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Crazy Church In Pennsylvania Kidnaps Teens To Teach Them A Lesson

Ryan Shaw |
March 29, 2012 | 9:37 p.m. PDT

Staff Columnist

(Creative Commons)
(Creative Commons)
Being a resident of Southern California has many benefits.  The weather is warm, it rains only periodically and the beaches are always close by.  It also tends to be a place (mostly) free from religious nutjobs.
There are some parts of the country that are filled with religious centers.  It almost seems like the churches outnumber the residents.  Members of these communities check their day jobs at the door of the church as they walk in.  Somtimes they check their sanity at the door too.
This was most clearly the case in Middletown, Pennsylvania at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God.  Members of this particular church decided it would be a great idea to kidnap the teenagers--at gunpoint--and take them to their pastors house.  The would be assailants then pretended to assault the pastor.  At no point did the children know what was going on, and many of them left the exercise traumatized and bruised.     
The ramifications could be huge for the church.  False imprisonment of a minor can carry a 10 year prison sentence.
I have had the privilege of driving through the great town of Middletown, PA.  It is a very nice place.  That being said, there isn't a a whole lot to do for entertainment in Middletown.  I guess they have resorted to kidnapping children for fun. 
Ok, maybe it wasn't for "fun," but the excuse the church gives is weak.  They claim the exercise is used to show the kids what it is like to be a persecuted Christian missionary.
They probably could have gotten their point across the legal way by just showing the youth group the film "The Passion of the Christ."  Eh, the legal way is too boring for the folks of Glad Tidings.  They go hard.

One would think the church, when confronted with the legal ramifications of their actions, would apologize profusely for their actions.  Nope.  The pastor of Glad Tidings, Andrew Jordan, says he will continue the exercise despite complaints.  Rest assured, Andrew does however promise to get parental permission next time.  I'm sure the justice system of Pennsylvania will feel much better now.

I hope somebody talks some sense into the good people of Good Tidings.  What they are doing is a terrible idea and it could land someone behind bars if they aren't careful.  Having a system of faith is great, but there is a certain degree of common sense that is lacking among a large portion of the religious population.  We need to start putting the rule of law, and our American values of freedom and fairness back in the forefront of our decision-making. 


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