The Religious Hypocrisy in This Decades-Old Adoption Controversy is Appalling April 28, 2019

The Religious Hypocrisy in This Decades-Old Adoption Controversy is Appalling

You’re going to want to sit down before you read this.

More than 20 years ago, there was a controversy in Indiana involving a gay man (and his partner) who wanted to adopt a family of three boys and a girl from foster care. Because the girl, Ashley, had been living without her brothers with an older Christian couple, her custody became a battle in the culture wars. You had an entire community of conservative Christians railing against the possibility of kids being placed in the home of a gay man. The Christian couple’s pastor, Brad Brizendine, wrote a nasty public letter blasting the child welfare officials for their lack of “heartfelt concern for the moral well-being of the children.” (Emphasis his.)

Ultimately, the boys were allowed to go home with the gay man, Craig Peterson.

Ashley stayed with the Christian couple, Sandy and Earl “Butch” Kimmerling.

What nobody else knew at the time was that Butch Kimmerling — who had told the media how horrible it would be for Ashley to live with gay men — was molesting Ashley.

The moral hypocrisy and sexual assault had been going on during the custody battle. The entire time Pastor Brad Brizendine was telling the world about why every child needed a mother and father, Ashley was being abused by her church-going, Bible-believing father.

What I told you summarizes only the first part of an incredible five-part series for the Indianapolis Star by reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski, with video by Mykal McEldowney.

I started marking several passages I wanted to share on this site, but there were too many, and honestly, you’ll want to read the whole thing yourself. I’m only talking about the religious hypocrisy issue in this post, but there are so many other topics covered in the piece, including race, the challenges of foster care, poverty, and developmental issues. I started reading Part 1 and didn’t (couldn’t) stop until I was done with the series.

Consider getting a subscription to the Indianapolis Star, too, so these kinds of stories can continue to be told.

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