Maybe the Catholic Church Should Try This

Maybe the Catholic Church Should Try This February 28, 2012

Just when you thought you couldn’t be shocked by anything done by Christian loonies, this happens. A church in Florida has banned children from their services so their pastor, a convicted sex offender, can go on preaching without violating the law.

According to a local Jacksonville news affiliate, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.

In 2009 Gilyard plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls. While he was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church Gilyard molested a 15-year-old girl and sent a lewd text message to another. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old,” and his new church has taken extraordinary steps to help Gilyard stick to the terms of his deal.

Despite the seriousness of his offense, Gilyard’s return to the pulpit was swift. After being released from jail on December 28, he resumed preaching in January, and told reporters he hopes he can move past this incident and continue with his work.

“Somehow I will prove that life isn’t over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label,” Gilyard told a reporter, ironically through text message. “You don’t have to languish on the fringes of society.”

On the other hand, the kids are better off even if he wasn’t a child molester.

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  • F

    I don’t even know what to say about that.

  • erichoug

    Oh man would I have loved to be a fly on the wall of that Hiring Comittee meeting.

    Seriously? You learn that he is a convicted child molestor and that doesn’t give you pause. I mean if you were hiring him as a maintenance electrician in a plant or as a miner or something else I might be able to understand it but seriously?

    The only thing dumber is the parents leave this church.

  • lofgren

    And their parents probably went home and told them about how the liberals are impinging on their freedom of religion and age of consent laws are misandrist and that’s why they’re going to hell.

  • erichoug

    Whoops, I mean to say the parents who don’t leave this church.

  • Tualha

    Probably all about the Christian notions of repentance and forgiveness. He’s really really sorry for what he did (or says so), and has apologized to God (though perhaps not to his victims), so the good Christians will forgive him and let him be their pastor and instruct them about right and wrong. Just like Jimmy Swaggart.

  • Randomfactor

    I’d like to see kids kept out of ALL religious services. When they’re 18, the priests, rabbis, imams, and nabobs can get a crack at ’em.

  • erichoug

    Uff da! looked them up on google earth. Surrounded by what appears to be low cost appartments with 2 sets of playground equipment and a basketball court. I wonder if they said anything about the neighborhood kids that go there to use these items? Hmmmm, probably not.

  • Who Knows?

    We had a pastor at a church where I live get caught in a prostitution sting. He had to resign immediately. Just wow.

  • unbound

    As weak as that action is, I don’t see the Catholic church putting that much actual effort into the issue…

  • Nemo

    What the hell use is a pastor if he can’t indoctrinate the kids?

  • Jim

    You’ve got to be shittin’ me.

    How long until he “lewds” another child?

  • sandy

    Why do I have this feeling that his first sermon is going to be anti-gay?

  • MikeMa

    It would be nice to know if any of the parishioners objected.

    There is an elementary school about 2000 feet from this church and a middle school and a high school within 1 mile or so if google maps can be believed. I wonder if those facilities were notified.

  • Yup, yet another example of religion making us all moral.

    If that flock of sheep allowed this guy to keep on preaching after being CONVICTED of such conduct, one has to wonder what else they’re quietly tolerating.

    I agree that the kids are better off for having been kept away from this preacher. But I think an even more important step would be to keep them away from their parents — they are, after all, the ones who chose to keep a known child-molester in a position of “authority,” so how can anyone trust them to keep their kids safe?

  • Sastra

    Tualha #5 wrote:

    Probably all about the Christian notions of repentance and forgiveness.

    That was my first thought, too. A Christian friend of mine once complained to me about how easily and quickly a misbehaving minister was granted pardon and absolution by the congregation (he had had affairs with two of the female parishioners who had come to him for counseling.) She said that everyone had kept talking about how Jesus forgives sins and how Christianity is all about recognizing how we all need forgiveness and so on and so forth.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Baptist Church with the convicted sex offender as pastor doesn’t use this fact as a sort of one-upmanship in the holier-than-thou sweepstakes. “Look how WE bend over backwards when it comes to living by what Jesus taught … no inconvenience too hard for US!”

  • frankb

    In the RCC the bishop selects the priest for a church. In other denominations, a committee of members selects the pastor. So Catholic bishops were doing this same thing often.

  • heddle

    In other [than RCC] denominations, a committee of members selects the pastor.

    Typically not in a Baptist church. Baptists, in their polity, are usually congregational. The entire church membership will vote.

    This is an incredibly depressing story.

  • steve oberski

    Priests/pastors/shamans/imans are paid to tell lies to children. It’s socially sanctioned child abuse and it’s just part of the job.

    The fact that they can fuck over children’s minds with impunity and with the assent and admiration of their flock is hopefully something that future generations will look back on with horror, much like we (well some of us) react to the burnings, floggings, public executions that we part of pre-enlightenment every day life.

  • ema


    Based on his comment (emphasis mine)

    “Somehow I will prove that life isn’t over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label….

    I doubt that he is all that sorry. Maybe he’s sorry he was caught and punished. But acting like an aggrieved party after what he did does not inspire a lot of confidence that he truly regrets his crimes.

  • Don’t forget that Gilyard’s victims were female. “Hey, at least he’s not gay!” Note that one was 15 years old. “She was probably a loose girl and seduced Reverend Gilyard! Isn’t it horrible what the liberal media and Hollywood make girls do these days!” I bet a good old fashioned dose of victim blaming was involved in his hiring, even if I can’t quite understand why they’d let their kids have an out from Jesus.

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  • davem

    Sounds like win-win to me. The kids don’t get indoctrinated, and they have been shown a really bad example of religion to take into account. The really dumb parents are all in one place on Sundays, and can be avoided. The priest can’t interfere with young people on Sundays. What’s not to like?

    On the other hand, WTF the parishioners don’t just chuck him out is beyond me…

  • davem: If any of those parents told any of their kids even part of the truth about what was going on here, I’d consider that a pleasant surprise. If they were brave enough to talk to their kids about ess-ee-ex, they’d like as not be brave enough to vote that preacher out once and for all.

    These are the kind of people to whom Frank Zappa once said: “If your kids ever found out how lame you really are, they’d murder you in your sleep.”

  • dingojack

    Speaking of Frank:

    “I’m a moron and this is my wife

    She’s frosting a cake with a paper knife

    All what we got here’s American made

    It’s a little bit cheesy but it’s nicely displayed…”



  • evodevo

    A co-worker of mine belonged to a small Pentacostal church that had a similar problem – the congregation was chock full of sexually dysfunctional people – molesters, molestees, serial adulterers, etc. etc.

    She had been going there with her husband’s family for a long time and she couldn’t see what the problem was.

    I told her she needed to get her kids out of there; finally, after numerous “incidents” she left that guy, his family and the rest of them and took up with someone more normal. But the whole time she was in denial about all of it.

    When you are raised in that milieu, it’s hard to break away, or even see its values as abnormal.