Liberty Counsel Fights For Right To Tell LGBT Kids They Are Going To Hell

The Liberty Counsel has sent a “warning letter” to Kentucky’s juvenile detention system because a local pastor was advised that he is not to tell youthful LGBT offenders that they are hell-bound perverts. The pastor refused and his visitation privileges have been revoked. Via press release:

Pastor David Wells has served as a volunteer for over ten years, faithfully visiting and mentoring juveniles at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center, under the prison ministry of Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady. “Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands,” Staver said. “Without it, they cannot provide healing.” Pastor Wells was barred from visiting, counseling, or leading worship services for juveniles based on DJJ Policy 912 IV(H) “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” which states that volunteers: “[S]hall not refer to juveniles by using derogatory language in a manner that conveys bias towards or hatred of the LGBTQI community. DJJ staff, volunteers, interns, and contractors shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful, or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Mat Staver: “DJJ 912 equates the teaching of Biblical morality with derogatory, biased, and hateful speech. In so doing, the DJJ policy creates an unconstitutional, religious litmus test for DJJ access. The First Amendment prohibits the government from viewpoint discrimination. This detention center may not prohibit the expression of Biblical morality simply because a few DJJ policymakers object to the Bible and its teaching.”

See their warning letter.

  • TampaZeke

    I can’t imagine a better environment for fundamentalists to ply their wares than, literally, CAGED kids!

    • MBear

      it’s a priest’s fantasy

      • Bluto

        In more ways than 1.

    • Doug105

      Yep, if you plan on going to heaven just remember the kind of people they let in.

  • MBear

    “biblical morality” *is* derogatory, biased, and hateful speech

    • bkmn

      I’m sure Mat has no problem finishing off a shrimp cocktail while wearing his cotton poly blend pants. It is only about morality when you want to impose your morals on someone else.

      • BudClark

        I really do not want to think about Mat Staver’s pants, in the British OR the American sense.

    • JoeNCA

      Indeed.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    So you can’t torment a captive audience of kids anymore? Boo-fucking-hoo!

  • Bluto

    jesus fuck can they get any more evil than attacking children?

    • lenvus

      Now, now … let’s not encourage them. You know they’re just dying for something else.

    • Steverino

      If they can’t literally fuck them, they fuck with their minds, instead. The RCC does both.

  • Ogre Magi

    christians are such jerks

  • Gustav2

    Gee, you mean a government institution cannot sponsor you to religiously shame minor citizens?

    Damn, that pesky Establishment Clause!
    (The REAL First Freedom)

  • Rrhain

    If your mission in going to minister to inmates is to promote your own agenda, then you have misunderstood the purpose of your visit. You are there for the needs of the prisoner, not for yourself. As such, you will conduct yourself in a way that is beneficial to the prisoner.

    If you cannot treat the prisoners with respect, then you have no business visiting.

    • KCMC

      grateful to work in state contract in which separation of church/state which allows youth to acknowledge and explore spirituality. But we would be policed if we proselytized anything close to all that.
      There are so many purposes the churches provide to long term facilities. Judging is not one. Youth have already been adjudicated.

    • JoeNCA

      I’m sure he’ll say that not being able to put gay people to death in accordance with Leviticus 20:13 is a violation of his religious beliefs.

    • vorpal

      The sad thing is that like most people who are delusional enough to not only believe but dedicate their life to this nonsense, he truly thinks that telling gay people how vile and abominable he thinks that his holy book tells him that we are somehow IS beneficial and loving to gay people.

  • bryan

    ‘To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands’ / No, it would be like removing a knife from the hands of a witch doctor.

    • Rusty Redfield

      I have a place to put it, once they remove it from his hands …

    • JT

      Even doctors are not allowed to use scalpels to harm people.

      • Eric in Oakland

        “Even doctors are not allowed to use scalpels to harm people.”

        Perfect response! They’re not trying keep him from using the Bible. They’re simply telling him not to harm people with it.

    • Steverino

      Or like removing the knife from the hands of a slash-murderer.

    • Queequeg

      Or a serial kiler.

    • ExGayTherapyKills

      More like removing a gun from a mad man.

    • Sk3ptic

      The book in question is arguably the most effective weapon of mass destruction the world has ever seen. Why it hasn’t been thrown into the trash heap of history is beyond my comprehension.

      • Mark

        Agree. Little difference between a swastika and a cross.

    • D. J.

