310 thoughts on “Punching Kids”

  1. I really hope that either Ben comes forward or that the local police department investigates this pastor’s claim. He is just plain dangerous, and not to be laughed off. In my profession, teaching, it is called child abuse.

    1. I’m with you, Breaking Away. I have watched this little clip several times now. It makes me angry inside. Not angry like the fast heated anger that happens when someone cuts you off in traffic. I’m talking about the slow simmering anger that can be pretty dangerous.

      This guy didn’t “lead him to the Lord”. All a human can do is share the gospel and let God draw them over time.

      What this guy did was intimidate “Ben” until he was scared that if he DIDN’T accept Christ as his Savior, he would get an even worse beating. As I mentioned in my other post, sure sounds like Islam to me!!! You don’t believe what I do? You don’t want to take my religion seriously? I kill you!!!

      1. “You don’t want to take my religion seriously? I kill you!!!”

        And so that idiot could have done. A hard punch to the chest can kill a person by disrupting the heart’s rhythm. It’s rare, but it does happen.

    1. Well to be fair, he obviously hasn’t a pugilistic gene in his body, since “as hard as he could” apparently only resulted in the kid being knocked down. Or is this hyperbole? If you have an exaggeration wrapped in a lie, what does that make you? (A baptist preacher, apparently)

  2. “I led him to the Lord…”

    With a wanton act of violence, just like the Apostles example.
    (good thing I re-read this. George had me using a wonton for the violent act)

  3. 0:17 “A bright kid, which…made him more dangerous”
    0:26 “Push my buttons, not taking the Lord seriously”
    Then, he “crumples the kid” and leads that “man to the Lord right there.”
    This guy’s ego is really scary.

    1. agreed. When he stated that the kid was bright and that made him more dangerous I shook my head. When he said the kid was pushing his buttons–I wanted to shout at him “when you crumpled him–the kid won–he pushed all your buttons and you lost control. You were the grown up and acted like a child.”

      1. And he made himself sound so righteous, as if the thing the pushed him over the edge was his zeal for Christ. That really leaves me shaken. He is acting like he is God’s defender, what against children?

      1. Dude, are you freakin kiddin me? If you ever want to see a bunch of sheeple, go visit a public school! They are the guys rendering bright kids “less dangerous”. How about dumbed down tests, conditioning to blindly obey authority, severely punishing the smallest infractions, etc. There are plenty of people who don’t call themselves Christians at all that home school for those reasons. How about the studies that say that homeschooled kids tend to be brighter, more creative, and more apt to think outside the box than their publically schooled counterparts? I personally think that one of their biggest cons is that they discourage independent thought. Just my two cents. Don’t mean to jump all over you, I just commented cuz I was home schooled and it sure didn’t render me “less dangerous” when it comes to questioning authority.

        1. Well, you may be an exception to the rule. And maybe a disappointment to the ones you continue to question.

          But a lot of homeschooling is done, promoted, and suggested (along with Christian schooling) as a remedy for the bad attitudes and behaviors in the public schools. Some say they give a superior education, but that almost always includes the social aspects.

          If you still question authority, you definitely flunked that part of the curriculum. Congratulations.

        2. I was homeschooled too. I turned out fine, but it was as much in spite of my homeschool experience as it was because of it.

          The pro-homeschool talking points you cite here pretty much prove my point – they are not accurate with respect to public school or homeschool outcomes. Most anti-public school rhetoric is simply grounded in the “homeschool is morally superior and therefore must, by definition, produce a better product” mythology touted by leaders in the homeschool movement. I work in the public education sector now and I can attest to the factually-deficient basis for most of the homeschool community’s distaste for public education. Conversely, most pro-homeschool “data” is woefully deficient and methodologically unsound. Check out homeschoolers anonymous for further reading.

          But given your apparent devotion to homeschool propaganda at this point, I’d say you are a far way off from “questioning authority.” Sorry to jump all over you but that’s what you did to me.

        3. “But given your apparent devotion to homeschool propaganda at this point, I’d say you are a far way off from ‘questioning authority.’ ”

          Lol, bro, you have no idea how much of that I do. Hint: That’s why I’m on this site.

          I just chew the meat and chuck the (huge amount of) bones. I think homeschooling would fall into the meat category. No prob, though, man. If you disagree, that’s cool, too. I’m on a 12 step plan for the recovering Fundy, following step #4: “Learn to walk away from disagreements. It’s okay for people to not agree with me.” *grin*

        4. I recognize the homeschool thought all over that comment. Sorry but those statements are straight out of the homeschool propaganda manual.

        5. In my county, I’ve discovered a couple large homeschooling groups that are very different from what I’d expected. They’re not at all Gothard-y. The kids go to movies, wear pants, and get involved in community sports/drama. They parents in general are not homeschooling to control their children or because they are trying to shelter them from evil public school kids (as some homeschoolers really do try to do) but are mostly just trying to meet their individual children’s different learning needs.

          Perhaps it is just a matter of what part of the country in which one lives.

        6. Thanks, Pastors’ Wife, that’s the sentiment I’m trying to get across. I feel you can capitalize on all the good of homeschooling without being a triple sanctified, Baptist burka wearing, ATI cliché. My Catholic cousins were home schooled until college, and they, like me and my sibs, feel very comfortable– actually enjoy interacting with the community and society at large. Sad that the kool-aid drinkers gotta taint so much.

        7. I was homeschooled, and came out ok, I guess. The biggest problem I have with homeschooling is that I got an education minor in college and I can tell you – good teaching is a full time job. Which is probably why I ended up teaching myself beginning around sixth grade. To this day I regret not being able to be around kids my own age and deeply resent not being able to participate in school events like sports. My dad was military, though, so I suppose homeschooling was easier with all the moving.

        8. Thank you for saying that teaching is a full time job! As a teacher of 32 years, both as a missionary and as a school teacher (not to mention hours spent at church), teaching is my passion and vocation.

