Recidivist Faith-Healing Child Killers Will Do It Again, Says Their Pastor Approvingly; Claims That Kids Died Due To ‘Spiritual Lack’ By Parents

The Christian pastor who ministers Catherine and Herbert Schaible gives the couple a big theological thumbs-up for letting two of their children die through medical negligence.

The Schaibles lost one child in 2009, and another this year. In both cases, they declined to call a doctor for their ill offspring, choosing to rely on prayer instead.

The Rev. Nelson Clark, of Philadelphia’s First Century Gospel Church, told the local newspaper that the Schaibles are going to have to pray harder and truer next time, as the couple suffers from a “spiritual lack” that can only be remedied with more faith.

Clark [photo] was the spiritual adviser when the Schaibles’ 2-year-old, Kent, died from bacterial pneumonia in 2009, which led to a manslaughter conviction and probation for the couple. And he ministered to them last week when 8-month-old Brandon died, a case now being investigated by police.

In an interview with The Inquirer, Clark said God did not want the Schaible children to die. Instead, he said, the children died because of some “spiritual lack” in the Schaibles’ lives — a flaw they need to correct to prevent future deaths.

Joy105 – Spreading the Word!! – Second son of faith healing couple dies from no doctor treatment

“They realize they must get back to God, to seek wisdom from him, to find where the spiritual lack is in their heart and life . . . so this won’t happen again.”

There is no question Herbert Schaible would turn to prayer again if any of his six other children, whose ages range from about 8 to 17, fell ill, Clark said. Just as any First Century member would. “He would confess his sins and repent to God and ask for a healing touch,” Clark said.

The Schaibles would not call a doctor, even now, Clark said. “Oh, no,” he said. “That thought would never enter his mind.”

Other highlights from the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

• The church has 525 members, including many large, young families.
• First Century Gospel Church authorities counsel against college, because it is “fraught with drinking and immorality.” A “basic high school education” is OK.
• Herbert Schaible teaches in the church-run school — “all subjects except faith.” Only Pastor Clark teaches faith.
• The parents are not behind bars even now. They come to church faithfully, and the congregation has rallied around the Schaibles, Clark said. “They would do anything for Herb.”
• Pastor Clark seems less distraught by the likelihood of other congregants’ children dying for lack of medical care, than he is about the Schaibles’ remaining six children possibly getting placed in foster care with “nonbelievers.”

Because clearly, what those kids need most is more Christianity in their lives.

Previous Christian-faith-healing posts here, here, and here.

[image via Joy 105]

Not Sparing Devout Jews From Draft? That’s the Devil; Haredim Advise Suicide, Invoke Holocaust.

Orthodox-Jewish yeshiva students in Israel have been exempt from serving in the country’s military pretty much since the nation’s founding. Military service is mandatory for both the irreligious and the moderately devout; but ultra-Orthodox Jews claim that when their kids study the scriptures, they’re doing more important work for the country’s safety than those who serve as Hamas fodder.

“Let the other families sacrifice their children instead,” has been the thinking in these circles. “Ours are just too godly.”

As reported in USA Today,

The exemption, which involved only a few hundred top rabbinical students in 1949, has mushroomed into an exemption that has allowed 60,000 able-bodied men to forego military service each year.

Military service in Israel is serious business, requiring years of sacrifice.

Most Jews are drafted into the military at age 18, with men serving three years and then decades of yearly reserve duty, and women serving about two years, the Associated Press reports.

That the pious kids can just bury their noses in the Torah and call it good has long led to grumbling among the general population. Last year, the government sought to end the exemption, but the political and theological backbiting continues to this day.

According to an article in today’s Haaretz, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar says that it’s misguided and evil to support universal military in Israel. ‘Cause guess who’s behind such a draft? This guy:


The devil has prompted people “jealous of religious study” to become “confused,” the rabbi warned.

Torah study is thriving like it did in the past,” he said. “The devil, jealous at seeing this, put it into the minds of some people to fight against the Torah.”

The notion that all citizens should be treated equally by the state also doesn’t fly with the rabbi:

“This equality is the last thing we need.” … [Amar] called the effort to draft yeshiva students “madness” and asked God “to have mercy on us.”

Equality is good — but as always, some are more equal than others.

Meanwhile, the country’s biggest Orthodox sect, the Haredi (previous Moral Compass coverage here and here), is getting positively rabid in its opposition to a draft for the devout.

A new draft resisters’ guide tailored for haredi yeshiva students reportedly compares the draft of those haredi yeshiva students to the Holocaust and reminds them that, like in the Holocaust, sometimes suicide is preferable to complying with the decrees of an evil government.