      Removing the scalpel from the hands of a kidnapper as he has the scalpel pressed firmly against the neck of his intended victim, while the mother suffers from Stockholm Syndrome remains untreated.

  • Toasterlad

    What a sick, twisted fuck this asshole is. “You’re going to hell” is “healing”.

    I’ve never wished for an actual hell more than I do right now. Know what the Bible says about false prophets, Staver? You’d better get down on your knees and pray there’s no god.

    • vorpal

      Given what a complete douchebag he is and how his legal career seems consigned to constantly losing, I can’t imagine that his existence isn’t some sort of hell.

  • shellback

    I’m so sick and tired of all this religious bullshit. It’s a mental disorder. Stop pretending it isn’t, and stop trying to force-feed it to those who know the difference between fantasy and reality.

    Sorry, dear readers. My fuse is getting short these days.

    • ScottJL

      Amen!

      • Harley

        Ramen

        • vorpal

          Gaymen.

          • BudClark

            And LOTS of ’em!

    • CB

      No, I think there are a lot of short fuses. I only hope the rampant screeching that’s setting many of us off is the last gasp of dying religiosity. But I doubt it. Not as long as there’s a flock to be fleeced.

    • David Walker

      It’s interesting that they’re seeing “ex-gay” bullshit being rightfully outlawed when used against juveniles, so now they’re trying it on kids who have to be there. It would be better if the kids have the opportunity to decide whether they want to see the preacher or not…and to have a system in place that tells the kids they don’t have to see him or put up with his bullshit. He is a volunteer, not an employee. There should not be a requirement to attend his crap.

      • Regan DuCasse

        This is exactly why Christian conservatives endlessly complain that there is no prayer or religious teaching in public schools.
        They are dishonest about several things.
        Most importantly, that schooling for children is mandatory, so they would be captive to religious teaching.
        It’s assumed it should be Christian teachings, since it’s Christians doing the complaining.
        And Christians act like they have NO other options BUT literal captives, to spread the word.

        Evidently they absolutely don’t want a person to have the freedom to NOT be religious or be held to a single religion’s standard.
        The point of religious freedom is that it’s neither required or enforced.
        It’s supposed to utterly be a choice and which religion to follow is a choice too.
        Something Christians keep failing to understand.

    • j.martindale

      I spend my time nowadays ridiculing the assholes rather than arguing with them. I think it is lowering my blood pressure. Now if I could find a solution for the cholesterol…

      • Steverino

        Niacin.
        : )

      • Queequeg

        Good idea. I’ve argued with people on Politico but it is more fun to ridicule them. It makes their blood pressure rise.

    • BudClark

      Mine is too … especially after the Houston thing.

  • pickypecker

    Yo, Mat (with one ‘T’)…incoming message…

    http://cdn.meme.am/instances/56903137.jpg

  • Gustav2

    the letter is a bit contradictory:

    “…at no time in more than 12 years of ministry has Mr. Wells or any of the other volunteer ministers who assist him ever used “derogatory language” in a manner that “conveys bias towards or hatred of” children with various issues involving sexuality. He has never (nor would he ever) call a child names, such as “abnormal,” or “deviant,” or “sinful.””

    BUT “At all times, Mr. Wells has conveyed the truth of God’s Word, and provided spiritual counseling in all kinds of situations – including discussions of sin and forgiveness – in a manner that is
    sensitive to the needs and feelings of the children.”

    You see, it is not derogatory to call a sin a sin. If the minor child then concludes he/she is a sinner in need of forgiveness, well…

    • ScottJL

      Contradictory, that about sums up the “Bible.”

    • Bryan

      See? They just put a positive spin on it! Yay!

  • Richard Rush

    I’d love to see this headline:

    Liberty Counsel Fights Against the Right to Tell TrueChristians They Are Full of Shit.

    • Doug105

      But it’s my deeply sincere religious beliefs that I should tell them.

  • ScottJL

    If a physician were fighting for the right to go into the detention center and inject the children with drugs to “cure” them of anything against their will people would be all over this, the case with this “pastor” is the same.

    • BearEyes

      not enough people will see the connection.

  • Bryan

    Oh here we go,
    “Indeed, Mr. Wells himself is ideally suited to minister to them, as he was sexually abused for many years by a man when he was a young child, and successfully went on to overcome that abuse.”