          As to homeschool, I know parents who do it because their local public schools are awful. their children may have learning disabilities that make a regular school day difficult, or they may travel for business. There are also the crazies who want to segregate from the world–but I leave them alone so as not to contaminate them with my worldly teaching opinions.

      2. “But a lot of homeschooling is done… as a remedy for the bad attitudes and behaviors in the public schools.”

        But isn’t that categorically true? I mean, I don’t even have to see statistics to guess that they probably have a lower rate of drug and alcohol abuse, a lower incidence of STD’s, and maybe even a higher incidence of closer family relationships.

        1. Possibly. But include in that a lower rate of scientific literacy, high cult loyalty, reduced ability to understand others and other viewpoints, lowered ability to work in groups, less tolerance for stress, greater incidence of undetected child abuse. Etc.

          I speak as one home-schooled. I speak as one who has homeschooled. I had to take great care to prevent certain social and educational difficulties in my children.

          And while my wife might disapprove of my saying this, ultimately the damage done from the know-nothing, abstinence-only view of sex is far worse than the experimentation kids do. Daughters are not property. It is intensely damaging for people to enter a marriage having only been taught to think of sex as wrong, dirty, and disgusting.

        2. All of what RTGMATH said and then understand that often, not always but again this is experience speaking, often these girls are sexually abused in the home. Homeschooling is a recipe for disaster.

        3. Oh boy, if you think homeschool families are close, you haven’t met enough. Many of those kids are expertly devious and skilled at being two people, both superior to everyone else of course. As for drugs and alcohol, wow. Being micro controlled all of your life is a recipe for addiction

        4. Choosing to teach the kids at home instead of enrolling in public school is not in itself a recipe for disaster. The issues that make for a good or a disastrous outcome include the ability of the teacher, level of social exposure, and how religious views influence the education process. None of those elements are inherent in either public- or home-schooling.

      3. Much of the success/failure of homeschooling is related to the parent and student and I’ve known homeschoolers who are all over the religious spectrum: IFB to atheist (yes, even some atheists opt for homeschooling). And I wish I could find the link, but Ivy League schools are starting to be more active in recruiting homeschooled students because the research does show that some of them actually receive a better education than at a public school. Homeschool or public school, however, what the research shows is that that perhaps the biggest influence on a student’s success is parental involvement.

        1. Yes! I have taught in public schools for 18 years. Friends who have young children will sometimes ask for my opinion about public school vs. private school vs. homeschool. I always tell them that their kids can get a good education anywhere so long as the parents are involved. Parents can go a long way toward making up for a less than stellar school. I have also seen parents who do an amazing job with homeschooling, but it requires a great deal of dedication to do it right.

    1. When the guy up front who’s already on his feet admits to assaulting people who don’t agree with him?

      I mean, most fear of being hit I’ve ever had was when I left the SBC-church college class for an adult one at the tender age of 23 (still a grad student, and the only non-undergrad in the class). Apparently the Sunday School teacher had plans and didn’t like the fact I was leaving. I’d only gone and told him because I thought he might worry about me — yep, found out definitively I didn’t matter at all except as a minion to him.

      The ‘and after they left church that day with fake smiles, they never came back again’ number would be more accurate.

        1. I agree most people would not walk out in the middle of a sermon–be it common courtesy or fear of the harassment which would happen as a result.
          But I wonder how many would be willing not to return after their pastor admits punching a child? he has completely framed himself as the man of God having the zeal of God acting for God. And fundamentalists have been taught not to challenge the man of God. And this story reinforces that. I wonder if the church really lost any one after this admission.

        2. I doubt it. They are probably accustomed to his embellished stories. If it wasn’t hyperbole, and the crowd knew it, then it’s still easy enough to gloss over and make excuses. After all, the kid/man got saved that day, right?

    1. Yes.
      Based on past stories of abuse by pastors and others in church leadership, often the victim will get shamed and bullied so they will not report the abuse.

  4. During the years I taught kids, I had quite a few bright ones that liked to push buttons. I never hit any of them. We had a few discussions about button pushing and the proper time to be a distraction. I may have been a bit more lenient with them than other kids, since I saw a young version of their teacher sitting there. I’m thankful no one ever hauled off and hit me, even though I may have deserved more punishment than I got. It would have left a rather sour taste for religion had that happened.

    I throw the BS penalty flag on this story. It’s strange and interesting watching how narcissism and the need for attention shows differently in different people

    1. I can’t remember if it was here or another website that showed a pastor (ex-prison inmate) that claimed to have shattered the jaw of another inmate because he refused to go to some bible study or service the now-pastor was organizing.

      On another note, the video that the church originally posted has been taken down from Vimeo.

    2. It may be BS, but the apparent pride he displayed when describing how he ‘crumpled the kid’ makes me think there’s at least a grain of truth to the story. With regards to prosecuting this “preacher” for assault, it may be that the statute of limitations has already expired. Maybe Deacon’s Son could answer that question.

      1. In my state of Oklahoma, use of “reasonable force as a means of discipline” by one acting in loco parentis is almost never held to be child abuse. Therefore, a prosecution for the activity this preacher describes is unlikely, especially if the kid’s parents ratified the abuse by not pressing charges. Far too many states have similar leniency, making stories like this one Exhibit A for why we need child protection reform.

        1. Doesn’t Oklahoma also have a law saying the earth is flat?

          (I can’t resist the opportunity to make fun of a state with an even stupider legislature than the current one here in Texas.)

  5. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

    Also Ezekiel 34:4
    The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

    Matthew 7:2

    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    PastorEric@biblebaptist.net

    Anybody else wanna flood his email?

    1. In reference to the passage from Ezekiel, Fundies don’t want to heal the wounded. It is a lot less time consuming to kill them off. That way, you can say they no longer have troubles and know they are no longer your problem.

