Deadly Submission – Why Guys Like Biblical Gender Roles Matter & the Damage They Cause

Deadly Submission – Why Guys Like Biblical Gender Roles Matter & the Damage They Cause November 20, 2015
Security camera footage released by the Indianapolis Police Dept.
Security camera footage released by the Indianapolis Police Dept.

by Suzanne Titkemeyer cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

ETA Monday 11-23-15 Have to admit I was completely wrong on this one. They have arrested three guys for this murder with no apparent connection to Davey Blackburn. Breaking news from Fox 59

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We’ve followed Biblical Gender Roles for about six months now. Gasping in shock at some newer more outrageous statement of his, laughed at some of the things coming out of mouth like that disastrous Alan Combs interview he did. But one thing we have not done here at NLQ is realize how his contemptuous words against women in marriage could have serious influence on unhappy husbands and possibly lead to tragic circumstances, possibly even murder.

There’s a developing case happening right now in Indianapolis right now that seems to be almost a direct result of the type of dangerous marriage and sex advice pushed by BGR and others on the fringes of the Evangelical Quiverfull movement. It’s not as obvious a leap of logic and linking as Michael Pearl’s influence on the parents of Hana Grace Williams and Zariah Shatz, oh no, it’s more subtle. But it is a creeping thought process that could possibly lead to crimes such as the murder of pastor’s wife Amanda Blackburn.

Someone gained entry to the Blackburn home and shot 12 weeks pregnant Amanda in the face at extremely close range. At this point the police are looking for a stranger that broke into the home, even if there are no signs of forced entry, and executed the young mother. Tragic story, but one that plays out every single day somewhere in America. Wrong place, wrong time, and some innocent ends up dead.

What links this to the world view of Biblical Gender Roles and other male cultural enforcers who insist upon sex on demand and the complete groveling submission of their women are the whispers emerging from those that knew Amanda and her husband Davey. Davey Blackburn’s own words, language patterns of deception and rumors leads some to think he was involved in the murder of his wife. Here’s some of the suspicious things from his statements.

 I take this language from Blackburn, himself, who mentioned starting the work with “$100,000 of start up cash” and his wife’s complaint that he was always at “work” beginning right after the honeymoon, which, from her perspective, led to the bad marriage.  From his perspective, it was not “work” that made the marriage bad, but pregnancy and his wife’s inability or unwillingness to meet his sexual needs.  This, too, was her fault because he “articulated” his need, as he condemned other men for blaming their wives when they had not, in fact, “articulated” the need, leaving the wife to “guess” what was wrong.

Reading through the blogs and news stories there are aspects of the murder of Amanda Blackburn that seem too familiar, that have a great deal in common with both sets of Peterson murders, both the murder of Lacey Peterson and the murders of multiple wives of Drew Peterson. Both of these men claimed to have no knowledge of their wives whereabouts only to be found out later to be liars, to be the ones that murdered their spouses. Both men were making the major media rounds with repeated denials, just like Davey Blackburn is doing right now.

So neither of the Peterson killers were religious, like Davey Blackburn is. But if you are constantly absorbing messages such as ‘Don’t respect women,’ ‘Wives submit always in all things,’ and ‘You owe me sex’ constantly churned out on websites like BGR (his recent posting ‘How Doing LESS For Your Wife Can Make Your Marriage Better) and other good ‘patriarchs’ online like Deep Strength (posting “Why I Don’t Respect Women”) is it really that far a jump to murdering your wife because you don’t feel like you are getting the sex and respect you demand in your marriage?

I don’t know that Davey Blackburn murdered his wife Amanda, or if he’s ever stumbled across the writings of BGR, but it would not surprise me if it comes out that both of those are exposed as the truth eventually. I do know that when men are constantly encouraged to view women as inhuman objects instead of fully developed human beings it’s much easier to kill them.  Currently Blackburn is not a suspect due to footage of a strange man in a hoodie caught on security footage of the house. We will be watching this investigation, just like we’ve been watching BGR as he shouts out his advice to rape your wive and compel her submission by taking things away from her It’s abuse, pure and simple.