    • Octavio

      Yup. They be playing the abuse card, ’cause they knows soooo much ’bout it. :-/

    • Gustav2

      They left out two words:

      “and successfully went on to overcome that abuse.” with Jesus

    • Stev84

      Wells is being found to have abused someone himself in 3..2…1

    • MDB

      “…at no time in more than 12 years of ministry has Mr. Wells or any of the other volunteer ministers who assist him ever used “derogatory language” in a manner that “conveys bias towards or hatred of” children with various issues involving sexuality. He has never (nor would he ever) call a child names, such as “abnormal,” or “deviant,” or “sinful.”

      But calling them “damned, and perverts” is just okley-dokley !! What a duplicitous asshole !!

  • Sue Huybensz

    I feel so bad for these kids. Like it is not bad enough to be locked up, now they have to be insulted too?

  • pj

    so here we have another asshole starting another bogus religious liberty fire in the south. think fox will do 17 segments and put the kentucky krazy on a few times for good measure? think the crowd of republikans
    running for president wont try to turn this into a persecuted christian story. this is what they do. anything but talk about unemployment, global warming and all the other issues they dont want to talk about. its been going on for years now…its what they fucking do…

  • sherman

    OT, but I found interesting/funny. Watching an old Perry Mason episode (for the youngsters here, stars gay man Raymond Burr).

    Della entering his office: “Perry, I know you’re busy but there’s a young couple in the outer office and they’d like to see you, they say it’s very urgent.”
    Perry: “I am, quite busy.”
    Della: “She’s quite pretty.”
    Perry, with huge grin: “I don’t suppose you noticed what the young man looked like.”

    Just wondering how much fun he and his friends had with this inside joke.

    • David Walker

      I mentioned to a lesbian friend a tad younger than I that we’d discovered Perry Mason on one of the retro channels. Her eyes got really wide and she exclaimed, “Della Street!” Perhaps she was a lesbian icon…she certainly was for this woman.

    • Steverino

      Ray Burr was a great guy. Anytime any JMG readers are in the Russian River area, they should drive up the river to Dry Creek Valley (northwest of Healdsburg) and visit his winery, which is still owned and run by his partner. There is a big daddy bear from the Azores who often pours in the tiny tasting room, and he’s a hoot.

  • Jake

    So typical: “People not being forced to listen to me is violating my freedom of speech”

    • Gustav2

      Help, I’ve fallen off my government sponsored pedestal and can’t get up!

      • Doug105

        They need a much higher pedestal to fall off.

        • vorpal

          A little nudge wouldn’t hurt. (Ha.)

  • j.martindale
  • Wynter Marie Starr

    Does he tell the straight rapists/offenders they are going to hell? Did he minister Josh “fingers” Duggar?

    I have a young gay relative. If this prick ever told him he was going to hell for the way he was born, he’d have a face full of angry Brooklyn woman explaining how and why he is an asshole full of shit.

    I hope any young gay men this “preacher” comes into contact with has a good lawyer and someone supportive in their lives.

    • I hope any young gay man has a relative like you. What would Staver prefer – the safety of the minister or my shoe embedded firmly up the minister’s ass?

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        I don’t suppose it ever occurs to these people that these young gay men might be acting out because of the crap they have to deal with from bigots. When kids are involved, I tend to go mama bear. I can’t help it.

        Anyone that would hurt a child for innate traits deserves a swift kick in the ass.

    • David Walker

      It’s sort of different and sort of the same. When I was admitted to a local hospital, a question on one of the many forms asked if I’d like to be visited by the chaplain. I checked the No box. A couple of days later, my partner was visiting me (I still couldn’t get out of bed) and we were talking, laughing, holding hands. A man and woman came in and told me they were chaplains and wondered if there was anything they could do. I said no and they could go to someone else. They clearly had seen us holding hands and added things up and told us they had a message for us. I told them I didn’t want to hear it. We actually got into an argument and I threatened to call a nurse. They left telling us that we’d be in their prayers. In the best “fuck you” I could muster, I yelled out, “Don’t bother!”

      Apparently there is a random selection of patients who receive questionnaires. “We want to be a world-class medical facility…”. There was a small section on chaplain services. Everything else received satisfied to very satisfied; chaplain questions were utterly unsatisfactory. There was a place for comments. They got it. Full force.

      Maybe two weeks later (it was pretty quick), I got a letter from The Chaplain. He could not be more apologetic. He explained that they were in training and were entirely inappropriate, that they should have left when I first refused their services. He told me they’d been let go. He also asked me to apologize to my partner for him. Then he invited us back to the hospital because he wanted to apologize in person. We accepted, had a free lunch and a very interesting and positive conversation.

