Monday, April 25, 2011

Paul Williams Update

Does that photo send chills up your spine? Make you sick to your stomach? Well, it should!

The afternoon of April 7th someone contacted me to ask if a Paul Williams who wrote a paper for Union University back in 2002 was "the" Paul Williams. Judging from the photo and bio of the man, it was not.

However, that got me to wondering what the former Bellevue Paul Williams is up to. A quick Google search led straight to the Warren Community Church March 2011 newsletter. The story begins on page 2 and is continued on subsequent pages. I planned then to do an update, but within a few hours of forwarding this information to Christa Brown and others, Christa posted a very good article saying everything I could have said and more (and said it much better than I could have, too).

We knew he'd been hanging out at WCC several years ago, right after he left Bellevue. (He and his wife live in Somerville.) It was rumored back then that the pastor of WCC, Ken Culver, had even offered him a staff position. Several people were outraged at this news and at least one called the pastor, who eventually denied the rumor (after asking what business it was of the caller's), but he did reportedly say he wouldn't see any problem with Paul being on staff since it was all in the past (how does he know it's "all in the past"?) and how it's possible for people to be forgiven and restored. Yes. Yes, they certainly can, although that's generally preceded by repentance, confession, and asking for forgiveness, but there are consequences to our actions (ask Karla Faye Tucker), and one of the consequences of being a confessed child molester is that you are never, under any circumstances, allowed to be alone around children or, in the case of a minister or other church leader, ever be allowed to be in a position of leadership again. This is just common sense. Besides, I've never seen any evidence of repentance from Paul Williams. He never addressed the people of Bellevue and seems to have gone merrily on with his life as if nothing ever happened.

A few months later someone who lives in Somerville had taken her child to some kind of homeschooling activity they have at WCC, and she said Paul was "hanging out" there in the middle of the day during the week. Then he was spotted, alone, at a children's basketball game, just standing there watching.

Last I heard the victim still would not allow Paul to see his grandchildren, so those must be his daughter's children in the above photo.

So Paul is on the Board of Trustees of WCC now. That would be like... an "elder" or something, right? Remember what Steve Gaines said about elders?

What is an elder? It's a pastor. It's not some "super deacon." It's not some elevated lay person. An elder is a pastor is a bishop is a pastor is an elder is a bishop -- all the same stuff. There's only two offices in the New Testament -- pastor, which is also an elder and a bishop and deacons.

I realize the job of most trustees is merely to rubber-stamp whatever the pastor wants, but I'd be willing to bet there are no women on that BOT because, you know, women are excluded from "leadership" roles within the church (that don't involve only other women or young children). However, the bar must be set pretty low for men at WCC.

Paul Williams not only didn't go to jail, he was never charged with anything. (The statute of limitations in Tennessee, which has since been extended, had passed, and the victim was reportedly not willing to pursue any legal action.) Yet Paul Williams is a self-admitted pedophile! He should be listed on the sex offender registry, but he's not along with at least 95% of his fellow pedophiles.

And all this isn't even addressing what adult female victims of this man's lecherous comments (much more recent than any 17-21 years ago) have said his behavior has done to them, proving once again pedophilia and sexual abuse are rarely about "sex" but about exerting power over someone weaker. Make's 'em feel like real manly men, I guess. One of his female victims described his eyes, when he went into "pervert" mode, as "soulless."

In my opinion Paul Williams and that Hernando pastor, Eddie Prince, who was caught downloading child porn at the library should be sharing a prison cell. What would Eddie Prince's family's reaction be had it been one of their children exploited for child porn? And who knows if this guy has done more than "just look"? Besides, child porn is not a "victimless" crime. Someone's children were victimized to produce this perverted filth, and by seeking it out and watching it, you're just as guilty as the lowlife who produced it. If there wasn't a market they wouldn't do it.

Since Christa's article was published, several writers have published articles about this story, but it's no surprise we don't seem to find any mention of it in "conservative" SBC blogs or publications.

The Big Daddy Weave >> Southern Baptist church Selects Confessed Sex Offender as Trustee

Baptist Life >> SBC church names confessed sex offender as Trustee

Civil Commotion >> Pedophilia: Not a career impediment in the SBC

And shouldn't we all be ashamed that "the world" can see the problem, but so many in the church cannot?

Atheist Revolution >> Idiot of the Week: Warren Community Church, Somerville, TN

"Idiot of the Week," indeed.