The 32-page guide was printed under the auspices of a new haredi organization called Fortress – The Center for Protection from Draft Issues. Ynet reports that the guide explains possible ways to dodge the draft. …

The guide goes on to discuss the obligation for total sacrifice [suicide], giving several historical examples to prove its point. One of those examples is the story of 93 girls at a Bais Yaakov school in Krakow, Poland  in 1942. All 93 of the girls committed suicide when they found out that Nazi soldiers were on their way to the school to rape them.

“We must learn from previous generations about the pride and intensity with which they gave their souls for the sanctification of God,” the guide says.

Such extremist language is matched at the highest theological levels. Last month, a hard-line Orthodox rabbi put the military draft of haredim in the category of ye’hareg v’bal ya’avor, a commandment that Jews must die rather than transgress:

Haredim being drafted into Israel’s military “means the uprooting of our religion” and Jews must be willing to be killed in order to prevent it from happening, a senior haredi leader, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach said.

The headline on that article reads: Army Service Means Eradication of Judaism.

Groping Priest in NJ Back to Working With Kids Despite ‘Binding’ Promise; Archbishop Approves

How strongly does the Catholic Church believe in rooting out child abuse? This strongly:

Six years ago, to avoid retrial on charges that he groped a teenage boy, the Rev. Michael Fugee entered a rehabilitation program, underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed a binding agreement that would dictate the remainder of his life as a Roman Catholic priest.

Fugee would not work in any position involving children, the agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office states. He would have no affiliation with youth groups. He would not attend youth retreats. He would not hear the confessions of minors.

But Fugee has openly done all of those things for the past several years through an unofficial association with a Monmouth County church, St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck.

1 gaxxpope ARISTIDE

But it’s OK — you see, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers approves. And as a man who, when it gets down to it, only has to obey God, he’s above any earthly “binding agreements.”

Fugee was charged with criminal sexual contact in 2001 after he was accused of fondling the genitals of a 14-year-old boy during wrestling matches on two occasions. At the time, the priest served as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff. …

[Since the binding agreement,] he has attended weekend youth retreats in Marlboro and on the shores of Lake Hopatcong in Mount Arlington, parishioners say. Fugee also has traveled with members of the St. Mary’s youth group on an annual pilgrimage to Canada. At all three locations, he has heard confessions from minors behind closed doors. What’s more, he has done so with the approval of New Jersey’s highest-ranking Catholic official, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers [in photo, via the Star Ledger].

The agreement, allowing the groping priest to escape more serious judicial consequences, was signed by Fugee himself; and also by the archdiocese’s vicar general, on behalf of Archbishop Myers.

What Do Angels Look Like? Expect Fierce Beasts.

Heaven may take some getting used to if you’re expecting angels to look like this.


Or like this.


Because in fact, the Bible and its most learned promoters say, the divine realm of god is populated by angels that may look something like this (but, glory be, with six wings each):


I learned this today from Dr. Tom Lovorn, pastor of God’s Storehouse Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. The reverend doesn’t publish his Biblical insights in a photocopied church bulletin or on a dinky religious website, but instead kindly enlightens folks through an honest-to-god weekly column in the mostly fact-based Progress-Index newspaper in Petersburg, VA.

Today, Lovorn shines his light on Revelation 4:6-8, which reads:

“Round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast was like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within.”

Lovorn believes the creatures in Revelation are a special kind of angels called Cherubim. Surprise:

A cherub is not a baby angel with a bow, rather it is a fierce beast created to guard the holy things of God. …

The Cherubim seem to represent the pinnacle of all creation serving God. Maybe they were the prototypes of the individual creatures (bovine, lion, eagle, man) that God would make later since angels were created before God made the world and its inhabitants (Job 38:7). … They are a part of the mystery of God and the beings who serve him. In Biblical symbolism many eyes represent wisdom. These creatures, being full of eyes, are not dangerous to us; but they have all the wisdom they need to counter Satan’s wicked schemes.

Speaking of wisdom, the scholarly columnist is not your average professional horseshit peddler pastor. He has the highest academic degree, a doctorate (in theology). Between that and the Bible apparently being literally true, lesser-educated inferiors like myself clearly shouldn’t bet against Lovorn’s angel-related revelations.



“Unless you’re a physician or a dentist, calling yourself Dr. is generally a sign of low status and insecurity. It’s like using Comic Sans; to those in the know, it is a bad signal.” —Virginia Postrel

[topmost angel images via editingmyspace] 

Muslim Preacher In U.K. Child-Sex Ring

A child-sex ring in the greater Manchester area whose members raped young teenage girls for two decades is no more, with most of its regular participants now behind bars.