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Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape

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  • Joyce

    I read the long analysis that you linked to the other night, and it is fascinating. So many red flags. I saw some of the Blackburn’s videos on YouTube where he carries on about wifely submission. He seems like a real piece of work. And I’d like to see the videos mention in the analysis that they mention, namely:

    ” This is especially noteworthy in the video performance of “Q & A”
    where he he over-talks her, quiets her, finishes her
    sentences, interrupts her, and corrects her.

    “He
    humiliates her and reveals his sex drive and her subsequent
    ‘inadequacy’ and lack of ‘adventurous’ spirt in sex, including an off
    color joke at her expense in which he said it “went right over her
    head’, making her the comedic ‘dunce’ in a well worn pattern of duo
    performances where one is the smart one and the other the target. Hope
    and Crosby, Laurel and Hardy, and on through the decades. Even ‘good
    natured’ jokes at the other’s expense often employ harsh language. They
    both described this marriage as near divorce with, according to Amanda,
    the distance from relatives as the only source of keeping her in the
    home. “

  • Allison the Great

    Ugh, I just read the Why I Don’t Respect Women piece. The guy who wrote that doesn’t seem like a rational or intelligent human being, he seems more like a territorial animal. I’m reminded of someone who’s trying to be the alpha male “I don’t respect men or my peers” is what he said. So he doesn’t respect women, and he doesn’t respect men either. Hmm, so that means he has hardly respect for anyone, yet demands it for himself. Very interesting. I wonder what a psychologist would say about that.

    A lot of those patriarchal types like BGR and that Deep Strength douche have that in common. They demand what they’re not willing to give. I’m guessing that this attitude is not only present in their marriage but also in other areas of their lives as well (work, family, etc). I can’t imagine someone like that being a good employee.

    I kind of wish that the internet would stop sensationalizing BGR so he would just go away. All of this attention is going to his head, and it’s encouraging him to be bolder in his horribleness. His statements are getting worse and worse. He has mistaken disgust for approval.

  • BCH

    A psychologist would probably say they were a malignant narcissist.

  • Mel

    Pregnancy can be a very dangerous time for women. Men who are already unstable or abusive can start acting even more dangerously when their partner is pregnant.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Which is why I refuse to directly link to BGR. Once I realized he was salivating over the hit numbers and his Google ranking I decided we really didn’t need to feed him.

  • Nea

    The Washington Post did a series of articles that boiled down to saying that the leading cause of death in pregnant women in America was murder by an abusive partner.

  • Nea

    making her the comedic ‘dunce’ in a well worn pattern of duo
    performances where one is the smart one and the other the target

    Except the vast majority of the time, the targeted person in said duo is the one who is actually running the act. They can stand back and listen to the beats, watch the audience, and otherwise attend to the mechanics while the front man draws all the attention.

  • Nea

    He can still google and find his name here.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    No way to prevent that unfortunately. But I think he’d have to go through pages and pages on Google to land here.

  • Bellanova

    Yes, indeed. Or narcissistic psychopaths (small diff).

  • Bellanova

    Thank you, Suzanne, for writing this. The Blackburn case raised multiple red flags in my mind from the start, and I did not have the info you provide here at the time.

    Edit: This (linked in your post) is an excellent analysis of Blackburn’s statements. Spot on.

  • Bellanova

    It is an extremely safe bet that any married, or wanting to get married* man who carries on about wifely submission, on whatever forum, is an abuser.

    *Edited for clarity.

  • Allison the Great

    The comments on here won’t feed his ego, though. We call him all sorts of savory names, I don’t think he’d like that too much. Add that with the fact that he’s not actually getting any hits through here, well, I doubt he’d like this site if he found it.

  • Allison the Great

    I like that you’ve done that. I didn’t mean you, I meant that I wish other websites like Raw Story and the like would stop directly linking to him. I wish they’d stop giving his stupid ass the time of day.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Bellanova I’ve stumbled across some news stories since writing this. According to Fox News and other news sites they cannot rule out the possibility of Amanda’s death being before Davey left for the gym. He’s also made a ton of inconsistent statements. There’s no evidence of breaking in, nothing was taken and the photo shared of the man from the security camera is of a man that broke into another home and committed a burglary. Davey has never shown any emotion in his interviews at all, no tears, no emotion and no statements that he loved his wife. Something is seriously hinky here.

