1. Accusers lose in sexual misconduct cases against prominent pastors
Several sexual misconduct cases we've been watching ended this weekall in favor of the accused pastors. In a surprising turn, Mona Brewer and her husband dropped their sexual misconduct suit against Atlanta megachurch pastor Earl Paulk. "We were having difficulty even at this point getting witnesses to speak out against the acts of Bishop Paulk and the church," their lawyer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Sometimes you just have to do this." The trial was to begin April 2.
In another prominent case, Lonnie Latham, who was pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a former member of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee before his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of lewdness, was found not guilty. Latham had been accused of inviting an undercover male police officer to engage in oral sex. His lawyer appealed to Lawrence v. Texas, a Supreme Court decision throwing out Texas's anti-sodomy law, saying, "If it's not illegal to engage in that conduct, then it shouldn't be illegal to talk about it." The judge did not rule on the constitutionality of Oklahoma's anti-lewdness law.
And finally, Gerald Griffith is not a name that many evangelicals know, but the pastor and founder of Baltimore's Redemption Christian Fellowship Church apparently has an international following. He has also been charged with sexually abusing three different teenagers during counseling sessions. The first of his trials was declared a mistrial Tuesday when one of the witnesses referred to another of the cases. A deacon at the church was acquitted in November in a separate abuse case.
2. Time's David van Biema: What does Akinola really think about Nigeria's anti-gay ...1