"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, December 19, 2014

12 Tithing Days Left in 2014 - WD Reader Pens a Remake of "Up on the Rooftop, Reindeer Pause"...

Readers: There are only 12 days left to pay your 2014 tithe and come "into complete obedience" to God as declared by SBC President Ronnie Floyd. This is serious business. Baptists, don't forget that it was Ronnie who said God will curse you if you don't tithe, and that you probably aren't a real Christian if you don't.

As Ronnie told his church members earlier this year:
"You gonna go 'clucking' around here talkin' about how you got saved and changed and goin' to heaven when you die and you won't even trust God financially? Lord help ya. That's not the same God I know."
Baptists, don't go "clucking" around your church and your neighborhood about your salvation this Christmas season if you don't tithe. Your president says your stinginess means you don't know the same God he knows. You're an impostor until you show your faithfulness by submitting 10% of your income to your local 501(c)3 church.

So in honor of only 12 tithing days left in 2014, here is a remake of "Up on the Rooftop", penned by a Watchdog reader:

Up in the pulpit, a solemn pause…
“TITHE!” shouts Good Old Pastor Laws,
In the assembly the people sigh,
A Capital Project is surely nigh.

Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough? Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough?
Up in the pulpit, slick, slick, slick!
Fleecing the flock with a shameless trick.

First comes the offering of Mrs. Nash, 
Oh dear, she is low on cash,
Give her a lecture that makes her cry,
She’ll open her handbag by and by.

Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough? Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough?
Up in the pulpit, slick, slick, slick!
Fleecing the flock with a shameless trick.

Next comes the offering of Mr. Will,
Oh, that’s quite an obedient fill,
His family is poor and the bills are late,
But Pastor says: First comes the offering plate!

Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough? Ho, ho, ho! Who has the dough?
Up in the pulpit, slick, slick, slick!
Fleecing the flock with a shameless trick.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watchdog's Remake of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" - in Honor of Ronnie Floyd and David Platt

Below is a remake of my 2009 "Twas the Sunday Before Christmas". You'll like the additions I'm sure!

I did this remake after I got so darned confused this past week by conflicting statements about my money uttered by two heavies in the SBC: President Ronnie Floyd, and International Mission Board President David Platt.

Ronnie Floyd told us church members we have only until December 31st to come into obedience and pay the full 10% tithe on ALL the 2014 income we have earned. I know the IRS gives us 3 1/2 months grace, but Ronnie says his SBC churches, need all the cash NOW.

But then I read David Platt told Christians they should write God a "blank check" so that people all over the world can hear the gospel. He didn't say where I should send this blank check to God, or if I need to make it out to "God" or someone else. My hunch is that sending it to the IMB is where David believes God wants me to send it.

In my confused state, I decided to stiff both Ronnie and David, and as my gift to the SBC and David and Ronnie, offer up this version of:

"Twas the Sunday Before Christmas"

'Twas the Sunday before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The accounting was done, all revenue included with care,

In hopes that by tithing, God's blessings soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

But their needs must come second, or God's collection tactics we dread;

And mama in her Jaguar, and I in my Lexus,

Had just bought our beach house which is much better than Texas,

When up on the platform there arose such a clatter,

I sat up in my pew to see what was the matter.

Up on the stage, a man ranted and stomped, like a flash;

So I tore open my wallet and forked over my cash.

The man on the platform turned white as the new-fallen snow,

His face twisted and somber as giving was low,

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a jolly fat admin pastor to whisper a prayer,

With an arrogant tone, he prayed so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment Pastor's boots he would lick.

More rapid than eagles his pleadings they came,

And he stomped, and he shouted, and called us by name:

"Now, Yes Man! now, Gullible! now Cursed and Robber!

On, Thief! On, Lost Man! On, Kool-Aid Drinker!

To the top of the heavens! To Nehemiah's wall!

Give cash away! Cash away! Cash away all!"

As bullies that before the weak listeners cry,

When they meet with a budget obstacle, amounts to the sky;

So up to the pulpit the followers of men flew

With the wallets full of cash, assets, dividends too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard alas,

The stomping and mugging of one pompous ass.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the aisle Mega Pastor came with a bound.

He was dressed all in the fanciest of suits, I didn't dare blink;

And his clothes were all accessorized with golden cuff links;

A bundle of rage he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a horse's ass and just like a quack.

His beady rat eyes—how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And what hair remained on his bald head was as white as the snow;

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook when he stomped, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread;

He said he spoke God's word, misusing verses to support his work,

And filled his own pockets; wow, what a jerk,

And sticking his finger high in the air,

He showed that church what he thought of  non-tithers there;

He sprang to the exit, to his enablers he gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he stomped so erect,

“Catch up on your tithing, or be sure God will collect!"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Social Media Exchange in Church Molestation Case Shows the Absurd Trust Some Church People Have in Pastors

Last week I wrote an article about two pastors -  Don and Gina Haislett, pastors of Life Church in Odessa, Texas - were arrested in Texas for failure to comply with state law which requires sexual abuse to be reported to authorities within 48 hours. Failure of pastors and church leaders to report sexual abuse by their ministers to the police is an ongoing problem that I've covered multiple times on this blog over the past 7+ years.

At left is the perpetrator, Angel de Los Santos.

A social media exchange between Gina Haislett and her Christian friends and presumably church members shows why gullible church members make it so hard to hold abuse non-reporters accountable for their failure to act. I've pasted this exchange at the end of this article. This exchange was on Gina Haislett's Facebook account two days after the Haislett's were arrested.

