Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Do As I Say...

One of our chief complaints about the Religious Right is its proclivity to demand that we all live by its set of self-proclaimed “traditional values,” while its very leaders continue to disregard and ignore those same values on a daily basis.

Thus, in order to highlight these egregious acts of religious-backed hypocrisy, we’d like to introduce you to a new feature we call “Do As I Say, Not As I Do.”

Carl B. Hutcherson Jr., pastor of the Trinity United Methodist Church and the mayor of Lynchburg, Va., was recently arrested and charged with seven criminal counts in a federal court. So, just what TWO crimes is he accused of?

A) Stealing more than $30,000 in church funds to pay off his personal debts
B) Running an illegal poker club out of the church’s day care center
C) Assault and battery against a federal agent posing as a transvestite in an undercover prostitution sting
D) Illegally importing stolen hand guns into the state of New York
E) Taking the Social Security checks for two disabled people in his care and spending the money on a new stereo and cable TV for himself


A and E: The feds accused Hutcherson of embezzling from his own church’s charity to pay for his business and tax debts. As if that weren’t ironic enough, the funds were largely donated to Hutcherson’s church from Jerry Falwell Ministries (which is also located in Lynchburg), and the Rev. Falwell has been called upon to testify in the case.

Hutcherson, who stepped down from his pastor job, intends to hold on to his mayoral post, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.


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