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Supreme Court Likely To Define 1st Amendment Rights Of Churches

February 17, 2011 by  

Supreme Court likely to define 1st Amendment rights of churchesThe Supreme Court is expected to soon deliver its opinion on a 1st Amendment issue involving an Oregon-based pastor who sued his former employer, a church, for defamation of character.

According to OregonLive.com, pastor Tim Tubra was fired by the Vernonia Foursquare Church in 2004 after clergy officials accused him of "misappropriation of church funds." Tubra, who was never charged with a theft-related crime, filed a lawsuit against the church after he discovered that his former employer made its accusation public in a letter that was read aloud to the congregation.

A jury in Multnomah County sided with Tubra and awarded him $355,000 in damages, but the trial judge threw out the verdict because he said the court did not have jurisdiction over the church's freedom of religion rights granted by the 1st Amendment.

However, an Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the jury's original decision, ruling that the church's defaming statements were not religious in nature, according to the news provider. Appellate judge Rex Armstrong said that accusing a pastor of theft is no more or less a religious matter than "accusing a pastor of child molestation."

Brooksby Kaempf, the civil litigation firm representing the church, stated that the upcoming Supreme Court's decision could make a lasting mark on the 1st Amendment and the free exercise of religion.

"This case presents the Court with the opportunity to clarify this important Constitutional issue and to uphold the right of churches to manage their internal affairs without courts getting involved," said John Kaempf. 

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  • s c

    The flip side of this issue concerns the so-called separation of church and state. Most people think the issue has been decided, and that the government has dealt fairly with America’s churches.
    In fact, any church that relies on the government’s tax-free status will eventually learn what it really means. An American church that chooses ‘tax-free status’ has surrendered its right to be free from government influence. It is no different than declaring that the government (Caesar, the state) is the master of all churches.
    The government is being silent on the issue. When it chooses, it will declare that the true price of tax-free status means that every church that chooses to be “blessed” by the government will be OWNED by the government.
    This matter will not go away, and when it finally materializes, America’s apostate churches will have two choices.
    Government is no friend of any church. Good luck in trying to find a preacher, a rabbi or a priest who is willing to tell believers what is coming.

    • James

      S C, When Churches apply for, and receive, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, they agree to cease from all political activities. It’s written in the statute. If they want to become politically active, they must give up their tax-exempt privilege.

  • http://Safari John Flath

    No person nor any church leader has the right to SLANDER or commit libel against a person.
    I am glad he sued and won. The Supreme court will most likely rule in his favor in my opinion.
    this has NOTHING to do with religious freedom, period.
    To be honest, In my experience in life, I have come to the sincere conclusion that most church leaders in this country are pure cowards. they are in it for themselves.

    • eddie47d

      I agree this issue has nothing to do with religious freedom and not a whole lot to do with the 1st Amendment.It was an internal problem with embezzlement or at least the accusation. The congregation needed to be informed and they were.The Supreme Court shouldn’t be dragged into this individual churches internal accusations for there are bigger issues they need to deal with.Sounds more like a grudge match within the church and one player is out to get another and it should be handled locally.

    • Robin from Arcadia, IN

      John… No minister should ever steal from a church. The members trusted him and this is how he repays them?

      • Robert Smith

        Robin, why do you presume guilt?: “The members trusted him and this is how he repays them?”

        I don’t care about your religion. This is America. Folks aren’t guilty until prove so, not proclaimed so. Remember, religios organizations have a history of things like inquisitions. That doesn’t give me much reason to trust them.

        Rob

        • http://naver sook young

          Does the same go for the fatahs and jihads that have been waged by the muslims for centuries? Thank you.

          Sook Young
          Wife of the Samurai

          • Robert Smith

            Sure does sook. Many religions have abused humans and humanity. But, in America and most of Europe it’s been the christians. In this example of presumption of guilt it’s the christians who are guilty of not being Americans and jumping to a guilty verdict without charges even being filed.

            Rob

          • Granny Mae

            sook young,

            You have got to stop that !!! Your mind is running in the same groove as mine and everyone thinks I’m off! You don’t want to be thought of in the same manner !! LOL ! Love it. I have wondered for a long time why it doesn’t seem that the Muslims fall under the same separation of church and state in most things they do !

          • http://naver sook young

            Sorry Robert, but the church let the pastor go after he was found to be taking funds from the church (embezzlement). They could have called the police, but wanted to handle it quietly. I knew a nurse at my hospital that was fired for supposedly taking narcotics from the hospital. Instead of calling the police, which would have brought a bad reputation to the hospital and had patients go somewhere else for treatments, they sumply handed her a “pink slip” and called the board in Indianapolis. She also found out that by doing this, her license to practice as a nurse in Indiana was voided and she couldn’t work in Indiana anymore. Also, she would probably have a hard time finding a job as a nurse anywhere else. Don’t you think that this could be a jail without walls? Thank you.

            Sook Young
            Wife of the Samurai

            P.S. Remember Robert, the Crusades and the Inquisition were many centuries ago and are no longer going on, but the jihads of the muslims are currently still going on. The killing of people in Thailand, Israel, Christians in Iraq, Egypt, Lybia (One of the offices of a Korean company there was my cousin’s office.), and other places, have killed more people than any other religion on earth and you always talk bad about we Christians. Why? We have done nothing to you, so please stop with the biggoted attacks, rhetoric, and inuendo about Christians from the liberals. Thank you.

          • Robert Smith

            Awwww sook…

            You wonder: “you always talk bad about we Christians. Why?”

            Because some brands of christanity is clearly based in hate and bigotry. Others, like Bishop Spong, actually appear to be very good.

            Why do you hate so much and use your bible as a weapon?

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Rob, why are you continuing to be a moron? This Bishop Spong may be with the Catholic Church, but he doesn’t hold the same beliefs as are written in the Bible. You only mention him because he supports your stance on gays and abortion. Not really a good example to keep bringing up, now is he? You say that certain bands of Christians are a certain way? Which ones? Name them and cite a source or get off the site. My wife has already told you these things, but you wish to be ignorant and continue with your left wing extremist BS. My wife is right about you acting like a kid and need to grow up and get a life. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            Here goes samurai again… Too lazy to google something he makes things up. Let’s watch. “This Bishop Spong may be with the Catholic Church…”

            Wow! What a clear demonstration of self imposed ignorance from samurai. It only takes a few seconds to pick up from his website http://johnshelbyspong.com/about-bishop-spong/: “John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001.”

            samurai continues: “but he doesn’t hold the same beliefs as are written in the Bible.”

            Sure samurai… I’m supposed to believe YOUR interpritation of the bible you’ve already demonstrated as a corrupt and hateful excuse for bigotry and hate. I think I’ll believe Bishop Spong, who has dedicated his life to being a loving christian, not a hateful one.

            “You only mention him because he supports your stance on gays and abortion.”

            No samurai, I respect him and his version of christanity because he isn’t hateful. His seems to be a loving version of christanity.

            “Not really a good example to keep bringing up, now is he?”

            Spong’s version of loving christanity vs. the corruption and hate you spew samurai… I’ll vote that Spong is a true christian and you are simply using it as an excuse for hate.