Nine Asian men were yesterday jailed for a total of 77 years for raping and abusing up to 47 girls — some as young as 13 — after plying them with alcohol and luring them to takeaways. …The [court] heard that the men — who are all from Pakistan, apart from one who is from Afghanistan — groomed and ‘shared’ the young white girls because they [the girls] were vulnerable.

One of those convicted is Islamic preacher Abdul Rauf.

To protesters who thought that the charges betrayed racism against the U.K.’s Asian population, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood of Greater Manchester Police said:

“It is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men.”

However, the gang’s ringleader yesterday branded the judge a “racist bastard” after he and eight other men were jailed. The extraordinary outburst came after Judge Gerald Clinton accused the gang of targeting white girls because they were not part of their “community or religion.”

convicted sex-ring leader Shabir Ahmed

convicted ringleader Shabir Ahmed

With experts on paedophilia insisting street grooming by Muslim men was a real problem, the judge made it clear he believed religion was a factor. Police have played down the racial backgrounds of the men, saying the girls — mostly from broken or ‘chaotic’ homes — were targeted because they were vulnerable, not because they were white.


Note: Moral Compass launched in February of this year. Roughly 90 percent of our posts are tied to current news events, but we occasionally feature media reports from 2012 or earlier. The sex-ring story, above, is from May of last year.

But here’s a report from just yesterday, similar in many ways:

Three men who abducted a vulnerable 13-year-old girl from the streets of London and forced her to become their sex slave have been jailed. The girl, who was described as being from a broken and troubled family, was subjected to sexual abuse over four days after being persuaded to travel with the men to Ipswich in Suffolk in July last year.

Mohammed Sheikh, Hamza Ali, Suran Uddin

Mohammed Sheikh, Hamza Ali, Suran Uddin

The men plied her with drugs and alcohol to keep her subdued.

Mohammed Sheikh, Hamza Ali and Suran Uddin were all convicted of trafficking and sex offences following a trial. Uddin was jailed for 15 years, Sheikh will serve eight years and Ali five years. All three were placed on the sex offenders register and Sheikh and Ali could face deportation to Somalia, their home country.

[Images via the Daily Mail]

Pastor Blew Members’ Cash on Jewelry, Cruise

Another paragon of virtue:

An associate pastor of a Fort Smith [Arkansas] church has agreed to pay back money that he received from a church member to invest but allegedly pocketed and used for himself.

At a hearing Wednesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court, an attorney for Thomas James of Fayetteville, associate pastor at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Smith, said James will pay $66,500 to church member Renee Lee.


The Arkansas Securities Department accused James of taking money from Lee to invest in securities but instead depositing it into an account that he drew on for shopping sprees for jewelry, clothes and electronics and trips to various cities across the country, as well as an ocean cruise. [emphasis added]

The Securities Department also said in the complaint that James presented himself as a certified financial planner, certified investment management analyst and chartered retirement planning counselor, although no evidence could be found that he holds any of those designations.

James is thought to have taken other congregants’ money in similar fashion, and may yet face criminal charges.

This sort of fraud by clergy members is not uncommon. For previous cases covered on Moral Compass, see

Snake Oil Charmers, and
Pastor Crime Ring Involved in Petro Stock Fraud.

Jerkwad Pastor Jack Schaap Simulates Jerking Off; A Megachurch With a History of Scandals

I just found this video via Hemant Mehta. It’s footage from a Jack Schaap sermon called (I kid you not) “Polishing the Shaft.”

And if you think that title sounds kinky, wait’ll you see the reverend Schaap’s performance.

Would you let your children near this man?

Many did. Indiana-based Jack Schaap, 54, got some lovin’ on this blog last month, when it emerged that he’d sent hundreds of horny text messages to a 16-year-old girl who’d been referred to him for counseling. He eventually had sex with her many times, after telling the girl that that’s what Jesus wanted.

Keep in mind that Schaap — now behind bars for a dozen years — didn’t just lead some tiny backwater congregation. First Baptist, barely half an hour outside of Chicago, was called a “superchurch” in Time magazine decades ago, and can still draw upwards of 20,000 worshipers on a good Sunday. It is the 14th-largest megachurch in the country, and the biggest Independent Baptist house of worship you’ll find anywhere in North America.

Can you think of a simpler and truer indictment of organized religion than the fact that pastor Schaap’s flock remained not just obediently pliant, but in awe of him, while Schaap polished the shaft in front of thousands of children?

It’s worse than you think. The pattern’s been there for dozens of years, going back to Jack Hyles, Schaap’s father-in-law and predecessor. Read the astonishing exposé about First Baptist in the January 2013 issue of Chicago Magazine.

