Yeah, I know, these stories are constantly in the news and maybe that’s because the clergy is constantly guilty of them. As much as I hate to sound like a broken record, the religious ministry, and that goes for all brands of religion, not just Christians, can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar while they are claiming to hold the moral high ground. Here’s yet another example.
A 59-year old pastor in South Carolina was arrested for attacking a 16-year old girl during a “private prayer”. The girl, unnamed because of her age, reported that Pastor Larry Durant of Word International Ministries, molested her during prayer sessions that took place between November 2012 and April 2013. This is not, no surprise, the first time that Pastor Durant has been accused in trouble with the law. Back in the 70s, he was arrested for providing alcohol to a minor, selling marijuana, grand larceny and burglary. Alright, it’s been more than 30 years, he could have turned his life around and that would be a good thing, except right after this case, he was accused by three other female parishioners of the same thing, “private prayers” turned into sexual assault, both in his church and in his home.
I know the Bible tells Christians to pray privately but I don’t think that’s what it meant. Why are there so many problems in the priesthood though? I just got finished reading Priesthood in Crisis by Matthew Despard and while I’m certainly not going to review that book here, I’ll do that in a separate post, if even 10% of the things in that book are true, it’s no surprise that the ministry is in shambles worldwide.
So what do we do about this? I don’t know that there’s anything we can do, mostly because the people we need to convince not to trust these preachers are exactly the people who fall most heavily under their sway. If the flood of sex abuse cases in the media isn’t enough to keep parents from leaving their children with religious workers, I have no idea what is. Seriously, what can you do when these people almost volunteer to be victims of these predators?
And so, Pastor Larry Durant, welcome to your home on Horror Show Sunday, you’ve certainly earned it and I hope you don’t see the outside of a prison cell for many, many years to come. Maybe someone in the next cell over can show you what comes in these “private prayers”.