            “You say that certain bands of Christians are a certain way?”

            I sure do.

            “Which ones?”

            Spong’s loving version of christanity.
            Robert Schuller’s trek in following christ.

            samurai demands: “Name them and cite a source or get off the site.”

            samurai, you are so intellectually lazy that I refuse to do your homework for you. It’s clear that you desire no enlightment but to that of your own version of a hateful god and your fear of his punishment. Consider respecting a diety rather than fearing them. It makes for a much happier life.

            “My wife has already told you these things…”

            I have doubts about sook. I think you and she are the same fingers on the keyboard. Same hate, same bullying, same name calling…

            samurai claims: “you wish to be ignorant and continue with your left wing extremist BS.”

            Nope. You can continue spewing your hate. I feel no need or desire to pray for you or any of your ilk.

            “My wife is right about you acting like a kid and need to grow up and get a life.”

            I don’t live in fear. I don’t call you names just because I think calling you a moron would be an insult to morons or whatever you are compared to. I have enough confidence in what I believe that I don’t need the help of anyone through laws or shooting people to support my religion.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Sorry moron! Wrong again! First of all, since my pastor is also anti gay and pro choice does this mean that he’s a hateful Christian? Granny Mae is right about you. You aren’t one with God, you’re against him. Second, just because I don’t agree with your wacked out left wing extremist beliefs does not mean I’m hateful. Just like a small minded moron to make a statement like that. If I ask yu to cite a source, I’m not being lazy, but want you to state facts and not these left wing rantings of yours. Do we have an understanding now? You did answer my questions about Bishop Spong, but when are you going to answer my other questions that I’ve posted? Third, my wife is real and we’ve been married for years. If you don’t believe me, then maybe she can do something that Obama bin Laden won’t do and provide a birth certificate. At least hers can be found, unlike Obama bin Laden’s that the governor of Hawaii can’t find. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • http://thelma_sisney@live.com Thelma

      The Church is required to follow what the bible teaches, It says if you have aught against our brother to take two or three witnesses and go to him and confront him. If he doesn’t listen, they are to take it to the whole body of the church.

      • Granny Mae

        Thelma,

        You know what I may have to rethink my responce. You are correct in saying that the bible tells us to take it before the church. If this guy wasn’t charged with a crime the church may have been trying to deal with this situation within the church. Hmmm ! Now I’m not so sure of what to think ! Darn it, now you will keep me awake all nite trying to figure this out in my own mind ! LOL ! Thanks for getting the old gears moving !

    • libertytrain

      John, I think you are correct. So many are very much like politicians who also appear to be all for one and only one, themselves.

    • Granny Mae

      The accused preacher has been just that, accused. No where do I see where he has been convicted and embezelment is a crime. He should have been arrested and charged with a crime and if he wasn’t then this whole thing is not just an internal affare and there should be no accusations as to his honesty. I agree with the judge ! Also remember folks that any laws pertaining to any church should also applt to the Muslim churches. Wonder how that is going to set with them?

      • Granny Mae

        Then again the church may have been trying to spare him all the problems of being arrested and may have just decided to handle it discreatly within the church. If that is the case they took the right course and did as the bible has instructed them.

        • Robert Smith

          Granny says: “If that is the case they took the right course and did as the bible has instructed them.”

          Slandering another is never the right course, even if your interpritation of your bible is involved.

          Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            She was talking about handling it in the church and not slander. Sorry moron, but you can’t spin this one. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            Slandering another still isn’t the right thing to do inside or outside a religion. Remember, most religions don’t reccomending lying.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            That’s true. I’ll agree with you about not slandering someone, but they did let him go for wrongdoing. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Dennis

    Now what does the Bible say about sueing another, I guess this guy is religin but is not a christian.

    • Kinetic1

      Dennis,
      Are you really going to accuse ALL Christians who sue another, no matter the level of the complaint, of being less than a true Christian? I dare say that the number of TRUE Christians will have dropped dramatically if that is the case.

  • home boy

    so does this mean that if that same priest was to kill someone on the churches property the courts would do nothing being that he is a priest and has religious rights? i know that sounds crazy but how far are the courts going to stretch this ruling?

    • Robert Smith

      Asked: “so does this mean that if that same priest was to kill someone on the churches property the courts would do nothing being that he is a priest and has religious rights?”

      That is EXACTLY what the church did when it came to molestation, home boy. They take care of their own “justice”. Those of us who aren’t of the flock have to be flocked before we are allowed to be involved.

      So many are so high and mighty. Time for them to realize they aren’t exclusive to this planet. Hold them accountable for their accusations.

      Rob

      • http://naver sook young

        You are very wrong Robert. You are just a hopelessly lost little child in this world. I hope that God does something to bring you back into reality. Thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

        • Robert Smith

          Very strange, sook. On one hand you claim that if folks need a helping hand in our society that they aren’t “entitled” to it (health care comes to mind). They need to “earn” their way in society.

          But for your version of christians you give whatever they want on a silver platter.

          Smith

          • http://naver sook young

            Why do you mention health care? This is not the subject, but since you wish to mention healthcare, I just want to say that the Congress has passed a bill to defund Obamacare. Thank goodness! Less government in our lives. Remember Robert, giving to help others should be done from the heart and not from our tax dollars. Thank you.

            Sook Young
            Wife of the Samurai

          • Robert Smith

            Let’s watch sook celebrate the deaths of those who won’t get health care: “Congress has passed a bill to defund Obamacare. Thank goodness!”

            And the dying continues. How christian (your version) of you.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Wrong again, moron! People die everyday in America, even if they do have health insurance. There are just some things that doctors can’t do when the human body is too sick or damaged to be repaired. If someone had a car accident and died, but had health insurance, what would you say then? Would you jump on someone who supported Obama bin Laden Care? Why do you support a program that has be deemed unconstitutional because it is a violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution? Sorry, but our Christian founding fathers didn’t put this into the Constitution, because they knew that something like this may happen. Government getting to be too big and out of control. You’re not entitled to anything you don’t earn. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            From samurai: “You’re not entitled to anything you don’t earn.”

            What has a fetus done to earn life? What entitles it to take from a woman without her permission?

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            RS says, “What has a fetus done to earn life? What entitles it to take from a woman without her permission?”

            That’s one of the dumbest statements, and criminal to boot, I’ve ever heard on this site.

            Sonny, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and a host of state laws guarantee that existence. One has no prospect for liberty and pursuit of happiness without LIFE. They are Natural Rights!

          • Robert Smith

            From vigelant: “the Constitution”

            Show me in the U.S. Constitution where anyone is entitled to “life.”

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            Try the Fifth Amendment, idiot.

            Notwithstanding the formalization of the concept in writing, the very existence of the Constitution is based on the ideals expressed by Jefferson in the Declaration. In the absence of the Declaration, and its commitment to Natural Rights, the Constitution would lose much of its moral authority, and would become, in Lincoln’s words, “a mere change of masters.”.

