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Fundy Walk of Shame: Scandals and Crimes


Bethella

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15 hours ago, Briefly said:

Looks like they did the "pity poor me" act to explain the abuse.  But fortunately the judge did not buy their act.  They are at least going to prison, although I think that the sentence should be much longer.

I still think it amounts to a slap on the wrist for serious and sustained abuse.  Plea bargain or not, I wish sentences were much longer.  Those were Alford pleas, meaning the Ns admitted no guilt.  And they are blaming the victims even as they are sentenced.

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Sounds like an SBC leader was doing something he wasn't supposed to...

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ASHVILLE — Frank S. Page, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, has resigned from his top role in the largest Protestant denomination in America because of a "morally inappropriate" relationship. 

Page, the president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee, stepped down Tuesday from the leadership role and retired from active ministry, according to the Baptist Press, an official publication of the Nashville-based denomination. 

"As a result of a personal failing, I have embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom," Page said in a statement released through the Baptist Press. 

"Out of a desire to protect my family and those I have hurt, I initially announced my retirement earlier today without a complete explanation," Page said. "However, after further wrestling with my personal indiscretion, it became apparent to me that this situation must be acknowledged in a more forthright manner. It is my most earnest desire in the days to come to rebuild the fabric of trust with my wife and daughters, those who know me best and love me most."

 

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Really not much in the way of details on Frank Page. Apparently he announced retirement on Monday, but by Tuesday had been pressured to make the "personal failing" statement (which is still rather inadequate, IMO).

This is a big deal IMO.

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5 hours ago, apple1 said:

Really not much in the way of details on Frank Page. Apparently he announced retirement on Monday, but by Tuesday had been pressured to make the "personal failing" statement (which is still rather inadequate, IMO).

This is a big deal IMO.

Yes, it's a very big deal.

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2 minutes ago, Briefly said:

Yes, it's a very big deal.

SBC has 47,000+ churches with 15million+ members in the US. Page was the president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. Yes, definitely a big deal.

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55 minutes ago, apple1 said:

SBC has 47,000+ churches with 15million+ members in the US. Page was the president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. Yes, definitely a big deal.

We belong to a Southern Baptist church. It's not quite like the ones I've been to previously, it's a lot more relaxed. But I still want to go back to the United Methodist church and may make the switch. Until then, we refer to our church as being Southern Baptist in name only.  But that is a very serious situation.

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Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board has a post up on Page's resignation. 

Interesting discussion, including the fact that there is more than one version of his resignation statement.

It looks as though he'd thought to go quietly into that lucrative retirement career of preaching good night but then someone blew his cover.

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7 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board has a post up on Page's resignation. 

Interesting discussion, including the fact that there is more than one version of his resignation statement.

It looks as though he'd thought to go quietly into that lucrative retirement career of preaching good night but then someone blew his cover.

Julie Anne is fantastic.  Can someone start a new thread on QoS for this one if they haven't already.  I agree with @apple1 and @Briefly that is is a very big deal, and discussion shouldn't be hidden in this thread.

I'd do it myself but I'm not up to speed on the details and need to do other things today.

Edited by Palimpsest
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Another one

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A prominent Houston pastor and spiritual adviser to President George W. Bush has been indicted on federal charges that he sold millions of dollars in worthless Chinese bonds to elderly and vulnerable investors, according to federal authorities.

Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, 64, and Shreveport financial planner Gregory Alan Smith, 55, were charged with 13 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

Caldwell is accused of using his position as the senior pastor of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church to help lure nearly $3.5 million in investments into historic Chinese bonds that are not recognized by the Chinese government. He and Smith told investors they could see returns as high as 15 times their initial investment, according to the indictment

The charges, filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, accuses the men of cheating 29 investors between April 2013 and August 2014 for the bonds, which are described in the indictment as “mere collectible memorabilia.”