        1. Its funny because Paul quotes Aristophenes (probably) and Epimenides of Knossos in his letters. The point being that whether one is “saved” or not has got nothing to do with the veracity of their speech. But we can’t be larnin’ from pagans now, can we?

  6. This video suggests to me that this guy has a violent past. It seems that this was a normal reaction for this MOG.
    This is probably not the first person he has punched in anger.

  7. Maybe he is just a blow hard but it is the wrong thing to hear from someone in authority, the wrong message to send – that violence is acceptable. This guy needs to be made an example of

      1. Scripture doesn’t say that he specifically hit someone. It does say that he gathered cords, but it just says that he, “drove them out”. It’s presumed that he used the cords to beat them.

        Why would he teach peace and beat people?

        1. One thing it shows is that there’s not always one solution to every situation. But do notice where Jesus’ anger was directed: not at people who asked questions, but at cheaters who were making money off the poor who only wanted to sacrifice to worship God.

        2. In all likely hood the whip was for the animals, not the people. The term “drove them out” in John actually reads in the Greek as follows: “He drove out of the temple both sheep and oxen, and of the money changers he poured out the coins”.

  8. In :50, we see the propping up of a lie–education and brightness are dangerous–because that is what fundamentalism is all about–the fear of education and knowledge despite the fact God gave us brains and reasoning abilities.
    We also see the propping up of the MoG–don’t push the man of god’s buttons–when you are pushing the man of god’s buttons you are not taking God serious. That equating of what you are doing to the man of God with you are doing it to God is dangerous.
    And we see the abusive nature of fundamentalism, when they come up against someone who is not falling in line and behaving like a the man of god wants them to–abuse happens.
    That is quite a lot to happen in 50 seconds.

    1. “That equating of what you are doing to the man of God with you are doing it to God is dangerous.”

      Isn’t there a Book that says basically the opposite – that what you do to the least of these you are doing it to God? Hmmm… Wonder if he’s ever read that Book?

      1. That’s an excellent point! Along those lines, does it seem to you that Fundies’ threats of God’s wrath tend to be against folks like us for daring to trifle with the man of God rather than against the man of God for his mistreatment and abuse of the little people?

        1. That I’ve ever heard? Definitely!

          If they did ever warn about God’s wrath for abuse of the little people, it would be directed outward, never at the MOg, and only rarely at the congregation.

  9. “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth.” (2 Tim. 2:24-25, NLT)

    “An elder must be a man whose life is above reproach . . . he must exercise self-control . . . He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome.” (from 1 Tim. 3, NLT)

  10. Are you weary of the button-presser?
    Punch them to Jesus! Punch them to Jesus!
    Maybe you’re tired of the worldly dresser.
    Punch them to Jesus! Go on!

    Punch them to Jesus! Punch them to Jesus!
    Hard as you can in the chest!
    You can brag, and then say “sorry” for it.
    Punch the to Jesus! It’s best!

  11. I like the fact that when I clicked on the link to the story about the punching pastor, an ad popped up next to it for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” S&M movie.

  12. I am reading a book called “Once an Arafat Man”. It is the story of a Muslim who fought for Fatah. He was converted to Christianity. In the book, he tells of some “visions” or “dreams” he had that did come true. He said he also had a vision that Islam would attempt to take over the world, including here in the U.S.

    Here’s my thought. While 99% of Americans would say an adamant NO to the thought of succumbing to Sharia/Islamic law, it’s sneaking in more than we know. I’ve watched a little on youtube of Sharia patrols and stuff right here on U.S. soil. They don’t want women uncovered at all. They don’t want anyone to drink even a drop of alcohol. They don’t want you to blaspheme the name of Allah. And I’m certain if they weren’t on U.S. soil, they would use extreme force to enforce those rules.

    How many churches right here in America are leaning more and more (and have been for years) in that direction? Oh, you don’t believe exactly like I do? You’re kicked out. Or as in this case, since it was someone smaller than him, he punched him. Oh, you don’t want to be serious about MY god? I’ll just deck you then. It’s sickening, sickening, sickening. God says “If you don’t show mercy, no mercy will be shown to you.” I would hate to be some of these “tough guys” who think they are “on fire for God” when they stand in front of a holy, just, merciful (mercy-FULL) God.

    Can you see God talking to this particular man?

    God: “You know the scripture that says if you offend one of these little ones, it’s better for a boulder to be tied around your neck and you be thrown into the sea, right?”

    This man: “Uh, well, uh, yes, I do, but I thought that meant the GOOD ‘little ones’. This guy wasn’t serous about YOU God. He was taking YOU lightly.”

    God: “Um, I’m capable of taking care of myself. I don’t really need you standing up for me. What part of ‘love your enemies’ did you not understand?”

    This man: “Um, well, he wasn’t MY enemy God, he was YOUR enemy, so I decked him.”

    God: ” *Deeeeeep sigh* You don’t need to stand up for me. I’m GOD!!!!! Do you remember how I said if you love me, keep my commandments? Do you remember how I said the second commandment was like unto the first? Love your neighbor as yourself? And I told you what love is. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is long-suffering. Love doesn’t keep record of wrongs. Did punching that boy in the chest exhibit ANY of that?”

    This man: “But GOD!!!! I did it in YOUR name!!!!”

    God: “Oh boy, yeah. Remember the verse that says what many will say in that day? Remember the instruction that says you can do all kinds of things but if you don’t do it out of love it amounts to nothing?”

    This man: “Whew boy, I guess I messed up didn’t I? Well, go on and say it God. Depart from me, I know it’s coming.”

    God: “You know what son? You believe that Jesus, my perfect son, died on a cross for your sins. He didn’t die just for the sins of the people you think were “bad”. He died for YOUR ‘good’ sins too. So proud you think you can stand up for me. So unloving you think you can punch one of my little ones because your doing it ‘for me’. Come on in, my Son died for you just like he died for everyone else that believes on me.

    Of course, it could go a different way. He could remain arrogant and tell God he’d BETTER let him in for everything he’s done for God.