          • http://naver samurai

            Good job Vigilant! I guess you just made Robert look like a splatted bug on the windshield. Robert, how does it feel to get whomped on like that? Just like Obama bin Laden did on November 2, 2010? Her in Indiana, moron, there are state laws protecting the unborn. If a pregnant woman is killed and the baby dies also, that’s 2 or more counts of murder. You’ll be looking at the electric chair. Get your facts straight before you post. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Granny Mae

        Home boy and Robert Smith,
        Where did the two of you come up with this was a priest? Get a grip on reality for once !

        • Robert Smith

          OK, he was a pastor. But the priests STILL got a pass when they molested children and they can continue to be an abuse of how religion hides their evils.

          Rob

          • http://naver sook young

            What about the priests that were brought before judges in Boston in the 1990′s? Didn’t they have their day in court? Wasn’t at least one of them sentenced to jail? Thank you.

            Sook Young
            Wife of the Samurai

          • Robert Smith

            Child molestation and the church covering it up is serious. Too bad you appear to be more worried about gays who aren’t part of your religion.

            Rob

          • Granny Mae

            Robert Smith,
            Yes they did get a pass and in some instances that is still going on. The problem with this is that the children that were involved were afraid to speak out until years later and it seemed to take forever to get anything done. In the beginning the law and the church didn’t know what to do with these guys so they just tried to sweep it all under the rug. That never works! I’m not so sure today if we really know what to do with these people. But we must also keep in mind that this is not just something that is going on in the Catholic church. It goes on anywhere there are perverted minds and vulnerabl children ! It happens in the Boy scouts and in the schools in summer camps and everywhere there is a perverted mind ! A friend of mine had three little girls that came home one day and told her they got some candy from the man in the gas station on the corner. I asked the girls why he gave them candy and the answer was because he likes little girls. I became suspicious immediately and I said I bet he does, and told my friend to keep her kids away from that gas station. She was taken aback and then told the girls they were never to go there again. A few hours later she got a phone call from another mother whos girls were also with my friends girls and they were talking about what this man was doing with the girls. The mothers got together and took the girls to the doctor and all the girls except the very youngest had been penatrated. The police came the next day to the gas station and arrested tha man and eventually he was sent to prison for five years. Now the problem comes when the pervert gets out of jail and goes back to life as usual ! Next time he will be a lot more secretive about his actions. As I understand it from the words of a doctor , these people can not be rehabilitated. So they will do it again and again. If society doesn’t know what to do with these people what makes us think the church does? It is not a religious problem it is a problem of humanity and we need to truly find a way to deal with it that will prevent this ever happening again. The only way I can think of it to lock them up permanently, but that carry’s with it a lot of problems too.

          • Granny Mae

            Also it has been noted that this action was not done by gays, it was done by petophiles there is a difference ! I don’t much care one way or the other about gays. As long as they keep their actions to themselves they can do anything they want it is when they push it off on my sensibilities that I get upset then I will call them as they are a reprobate !

          • Robert Smith

            Posted: ” But we must also keep in mind that this is not just something that is going on in the Catholic church.”

            Correct, such actions with pedophiles can occur anywhere.

            However, it was the catholic church that covered it up and passed the priests on to pray again on little kids. Mostly in other organizations immediate action is taken and they are expelled from the organization. That is the difference between the church and the rest. And, for that (because they didn’t do anything but get them out of town into a new church) is why they are being held responsible as an organization. Even in Springfield, MA, they protected suspected murderer, former priest and convicted sex offender Richard R . Lavigne.

            BTW, the church has tried for decades to treat these abusive priests in centers like Southdown near Toronto, St. Luke Institute in Maryland, and the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT. It was pure huberis of the church to believe that they could take care of the problem themselves. Molesters are criminals and what’s that saying… What do I keep hearing from the right wing… Oh I remember: They must be held responsible for their actions.

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            Rob, “But the priests STILL got a pass when they molested children and they can continue to be an abuse of how religion hides their evils.”

            Your sly insertion of the word “religion” instead of “the church” gives you away.

            Religion covers up nothing, spirituality covers up nothing, it’s the church as an organized political entity that covers up. You secular humanists use the actions of human frailty to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In equating “the church” with “religion,” you show not only your poor powers of logic, you engage in intellectually dishonest discussions.

            Whatever your hatred of religion may be, that’s between you and the wall, but don’t confuse the lofty tenets of Christianity with the obviously selfish motives of the human animal.

          • Robert Smith

            Viggelant says: “it’s the church as an organized political entity that covers up.”

            So much for infallability. BTW, several have wanted to depose the pope and none has been able, yet.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            So what Rob. Many have been trying to get your ignorant arse off of this site and haven’t succeeded yet. We will though. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    My first thoughts on this article was that the church elders / managers decided against bringing criminal charges against this minister, but felt they owed the congregation an explanation to his leaving. If he was already a thief, then suing the church for slander wouldn’t be a surprising event. This man needs to get himself right with God. I think the congregation was being compassionate; he is not only at fault for stealing from them, but taking them to court and getting a judgment awarded to him is despicable.

    • Kinetic1

      Robin,
      So he is guilty because the church elders are above reproach? I have been in the middle of a situation not unlike this one. I have seen one person fired based on false claims by the head pastor, and another to avoid “issues” that might arise over the firing of the first person. There was no justice here. This was not an infallible act of God. I don’t know the details of this case, but why would you assume that the church must have been right in their decision?

      Of course the Pastor may be guilty in this case. If so, I see every reason why he should be asked to leave, but little reason why knowledge of the crime had to go beyond the elders. If they are so certain of his guilt, if they have the proof and wish to make it known, then it is their responsibility to the community to report his actions to the police. If their evidence is not sufficient to prove more than a strong suspicion, but enough to give them reason to no longer trust him, then they should have asked him to leave and kept their mouth’s shut.

      • Vigilant

        Kinetic, we find ourselves in agreement. Worship services are public, to the best of my knowledge, and slanderous statements are punishable.

        The charge was slander, a jury found the church guilty and made a monetary award to the plaintiff. I have to surmise that the church would have prevailed if they could have furnished evidence to prove their slander, which they did not.

        The connection with “freedom of religion” is tenuous to nonexistant in this case. It was a civil action, it was adjudicated and resolved. End of story.

    • Teresa

      Robin, You are one judgemental person! First off, NO CHURCH should EVER speak before the whole church if they “claim” someone stole from the church. The deacons should have met w/the man and handled it morally and legally if necessary. But for you to stand here and pass judgement is WRONG. AND….because this happens in a lot of churches, in a lot of different religions and faiths it makes it harder to get people into church to worship the Lord because people are judging the CHURCH not trying to find THEIR OWN PATH to God! So instead of you judging, you should be praying! You know I watched a show (samuel jackson and tommy lee jones) and Samuel Jackson gave the best description to finding salvation I ever heard……
      Do you know what it takes to have ever-lasting life, to feel it inside you, the warmth of it, hear it, know you will always have it???
      Jesus says I want you to take your arms and open them up and wrap them around everyone, no matter what color, how stinky, regardless if they want don’t believe you, YOUR ENEMIES, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, and I want you to accept them and love them… Are you willing to do that??? But oh if you can…..the holy spirit that fills your soul is undescribable!

  • Robert Smith

    Let’s watch Robin presume guilt: “If he was already a thief, then suing the church for slander wouldn’t be a surprising event.”

