Church sues ex-members – They had a blog criticizing their practices

Today’s bit of religious insanity comes from a church pastor in Beaverton, Oregon. He is suing a mother and daughter for $500,000 because they gave the church — Beaverton Grace Bible Church — bad reviews online.


Apparently the ex-members wrote negative Google reviews on-line, but they mysteriously vanished. One might wonder if God was smiting these reviews, but I think both you and I can cobble up a non-supernatural answer here. In response to the mysteriously vanishing comments… (as reported here) …

“Since my voice was removed from Google and was not staying there, I felt like I needed a place to have a voice,” she said.

She launched a blog called Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors.  It’s a place where former church members and others share their opinions and experiences.  At last check, the site had been viewed nearly 26,000 times since it launched a few months ago.

And how did these good loving Christians respond to factually based criticism? They decided to smite them (legally) and so they filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Smith and three other former church members. The suit claims certain words posted online like “creepy” and “control tactics” amount to defamation.

To be honest, the very existence of this lawsuit, and also their previous censoring of Google comments, is quite obviously a “control tactic” and is indeed rather “creepy”, so it does indeed appear to confirm such criticism as valid.

When asked to comment by various media sources, the folks in the church were all mysteriously busy.

Smith, who has been sued says …

“He can say what he wants in the church and say, don’t talk about this or don’t talk about that, or don’t talk to this person, but when you’re out in the civil world, you don’t do that anymore,” Smith said. “And he’s not my pastor anymore. He does not have that right to keep people from talking.”

The Smiths filed a special free speech motion to dismiss the lawsuit. It goes before a judge later this month.

Now the interesting thing here is that if the church folks had demonstrated some tolerance towards negative comments, you would have never heard about Beaverton Grace Bible Church in Oregon or Pastor Charles O’Neal, at most perhaps 50 folks in total would have read them. But by attacking valid criticism, here I am now almost half a planet away from it all blogging about it, and I’ll not be the only one doing so … gosh don’t you just love the Streisand effect when it kicks back against those that think we still live in a pre-internet age.

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