Fake Arrests of Ohio Ministers Designed to Sell Christian Persecution Myth

FakeArrestsBecause there is no actual footage of Christians being persecuted in this country – you know, because no Christians are actually BEING persecuted in this country – a group of Ohio ministers had to stage some arrests, employing actual cops to help them.

Hint: Groups that actually get arrested don’t have to stage arrests – they can show actual footage. Guess which group that doesn’t include: Christians.

Here is a short video of one arrest, just to give you an idea:

Here is the far more gratuitous full version, complete with suggestive blood graphics, set to the song “Bad Boys” – you know, “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”

In all, three ministers – the Rev. Melford Elliott, pastor at Greater Bethel Baptist Church; the Rev. Robert Golson, pastor at Prince of Peace Baptist Church; and the Rev. Vincent Peterson, pastor at Providence Baptist Church – were “arrested” at their churches, in front of their congregations (Pope Francis will no doubt be relieved that none of his flock participated in this foolishness).

All of this was, reports the Akron Beacon Journal, “to make people more aware of what it takes for pastors to defend the Christian faith beyond preaching on Sundays.” Yes, because American pastors are regularly subject to arrest by the government while preaching to their flock. Occupational hazard, I’m afraid. Seriously, they are more likely to be shot by fellow conservatives armed to the teeth by Republican lawmakers and fired up by Fox News.

A video of the “arrests” posted on the Internet made a big splash and forced Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry to explain that “the arrests were simulated as a prelude to an upcoming production at the Akron Civic Theatre.” The video, it turns out, was meant to be a marketing tool (it was a production of Larry James, who is general manager of Cleveland-based KAZ Radio Television Network).

Barry said, in defense of his actions (two of his deputies were actually on duty and being paid),

“I feel we have an obligation to the community as part of our community policing and community relations. It took nothing away from their assignments and it was a good way to continue building relationships.”

Yes, because paid public employees should participate in activities that present Christianity as a persecuted religion. In fact, the Beacon Journal points out, “most parishioners were unaware that the arrests were fake.” Apologies? None from the sheriff. And Edra Frazier, marketing coordinator for production said only in defense of letting viewers think the pastors were actually being arrested, “We do, however, need to do a more adequate job of tagging the posts with production information.”

Right. That’s all they did wrong.

As the Friendly Atheist wrote at Patheos yesterday, “Putting on a stage play is one thing. But that church officials are reduced to staging arrests by bad-guy cops (who clearly represent the long arm of government) is the best illustration yet of how absolutely deranged the Christian persecution narrative has become.”

Deranged is a good word for it. Conservative Christianity has never been busier persecuting everything outside itself – women, the LGBT community, Muslims, ethnic minorities, atheists, secularists, Pagans and other religious minorities. We have filled the virtual pages of PoliticusUSA with post after post, tracking their activities across America. The scope of their hostility is truly staggering.

They want to outlaw everything they say their Bible doesn’t approve of, they want to legalize their persecution of people they say their Bible doesn’t approve of, they want to withdraw First Amendment protections from other religions, insisting they apply only to Christianity (no matter what the First Amendment actually says).

At CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Conference – this year, Media Matters reports that,

[C]onservative columnist Ken Blackwell, who also holds leadership positions at the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Family Research Council (FRC), used health care reform to compare the Obama administration to a “totalitarian” or “authoritarian” regime and conspiratorially claimed that Obamacare was designed to “destroy the family” and “silence the church.”

They claim your having health insurance is a persecution of their religion. They want to forcibly take it away from you in the name of their God. And yet, as they force your children to die for want of medication they won’t let you have, they claim themselves to be the true victims of persecution.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) points out, Behind the ‘Religious Freedom’ Attacks on Gay Rights Lurks a Broad Attack on Civil Rights.

Yes, they are deranged. But no less dangerous for it. This video, and the activities of these pastors and these deputies, illustrate the depths to which they will sink in order to perpetrate their persecution myth on America.

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44 Replies to “Fake Arrests of Ohio Ministers Designed to Sell Christian Persecution Myth”

  1. Being from liberal, secular Britain where religion is generally treated with a yawn of indifference I am staggered by the small-mindedness of the these people

  2. Anything for a buck, right, “reverend”?

    Why are these clowns tax exempt? Why is everyone else FORCED to support their business?