    And if he wasn’t guilty he should have just let the accusation stand?

    Churches are social organizations with lots of money. It doesn’t surprise me that someone could lie to screw another.

    Rob

    • Robin from Arcadia, IN

      Robert… Maybe the church should have pressed charges. Then if he was found guilty none of this would be in the news right now. You are right, I don’t know if he was guilty, but I feel the congregation should have been informed of why he was let go. And when they were told, somehow it was decided not to bring him up on charges. My take on this was they were being compassionate. Of course if he wasn’t guilty then he deserved the award from the courts.

      • Robert Smith

        He’s already won in the courts. According to the laws of America he is not guilty.

        Rob

        • Granny Mae

          Robert Smith,

          The court wasn’t judging his guilt or innocence, they were deciding whether he was slandered because his situation was told in church. He was awarded the money because the court said he was slandered by the church making known their reason for fireing him. No one has decided his guilt and even if they did and they found him guilty the first court decission would stand and he would still be allowed to keep the money because it had nothing to do with his guilt or innocence of a crime only that he was slandered in the courts opinion.

          • Robert Smith

            Granny says: “No one has decided his guilt…”

            Sure it was decided. It was then announced before the congrigation.

            That was WRONG and they should pay for it.

            Rob

          • Granny Mae

            Robert,
            It was not wrong for the church to accuse him of wrong doing it was their mistake to announce it in church without having filed charges against him first. I bet that church doesn’t do that again. If they find wrong doing they will call the cops first, or they should anyway !

          • Robert Smith

            Granny says: “If they find wrong doing they will call the cops first, or they should anyway !”

            Correct, but for the one they DID slander they must pay.

            Rob

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Robert,
      You are sadly mistaken. There are MANY churches out there that are far from rich! Who’s being judgmental now???

      • http://naver sook young

        By how much Robert attacks the church and anything Christian, as far as I’m concerned, his posts are just baseless rantings against God, Jesus, and the church. Also, I agree with Joe H. Our church isn’t rich. There are only 100 parishioners at our church and none of them make lots of money either. If I remember right, when they accused a priest in Boston of wrongdoing they had him appear before a judge to answer the charges against him. So does this sound like the church’s own justice? Thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

        • Robert Smith

          Here goes sook trying to lie again. Let’s watch: “By how much Robert attacks the church and anything Christian,”

          Nope. Not “anything christina.” Just YOU brutal version of christanity. You can check with christians like Bishop Spong (who performs same sex marriages) an I think he’s not the same as your hateful version.

          From sook: ” as far as I’m concerned, his posts are just baseless rantings against God, Jesus, and the church.”

          The god, jesus, and church you represent (or misrepresent).

          “Also, I agree with Joe H. Our church isn’t rich.”

          But some are. The one making the accusations had enough to think it’s worth making an accusation without a trial. In
          America folks aren’t guilty until it is proven in a court of law. YOUR church is NOT above that.

          “There are only 100 parishioners at our church and none of them make lots of money either.”

          Doesn’t look like your god gives you much power to do anything but hate.

          “If I remember right, when they accused a priest in Boston of wrongdoing they had him appear before a judge to answer the charges against him. So does this sound like the church’s own justice?”

          The priests in Boston were accused of child molestation and they were found responsible to the tune of millions of dollars.

          Rob

      • Robert Smith

        Joe says: “There are MANY churches out there that are far from rich…”

        This incident was about allegedly stolen funds. Well, misappropriated. ROFL…

        Many churches out there ARE rich.

        Rob

        • http://naver sook young

          Once you concider what a church does with the money they receive, then you know that they aren’t rich in money. They are rich in more important ways. Thank you.

          Sook Young
          Wife of the Samurai.

          • Robert Smith

            sook says: “Once you concider what a church does with the money they receive, then you know that they aren’t rich in money.”

            Many churches are paying off molestation related debts.

            Don’t you think it was bad for priests to abuse kids and for the church to cover it up?

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Anyone who harms a child in anyway is wrong in what they are doing. No matter skin tone, religion, gender, or nationality. This I agree with you, but if you believe this way then why do you always cry out to support abortion? Isn’t abortion abusing a child and the mother carrying the baby? You can’t have it both ways, moron! Abusing children is abusing children no matter how much spin you put on it. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            Nice twist samurai, but false because your premis is baseless: ” but if you believe this way then why do you always cry out to support abortion? Isn’t abortion abusing a child and the mother carrying the baby?”

            It ain’t necessarily a “baby.” What is gestating isn’t a baybe anymore than an acorn that will grow into a tree that will eventually be made into a house is a house. In fact it isn’t even as complete as an acorn because it can’t gestate itself.

            Besides, you proclaim that you shouldn’t have someone living in your house unless you invite them. I’ve often seen on these forums that folks are willing to KILL someone who comes into their house to simply take what they want.

            How can you justify what is gestating can take from a woman without her permission?

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            Rob,

            You have such an enthusiasm to once again show that you have absolute disdain for both life and religion.

            Your hiding behind some clinical argument that a human fetus is not any form of life deserving special consideration shows only one thing: a bankruptcy of spirit. FYI, a heartbeat can be detected at 4-7 weeks, although I know that means nothing to you.

            You may think your life rich and meaningful, and you are entitled to that view, but you are a poor representative of the human race IMHO. You neither recognize the promises of the Declaration of Independence regarding the sanctity of all human life, you dishonestly take the actions of frail humans in positions of church authority, and illogically extrapolate to a false conclusion that, ergo, all religion is bad.

            We can only desire that, when you come to the end of your life (and hopefully long before that), you will have gained some understanding, some wisdom, concerning the fact that life is much more than a materialistic competition between players who consider their gains on a scale of dollars and cents.

            You may, with luck, also begin to comprehend that the meaningful and worthy things in life are not those things you can see, touch or manipulate. They are the unseen mysteries, compassion, responsibilities to our fellow human beings, forgiveness, kindness, etc., all those things and values, in short, promulgated by Christianity and rejected by people of your sort.

            I cannot help saying I feel sorry for you.

          • Robert Smith

            From vigelant: “You have such an enthusiasm to once again show that you have absolute disdain for both life and religion.”

            Nope. Wrong again vigelant. Some religion yes, I certainly do have distain for those that thrive on hate and corruption of their proclaimed holy volumes. But there are others that have my respect. I’ve already mentioned Bishop Spong and those like him. Loving Christians. There are others, like Bahai’.

            “Your hiding behind some clinical argument that a human fetus is not any form of life deserving special consideration shows only one thing: a bankruptcy of spirit.”

            Actually there are many religious folks who also support free choice. After all, isn’t that what the christian god allegedly did? Who are you to take that away? There is even an organization called “Catholics For Choice.” I don’t think their spirits are stained in any way.

            I suggest that you read: “The Truth about Catholics and Abortion”

            It can be found at: http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/documents/TruthaboutCatholicsandAbortion.pdf

            Vrom vigelant: “a heartbeat can be detected at 4-7 weeks, although I know that means nothing to you.”

            You are correct… So? Many animals have a heartbeat.

            “You may think your life rich and meaningful, and you are entitled to that view, but you are a poor representative of the human race IMHO.”

