes. We once had a pastor who had been the recognized town drunk in a neighboring city – one of the best Gospel preachers I have ever sat under! But, I’ve never known a pastor or church volunteer who had openly confessed to child abuse or other sexual perversion and then given a position in church. However, TWW has reported several cases of such folks who were eventually exposed. I’m sorry, but I believe those sins put them in a category by themselves and should be viewed cautiously when they seek church membership. I suppose that’s considered hard, critical, fundamentalist, and unChristian by some … but I just think children are too precious to take the risk. I certainly believe that salvation is available to whosoever-will-may-come, but have serious doubts in the sincerity of some folks who confess they have come to salvation.

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  93. I know of a situation where the youth pastor was found out, underwent 4 years of reputable counseling and was deemed suitable for ministry. He reoffended and now is serving 40 years in a Texas penetentiary.. one example does not make a universal, but it should be sobering to any we can fix it types.

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  94. Ken F (aka Tweed): The dangerous ones are the ones who know how to not get caught and who know how to manipulate people.

    Successful Sociopaths are masters of camouflage.
    We only hear about the ones dumb enough to slip up and get caught.

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  95. Lydia:
    Lea,
    Good point. He is normalized.

    And not just to the kids, often to the parents. Wasn’t that the case at the village church? Unless you tell everyone at church to watch out for this person with kids, they don’t know not to have him over for dinner or to bible study at someone’s home, where there often aren’t any controls. (or you stupidly tell everybody to ‘love on him’)

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  96. Muff Potter: Agreed. Platonism (Greek thought patterns) crept into the Christian religion early on.

    That is the main thesis of JMJ/Christian Monist’s book Butterflies in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar.

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  97. B Badger: Female children and their adult counterparts tent to encourage male interest and attention. While prepubescent girls are not able to send sexual signals, they otherwise use the same tactics as adults to reinforce such behavior on our part.

    Wait, WHAT? I have some real problems with your reading of this situation and conclusions. Please rethink.

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  98. B Badger: I can think of another danger.

    To repeat, is your ‘another danger’ that little girls might throw themselves at a pervert or a non-pervert???

    Seriously, this is not right.

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  99. Lydia,

    “to interview about 25 pedophiles at the state prison. This was long before internet child porn. Most had 75+ victims before caught. I was struck by their openness, charm and sincerity. They are master deceivers.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    did you feel they were in some ways deceiving you then? even after “the game was up”?

    or is it that you recognized that they possessed the ability and skills to deceive but weren’t using them on you at the time?

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  100. Max: God gave them up

    This is an interesting point. God gave them up, so we would want to be in step with God, love what He loves, hate what He hates. Why would one ever overreach God? – in evangelism, discipleship, fellowship… Max, thanks for these verses and raising this thought.

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  101. B Badger,

    “”Female children and their adult counterparts tent to encourage male interest and attention. While prepubescent girls are not able to send sexual signals, they otherwise use the same tactics as adults to reinforce such behavior on our part. (Since they normally only want what we have to give them vs us, such behavior is called leading on.)”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    can you please clarify the story you’re relaying and the conclusions you’ve drawn? I’m quite confused. especially by your statement above.

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  102. Daisy, you are spot on correct that the arguments are the same.

    I have a child who inherited from his bio parents a gene that tends to criminal activity. Never heard him get away with a “born that way” argument for his actions.

    Being born with a bent to any activity does not mean we have no choice but engage in it, or have an inherent right to engage in it.

    Yet we all give a free pass to some forbidden behaviors and condemn others, and all can come up with really good reasons for that.

    Original sin is denial and self justification? Maybe?

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  103. B Badger: I can think of another danger. One time I started talking to a 5 year old girl who had been brought to work and left to play outside. I was surprised/amazed at the immediate sexual turn her conversation took. “I know how to make babies. Mommy told me.” (Her knowledge proved to be general.) I later heard her rationale through the grapevine: she had detected a sexual interest on my part (I was unaware of it) and decided to play along.

    Female children and their adult counterparts tent to encourage male interest and attention. While prepubescent girls are not able to send sexual signals,they otherwise use the same tactics as adults to reinforce such behavior on our part. (Since they normally only want what we have to give them vs us, such behavior is called leading on.) One such tactic is pseudo-interest in sex. Do little girls, eager to please, need to know anything or much about it to pick up on our interest (general or directed toward them) and delight and play the part? (Eager manner) “What’s sex?” (In front of her parents and cutely) “I’d like to have sex with you”. (Her mother smiled in agreement and amusement when I said in reply that I didn’t think that she knew what she was saying.) For the opposite reason, mockingly, “I’m not going to sex with you”. “If a boy wanted to give me a hickey, I’d let him! I don’t care. Not on my neck! But on my arm or leg. Taking her words at face value and concerned: “I don’t go around kissing girls, and I certainly wouldn’t be giving one a hickey”! She smiled warmly, but I later this. Her story of seeing boys giving girls that kind of kiss was made up; any sort of hickey was revolting to her; I was interested in her, and I must be interested in other girls, and I must kiss them.

    Hmmm…B Badger….
    I’ve noticed you have been asked to clarify your remarks. Let me help you with that. Don’t clarify.

