Christian Pastor Gets Arrested for Beating Daughter… Commenters Defend Him on News Website

Christian “prosperity gospel” pastor Creflo Dollar (yes, his real name) got arrested this morning for beating his daughter.

That’s obviously big news in Atlanta, near where Dollar is based.

But holy crap, look at the comments defending what he did on a local Atlanta news website:

What the hell…? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • ortcutt

    Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries have eliminated “corporal punishment” (the euphemism for battery against children) entirely and I don’t see children running wild there.  Instead, people are law-abiding and not taught that violence is a solution to problems.  

    As usual, corporal punishment has nothing to do with proper child care and has everything to do with religious doctrine.  The Christian exhortation to beat your children is one of the sickest parts of that religion and children suffer everyday because of it.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      This is a perfect illustration of how extremist religious people are trying to literally drag civilization back into the Stone Age.

      • CelticWhisper

         Can someone please tell them, then, that “stone age” refers to stone tools, and not “stoning” in the biblical sense?

        It’s like that military joke about the chain of command.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      It also has to do with not only taking the assumed “easy way out” in terms of discipline, but it is also an outlet for anger and frustration for many parents who do this. They don’t know how to properly discipline their children, so they resort to taking out their frustrations on their children, hoping it does something. It’s a last resort that is sadly unnecessary and harmful.

      • ortcutt

        We all get angry and frustrated in many aspects of our lives, but we know that if we hit someone at work or while shopping, then we will be arrested.  We all have the ability to not hit people.  People hit their children because they know that American society tolerates and in many cases praises that sort of behavior.

    • http://www.facebook.com/themanstart Aaron Joseph Anderson

      “Beating” and “physically disciplining” are two WAY different things, brah.

      • Ibis3

        Unless the person at the other end is a consenting adult or in the process of physically attacking you or a third party, no they’re not. Striking another person is battery and both immoral and against the law.  The fact that parents do this to children whom they are supposed to be protecting just makes it worse.

      • Nostragoth

        If you strike another adult against their will, it’s assault. It should be assault as well to strike a child against their will.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000364195517 Jan Stephens

         Umm, no, Aaron, they are not.

  • http://twitter.com/pharmy1917 Brian A.

    You know what they say:  Spare the choking, bodyslams, and beating with shoes; spoil the child. 

  • http://twitter.com/Cleon Cleon

    Creflo Dollar’s corruption and the obvious fleecing of his congregation is so blatant that conservative Republicans in Congress have called for federal investigations. Frankly, the fact that his parishoners didn’t abandon him years ago leads me to believe that he’s running more of a cult than a church. Ditto for Eddie Long.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      Those conservative Republicans are just jealous that they haven’t been able to fleece anyone as well… except for perhaps getting the working class and women to vote against their own interests.

    • usclat

      Those “investigations” are over. Creflo Dollar effectively flipped off the investigation and never produced any documentation regarding his finances. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    I don’t know what everyone is so upset about. Isn’t saving this child’s [imaginary] soul at the low cost of beating her within an inch of her life a small price to pay?

    • MJS

      That’s how my in-laws justified humiliating, beating, and abusing my wife throughout her childhood and teenage years.

      Now that she’s an atheist, they wished that they had disciplined her more, not seeing the obvious connection that if you beat someone in the name of Jesus, that person probably isn’t going to like Jesus very much…

      • CelticWhisper

         Unbelievable.

        That’s the point at which I’d cut off contact.  I could see forgiving (or at least just trying to forget) what they did to me if that were my situation, but when they say “we should’ve done more” (where “more” means “worse”), they’d be responsible for looking after their own aging, failing, decrepit asses from then on.

        • teh_faust

           In my experience “having been to nice” or “not strict” enough is the only mistake an abusive parent, religious or not, will ever admit. This is sickening.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            True.  Among the ‘supporters’ the only negative thing they say is that he didn’t take charge enough when she was younger and let things get out of hand.  If he’s really done things right, she would never have been a problem at 15, he would have ‘dealt’ with her when she was much younger.