            You are certainly entitled to your opinion, just as I’m entitled to ignore it.

            You neither recognize the promises of the Declaration of Independence regarding the sanctity of all human life,”

            Correct, I don’t. I recognize that as a document sent to a despot by a bunch of folks who wanted to be independant of being told what to do.

            “dishonestly take the actions of frail humans in positions of church authority, and illogically extrapolate to a false conclusion that, ergo, all religion is bad.”

            Nope, I pointed out the difference between the way the Catholic Church handled pedophelia by covering it up and how other orgnaizations, even religious ones, cooperate with authorities and send the evil doers to jail.

            “We can only desire that, when you come to the end of your life (and hopefully long before that), you will have gained some understanding, some wisdom, concerning the fact that life is much more than a materialistic competition between players who consider their gains on a scale of dollars and cents.”

            I don’t do that so don’t worry about it.

            “You may, with luck, also begin to comprehend that the meaningful and worthy things in life are not those things you can see, touch or manipulate. They are the unseen mysteries, compassion, responsibilities to our fellow human beings, forgiveness, kindness, etc., all those things and values, in short, promulgated by Christianity and rejected by people of your sort.”

            Do you mean like the hate directed at gays, the allowing people to die without proper medical care, and now the legalized killing of OBGYN doctors. Yikes! Check out a law under consideration in South Dakota. That law would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote.

            Vigelant says: “I cannot help saying I feel sorry for you.”

            OK, you’ve said it. Now quit bugging me and trying to mess with my life.

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            “Quit bugging you?” This is a forum, you dolt, where you are free to read, not read, regard or disregard anything posted. Well, if I’m bugging you, excellent!

            Your reference to the SD proposed law shows your intellectual dishonesty. You might have added the following, from http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0217/1224290022312.html

            “Republicans hold strong majorities in the South Dakota house and senate, where many of the minority Democrats also oppose abortion rights.” Not purely a Republican thing, as you wished to have us believe.

            Or perhaps, “There have been no abortion providers in the state since 1994, though the Planned Parenthood group flies a doctor into Sioux Falls once a week to see patients.” All I can say is, “good work, South Dakota!”

            And again you say, “Some religion yes, I certainly do have distain for those that thrive on hate and corruption of their proclaimed holy volumes. But there are others that have my respect. I’ve already mentioned Bishop Spong and those like him. Loving Christians. There are others, like Bahai’.”

            Your answer shows once again you have no sense of distinction between “religion” and “Church” or those who claim to be Christian. Your logic is confused. To make it clear to your feeble mind: “Christianity” is a religion; among other things, it embodies the principles laid out by Christ as a way to conduct one’s life. The Church is a political structure, an organizational hierarchy of human beings nominally established to guide worshipers. Christians are people who usually belong to a church and try to conduct their lives in accordance with the principles of Christianity.

            There is a vast difference between these three categories, one you fail to understand/see/admit to. When you condemn a person or a church for acting in a certain way, you don’t stop there – for you that means the religion sucks. There are certainly none so blind as those who will not see.

            And lastly, in relation to the values promulgated by Christianity, “Do you mean like the hate directed at gays, the allowing people to die without proper medical care…?” No, I don’t mean that, and if you properly understood the difference in categories explained above, you would know that.

            Christianity does not advocate hatred of homosexuals, period. There are PERSONS who would go back to the Old Testament (such as that charlatan Ted Weiland) and claim that the Sharia Law-like provisions of Numbers and Leviticus still apply today, but the rest of the world has moved on. Nonetheless, you’ll find no hatred of homosexuals anywhere in the Bible.

            “Allowing people to die without proper medical care?” Sorry, that one’s almost laughable. No one dies in this country due to lack of medical care unless they refuse it. To say that Christianity advocates letting people die when medical care is available is the worst sort of dishonesty.

          • http://naver samurai

            Hate to burst your bubble moron, but the state of Ohio is legislating to say that if a baby has a heartbeat (As early as 4 weeks after conception), the woman cannot have an abortion. Indiana have passed laws against abortion also. For instance, the expectant mother must be told by her doctor that the baby has a heartbeat and is alive. They are even to have the mother listen to the baby’s heartbeat before considering an abortion. These things have cut the number of abortions in Indiana. Thank God that we have patriots, conservatives, and Christians in our state government. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • William Glammeyer

    I think the problem should of been handled like any other theft. If the ‘church’ did not bring any charges against him, then they should not of accused him to the rest of the congregation. If there was not any substantial evidence, then they should of just said that SOMEONE ‘allegedly’ took the money and not directly accuse any one person. Maybe he was guilty, maybe not. If he was the person in charge of the church’s money, then he would be the most reasonable SUSPECT. Supposedly, you are innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    The article never states if there was actual cash at the church or if it was in some type of bank account. If it was cash, then there could be a lot of people that could of taken it. Also, the article never stated how much was ‘misappropriated’ or if the church ever got their funds back. I would like to know if there is an ending to this story. I would like to hear all the facts before I make a decision.

    Just wondering.

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Randy 131

    Defamation of character has nothing to do with religion or its tenets. If the Church believed their accusations, they should have filed charges and let the Pastor have his day in court to refute the allegations. The Appelate Court was correct, and the Church should have known better than to accuse one as being guilty before proving it in a court of law. If the Church has proof, then take it to law enforcement and have them indict, or rescind their statements and pay up. A man’s reputation has great value, or at least it did before the liberal socialist took power in the USA.

    • William Glammeyer

      You got that right!!!

    • Robert Smith

      From Randy: “A man’s reputation has great value, or at least it did before the liberal socialist took power in the USA.”

      Do you mean like samurai and his wife and all their name calling to diminish “liberals” on this forum? Do you mean like all those christians who aren’t real “christians” because they don’t hate gays?

      Seems to me it’s the right that is working so hard to diminish others simply because “others” are different.

      Rob

      • Granny Mae

        No Robert, we mean like you ! You accuse everyone of everything, especially if you think they are christian. Get thee behind me devil. You have been seen and recognized for who you are and you have no power over us as we are children of God !

        • Robert Smith

          Awww Granny, join sook in the lying corner. You said: “especially if you think they are christian.”

          I don’t “think” I know Bishop Spong is christian. I don’t think any ill of him even if you don’t call him christian because he supports gay rights.

          Granny, YOU don’t get to decide who is christian.

          Rob

          • http://naver sook young

            You always mention Bishop Spong because he supports their immoral lifestyle. What if he didn’t? Would you still be saying the same things about him you do now? I don’t think so. I’ll agree that some people who claim to be Christians aren’t Christians, but you also can’t say who is a Christian because they support something you believe in. Look to have Obamacare, gay rights, and abortion taken out of the government and back on the shelves where they belong. If you think this makes me less of a Christian, so be it. I’d rather live by what God says and not by the ways of the liberals, Obama, and your leader Satan. I ask you to answer my questions. Be warned, because of my husband I have many sources at my disposal and I know that you don’t. Thank you.

            Sook Young
            Wife of the Samurai

          • Granny Mae

            Aww Robert,

            Your a christian basher and a gay lover and you can’t tell the difference between a lie and the truth. Poor soul I will pray for you. Yes I will pray for you and there is nothing you can do about it! If my prayer don’t help I hope you like the heat !

