November 3, 2015

In Georgia, a high placed Republican political consultant and youth pastor is accused of forcing boys to perform “hundreds” of sex acts while videotaping them doing it at the First Baptist Church of Vidalia.

Jim Collins, currently a political consultant and former youth pastor at the First Baptist Church of Vidalia, is accused of telling boys in his church youth group to perform “individual sexual acts” and videotaping them doing it.

Matthew Stanley of Vidalia, Georgia, has accused the top GOP consultant of abusing him and other boys in the youth group “hundreds of times” over a seven-year period.

Stanley has filed a civil lawsuit in Toombs County Court claiming from 1996 to 2002 he was the victim of repeated abuse by Collins, a former youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Vidalia.

Stanley claims while Collins was a chaperone on church youth out of town trips, he engaged in “highly inappropriate, sexualized physical contact with many of the boys” including Stanley himself.  

The lawsuit adds, this happened to Stanley “more than a hundred times” from  age 11 until he was 18.

The lawsuit also holds the First Baptist Church of Vidalia responsible, noting:

Compounding the sexual predator’s malfeasance, the church for which he worked failed to screen its volunteers appropriately, failed to institute safeguards for the children under its care, and failed to act decisively upon learning of the predator’s actions.

Occupy Democrats reports once Collins had gained the trust of the boys and their parents, he began inviting them over to a weekly Bible study at his house, where he had the security to give into his sinister urges.

At the Bible studies at Collins’ home, Stanley says that Collins soon abandoned all pretense of Scripture study:

Under Collins’s direction, the group began to view pornography together at Collins’s home. He encouraged each boy to engage in individual sexual acts, both privately and in a group setting. On at least one occasion, Collins videotaped these sexual acts as well, causing additional harm to Matt Stanley. Collins also engaged in highly inappropriate, sexualized physical contact with many of the boys, including Matt Stanley. 29. In addition, Collins sexually abused Matt Stanley and the other boys in these ways on church-sponsored out-of-town trips during which Collins served as First Baptist Church’s adult chaperone for the boys.

Raw Story reports Collins is currently employed at CSG International, a software and consulting firm. A bio provided by his previous employer, iSquared Communications, calls Collins “a top political advisor and strategist for new Senate Majority Leader Tommy Williams.” It also indicates that he “managed the campaigns for several of the Capitol’s new South Georgia incumbents.”

In a statement, the First Baptist Church of Vidalia claimed they “did absolutely nothing wrong” while seeming to blame the victim for being abused by their youth pastor:

Mr. Stanley failed to come forward to Church leadership, or anyone else, with any allegations until nearly a decade after the alleged abuse ended… Despite Mr. Stanley’s decision not to report the alleged abuse to the police, the Church has cooperated fully with the authorities as they have investigated claims against Mr. Collins. Despite the lack of any criminal prosecution against the accused, the Church forced him to resign from any volunteer position with the Church and forbade him from having any contact with any youth member of the Church.

Bottom line: A family values Republican political consultant is caught sexually abusing boys while acting as a youth pastor for a conservative Christian church.

Welcome to America.

H/t Raw Story. Watch the video below from WSAV, broadcast Nov. 3, 2015:

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
October 30, 2014

Brave middle school students in Salem, Oregon, fight back after a school volunteer tells students that atheism is “wrong,” “bad,” “stupid” and “evil.”

Via Statesman Journal:

Tim Saffeels, the director of student ministries at a local church, has been barred from volunteering at Straub Middle School in Salem, Oregon, after students accused him of promoting Christianity and insulting atheists.

Some students said Saffeels was making them feel uncomfortable by promoting Christianity and denigrating atheism.

Shelby Conway, 14, and Sarina Keightley, 13, both eighth-graders at Straub Middle School, said Saffeels preached at them and other students about religion during their lunch period.

Eighth-grader Shelby Conway wrote an email to the principal asking that Saffeels not return. In her email, Conway said that Saffeels asked students for their religious beliefs and then insulted her after she revealed that she was atheist. She wrote in the letter that Saffeels told her that atheism is “wrong,” “bad,” “stupid” and “evil.”

“I was very uncomfortable and personally offended with the way he was speaking to both me and other non-Christians around the lunch room,” Conway wrote. “I request that we keep things like this, such as pastors and religious speeches, in places where they are welcomed, such as churches or religious schools.”

The school’s principal, Laura Perez, said that Saffeels will not be allowed back as a volunteer for the remainder of the school year.

“I decided that I’m not going to allow him in because to me there was a breach of trust there,” Perez said.

Volunteers supervise students during lunch and serve as role models. They make sure students are picking up after themselves, Perez said, but they are not allowed to promote religion because of the separation of church and state.

Saffeels denies proselytizing and making offensive comments about atheism to the students. However, he does admit he spoke to the students about religion.

The Salem-Keizer School District has a policy that outlines how school visitors and volunteers should behave during instructional hours, which includes lunch.

“Promotion or inhibition of religion in any form… is prohibited,” the policy states.

Read the full text of Shelby Conway’s email to Laura Perez, Principal at Straub Middle School:

Dear Mrs. Perez,

My name is Shelby Conway, I am 14 years old, and an eighth grader at Straub. Today at lunch, our table was approached by a youth pastor who said he was from a Christian church out in South Salem. He then proceeded to preach to our entire table, several of whom are not Christians. When he finished, he asked us for our religious beliefs. I replied that I am an atheist, which I am, and I am very firm in my beliefs, and that he should not try to convince me otherwise. He began insulting me, my beliefs, and my intelligence, saying that, “Any logical person would see that atheism is wrong” and telling me that I am “too young” to choose this belief and saying that he believes I am simply trying to ‘rebel’. I explained that it was quite the opposite, that I find religion itself illogical. He got upset here and started telling me that my belief was “bad,” “stupid,” and “evil,” and that I was as well. I was already quite upset, so I told him to “leave me alone” and he simply continued, telling me that I needed to come to a church function to “cleanse my mind and soul o! evil”’ and gave me a card for his youth group because, as he said, which I promptly got rid of. I know there were other things he said, but some were not direct, and I don’t remember exact quotes.

I have no problem with religion, and I respect all peoples beliefs, even if they aren’t like mine. Some of my best friends are very strong Christians, and I have no problem with it. However, I am very willing to defend myself and others when they’re insulted, which they were. I was very uncomfortable and personally offended with the way he was speaking to both me and other non-Christians around the lunch room. I request that we keep things like this, such as pastors and religious speeches, in places where they are welcomed, such as churches, or religious schools. It offends me, and several other non-Christians, that it was assumed that we were both a small minority, and unintelligent and easily convinced. There is a wide array of religious belie!s here at Straub, and we should not assume that all people believe the same.

The man refused to offer his name, but I assume that there is a way to contact him. I’m fairly certain that he was here because he was welcomed by the school. I ask that he does not return.

Thank you very much !or your time and consideration,

Shelby Conway

Well done Shelby! Thank you for taking a stand, and thank you for doing the right thing.

(H/T Statesman Journal)

Shelby Conway, left, 14, and Sarina Keightley, 13, both eighth-graders at Straub Middle School (Image via Statesman Journal)
Shelby Conway, left, 14, and Sarina Keightley, 13, both eighth-graders at Straub Middle School (Image via Statesman Journal)

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