      I have a feeling the kids at DJJ are not given evaluation sheets when they leave.

      • Steverino

        That’s a great story, David, thank you.

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        The difference is that one man was a professional and the two that disrespected you and your partner have no business working with the public, never mind a ministry. I’m sorry that you were disrespected in such a way, especially when you were in a setting that makes you vulnerable.

        I know and like a lot of people of faith. They respect the fact that I have no faith and I respect the fact that they do. When they tell me they are going to pray for me, I take it as the well meaning gesture it is and I say thank you. When total strangers tell me they are going to pray for me after finding out I’m an atheist or an ally, I know just how they mean it and I let them know that as well.

        I’m so pleased you got an apology. You certainly deserved one.

        The minster in this story is even worse than the two that came to visit you. As an intelligent adult, you knew there would be a method for recourse at some point. The children are a captive audience and don’t have a voice. And, they may very well take this man’s word that they are evil and going to hell. How many more kids are going to have to hear those words and take them to heart, becoming self hating? Or worse, turn to drugs, risky behavior, and suicide?

        • David Walker

          I watched “Southern Baptist Sissies” again last night. I recommend it if you haven’t seen it. It’s by Del Shores (“Sordid Lives”) and looks at 4 young men raised in the place “where we learned to hate ourselves.” As 20-somethings, they become a thinker, a Baylor bible student, a drag queen (Iona Traylor), and a suicide. There are several monologues by the guys. The bible student is infuriating; the suicide is heartbreaking, mostly because you know what he’s saying is true. Being a Del Shores show, it’s also very funny, especially with the two recovering Baptist alcoholics. But it speaks to this prison bullshit and the fragility of young people and the fact that they don’t have a voice…and need one so badly. (I also heartily recommend “Sordid Lives,” if you haven’t seen it. It’s billed as “A black comedy about white trash.”)

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            Are they available on youtube? I watch very little TV and I can rarely sit through a movie. My husband get frustrated with me and insists I must have ADHD, but the truth is most movies/TV bore me. I’d like to see these documentaries I’m assuming. The sentence “where we learned to hate ourselves” is heartbreaking all on its own.

            ANd, yes, young people certainly do need a voice. Until they can find their own, we are their voices.

          • David Walker

            They are both feature films, not docs, and I have them on DVD. I doubt either of them is complete on YT, but scenes from both are, which would give you a taste of each. There’s also a TV series of “Sordid Lives” with clips on YT. I’m not on Netflix, so I don’t know if they’re there.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            Thanks, I’ll check out the clips at the very least. And ask around. I’d be willing to be I know someone who has them. Thanks!

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            I just watched the first 20 mins of “SBS’s” I will definitely be looking for the rest of it. Even the short preaching part seemed very alien to me. I’ve been to any number of Catholic weddings and funerals, a fair number of Wiccan ceremonies, and have spent a great deal of time in temple with various friends and lovers. Even the vid Joe posted earlier seems so over the top to me and a bit – – frightening is the closest emotion I can come up with right now. Thanks for the rec. The Thinker is quite adorable and a good actor.

          • David Walker

            Indeed. Growing up, my family’s church was Presbyterian…god’s frozen people. However, I would go with friends to their churches, and some of them went to Those Churches. I will say I usually enjoyed the music, but I had a hard time with the sermons.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            LOL, god’s frozen people. I never heard that expression. I grew up in a Jewish nabe, so even the religious music that I’m most comfortable with is the sound of a cantor singing. People sometimes underestimate the influence of what we experience in childhood has upon us, but that’s just silly. It can affect every area of our lives including what foods we eat and the products we use.

          • Sweet Baby Jesus! The aunt trying to quit smoking was dead on. If that actress was not from the deep south then she was channeling several of my middle aged relatives!

          • David Walker

            I agree. Beth Grant. And she was..

          • I’ve seen the movie and the tv series as well as the DVD of Southern Baptist Sissies. I love Leslie Jordan in SBS.

          • David Walker

            I love Leslie Jordan. He can do no wrong. And his voice. God, what a voice.

          • “Well, well, well. Karen Walker. I thought I smelled gin and regret.”

            Southern Baptist Sissies was hard for me to watch. That is my childhood although i wasn’t sexually active while I was still Baptist, I do remember the guilt and shame. Sheer nonsense. I revisit all that as rarely as possible. Far more than I’d like since I have to visit relatives and sometimes funerals and weddings are full of that bullshit.

