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Megachurch pastor accused of ‘sucking the community dry’ after photos emerge of his $230K Bentley

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Dr. William H. Curtis, the pastor of the Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, is facing some blowback after photos posted online revealed that he is now driving a $230,000 Bentley Bentayga.

As the Christian Post reports, the controversy started when Pittsburgh resident Jarell Taylor posted a photo of the pastor’s Bentley on Facebook last week, when he criticized Curtis for buying such a luxurious vehicle that’s worth roughly twice the median income in the church’s neighborhood.

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“If your pastor [is] driving a Bentley truck, he’s sucking your community dry with hope and tithes,” Taylor wrote on his Facebook page.

Curtis did not respond to the Christian Post’s questions about the car, although the publication did successfully reach out to Samuel Cruz, an associate professor of Religion & Society at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, who criticized the pastor’s car choice as being tone deaf.

“I don’t know how owning a Bentley that’s worth $230,000 contributes in any way to the furtherance of the Kingdom and also how that could be justified,” he said. “To own a car that expensive you have to be among the top 10 percent of income earners or even higher of these United States of America, and I can’t consider how preaching could lead someone to so much wealth.”

And Damon Young, an estranged member of Curtis’ church, wrote last week that the “optics” of the car were very bad.

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“I have to admit that my instinctual reaction to this was to wince,” he wrote, before acknowledging that the pastor has other sources of income besides church donations. “I’m aware that between speaking engagements, teaching positions and books, this pastor has other income streams besides the church.”


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Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

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A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

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Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

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A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

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‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

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"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

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