Pastor Charles O’Neal of the Beaverton Grace Bible Church claims reviews on a blog started by former church member Julie Anne Smith amount to defamation. Smith, who says “the story of spiritual abuse needs to be told,” described O’Neal and his church outside Portland as “creepy” and “cult-like.” She described him calling for church elders to search closets of female congregants for clothes that are too revealing, among other lessons from the pulpit.
The Pastor is suing Julie Anne Smith for $500,000. He takes exception to her right to voice her own opinion about his practices as a pastor. I would say that the Pastor is a public persona and thus he has fewer protections. Julie Anne Smith is also entitled to her opinions of the Pastor and his methods. I would be both surprised and disappointed if the Judge does not toss this frivolous lawsuit.
In the spirit of Christianity, perhaps Pastor Charles O’Neal should spend a bit more time understanding the basic tenets of Christianity. It sounds as if he is running the Church of the Bigots, rather than a local branch of some Christian Ministry. What makes him think that his elders have the background, experience and the right to check the closets of women to judge the appropriateness of their clothing?
Pastor Charles O’Neal sounds like a voyeur to me. He should working on his own salvation rather than disparaging the character of others. So Julie Anne Smith chose to speak out. What did she say that was not true? How did she injure the Pastor? The truth is neither libel nor is it slander. Perhaps the good Pastor should evaluate his loose lips when it comes to pre-judging someone. He sounds like a real winner when it comes to spreading the word of Christ.
I have little if any use for such creeps standing before the pulpit and spewing their brand of hatred. It seems as if the Pastor has issues with both emotional control and common sense. I hope that in the spirit of the Christian faith that Pastor O’Neal seeks professional help with his obvious problems. It does appear that like a cult, he controls the speech of his flock. What did he tell the members of his congregation that led them to shun Smith and others?
I might think that Smith is the one with the case here. It is obvious to me that the Pastor is one cross short of sanity. What kind of a Christian man does this screwball purport to be? He was obviously slighted by the comments made. That is a good sign that he may still have some humanity left. If you care, Julie Anne has a blog site now that features the issues that she has raised about Pastor O’Neal’s Church and flock.
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