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Religious Liberty: Woman Learns, Criticize The Church, The Church Will Sue You

by David Badash on May 18, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Religion

Post image for Religious Liberty: Woman Learns, Criticize The Church, The Church Will Sue You

One Beaverton, Oregon woman has learned that if you criticize the Church, the Church will sue you. Julie Anne Smith and her family are the target of a $500,000 defamation lawsuit filed by Beaverton Grace Bible Church. Yes, here’s that precious “religious liberty” the radical religious right is crowing about. So much for “turn the other cheek.”

Smith wrote a negative review on Google of her church, calling it a “cult.” Later, she started a blog, Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors.

“Julie Anne Smith revealed on her blog in March that Pastor Chuck O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church had sued her for $500,000 over negative reviews on Google and DEX that claimed that she had been shunned for no reason,” reports David Edwards at The Raw Story:

In their 54-page lawsuit, Beaverton Grace Bible Church claimed that Smith had defamed them by using words like “creepy,” “cult,” “control tactics” and “spiritual abuse.”

“What we had was indoctrination… That is how cult leaders work,” the suit alleges Smith wrote. “Don’t waste your precious lives and relationships being held emotionally/spiritually captive by this so-called church.”

Another message claimed that the “beloved pastor knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place.”

“This is a very destructive and disturbing ‘church.’ … The exra-Biblical legalistic teaching is wrong. The gossip/slander, disclosure of what goes on in private counseling sessions, sex offenders have free reign in childrens’ [sic] areas with no disclosure to parents. … This is not a safe place.”

According to comments posted on Google Maps, O’Neal had first threatened to sue Smith on February 25.

“DEFAMATION IS A CRIME: Pastor Chuck O’ Neal, his wife, his children, and Beaverton Grace Bible Church as a whole, have suffered JulieAnne’s hateful lying slander for well over three years,” O’Neal wrote. “After seeking counsel from a pastor on staff with Grace Community Church (under Pastor John MacArthur) and reading him several excerpts from JulieAnne’s endless defamation, he recommended that we FILE A LAWSUIT in an appeal to Caesar as the Apostle Paul did when falsely accused of crimes against God and the state.”

“Her many lies and vicious criminal accusations will not stand in the light of day in the Washington County courthouse or in the coming courtroom before God.”

The Beaverton Grace Bible Church has on its website an extremely offensive anti-gay hate letter, titled,  “HOMOSEXUAL PROLIFERATION –AN OPEN LETTER.”

The letter seems to compare homosexuality to “rotten fruit,” and falsely claims it “causes incontinence, disallows procreation, and very often goes hand in hand with substance abuse, pornography use, and child molestation.”

This fruit is rotten to its insidious core, and yet it is promoted boldly and celebrated as the fruit of the culturally-enlightened elite.

According to our tolerance-minded culture, if one does not eat this fruit himself, he (or she) is still morally bound to fight for the right of others to eat it publicly, privately, and professionally—now with workplace privileges and special tax status being afforded by the State. Somehow those who engage in the act of eating this debased fruit have even found their way into a specially protected and privileged minority status in state legislation or code. Here’s the shocker: this prevailing fruit was illegal in all fifty states until just a few decades ago. It has gone from illegal, to tolerated, to accepted, to taught and encouraged, and now to legislated through House Bill 2007, Senate Bill 2, and others across the nation —in just a few decades!


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{ 1 comment }

Victoria M. Reynolds May 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

We have been controlled and abused by our religions for thousands of years. I congratulate Julie for having the guts to speak her truth and expose the human rights offenses that have been justified in the name of religion. How can these religious leaders call themselves Christian when their hearts are clearly filled with hate and greed? Religious freedoms exist to believe as we choose, not to abuse as we choose.

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