    Sometimes in life we all need a little help from our friends. Or maybe our attorney. Or maybe …just random anonymous online commenters. Because….they tell us to just shut up.

    BB. You need to shut up.

    You are also very wrong in your understanding. The kind of wrong that leads to a very bad end for all involved.

    None of what you said is true. But, it can be used in court.

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  104. Lea: To repeat, is your ‘another danger’ that little girls might throw themselves at a pervert or a non-pervert???

    Seriously, this is not right.

    Not right? Me too, but that is not what I meant.

    “Interest and attention”: not physically intimate. Little Susie wants the attention and approval of grownups, needs adults to love and protect her. She notices his interest and attention and wants more of it, even if she possibly doesn’t like him. Noticing his sexual motivation and having no idea of how he might express it, she pretends to share his interest. Projecting his makeup into her, Predator Man assumes that she likes him as much as she appears to and that the pseudo-interest is real. Bad news.

    As for the actual girl, she too presumably didn’t anticipate being abused and felt safe about encouraging my interest. If she thought that she was in such danger, she might have asked about my intentions. (Quite a number of women and female children have done just that to me (mouth open, head scratching gesture to symbolize my reaction). She was indeed safe. Later I spontaneously picked her up by the hands and swung her from side to side while she laughed and smiled encouragement. A sexual feeling was triggered (which she allegedly detected), making me uncomfortable. Desiring relief, I stopped and put her back down.

    That’s the short answer. I hope it helps (me get out of the fire).

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  105. Nathan Priddis: BB. You need to shut up.
    You are also very wrong in your understanding. The kind of wrong that leads to a very bad end for all involved.
    None of what you said is true.

    After reading the clarification, I concur.

    I am deeply, deeply disturbed.

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  106. Max,

    Thanks Max. I think that even repentant offenders must take the consequences of their sin and retire from positions of power and leadership, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. This applies not only to those who molest children, but to those who sexually assault anyone. Not all sins are equal. Would those who advocate re-instating sexual offenders be so complacent with murderers? Sexual assault is a crime as is murder. But gossiping, or indolence are not. I do know of a convicted sexual offender who is still in leadership. The ‘world’ would react differently to such crimes from the way many churches or NGO’s do.

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  107. B Badger,

    You are assigning a 5 year old with the same motives, knowledge and intentions as a grown woman. Just for starters. Seriously, I don’t have time to write a book at the moment, but call a therapist and talk to them because it’s not healthy.

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  108. I have a question related to this. How would you go about raising the issue of a safeguarding problem in church, when the pastor is part of the problem? I don’t mean he is the one doing any kind of child molesting, but that he (in my opinion) justifies abusers with this kind of rhetoric about forgiveness and restoration.

    To give a little context: I know (although most of the church does not) that my pastor was involved in a situation where another pastor molested his own granddaughter. On his advice, the family did not press charges; instead they told the police and child protective services that they believed in forgiveness, and they believed the grandfather had repented. That he wasn’t a bad man, but a good man who had done a bad thing which he was sorry for. To the end of his life he remained an elder in his church.

    I am now in the situation of having left my husband due to domestic violence. My pastor is telling me it was a mutually abusive relationship, and I need to work on myself too. He tells me he doesn’t see any evidence that my children are afraid of my husband. I went to him previously when my husband assaulted my son, and he advised me to stay in the marriage because it would disastrous if I left. He uses this situation I have described to try and persuade me that this is the godly thing to do – forgive and don’t get a divorce. With those two situations combined I am deeply concerned about the safety of my children and other children in that church. I fear for what might happen to someone else’s children; what if a paedophile joined our church? How would the children be protected? I feel I should speak up, but I suspect he will accuse me of being bitter towards him because he did not “side with me” concerning my husband.

    Any words of wisdom? Or should I just run, which is my inclination?

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  109. Liz: Any words of wisdom? Or should I just run, which is my inclination?

    Sorry to hear about your situation and your pastor’s damaging advice.
    My immediate thought was from the old Gingerbread Man rhyme…

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  110. Grainne: Would those who advocate re-instating sexual offenders be so complacent with murderers?

    Not just any murderers, either, if you want to compare apples to apples, but murderers who commit murder for pleasure. Because this is what we are speaking of here. Those who murder children’s souls because it brings them pleasure to do so. It isn’t just a sin, it is a whole personality disorder.

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  111. elastigirl: or is it that you recognized that they possessed the ability and skills to deceive but weren’t using them on you at the time?

    I’m not Lydia but just to say, they are never not using them. It’s not a behavior they pick up and set down; it is who they are.

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  112. Liz,

    Liz, you have described a church environment that is not healthy for you and your children. The pastor has provided poor personal counsel, poor church leadership, and has not fulfilled his obligation as a mandated reporter of abuse. Allowing an abuser to remain as a church elder is unimaginable! If you haven’t already, leave the church. Don’t talk to the pastor – just quietly leave. Church is voluntary. Church leaders have no authority in Christ to control your life through manipulation and intimidation. If the elders choose to shun you in the community and/or excommunicate you from the church, congratulations.

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  113. B Badger: I later heard her rationale through the grapevine: she had detected a sexual interest on my part (I was unaware of it) and decided to play along.

