“Men should be careful lest they cause women to weep, for God counts their tears.” ~ The Talmud
Was willing to give Chuck Phelps the benefit of the doubt that Pastor Phelps was busy traveling back in Indianapolis after testifying last week as a hostile witness for the prosecution in the rape trial of Ernest Willis. For that reason I gave a few days for Pastor Chuck Phelps to get his act together either completely remove his now proven lies as a result of his sworn testimony. Gave Phelps a chance to at least post some serious Mea culpa, and apologize on his website that he had set up the same evening the 20/20 episode was aired attacking the credibility of the victim, Tina Anderson. Since none of that was forthcoming it is time for this post.
Those who like to quote this blog out of context will probably leave the out two words, hostile witness. The term hostile (adverse) witness is defined as:
A witness who is called by or associated with an opposing party or who by statement, conduct, or other evidence (as of relationship) shows bias against or is injurious to the case of the party by whom the witness is called.
Here is just part of what Phelps testified to under oath.
“Pastor Phelps just checked his notes from October 8, 1997 and says that Ernie told him he had two encounters with Tina about a month apart and that in a meeting later that same day with his wife present he told the Pastor that he was the ‘aggressor’.
When questioned why Tina was expelled from Trinity Baptist Christian School, Chuck Phelps testified:
”She [Tina] was expelled from school for being with child. She never used the word rape.”
Remember, only a few minutes before Chuck Phelps used the words, “two encounters,” and “aggressor” in his testimony. Yet, Phelps blamed the victim because a 15 year old terrified, confused, girl from an abusive home did not use the word, “rape?” Phelps, further testified he knew from be beginning that Ernie Willis was the father of Tina’s unborn baby. Phelps also testified that he had made the introductions to Tina’s mother to send Tina to Colorado, to live with friends of HIS until Tina gave birth. Everything, Tina said for over the last year was proven to be true by the disclosure of Chuck Phelps own notes that his attorney worked so hard to be kept out. We now know why, Phelps did not want those notes in. We now know why, Phelps was labeled a hostile witness by the prosecution.
Also Phelps read the following verse as he testified in the trial, and then said it was ridiculous that people would think he was telling a 15 year old she would have been stoned in Old Testament times.
”If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death, the girl because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he violated another man’s wife.”
Does Chuck Phelps, or does Chuck Phelps not believe what he preaches about the literal interpretation of the Bible? Why would a teen girl who has been preached at, day in and day out to take the Bible literally, not then to be reasonably expected to take the Bible literally when her pastor reads such a verse? Is it that literal interpretation is only when it is “convenient” for the pastor to get across a point?
Chuck Phelps is ‘on record’ with his statements, as well as other leaders in the Independent Baptist Fundamentalist , and that includes their ‘supporters’. Their own statements show where they stand. They have indicated no intention of changing that stand. Chuck Phelps is just one member of this group. They are all behaving in ways that attract the attention of predators who are looking for a safe place to land where they will not be ‘caught out’, and where their victims will know if they will not be given a fair hearing because victims have a history being denigrated.
In short, the ‘message’ is that the IFB is willing not to shine a light on known predators while being quick to blame the victim.
I also now believe it’s not just the ‘leaders’ and their ‘statements’ and lack of action that is totally the problem. They have their shrilly voices and their ‘Amen Joe’s’ who back them up. Each and every one of them is also a part of the problem.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter”Isaiah 5:20
Unlike the victims, these leaders, and their ‘Amen Joe’s” can make the choice to travel a different way and stand up for the victims over the perpetrators.
Stay tuned, once the complete trial transcripts of Ernie Willis’ rape trial are made available those transcripts will be posted on this blog. The jury’s verdict needs to be sealed by the judge and sentencing is yet to be handed down. Willis may expect to face at least fifty-years behind bars.