(revised and updated by Cliff Walker, April, 2006)
The “nice baby sitter” whom the parents had met at their Lake Oswego church, a “clean cut, grade-A student who seemed so good with children” was the subject of a chilling feature story that ran in The Oregonian November 5, 1995. It appears that Timothy Andrew Park has sexually abused at least six children from Lake Baptist Church families. At least that’s what he has confessed to: not even God knows the true extent of the damage he has wrought. Nevertheless, you might be relieved to hear that the rapist’s mother will be “praying for [Timothy] and the families involved.”
The parents of the victims seem to have accepted this child rapist simply because he went to Sunday school at the right church—a doctrinally correct church, part of the chosen sect, etc— just like the poor defrauded seniors who sent their savings to Jim Bakker, who was certainly one of God’s chosen. Both predators (Bakker and Park) knew all the right slogans and jargon needed to exploit their victims and placate potential critics.
Surely they assumed that God would watch over them and protect their children (like He so vigilantly protected His own children back in Eden’s Garden — or so the story goes).
The Bible teaches that all are sinners and that none are righteous: did Timothy Andrew Park then assume that the oozing blood of Jesus would cover his sins (whatever that means) and repair whatever damage he does, be it minor or heinous? After all, sin is sin. Or did belief in the supernatural, the ancient tales of spectacular signs and wonders, and the stories about the impending end of the ages with the ultimate triumph of good over evil diminish the impact of the cold, hard facts of life?
It seems like we see the same article in one form or another in almost every issue of every paper. (That’s an exaggeration, of course, but not much of one, really.) Religion continually demonstrates its inability to teach moral values; in fact, it often looks as if religion may even have the opposite effect. In recent times we have seen the horrors of the child rape in the Church of God in Wenatchee, more horrors in the “Celebration Family” in the town of Sisters, Mormon parents in Beaverton who believe in God’s methods of child rearing (“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die”—Proverbs 23:13). Then there are the embezzlers, altar boy abusers, and the everyday liars like D James Kennedy. Religion has failed every test. The prisons are full of believers.
Come to the Center for Rational Thought every Tuesday at 7:30 pm, and meet some interesting people. We believe right and wrong can be found through such things as empathy, reason, abstract thought, discussion, consensus, history, and, of course, trial and error.