First, a summary of reported events:

According to news reports, including this one that includes a timeline of events, the Haisletts became aware of  "inappropriate" text messages between their youth worker Angel De Los Santos on July 30. On July 31st, the Haisletts began contacting parents. The next day, according to the Odessa American story:
"On Aug. 1 the Haisletts dismissed De Los Santos after they conducted their investigation and De Los Santos reportedly acknowledged the sexual assault."
So if this news report is accurate, De Lost Santos confessed to some sort of sexual assault to the Haisletts on August 1st.

The OA story then says in their timeline:
"Gina Haislett arraigned [sic] to speak with Kristina Robles [perpetrator's wife], De Los Santos and several juveniles from church."
So here is Gina Haislett apparently conducting her own investigation, talking to the perpetrator, his wife, and several juveniles. This is more than 48 hours after she learned of the allegations.

It gets much worse for Gina Haislett. According to the OA, police were not notified until August 28th when the mother of the victim called the police. So apparently the Haislett's missed the 48 hour deadline, and let more than 4 weeks go by.

It gets even worse for Gina Haislett. The perp's wife texted Gina on September 8th to let her know the police were on the way to interview her. Gina responds back via text telling the perp's wife not to lie, but to "..not volunteer any information."  Unbelievable.

Then this line from the OA story:
"LeSeuer [of the Odessa Police Department] said none of the other alleged victims, who were reportedly receiving text messages from De Los Santos, have contacted police but police are encouraging anyone with information to come forward."
This is why the police do NOT want people doing their own investigations. Why are no more victims coming forward? Does it have anything to do with Gina Haislett's investigation on August 5th? Who knows what Gina told them. If Gina was not encouraging the perp's wife to be completely transparent with police, what was she telling the victims?

But the actions of the Haisletts are not the point of this article. Instead, I want to focus on the "Christian" response to the Haisletts via social media.

Now, to be fair, the Haisletts may have a defense. Maybe they'll plead guilty. But judging from Gina Haislett's post on Facebook last week she is proclaiming her innocence.

Gina Taylor HaislettYesterday at 5:15pm · Odessa, TX ·    I don't care what the court documents say, it's not the truth. We have integrity and did exactly what we knew to do. I SOOO wish that I could respond to the news media, but cannot comment on the investigation. I also ask all of our friends to please refrain from commenting on the news reports. God will vindicate us. Please just pray that the REAL TRUTH will prevail.— with Don Haislett.
So Gina claims her innocence. The court documents lie, she says. That is fine. She has a right to a defense. Her lawyer may challenge the time line or the information gathered by the police that led to her arrest, or something else we don't know that would justify the Haislett's failure to contact the Odessa Police Department. All defendants deserve a presumption of innocence in a court of law.

But now to the responses to Gina's Facebook post. Some are just expressions of support. But some are just plain nuts, based on the facts as we know them now.

Notice the first to post was Kristina Robles, the wife of the perpetrator. She said "We love you guys. #TeamHaislett".  Go Team!!!

Some others:
"We got your back. Even more so YHWH knows the truth and He will take care of it." 
Good to know fine Christian people have the Haislett's back and that Yaweh (God) will take care of all this. I think the legal process will take care of this, not "YHWH".
"I stand with you and Gina my prayer is ALL things that are hidden will be revealed and only GOD'S truth will stand... If God be for us WHO can be against us???? Ya'll keep holding your heads up and shoulders back because you are the KINGS kids....."   
"....my prayer is ALL things that are hidden will be revealed." Oh my. Why didn't Gina and Don want all things revealed BEFORE the police were involved? Now they want all things revealed? But they are the "King's kids", so it will be alright.

And this doozy from Julie Garrrett:
"I don't know either of u..u n ur husband are my brother n sister in Christ..that's all I need to know. That being said u both have my complete support n my prayers! We serve a wonderful n mighty God n u are absolutely right ..He will vindicate u. He doesn't take kindly to His kids being mistreated! God bless u both!"
This person doesn't know the Haislett's, but she assumes the Haisletts will be vindicated by God, because God doesn't like his kids (the Haislett's?) being mistreated. Uh, Julie, God doesn't like youth being abused by child molesters, and I'll go out on a limb that God doesn't like it when pastors don't report molesters in a timely fashion to police.

And then this piece of work from "Eg Thomas":
"You know, satan has a real fight on his hands with this one. Before all is said and done I will be asking that all the devil's servants are exposed. This would serve Odessa well because Heaven's Soldiers will be able to see those serving the evil one and band together against him and his kind. It's time God's Churches come to life (hum, Life) and shake this city in the name of Christ claiming it for the kingdom of God."
I don't know what to say. But Gina and Don did! Gina replied with a "Preach!", and Don replied saying "Amen, EG!!! Come on preach it!!!"

So there you have it, the wacky, wacky world of fundamentalism. The conversation topic on Facebook is how God needs to vindicate the pastors who apparently did not comply with state law in timely reporting of sexual abuse by a youth worker at their church. God needs to defeat Satan, the media, and the Odessa Police Department. But nary a word of concern expressed by these nuts commenting on the Haislett's Facebook account for the real victims, the girls who were sexually molested by the youth worker from the Haislett's church.

I thank God for the Odessa Police Department and the work they did to put the creep behind bars, and who weren't afraid to arrest the Haislett's and charge them with the failure to report.

We'll continue to follow this story.