          • The sound track includes Olivia Newton John’s best work in over 30 years.

          • David Walker

            I think so, too.

          • Tammie Wynette was going to be in the movie and sing the theme song. She died before they got to filming so her daughter played her in the sequences where she appears to Brother Boy and ONJ sang the theme song.

  • bkmn

    No Mut, you don’t get to force a kid to listen to your mumbo jumbo because they are in prison. NO.

  • AtticusP

    Time to get a REAL job, you fucking grifter.

    More and more of your gullible sheep are dying off every day.

  • SorryNotSorry

    Ugh, what a dick.

    • BudClark

      I wouldn’t know, and don’t want to .

  • Chuck in NYC

    Let’s see — Looks to me like they’re arguing for the right of anyone to go anywhere and pitch his or her agenda. So how about we allow non-Christians [your faith/atheism here] to go into your churches and pitch their agendas?

    How is that different?

    • RoFaWh

      Not very different when you come down to it. Church members can be described as prisoners, too, prisoners of a crazy bunch of bronze age beliefs formulated by goat herders of the time.

  • MDB

    BOO.FUCKING.HOO. So you can only use your Bible as a WEAPON – to demoralize, to judge, to condemn and to preach hell-fire and brimstone and MORE HATRED – to the young offenders ??? You SHOULD be kept away from them. (We wouldn’t any messages of love, forgiveness, compassion and redemption reaching their young minds would we !?!?!)

    • Gustav2

      You librul ‘Piscopalian! You just don’t understand the Great Commission! 😉

      • MDB

        I guess not, as I have no tolerance, nor any patience for, abject stupidity, racism, hatred, or intolerance.
        So spank me, already 😉

        • Gustav2

          😉

          • BudClark

            Kin I watch? Huh? Huh?

  • EdmondWherever

    Surgeons with scalpels are found in hospitals. They don’t come into juvenile hall and start cutting.

    Keep your “healers” where they belong, in church.

  • Octavio

    Yes, Mat Staver and cohorts firmly believe they have the Constitutional right to minister their deeply held beliefs to minors and that any attempt to prevent their access to minors is to abridge their religious freedom.

    I foresee bad things in Mat Staver’s future. 🙂

    • David Walker

      I’m thinking that the lovely lawyer Mattie sees this as a way of skirting “ex-gay” prohibitions. The preacher is a volunteer, not paid staff. There is no reason for them to be required to interact with him.

      • Silver Badger

        Actually, the covert pressure is pretty intense.

    • Robincho

      … and once again the matshit hits the fan…

  • JT

    Pastor David Wells has served as a volunteer for over ten years, faithfully visiting and mentoring juveniles at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center, under the prison ministry of Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady.

    So he’s been abusing youth for 10 years? Lock the fucker up.

    • Bad Tom

      Turnabout is fair play.

  • Stev84

    Prison ministries are dangerous for many reasons. Under the guise of “helping” inmates they are just another way for churches to have access to vulnerable people. In this case literally a captive audience that can be coerced to listen.

    Christianity in particular offers a way for criminals to refuse responsibility for their actions by saying that god has forgiven them. Aside from privileges for religious prisoners, that’s a big reason for prison conversions.

    • Gustav2

      Being able to refuse responsibility for their actions is why so many politicians are Christianists.

  • Harley

    Right. So they want to teach biblical morality of raping virgins, beating your slave to death, and murdering your child on an “alter” cause God told you so. Sounds like morality to me.

  • Phil

    This is about protecting vulnerable kids, not about your fabricated right to preach your fables anywhere and anytime you like.

  • FuBear

    Isn’t there some sort of law against active proselytizing to a captive audience? ie you can not walk up and down the line at the DMV, or at a bust stop, being one of those abrasive street preachers kind of thing.

    Or to kids in a closed classroom. Etc

    Wouldn’t this rank right up there with that idea?

    • Gustav2

      THESE are the practices they are afraid of losing. Common practices in many places.

  • Christopher

    Staver’s mental illness needs to be addressed.

  • Cuberly

    How is it normal for a volunteer to be appraised of an inmates crime?

    A long time ago I volunteered at a half-way house used for low level offenders. During our orientation sessions we were told to not ask the house occupants what their crime nor what their personal situation was. It was a somewhat clinical approach but it made sense. The volunteers weren’t there to gather stories we where there to help teach basic PC and word processing skills.