    Just another one of my meanderings. If you’ve read to the bottom, congratulations. You get 10,000 points.

    1. AND you don’t get decked.
      Well said, Norm.
      Too many Christians – Fundamentalists in particular but not just them – believe in a god who is harsh and brutal. A god described by a very selective reading of the Old Testament.

    1. The Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic ordination processes are not perfect–abusers still get through–but they take ordination very serious. Ordination is not just being able to recite doctrine and preach. I fear for my friends in the fundamentalist baptist churches. The system of the IFB does not protect anyone. (well one might argue the man of god is given some protection….)

      1. Right, Leanne. Also people with mental illness and unresolved addiction problems. But the screening and other committees try their darndest.

        What the hey–they even accepted ME for ordination some 45 years ago!

  13. I should probably feel more outrage at these guys who blather about how rough and tough they are, but they’re so dadgum boring, I can never stay awake to the end of one of their rants.

  14. Who is this “pastor”? Anyone know how to get in touch with him? I would REALLY like to have a (as we say down south) “little comin’ to Jesus meeting with him. At the very least, chat with him over the phone.

    What does it say in I Corinthians 13 about love? Love ALWAYS protects. I don’t believe violence is the answer to very many things. I believe we should turn the other cheek, give a soft answer, be kind to those who wrong us, pray for those who treat us bad. But sometimes, sometimes when ones view of the gospel of Jesus is so distorted that it would lead a man to believe what he did to Ben is acceptable and even “for God”, I believe THEN physical violence is ok. He needs to be taught a lesson. I wouldn’t be doing it because he wronged me. I would be doing it so he couldn’t wrong others [again]. I believe in that case, it would be considered loving others and protecting others and physical harm to this man would be ok. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t know that I am.

    1. Dear Norm:

      Bible Baptist Church
      31 Passaic Avenue
      Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
      PH 201-288-4139
      Fax 201-727-1701

      info@biblebaptist.net

      I include the church e-mail as there is a good likelihood that this clown will not share negative personal e-mail. There is at least a chance that someone on staff will see the church e-mail.

      It seems that January is the month for their annual Business meeting [ http://www.biblebaptist.net ]. Be interesting if this became an undercurrent at the meeting.

      Christian Socialist

    2. Norm, Norm. Physical violence because someone believes differently?

      As for this guy, he’s admitting in public that he physically abused a minor. Let the legal process begin.

      1. I’m sorry Jay. My “threat” of physical violence would NOT be because someone believes differently than myself. In this case, it would be because it was necessitated by the actions of this “pastor” in protecting my child or someone else’s child. You can’t just go around punching children (or anybody for that matter) just because you don’t think they’re “serious enough about God”.

        1. Let the social workers, the police and the courts take care of this guy, then, Norm.

          The only time physical violence would be acceptable if you were protecting a person who was actually in danger of being harmed at the moment.

        2. Ahhh, Jay. You are so right. One of these days I will [possibly] learn to think, then think again and then think again before coming to a conclusion. Well, I wish I could retract a certain email (actually more than one), but’s what’s done is done.

          God, please help this impatient sinner to learn of you.

      1. you are welcome, i posted this video on my facebook page, I want it to go viral, I want him exposed and taken down, a few punches to his chest wouldn’t bother me either

  15. “He was a bright kid, which made him more dangerous.”

    Dangerous? Because he was bright? I suppose the Preacher prefers dumb, dull, and compliant.

    So Eric Dammann, Pastor and hothead, punches him. I wouldn’t take Eric Dammann or his faith or his god seriously, either. Justify violence on this level and you will justify it on a larger level.

    Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association, a “Christian Leader” says that the Charlie Hebdo incident was “God’s judgment” against the paper for its blasphemy. Not of Islam, of course, but of Christianity.

    In the end, this man is just boasting how his working in the flesh somehow accomplished the working of the Holy Spirit.

      1. Yeah. I have been called that, too. I’ve gotten in trouble for it as well. Hmmph. I’ve been getting less respectful of some “authorities” since I left fundamentalism.

        So there! Nyaah! Heh, heh, heh.

        1. Sounds like you need to get punched in the chest rtg. Ater I am done with you I will lead you to the Lord, whatever that means.

          🙂

        1. That’s a bit like the way the Romans converted conquered people to their empire, now that you mention it.

  16. This clip legitimately disturbs me. I’m a youth pastor and to see anyone act like that towards a teenager is absolutely disgusting. Just disgusting.

  17. I’m not a big fan of violence. At all. That being said…

    I have a son who is quite bright, and does quite a bit of button pushing. I expect his religious education teachers to correct him when he causes a disruption.

    However, if that kid’s dad didn’t beat the ever living hell out of that arrogant SOB then he should turn in his dad card.

    Violence is rarely–Iwould say virtually never–called for. This guy is in serious need of a through and complete ass whipping. Anyone who would brag about sucker punching a kid really needs to be eating his dinner through a straw for a while.

    1. Nah. If this incident isn’t imaginary brag and bluster by the MOG, Ben’s dad should have called the police, who would have arrested the pastor for assault and battery.

        1. Oops. not George–me. I’m just at the end of a long string of replies. Clearly, I need coffee. Or maybe a nap.

      1. Agree! I would rather see this pathetic excuse for a pastor’s perp walk than to have the kid’s dad go to jail. Let the police do their job. Report abuse.

      2. That Other Jean:

        I fully understand your point. Honestly, I do. 999 times out of 1,000 I would agree with you wholeheartedly. Violence virtually always makes a situation like this worse.

        If every rule has an exception, we have found the exception to the no violence rule. If Ben’s dad didn’t break this guy’s jaw, Ben’s mom should have. That “pastor” needs a serious working over with an ax handle. It would have done him good.

