Youth Pastor Watch


And that is why I worship at the Church of Jessica instead:…
Isn't posting all of these kind of like posting mugshots of gay pedophiles? The vast majority of homosexuals aren't child molesters.

The vast majority of Christians aren't child molesting fag-haters.

Peace in Christ,

Kevin Robinson
Christianity is a side effect of the deep internalized shame felt by pedophiles and other sex criminals.
Kevin-- I don't think anyone believes that Christians are prone to being child molesters.

I see this as more of a dire warning to churches to vet their youth pastors more carefully, given that someone prone to child molestation would have every motivation to get into such a position of power and trust, taking advantage of a willingness of many Christians' (or other religious folk) desire to see goodness in others.

Churches-- vet your youth pastors carefully.
Wait, what's the deal with the last one? Where's the problem?
I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, it's good to make the public aware. On the other hand, these are all alleged pastoral fondlers. I'm all for the legal system working justice as best it can. It's completely possible these guys are getting their names dragged through the mud because they reported one of their youths drinking and ratted them out to their parents. Not saying that's actually the case, but we simply don't know.
BrandonC - Dan tends to report throughout the trials, including the verdict, if it's published.

Kevin - Dan's main point is to respond to the idea that Christianity automatically implies morality and atheism implies immorality. He's fairly fair, though. He's actually posted positive things about youth pastors on YPW if they're what's in the paper that day (e.g., I remember him posting about a youth pastor who was starring in a play or musical or something).
Hey, did you folks know that some folks believe that merely converting someone to Christianity will elevate their moral fiber, even if they were already Christian (but merely changed from one Christian faith to another, as W. Bush saw the light in Laura's United Methodist Church rather than his familial Episcopal Church). Did you know there are entire tax-exempt faith-based initiative charities whose efforts are simply to proselytize to the unfortunate on the grounds that the good word is as important as, if not more so than, bare necessities such as food, clothing, shelter from the elements and protection from crazy relations?

A lot of people, including representatives, believe this, that conversion to Christianity makes one morally superior than, say, conversion to Judaism or Islam, to Humanism, to the Church of Scientology. This is despite the fact that there are no statistical studies that suggest that Christians are less guilty of crime per capita.

And yet, several faith-focused media fronts are eager to yank out when a gay guns down a student, or when a wanted criminal had pornography on his computer or when a kid that used to dress like a goth shot up a school (not mentioning that he shaved his head and had long switched to battle fatigues). To imply that us fringe dwellers have weaker moral fiber than our Christian brethren, when statistically, we're no more likely to engage in crime.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Dan, but Youth Pastor Watch and O' They Will Know We Are Christians are frequent features as reminders that Christians are often less saintly than they claim to be, let alone aspire to be.

Just as the Every Child Deserves... features are to remind us that Mom + Dad does not equate to a happy home. Yes?

How frequently we lose sight of the point.
Family annihilators are a rare, but global phenomenon. FBI Behavioral Research likes to profile heads of household in strict social climes. Religious social conservatives are particularly high risk...for family annihilators.

Regarding the point of these posts, I reiterate...
Crap, I posted #9 to the wrong thread. Sorry all.
A more accurate title would be "Straw Man Watch".

The posts reveal more about Dan's prejudice and bigotry than it does about Christians in general or the featured congregations in particular.

Did these particular individuals claim to be Saintly?

These congregations have been victimized by the individuals featured on the watch.

Does Dan blame the wives of abusive husbands for the abuse because they should have picked a partner more carefully?
Are the victims of Gay Bashing at fault because they behaved too flamboyantly or were not careful enough where they went?

@11: Wives aren't employers of their husbands (usually), and are not expected to monitor and critique their spouse's conduct the way a manager would. The point is that dangerously often, congregations do not vet their youth pastors, taking them for their word in cases where they shouldn't.
Allegedly (@11) I'm surprised you'd pull out, even while dodging the more direct phrasing, the not true Christians argument‡. It might be convenient, if fallacious to look at bad Christians and say, well, those aren't real Christians, but then you have to apply the argument to both sides, and classify, exempli gratia, a committed, functional gay couple in a different category from a hard-partying gay tweaker with a propensity for violence, which is different, in turn, from an active male pedophile who tends to target boys over girls.

If you decide (paralleling the one drop rule) that any guy who kissed another guy is officially gay, than it follows that any person who claims Christian faith (mere lipservice or otherwise) is a valid example of Christian society.

And even then, I would wager these guys got their jobs as youth pastors because they appeared to be upstanding members of the church who could be trusted with minors. So, in fact, yes they did don saintly airs. Whether they were authentic but discovered they had no self control or took the jobs specifically to prey on minors is inconsequential; these guys still validly represent the congregations that hired them.

‡ Definitely related to the no true Scotsman argument.
none of these guys is a youth pastor
I'm sorry. Your point?
none. of. these. guys. is. a. youth. pastor.
And therefore? (Please elaborate.)

"These congregations have been victimized by the individuals featured on the watch.

Does Dan blame the wives of abusive husbands for the abuse because they should have picked a partner more carefully?
Are the victims of Gay Bashing at fault because they behaved too flamboyantly or were not careful enough where they went?"

False analogies.

These congregations are actually legally responsible if they did not properly vet or supervise their youth workers. It is accepted practice that, for instance, two youth workers, one of each gender, should be present at all times when with minors. A woman has a far different relationship to her husband than an employer has to their employee. Would you let a school off the hook for not vetting or supervising a teacher who then molested children? There are accepted standards for background checks, training, and supervision when it comes to working with minors.

And I work for a religious organization, so I actually know what I'm talking about. Our insurance policy includes molestation insurance (which covers medical costs and lawsuits), as does that of virtually any religious organization where employees have contact with minors. Because, as I said, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN IN OUR CARE, certainly legally, and, I would say, morally as well, so we will be held to task if we fail.

I could also add that you're making an assumption that Dan is explicitly blaming these organizations for the problems. Sometimes you can vet someone, and they're squeaky clean, but they still turn out to be depraved. I take what he posts about youth pastors in two ways:

1. One cannot assume that just because someone is a priest, youth pastor, the Pope, etc. that their children are safe being left alone with them. Because of the way many young children are led to look at religious leaders, they wind up thinking that whatever the pastor tells them to do is what God wants, so they might not speak up about the abuse the way that they might when it comes from, say, a teacher or babysitter. Basically, I think Dan wants parents to look at church leaders the way they'd look at anyone else being around their children, not just giving their trust automatically.

2. Christianity doesn't make someone instantly moral (as these men prove), just like atheism doesn't make someone instantly amoral.
Thank you Church Worker. That was awesome.