    He’s not mentoring he’s proselytizing. What a load of bullshit.

    • Gustav2

      Why would you need to know their ‘sin?’ You weren’t there to give ‘forgiveness’

      • Cuberly

        Definitely not. Imparting skills was what mattered.

    • KCMC

      Serious confidentiality issue especially with minors.

      • Cuberly

        Precisely.

        I realize he was obviously given a pass, being a pastor and all. But again, volunteers alone with inmates? Mentoring? Did our pastor friend have any counseling training? This really stinks.

        • KCMC

          no pass, kids in state care always supervised by state worker or licensed professional.
          Volunteers, mentors are vital community partners. And function within supervision of facility.
          (this all makes my old soc wkr head explode)

          • Cuberly

            I was involved in a classroom situation with a minimum of one other instructor. It was very student/teacher oriented. There where definitely religious groups involved in the program as well but it wasn’t in a proselytizing way. It was all about life skills and training.

            EDIT: I should mention I worked with adults not minors.

  • geoffalnutt

    Hell is an imaginary place invented to sell you the imaginary alternative.

  • CB

    This is pure and simple “showboating.” File suit if you’re serious. If not, shut up. If you do file suit, and lose–which is likely–however, you set a precedent that will put a crimp in your fundraising. These people are idiots and blowhards.

  • Ireyon

    If juveniles in a facility have mental problems they need a psychoterapist. If they have health problems, a doctor.

    There is no reason for a priest to be there.

  • Max_1

    Nice poly/wool blend suit Matt wears…

  • Christophe

    What’s heartening about this is how “religious counseling” is quickly being regarded as unprofessional, unregulated, abusive interference in otherwise secular and neutral institutional environments. Keep religion away from detainees, patients, youth and all other at-risk, vulnerable populations. Useless, unscientific misinformation makes recovery, rehabilitation and healing unnecessarily difficult. Fire the clergy and send them packing, and replace with APA certified counselors.

  • “To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands,” Staver said. “Without it, they cannot provide healing.”

    Telling them they’re going to hell is really healing, isn’t it?

    “DJJ 912 equates the teaching of Biblical morality with derogatory, biased, and hateful speech.”

    Got it in one.

    • skeptical_inquirer

      I keep wanting to ask if the surgeon’s name is Hannibal Lecter.

    • Eric in Oakland

      “Telling them they’re going to hell is really healing, isn’t it?”

      But how can he sell his snake oil if he isn’t allowed to threaten them with dire consequences if they refuse to buy it?

  • RLK2

    And how will the LGBT community react to Liberty? They won’t. Again on the defensive and never on offense in these matters. The community cannot ignore all this stuff. It adds up to influence public opinion.

  • SFBruce

    Remember Andrea Yates? She drowned her five children in their bathtub because “God told her to.” Fortunately for her, she had a more sensible attorney than Matt Staver, who I suppose would have offered the Abraham and Issac defense, as Ms. Yates was merely following “Biblical morality.

    This happened in Texas, so I figured she’d be executed, and that’s exactly what the prosecution wanted initially. After the guilty verdict was handed down, but before sentencing had been determined, it came out that one of the State’s expert psychiatric witnesses provided false testimony, so she was initially sentenced to life. Surprisingly, for Texas, that verdict was overturned on appeal, where she was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Today, she’s in a mental hospital, some of which I know are horrible, but at least the state of Texas finally handled this tragic case in a way that resembles justice.

  • oikos
    • vorpal

      LOL this is an appropriate response for about half the articles on JMG :-).

      • agcons

        I think you’ve underestimated a bit.

  • Tom (Winnipeg)

    Yeah, let’s raise a race of paranoid neurotics, just like yourselves.

  • Craig C

    “DJJ 912 equates the teaching of Biblical morality with derogatory, biased, and hateful speech.”

    So, what is the issue?

  • Mark

    PREACHER! Leave them kids alone!

  • Ninja0980

    Just another reminder what POS Liberty Counsel are.

  • Silver Badger

    Fighting for the right to drive gay youth to suicide, even when they are in jail. Do these loving christians tell heterosexual youth they are hell-bound because of what ever CRIME they committed? Or do they say, “God will forgive you, just not the gay guy in the cell next door, he did the same thing, but he’s gay so its worse”.

  • Clive Johnson

    Staver, you have no constitutional right to proselytize captive audiences with your primitive religious superstitions.

