A religious nut-bag stood up in court Friday morning and testified about ordering the beating of a gay member of her church. The beating was supposed to be a sort of cleansing that would rid the man of his homosexual urges and tendencies so that other members of the church could feel comfortable in his presence.
What happened to good, old fashioned banishment?
Susan Anderson admitted to ordering 30 of her fellow parishioners to beat the gay out of 23-year old Matthew Fenner. Only one problem, Fenner didn’t ask to have the gay beaten, slapped, and choked out of him.
Five members of the World of Faith church in North Carolina are now charged with kidnapping and assault for their roles in the beating.
According to Anderson, who left the church in 2015 when she says she found out her 1-year old was the victim of abuse, after pastor Brooke Covington verbally berated the young man for two hours straight in 2013, she and other church members saw Fenner as “unclean and sinful.”
Fenner says he feared for his life after he was blocked from leaving the church and pinned against the wall, where a large group of people began assaulting him. He now says:
“You can’t imagine the emotional toll this has taken on my life. I had to put a lot of things on hold because of this. … I can’t do anything until this is over.”
This is not the first time the church has been in trouble for assaulting members. According to ABC News:
“Based on exclusive interviews with 43 former members, documents and secretly made recordings, the AP reported in February that Word of Faith Fellowship congregants were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils.”
ABC also reported the history of the organization, extending to multiple countries:
“The sect was founded in 1979 by Jane Whaley, a former math teacher, and her husband, Sam, a former used car salesman. Under Jane Whaley’s leadership, Word of Faith Fellowship grew from a handful of followers to its current congregation in North Carolina, and another nearly 2,000 members in churches in Brazil and Ghana. It also has affiliations in other countries.”
This is not ok.