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NerdyKeith's avatar

What are your thoughts on these two pastors who tortured a 13 year old boy?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 5th, 2016

Back in 2012, two pastors physically beat up a 13 year old boy, drove him out to a dessert and made him dig his own grave. Incidentally they ended up pleading guilty. I just find it horrific.

This seems to be another example of religious fanatics who have forgotten what it means to be human.

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37 Answers

chyna's avatar

There is nothing religious or Christian about these men. They used the group as a means to be able to torture innocent children.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@chyna I agree. They hid behind their religion to try to get away with atrocious crimes. And what makes matters worse, they only got two years for it.

jca's avatar

It’s terrible. I don’t think you’re going to find many people in the world who support actions like that.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@jca I would hope not at least. But you’d be surprised with how sadistic some people can be (religious or otherwise)

ibstubro's avatar

As sad as the story is, it’s terribly first world.
It was horrific for the boy involved and he will doubtlessly face years of treatment to get over the incidents – if ever.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the same Earth, Nigeria’s Boko Haram isn’t just kidnapping girls: it’s enslaving them while the US scales back its world leadership and a frontrunner in the presidential election declares ‘We’re a poor country now’.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ibstubro Oh don’t get me wrong what is occurring in other countries is certainly much worse than this. I guess situations as the story I cited, bring to light that the westernised world has its dark moments too.

Mimishu1995's avatar

It just proved that having a cassock doesn’t turn you into a saint.

CWOTUS's avatar

What they did – according to the article – was reprehensible. It included physical and psychological torture over a period of at least several days. Truly, it was awful.

However… they apparently did not cause any permanent physical damage (who knows what emotional and other psychic scars the kid may carry?); they didn’t break any bones; they didn’t actually “try to kill him” (although part of the psychological torture was to mock up a live burial, and I certainly don’t discount the “torture value” of that exercise). So, while the charges include “assault with a deadly weapon”, they did not include “attempted murder”. And they confessed to the crimes. Hence the leniency in the punishment. That’s the way the justice system works; when people confess their crimes and don’t make the state prove a case in an adversarial proceeding, then that is accounted for at sentencing. The story also mentions “new developments… that caused [the prosecutor] to believe this was the best disposition for all those involved”. I’m not going to second-guess the prosecutor on the case, who is on the other side of the continent from me.

But that’s not all I have.

@chyna nailed the answer in her response. “There’s nothing Christian about these men.”

And that’s a bone I want to pick with you here over the wording of your question.

I’m as strongly atheist as anyone I know. I do not “deny” God or gods, but I highly doubt such an existence or intelligence. I haven’t been a Christian for longer than you’ve been alive. So I hold no brief for Christianity here; I’m not here to defend it. Likewise other religions (including atheism as a “belief that there is nothing”). People are welcome to believe as they will, and I won’t argue with them unless they want an argument.

All that is by way of prefacing this question: Why is the fact that they were so-called “pastors” the most relevant thing that you can point to in your question? Why not ask about “these Californians” or “these Americans” or “these men” or “these whites”? I do not deny the relevance of the fact that they passed as pastors in some kind of church setting, so I fully agree that it’s a completely relevant detail – but it’s not the only one.

Like I said, I’m not a Christian – but a lot of my friends are, including some few in this forum. They’re far enough in the minority here that they’re not going to take over the site. The tenets of their religion are under attack all the time even in discussions that aren’t centered on “look at what the Christians are doing now”. We don’t need to drive them off with “look at these so-called Christians” questions that seem intended to single them out. Especially on two-year-old stories.

So I’m asking you politely here, will you please review your questions with an eye toward more generality? If you want to attack religion in general, then be my guest – I might even join in after the argument starts, and I might even join your side of the argument from time to time – but I’m hoping that you will stop bringing up specifically anti-Christian stories (or anti- any specific religion, in fact. Contrary to an assertion you made here several days ago, we do have Muslim and Buddhist members, or have had, anyway. Especially when the events are from more than two years ago to begin with.

I’m hoping that I’m not alone in this aversion to the specificity of some of your questions. I’m hoping that you can ask questions that don’t make me cringe for how others are going to be reading them.

jca's avatar

Thank you, @CWOTUS, for an even handed and fair minded post.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@jca My next three questions will not be about religion, for what its worth. But this post, was more about the individual behaviours than their religion itself.

CWOTUS's avatar

I agree, it was about their behaviors, but it was about “these pastors” which, as I said, is not the only relevant detail. Actually, the detail about them being “pastors” could be included in scare-quotes that way, or shown as “so-called pastors”, as there was nothing pastoral about their behavior.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well yes, I could have done that. In short, they happened to be pastors and horrible human beings. Its still a little bit relevant though, as they used their position to attempt to get away with the actions. So the “authority” they had was a significant aspect to why they thought they would get away with it. Same reason Catholic priests got away with sexually abusing children in Ireland and other parts of the world. Its all about the title and perceived notion authority that makes them think they can get away with such things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What I find horrific is that the “He will receive a sentence of up to two years in state prison.
That is disgusting. It should be life. And he should be tortured daily.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes two years is waaaaaay to leanient. Should be a minimum of 20 years for what he did.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can’t agree more. I don’t get their reasoning, their logic behind two lousy years.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Dutchess_III Must be some really shady judge or lawyer working in that case.

jca's avatar

There were new developments, which we will not be discussing, that caused us to believe this was the best disposition for all those involved,” said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney.”