    What grapevine did you hear this through? And why did you have a sexual interest in a 5 year old child? How could you have a sexual interest without being aware of it? I find your comment very troubling. If it truly progressed as described, i would fear this little girl is showing signs of having been exposed to things inappropriate for her or possibly even having been a victim of abuse. But i perceive that you may be projecting your own thoughts onto a 5 year old child so I am skeptical of the way you say it unfolded, to be honest.

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  114. B Badger: “Researchers state that the above uses of the term pedophile are imprecise or suggest that they are best avoided. The Mayo Clinic states that pedophilia ‘is not a criminal or legal term’.”

    If you are speaking of the difference between a child molester and one who feels attraction to children but does not act on it, let’s be clear that the latter has no business stopping to talk with “little Susie” AT ALL. Make no provision for the flesh.

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  115. Liz,

    When I have tried to address my abuse by my husband involving sexual assault among other forms, the pastor & elders doubled down and supported the abuser. It was so painful. This pastor has shown 2x what he is made of. Run, friend, run! The lack of interest in the truth is horrible.

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  116. Max,

    Hey, Max! Is that how I am supposed to view the blame, slander and contempt? Wish you would have been an elder there but you would have seen through the show and resigned and run away yourself. So amazed at how these abusers get others to rally around them like Bill Hybels, Andy Savage, etc. It is sickening. BB, your comments here are not cool, in my opinion. Surprised you aren’t backing off.

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  117. https://twitter.com/sarahmcdugal Sarah’s video was excellent but the predator showed incredible gall and tried to justify.

    BB, whatever you are up to, this is probably not the best venue to argue the legalities of the term pedophilia. We all know what a predator is in the context of this article. What exactly is your point?

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  118. Diane Langberg, PhD ‏@DianeLangberg http://www.dianelangberg.com/

    “Scripture is very clear that we are defiled by what comes out of us. Abuse of any kind comes from the heart of the person who abuses. It is not due to the victim’s behavior, clothing, wrongdoing or anything else.”

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  119. SiteSeer: What grapevine did you hear this through?
    Can’t remember. I have, however, heard about a number of statements to me, from children and grownups, of supposed interest in sex, whether general or personal, that were not meant. I have also recounted such statements from little girls to a number of women. None were surprised or shocked at such behavior and seemed to understand it very well. The lusts of women are different from albeit equivalent to those of men. Whatever we are to physical intimacy, especially the final gift, especially when younger, they are to emotional intimacy, especially the final gift, especially when younger. Such interest is deep, narrow, and slower-acting (responders vs pursuers who may need to decide more quickly). So what do they want in a more immediate and promiscuous sense? The answer is multiple: attention, approval, admiration, acceptance (would such an intense desire look like or most like sexual lust to us?), loved, being alluring and attractive, desired in a holistic sense, NOT for one thing. (We in turn don’t want to be wanted only for marriage.) Since they are unable to pick up pleasurable sexual signals visually, they tend to be oblivious to what they may say to us through glances, responses, and dress. Since we do pick them up, we tend to take them at face value. (Since we don’t pick up the equivalent romantic and marital interest signals we may transmit through contact, if the relationship is close enough, we tend to be equally oblivious.)

    Women are to physical intimacy, especially the final gift, what we are to emotional intimacy, especially the final gift, especially when younger in each case. In other words strong aversion apart from emotional attachment, usually casual (“just friends”,
    light kissing and cuddling), a desire for the full meal deal (massive vs light heart thumping gesture) occurs more seldom and may become as strong and urgent as the opposite gender, anything else done is either a service or a commodity (not necessarily for material gain). One reason for our respective strong bents is to help ensure that a modicum of the right emotional and physical relationships occur. One reason for our weaker and strictly conditional interests is to ensure a modicum of restraint against wrong emotional and physical intimacy.

    Most of the above is, I believe, a necessary backdrop to what I said about encouraging interest and attention. Think of the needs, and when out of bounds lusts, that I mentioned. None of them are about sex directly, it is the last thing they want, and only a predatory woman would be out to seduce. Women and girls simply want what we have to give them for the moment, and they are usually not interested in us in any special at all, hence the term leading on. Enough for now.
    And why did you have a sexual interest in a 5 year old child?
    How could you have a sexual interest without being aware of it? I find your comment very troubling. If it truly progressed as described, i would fear this little girl is showing signs of having been exposed to things inappropriate for her or possibly even having been a victim of abuse. But i perceive that you may be projecting your own thoughts onto a 5 year old child so I am skeptical of the way you say it unfolded, to be honest.

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  120. B Badger,

    really can’t understand what in the world you’re saying.

    you speak of females as if they are specimens in a lab and you’re recording what they ‘always’ do. i’m picking up on hostility towards them, but that it is easier to manage when discussing them in a clinical sense.

    while i’m confused as to your greater point, your statements are uncomfortable and disturbing to read.

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  121. elastigirl:
    B Badger,

    really can’t understand what in the world you’re saying.

    you speak of females as if they are specimens in a lab and you’re recording what they ‘always’ do.i’m picking up on hostility towards them, but that it is easier to manage when discussing them in a clinical sense.

    while i’m confused as to your greater point, your statements are uncomfortable and disturbing to read.

