Posted in christianity, crime and punishment, exorcism, gay, lgbt, news, sex offender, suicide, Uncategorized, victim

Sex Offenders Walk While Victims Sentenced

possession

Earlier this week the news broke about an Iowan youth minister conducting a unique exorcism of sorts on teenage boys that were having homosexual “tendencies.” According to his victims, Brent Girouex would trick these boys into having sex with him to make them sexually pure. While he was allegedly raping these boys, he would pray over them and their ejaculation would be releasing their bodies of the homosexual “demons.” He was charged with 60 counts of child exploitation by a counselor or therapist for raping four boys with one as young as 14. At least eight more victims have since stepped forward. Girouex was recently sentenced to 17 years in prison, however the sentence was suspended. A suspended sentence means that prison sentence looms over your head for a certain amount of time, in this case five years, and if the individual doesn’t get in trouble again or violate the rules of their conditional release, the prison sentence will be wiped out. Girouex has been sentenced to five years of probation and he is required to attend sexual offender treatment with the suspended 17 year sentence over his head. Now, you might be asking why this individual is not behind bars. According to the judge, it’s because Girouex’s victims continued to seek him out after their first encounter. Well, of course they’re going to want more! If he’s telling some confused teenagers that they’ll be “cured” of being gay by having sex with him, of course they’re going to seek more “treatment” from him. If I believed this man in my teens when I was as religious as I was, and fearful my family would disown me, you’d better believe I’d be doing anything to get rid of those “demons” in my body. A gay teenager is vulnerable, and in a time when they needed someone to trust and confide in, this man victimized them. Now their perpetrator is going to walk free and probably offend more innocent victims.

Brent Girouex
Brent Girouex

Another story recently broke involving a Montana teacher that raped a 14-year-old girl. Stacey Dean Rambold had three encounters with the minor before being charged for the crimes. The minor was so tormented by this teacher’s actions that she committed suicide before the case went to trial. Rambold was ordered to attend sex offender therapy, but was eventually kicked out of the program. He was recently sentenced and given 15 years in prison, but the Judge G. Todd Baugh only ordered him to serve 31 days with a one day credit. Therefore, he was sentenced to just a month in jail for raping and tormenting a girl that led to her death. The judge made this ruling because he said the girl had just as much control over the situation as the teacher did and that she was older than her chronological age. The judge is going to likely change the sentence as the public outcry has been large and state law may require that Rambold serve at least two years in prison. The “Honorable” Baugh is up for reelection soon.

Stacey Dean Rambold
Stacey Dean Rambold

I read and hear about these stories and I can’t help but to think what the hell is wrong with our justice system? When did these judges go back to the “victim deserved it” mentality? A woman is wearing a revealing shirt, so it’s her fault that she got raped. No, it’s not the victims fault.

"Honorable" G. Todd Baugh
“Honorable” G. Todd Baugh

These cases made me think of the Kaitlyn Hunt case in Florida. Yes, I believe she’s a perpetrator and should be held accountable for her actions. I wonder how can a man that held power over these four boys and fed them absolutely ludicrous claims just to molest and rape them walk free or give a man that also had control over a female student 30 days in jail while Kaitlyn Hunt could be facing 15 years in prison? I know she was offered a plea deal that she should have taken, and there’s still a chance she could walk without much of a punishment, but there are extenuating circumstances that can excuse any lenient sentence she is given. I don’t see any obvious extenuating circumstances in the cases against Brent Girouex and Stacey Dean Rambold.

Cherice Moralez
Cherice Moralez

I don’t support minimum sentences for crimes, but I do support a recommended minimum sentence that allows a judge or jury to a set a sentence on a case-by-case basis while considering the recommended minimum sentence. A key component to sentences is to deter the perpetrator as well as the public on committing future crimes. If we’re not punishing sexual predators for raping our children, then we’re setting a precedence that encourages them to continue their predatory practices. Sex offenders, especially repeat offenders would marvel at the idea of being able to commit heinous crimes against the vulnerable and being given no jail time to a very minimal amount. We must call upon our politicians to hold judges that have blatant disregard for humanity accountable for their rulings. If judges are elected to their position in your state, I encourage you to look into some of their rulings to see if they deserve the bench they serve. They are here to keep the people safe and protected, not to protect criminals.

