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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.

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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.

“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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George Zimmerman announces lawsuit against Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren for $265 million

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The man who killed Trayvon Martin was never held accountable for his crime, but he's spent the years since his acquittal blaming other people for persistent problems in his life. The latest news on George Zimmerman is that he's suing presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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America’s millionaires just stopped paying into Social Security for the rest of 2020

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On Wednesday, not even two full months into 2020, millionaires will stop paying into Social Security for the year due to the program's payroll tax cap.

The cap limits annual wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax to the first $137,700. Sarah Rawlins, program associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), wrote Tuesday that the cap means "someone who makes $1,000,000 per year stops paying into the program on February 19, 2020."

"That makes a millionaire's effective tax rate well below the 6.2% of income that most Americans pay," Rawlins noted. "Instead, it is less than 1% of a millionaire's income. The Social Security tax is only levied on wages, excluding income from other sources like capital gains, meaning those with wages over the cap likely have an effective tax rate even lower than this estimate."

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DOJ puts out bizarre late-night statement: AG Bill Barr ‘has no plans to resign’

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The Department of Justice put out a statement Tuesday evening denying that Attorney General Bill Barr would be resigning from office.

Kerri Kupec, the director of communications and public affairs at DOJ, issued the statement at 10:28 p.m. in Washington, DC.

"Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign," Kupec announced.

The denial came after a Washington Post report that Barr was considering quitting if Trump continues to tweet about active investigations.

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