    Today, the traditionalist belief in hell represents an infantilization of humanity. It’s a throwback to primitive civilization and has no place in a society that desperately needs to be more ethical, scientific and rational.

    How pathetic: Believe me, or you’ll face unimaginable torment in some fantasy world that my religion believes in.

    If we lived in a more enlightened society there would be a large institutional push against these pernicious religious fictions. Hell is a tool of authoritarian control. It’s the best means the primitive mind has come up with, other than totalitarian information restriction, to curtail inquiry, to preserve conservative ignorance and perpetuate stupidity.

    I’ve said it before: Aside from climate change and ecocidal capitalism, the biggest ethical challenge of the 21st century is pulling humanity out of the primitive psychology of religious traditionalism.

  • TexasBoy

    Matt Staver made a Freudian slip comparing the Bible to a Scalpel. Both can do great harm, maim, and even kill in the wrong hands.

  • Johnny Jaqua

    While his right to visit an inmate who requests it should remain inviolate, he doesn’t have the right to preach to anyone other than at their request. his 1st amendment rights do not extend into the detention center. His right to practice his religion is not deterred he can continue his ministry at his church home and in public if he likes.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Your religion is toxic. It should be applied only with adult consent.

    • Jan Wesselius

      I thought torture of children was against the law, even with the parents consent.

      • Unfortunately, the State all too often defers to the parents’ wishes — and don’t forget, abusive parents are often very skilful liars.

  • David Dunn

    I was an RN in the Philly jail system for almost 10 years, on various psych units. Even though I’m an atheist, I never imposed my disbelief on the inmates, but rather used my knowledge of religions to help them find their own meaning and comfort. During my time there, though, I came across a few religious doozies, including one psychiatrist who was also a minister, and had the gall to “prescribe” buybull Verses, and told a Jewish patient her “people killed Jesus”. I reported him, and he never spoke to me ever again except when absolutely necessary. As an atheist, I don’t believe there’s a fine line between religion and delusion– there’s no line.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Do they offer spiritual guidance from other religions? If this joker has been careful not to cause a problem, then what’s the issue? Not every ‘christian’ group sees LGBT people as hell bound and sinful. The letter was long and boring. The jail has every right to turn him away if he doesn’t sign the paperwork. Fuck them.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    Did the Juvenile Center consider the good pastor’s “mentoring” a cheap substitute for competent professional counseling services?

  • StraightGrandmother

    The Pastor CAN preach that it is wrong to rape.
    The Preacher CAN preach that sex before marriage is a sin.
    There are a lot of things he can be preaching on, but the one thing he is not permitted it preach on is that being gay is a sin.
    These children are literally in the bodily custody of the State, if they were in the custody of their parents the parents could yank them away from such preaching. The State has to act like the parents & the State is saying to quit messing with the heads of our children.

    Tell me how this is much different than what Exodus practiced before it shut down & said it doesn’t work. Except the listeners are minors instead of adults.

    • zhera

      The surprising thing here is that Kentucky State is doing the right thing.

      • NancyP

        Not at all. My guess is that this “minister” is stirring up trouble of all sorts at the Juvie facility, and management wants him off the premises. I am sure that there is documentation, because management doesn’t want to have to deal with idiot legislators either. KY is definitely a state where manufactured Xian outrage is a political necessity. Many of the kids have anger issues before they arrive at Juvie, perhaps rightfully so, and keeping them calm and cooperative and learning is the goal, not stirring them up.

        • Franciscan

          Thank you for the phrase “manufactured outrage.” How perfect for describing the daily caterwauling of the Christian haters so often quoted here.

  • Macbill

    Perhaps they need a volunteer from The Satanic Temple to volunteer to teach the kids that bigoted scare messages from folks who believe in a Scary Angry God from the Bronze Age don’t mean shit.

  • jugomono

    I went to Catholic school for 12 years. After about 7 of those years of being told I was GOING TO HELL FOR EVERYTHING I DID, especially being GAY, I became an atheist. Thank you Sisters & Brothers for opening my eyes!

  • DesertSun59

    The sole reason why Christians are up in arms about marriage equality is that they knew for a FACT that once it happened nationwide, they’d be told they were stupid for condemning gays at all. The fact that they are so freaked out about not being able to use gays as their raison d’etre is telling. They’re a death cult. Pure and simple.