          • Robert Smith

            Let’s watch sook lie again: “and your leader Satan.”

            Nope. Satan is a christian thing and I’m not christian.

            Why do you keep lying about me sook?

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Sorry Rob, moron, but my wife doesn’t lie. You, on the other hand, are full of them and other things. I’ll join Granny Mae and pray for you too. Let’s see you try to stop me! 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            From samurai: “Let’s see you try to stop me!”

            Sure appears to be another example of bullying with your god.

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            People say they’re going to pray for him and he calls it “bullying.”

            My, my, a bit paranoid I’d say.

        • http://naver samurai

          You tell him Granny! You’re right and Rob is wrong as usual. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            Ritualistic canabalism… Oops, REAL canabalism with that transsubstanciation thing, and now spiritual rape.

            IMO what an awful hateful religion you have.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Rob, you are a moron! Why do you say such lies about communion and them say that praying for someone is bullying them? This just goes to show that you are full of BS and are nothing more than an antagonist. Next time try to post something worth debating. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • James

    So from what I read, if a church fires a pastor and don’t charge him with a crime they are NOT allowed to tell the congergation why he was fired? Just want to make sure I understand this

    • Robert Smith

      From James: “if a church fires a pastor and don’t charge him with a crime they are NOT allowed to tell the congergation why he was fired?”

      Should he have been fired without a day in court?

      It could have been handled discretely if there was even some circumstancial proof and they confronted him with it. He could have resigned with nothing said.

      But instead they went all high handed and put themselves ABOVE being in America where one is not guilty until proven guilty.

      Rob

      • Granny Mae

        That is not the case here in America courts ! Show me any court where you have ever seen someone presumed innocent and then the court has to prove you guilty! People spend their life savings to prove their innocence in court and they never get it back even when they are proven innocent. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a myth !

        • Robert Smith

          So much for America and those who railroad folks into prison.

          Nice conservative anti-drug DAs come to mind.

          Of course it doesn’t sound much unlike the inquisitions offered by christians. If you were guilty you died, if you were not guilty you died.

          Have you read the Maleius Malificarum yet?

          Rob

          Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Get off of the kool aid before it’s too late! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            I take it you haven’t read the Maleious Malificarum yet either samurai. I’m surprised as it is the instruction book for the inquisitions.

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            Yes, it’s entirely appropriate to drag out something that happened hundreds of years ago to condemn a living person or organization.

            My ancestors owned slaves….does that make me a racist?

          • http://naver samurai

            Get over the inquisition moron! If you want to talk about something, how about the jihads that have been going on since 700A.D.? 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Vigilant

            Excellent point, Samurai.

            BTW, love the Hangul and King Sejong!

          • http://naver samurai

            Thanks Vigilant. My wife has really helped me to be basically fluent in the language. I like King Se Jong also. Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot! 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • Granny Mae

      James,

      Yep ! That is pretty much how it looks ! Go figure.

  • JC in CA

    Ha !! Thanks ‘personal liberty news desk’ for such an ‘insightful’ and ‘comprehensive’ article. Now that we all have received our Constitutional and Criminal law degrees, let’s cut to the chase…

    It matters not what, if any, award this guy receives, justly or injustly. Now if he were awarded 888 oz. of gold ($400/oz circa 2004), that would raise another issue. What I am getting at is this guy’s ‘award’ has been erroded by nearly 68% with out him getting anything as of yet!!! I would be sueing the Federal Reserve , the U.S. Treasury and the Chairmen of each personally for the ruination of his ‘award’ and our USD.

    You see people….this poor chump, guilty of theft or not, slandered by his peers, is another example of these detractions (including world wars) that allow the ‘powers that be’ continue to bring about the our demise of our society as we know it. Imagine a river, undermining the supports of a bridge, we’ve all seen the TV reports of some schmoe stuck in a tree in the middle of a raging flood….now know that these waters will only continue to rise, never subsiding, eventually taking out that schmoe’s tree , bridge, houses, cars, his mill stone, his bank, his kid’s banks, his kids’ kid’s banks,…..

    Ugh, I’m ill with it. We all need to strongly examine the will of our representives to approach the task , if possible, of pushing back of this ‘surging river’ and take our states’ governments back, fix each one at a time and quell this onslaught of the feds. Reel them in to our founding father’s intended task of a central government created by each of our states.

    Only at this end will our liberty and justice shine bright for all.

    Be well people. God bless you all.

    JC

    • Terry Champaign

      I think you got it bacwards on the value of the 888 oz of gold. At todays prices (over $1300 per oz) that would be over $1 million.

  • Brad

    I have taken into account all sides, from the article to include reading all the posts.

    1. The Pastor was fired due to a suspition of misappropriation of church funds, O.K. the pastor left to prevent further fallout or left because he/she was convicted in the court of personal opinion.

    2. The church elders have the right to tell the congregation why they decided to let the prior pastor go without directly accusing him/her of wrong doing.

    3. Now on the other hand, if the letter read aloud to the congregation directly names the prior pastor of wrong doing then the prior pastor can bring a slander suit against the church.

    4. During court proceedings if the church cannot prove their case why the prior pastor was let go, then they are wrong and should be held accountable for their actions.

    5. From the article the initial court ruling found in favor of the prior pastor, which tells me some one was out to get the prior pastor through a false alligation. The church in question could not prove the prior pastor was indeed misappropriating funds, that tells me the elders where looking in the wrong direction by falsely accussing the wrong person.

    6. In the end no one wins, the police should have been called and there should have been an investigation conducted to determine guilt. Then and only then charges should have been filed by the district attourney on the person charged with the crime.

    • Brad

      In my opinion the trial judge got it wrong and the appeals court got it right. IMHO the amount awarded by the jury was excessive. I have seen this situation occur in my church, the pastor was misappropriating funds and was caught red handed, he was asked to leave. The congrigation was given a brief reason why he was let go but wasn’t directly named or accused. Now whether charges were filed I don’t know, that’s up to the church and the local police.

  • William Glammeyer

    I would like to know what the difference is from a church and any other place of business when it comes to ‘needing’ to tell everyone why a person was fired. I think it is no one else’s business what has happened to an individual. If you worked in a factory and was fired, do you think the supervisor or plant manager needs to have a meeting with all the workers and tell them why that person was ‘let go’? I have worked a lot of places and seen a lot of people ‘let go’ or fired and never has anyone higher up ever tell the entire factory why that person was fired. Maybe I am missing something here because I do not understand this.

    • Granny Mae

      William Glammeyer,

      The difference is this was a church setting not a factory. The factory setting is one of not too much personal closeness. You can work for years in a factory and never get to speak to the CEO, but in a church setting you are talking about a more close relationship. People go to the church and the pastor to help them with their personal problems and things that go on in their everyday life so most everyone knows the pastor. If he was suddenly missing the body of the church would want to know why and in some cases would possibly need counseling because of the loss. I have seen manypeople cry and morn the loss of their pastor when he has taken a job in another church. I never saw anyone give a rats when the CEO of the factory was sent packing and I work for years in a factory.