  • Bellanova

    Yes.

    Dude is a narcissistic sociopath, obsessed — like all of them, especially in the manospherian and religious circles — with sex, power, and control. One look at his pumped up muscles and coiffed hair tells you all you need to know about this ‘pastor’*, but as one learns more, it becomes even more damning.

    All that apart from the fact that the ‘burglar’ story does not add up from the POV of burglary logistics.

    *That this… individual is a pastor… ugh. Though, of course, this is a perfect occupation for a sex and control obsessed narcissistic sociopath.

  • FrequentFlyer

    Unless he takes our criticism and insults as a badge of honor. He is probably the type who would take it as proof that he right about women.

  • Bellanova

    And that his god-inspired fight against the evil forces of feminism, and the moral destruction they wreak on the world, proceeds as it should.

    Narcissism, particularly when wrapped in religious zealotry, effectively insulates from reality.

  • FrequentFlyer

    Something does seem hinky. I read that the police ruled him out, but them saying that to the public doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t investigating him.

  • SAO

    No fault divorce is a wonderful thing. I never understood why conservatives went on and on about how dangeroud redefining marriage by letting two people of the same gender marry when no fault divorce made a phenomenal change.

  • Bellanova

    Davey is making publicity rounds on various talk and news shows, trying to convince the nation that he is really, really impacted somehow by Amanda’s murder, despite glaring evidence to the contrary:

    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2015/11/20/davey-blackburn-makes-more-national-tv-appearances/76101724/

    The more he speaks, the worse he looks. Everything about him is off — this is what we see in narcissists trying very hard to fake human emotions. They always fail at it, though — they don’t realize you cannot create something out of nothing. Their inner emptiness always comes through as their expressions ring hollow and/or their words are either inappropriate and/or incongruent with their affect.

    Innocent until proven guilty, obviously; but if he is not the killer, he’s doing his best, unwittingly, to look like one.

  • Deyndra

    He’s upset that her pregnancies put a downer on their sex lives, yet it takes two to make a pregnancy. All the other stuff is upsetting as well, but I’m getting really tired of men talking about pregnancy like it has nothing to do with them. I’m going to assume that since religion was a big part of their lives, contraception was not happening with them while his libido was in overdrive. What did he think was going to happen?!

  • Mary

    I know nothing about this case, and I am no supporter of BGR or his ilk.

    But I see some stuff in this post and this thread that concerns me. 1) A lot of genuinely innocent people, historically, have been condemned in the “court of public opinion” based on zero evidence. We all have biases, many of them understandable based on very real personal experiences. But negative publicity can ruin lives almost as surely as a wrongful court conviction, and often on much less evidence. This isn’t a newspaper, but I think some of the same kind of ethics apply to anyone who is publicizing a criminal case — stick to the facts.

    2) “Just look at him! He looks like one of those sleazy criminal types.” is never a good argument for someone’s guilt. It plays too easily into racist and classist and xenophobic stereotypes. Looks are irrelevant.

    3) People grieve in all kinds of different ways. Some feel numb. Some feel angry. Some feel lost. Some feel guilty even though it had nothing to do with them. Some feel frozen, paralyzed. Some feel like they’re in a dream. Some don’t even realize they’re grieving — they think *they’re* okay but for some reason everybody is an asshole and everything sucks lately. For many people tears and identifiable sadness only come much later, as a part of the healing process. There is no wrong way to grieve. So let’s not do the “He doesn’t seem sad at all! He must be guilty!” thing.

    All of that said, this guy sounds like a jerk and BGR’s ideas are inherently abusive whether or not they are tied to any murders.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Can you see that if you follow BGR’s ideas that it might make the leap between that thinking to murder just a little easier.

    Believe me, while I was writing this I kept thinking about the book and movie “Gone Girl” which lines up with what you’re saying.

  • Nea

    That’s why they came up with “convenant marriage,” a legal construct where a woman cannot get no-fault divorce or any divorce from an abusive man. That Josh Duggar broke even the rules of convenant shows how badly he has acted.

