When in doubt, just make crazy shit up!
Former Baptist preacher Jack Schaap was having sex with a 17-year old parishioner, but he had a great reason why he was doing it. It was commanded by God! In several letters written from Schaap to the unnamed minor girl, he claimed that their sexual relationship was part of her personal salvation and something commanded directly by Jesus Christ!
“In our ‘fantasy talk,’ you have affectionately spoken of being ‘my wife,’ ” Schaap wrote in one letter. “That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us and become eternal lovers!”
Schaap was a pastor at one of the largest megachurches in the country, the First Baptist Church of Hammond in Indiana. He resigned when people in the congregation discovered the affair and reported it to local law enforcement. When arrested, he pleaded guilty to several counts of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes.
Schaap first came into contact with the girl in April of 2012 when her religious school reported that she was “frightened, confused and emotionally traumatized”. He started counseling her and almost immediately began an improper relationship. According to the victim, “He told me to confide in him, to trust him, and he made me feel safe and comfortable around him as a man of God, he preyed on that trust and my vulnerability.” After the charges came out, the girl was forcibly expelled from her religious school and her parents were ejected from the church. Certainly this is not a community of believers who were sorry it happened.
Prosecutors initially suggested a 10 year prison sentence for Schaap, claiming that the evidence against Schaap depicted a man who used his “inside track to God” to take advantage of the girl, but when he was sentenced on March 20, 2013, the judge said that doesn’t meet the state’s mandatory sentencing guidelines of 12 years and sentenced him to that instead. The judge pointed out that Schaap had tried to hide evidence, deleting text messages and even firing one church staffer who had questioned the pastor’s relationship with the girl. Once he gets out of prison, he will have to file as a lifelong sex offender and serve an additional 5 years of supervised release.
Of course, as should surprise no one, the court received more than 100 letters from parishioners claiming that Schaap was a good man, citing his many years of devoted service to the church. Why do these church-going bastards always side with the scumbag molester?
This isn’t another case of some guy taking advantage of an innocent girl, it’s a case of a sexual predator who knowingly used his religious position, knowledge and power to force himself upon someone who had been brought up to respect and trust the clergy.
We all know what a bad idea that is these days, making this the perfect case for the Religious Horror Show.