Six women testified against Baptist pastor Harley Michael Keough during his sexual battery trial. They said pastor Keough groped them at his church's food bank while they were looking for food to feed their families. Pastor Keough took the women to a secluded storage area, once alone, the victims claim the abuse commenced. When asked why the crimes went unreported, one woman said, "Didn't think anyone would believe me over a preacher, a member of the community." That's what pisses me off in this case. Keough had the perfect perverse scam going. He had role power, community credibility, and a product the women desperately needed. As long as the abuse occurred in private, he stood little chance of exposure.
What drives Baptist pastors to commit such depraved acts? Why would a man of God stoop so low? I can't answer these questions beyond saying that his religion has nothing to do with it. He's a man, and driven by the same lustful thoughts as the rest of us. It seems that Baptist pastors have a little harder time controlling their urges.
I wonder if Pastor Keough is of the generation that thinks patting a young lady on her ass is normal behavior. I know a few old codgers who act like Keough. The still operate under the misguided conception that women "want it." I offer no excuse here; Keough's alleged behavior must be confronted.
When I first posted on Pastor Keough I took a lot of heat from the pastor's local community. E-mails came telling me of Keough's innocence, of his years of dedicated service, and of his long history as a pastor. A few suggested we let this minor issue pass, that the women were from the margins of society and lacked the community standing of Keough, and were therefore not worthy of justice. I know better. Keough, if guilty, is a classic abuser. People like Keough abuse women and children in churches across America. I write about them every week. Pastor Keough must be held accountable.