As if we needed more proof of the detrimental effect deep religious faith can have on one’s ability to think critically there’s the following news item out of Texas. A woman is suing the pastor of her church after her attempts at receiving spiritual guidance led to his using Biblical verses to forcibly spank and rape her:
According to the lawsuit filed by former church member Davina Kelly, she went to Mr. Allen for spiritual counseling in November 2001. At the sessions, he would talk to her and assign her biblical passages. If she didn’t read them, she would be punished, she said.
Ms. Kelly, a 34-year-old mother of three, said Mr. Allen then gave her a Bible and asked her to turn to passages such as the one that yielded the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child.”
“It ended up being a lot of Scripture on spanking for the most part – parents disciplining their children,” she said in a February interview. “When he had me read them, it became obvious he meant for it to be spanking me.”
You’d think, assuming that this woman has more than a single kernel of candy corn for a brain, that this would be a major warning flag that perhaps this is not the spiritual guidance she is looking for. But perhaps it wasn’t immediately clear to this poor deluded woman at the time.
After the third meeting, she said, Mr. Allen told her to grab her ankles and swatted her once with a green wooden paddle.
“I felt a bit confused,” she said. “Afterward, he hugged me, told me he loved me. He just wanted me to obey.”
Here we have the second major warning flag that the dear pastor was interested in more than just her spiritual health. You’d think that’d be obvious at this point, but then you’d be under estimating the true power of faith!
The paddling escalated from there, she said, with Mr. Allen ordering her to pull down her jeans and then her underwear. Ms. Kelly said she was hesitant but believed so devoutly in Mr. Allen’s power that she viewed it as a spiritual father/daughter relationship.
“I looked at him as a man of God, my pastor,” she said. “I just revered him. I always thought he was hearing from God.”
It seemed wrong, but she just assumed God was telling him what to do so she went along with it. Makes perfect sense, if you have the brains of a trout.
Around March or April 2005, Mr. Allen made sexual advances and eventually added sex as part of her punishment, she said.
Because having sex with your pastor is a perfectly logical punishment for God to order upon someone, right? Perhaps we should be asking, “Who Would Jesus Do?”
What’s really amazing about this story is that since Ms. Kelly filed her lawsuit at least eight other women have come forward with similar accusations at least one of whom was 13 years old at the time she was assaulted. The pastor is accused of engaging in this behavior over a 25 year period and isn’t being charged with any criminal offenses at this point in time, though he has been suspended by the national body of the Church of God in Christ, which is something I suppose.