  3. What we are seeing is the haters and fake christians are desperate. They know that once again they will be the SILENT MINORITY.Their deranged destruction of the geopigs is much of the reason they will never see another geopig in the white house.

  4. Imagine the outcry from these same ministers if the deputies had done something similar on behalf of an atheist group.

  5. well as some say it wrong let me correct them…. The Pope has no Flock… We are all of the flock of Jesus Christ(including the Pope)… and HE is the Only Shepherd… PERIOD!! All the churches of man are seriously flawed and all of them go out of their way to increase their numbers… thereby increasing their tax free bottom line… In the Bible it states that only ONE man was set by God to suffer for all the sins of man… and only through being of his flock will you never taste death… and that man was Jesus Christ…and only through Jesus Christ can you enter the kingdom of heaven… and that is the same man that the pope must also enter if he gets into the Kingdom of Heaven. No where in the bible does it say to follow any other man nor is there any other man mentioned to follow to receive GOD… The word “Pope” is not even a footnote the bible… but history does explain that the word “Pope” was used to identify any man of religion “The Pope” now is some made up.. wannabe Diety

  6. You quoted KEN BLACKWELL????!!!

    The same Negro reactionary who cheated in the 2004 Election and gave Bush Ohio????

    Guy the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones chewed out for shortchanging Black voting districts by placing fewer machines???


  7. This is a prime example of “stuff we’d see run in high rotation on the local news if in fact the MSM had a liberal bias”. They faked their own arrests! In the church, during service! Using tax payer funded cops that were on the clock! Didn’t tell the parishioners it was fake! Are you kidding me?!? How is this not plastered everywhere?!? Liberal biased MSM my sweet patootie!

  8. I want to address the COPS who participated in this mess. Because it is always good pr for the police department to participate in a portrayal as jackbooted thugs working for an oppressive government to stomp out citizens’ constitutional rights, without even letting them know it was fake.

    Yep, see if THAT doesn’t bite you in the butt next time you have to do your job with any of the ‘audience’.

  9. If your religion is persecuted in the first place, maybe you need a better God in the second place, one not so weak that he/she allows mere mortals to persecute you.

  10. 1st vid is already removed by user–embarrassment?

    3 black preachers going along with what is ultimately a white racist concept, well, well, well.

    Akron OH–actually, the county these deputy sheriffs are from–well, either it has the perfect sheriff and anyone that believes in the Constitution should stay the hell out of that county or if there are just a few actual citizens of the US left there, they should vote the fascist out next time.

    Now if the LGBT community in Arizona had staged this, it would have been forecasting correctly. Of course, those arrests really would have been arrests–with or without that law the christians there wanted.

  11. These so called preachers are sinister enough to know how easily deluded their followers are. They see it happen every day on Fox News, where made up drama is the norm. If they buy the crap that Fox News spews, they certainly will believe the fake clergy arrest video. It’s pathetic how stupid and naive these right wing religious folks are, but our First Amendment protects the right wing liars who continue to deceive them.

  12. Christians do get arrested everyday, but not for their religion.
    Liberal Christian Ministers are always protesting some injustice somewhere that gets them carted off to jail ;)

  13. You cannot have religious liberty without the right to discriminate against those awful heathens.

    I expect no less from the cult of Baptists

  14. “Liberal Christian Ministers”?

    Oh yes, the ones that are more like that jesus fellow.

    You have no idea how funny you are.

  15. Some of us, at least are not interested in reading your personal mythological beliefs – try peddling them on WND or Breitbart, they’ll get a better reception.

  16. The “cult of Baptists”. How true! They are one of the most perverted denominations of Christianity I know. They believe they have the right to persecute everyone who is not like them. They use the Bible as a weapon. Some of the worst bigots I know are devout Baptists. It starts with their clergy, who must be taught intolerance and hate in their seminaries. Jesus would probably be thrown out of most Baptist churches if He returned. He’s way too liberal for Baptists.