  • Mary

    Yes, I think those ideas could definitely lead to violence, even murder. But I guess I think it would be better to make that point based on historical cases that are already solved — it’s not like BGR’s pitching new ideas here. Misogyny is as old as humanity and has definitely contributed to abuse and deaths in the past.

    I think it’s just too early to say with this case, I guess. Or that it’s okay to *say* you suspect that, but maybe not so appropriate for a platform that’s as public as NLQ — I don’t know how many readers this blog has, but I’m guessing it’s a lot.

    Not saying you or the commenters did anything terrible — it’s very human and normal to react like this to news of a terrible crime that seems to have some connection to some injustice we’ve personally experienced. I just want to urge caution, because sometimes that reaction leads to more injustice.

    (I haven’t read “Gone Girl” yet, but I want to.)

  • Astrin Ymris

    Police find it easier to arrest black “thugs” for crimes on scant evidence, knowing they don’t have the money to hire a lawyer and will probably accept a plea bargain at their public defender’s urging.

    Taking on a “respectable” suspect– i.e., white, Christian, and able to afford to mount a substantive defense– is a lot riskier.

  • paganheart

    Exactly. If the police are still investigating him–and they better be–I hope they are dotting all their i’s and crossing all their t’s and making sure their case is as airtight as possible before they arrest him, because no doubt this guy (and/or his groupies) will hire the best defense lawyers money can buy to try and pull an O.J. Simpson.

  • paganheart

    If conservatives had their way, it would still be nearly impossible to get a divorce, especially for women. They lost that war, and they know it (although they are trying to claw it back a bit with the rise of covenant marriage laws, as Nea notes.*) I think maybe that is one of the reasons they’ve fought so hard on same-sex marriage; they feel like they gave up too easily on no-fault divorce laws, (and maybe on mixed-race marriages as well) and they didn’t want to lose again. They lost anyway. Sucks to be them. 😉

    *My home state (AZ) passed a covenant marriage law about ten years ago, and last I read, less than five percent of couples opt for the covenant marriage license. What a shock…./sarcasm

  • paganheart

    No kidding. Dude is starting to look like a male Jodi Arias.

  • Bellanova

    The idea that women should have the right to divorce taken away from them — as well as the right to vote, get education, and work — is alive and well on the Christian and not manospherian forums.

    And what’s even more disturbing is that its proponents are not (exclusively) some backward rednecks, but also fairly well educated members of middle classes. And some of them are women.

    This, in the 21c. America. Frightening.

  • B.A.

    I wonder if the stranger seen on the security camera could be someone that Blackburn hired,like a contract killer. The Mafia aren’t the only ones who do that,and I wouldn’t put it past someone who is CPM.

  • Allison the Great

    A lot of these men have anti-social personality disorders. I was reading them up and as I was reading, Michael Pearl seemed to have all the markers for one.

  • Bellanova

    Mary, you make valid points; let me make some in response to yours.

    The “court” of public opinion is not really a court, and our speculations have exactly zero bearings on any legal outcome of this or any other case.

    Your concern about “negative publicity” in this instance, well-meaning as it is, is misplaced, since pastor Davey is a publicity hound himself, courting it at every opportunity. See his multiple media appearances in only one week.

    If he wanted to avoid publicity, he’d hunker down at home with his wife’s grieving family. But since he puts himself out there, the public will react — and that’s what he wants, although he would obviously prefer that the public opinion was favorable toward him.

    Re: 2. He is far from the “sleazy criminal types.” On the contrary — he is the exact opposite of the stereotype: white, good looking, respected, successful, and a devout pastor who appears to dedicate his every breath to Jesus.

    But yes, looks are relevant. The pastor’s cultivated looks and public persona tell us immediately that he is someone who spends an inordinate amount of time perfecting his physique in order to increase his sexappeal. It screams narcissism (and obsession with sex, among other things), as do his many public appearances for the benefit of his church, documented in his You Tube videos, where he elevates his sex obsession, and preoccupation with teaching women how to submit sexually their husbands, to some kind of a noble example. (If I didn’t know any better, I’d ask how on Earth such a man can become a “pastor;” but because I do know better, I won’t.)