    Hostility? I’m sure that you are right: I was not aware of it. To be fair, I was a devotee of Bill Gothard for decades, and he has been accused of being mechanistic. In a way I don’t fully understand, I may be a chip off the old block.

    Which statements? Why? If you wish to be persuasive (if I am receptive of course), don’t you need to know my mental barriers? What statements? Have you understood them accurately? Is it the vibe? Is it me? Is it the content? What problems do you have exactly?

    Leaving you for a bit, am I a fit here? Am I being discriminated against?, Has there been much heat and proportionately little light? Have I been left with anything that I can use so far? The criticisms so far too vague to use. I’m not sure that my words haven’t been twisted (one playback seemed like a caricature). Vagueness is not testable, and I am therefore unable to accept or reject them. Is this setting me up to fail (a type of bullying)? (The question is rhetorical.)

    For a number of reasons, I am not long for here, and I have written too much already on the site. I am obviously not welcome!

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  122. Muff Potter,

    Any database, other than the national one we can search now, sounds great but is impractical and I fear brings false security. How will that work with different denominations when a pedophile goes from Baptist to Methodist, for example.? What are the legal ramifications of listing a non convicted pedophile on suspicion? If you are innocent but it was used against you, it could ruin your life. If they have to be convicted first, we already have a national database. CJ Mahaney would not qualify for a database slot but was a pedophile ring leader. It could not have survived at SGM without him. And then he was protected by SBC leaders. Should we trust those responsible for the database? History should tell us that we can’t. And so on. It seems like a good idea on the surface but I would never trust it and think it’s worse to have false security.

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  123. Liz,

    Run. The fact you have questions and it’s not sitting well with you tells me you have more wisdom and character than any of them despite their titles or status. What you are describing is not Christianity.

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  124. elastigirl,

    I wasn’t experienced enough to realize much except it totally creeped me out and I had cognitive dissonance without realizing it until later. For some reason we usuall expect evil to sound or look evil. It’s often the opposite and they are extremely nice. It’s why deception is such a big evil to me. It can take years to know and you end up having helped the evil! Give me the loud mean jerk any day— at least I know what I am dealing with.

    They groom adults, too. And that was the real lesson. They are also model prisoners often kept from the general population for safety. So, they are often paroled. I am more concerned that the therapy they receive is a false sense of security because let’s face it, should we ever trust them? . I was with a small group of therapists who work with victims so they had victim oriented view. But there are a lot of therapists out there who see the pedophile as a victim.

    Since that time, and a lot of study into narcissism and sociopathy, I am convinced there isn’t enough bubble wrap or protocols to protect children which means parents have to educate their children. And I am not above coming off as a formidable mom the pedophile never wants to cross. Note who they typically target.

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  125. Jack:
    Oh boy. What a disturbing exchange. Definitely beats the dude who argued Christianity & slavery were compatible.

    At some points, I thought we were dealing with an unusually sophisticated chatbot, and at others, that we were watching somebody blogging on acid. It all makes you wonder what else they heard while at Bible College.

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  126. Nick Bulbeck: At some points, I thought we were dealing with an unusually sophisticated chatbot, and at others, that we were watching somebody blogging on acid. It all makes you wonder what else they heard while at Bible College.

    Nick, I think it’s real. It’s totally bewildering, and the linguistic pattern leaves me confused, but I’m going with
    real.

    Gothard was the clue. If so, he was a Gothard disciple as a young man.

    I think the girl is real as well, but it’s complicated.

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  127. B Badger,

    the facts of the matter are that your writing style muddles the point you are making, and and the content of the muddle is alarming.

    your writing is figurative and flowery to a fault (going overboard myself with literary device), and discussing a 5 year old girl and sexual tension is disturbing to the average commenter here.

    your discussion and generalizing of women’s sexuality feels like a violation itself, and insinuating that women are responsible for sexual predators’ actions is not going to go over well here.

    if that is not what you mean, then say so, man.

    if your communication style is not working, and if the goal is to communicate so your audience can understand, it is your job to speak plainly.

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  128. The violation of a child (including via photos) is all about powerlessness.

    To address the topic is speaking truth (violation of a powerless child) to power (adults).

    A liability in any discussion of this topic is that some in power (adults) find the discussion itself titillating or sensational and will deviate to false ideas (about the violation of children).

    Back to the powerlessness of the child: it’s how 60-yr.-old James (last named withheld) felt this week, tears in his eyes, speaking of being 11 years old when Cardinal McCarrick approached him. James said he felt powerless. Nothing sensational about it. Just frightening (for the child), disgusting (for the rest of us) and sick (regarding the predator).

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/nyregion/mccarrick-cardinal-sexual-abuse.html

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  129. elastigirl: if your communication style is not working, and if the goal is to communicate so your audience can understand, it is your job to speak plainly.

    Yes. And it is each individuals job to communicate their thoughts so those listening understand.

    The bullying/victim attitude is bizarre as well, especially when people have simply asked for clarification and expressed concern regarding the comments.

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  130. Nick Bulbeck: Yes, I fear so. And I agree that the Gothard devotee bit was a major red flag.