Posted in Basketball, christianity, discrimination, Florida, Football, gay, homophobia, lgbt, NBA, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized

The Tim Tebow Effect

“Christianity of the sort that Tebow preaches is the reason people like Collins have such a hard time coming out. Tebow hasn’t said anything disparaging about Collins, but evangelical Christians have no doubt acted like they’re being oppressed by the “gay agenda” while at the same time being the oppressors.” – Hemant Mehta

Recently, NBA free agent center, Jason Collins announced he is gay. Collins because the first openly gay athlete in the four major sports in the United States. The gay community heralded him as an inspiration and a hero. While I was looking up news on his coming out, I came across a woman’s tweet that said it was a sad day when people were heralding Jason Collins as a hero for his openness about his homosexuality and a football player that is outspoken on his Christian faith can’t find a job in the NFL. At that time, Tim Tebow had been released by the New York Jets. It was recently announced that Tim Tebow will become a quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Tim Tebow was brought to national prominence after leading the Florida Gators to two BCS National Championships in 2006 and 2008 and winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He has been known for his conservative views on faith before he came on the national stage. Tim Tebow is probably most famous for writing Bible verses on his black eye strips during his college years. He actually inspired the NCAA to ban such a practice. The new rule was dubbed the “Tebow Rule.”He and his mom were spotlighted in a Focus on the Family anti-abortion commercial that was ran during the 2010 Super Bowl. Focus on the Family is run by James Dobson, one of the most prominent anti-gay figures and a leader in the ex-gay movement.

tebow-eye-black-psal_74255a

Tebow is known for touring the country, going to churches and sharing his religious testimony. I don’t hold Tebow’s passion for his faith against him and I actually commend him for standing up for what he believes in. It seems as though some Christians are trying to use Tim Tebow as a martyr for their perceived inequalities about Christianity. As pointed out in the tweet by a woman I mentioned above, and the political cartoon I posted earlier, people are claiming Tebow is being discriminated against by the NFL while everyone is embracing Jason Collins. They ignore the fact that ignorance and intolerance about homosexuality are widespread throughout sports.

So, is Tim Tebow really being discriminated against because of his outspokenness about his faith, or is he just not that great of a quarterback? I have to believe its the latter. There is more evidence to support that Tebow is a subpar quarterback that underperforms in the NFL. Former NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship in 2000 and a Super Bowl appearance for the Rams the following year in 2001 and as the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. I lived in St. Louis during the Ram’s heydays and it was a very well known fact that Kurt Warner was a very religious individual. He was outspoken about his faith and was often seen in Christian commercials. His religiousness never held him back from being a player on a team.

There is actually more proof arguing that people that support gay rights are being discriminated against in the NFL. Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens become a national icon for marriage equality during the 2012 NFL season. He is not gay, but a straight ally that used his team’s appearance in the Super Bowl to bring attention to marriage equality. A couple months ago, the Ravens released him. They stated it was not because he was outspoken about his support for gay rights, but one could argue that it is a reason. The Baltimore Ravens had actually pressured him to pipe down about his outspokenness about equality while he was a member of the team. Former kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kluwe was also recently released by his team after he spoke up in support for marriage equality. The Vikings deny that’s the reason he was released from the team. Two weeks later, Kluwe signed with the Oakland Raiders. Both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe jointly wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting marriage equality. I want to be clear in stating that I am not arguing these are the reasons Brendon and Chris were released by their teams, but it is important to point out for the purpose of this entry.

Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo at the 2013 GLAAD Awards
Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo at the 2013 GLAAD Awards

We know the culture within sports is tense between homosexuality and athletes. Many athletes speak against homosexuality on the air and have negative attitudes about having a gay teammate. Others are open and supportive to the idea of homosexuality in sports. The most damning evidence against the argument that Tim Tebow is the fact that he really is not that great of an NFL quarterback. He thrived in college, because the Gators were built around his type of offense and it was easier for him to run the ball in college than in the NFL. Most NFL teams are not going to build an offense around him. They would have a difficult time signing wide receivers, because they’d know they wouldn’t get to see the ball as often as other teams. Tebow’s stats in the NFL are subpar and not in line with some of the more commanding quarterbacks that teams want.