    Of course the fact that he is a sex-obsessed controlling narcissist whose pregnant wife contemplated divorce does not mean he is her murderer. But the probability of this scenario is much higher than that of a random, murderous burglar who’d walk into their home during morning hours, kill a harmless and defenseless woman, and escape without stealing anything. So there is that.

    Re: 3. Yes and no. Yes, people grieve in different ways. But he’s not grieving. At all. And the way he talks about his wife and her murder makes it sound, despite his efforts to not make it so, as though he is almost relieved by her absence. Yes, people grieve in different ways and it is possible that his way is just so different. It’s hard for narcissists to summon up other-related emotions, even if they cared for those others in their truncated, narcissistic way. No, it does not make him a murderer, obviously — but when it quacks like a duck ‘n all that. That’s why people are talking. These flags cannot get any redder. Of course we won’t know until we know — it is just speculation, but not without a very good cause.

    Re: wifely submission idea inherently abusive — yes. When a wife is seen as a husband’s property whose main role is to serve as his sexual receptacle (and domestic appliance), it is rather unsurprising that when the property stops fulfilling its function(s) it may be discarded in however way is expedient for its owner. (Particularly if its replacement is waiting in the wings, which would not be surprising in this case.)

    Time will tell what’s what in the Blackburn case, but I, for one, am glad Suzanne has made this connection.

  • Bellanova

    Absolutely.

    I wish we were not so squeamish calling these men what they are. We need to disseminate knowledge about psychopathy (and narcissism) widely and freely so that people, especially women, can better understand what these types “look” like and the dangers of getting involved with them.

    A safe bet, always, is that men in position of power — in any areas, but especially those that give them direct power over people and public trust / respect / admiration due to their position (cops, clergy, politicians, doctors, therapists — yes) — will possess some sociopathic and narcissistic traits. Whether they are numerous enough to amount to a full-blown personality disorder is to be determined upon closer contact, but one should always be wary. (I’m old and experienced enough to state this with confidence, BTW.)

    And men who believe in and advocate wifely submission are sociopathic (and most likely narcissistic) by the sheer “virtue” of that belief and advocacy.

    There is a small possibility that they may not be as much personality disordered as “only” misguided due to their religious indoctrination; but, in my experience again, non-sociopathic, non-narcissistic men brought up in religion reject such vile nonsense for what it is.

  • Abigail Smith

    Same exact thoughts I had when I first read the original story.

  • Joyce

    Of course. Apparently it’s very cheap to hire a killer (not that I can back up that statement with experience or anything though)

  • jennabobenna

    Okay. I live in Indianapolis. I’m separated from this couple by one degree. That’s it. A friend from college attends Resonate Church and knew Amanda Blackburn personally. When I saw this last night, my first reaction was one of anger and frustration. This is a family and a community that are reeling from what is, by all accounts, a horrific crime. Luckily, due to Disqus’ hatred of my phone, I wasn’t able to post my initial reaction. I read the parsing of Davey’s statement that Suzanne linked to above, and I see the red flags. But I also read Davey’s initial statement posted shortly after they took Amanda off life support. I’ve been following the case, and I just thought I’d share some facts that may not be getting play outside of the Indianapolis area.

    1. Indianapolis’ crime rate has climbed in recent years. This is not a safe place to live, unfortunately. Just a few weeks before Amanda’s murder, a popular shopping mall was the site for a shooting incident during peak shopping hours. While areas of this city are in disrepair, and while various groups are playing whack-a-mole trying to revitalize this neighborhood, another falls to ruin.
    2. The morning of Amanda’s murder, there was at least one other reported break-in/attempted break-in in her neighborhood, which police at one point were connecting to the murder.
    3. Amanda was sexually assaulted, which gives the police DNA evidence linking to her killer.
    4. Davey was ruled out as a suspect on day 1 of the investigation. I cannot confirm this for certain since the police are being very tight-lipped with this case, but my mom told me that’s what she heard when the news broke and she thought it odd because she personally thinks Davey put out a hit on his wife.
    5. Four people, none of them Davey Blackburn, were questioned in relation to this murder a few days ago.

