Posted on | June 1, 2010 | 32 Comments
No, the Obama administration isn’t after our blog friend.
When she was a young teenager back in the 1970s, Little Miss Attila spent a few years in a church that she now describes as a cult. That has not endeared her to those who remain within the flock of minister R.L. Hymers Jr., nor has it endeared her to the son of aforesaid minister, who has reported her to the FBI, accusing her of using “religious ‘hate speech’ to harass and stalk my father.”
Yeah. That’s the Christian thing to do — report your former congregation members to the feds.
Being a fundamentalist myself, raised a Baptist and old enough to remember the era — I graduated high school in 1977, the year LMA left the Hymers church — I was shocked to learn some of the methods employed by the “Open Door Community Churches.” Here is a letter the church sent to LMA in December 1977:
You have been excommunicated from the church for sexual sins that you refuse to repent of, and for continually missing church, and for denying Christ.
You have violated your enclosed covenant with God. There is only one way you can get right with God. You must come back to this church, repent, and publicly confess your sins. You cannot go to any other church and be absolved, for, even if they accept you, God will not. You must come back here to repent, even it is fifty years from now. Otherwise you can never be forgiven.
You were excommunicated by a unanimous vote of the membership of the entire church.
“Excommunicated”? Protestants more typically “disfellowship” straying members. This eruption of Catholic terminology in a Baptist church, however, is not the weirdest part. LMA was “excommunicated” for “sexual sins” when she was 14 years old — and evidently after her “sins” (e.g., having been date-raped by a boyfriend) were discussed by the entire congregation!
Further note that the Hymer church claims that, unless the teeage LMA returns to the church that has just “excommunicated” her, she cannot be reconciled with God.
Whether this is kind of stuff qualifies Hymer as the leader of a cult, it certainly qualifies him as weird.
It’s important to place this in the context of the 1970s. LMA was “excommunicated” from the Hymers church about a year before Jim Jones and the “Peoples Temple” met their infamous end in the jungles of Guyana. In the ’70s, there were a lot of leftover hippies drifting around, looking for something to replace the whole peace-and-love ’60s trip. Those people didn’t feel at home in regular churches, and lots of them ended up in various cult-like fringe religions. And apparently Hymers’ church incorporated its share of ’70s-era kookiness.
Why did Hymers III have his attorney contact LMA to tell her that she has been reported to the FBI? It’s intimidation, pure and simple. They want her to shut up.
Trying to silence critics — isn’t that what cults do?