Church janitor beaten, apparently because pastor preached against Episcopal Church's gay bishop
It's a rather silly convention of news reporting that three similar incidents make a trend. Slate.com has been doing some fine deflating of trend stories lately, including a debunking of Newsweek's report on suburban teen prostitution.
But normally the media are pretty quick to jump on certain trend stories, especially where hate crimes are concerned. Witness, for example, the media blitz on anti-Muslim hate crimes after 9/11—something that wasn't as epidemic as Muslim advocacy groups would like you to think.
But Weblog still isn't seeing mainstream coverage of the attacks against orthodox clergy who opposed the confirmation of gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson.
This week saw story number three, which gives the green light to a possible trend story. Richard Bilski, the part-time janitor of the nondenominational Church on the Rise in Westlake, Ohio, was taking out the trash when three men came up and demanded to know when Pastor Paul Endrei was arriving.
"I'm the janitor, not the timekeeper," he responded.
At that, reports The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, "One man berated him with obscenities and another struck him in the face with a tennis racket. Bilski said the trio also punched him and tore off his shirt as a fourth man looked on. He suffered cuts and bruises to his face, arms, hands and ribs." Another report said the men used lead gloves.
As his attackers left, one shouted, "This is a message for Pastor Paul."
Both Bilski and Endrei are convinced that the attack was retaliation for Endrei's August 10 sermon in which he opposed Robinson's confirmation. "I told the congregation, 'The Gospel according to Gene Robinson is not the Gospel ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more