  18. This little tidbit has been picked up by atheist sites which (lacking our awareness that the whole thing may have been fabricated or at the very least exaggerated) have been having a field day with it. The pastor and his church must be on the receiving end of tremendous amount of fan mail. Despite thinking that their biggest threats come from outside, conservative/fundamental Baptists have a penchant for self destruction.

    1. Too bad all the negative attention will give the pastor the thrill of being “persecuted” for his “Christianity”–not that he seems to know much about either one.

      1. MiriamD, Used-to-be-fundy, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Sorry if I sounded like I was excusing him in any way. What I meant to say was that he is a man who never grew out of that stage of bravado and such. Men like that deserve no audience, no authority.

  19. I am sure any apologies will be along the lines of him being misunderstood, taken out-of-context, persecuted etc. It will not be a heartfelt apology were he says “I am sorry. I said/did something horrible. Please forgive me.”

    1. You are “sure” ? “I deeply regret my actions of 13 years ago. I do not condone abuse in any form. I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it. By viewing the clip it is certainly understandable how outraged people are. I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act. My actions were not reflective of Christ and the teachings of the bible. I WAS WRONG, there are NO EXCUSES to be made. I was forgiven by Ben many years ago and can only ask the same from my church, community and the world.

      Sincerely,

      Eric Dammann”

  20. He just disqualified himself for the position of pastor.
    I Tim. 3:3 …Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

  21. The parents are the authority over the child.

    The parents are told to beat their children, breaking the will of the child (or there’s little hope for the child’s salvation.)

    The MoG is the Authority over the parents in his church.

    This MoG just cut out the middleman (parents).

    That’s why this post makes me twitch. I was raised by parents who believed quite strongly in breaking my will through physical discipline.

  22. My guess: he slapped the kid for being a kid, and in his bewilderment the boy apologized. The apology was taken as a confession of sin before God, and, well, slapping someone just doesn’t sound very manly. The guy probably pronounces his name ‘Da Man’.

    1. It’s pretty good as far as IFB apologies go. He didn’t deflect, “I am sorry you misunderstood me.”

      I certainly hope he covers this with his congregation as well. He knew what he was saying when he said it. But he never expected it to go viral.

      1. It was certainly much better than the so-called apology BJU gave over the revelations in the Grace Report.

        BJU seems to be very silent of late. The only thing I’ve heard from them was a “Christmas Card” which said that if I gave a gift to $150 to their latest fundraising goal of $3 million, I would be helping to bring Joy to the World.

        Honest. That was the central message. Mention of the Birth of Christ was in smaller print, as an afterthought.

        1. You read more of it than I did. I saw it was a fundraiser and tossed it. I didn’t even look to see what they were raising funds for.
          I had a good three years there, don’t regret attending, have made some donations in the past, but their actions the last couple of years have soured me a bit. If they would honestly address the GRACE report, and Pettit would drop the “Dr”, it would help some.

        2. Dear rtgmath:

          ‘Speaking’ of ‘silence,’ the Bruin Core blog was, until the publication of the GRACE Report, very active, with a number of SFL posters contributing. When the report was published, that blog was scrubbed and nothing has been added since.

          http://thebruincore.wordpress.com/

          I leave it for others to draw their own conclusions.

          Christian Socialist

        3. Rtgmath, if I got the card I never opened it. I agree about the apology from BJU too. I’m afraid they will try to let this fade away before they have to make any changes.

    2. “I deeply regret my actions of 13 years ago. I do not condone abuse in any form. I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it. By viewing the clip it is certainly understandable how outraged people are. I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act. My actions were not reflective of Christ and the teachings of the bible. I was wrong, there are no excuses to be made. I was forgiven by Ben many years ago and can only ask the same from my church, community and the world.

      Sincerely,
      Eric Dammann”

      1. Very good apology. I still don’t know if he’s qualified to be a pastor. The bible is pretty clear that not many should be teachers because they will be held to a higher standard. Glad it’s not up to me to determine that 🙂 .

      2. I’m glad he apologized and admitted the truth of the ugliness of his words.

        If he has truly matured beyond this over the last thirteen years, he must be deeply embarrassed that this is now surfacing and being discussed.

        For him, it is an opportunity to continue to express humility and contrition as people react for the first time to something he’d put behind him long ago.

        What a reminder this is of Scriptural commands to be swift to hear but slow to speak! How often do foolish words condemn us!

        1. I could be wrong but I understand it that the events happened 13 years ago but the sermon was more recent. Which means that any maturation he has undergone in the last 13 years is negated by the fact that he so clearly and gleefully retold the story.
          The apology sounds sincere, but I feel it is just words strung together. The apology was almost too wordy. He had a point to mention Christ and the Bible just to sound religious.
          The apology should have been:

          “I am sorry. I did and said something horrible. Please forgive me.”

          Nothing more. Nothing less.

      3. Here’s the thing – it is a well worded apology, but I can’t even believe it. When he was sharing the story, he didn’t “word it poorly”. He was very clear, and was clearly bragging. And he didn’t feel any compunction at all about sharing a story about punching a child. So I call total BS on the apology.

        1. If he had been sorry for the event, bragging about it later makes no sense. It would have been told as a different kind of story. Such as mistakes he had made in the ministry…The video story squarely put the blame on the victim.

        2. Yes, he definitely seemed to be bragging about the whole thing, the way he told the story. And the bragging was last month, not 13 years ago.
          So his reflection and remorse seem to have been very recent indeed.

        3. Yes. So it was a little odd to read “I was forgiven by Ben many years ago”. I suppose that could be true, and the pastor still be bragging about it 13 years later, if it was in the fundy context of ‘the ends justify the means’.

      4. On one hand:
        “I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it.”

        On the other:
        “I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act. ”

        So which is it, the very specific story you told was described badly, or you acted inappropriately? I am honestly glad he came out with an apology, but he still can’t have it both ways.

    1. The focus of this blog is specifically Independent Fundamental Baptists or those closely aligned with them, primarily because that is the world (the all-consuming, very insular world) in which most of us grew up.