    • Nexus1

      Also because marriage has always brought people together (so much so that it’s been a tool to unite countries after war or to prevent war altogether) they know that it is normalizing gay people among their own families and society as a whole. It is becoming a link between gay and straight, it’s tearing down barriers and allowing people to see gay people as just fellow married stiffs. On top of that there is an entire generation of young gay people who are living their lives openly with their families and straight friends and colleagues and they don’t see themselves as different or odd and neither does their circle. When the anti gays try to condemn them they are looked upon as idiots and weirdos, they are laughed at and dismissed. That is much worse for them than the ‘persecution’ the crave for. Being dismissed entirely will be the death knell of that movement and it is what they are trying to prevent. But marriage now being the law and the norm for future generations is the tolling of the bells for them. They know the end of the anti gay gravy train in the U.S coming, so they are trying to export their hatred overseas much like the tobacco industry did 20 years ago.

  • teedofftaxpayer

    Woe is me, woe is me. The sky is falling. They accuse gays of stopping their rights as religious followers but they don’t give a flying “F” about the person’s right not to listen their filth. I guess they think their Bible trumps the Constitution.

    • Homo Erectus

      They think their buybull Is the constitution.

      • teedofftaxpayer

        Is that their “daily constitution”?

  • Paula

    I have had several of the x-stain nuts say this to me. I always respond that I am ready and I will take them with me. They always go away.

  • Nychta

    I’ll bet these kids appreciate someone who will listen to them much more than someone who will spout dogma in their general direction.

  • Jan Wesselius

    Go ahead and tell the kids they are going to hell, The will learn to hate the church as much as I have. I was also told that if I was a better son, my drunken cheating father that my mother divorced would not have left, of course I was sentenced to hell for not being a better son. I was 7 years old at the time that was told to me by a pastor. Yes I hate religion.

    • Homo Erectus

      Fuck the church. I think you’re perfect.

    • LonelyLiberal

      I’m not related to you and don’t know you, so don’t have any cash on this fight. So I’ll tell it to you straight up.

      1) Both you and your mother were better off without a drunken, cheating father/husband.

      2) Separation and divorce is never the fault of a seven year old child.

      3) That pastor was a complete ass, idiot, jerk, and so on. I’d say “fuckwad” but I just drip class out my ass, baby.

      4) So far your comments have seemed quite reasonable and ethical to me.

      • Jan Wesselius

        I realize that the pastor was a dickwad today but when your 7 years old you don’t question the pastor. I just wonder how many kids this Pasto Wells has ruined for God.

        • LonelyLiberal

          A lot, probably. Look on the bright side, maybe he got hit by a bus years ago?

        • No, a child trapped in a dysfunctional family doesn’t understand that there is something wrong. He just doesn’t have enough experience of the world to; but your “pastor” should have had, and he failed strikingly in his duty to you and to his God.

    • The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Which undermines the claims of religion far more than hate and anger do. It is much harder to achieve than hate, of course.

  • stranded

    Please tell me again how I’m going to hell. It makes me feel so much closer to baby Jesus.

  • Unless they requested to see a minister, he shouldn’t have had access to them in the first place.

  • skeptical_inquirer

    So if God told me that I should leave a paper bag full of flaming poop on your doorstep, that means you support it. Thank you so much, Liberty counsel.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    Perhaps the Temple of Satan should petition for the right to tell Christian kids in the Kentucky juvenile detention system that Hell is a great place to spend eternity, with freedom and not a harp to be found.

    • LonelyLiberal

      And no wings? Have you ever tried to walk past a living room table when winged? Constantly replacing glassware gets expensive, you know.

  • Dale Snyder

    As long as they preach that this piece of shit is going straight to hell for what he is wearing. Leviticus and all.

  • DaveW

    Wait-we still give pastors access to children??????? We learn nothing.

    I would think the first amendment bars government enabling the kids’brainwashing. Sounds like establishment to me.

  • Jeffrey Samuels

    Hey Joe! Get this trash off your posting area. This is an ad, not a post.

    • Yup, ’tis spam, one of the plagues of the modern age. No point in rousing on Joe over it — he doesn’t put it there.

      Just flag it. When three people flag it, it will go away. Move your mouse pointer over the post and a little flag will appear at tits top right-hand corner. Click on that, say yes in the dialogue box thus called up, and your civic duty is done.

  • teedofftaxpayer

    If they can tell gay kids they’re going to hell does that mean we can tell straight kids there is no God? Just wondering, tit for tat.

    • ExGayTherapyKills

      There is a god but the bad news is we are in hell.