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Evangelicals scrambling as Chicago pastor accused of decades of sexual misconduct

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The pastor of a Chicago megachurch stands accused of many episodes of sexual misconduct going back years, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The allegations against Rev. Bill Hybels cover decades and include unwanted kissing, an affair with a married woman and inviting women in his congregation into his hotel room while traveling.

The report has sent the moderate evangelical world into a tizzy—Hybels and his wife are now reportedly estranged from their closest allies including the famous pastors John and Nancy Ortberg.

Hybels led a congregation of 25,000 and the Willow Creek Association, based on his leadership, counts 11,000 churches worldwide as under its influence. He abruptly retired last year.

Hybels emerged as a “cool” youth pastor riding a Harley-Davidson and quickly grew his flock. Unlike many other non-denominational megachurches, Willow Creek elevated women to senior positions—but that allowed the former pastor to prey on ambitious young women, according to Nancy Beach, who started at Willow Creek and is now a prominent evangelical thought leader.

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“I feel so conflicted about the whole situation because I’m so protective of the reputation of the church, not just here but globally,” she told the Tribune. “But I have confidence that the truth matters. Even though he’s 66 years old, there are still young women in his path. I certainly wouldn’t want one of my daughters or anyone else to be in this kind of situation.. He changed my life. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I’ve had… But then there’s this other side.”

Another woman, Vonda Dyer, the former director of the church’s vocal ministry and whose husband also worked there, told the Tribune a story about Hybels kissing her on a trip in 1998. She said he should confess and ask for forgiveness.

“I would love for him to experience that kind of redemption,” she said.

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Hybels is not apologizing, though.

“This has been a calculated and continual attack on our elders and on me for four long years,” he told the Tribune. “I have a wife and kids and grandkids. My family has had enough and they want the record clear. And they feel strongly supportive of me saying what I have to say to protect my family and clear my family’s name as well.”


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Congress should ask Mueller these specific questions about Trump’s involvement with Russia: Conservative columnist

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Conservative Never-Trump columnist Jennifer Rubin outlined the essential questions that Democrats should ask special counsel Robert Mueller in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

"Rather than engage in the normal scattershot questioning punctuated by speechifying, the House Judiciary Committee should assign its able attorney Norman Eisen to conduct the questioning," proposed Rubin. "Members could then follow up with additional questions.'

One question she proposed asking: "Mr. Mueller, the attorney general said you did not find 'collusion.' However, you did not look for collusion. Please explain what you looked for and how that differs from [Attorney General William] Barr’s assertion that you essentially cleared President Trump of collusion?"

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‘Is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade’: Trump once ‘joked’ John Bolton wants ‘to nuke them all’

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Even President Donald Trump recognizes that John Bolton is a war-loving hawk, Axios reported Sunday.

In a conversation that included the Irish prime minister, Trump asked Bolton, "John, is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade?"

The scene was during the annual St. Patrick's Day visit. Typically it's a photo-op, a handshake, and men in green ties with a shamrock sprig in their jacket pocket. Trump managed to turn it into an awkward scene for everyone.

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Mueller probably won’t be giving new information — here’s why that can still sink Trump

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller will appear in Congress this week to testify for two hours about the report he authored on the case of Russian collusion.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, though Mueller has said that he won't have any additional information other than what is in his report. A Washington Post report used examples of past Mueller testimony to outline what can be anticipated. The reality, however, is that regardless of whether Mueller sticks to the report or not, he'll deliver enough to put the president in a difficult situation.

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