    I don’t know much about the UK church. But I think we are both sorta low-church counterparts. He appears to be Restoration/ British national. I was Assembly / US. I think he’s Canadian / Western?

    The girl appears to be the daughter of a coworker at a construction firm. The girls actions would suggest she is the victim of an ongoing assault.

    The narrative suggest the assault occures/ed at home by another male. But? An altered detail? There is a pattern mentioned regarding past conversations both adult and youthful.

    This is really close to warranting contact with Internet Crimes Center.

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  131. Nathan Priddis,

    From prior comments to a previous post I got the impression that he is Canadian resident? citizen? and formerly/ perhaps now ACNA.

    His comments have become progressively harder for me to understand. If the story about the co-worker’s child is accurate then I think the child is being exposed to what appears to be adult sexuality and she may be being ‘included’ is something sexual.

    I get the impression that he is dropping hints, that he may not understand what is going on with the child or even with himself, and the way he keeps wanting more explanations/reactions to his comments from other commenters here he may be looking for some ‘help’ in understanding what is going on.

    The situation he is describing, if his observations and descriptions are correct, does not look like a healthy situation as far as I can tell, either for the child or perhaps for him either.

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  132. SiteSeer,

    As far as I know, there aren’t any, but I don’t assume that just because I’m not aware they’re not there. We are a tiny (less than 50) congregation and I know most people fairly well. However, my eyes have been opened by my own situation. No-one guessed that my husband was being emotionally and verbally abusive to us, or that he assaulted my son. So I make no assumptions any more even with people I think I know.

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  133. Lydia:
    Liz,

    Run. The fact you have questions and it’s not sitting well with you tells me you have more wisdom and character than any of them despite their titles or status. What you are describing is not Christianity.

    Thank you Lydia. It’s painful because I respected them so much, and thought this was a church of godly people, good teaching etc. And yet they seem to have no discernment about this. I’m finding that they were happy with me until I started making a fuss and asking for help. And now they don’t want to “take sides”, so I am left to figure it out on my on. Not without the Lord’s help though!

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  134. elastigirl: while i’m confused as to your greater point, your statements are uncomfortable and disturbing to read.

    Because it’s the verbal diarrhea equivalent of ‘she wanted it’ directed at a five year old. Disgusting.

    Nathan Priddis: Gothard was the clue.

    Yes, it very much tracks with young girls ‘defrauding’ men by…idk, existing I guess? Gross.

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  135. okrapod: If the story about the co-worker’s child is accurate then I think the child is being exposed to what appears to be adult sexuality and she may be being ‘included’ is something sexual.

    Alternately, children talk innocently about thing like getting married and kissing, with no bad experiences, just because they are learning about things and processing them. From the way he talked, I don’t trust that he is properly interpreting children’s actions – especially since he equates them with adults and mentions others.

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  136. Liz,

    “I’m finding that they were happy with me until I started making a fuss and asking for help.”

    I can assure you more than a few of us have experienced similar. We thought we knew “them”, too. Here is the problem, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. The choices aren’t easy but one is eventually freeing despite the hardship. The other one requires playing pretend and selling of the soul for the sake of a false unity.

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  137. Jack: beats the dude who argued Christianity & slavery were compatible

    So did the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention! Slave-holding SBC church leaders thought sovereign God was on their side in the Civil War until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. Southern Baptists distanced themselves from the founders’ theology (Calvinism) after the War and remained distinctly non-Calvinist for 150+ years until the Founders Ministries and Al Mohler with his New Calvinist army started their campaign to Calvinize the denomination. A mission that is working.

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  138. okrapod,

    As a therapist I find this man’s perspective and verbiage alarming. I suspect the 5 yr old girl is in much more danger from him than anyone at home as he seems to interpret incorrectly communications from girls or women. That distorted, deluded thinking and the repeated mention of sexual stimulation from “playing” with the 5 yr. old and his bizarre interpretations has me calling this a 5 alarm fire. And it ticks me off in the extreme in light of this article. We are being played.

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  139. elastigirl:
    Deborah,

    “we are being played”
    ++++++++++++++++

    what is there to gain in the exercise?

    He probably came home on a Friday afternoon and just vented.

    I appear to be wrong on former UK nationality.

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  140. Deborah:
    okrapod,

    As a therapist I find this man’s perspective and verbiage alarming. I suspect the 5 yr old girl is in much more danger from him than anyone at home as he seems to interpret incorrectly communications from girls or women. That distorted, deluded thinking and the repeated mention of sexual stimulation from “playing” with the 5 yr. old and his bizarre interpretations has me calling this a 5 alarm fire. And it ticks me off in the extreme in light of this article. We are being played.

    The “little girl”, if she is still alive, would now be grown up. My interest in a practical sense was social, being unaware of any other motive. She allegedly perceived
    my real motive, and wanting to reinforce my (social) interest, talked accordingly. Her faux enthusiastic talk was general. (She brought up the subject later, but this time was uncomfortable with it.) While I took her interest at face value then, not knowing any better, I never thought then or later that she wanted intimacy. Her knowledge was limited to “making babies in the bedroom and in the bed”, calling it a “privacy”. I never thought that she had been sexually abused, never gave the issue any thought.