  • Jeep

    It seems to me that there are some facts missing. By pre-supposing one idea or another, I could make the church or the pastor in the wrong. But, I think the artical misses a bigger picture. There is another battle brewing that any decision by the SC could have a profound effect. Those in the battle over sharia law in America, and the religious implications are watching this case develop with great interest. If the SC rules that the Christian church is exempt from certain laws pertaining to religious speech, then this decision will certainly apply to muslim extremists in the heartland. Be careful how we tread.

    • Robert Smith

      Jeep says: “If the SC rules that the Christian church is exempt from certain laws pertaining to religious speech,…”

      But it wasn’t “religious speech.” It was determined by the jury that it was slander.

      Rob

    • Granny Mae

      Jeep,

      I see where you are coming from and I agree! Could bring a lot of after shocks in time.

  • James

    I would make a point of law. If by “Supreme Court” the article meant the U.S. Supreme Court, it is in error; and the statement: “freedom of religion rights granted by the 1st Amendment” is also in error. Rights are not dependent on documents for their existence, they’re inherent. The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law…” it’s a restriction on the federal legislature not on States.
    And since both parties in the suit are of the same state, Art. III, Sec. 2 of the U.S. Const. says federal courts lack jurisdiction to hear such cases.
    The Oregon Constitution reads in relevant Article I part:

    Section 1. Natural rights inherent in people. We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.
    Section 2. Freedom of worship. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship almighty God according to the dictates of their own cocnsciences.
    Section 3. Freedom of religous opinion. No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.
    Section 4. No religious qualification for office. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.
    Section 5. No money to be appropriated for religion. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any religeous [sic], or theological institution, nor shall any money be appropriated for the payment of any religeous [sic] services in either house of the Legislative Assembly.
    Section 6. No religious test for witnesses or jurors. No person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness, or juror in consequence of his opinions on matters of religeon [sic]; nor be questioned in any Court of Justice touching his religeous [sic] belief to affect the weight of his testimony.

    That’s the law that governs Oregon, not the First Amendment.

  • http://msn Margaret

    i dont go to church any more not since my grand ma passed now i am Pagan safer that way

    • Granny Mae

      Margaret,

      It may seen so for now but there is a time coming that it my not be so safe !

      • Robert Smith

        Are you making threats against Pagans, Granny?

        Rob

        • http://naver sook young

          Actually, she is talking about the End Times. Read the Book of Revelation and you’ll understand. Maragret, it isn’r safer that way. Why did you make such a bad choice? What did your grandmother passing have to do with you leaving the church? My sisters and mother aren’t Christians either and I’m always asking them to go to church in their hometown of Hong Cheon and Won Ju in Korea. I’ll pray for you about this matter. I know the decision to do this is yours, but I hope you make the right choice. Thank you.

          Sook Young
          Wife of the Samurai

        • Granny Mae

          Robert Smith,

          You know better than that ! I can’t make that kind of threat, it was a promise made by God long before me !

          • Granny Mae

            Margaret,

            I agree with Sook. I too would encourage you to reconsider your choice. I will pray for you too!

          • Robert Smith

            DO NOT prey for me. I want no part of your religion or the abuses of group think.

            I consider such to be spiritual rape.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            I agree with my wife and Granny Mae, Rob. I guess you’ll have to get ready to be spiritually raped. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            Proud of your abusing others samurai?

            What about don’t involve me in your religion don’t you understand?

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Rob, if someone prays for you, how would you know they are doing it? If they come to your house, yes you would see them. How do you know if someone isn’t praying for you now? Your wife (God help the woman!)? Your kids (Not counting the one you had aborted.)? Your neighbors? Other family menbers? You don’t know anything about that, just like your postings are not supported by facts and are nothing more then attacks on Christians and conservatives. Need to get a life moron. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • James

      Margaret, Not going to church doesn’t mean one is a pagan. There is no biblical instruction to attend any weekly meeting. Jesus, said something to the effect ‘Leave not off the gathering of yourselves together.’

  • mike

    Seems like 99% of all “news” stories leave something important out, if not the most important part. I’m sure this one does, because this sounds like a simple case of libel.
    The article says “clergy officials” accused him….What the hell is a clergy official? A lot of comments say “elders”, is that the same thing? and how do you know that? If elders accused him, the article should say so, but it doesn’t.
    Forgive me, I wasn’t brought up protestant, but what’s an elder?
    I thought they were elected or picked to run the business affairs of a church. Probably a businessman,right? and there’s plenty of sleazy businessmen who would do this to an employee.
    My question is, if these officials are supposed to be running church affairs, and that much money comes up missing, why aren’t they responsible? And why aren’t they in jail? Is it because they’re too holy? I don’t know the article doesn’t say that.
    Could this be a case about who is ultimately responsible for church finances? You can’t tell me that there isn’t a lot of misconduct and mishandling of church funds, if not outright thievery.
    Glad I read the comments here, I had forgotten how hypocritical a lot of church goers are. And how gullible to equate organized religion, and people that run them, with God.

    • http://naver samurai

      You sound like you need to go back to church and stop drinking so much lib kool aid. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • ConservativeCanuck

        If you’re the samurai… why are you writing in Korean?

        • Robert Smith

          Might be writing as sook also. Several have offered that theory.

          Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Theorize all you want to, but my wife can post whenever and however she wants. Second, why do I write in Korean though I use the name Samurai? Samurai was given to me by LTC Constanguay, 1st BN, 8th Infantry, Fort Carson, Colorado, due to they way I would fight during training and war games. The name has stuck with me since then. I write in Korean because I know the language. It helps when your wife’s family doesn’t speak English. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Robert Smith

            samurai says: “Theorize all you want to, but my wife can post whenever and however she wants.”

            Really…

            Roses are red, violets are blue.
            I’m Gemini and so am I.

            Rob

          • http://naver samurai

            Sorry moron, but you are the only one that has said that. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

        • http://naver samurai

          CC, how would you know if I’m writing in Korean or not? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • http://naver samurai

            Crickets! Darn crickets! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • Granny Mae

      mike,

      Most churches have a larger group they belong to and there is a centeral office that over sees the afairs of the individual churches. These clergy officials are usually affiliated with this office and they are called in when there is a problem and the individual church needs their advice or help. Elders are members of the church that have had a lot of study in the bible and the church afairs to be given the title of elder. In some churches they are called bishops. They do the work of the church in many ways and help to councel the parishners and at times lead in bible study or preaching when the pastor is away. It all depends on who is in charge of church funds. Who holds the bank book and who makes the decissions as to where the church is going to spend their money. Usually there is a panel of elders that sit on the panel and collectivly make those decissions. Sometimes they are given bad information about an investment or such that turns out to be a way for someone that is less than trust worthy to get their hands on the church funds and the money is gone. Just what the misapropriation was we don’t know they didn’t say.

    • James

      Mike, Webster says ‘elder’ means ‘one of authority by virtue of his age and experience.’ It is similar to ‘priest’ in the Roman church.

