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Pastor who called out sexual harassment in church gets ousted after ‘pressuring’ subordinates to visit sex novelty store

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A Manhattan pastor who gained fame for speaking out against sexual harassment stepped down after buying sex toys as presents for ministers and a congregant.

The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, the first woman to lead the borough’s Riverside Church, faced complaints after taking two assistant ministers and a congregation member on a shopping spree at the Minneapolis sex shop Smitten Kitten and giving unwanted items to them as gifts, reported the New York Post.

The group had been traveling to a religious conference, and Butler gave a $200 bunny-shaped vibrator to a minister, who is also a single mother, as a 40th birthday present, and offered to buy items for a second minister, a gay man in a committed relationship, but he turned it down.

The woman accepted the birthday gift because she was afraid to say no.

None of the other members of the church group wanted to visit the store and the man told Butler they were uncomfortable.

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Butler assured the group they did not have to go, but they said they “felt pressured” to join the senior minister and feared professional retaliation.

A source familiar with the investigation said Butler and the church agreed to part ways after the complaints.

Butler wrote an essay last year for the Baptist News Global website titled, “From #MeToo to #ChurchToo to #NeverAtChurch,” alleging that a man “lay leader” at Riverside had behaved “inappropriately” toward her and other female staffers.

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The minister said she decided to come forward with her complaint to prevent the man from harassing other women.

“I was suddenly aware that the lessons I had learned my whole life — lessons of ‘just get used to it’ and ‘experiences like this are part of being a woman in leadership’ — should not be a posture we assume in a community that claims to follow in the way of Jesus Christ,” Butler wrote.

Butler had been senior minister at the liberal Riverside Church since 2014, and her five-year contract expired June 30.


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Man who believed ‘the Bible is for white people’ gets life in prison after setting black man on fire in gruesome murder

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A white man from Tennessee has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering a black man by setting him on fire while he slept.

The Daily News Journal reports that 53-year-old John Carothers has pleaded guilty to murdering Robert Miller, a housemate who lived with him at the Frazier Young Supportive Living, which is a home for people with intellectual disabilities.

According to prosecutors, Carothers in March 2018 doused Miller in lighter fluid while he was asleep in his bed and then lit him on fire. Miller would subsquently die from burn-related injuries at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

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‘There’s no racial tension’: Trump claims ‘fantastic relationships’ with black people after ‘go back’ tweet

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President Donald Trump asserted on Monday that he has "fantastic relationships" with the black community after he told four congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from.

At a White House meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump was asked if he was experiencing any blowback from the African-American community.

"There’s no racial tension," the president said, according to a pool report. "We have fantastic relationships with the African American community and I think you’ll see that in 2020."

Via pooler @DavidNakamura: T"rump says: 'There’s no racial tension.' Trump notes low unemployment for black Americans. 'We have fantastic relationships with the African American community and I think you’ll see that in 2020.' "

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Yale psychiatrist explains the root of Trump’s ‘pathological racism’

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On Monday morning, President Donald Trump once again escalated his conflict with "the Squad," the group of freshman Congresswomen of color he told to go back to their own countries. Although moderate Republicans had hoped last week that the President would tone down his remarks, on Monday he once again doubled down on Twitter.

"The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!" he tweeted.

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