    She was troubled: she and her mother had been recently kicked out by her father. She was afraid of marriage (feared being trapped in one). Her mother was cruel to her at times.
    While there may be more to the sexual feeling story than I am aware (compensation?), wouldn’t the fact that I felt uncomfortable even looking at the girl’s face in a sexual manner and reacting accordingly indicate normal inhibitions? Am I a sexual predator (why the lack of victims of any age)? Am I a pedophile? If a 65 year old man is most to attracted to women in their prime and progressively less to the older and younger, then I am. I have also experienced inhibiting effects from child physical characteristics

    Would this idea be relevant? One author opined that most adults are erotically drawn to children, but most of them would never abuse a child in that fashion. Such an uncomfortable fact is usually unacknowledged. Consequently there is outrage against child sexual abuse. Another problem that I can think of is projection: bullying non-predators while real one go undetected more often than not.

    Am I the victim of projection? Is it a case of we-don’t-like-him-he’s-guilty? I have little to do with children and would feel uncomfortable being alone with one. If there is a major snare, would it be wanting a parent-child relationship, only without the responsibility? This kind of relationship is also addictive and something I have experienced, but even this kind may never happen again.

    Am I playing you all? If I am being manipulative, I am not aware of it. If I am hiding something, it is probably hidden from me as well. I don’t mind you seeing something significantly wrong with me, but is that is how it would show itself?

    Should I not be concerned that you wade through recent comments seemingly without noticing the numerous examples of bullying and abuse directed my way recently? If you feel comfortable at such an abusive site, does it say something about you? (Does the fact that I felt comfortable at this site at first say something about me?) Why did a story occurring in 1987 get moved to the present day? How did a limited number of brief contacts (short work breaks) become a close and prolonged (grooming) relationship, especially since I have such little interest and aptitude. What imminent danger is there, shaking hands with some children the service greeting time? Why are the facts given the worst possible interpretation, and why do you think that is appropriate to form conclusions based on incomplete facts? Why does it seem that you are contributing to the escalating abuse?

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  141. Nathan Priddis: He probably came home on a Friday afternoon and just vented.

    I appear to be wrong on former UK nationality.

    Thank you for your defence!

    Have I been repressed? Manic fits?

    I am a mixture of British, Anglo-Irish. and Swedish.

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  142. B Badger: Thank you for your defence!

    Have I been repressed? Manic fits?

    I am a mixture of British, Anglo-Irish. and Swedish.

    Your welcome. So where you venting?

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  143. B Badger,

    B Badger, i don’t think any of us could make heads or tails as to what you were communicating, but what came through was that you portrayed yourself as a predator in your comments. the reactions you are getting are to be expected, especially in light of the topic of the post.

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  144. B Badger: Would this idea be relevant? One author opined that most adults are erotically drawn to children, but most of them would never abuse a child in that fashion. Such an uncomfortable fact is usually unacknowledged. Consequently there is outrage against child sexual abuse. Another problem that I can think of is projection: bullying non-predators while real one go undetected more often than not.

    I must have missed this opinion in the comments.

    Guess I’m an anomaly. I’ve worked with kids as a swim instructor and camp counsellor. Volunteered with kids as a soccer coach/referee. Babysat my friends kids, been a volunteer parent at school field trips and used to take blood samples at the children’s hospital. Early in my career, worked in a lab in women’s hospital that dealt with teen moms.

    This is not including the multiple birthday parties of my own kids.

    I have never, ever felt anything towards kids except a sense of fun, happiness, joy at doing stuff, and occasional annoyance when they act up.

    And there are lots of us out there.

    People who work with vulnerable youth. A friend of mine works with troubled teens (primarily girls) who have been pulled into adulthood far to early.

    What you’re describing in your comments is disturbing to me. I don’t think it’s within the norm. And gets an understandable reaction.

    I’ve commented here for a while now. The commenters here aren’t the issue.

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  145. jyjames: A liability in any discussion of this topic is that some in power (adults) find the discussion itself titillating or sensational and will deviate to false ideas (about the violation of children).

    Exactly.

    Horrifying about the cardinal.

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  146. Donna

    You comment was not approved. You make a number of assertions about gat men which are unsubstantiated yet you claim they are fact because you had a gay brother back in the 19060s. You use the *fact* and then go onto make a number of statements with no backing for what you had to say. In serious science this is called an *anecdotal* experience. You provided no perf reviewed articles for what you had to say.

    This post has NOTHING to do with LGBTissues. It has to do with reentry problems for those who have been imprisoned due to a sexual offense. I am getting a bit harder on those who wish to derail the intent of the post.

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  147. B Badger,

    Er I’m late to this thread & all I’m thinking is ‘what the f*ck am I reading?’ Red flags & lights all over these confused & scary ramblings. Please never approach & play with young children again. I’m going to concur with others that this 5yr old girl had inappropriate knowledge of sexual matters & whether she had learned that that’s how you get attention from adult men by acting sexual whilst wanting something emotional is beside the point. Do not project anything on to her, walk away & inform people who can help. All your ramblings remind me of when I’ve read the justifications of paedophiles in works on paedophilia I’ve read as a Senior Practitioner in the Child & Young Person’s workforce & a safeguarding lead for my organisation.

