I am certainly not a fan of religion and particularly the way children are conditioned to avoid critical thought. I am even more against sex-offenders. What really upsets me is sex-offending preachers who are allowed to continue to preach and maintain moral authority from their pulpit. My dislike goes even deeper for the people who empower the offender. This is the big issue with the child-abuse in the catholic church–the hierarchy supported the offenders, and people continue to give money to the church.
Today’s story of paedophilia in the pulpit comes from a Florida church where the answer to having a sex-offender in the pulpit was to ban children from the congregation. Again, I normally tend to think that keeping children out of church is a positive step, but it is the message this action sends that makes it so obnoxious.
In 2009, Darrell Gilyard pleaded guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation. The victims were underage girls in his congregation at Shiloh Baptist Church.
In the past few weeks, Gilyard began preaching at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on the Northside…
Since joining Christ Tabernacle on North Davis Street, the congregation has had to adapt to changes. Under the terms of Gilyard’s release, court documents show he is not allowed to have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old.” The church agreed to ban children from Sunday service.
Most of the sermons I have ever heard talk about actions and how to put morality behind those actions. Whether I agree with that morality or not, it is generally the role of pastors to provide that leadership to their flock. The congregation in turn, attends a particular church because they support their pastor. In this particular case, the congregation essentially said that Gilyard was suitable as a moral leader and authority to the community.
I would not accept any known paedophile as a moral authority on anything. Of course, neither he nor his supporters are ‘true’ Christians.