The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, October 10, 2005

The dangers of heterosexual men in the church

I'm not sure how many times this sort of scandal has erupted in the last few years, but I'm incredibly sick of hearing about it. Even as the fundamentalist right insists that they have a divine right to rule this nation, prominent members are exposed as vicious sexual predators with alarming regularity. It's time to drive these people back to the fringes of American politics until they've adopted the maxim "Faith healer, heal thyself."

After news broke that local law enforcement officials were investigating complaints that Louis Beres, longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, had molested three female family members when they were pre-teens, The Oregonian in Portland went out and interviewed Beres' family members.

Two told reporters that Beres, indeed, had molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with [Beres]."

The coalition led by Beres, 70, champions socially conservative candidates and causes. Its Web site describes the group as "Oregon's leading grassroots organization defending our Godly heritage." The group opposes abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research. It is affiliated with the national Christian Coalition, which was founded in 1989 by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

Alas, introspection and atonement is only for the victims:

Rich Galat, 41, of Oakland, Calif., a Beres nephew, said he told detectives that Beres has molested several female family members over two generations. "My family has gone through hell," Galat told the newspaper. "Lives have been ruined. Those of us who have come forward have been ostracized, verbally abused and the victims of character assassination . . . . It must stop."