Comparing the rape of a child to stealing candy, a Kentucky pastor defends hiring a convicted sex offender to work at his church.
Pastor Michael Orten of the Truth Apostolic Church in Madisonville, Kentucky is being called “pro-rape” after he tried to defend hiring a man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl at knife point by comparing the crime to “stealing candy,” and going on to blame the rapist’s underage victim by saying “It takes two to tango.”
When a reporter pushed Pastor Orten on comparing the rape of a child to shoplifting candy, the pastor insisted that there was no difference because both crimes are “sin.”
The church employee in question, Thomas Hopper, was convicted of rape and sodomy of a 13-year-old girl at knife point in the early 1990s, followed by multiple criminal convictions in the early 2000s. He is now working on the church’s outreach ministry staff.
When asked about the rape conviction, Pastor Orten defended the convicted sexual predator by blaming the victim, insinuating that the 13-year-old girl consented to being raped at knife point:
… this is a situation, if that girl chooses…it takes two to tango, okay? So if that girl chooses to sleep with him, she’s just as guilty as he is.”
WTF?! Apparently Pastor Orten is unable to distinguish between a child being raped by a grown man holding a razor blade to her throat, and sexual activity between two consenting adults.
Pastor Orten continued to defend Hopper, the convicted sexual predator, by blaming the victim, insinuating that the 13-year-old girl consented to being raped at knife point because she and her rapist were both on drugs:
But he was mad and angry, both of them were on drugs. Yeah, that’s still in his past.
Hopper is currently in charge of the church’s care ministry, described as a “team of zealous volunteers who devote their time and energy in compelling others to come to [church],” according to a post on the church’s official website.
However, there’s no mention of Hopper’s criminal past or his many years in jail on his official bio page, aside from a reference to “years of drug abuse” and “other worldly addictions.”
In an interview, one church member, who declined to show her face, said she was upset and worried about the revelation that a dangerous, convicted sex offender was working at the church:
I was very upset, because I had children, and I was not made aware [of Hopper’s past]…All they would tell me is ‘God has changed him.’
Since this disturbing story was made public, the doors to the Truth Apostolic Church have been locked and the church’s website and Facebook page have been taken offline.