      Abuse and horrors abound the world over; the IFB definitely doesn’t have a corner on it. We focus on the IFB, however because 1) we know it intimately, 2) there aren’t a lot of places that deal specifically with IFB, and 3) this behavior is so markedly in contrast to what a Biblical church SHOULD be. Christianity teaches love, patience, gentleness, and self-control, traits that were preached but often sadly not practiced.

    2. There are lots of bad things going on in the world of religion. This site focuses on the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement. Most of us are from there.

      I’m sure there are sites devoted to misplaced Methodism, crooked Catholics, awful Anglicans and licentious Lutherans. But they aren’t the focus of this site.

      1. As i said many times before, I’m not from an ifb background – I grew up Methodist in Northern Ireland – but the similarities between ifb and Ulster Protestantism are often startling and I find a lot of the stuff that is explored and dissected here resonates with me very strongly.

      1. Hi MiriamD. I was PB too before I moved to an area where there were no chapels.

        I went from them to IFB to Episcopal. I find that funny because Plymouth Brethren were a reaction against the Anglican Church.

        1. Yes, I think you mentioned this earlier. I suspect the PBs you were with are fairly different from the ones I escaped from. There are many degrees. The superiority seems fairly common however. There are some genuine people there but they are so sure that they are the one bastion of truth, that God recognizes only them, that all other believers are wallowing in doctrinal error which is really what God is most concerned about. I remember listening squeamishly to my bil (now a convicted sex offender) telling another Christian that his place at the Lord’s table was waiting for him (in the PB fellowship), all he had to do was leave the strangers table and take his place. The other guy was understandably offended at having his church called a stranger’s table and oddly never came back!

        2. I was more connected to the Open Brethren. Your experiences in the closed part will definitely be more extreme than mine. But I have a few tales to tell.

        3. I am sure you do! It is interesting to me that the closed pbs that go to the open ones seem happy. The open ones go to other churches and seem happy, no one goes back. Any I have met have real hatred for the closed pbs once they have left. It used to puzzle me, not any longer. They are the the originators of my ”stones for bread” comment. I am glad we are free, damaged but free.

        4. While I was living in Belfast, I went to a non-dom church that had its roots in a very open form of brethrenism, thought the Real Thing would not regard it as part of the True Fold. A lot of the people who go to it came from Brethren backgrounds of various strictness. Some were *extremely* strict. Many grew up believing that there are NO Christians, outside *their* form of the brethren movement, period, even believing that other branches of the movevent are apostate. It was interesting talking to people with that experience and hearing about the amazement the felt at the size and variety of the Christian Family. In many parts of the world including USA there is a clear distimction between Plymouth/Closed/Exclusive Brethren and the Open Brethren. In Northern Ireland the distinction can become blurred and a hybrid form can exist, which may not have the closed *structure*and hierarchy of the Exclusives, but certainly have the same closed mentality. The experiences of some of the people I have talk to would make the ifb look super-ecumentical.

        5. @Paul Best, it makes me laugh because growing up, my father’s family were mostly IFB and we were scornful of their “looseness” Choirs in churches? Paid pastors? Pianos, organs? All these things were indicative of last times and the moral depravity of the body of Christ. We never doubted that there were “saved” people in those churches but they were outside “The Place where God had put His name” , they would have to answer to God for that! They had no blessing and above all they were displeasing God and creating division in His earthly body. As for the other peebs, they were apostate, having “left The Place.” Truly such a tempest in a teapot. The heartburning and the agony over who was “gathered” and who was not. It makes me sad now, all the wasted years.

        6. Some of the people I mentioned would have had serious doubts about the salvation of *anyone* outside their fold. More than a few have been totally disowned by their families and told they are going to burn in Hell. It is hurtful to have even family members whisper behind you back “Don’t believe a word he says, he’s not a Christian at all.” Thankfully, they have discovered that God’s family is bigger and often more loving than they imagined.

        7. I know this first hand. I have been disowned by most of my large family, all but two of my siblings, for leaving. The things I have had said to and about me have ranged from cruel to absolutely ridiculous. My bil was the leading “brother” in our local assembly and he was also abusing our little girls. When my daughters told me and I called the police, I was told I should leave discipline to the assembly. Another of my bils told me I had serious issues with submission. Uh, yep! I do. There are so many rules, spoken and unspoken and memories are generations long.

        8. The “leave discipline issues to the church” attitude allows the church to excuse major sin in the powerful, punish the weak for minor faults, demand submission from all to the arbitrary decisions of capricious men. It is no more just than Sharia. It is all about power.

          Which is why I believe that the church should have to submit all civil and criminal matters to the government. In religious matters, the church shouldn’t be able to levy fines or physical punishments, but should only be able to rebuke. Even that can be taken too far.

          The PB are just like the IFB and others in protecting their leaders and abusing the rest.

        9. Bullies are attracted to positions of power in Fundy churches of whatever denomination. Where else would they have people trained to obey them before they got there?

        10. MiriamD, I’m sorry if I hit any raw nerves. Sounds like you have had a pretty horrendous experience, unlike anything I have had. Given the horrible twisted caricature of God that grew up with I can understand why you may have no interest in knowing Him or in any form of Christianity. My experiences may have been very different from yours, but I too grew up with a distorted image of God, Jesus, and what it meant to be a Christian. I had to dismantle so many wrong beliefs and basically reconstruct my faith, with God’s help. It was painful and took a long time, I’m not sure its finished, but I am truly convinced of God’s love for me of of what jesus accomplished on my behalf.

        11. It’s ok. If I want to protect my raw nerves, I shouldn’t come places like this. It was bad, no question. I am in a no-man’s land of faith right now. I wish I could believe but that doesn’t make it happen. It might be transitory, it might not be. I just don’t know. Funny because at one time I would have told someone like me that there was right and wrong and I had better just believe. That’s fine if you are looking for superficial things but for reality it is very different.