  • Muxika

    What a bunch of sick fcuks. Let’s disregard all the psychological research we’ve accumulated over the past decades (if not centuries) and just go with Bronze Age advice. It’s insane and so are all Dollar’s followers.

    • The Other Weirdo

       Psychology is for wusses. Real men know to break out the Bible(Source of All-Goodness(tm)) and then the rod. Real women know their place and to submit.

      I don’t know what’s worse.  The comments themselves, or that they were left by women.

      • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

        “I’m sorry, Kathy, we’re all out of Stockholm syndrome today.”

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Like I said there, it’s a step up from 
    Deuteronomy 21:18-21

  • gski

    I’m going to guess he’s been doing something wrong for 15 years now. But then at least he didn’t have her stoned to death, he must not truly believe his lords word.

  • http://rebekkaksteg.com/ Rebekka @ Becky’s Kaleidoscope

    The comments supporting that pastor absolutely disgusts me, they actually made me physically nauseous.

    Like ortcutt pointing out, several countries in Europe have banned corporal punishment and instead we have societies with less violence (I’m from Denmark). 

    • CelticWhisper

       Makes perfect sense to me – prohibit violence against children and you reinforce the idea that violence is wrong.  You effectively breed it out of the culture.

      Hmm…so how is Denmark this time of year?  Things are kinda getting shitty in the ol’ US of A.  I assume that, at the least, you don’t get molested for trying to get on an airplane over there.

      • Baby_Raptor

        A close friend of mine died yesterday. His wife’s parents immediately bought plane tickets to fly out and help. 

        The TSA agent at the airport held them up, claiming that the “immediacy of the timing” was suspicious, and they missed their flight. 

        Thankfully the guy’s supervisor had an ounce of sense. 

        Unrelated, I know, but you mentioned the TSA and I needed to rant…Sorry. 

        • CelticWhisper

           No problem.  TravelUnderground.org is a great site for that, so we won’t risk derailing the conversations here.

        • http://rebekkaksteg.com/ Rebekka @ Becky’s Kaleidoscope

          That’s horrible! I’m really sorry about your loss, and even more sorry that your friend’s wife’s parents had to go through that in the middle of it all.

      • http://rebekkaksteg.com/ Rebekka @ Becky’s Kaleidoscope

        Precisely, I was shocked to learn how much more common homicides (4.8/100,000 compared to 0.85/100.000) and rapes (28.6/100,000 compared to 7.3/100,000) are in the US than here  in Denmark. If that doesn’t prove a discrepancy in terms of culture and violence I don’t know what will. 

        And no, you don’t get molested for getting on airplanes :P Of course we do have airport security, but they’re much nicer than TSA in the US, you can actually joke with these guys (I’ve flown in an out of Copenhagen Airport a lot, and used to work as a security assistant (not actual airport security, but I helped answer questions and guide people before going through the security checkpoint)). 

  • http://amandatheatheist.wordpress.com/ Amandatheatheist

    Poor girl. I’m glad she called the police.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.schaarschmidt Barb Schaarschmidt

    The thing that frustrates me here is that the people defending him seem to be reacting as if he had “spanked” her.  Before I went and read the original article, I thought that maybe this whole thing was overblown. 

    It’s not unheard of for a child to get a spank or a slap and call the police.  Although i don’t necessarily believe in spanking, a swat on the butt doesn’t require police intervention.

    Then I read that he choked her, beat her, and hit her with a shoe. Another adult in the house (her sister) corroborated her claim.  How can anyone defend this?  It almost seems as if the defenders didn’t actually read the story.

    • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

      I think you are right.  They did not read the story because it would have caused cognitive dissonance within them.  They needed a narrative they could defend, so they turned a blind eye.