    Dee: has anything been done about these comments please? They are really concerning. I’m not worried, at this point, about this guy feeling bullied, but as to whether he has indicated an abnormal interest in children.

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  148. Lydia,

    I agree with you Lydia. Just their willingness to even come into a regular church around children tells me they are not healed or cured or repentant. They are still into torturing those around them. It’s all about them and their “right” to be in church. If they are truly repentant they should form their own church, as you suggested. It’s not about shunning for the good of their spirits like Paul did with some evildoers. It’s about protecting the children. How will our children ever believe in God when we refuse to keep known pedophiles away from their gaze their wormy ways. Eventually, the pedophile in church will break down the guards of those in the know about him and they will strike again. But again, just knowing that a “repentant” pedophile was in the same room as me as a child removed the respect I had for a Christian leader that I grew up with.

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  149. deeI am cracking down on people who come to the blog and derail the discussion by starting on some other hot button issue.

    Quite right too. Apart from cricket, obviously. But I stray.

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  150. Regarding Gothardism.

    I think the original subject of church re-introduction of individuals with compulsive behaviour, set of a display of Gothard’s effects in the following thread.

    Gothard is not responsible for actions other then his own. He does not create pedophiles, but his philosophy, nurtures and excuses sexual desire, while condemning the same. I am convinced it will leave a person emotionally unstable, with potentially devastating results. This post brought that theory, into real-time.

    I consider Gothard one of the greatest frauds of the Church.
    The harm it brought me was the expulsion from Christian school. I did not understand the evolving hostile stance of the Administration and unaware it had a source in an Evangelical leader.

    I was accused of a negative attitude. Unfortunately, our family was beholden to Fundamentalist thought. My parents moved me out of the house. This was a deeply depressing time.

    It was hard, but I was vaccinated against Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts.

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  151. Jack,

    B Badger: Would this idea be relevant? One author opined that most adults are erotically drawn to children, but most of them would never abuse a child in that fashion.

    Jack, I am guessing that you also never spent time reading books about the normality of adults sexually attracted to children.

    A week ago ago I saw on old prof (in every sense of the word). I went to the dean 30 yrs ago when his young adult daughter unexpectedly dropped by the classroom and he talked about how every father wanted to have sex with their daughters when she walked out. Yep, he was sexually abusing his female clients as a psychologist. So…he went back into ministry and had no problem finding a job as a senior pastor. Credentials were hard to beat.

    One major teaching of this blog is to not ignore the reality that when something seems off (esp to many people), it usually is. I bet almost every person mentioned in the article above would have a “reason” for why they did what they did to children and the distorted thinking to match. Usually without remorse. Take a look at Salter’s “Rapists, Predators and Other Sexual Offenders” if you want to learn what the research reveals and predators claim when interviewed by her.

    We would be getting played as a group of people trying to respectfully engage with thinking that is distorted and possibly dangerous to children. Yet, he would paint himself out to be the victim here all the while getting attention and supply. That is how I see us being played. I may be wrong. But my days of being quiet about possible evil are long over.

    A normal person would be horrified to be misunderstood in such a way rather than consider himself being bullied and quoting Mayo Clinic and a book backing up why his attraction to children should be considered normal if he has never acted on it in all of his 65 years. I have several more reasons for my concerns but that should clarify the playing question.

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  152. B Badger: One author opined that most adults are erotically drawn to children, but most of them would never abuse a child in that fashion.

    What author? What credentials? I can believe that “one” author “opined” such crap but I cannot believe that author is correct. Nor can I believe such an opinion can be validated through peer-reviewed scientific studies. It’s a perverted conclusion designed to normalize the abnormal.

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  153. Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s a perverted conclusion designed to normalize the abnormal.

    Which goes right back to the issue of the post. When does “church as usual” work and when does it not work? (When the questionable person is a big donor, “as usual” works?)

    In other posts, “pastor-as-usual” is a similar question. Read today about a priest who got involved with a married woman he was counseling. It went to court and the jury decided they were two consenting adults. However, Pope Francis had the guy fired. No more “priest as usual” for that guy. The church actually went further than the law. Glory be, surprise, surprise.

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  154. Patti: Just their willingness to even come into a regular church around children tells me they are not healed or cured or repentant.

    I think anyone who has an attraction to children and is not actively trying to stay away from them is not repentant and cannot be trusted.

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  155. Patti: They are still into torturing those around them. It’s all about them and their “right” to be in church.

    “Into torturing those around them” or just Utter Invincible Selfishness?

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  156. B Badger: Would this idea be relevant? One author opined that most adults are erotically drawn to children, but most of them would never abuse a child in that fashion. Such an uncomfortable fact is usually unacknowledged.

    That author sounds like that “therapist” from the South Park episode (the “Children of the Corn” parody) where the kids all falsely accuse their parents and have them taken away. The therapist who’s a closet Pedo himself. Good possibility said Author is the same, and his “opine” is autobiographical. Such an uncomfortable fact is also seldom acknowledged.

    When something reminds you of South Park, that should be a red warning flag.