    3. I sometimes mention the evils of the brand of fundamentalism in the Russian Pentecostal churches that I grew up with. The similarities between them and what I’ve learned of IFB churches are disturbingly numerous. Others post incriminating accounts about other churches/denominations; but, as Pastor’s Wife said, most that read and post here have experience specifically with IFB. Just because there are abuses everywhere does not mean the abuses of a select group should not be exposed. Ideally, all abuse in the world would be exposed, and the people posting on this blog and forum do their part.

    4. Dear Keith:

      This happens any number of times. Stick around. Baptists have no corner on kingdom malfeasance and to my knowledge, no one here argues otherwise. But yes, independence, fundamentalism, and baptists do seem to be singled out for their foibles and follies. Hence, ‘Stuff Fundies Like …’

      Christian Socialist

  23. from the pastor: I deeply regret my actions of 13 years ago. I do not condone abuse in any form. I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it. By viewing the clip it is certainly understandable how outraged people are. I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act. My actions were not reflective of Christ and the teachings of the bible. I was wrong, there are no excuses to be made. I was forgiven by Ben many years ago and can only ask the same from my church, community and the world.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Dammann

    Now let’s see how forgiving, loving and Christ-like you all are on this site. And why did His Name Wasn’t Henry Porter call this “something like”? It was clearly a total confession of wrong, and, apparently the boy in question forgave him. Most likely his story was exaggerated to some extent, though I do not know what really happened, nor do any of you. Yet, condemn away!

    1. Well, we have his own words as to what happened, right there on the video. Why not take him at his word?

      (I do appreciate his apology however. Sadly, this video shows that words spoken unwisely can last a long, long time and have effects that reach out years later, especially in the internet age.)

    2. Since the actual confession was linked to, comments on it have reflected the nature of it. You haven’t been paying attention.

      However, there is still the disconnect between an incident he apparently received forgiveness for years ago and the pride over his sin he evidenced in the video. Now he apologizes (again?), but the flip-flopping around makes the current apology less than completely convincing.

      The apology is better than most. It is not up to me to forgive him. His offense was not to me, personally. It will be up to him to walk as a redeemed person rather than a ruffian to convince people of his true repentance.

      1. I had the same reaction to the apology. If he is so sorry, then why glory in it thirteen years later via a sermon? It’s like getting out of prison, but still remarking on how fun and exciting it was to commit the crimes.

    3. It was a very lovely apology that brought me to tears, posted only after the video went viral. After the church business meeting this month, he may find himself kicking frozen horse turds down the road.

      Fundies need to come to grips with the ‘series of tubes’ commonly called the Internetz. If they’d just stop posting their sermons to You Tube, people wouldn’t get to use the preacher’s own words against him.

      Probably at the business meeting someone will talk about their need to forgive Pastor since he apologized so sincerely. They won’t be asking if this is who they want as a shepherd.

      1. BJg, would it be cynical to assume that you have heard numerous eloquent confessions during your career and that most of those confessions were offered post conviction but prior to sentencing?

        1. You’d be correct. And most, if not all, confessions were by suspects who’d been caught. Had they not been caught, they’d have never confessed.

    4. I said “something like” because I don’t understand what he thought he would gain by telling (what we now know is) a 13 year-old story. The preacher may not condone abuse in any form, but he must have had some reason for telling the story, filming it, and posting it online.

        1. Agreed. Had this Pastor Eric fellow been remorseful, that story would have been told in tears with him as the wrongdoer…not with him as the hero for leading (or beating) young Ben to accept Christ. And not as Ben having deserved the abuse for being smart and irreverent.

        2. I wonder if young Ben is friends with that young Cox in the sound booth. Trouble makers both of them.

    5. Keith,
      (Please read this as if we are sitting at a table over coffee, not as an angry rant)
      As I see it, most people who comment on this site speak for themselves only. They have been wronged in some way by their church. Some of the stories that I know would straighten out your short hairs. I agree that some bitterness may show up in the comments, but it is related to years of being treated the same way you are talking to us. Lots of us (myself included) used to feel the same way that you do, but the tables turned on us in one way or another.
      When I was a fundamentalist Baptist, I took the same approach; don’t speak ill of ones brother, don’t question the man in the pulpit. This can only be a strong stance, however, if the preacher and elders remain meek. Many that I have seen (and that is many, I went to BJU) get cocky and arrogant when stating their beliefs. When anyone in my old church disagreed, they were ostracized and pushed out. I was (to my shame) an instrumental part in one such excom of a dear sister who had questions that weren’t even doctrinal issues.
      Then, some IFBs show up to defend their own on this website. As far as I am concerned, you are welcome here. But your words only settle our opinions even more. You play directly into our hands (especially if we are as bitter and unforgiving as you think we are). What I see is a religion of standards. I see a group of perfected people that generally holds a grudge against the world.
      You take us to task for being condemning. Fair enough. I do condemn this kind of “preaching”. Yet you easily forgive this pastor for probable exaggeration. Do you see the disconnect here?
      When a pastor is supposed to be above reproach, he should BE above reproach. Not simply defended by people of his ilk.
      I personally accept his apology, as some others have. But he did not apologize until he realized that former fundies and atheists were upset about it. He just got schooled on the fact that he is no longer in the IBF vacuum. I hope he proof reads the content of his sermons better from now on.

    1. Bible Baptists seem to be a loose association rather than a formal denomination. The Baptist Bible Fellowship International is an umbrella organization made of pastors, but such pastors are also able to associate with other fellowships.

      There are lots of Baptist organizations. Many (most?) of them have no control over the local church. In that respect the churches are independent.

        1. Yes it is. And they proudly wear the “Independent” sign, believing they can better control the direction of their church. But the things that they allow seem to always turn out worse than what they say they are separated from.