Republicans sure attract the finest people.  Especially in spiritual advisors. 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/30/in-an-age-of-trump-and-stormy-daniels-evangelical-leaders-face-sex-scandals-of-their-own/?utm_term=.0b39a350b50f

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... Some fear that women are still being discredited in a climate in which a high majority of white evangelicals support Trump despite the multiple sexual harassment and misconduct allegations he has faced. Nearly 8 in 10 white evangelicals approve of Trump’s job performance, compared with 39 percent of all Americans, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

“[Trump’s supporters] seem enthralled to his approach to life. They seem completely untroubled by the … women who accused Trump of harassment or assault,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “For some large number of white evangelical men, there seems to be an attitude toward women that’s disturbing and not biblical.”

Wehner says he fears the “circling of the wagons” approach toward protecting leaders instead of victims.

“A lot of people are going to think it’s laced with hypocrisy,” he said. “They say one thing and do another. And that the faith is not transformative, faith is just a proxy for political tribalism. It doesn’t transform lives in the way it should.”

Scott Thumma, a professor of sociology of religion at Hartford Seminary who studies megachurches, said he doesn’t believe that scandals take place in bigger churches more than they do in smaller ones, but that we hear about them more...

There is really nothing new here (i.e. no new scandal that has not already been discussed), but rather a fairly good discussion of a very unfortunately seeming pattern, plus the drawing of some (dotted) lines of connection between evangelicalism and Trump support.

It's very troubling to me.

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Alan Smith, aka Bret Alan Smith Junior, has pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation.  He's the son of fundy patriarch and self-styled "Captain" Bret Smith, who has been awful about the whole thing.  Alan has been in jail for 20 months for child abuse and incest, and it was pretty clear from the start that the evidence against him was unquestionable.  He'd married Katie Morton and had 7 children, and ETA two of his three sisters married Morton sons - it's been really telling how all the S'Mortons have publicly supported Katie and her kids, while "Captain" Bret and his equally-awful wife have been making worse and worse posts about how one shouldn't believe all one reads, and with the thinly veiled message that their daughters are the REAL sinners for not forgiving Alan...  even though he was claiming innocence all the way. 

The full, sorry story starts here:

 

Edited by Lurky
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46 minutes ago, Lurky said:

Alan Smith, aka Bret Alan Smith Junior, has pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation.  He's the son of fundy patriarch and self-styled "Captain" Bret Smith, who has been awful about the whole thing.  Alan has been in jail for 20 months for child abuse and incest, and it was pretty clear from the start that the evidence against him was unquestionable.  He'd married Katie Morton and had 7 children, and ETA two of his three sisters married Morton sons - it's been really telling how all the S'Mortons have publicly supported Katie and her kids, while "Captain" Bret and his equally-awful wife have been making worse and worse posts about how one shouldn't believe all one reads, and with the thinly veiled message that their daughters are the REAL sinners for not forgiving Alan...  even though he was claiming innocence all the way. 

Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear he pleaded. One minor correction, Alan and Katie have 8 kids.

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Trigger warning:  sexual abuse

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Acton Bowen is a self-described "star evangelical preacher" and best-selling (self-published) author from Alabama that no one outside Alabama had ever heard of before he was arrested early last week on charges of "second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree sex abuse." The victim was a boy over the age of 12 and under the age of 16.

More at https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/04/16/26047270/acton-bowen-update-what-part-of-one-man-one-woman-for-life-didnt-mrs-bowen-understand

This was interesting...

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As a second means of ensuring the sexual integrity of the ministry was protected, Dodd and Garmon requested that Acton implement an advanced version of the Billy Graham Rule which they called the "Guardian Policy."

"We requested that he never be alone with any female other than his wife. And we requested that he never be alone with a male minor which I considered to be someone under 16 years old,'' Garmon said. "I was told that these minimums were being followed. Yet, in light of the allegation, it appears that the Guardian Policy was not always honored."