  17. This will be seen as the truth and not as a fake as it says. People believe what they want to and I saw it so it can’t be fake. More misinformation for your entertainment.

  18. What a disservice these pastors have shown to those Black and White Clergy who were arrested and jailed during the civil rights movement of the 60s. I wonder if any of these fake pastors have ever heard of Dr. Martin Luther King? I wonder if any of these fake pastors know how many times Dr. King was arrested before being shot by the same type of white people who supported their fake arrests?

  19. Right on Mark! I see no reason, other than the absence of political will, to not tax the asses off all organized religions.

    They are no different than any other corporation. Well, except that religion is all B.S. and a means of extracting money from the weak minded and fearful. Not to mention a hidey-hole for perverts.

    Do as you’re told, give me your money and when you die you’ll go to this wonderful place in the sky. Religion is such a wonderful scam…damn, wish I had thought of it first.

  20. Well these pastors who staged this faux religious persecution should be ashamed. I also think that the deputies should be suspended without pay for one week by the sheriffs department for participating in an event with their uniforms and on the taxpayers nickel. Contrary to popular belief no Christian is being systematically being discriminated against. Christians are discriminating against the LGBT community, atheists, Muslims and other religious minorities. It goes back to who is really discriminated against in reality, who is just bearing FALSE WITTNESS. Which is a sin in my Christian church.

  21. How low will they go, and to use real cops, that is just the absolute bottom of the mud pit. How much more of this fake Christianity must we endure.

  22. That is in keeping with the modus operandi of Christianity. Lies, fraud, invisible friends that are oh so powerful but can’t show up for little children being raped in his own house. Makes perfect sense.

  23. Let’s see how many ways this is wrong, from a legal perspective.

    First, the law enforcement officers were on duty, used their uniforms and department vehicle to promote a religious view and even make words in support of one faith.

    That is theft of service, unlawful “arrest” and two counts of violation of the very first amendment.

    In any law abiding community, their superior would be terminated for cause, as would the two officers playing their part in such unlawful activities.

  24. It’s also just bad drama. And bad filmmaking.

    1. They didn’t put the perp face-down on the ground?

    2. The cop’s apologizing to the pastor???

    You wanna create conflict, you make the cops jackboot atheists who come into the church full-SWAT with all that military gear they’ve been gifted by the EVIL Federal government, order everyone in the pews to get down, strip-search some random parishioners, and when they take the pastor, start talking smack to him – list off the contradictions in the four Gospels, ask why they’re all over some Levitican laws and entirely ignore others, plow into them about how the length of a “day” in the Bible varies, so on.

    They also used the same shot of the same cops going down the same hallway to arrest the second minister. So, these two congregations saved money by using the same architectural designs? Even Ed Wood wouldn’t make THIS mistake.

    Oh, and, um, this is to advertise a play. So, did they license the song?

  25. BTW Youtube has a reporting feature. Report the video as spam and point out it’s fake, it’s advertising, and it’s entirely unmarked as such.

  26. Don’t worry, I’m sure the inevitable torrents of death threats that’ll spew forth from the good ‘ol “Gawd fearin'” ‘rill ‘Murkinz will prompt those cops to rethink their approach where it comes to “building relationships”.

    Because really, the simpleminded hillfolk that are gonna buy this video as legit won’t be blaming “big government”, they’ll be blaming the stupid cops.

  27. Fox will run it again and again and again for days, and then on Thursday next week they’ll talk about it being a shame that no one was there to video tape the REAL arrests and persecution thereby forcing someone to re-enact it. That’ll be it.

  28. Christians have always cried “Persecution!” whenever they have been prevented from persecuting others.

    This disgraceful sham has again shown they are liars, hypocrites, cowards, and fools.

  29. This simply follows in the footsteps of the typical conservative strategy: FAKE outrage, FAKE cleaning pots and pans at shelter, FAKE concern for women and poor people, etc.!

  30. What, no Tasers, no body slamming to the ground, or kicks to the head, weapons drawn and such? What a nice bunch of cops. Looks like some re-training is needed there.

  31. The lengths these Christian Psychotics will go to make their Delusions look like reality is QUITE amazing!!

    And they ask WHY people consider them to be idiots !

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