    2. The BBF is, like other IFB groups, an independent association (fellowship) of like-minded fundies.

      They manifest differently according to the MOG. The compound that I was involved with for many years was BBF. MOG didn’t have much to do with the national BBF, but hung out with BBF pastors from the state he lived in, as opposed to the state he MOGged in. For instance, Mrs MOG wore pants and makeup, but never wore pants to services. The guy who established the compound was a semi-Hyles dude, but never really was a Hyles clone.

      The last independent Baptist church I was part of billed itself as fundamentalist, but the people there weren’t crazy and legalistic. The pastor had a contemporary praise/worship team and the women who were part of it wore pants on the platform — whereas the first compound you had to dress up in church uniform just to be in choir rehearsal. Some of the women on the praise team even had tattoos. The pastor allowed guys who weren’t KJV-only to preach; in fact, one guy who filled in for him didn’t even wear a dress shirt! He wore some kind of Hawaiian number! Heresy! While that pastor was more involved with the national BBF movement than the other guy was, he didn’t glorify fundamentalism the way many IBF dudes do. He promoted Word of Life and non-denom conferences. He had actually mellowed out quite a bit from his younger days by the time I arrived at his church.

      The compound was heavily affiliated with PCC/Beka and the MOG has sent his kids there. However, he’s gotten involved with that dude in Lancaster, California so I don’t know how much longer he’ll be promoting PCC.

      As you can see, there’s a lot of variation in BBF outposts. I thought it strange that the BBF page had less historical background on itself than the Wikipedia page had. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptist_Bible_Fellowship_International

      http://www.bbfi.org/articles-of-faith/

        1. My guess is it is how people who act opposite of me are. Since I’m often told to “act mature”, and “act your age” in similar situations, it must be how 50+ year olds are expected to behave. I hate ridiculous expectations.

          Ms. Merriam states “having or showing the mental and emotional qualities of an adult”, which I will do if required. I just try not to let other peoples expectations control me too often.

        2. Yep. Works for me, too. I’ve known some mature, grown-up people, and they’re scary, grim, dedicated folks. Best to avoid them.

  24. I spent my entire childhood in churches where I heard lots and lots of messages on the KJV, the evils of rock music, the necessity of modesty, and the dangers of Russia.

    In comparison, very little time was spent dwelling on this passage:

    “There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests:
    haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
    a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
    a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family.” (Prov. 6:16-19)

    How much different our churches might have been if we focused on what God truly hated, for then we would have seen those things often in our own hearts, instead of focusing on externals that we could control, like tattoos or going to movies.

      1. To be honest, my former Baptist pastor who was very politically conservative gave polotics a wide berth from the pulpit. I always,respected him for that.

        One day he told me why. He didn’t want to lose his tax exempt status.

        Oh well, I gues doing the right thing for the wrong reason is better than doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Like punching a kid into salvation.

        1. The Baptist movement has a strong tradition of separation of church and state, which most have long interpreted as a separation of politics from theology, but it seems to have crumbled over the last few decades under the influence of people like Jerry Falwell.

  25. So the question is and some might think it is mocking but it is not. It is an honest question. Is he truly sorry he hit that kid or is he sorry he got caught bragging about it?

    1. elfdream, I suspect he is not sorry for either. The apology was well worded, carefully crafted but I think the video showed who he really is. The moment captured on video was spontaneous and unrehearsed. People like him don’t seem to get that they are out of sync, I believe it is called sociopathy.

  26. “Oh but Pastor’s Wife, isn’t it obvious to you that rock-n-roll is the primary cause for haughty eyes and a heart that plots evil? And the former Soviet Union and every communist are the source of all lies because they are Satan’s minions (never mind that as atheists that most “Commies” wouldn’t even be aware of this). And my guess is you’re the one who sows discord in your family because you probably don’t do everything your husband expects of you, you question his God-given authority over you and you spend time posting on blasphemous websites like this. Perhaps you should spend more time sewing!”

    Okay, I really don’t believe anything I just typed and I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, but I can just hear a Fundy going off on you like that when you actually try to bring preaching back to genuine biblical content.

    1. Ooo, you’re scarily good at that!

      Yeah, it is heart-breaking that some who claim to follow Christ would do just as you describe: they would rush to condemnation instead of allowing the Word of God to reflect truth into their heart.

  27. Here is a more complete video. The originally one was clipped right before the audience response.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arcj91vD3T8#t=1485

    No matter how that written apology was worded, Pastor Eric Damman said, “There are times that might be needed” – referring to the way he handled young Ben. That does not sound like a man who was sorry for his actions.

    And that church should be ashamed of itself.

    1. Man, I hate that I watched that now. Everybody laughing after the story just kind of shows that nobody thought anything was wrong with it. I’m no expert, in fact, last year was the first year I worked with kids (6-8th grade). I coached soccer. Did they push my buttons from time to time? Yeah. Did I lose my cool and yell? Unfortunately, yes. But I couldn’t ever, ever, ever imagine being physical in any way (even with the ones who were bigger than me). Not even slapping them or something, let alone “crumpling them”. I don’t know. I realize this was 13 years ago, and people are allowed to grow in grace and change. But by his own admission he still felt that “sometimes that’s necessary”.

      I am thankful to Jay Croft for correcting me that as a Christian, physical violence is never ok unless it is done to protect someone from present, immediate harm. Never in retaliation. I’m glad he brought that to my attention, because I realize retaliation is NEVER the spirit of Christ. But there’s something about this guy’s attitude that unsettles me. If he weren’t a pastor, it would be less disturbing.

      1. Norm, not only as a Christian is violence unacceptable. Punching a kid is simply wrong. Punching a kid because he is ”pushing your buttons” is wrong but punching a kid because he isn’t taking your version of God seriously, (by the way “Pastor Eric” it is seriously not serious), is off the charts wrong, bullying behaviour. There is no excuse for the punching and there is no excuse for bragging about it and saying that there is a place for this in “leading that man to God.” You should be unsettled. We all should be.

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