Jack Schaap, Hammond, Indiana

Your Voice Absolutely Matters

The Setup

Many years ago now, I was confronted by a co-worker after taking what, in the short term, turned out to be an unpopular stance. At the time, I was “the new kid on the block” when she wisely said to me, “You reveal yourself by the things you say and do. You are showing everyone who you really are.” We are all doing that: every day with everything we say and do.

This morning I saw this on a friends Facebook feed. Dan always finds the best! It expresses the same sentiment in a more assessable way.

Free Speech Cartoon

We have to live with what we say and what we do. These indicate who we are.

A Person of Interest

Take a good look at this man. A good look.

Jack Schaap, Hammond, Indiana
Jack Schaap

 

For many years now (since 2001) Jack Shaap has been the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, a mega-church in the extremist movement. He seems to believe, and preach with thunder, that women are subservient to men. If you can stand it, listen for just a bit to him sharing “the word of God” from his position of power and influence.

Remember, he is revealing who he is by what he says.

Recently, he apparently further revealed who he is by what he “allegedly” did.

Shockingly, yesterday he was out-and-out fired by the church. (This just so seldom ever happens!) The church released a short, non-informative statement indicating Jack’s termination and the church’s cooperation with investigating authorities “due to a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.” Instead of “grieving the impact” firing this evil man will have on the members of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, they really need to celebrate freedom from the tyranny of a criminal huckster!

The allegations floating about in “sources familiar with the investigation” suggest he “allegedly” raped a child in the church’s bus ministry.

You see: this is the face of evil. He began to reveal himself as an evil man from the pulpit he occupied for years by spewing hate speech about women. According to him, women exist for the pleasure of men. How could that have ever been tolerated? How did such hatred become normal?

I’ve suggested before, in my posts about Bob Jones University (here, and here), that when we normalize hate, when we marginalize any group of people, when we subjugate others to our own will and desires, when we suggest that we are better than anyone else we then do great harm to humanity, to human dignity, to kindness, and to fairness. And when we look the other way and pretend that hate-filled, abusive words and actions are normal, even good, are given some special religious privilege or endorsement, we carve up the human soul and give permission for evil to persist and grow, fester and rot.

Frankly, I’m shocked he was fired. And while we will never know, I personally believe that had it not been for the courageous stands of the Tina Andersons, the Chris Petermans, and others who have stood up to the religious abuse of extremists, his “alleged” rape of a minor would have been quietly dispatched while the work of God through the church bus ministry continued under “his leadership.” It’s now just too costly for the church (catholic or protestant) to harbor pedophiles—outrageous that money would be the motivation and not moral leadership. (Thank you 20/20 for your exposé of this evil in our midst.)

When leadership fails, the people must say and do what is right, must reveal who they fundamentally are. Women, gay people, people of color, people with little economic means do not have to be the target of hatred and abuse. We all have legal options that will empower human dignity and marginalize the thundering faces of evil heartlessly masquerading as moral leadership.

Good riddance, Jack Shaap. I hope you and those of your ilk get what you deserve: swift justice for those you “allegedly” have victimized. Your predatory, hate-filled lifestyle of choice disgusts me.