  • Stev84

    “She told the deputies that her father charged her, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her, according to a police report. She said he then slammed her to the ground, punched her and beat her with his shoe”

    This wasn’t a simple slap on the behind for an unruly child. I don’t agree with spanking either, but I could understand them defending that. There is no way to defend what actually happened

    • The Other Weirdo

       Sounds like somebody gets his mad child-raising skillz from watching the Simpsons! Go Homer! LOL!

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      Now *that’s* what I call a model Christian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jadelackey Jade Lackey

    Choking is discipline ?

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.’ And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”Deuteronomy 21:18-21

      • Fargofan1

        I studied the bible at a Christian college, and I’m guessing a typical response would be, “God was just allowing for their sinful natures or primitive culture,” or some such crap. Then they call us the moral relativists?

        • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

          And there had to be *someone* for God to condemn. How else would we know that he’s a just and holy god? (No joke, I’ve heard this one before. From my fundie parents.)

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      It was to my ex. Then again, so was kicking me, punching me, putting out his cigarettes on me…

  • The Other Weirdo

    Are we not supposed to comment that 6 out of 7 comments shown above were by women? Sounds like they all grew up with this sort of thing going on. There’s a term for that.

    Either that or they’re poes.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

       Stockholm Syndrome.

      That and, when you’re in an abusive situation, you end up unable to think, feel, or act for yourself. Speaking from personal experience, it is difficult — moreso emotionally, than physically — to gather up the pieces of your shattered “self” and put yourself back together (sometimes even having to rebuild parts). And even when you get to a point where you’re feeling mostly normal again, you’re never the same. You’re always going to have the scars, mental and physical.

      I’ve been there. It’s rough.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Is there sufficient probable cause to call Child Protective Services for every one of those Facebook commenters? I mean, seriously! They’re justifying aggravated assault, and many messages hint that they employ a similar level of physical violence…

    • CelticWhisper

       I would say “no.”

      Their comments are disgusting and they’re clearly ignorant, but given some of the stories I’ve heard about overzealous CPS/DCFS employees doing based on bogus calls or vindictive relatives, I wouldn’t advocate involving them unless there’s hard evidence of abuse.  Facebook comments aren’t anywhere near enough.

      I do agree, though, that the commenters are “back in my day” idiots whose children deserve our pity.  Defending the actions of a grown adult who perpetrates violence upon his/her children (stories of 6’6″, 230LB 15-year-olds or not, 15 is still young enough to be considered a child when dealing with cases of abuse) is among the lowest of the low.

      • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Conuly

         Agreed.

        Furthermore, CPS is overworked. Calling in an allegation when there’s no proof just means they can’t send workers where there ARE problems. This is part of what causes overzealous workers, because they have so little time and energy to do a good, thorough investigation, so some of them err on the side of caution.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

           I’d rather they err on the side of children’s safety than… well… not.

  • mikespeir

    “These kids are getting out of hand,” so, of course, it stands to reason that we need to choke them.  It works better when grown, “barrel chested” men do it to 15-year-old girls.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    This bit from the article in the second link was head-shaking to me:

    “Dollar admitted to spanking his daughter and wrestling her to the floor, but said it was because she hit him.”

    A 15-year-old girl hits you and as a parent and adult your initial reaction is to wrestle her to the ground and spank her?  Are you farking kidding me?!  THAT is what this guy thinks the mature response is?!  Whether or not his daughter clocked him first is beside the point here.  HE is the adult and as such HE should be mature enough to not compound the situation by getting physical.  Heaven forbid the good man-o-god pulls up his big boy pants and acts like a parent instead of a warden!

    FFS, I used to BE a teenage girl so I can surmise how the altercation probably went down having had a few with my own parents growing up.  She might have sassed off to him, but if he can’t handle some sass and a few “You’re so lame! I hate you!”s, well he shouldn’t have had kids.

    • Nostragoth

      Whatever happened to ‘turn the other cheek’? Apparently Creflo hasn’t read the book he claims to follow.

  • The Captain

    Nothing surprising here, remember we’re talking about a religion that idolizes Abraham, a man who was about to murder his child for his god. So yea, they think you can beat them for that same god too. 

