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Preachers Behaving Badly

This week, Barry C. Black, the government-appointed priest of the United States Senate, opened up a day of work in Congress with a religious ritual in which he spoke directly to a supernatural spirit. “Immortal and Invisible god,” Black said, “give our Senators the wisdom to place their confidence in you, instead of in national power and prestige.”

Should U.S. Senators place their confidence in Black’s god, rather than in the United States of America?

Let’s take a look at what some of those who placed confidence in Barry Black’s god have been up to.

In Huntsville, Alabama this week, Pastor Michael Walker of the Southside Baptist Church was arrested for helping a man cover up his sexual attacks on a 12 year-old girl.

A day later, Youth Pastor David Matthew Thorne of Goodyear Baptist Church in Picayune, Mississippi was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually molesting a girl in a church van.

That same morning, the Baltimore Sun reported that Catholic priest Fernando Cristancho of the St. Ignatius Church in Hickory, Maryland had been arrested for making and possessing child pornography including photographs of young boys.

Yesterday in North Carolina, WSOCTV reported the capture of John Yelton, a Christian preacher wanted for beating a 9 year-old girl also accused of physically assaulting several women and having sex with underage teenage girls.

Also yesterday, Youth Pastor Samuel Armand Sutter of the Openwater Church in Odessa, Florida pled guilty to charges of using psychological manipulation and physical force to pressure a teenage girl into having sex with him. “He used God as a weapon, fear as a weapon, her own beliefs as a weapon,” the victim’s mother said in court.

What religious practices they follow in their own private time is their business. However, I would rather that the federal government not hire and pay a priest to exhort our U.S. senators every morning to keep this kind of company.

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