 

 

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2 hours ago, Lurky said:

As a second means of ensuring the sexual integrity of the ministry was protected

Wat.

Did these guys have a reason to think that Acton Bowen needed constant supervision?  If they were that worried about his moral weaknesses, why keep him at the head of the ministry?  Or do they just think that all men are powerless to resist the Call of the Peen, because that belief says more about Dodd and Garmon than about men in general.

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1 minute ago, FullOfGravy said:

Did these guys have a reason to think that Acton Bowen needed constant supervision?  If they were that worried about his moral weaknesses, why keep him at the head of the ministry?  Or do they just think that all men are powerless to resist the Call of the Peen, because that belief says more about Dodd and Garmon than about men in general.

Yeah, basically they didn't trust him around young men, or around any women at all.  Or on the computer, because

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he had a program on his computer called "Covenant Eyes" that automatically sent online viewing reports to a designated accountability buddy—Josh Dodd, a board member of his church, since resigned—in order "to protect Bowen from any allegation that he had viewed or was viewing pornography."

And yeah, no idea if that was because they didn't trust him, or any men, but the implications of either of those beliefs, even before his despicable crimes, paint a pretty scary view of that church.

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23 hours ago, Lurky said:

And yeah, no idea if that was because they didn't trust him, or any men, but the implications of either of those beliefs, even before his despicable crimes, paint a pretty scary view of that church.

Yep.  I'm inclined to think that they may have had reason not to trust him though.  He was a youth minister at another church before this one, and 4 more victims (now adult) have come forward. They suspect many more.  http://abc3340.com/news/local/acton-bowen-jailed-on-new-molestation-charges-in-etowah-county 

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Bowen had worked as a youth minister nearly a decade ago at the CrossPoint Community Church before it closed. There he worked closely with students from Coosa Christian School where he also graduated. Bowen has spent much of his adult life mentoring young children according to his father,.

"Parents encourage their children to be in Acton's presence and Acton's guidance and Acton's ministry because Acton has a passion for what he does and it's a God-given gift."

His wife was granted immediate temporary possession of their home and there are mutual restraining orders.  No contact "or behavior intended to harass, threaten or intimidate the other."

However, he's now back in jail because of the new charges.  No word yet on whether he will be allowed bail this time.

Edited by Palimpsest
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I was really interested to learn about the accountability buddy software, "Covenant Eyes."  Has anyone here ever heard of or discussed it elsewhere?  I wonder why Josh Dodd resigned.  And, of course, the attorneys for Acton Bowen are saying all the victims are liars before they've even investigated.

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4 hours ago, CTRLZero said:

I was really interested to learn about the accountability buddy software, "Covenant Eyes."  Has anyone here ever heard of or discussed it elsewhere?

Not sure if itʻs been discussed here but have heard & read of it -- they obviously market to fundies.

 

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2 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

Not sure if itʻs been discussed here but have heard & read of it -- they obviously market to fundies.

 

I must say, for people who often complain about the government having too much say in their lives, Fundies could give Police States some pointers in controlling citizens.

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I wonder how many Fundy types use Covenant Eyes & similar products to pass the blame when they are caught sinning?   Like, I've been straying by looking on bad websites/watching porn, and my accountability buddy didn't stop me, so now I've gone further, and I never would if they'd have done their job right etc etc

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Wow for only an extra few US dollars a month the Covenant Eyes service gives family protection on unlimited devices! Wonder why the Duggar's haven't started using this instead of forcing all the men to have flip-phones! Plus it would be perfect for a certain Duggar member...ehem Joshley

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17 hours ago, FrumperedCat said:

Wow for only an extra few US dollars a month the Covenant Eyes service gives family protection on unlimited devices! Wonder why the Duggar's haven't started using this instead of forcing all the men to have flip-phones! Plus it would be perfect for a certain Duggar member...ehem Joshley

But then they would have to admit that there might be a problem. Instead of the perfection they pretend to have.

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