  • mikespeir

    This guy’s a simpering, bleeding-heart liberal.  The Bible says stone her!

  • John of Indiana

    I used to get “disciplined” like that.  I haven’t spoken to the son-of-a-bitch in over 10 years. I don’t even know if he’s still alive, and I could give a shit.
    Cashflo Dollah ought to get the book thrown at him, but he won’t because he’s a “fine, upstanding member of the community and a Man of GAWD”…

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    Ironic, isn’t it?  If you did that to another adult it’s a crime.  Do it to a child and it’s “discipline”.   

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

       *grumble* And a lot of the time, if you do that to another adult, you just get off with a “now, now, don’t do that”, while the victim is told to stop being hysterical.

      • CelticWhisper

        Especially if the perpetrator is a cop.  Forget about justice if some trigger-happy cop tasers you, and then keeps tasering you for “resisting arrest” when you are rendered physically incapable of complying because of the taser itself.

        Funny (oh, wait, no it isn’t), you’d think the “justice” system would keep a tighter leash on its own actors.

  • http://www.PeterBeckley.com/ Peter Beckley

    I read the article and couldn’t correlate their description of what took place with “beating”.  The police report says she had a scratch near her throat and that’s it. You don’t take a beating and have nothing to show for it…unless you’re Wolverine cage fighting, I guess. What’s wrong with the world? Hyperbolic sensationalism disguised at journalism is definitely on the list. Get a grip people.

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      Your concern is noted.

      Now, back to the matter at hand, which is a young girl being driven to report her own father to the police for his violent behavior, which you amazingly seem to be suspicious of. Remind me not to call you in case I ever get violently assaulted.

      • http://www.PeterBeckley.com/ Peter Beckley

         and you amazingly manufactured a violent assault out of a single scratch, the evidence doesn’t fit your hyperbole. I agree, don’t call me.

    • teh_faust

      A grip? On twisted, violent, self-entitled authoritarians? Yep… Better than a grip on little girls. Or a grip on actually caring about violence and abuse, without wanting it to pass a critical threshhold of injury.  The things the man admitted to are enough to be worthy of condemnation. So, no, if by getting a grip you mean trivializing violence, mocking a victim and their experience, then I bloody well won’t.

      • http://www.PeterBeckley.com/ Peter Beckley

         If the police report had said there was evidence of violent assault, then I’d have made the appropriate comments. I’m sorry I’m not outraged by a single scratch on a person.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          The evidence also included an adult witness. 

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            The police report is here:
            http://www.11alive.com/assetpool/documents/120608125907_creflo_arrest.pdf 

            You can read statements from the victim, the adult sister, and the pastor, and come to your own conclusions.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Yeah, but that witness is a FEMALE, and you know how unreliable our lady-brains are!

            /sarcasm

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Dat’s one thing we should lern from teh mooslims.  2 wiminz testimony = 1 man.

              So we have 2 women, and one isn’t even a woman since she’s only 15, against a male pastor!  It’s a wonder the police even came.

              /double-sarcasm

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

       Yes, one can take a beating without showing a bruise. I’ve done it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Unbelievable. And sickening. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Corporal Punishment is so retarded and sick. How people can still bear to do it is beyond me. They must get a real kick out of the boost to their ego for crushing someone’s backside with a belt or some such, huh?

  • Beccs

    Hemant, you ask what is wrong with the world?  I think it becomes more apparent whenever a new response is posted by one of the extremists responding to the article.  What is wrong is that the followers of religion will seek any justification from their “holy” book for their inhumane actions toward others.

  • Fsq

    utterly revolting and vile. Bad enough the “loving christian” beats his child, but the DEFENSE by his “flock”!!!??? WTF.

    This scares the shit out of me, because this….THIS is what we are up against.

  • Sharon Hypatia

    Funny how these righteous zealots who advocate violent punishments for other “sinners”  (wives, children, gays, atheists, etc) always assume THEY should be exempt from  being on the receiving end of same for their own sinful transgressions.

