Monday, 8 May 2017

Moral Compass - Ohio Televangelist Used Slaves

Televangelist and Slave Owner, Ernest Angley
Televangelist Ernest Angley ordered to pay $388,000 for using unpaid labor at Cuyahoga Falls buffet |

The finest old Christian traditions are being maintained in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, Ohio, USA!

Unfortunately, a federal judge, Benita Pearson, didn't agree that he had a right to own slaves and ordered televangelist preacher, 95 year-old Ernest Angley, to pay $388,000 to his victims. Judge Pearson ruled that Angley and his managers at the Grace Cathedral Buffet had put undue pressure on members of his church to work as volunteers in his for-profit restaurant to save money, so they were entitled to be paid for their labour.

The pressure included telling church members that God required them to work in the restaurant and that not agreeing to come into work when asked would amount to disobeying god. The case had been brought by the Ohio Labor Department which also cited 'oppressive child labor'. Angley had claimed that the prosecution violated his First Amendment rights!

In his announcements, Reverend Angley would suggest that Church members had an obligation to provide their labor to the Buffet, in service to God, and that a failure to offer their labor to the Buffet -- or to refuse to respond to phone calls...seeking volunteers -- would be the same as failing God.

Judge Benita Pearson.
This is not the first time that Angley and his organisation have been convicted of using slave labour. He was convicted of a similar offence in 1999. The buffet then paid out $37,000 in compensation to victims and gave an undertaking that they would comply with labour laws in future.

Later on, however, they told their staff that they would have to return their pay checks and reneged on the promise they had made in court. Apparently, keeping their word as Christians came second to keeping their profits from slave labour. Two victims had testified that they still had to pay tax on the wages that they had been pressurised into returning.

1999 was not a great year for Angley and his buffet. In addition to their conviction for slavery, one of his slaves murdered a 15 year-old fellow slave because she rejected his continued sexual harassment. They were eventually ordered to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of 15 year-old Cassandra Blondheim who had been killed by a fellow church member, Shane Partin.

Partin had been sexually harassing the girl when they both worked as slave labour in the Grace Cathedral buffet and had been reprimanded after her initial complaint. His harassment continued until, following a second complaint, he was fired, only to be allowed back later. Angered by her continued rejection of his advances, Partin stabbed her repeatedly from behind as she was washing dishes. He was sentenced to 15 years to life for her murder. It took until 2003 for the final settlement between the restaurant and the family to be reached.

Hat tip: The Freethinker.

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  1. This asshole can't still be alive?

    1. From his picture, he's a tribute to the wig-maker's and embalmer's skill.


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