TRIGGER WARNING: This blog entry is intended mainly for men and teenage boys. If you are a woman or teenage girl, especially if you are a survivor of any kind of sexual abuse, you are strongly advised to NOT read this!
Last week, Alabama almost sent a pervert to the U S Senate, sending a man of principle, Doug Jones, instead. The appeal of Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually harassing several teenage girls when he was in his 30s, is that he is a defender of traditional “Christian” values, even fighting to keep a display of the Ten Commandments at the State Courthouse when he was on the State’s Supreme Court….and getting removed from that court when he defied a federal ruling calling for the display to be removed. Note, however, that the Ten Commandments are JEWISH law and have nothing to do with Christianity. Then again, evangelical Christians in America are also supporters of Israel, which is a JEWISH state even though some Palestinian opponents of Israel are themselves Christian. Seems a lot of people are being disloyal to their own religion!
About two years ago, I was given a perfect opportunity to become a child molester. I was a close friend of an impoverished woman who also was a fellow Unitarian Universalist (UU). She had three daughters and trusted me to take them places, including our church, shopping malls, restaurants, and other public places. This I did for over a year and a half.
At one point, most of the family moved to another state, while the oldest girl (who was already showing signs of puberty) remained in Texas and under foster care. Because the foster mother was also a UU and was friends with the girl’s mother too, she also trusted me with the lone girl, who I will name Suzanne. But eventually, Suzanne too was scheduled to join her mother and sisters. Knowing this, the foster mother arranged for me to spend one final day with Suzanne. I decided to take her to see the Peanuts movie, which had just been released. We also went to other places.
As time went by, it seemed to me that I, despite Suzanne being age 11 and I age 46, was having strong romantic feelings for her. Indeed, it felt more like I was on a DATE with a girlfriend rather than a father-daughter event. I knew then that even if Suzanne was not expected to move out of Texas within a week, I’d have to distance myself from her after that night. So I tried to explain that to her, thinking that she might have a similar attraction towards me.
Dale: “Suzanne, to some extent, I feel like you could be my girlfriend…..but not anytime soon. You are simply too young! If we were to have such a relationship, not only would it be WAY INAPPROPRIATE, it is actually ILLEGAL and we could both get in serious trouble if others knew. However, there is a possibility. When you get older, you may find boys attractive to you and date them, and some may certainly be interested in you. If you find a boy or young man in the future you want to settle down with, I will be happy for you. But suppose you reach the age of 18 to 20 and get tired of immature boys breaking your heart. All you’d have to remember is that there was a man back in Texas who loved you and always treated you with respect. Then you could return to Texas, hook up with me, and I would be your boyfriend. I admit that is very unlikely…..but if makes you happy, it could happen. No one else should decide that sort of thing for you, not even me.”
Suzanne’s response was actually surprising to me, because despite my assurances that I would wait for her if she wanted me to, I expected her to be upset at the thought of my leaving her now. She wasn’t!
Suzanne: “But even if you and I never hook up, we could still remain friends, couldn’t we?”
Dale: “Absolutely! Just as we are friends now. Friendship is enough, it should always be enough if two people really love each other as equals and not as one possessing the other.”
And thus an awkward situation was totally defused between Suzanne and me. Her considerate attitude was actually like that of someone twice her age. I credit sex education courses like Our Whole Lives, taught in many UU churches, for this.
Had I been like Roy Moore, I imagine that I would have simply taken Suzanne to a motel room and manipulated or even forced her into bed with me, taking her virginity and feeling like I’d made another sexual conquest. But that would have ruined both of us and if she later told others what I’d done, it would have led to me being so disgraced that no one, not even my fellow UUs, would ever trust or respect me again! Indeed, there is a clear case of a UU minister who was exposed recently as a pedophile!
Media roundup: Oklahoma minister arrested for child pornography
Updated: The Rev. Ron Robinson was arrested March 30th for accessing child pornography via an online application that had been under surveillance by federal investigators. Robinson is executive director of A Third Place Community Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a former executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship. (Tulsa World – 3.30.17)
UU World reported on Robinson’s community ministry in 2011, and earlier this month, on a fire that destroyed a portion of the ministry’s building. See also the UU Christian Fellowship’s statement about Robinson’s arrest; he served as its executive director from 2005 to 2015
More details here:
August 19, 2017 by David G. McAfee
A Unitarian Universalist minister from Oklahoma was sentenced this week to 57 months in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for streaming child pornography and talking to others about raping, torturing, and even killing children.
Ronald Eugene Robinson, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship in Tulsa, was arrested in March after he was observed viewing and discussing child porn in an online chatroom. Some of the kids in the videos viewed by Robinson were under 12 years old, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
HSI special agents observed Robinson making comments in the chatroom about raping a child and responding to a comment about killing a child after sexual abuse. HSI special agents also went through Robinson’s chat logs and discovered that he had engaged in conversations with other individuals about raping, torturing and abusing children.
Unitarian Universalists are part of a liberal religious movement emphasizing a search for spiritual growth over fundamentalist religious dogma. Many atheists and agnostics participate in Unitarian services, especially for the community, and Unitarian churches are often at the forefront of social issues.
Robinson was the leader of a particular group of Unitarians known as the “Red Pill Brethren.” Upon his arrest, they said they are “grieving” and “questioning” themselves.
But the man was flawed, deeply flawed, criminally flawed, and he was arrested for (and has admitted to) the crime of seeking out, possessing, and viewing child pornography. He taught us to “Love the Hell out of the World” because the world is indeed full of hells. One of these hells is the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Our missional approach calls us to find the people our hearts break for and be in solidarity with them. Our hearts certainly break for all the children who are abused and exploited through child pornography and prostitution.
The news of his crimes broke. We gathered together. We who had already given up “Brethren;” we who had already given up “Red Pill” because the term had been co-opted by those supporting hate…
We are grieving. We are questioning ourselves. Did we exalt one of our own so much that he couldn’t bring a prayer of confession to any of us?
We gathered together online for a conference call, (the technology that facilitated his crimes, also brought us together in pain and fellowship) the night the story broke. We expressed our disillusionment, our grief, our anger.
Robinson will spend almost five years in prison, and be supervised by authorities for 10 years following that, but is it enough? What do you think?
I think all men have perverted impulses deep within them, and the good ones are those who keep those twisted thoughts and attitudes buried and under strict control because of their genuine belief in things like the first UU Principle: “The inherit worth and dignity of all people.”
Roy Moore is a pervert and so is Ron Robinson. Religious affiliation has nothing to do with the quality of one’s character. It is DEEDS that matter, period. I made the right choice with Suzanne two years ago……I hope more people of all ages follow MY example.