Monday, April 13, 2009

What Happens When Church and State Get Together

Mac Brunson, who used to be the pastor in the big church across the Trinity River from me, but is now pastor of FBC Jacksonville, Florida, has a security detail. (That, alone, should raise an eye brow.)

One of the members on the detail is an investigator for the sheriff's department.

Brunson has created some controversy in his church with his fund raising and spending. One of his critics blogs about it. He blogged anonomously.

The investigator\church member\security detail member obtained a warrant and served it on Google to obtain the name of the blogger. (I'd like to read the warrant affidavit and see what crime was alleged. We can't do that because the State's Attorney destroyed the documents.)

The investigator revealed the name of the blogger to Brunson. I do not know if information obtained by warrant in Florida is confidential or not. It is in Texas if it is a Grand Jury subpoena. Now, the church has kicked the blogger out of the church and even given him a criminal trespass warning, preventing him from coming to the church without being arrested.

Brunson admitted the blogger never threatened violence. Yet, he pursuaded the sheriff to issue the trespass warning. Additionally, the Sheriff says he did not uncover evidence of criminal wrongdoing. If that is so, why the warning and why reveal the blogger's name, unless the purpose is to harass the blogger and keep him from criticizing Brunson?

At least they did not burn him at the stake.

It has also come to light that the warrant included information on two other bloggers who criticized other large baptist church pastors not even in Florida.

Some of the criticisms that lead to this joint church-state investigation and operation were of Brunson’s $300,000 salary, putting his wife on the payroll, his construction of a “lavish” office suite and accepting a $307,000 piece of land as a gift from church members to build on.

Brunson has now publicly called the blogger and now former church member a sociopath.

No word on what the blogger is calling Brunson.
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