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Jul 11 2014

Church Hires Sex Offender. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next.

New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky hired Pastor Roy Neal Yoakem to be their minister despite the fact that he was a convicted sex offender for molesting an 8 year old boy in 2005. And despite the clickbait-mimicking headline, I’m sure you will all easily believe what happened next:

The Gallatin Police Department said in a statement this week that 46-year-old Pastor Roy Neal Yoakem had been arrested Monday on charges of aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure, statutory rape by an authority figure and fugitive from justice, The Tennessean reported.

Yoakem is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy once inside New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky, and once at his home in Gallatin, Tennessee.

But God had forgiven him for that, so it’s all okay:

New Gospel Outreach Church Interim Pastor Stephen Bratcher told WZTV that he was “shocked” to hear of the allegations, even though church leaders knew Yoakem was a registered sex offender when they hired him.

Bratcher asserted that the church had determined that the previous allegations of sexual assault were false.

“Kentucky State Police was contacted, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office was contacted,” Bratcher said. “You know, about the legality, and they — the troopers over at the Bolling Green post — said that they contacted the sex offenders branch, and they said there’s nothing illegal about it.”

He added that he was “not in a position to judge anyone.”

“We’re firm believers in the Bible so if God’s forgiven you, then we’re in no position to treat you otherwise,” Bratcher explained to WBKO last month.

Well sure. Screw the children, literally and figuratively. If only the victim had been a fetus, maybe they’d care.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    raven

    Xians aren’t better, just forgiven. (They say this often.)

    They have a Get Out of Jail Free card. And use it often. It mostly only works in heaven though.

    And that is reason 1,009 why xian morality is an oxymoron.

  2. 2
    Chiroptera

    What? No “ministerial exception”? What if the church has a “sincerely held religious belief” that etc. etc.

  3. 3
    blf

    What? No “ministerial exception”? What if the church has a “sincerely held religious belief” that etc. etc.

    They are (probably) not a corporation, (probably) don’t give millions to the thugs, and (probably) don’t have a direct line to “justices”. So no exception for them…

  4. 4
    dhall

    I wonder if God’s forgiveness works for the 14-year-old and his family, if they’re okay with what the interim pastor said, or if maybe this has shaken their faith just a bit.

  5. 5
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    Gee, do you suppose they figure–”if the catlicks can get away with it, why can’t we?”

  6. 6
    machintelligence

    From 2011:

    A Scottsville pastor is accused of embezzling $300,000 from New Gospel Outreach Church.
    Billy Owen Minix, 42, 59 Cherokee Drive in Scottsville, was charged Tuesday with theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, according to Allen Circuit Court records.

    They sure know how to pick them.

  7. 7
    Pteryxx

    from Libby Anne: When Evangelicalism Makes Things Easy for Sexual Offenders—and Hard for Their Victims

    and followup: The Limits of Forgiveness

    In the first she quotes yet another blogger with firsthand experience:

    Through this whole process, I learned that much is required of those victimized, while little is asked of sex offenders. When my husband began to spin his story, it was received with affirmations of how courageous he was. He was even placed on the worship team within a few months of his confessions.

    In contrast, I was expected to never be angry, bitter, or wrestle with forgiveness. I needed to heal quickly and quietly. And, of course, I couldn’t ever question his “recovery.” His was a wondrous redemption story, and to question his trustworthiness was to question God’s work in his life.

    It’s a circular argument practically designed for victim-blaming. The predators get nothing but confirmation and reinforcement while the whole community joins in silencing whoever speaks up or even expresses concerns. Of course it’s the same dynamic as in society in general, just with the God-authority stamp for extra validation.

  8. 8
    karmacat

    Have they never heard of people lying?

  9. 9
    grumpyoldfart

    @karmacat #8

    They know all about people lying but they are also certain that they are too smart to ever be fooled by a liar.

  10. 10
    Trebuchet

    Cue the right blaming it all on teh gayz in 3…2…1…

  11. 11
    lldayo

    @karmacat

    Christians don’t lie because it’s a sin, dontchaknow.

  12. 12
    Richard Bartholomew

    >He added that he was “not in a position to judge anyone.”

    A shame Bracher didn’t take advice from some sensible guidelines for churches aboutchild protection and safeguarding. Pretty much standard over here now.

  13. 13
    Synfandel

    @4, dhall wrote, “I wonder if God’s forgiveness works for the 14-year-old and his family, if they’re okay with what the interim pastor said, or if maybe this has shaken their faith just a bit.”

    You see, that’s the cool thing about Christianity. You don’t need the forgiveness of your victim; you just need God’s forgiveness. And he’s a bit of a pushover.

  14. 14
    D. C. Sessions

    You see, that’s the cool thing about Christianity. You don’t need the forgiveness of your victim; you just need God’s forgiveness. And he’s a bit of a pushover.

    Well, he pretty much does as he’s told.

  15. 15
    sabrekgb

    @5 Nancy

    Do you mean “Catholics”?

  16. 16
    Al Dente

    sabrekgb @15

    For the pun-impaired, a term for Catholics is “catlicks”. Say both words out loud and you’ll notice a relationship.

    Why did you ask?

  17. 17
    sigurd jorsalfar

    If God’s forgiven you? How do they know? Does God issue a certificate?

  18. 18
    tfkreference

    He used to issue certificates, until that pesky Martin Luther came along.

  19. 19
    democommie

    @18:

    Well, you’re right so far as Marty and the Schismatics go, but for the cath-o-licks it was still business as usual, selling indulgences until–well, they still do it. No divorce in the RCC but who needs it when you can have the whole thing expunged with an annulment?

  20. 20
    democommie

    @6:

    “Scottsville, was charged Tuesday with theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, according to Allen Circuit Court records.”

    If the kid or his parents find a good lawyer, that $10K is gonna look like a pimple on The Great Buddha of Kamakura’s ass.

  21. 21
    smrnda

    Is there some way that the church, by knowingly placing such a person into a position of authority over minors could be treated as accomplices?

  22. 22
    thebookofdave

    Well, let’s hope the next church that hires Yoakem makes sure he really really repents and gets confirmation of forgiveness from Jesus and the Holy Ghost, before putting him in charge of the Youth Group.

  23. 23
    dragon

    Ildayo @11

    Christians don’t lie because it’s a sin, dontchaknow.

    Of course they don’t. They lie for completely different reasons.

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