Is this remotely true? Is the issue exaggerated? What role does the church have in government, if any?
The First Amendment: Church and State.
Joining us the first hour of the Freethought Fridays and Variety Show is popular YouTube commentator Prof. Mitch. With his wonderful sense of humor, Mitch describes himself as “a national treasure: married, atheist, teacher, college administrator, liberal, gay, white guy, aspiring to be remembered as, among other things, dashing, witty, well connected, and open to earthly delight.”
Mitch is a lawyer by training. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and as a community organizer. Currently, he is an administrator at a major New York university where he also teaches American constitutional law, criminal law, and oral advocacy.
Religious Privilege in America.
Also joining us for the discussion is Robert Baty, who started a petition to the White House asking that the Obama administration lead an effort to get Congress to repeal the parsonage income tax exemption enjoyed by religious ministers. We’ll learn more about IRC 107 and how religious leaders enjoy special privileges in the United States, despite the alleged separation of church and state.
Who Would Jesus Sue? A look at religious abuse and the First Amendment.
In our second hour, Alex Grenier will be joining us to share a disturbing and explosive story about abuse and a religiously-motivated lawsuit that has affected him personally and has outraged religious and nontheists throughout the country who started the #WhoWouldJesusSue movement.
Alex is the owner of CalvaryChapelAbuse.com, a blog dedicated to dealing with abuse and corruption in the Calvary Chapel System of Churches that claims 1,500 to 2,000 churches nationwide and all over the world. He is a blogger activist who has persistently lobbied the church and government to deal with child abuse and corruption in churches. Since its inception in July of 2010, his website has had over 3 million hits and participation from all over the world.
The 41-year-old Grenier is the step-son of Calvary Chapel Visalia pastor, Bob Grenier, who is still actively endorsed by the CC System of Churches despite child abuse and corruption allegations. The story has been an ongoing controversy that has been covered by Newsweek/Daily Beast, Daily Kos, OC Weekly, The Fresno Bee and many leading Christian blogs including The Wartburg Watch, Phoenix Preacher, Spiritual Sounding Board and a host of others.
Grenier and ex-CC Visalia member Tim Taylor are currently being sued by Bob and Gayle Grenier (Alex’s mother) for speaking out publicly about the allegations of abuse and corruption.
The key issues in this ongoing controversy include dealing with child abuse, spiritual abuse and corruption in the church by pastors and police chaplains who enjoy positions of trust within churches and law enforcement, as well as protecting the First Amendment right to speak out about the issues publicly.
The church and government have been petitioned persistently in these matters and have not acted. Grenier continues to speak out despite the attempts to silence him.
At the top of the 3rd hour, Judy Block-Jones, Midwest Associate Director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) will weigh in on SNAP’s view of the Roman Catholic Church’s new pontiff, Pope Francis (Argentina Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio). Bergoglio was not on SNAP’s list of “least worst” candidates for the position vacated by Benedict XVI.
Show Time: Friday night, March 15, 2013, 6 Pacific / 7 Mountain / 8 Central / 9 Eastern (Additional time conversions at the World Time Server).
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