    Deborah: Jack, I am guessing that you also never spent time reading books about the normality of adults sexually attracted to children.

    Another South Park example — the end of the episode “Cartman joins NAMBLA” where at the pedos who have been arrested give this long pity-me speech of justification — “You Don’t Understand”… “Love”… “Born This Way…”, every sentence interrupted/counterpointed by Stan or Kyle with “DUDE! YOU! HAVE! SEX! WITH! CHILDREN!”

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  157. I find this particular thread uncomfortable, and could not even bring myself to read the above post. Someone very dear to me has suffered great trauma from these issues. Her own father in law – a pastor – was accused and convicted of pedophilia with a young housecleaner, which eventually led to the discovery of the abuse of his own grandchildren.

    The even greater tragedy is that this was not an unknown problem. I do not know all of the details, but at least his wife, and one would suppose former victims and families, knew of earlier incidents, going back many years. These were inappropriately ‘forgiven’ and his crimes were never made public, and no charges ever pressed.

    By the time of the latest incidents, several family members had become aware of issues, but, as he was so old and infirm, all considered him incapable of any further harm, and chose to not do anything, much to their later regret.

    Immense guilt, anger and many other traumatic, conflicting emotions are involved in sexual abuse, particularly when the perpetrator is a spiritual leader and/or family member. But it must be made very clear to well-meaning, often naive christians that, however difficult it may be to press charges, no pedophile can be simply ‘forgiven’ and allowed to move on. Particularly if they are in a position of spiritual authority, with access to other vulnerable individuals. Research proves that pedophiles are rarely ‘cured’; they must never be allowed contact with children unsupervised in ANY setting, including the family home.

    This is an awful tragedy, and no one wants to think about such things. When confronted with this situation, it was difficult to even hear, let alone believe. The victims and the family will deal with this trauma literally for the rest of their lives.

    For those who have been hurt and feel too much guilt and shame to speak, I call out. We need to do whatever we can to prevent predators from having access to innocent victims – even if it involves pressing charges against trusted authorities and/or family members. Please don’t sweep such crimes under the rug, or be persuaded that the loving thing to do is keep silent, as it will only allow more harm to occur.

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  158. Double checked with my psychologist today to confirm my concerns. She said it is classic. You find it on hotlines when rapists call sexual assault hotlines or any place well intended people can be made to tolerate absolute rubbish and then abusers squawk if exposed. She did mention that I had an unfortunately extensive opportunity to learn the thinking and strategies of abusers. People ask me if I think the Lord will forgive me for divorcing the evil abuser without “biblical grounds” since I am not repent about it. Actually, I tend to wonder more if He will forgive me for marrying him…

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  159. More accurately, people question if the Lord will forgive me without biblical grounds since marital rape, physical, verbal, psychological abuse and physical abuse of the kids with 30 years of porn doesn’t count in their book. Truly, I was joking about being forgiven for marrying the Christian young man who seemed like a prize. I believe the Lord brings good out of evil in incredible ways and He never wastes our sorrows if they are given to Him. Gen. 50:20. No, I don’t mean any John Piperish rubbish by that statement. God didn’t make me marry a well camouflaged evil man.

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  160. Deborah,

    I am so sorry for what you have been through, firstly with the tragic marriage, and secondly with the abuse of a religious institution that does not understand scripture or the heart of God. No, my dear, God does not desire that anyone stay with a person who does not uphold his promises to love, cherish, respect and lay down his life as Chris did for his bride. It does not matter whether or not this meets some legalistic standard. Frankly, when a partner no longer has the love and emotional relationship with his or her spouse, the marriage is technically over, and all that is left is to acquire the proper, proective legal paperwork to make the divorce legitimate in God’s eyes.

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  161. Deborah: I am not repent about it

    Nor should you be. I think the idea that one must stay in such a marriage is monstrous and since those folks don’t have good sense, they should be ignored until they come around.

    And thank you for the confirmation on the other from your psychologist.

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  162. Lea: Nor should you be. I think the idea that one must stay in such a marriage is monstrous

    It would not surprise me if those who Bible-Bang about keeping the little woman staying “in such a marriage” are abusers themselves who want to keep their own victims within easy range. Can’t let their own Widdle Wifeys get any ideas…

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  163. Nathan Priddis:
    Regarding Gothardism.

    I think the original subject of church re-introduction of individuals with compulsive behaviour, set of a display of Gothard’s effects in the following thread.

    Gothard is not responsible for actions other then his own. He does not create pedophiles, but his philosophy, nurtures and excuses sexual desire, while condemningthe same. I am convinced it will leave a personemotionally unstable, with potentiallydevastating results. This post brought that theory, into real-time.

    I consider Gothard one of the greatest frauds of the Church.
    The harm it brought me was the expulsion from Christian school. I did not understand the evolving hostile stance of the Administration and unaware it had a source in an Evangelical leader.

    I was accused of a negative attitude. Unfortunately, our family was beholden to Fundamentalist thought. My parents moved me out of the house. This was a deeply depressing time.

    It was hard, but I was vaccinated against Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts.

    I am so sorry, that’s terrible. It’s amazing how that one evil man could cause so many to sin against their own loved ones. So much destruction emanated from that one source!

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