If you’re pressed for time, read just page four of that article. It’s a sickening compendium of sexual nastiness and violence associated with First Baptist: from adultery and physical abuse to child rape, from stalking and alleged torture to baby murder (yes, really).

These are the people who represent God?

On Anti-Religious Prejudice

From The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting.

Lecherous Pastor: ‘Here Kid, I Bought You a Dildo’

In Yuma, Arizona,

A youth pastor has pleaded guilty to a sex offense in connection to buying sex toys for a teenage girl. Robert Eric Warren, a former youth pastor, faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison plus three years probation.

The youth pastor is accused of buying sex toys for a 14-year old girl and taking them to her house when her parents weren’t at home. It’s unknown if the items he purchased were religiously inspired.

Warren is no longer with his erstwhile employer, Valley Baptist Church, and will not be allowed to be a youth minister again.


It’s possibly the best pastor-related sex-toy story we’ve come across since an Alabama preacher died with a dildo up his ass.

But we also really appreciated the one about the reverend from North Carolina who broke into a woman’s home and committed Grand Theft Dildo.

You’re welcome.

[image via Wikipedia]

Sect in Chile Burns ‘Antichrist’ Infant to Death

A three-day-old Chilean baby girl was thrown onto an open fire and burned to death in a religious ritual after a cult leader decided she was the antichrist — and that the end of the world was near.

Four people are under arrest. The baby’s mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, is thought to have approved the sacrifice.

A police detective explained that

“They strapped tape around [the infant’s] mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive.”

Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and was led by Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete [photo], 36, who remains at large.

Ben Affleck doppelganger Ramon Gaete

Ben Affleck doppelganger Ramon Gaete

At first blush, the sect members didn’t seem like the gullible type.

‘Everyone in this sect was a professional,’ [detective] Ampuero said. ‘We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree.’

Police said Castillo Gaete, the ringleader, was last seen traveling to Peru to buy ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew plant that he used to control the members of the rite.

Previous Moral Compass mention of ayahuasca here.

[image via Mail Online]

2 Priests Hacked To Bits, 3rd Priest Suspected

Two Hindu priests were hacked to death Wednesday night, and their body parts partially burned, in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. A third priest, who’s gone missing, is a prime suspect.

“Unidentified miscreants raided the Balkhandi Devi temple … and after brutally hacking priests Ramcharan and Krishna Das to death, threw their bodies into the huge temple furnace used for cooking ‘bhandara’ food, and set it on fire by sprinkling kerosene oil,” [police superintendent] Rakesh Shanker said. …

Devotees found badly charred body parts strewn near the furnace with blood splattered all over the place at the ground floor of the temple when they reached the Balkhandi Devi temple for prayers at around 8 am on Thursday.

Oops, that's no bloodbath, that a scene from the Holi Festival

That’s no bloodbath, but a scene from the altogether more enjoyable Holi Festival

According to another police source,

“The killings took place while both the priests were sleeping on the roof of the temple. On Wednesday night, while Ramcharan was sleeping near the ‘matt’ of Lord Hanuman and Krishna Das close to the ‘matt’ of another deity, miscreants attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and chopped their body into pieces. They then threw the body parts into the furnace, sprinkled kerosene and set the fire.”

Shanker told the Times of India that

“Village sources have told us that it could be the handiwork of [fellow priest] Baladeen, who is missing since the incident. We are suspecting his involvement in the crime.”

[image via the Atlantic]

13-Year-Old Says Stepdad Pastor Raped Her

Pastor Michael Cornerstone works at the Voice of Jesus Salvation and Prayer Ministry in Ghana. He’ll need all the prayer and salvation he can get if he’s going to beat the rap on this one: The reverend was dragged into court yesterday for raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter.

A prosecutor told the court that the pastor married the victim’s mother in 2010, and alleged that in 2011, while the victim’s mother was in the Republic of Togo on a business trip, the preacher

lured the victim into a room one afternoon and defiled her. … After the act, pastor Cornerstone warned the victim not to reveal her ordeal to anyone or else she would die.


Then, in February of this year, while his wife was fast asleep, the clergyman snuck over to the room where the 13-year-old was, and had his way with her again.

Two weeks later, the girl complained of stomach pain and discomfort. She admitted to her mother that she’d been raped but initially refused to disclose by whom, saying she might die if she did.

Her stepfather fled the house when his wife announced she had something important to discuss with him, and wasn’t seen again until he was apprehended in another town two weeks later.

Pastor Cornerstone maintains his innocence.

[image via Telling Secrets