    And,Ephesians 6: 4 NEVER gets any airtime by thses violent despots :

    Ephesians 6: 1-4
    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
    4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

    • CelticWhisper

      It’s the entire point of religion – a tool to justify casting fault and blame upon everyone other than you (can be expanded to “every demographic group outside your own”, just add water).

      Say “These people are bad people because they don’t think like I do!” and we call it assholery.  Say “These people are bad people because they don’t think how my omni($LATIN_ROOT)ent imaginary friend (who happens to think exactly like I do) says they should think!” and we call it faith and exempt it from scrutiny.

      Heeeeeeeyyyyyyyyy.  Peeps, I think we’re gettin’ screwed.

  • slantrhyme

    Not much love coming from the mothers/ladies on this one.  It’s somewhat creepy, because there is vibe of “you brought this on yourself, it never would have happened if you had just listened and did what you were told”, but in the way that abused spouses blame themselves when they get another round of fisticuffs.  It’s like they’re passing on their sense of victimhood. 

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I sincerely hope they lock his lying, scamming, child-beating ass UP for a good long time.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    How many Women? Is he an attractive guy or something? ‘cos what they’re saying isn’t normal?

  • usclat

    As much as I hate what this man did, he IS abiding by his belief book, the bible. In the bible it plainly instructs parents to discipline their children with violence when necessary. So, Creflo may indeed be a colossal douche-bag in the eyes of many (including some religious persons) but to the fundamentalist believers, he is a frickin’ hero. How sad and how perverse. 

  • http://www.myspace.com/bsb_forever_unbreakable BSBSavedMyLife

    I don’t care what the reasons were, there is never any excuse for beating a child!  That kind of discipline is life altering and has serious effects on a person mentally and emotionally.  “Spare the rod, spoil the child” does NOT mean you’re supposed to beat your child.  These ignorant people who choose to defend the guy are ignorant to believe that it’s okay for him to do this.  If the child felt it necessary to call the police then he had gone too far!  End of story!

  • notnecessarilyso

    Shame on Creflo Dollar, and shame on all of his supporters, especially the female groupies.  If they are not the least bit  suspicious of a man who CHOKES, SPANKS, and wrestles his FIFTEEN year old daughter to the floor, they are not fit to be parents. By the way, where was Mrs. Dollar when all of this was going on?  Isn’t she some kind of preacher too?

    • http://www.braintarts.wordpress.com/ MichaelL65

       I’m guessing doing her hair or putting on her face? Gotta look like a million bucks if yo’ last name be Dollar.

  • Cortex_Returns

    Good thing he kept her away from that party. Something bad could’ve happened to her.

    • Kaydenpat

      LOL!!

  • Kaydenpat

    Feel sorry for the daughter, but had to laugh when I heard that Pastor Cash Flow Dollar had been arrested.  Can’t stand him.  Not surprised to see Christians supporting corporal pnishment.  I believe it was King Solomon who wrote “save the rod and spoil the child”.

  • Nostragoth

    What is wrong with the world? Most of America loves the idea of child abuse.

  • Anonymous

    “doing drugs, getting drunk, having sex, etc.” – Lol. Fuck Sheldon Bailey and all Christians who judge my lifestyle

  • http://www.braintarts.wordpress.com/ MichaelL65

     How he handled it? You mean
    by blaming the cops, blaming his daughter and then blaming the devil?
    Pretty much how one would expect Pastor Mega Bucks to handle it.
    Completely avoiding taking any responsibility for his own actions and
    blaming everyone else but himself. What truly disgusts me are the
    hundreds of people that gave this world class idiot a standing ‘O’ as he
    walked out on the platform knowing that he assaulted his 15 year old
    child. Brother Bucks makes a comment about how people will be appalled
    when the thruth finally comes out. Yes, I am sure we will be appalled at
    what really goes on behind the doors of Rev Creepo’s multiple multi
    million dollar mansions.

  • Ninesong33

    Africa is stil the best place to raise a child.


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