  • Debra

    Well, if in the event, the church went through a thorough investigation, and found he had indeed taken money that didn’t belong to him, then they had every rightful reasoning to let him go. They wouldn’t have had to let him go if they hadn’t found him guilty. They did him a favor by not pressing charges, even though pressing charges would have probably helped him repent more completely, quicker, and with more humility. I would say the pastor was not in the least at all repented or humbled, even with their fairness. He wasn’t accusing the church of falsely accusing him of stealing, he accused the church of slandering him. According to the dictionary, slander is performed only when a person is lied about. The church had the choice as to how they would inform the congregation for his departure. Both the Bible and Quran teaches that in the mouth of three or four witnesses, an individual can be judged. Yes, they could have told the congregation that he stepped down due to other reasons, however, they chose to tell the congregation the truth. This is a classic example of how narcissistic people have become in our nation, never wanting to admit they have done anything wrong. If the pastor didn’t want to be put to shame or be discredited in his church and community, he should have thought about that before he took the money. This should be a learning moment for him. It’s part of the repentance procedure, to first acknowledge the sin, confess the sin, then in the spirit of humility and with a pure heart, to be truly forgiven, one must not make that error again, or all of his past sins be added upon it. I hope he hasn’t committed any other sins. In some Muslim countries, a hand is still cut off when a thief is caught, and so I don’t want to hear about Muslim law from anyone ever again. The United States still does have the fairest and most correct form of law of any country on earth. I feel he got off pretty easy, and his shame should be made known, whether he likes it or not. Oh! BooHoo! The people in the church and the congregation have every right to know what happened, and they deserve to be told the truth. If the church had chosen to have him charged and arrested, not only would the congregation have found out about it, the whole state would have been informed, and it would have been in the newspapers, and would be on his record for the rest of his life. Perhaps the church should go ahead and charge him after all, especially since he is so full of revenge and stupidity. He’s a pastor and he doesn’t even want to admit when he’s sinned. It sounds to me like the church had a lot of compassion and still does by not pressing charges against him. He’s the one that made it a national conversation, and is looking for attention and sympathy over this deal that he himself created. It sounds to me like he’s pretty immature and lacks substance. The church has every right to do what it did, and I hope the courts will rule in the favor of the church. I also believe that in most cases, the government should stay out of the affairs of church and religion, unless charges have been filed by members themselves, or by the church itself, because there must be a choice as to whether a situation like this should be involved in the justice system or not. In this case, because of their compassion for the man, the church choose to stay out of the legal system, but in return, he made it a legal issue because he wants to feel sorry for himself. Oh! BooHoo! I don’t feel sorry for him, the dumb ass.

  • Robert Smith

    From Barbara: “If the pastor didn’t want to be put to shame or be discredited in his church and community, he should have thought about that before he took the money.”

    Again, a presumption of guilt. “He took the money” without due process is slander and could easily be a lie.

    Rob

  • David

    The sooner adults stop believing in fairy tales like bibles, qurans, and churches the better off we will all be.

    • http://naver samurai

      As soon as people like you stop believing in the ways of the lib, gay loving, baby killing, marxists we have now, the better things will be. Just think, your “messiah” in the White House will be leaving in January 2013 and there’s nothing you can do about it either, moron! 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Robert Smith

        Shucks samurai… How do you get such a special dispensation around here? How are you able to do such name calling without sanction?

        This is a public and formal complaint against samurai about his name calling…

        From the rules at the top of this thread: “Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don’t stoop to name calling…”

        Rob

        • David

          Why do you assume he is my “messiah”? I have no use for the SOB currently in the White House. Just like a small minded idiot to make an assumption like that.

          • http://naver samurai

            The same small minded person that says churches and Bibles are fairy tales. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

        • http://naver samurai

          I suggest you follow your own advice on that matter! Falsely accusing someone of being full of hate and not a Christian, without proof, is also committing slander. Practice what you preach, boy! Practice what you preach! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • David

    @Samurai — Have you ever been anywhere or seen anything, other than your couch or church pew? I’m guessing not. I’ve done tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, North and Central Africa, and Nicaragua. I’ve seen “good” christians and “peaceful” muslims slaughter people in the “name of god” till I’m sick of it. I don’t suppose you know anything about the “good” christians convicted of war crimes recently? I have no use for either “religion”. Religion is nothing more than a tool to control the superstitious and undereducated masses by fear,and the sooner people grow up and see that the better the world will be. I have seen what these groups do, I have seen what is coming to this country eventually. When some “good” christian or “peaceful” muslim comes to my house to kill me because I don’t believe in their imaginary fairy king, I am more than ready to defend my family with overwhelming deadly force. I know sooner or later this will happen, history shows it over and over, and I am ready.

    • http://naver samurai

      I have had 3 tours of Iraq, 1 in Afghanistan, and many other places. I’ve seen muslims killing people in the name of their false god “allah”, but have never seen nor heard anyone say they are doing this in the name of God. You tend to see and hear these things when you have 20 years in the army. If a “Christian” is killing people for God, then we both know they aren’t really Christian, now are they? Remember, our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, Biblical law taken from the Old and New Testiments, our laws based on the 10 Commandments, and a deep, rich belief in Nature’s God. All our rights in the Constitution are rights given to us by God, so how can you say that God, church, Bible are fairy tales when we get our rights from them and America founded on their beliefs? 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Steve

    Matt 18:15-17
    “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. NIV

    I could put it in the greek as well… if these men had brought it to the church prior to letting him go there would be a clear case of following the Bible however i see where they brought it to the church after the fact. Therefore they did not follow the scripture. As a christian I do believe this man should have been brought before the church.

    The church now is faced with a lawsuit and as a recourse will be forced to file charges against this pastor and prove him quilty in a court of law. It might be their only recourse for not following the scripture to the letter.
    Just a thought
    Steve

  • jerry

    A Crime is a crime no matter if done in a church or store. The church should have turned the case over police and let them investigate the crime just like they would done any other crime.

  • James

    Religious rights are not granted by the First Amendment. It simply says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the the free exercise thereof.” It simply prohibits Congress from legislating about religion. It does not say: “This amendment hereby grants freedom of religion to every American citizen.” Americans are born with the right, they had the right before they created the federal government.

  • James

    If both parties in this lawsuit were of the same State, as it seems they are, then federal courts are prohited from even hearing the case by Article III, Section 2. That Section lists the types of cases federal courts have jurisdiction to hear, and the 11th Amendment deleted two of those. If the Supreme Court referred to is Oregon’s Supreme Court, then ignore this. If that’s the case, there was no reason to even mention the First Amendment.

  • James

    In Tubra v. Cooke, 225 P.3d 862 (2010) the Oregon Court of Appeals held: “In sum, we reject defendants’ contention that the First Amendment provides an absolute bar to plaintiff’s defamation claim in this case. Because that proposition was the sole basis for defendants’ JNOV motion, and the trial court granted defendants’ motion on that basis, it follows that the court erred. Reversed and remanded with instructions to reinstate the jury’s verdict.”
    ‘JNOV’ means: defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict]. The Court held that defamation of character claims are not recompenseable under the First Amendment. If the defamation was religious in subject matter, courts are prohibited from ruling on it, and if the defamation was not religious in nature, the First Amendment is no protection. Such defamation would then simply depend on whether the defamation was true or false.

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