My guess is it was a plea bargain. No trial, reduced sentences.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m sure it’s just the law…..

stanleybmanly's avatar

Even I agree that religion is not the issue here. To hold the priesthood responsible, would be like assigning blame to Nixon after I rob a bank while wearing a Nixon mask.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@stanleybmanly well sure, they are not all responsible for the child abide scandal, but it was swept under the rug for too long. Amd people didn’t ask the right questions, beciase it was too taboo to question a priest.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Stuck up? You meant sadistic?

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sorry I was going through my notifications, and forgot what question I was responding to. I edited my response, to make it more relevant.

@stanleybmanly was referring to my earlier comment about people using authority as an excuse to perform acts of atrocity. I added that the very same thing happened in the priesthood.

And yes the two men in the article are sadistic.

CWOTUS's avatar

Bullshit, @NerdyKeith. The incidents occurred in March, 2012, according to the article, and the trial and sentencing (of at least one perpetrator) was reported in July 2014. That hardly suggests anything being swept under a rug, or “forbidden to question because it’s taboo”.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@CWOTUS NO! Thats not what I meant at all!

I was referring to an earlier comparison between the abuse of authority with these pastors and Catholic priests. I was making the point that the child abuse scandals were swept under the rug. Not the case concerning the pastors.

I brought up the child abuse scandals of the Catholic Church, because it’s relivent to the corruption of authority. And during the times when this was frequently occurring, it was too taboo to question a priest. But I did not mean that the case cited in the article was swept under the rug. Maybe my comparison was too extreme to be fair. But you took me up wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What a living nightmare for that poor boy. His own parents put him in that monster’s hands.

ucme's avatar

Not sure how anyone is meant to respond to this, I mean, any right minded, sane person would find their act abhorrent, complete no brainer.
I agree that citing their “calling” is largely an irrelevance, your tags suggest this was at the forefront of your thinking when asking.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not surprising @ucme. It’s the same thing when a cop gets caught breaking the law, or a nurse gets caught killing patients.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ucme Well yes, the fundamentalist tag is particularly relevent. As not all religious persons are fundamentalist, fundamentalists do not represent the religious majority. Plus a fundamentalist who is a religious authority, is usually so extreme that they almost think they are Gods themselves. This is not something that is unique to the religious. It can happen to any person of authority. Authority corrupts.

ucme's avatar

No, no, the fact they were pastors is irrelevant, i’m referring to your tags as a whole.
Also that you, in reply to @CWOTUS said the religious aspect was “still a little bit relevant”
You flip & flop like a flippy floppy thing

Dutchess_III's avatar

“You flip & flop like a flippy floppy thing” Sometimes you is funny @ucme!

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ucme It’s not so much that they are religious, but the fact that they are viewed as authorities; that’s all I meant.

I’ll be more specific with what I mean here. Religion overall is not the issue here overall. The issue is extremism, and corruption of authority. This happens to occur in religious institutions and in the hands of religious authorities. I brought up the fundamentalist tag, to illustrate that it is indeed an issue that concerns extremism.

But at the same time it is not a the fault of the very idea of religion, but corrupt individuals who use religion as a means to get away with terrible acts. As @Dutchess_III already pointed out this does occur with healthcare professionals and law officers.

But all of these corrupt people are using their authority figure status as a weapon to attempt to get away with vile acts. Which is why we also have issues of police brutality and intentional malpractice by a few unethical doctors or nurses.

So given the circumstance religion, the law enforcement and medical institutions are slightly relivent. But they are only relivent within the context of these authorities being used as the weapon of choice.

It’s not as straight forward as saying “this is religions fault” or “this is not religions fault.”.

Ps the flip flop remark was funny though ;)

ucme's avatar

Yes, we all get that, but you chose a heavy religion vibe in both your details & your tags, too much to be dismissed so easily, but hey, maybe you’ll refine them in the future so as to avoid confusion

NerdyKeith's avatar

@ucme Very well, I appreciate your feedback. And I’ll use tags that are more geared towards the core message in future posts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I barely put tags in my questions. I think the search is broken.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well the way I look at tags, is that they are the closest thing we have to the catergisation system on Yahoo Answers. So if we ever want to discuss a question on lets say religion, LGBTQ or politics, we can click the tags on our profile pages and that will give us a list of all the questions of that particular topic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right. Same here. But I think the flipper flopper thing is broke.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Dutchess_III We need to get the flipper flopper repair man then.

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