    I’m not saying there’s 0% chance that Davey Blackburn murdered his wife, but I’m also not seeing half the evidence being cited that he did. I’ve watched a few of the videos featuring Davey and Amanda on the Resonate website, and I’m not finding where he demands sex or either of them mentions being on the brink of divorce. If I’m missing important details, just point me toward the evidence, and I’ll take it into consideration, but as of right now, I’m seeing a beautiful, loving woman of God, a mother and wife, a businesswoman, taken from this world too soon, victim to a city being destroyed by crime while her toddler son played in the next room.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Wow, thanks. It’s good to have a perspective from right around there. Still looks hinky from here…. but anything is possible.

  • guest

    Mil and three of her daughters are in Indianapolis. Mil sent me a link to the video and the statement last week. I found it strange that he tried to make it all about God and how he will be glorified, but on the other hand, I’m kind of used to Christians wanting to sound positive even after losing a loved one, however untimely. I put the positive tone of his statement down to his position as the -very young- pastor of a budding church.
    If Davey is in his late 20s, he’s very young and still way too inexperienced. n my opinion, young married couples shouldn’t be sent out on their own to plant new churches because they lack important life experience and will probably suffer a lot more than a more seasoned couple who have already raised children and served in the church in supportive roles. If there was tension in their marriage, I presume it had more to do with the pressures of being a way-too-young “elder”.
    I don’t know these people and I can’t say that the little I saw of David Blackburn has caused me to warm up to him, but I think we have to be careful not to make assumptions and air them publicly.

  • Astrin Ymris

    You forgot to include CEOs in your list.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/brian-basham-beware-corporate-psychopaths-they-are-still-occupying-positions-of-power-6282502.html

    It’s not surprising that people who crave power seek occupations which offer them the chance to wield power over others. Nor does it mean that everyone in those positions is a sociopath or a narcissist– just that they’re “over-represented” in them.

  • persephone

    His wife was raped. I have no problem believing he did that as part of the murder, as part of the final act of power and control over his wife.

    I admit, though, that whenever I hear about a crime in a fundagelical family, I automatically assume the father/husband did it. Usually, I’m right.

  • persephone

    Say he pays someone $2,000 to kill his wife. He then gets life insurance, plus Social Security will kick in for the kids (although it’s probably not much considering her age and lack of employment).

  • Bellanova

    Yep.

  • Bellanova

    Somewhat OT, but not entirely — the below is a comment made on Dalrock, on a thread about abuse (or “abuse,” as they put it) in marriage:

    patchasaurus says:

    November 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    There is one acceptable setting for a wife to speak of issues with her husband or her marriage. It is in the company of trusted and Godly close friends, in the presence of her husband, with her husband initiating a confession of a misdeed or sin on his part, and the wife speaking only on how it has affected her for the sake of her receiving prayer in the matter, and her speaking of this with her husband’s permission. This is not mandatory or required as a means for a man to repent of sin and is never a practice to be demanded by the wife, but it is appropriate for a contrite man of God to confess in this setting if he is so led. His sin is ultimately between himself and God Almighty.

    This is as astonishing as it is frightening. Yes, this is THE way Christian fundies “deal” with claims of abuse in their midst (= not at all).

    If women needed any more incentives to avoid these men and their “churches” like the hotbed of sociopathic misogyny and abuse that they are, they should read these blogs.

    Edit: That comment can be found on the most recent thread titled, The temptation for wives to claim abuse. (Yep.)

  • Teresa Rincon

    I notice bloggers like BGR, Dalrock and such are all anonymous. It is possible there are in the same category as parodies like Landover Baptist Church or The Onion?

  • That_Susan

    I’m glad to see that you’ve updated this! I’m also glad that it only took two weeks for the police to find the suspects, because much as I disagree with this man’s teachings, I don’t believe anyone deserves to live their life under suspicion of “maybe” having killed a loved one. It’s also much better for their living child: even though this child has to grow up without his or her mother, it would be even worse to someday hear all the evil suspicions about his or her father.