Sure, because that makes sense!
GULFPORT, Miss. — A gay Mississippi man says a male teacher at the Baptist school he attended in the 1990s raped him each week for three years as a way to force him to change his sexual orientation.
Jeff White told the Washington Blade during a July 14 interview at a restaurant near his home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast the teacher at Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Miss., who he identified as Steven Barnes, scheduled an “appointment” with him each Wednesday in his classroom or the office where he forced him to have oral and anal sex.
White, now 32, said the incidents took place at the school, which is in DeSoto County in northwestern Mississippi, between 1996-1999.
An embargoed press release the Blade obtained from the National Center for Lesbian Rights identifies Barnes, who is currently an associate pastor at Bethel Baptist Church, which operates Bethel Baptist School, as the teacher who allegedly raped White.
“He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change,” said White.
White told the Blade that his parents decided to send him to the school after he came out to them when he was 14 and in the seventh grade.
“They [the church’s pastors] looked at Southern Baptists like they were liberal faggots, like they would say from the pulpit,” he said.
The church’s website says Bethel Baptist School was founded in 1971 and is “staffed with an experienced, stable and caring staff.”
Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year was $3,850 per student.
“Character and patriotism are taught in the classroom,” reads a description of the school on the Bethel Baptist Church’s website. “The curriculum is Bible based and every student is taught the truths of God’s word.”
The church’s website includes a section titled “God’s way to heaven” with a number of statements that include “agree that your sin must be paid for with death and hell” and “turn from your sin and trust Christ as your saviour.”
“In general it was a cult,” White told the Blade. “Aside from all of that other stuff going on, there was a thousand other things that they were doing.”
A woman who answered the phone at Bethel Baptist Church on Tuesday described White’s allegations to the Blade as “the biggest lie there ever was.”
Church representatives did not respond to further requests for comment before deadline.