I find it rather ironic that those who tell gay people to keep their sexuality to his or her self, are now attempting to cry foul and say the media and LGBT community are telling Tim Tebow to keep his faith to himself. Hemant Mehta summarizes it best in the quote I posted above. The fact of the matter is that Tebow wasn’t being shunned by football teams because of his faith, but because he isn’t a strong quarterback. Athletic statistics don’t lie. With the help of Tom Brady and the Patriots staff, Tebow may be able to become a talented NFL QB. Maybe they can train him to play in another position where he will succeed. Time will tell if he will become a better player in the NFL, but his Christianity has nothing to do with how he performs in the NFL. It is ignorant to believe it does.

**The NHL and many other sports teams and athletes have teamed up with the “You Can Play Project,” which is an organization to bring awareness to ignorance about homosexuality in sports. It’s a phenomenal organization and if you haven’t already, I suggest you check them out!**

Posted in children, christianity, current events, gay, lgbt, news, religion, youth

The Boy Scouts Fall Out

boyscouts

The Boy Scouts of America is about teamwork, camaraderie, teamwork, loyalty, hard work and being gay. At least that’s what the Southern Baptist Convention would like you to believe. The Boy Scouts of America recently boted to repeal an age-old ban on gay members. The Southern Baptists are angry. They fear the gay community is going to invade the organization and infect the minds of their little boys. The Southern Baptist convention is set to convene in Houston on June 11 and 12, where they are expected to overwhelmingly pass a non-binding initiative encouraging their congregations to end their support of the Boy Scouts. They claim its the only solution to resolve the issue of the Boy Scouts of America contradicting the church’s morals and teachings.

The Catholic archbishop to the United States has gone on the record to say the repeal of the ban does not contradict the teachings of their church, but they will allow each bishop decided what is best for their congregations. Some Catholic dioceses have chosen to drop their support for the boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts is not without support though. They have actually found support in the unlikeliest of places. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, one of the most anti-gay denominations in Christianity and one of the biggest supporters of the Boy Scouts of America supported the Boy Scout’s repeal. Other organizations that support the Boy Scouts are The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Southern Baptists are no strangers to calling for boycotts. They called for a nationwide boycott of the Disney Corporation in the 90s due to their support of the LGBT community.

By repealing the ban on gay people in the scouts, the Boy Scouts are not stating they condone the acts of being gay. They are making a statement that any boy can be a member of their organization regardless of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation should not come into play in the Boy Scouts. It’s not as though the Boy Scouts are now going to have gay orgy camping trips, or teach a lesson on how to take it up the ass. By accepting gay people as members, the Boy Scouts is making the issue of being gay a non-issue, as it should be. Sexuality and sex has no place in the Boy Scouts regardless of whether a member is gay, straight, bisexual, questioning or whatever sexuality you want to apply here.

Southern Baptists are attempting to take a “high moral road” by renouncing their support of the Boy Scouts, but in reality they are doing something that is not Biblically-based. A core belief in Christianity is to model yourself after Jesus. Anyone with the simplest knowledge about the Bible knows that Jesus surrounded himself with everyone. He walked with sinners, he talked with sinners and he sat down and ate with them. Southern Baptists are making it clear that they will not support an organization that simply says any boy is welcome into their group. If Southern Baptists want to work against the Bible and harm their own causes in the process, I say more power to them.

The Boy Scouts are better off without the support of Southern Baptists. The teachings of the Southern Baptists contradict the core beliefs of the Boy Scouts. The falling out between the Boy Scouts and the Southern Baptist convention will broaden the horizons for the Boy Scouts while the Southern Baptists spiral downward into insignificance. Southern Baptists will continue to spread and endorse discrimination and hatred towards homosexuality. They will continue harboring and supporting anti-gay bullying while the Boy Scouts become stronger while providing exceptional service to their communities and helping to shape morally upstanding boys.