writing bad reviews of church online
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: writing bad reviews of church online

  1. #1
    Community Host
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,553

    Default writing bad reviews of church online

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/14...est=latestnews

    Oregon mother, daughter reportedly sued for writing bad reviews of church online

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/14...#ixzz1uuFALAya
    An Oregon pastor is reportedly suing a mother and her daughter for $500,000 after the two blogged about the church and described it as "cult-like."
    Pastor Charles O'Neal of the Beaverton Grace Bible Church claims reviews on a blog started by former church member Julie Anne Smith amount to defamation. Smith, who says "the story of spiritual abuse needs to be told," described O'Neal and his church outside Portland as "creepy" and "cult-like." She described him calling for church elders to search closets of female congregants for clothes that are too revealing, among other lessons from the pulpit.
    Smith told the KATU.com that she and her family were shunned by community members after leaving the church in Beaverton a few years ago. Smith said she then began writing Google and DEX reviews of the church as well as a blog.
    "I thought, I'm just going to post a review," Smith said. "We do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?" Smith told the website.
    O'Neal claims in his lawsuit that Smith's use of words like "creepy," "cult," "control tactics," and "spiritual abuse," are defamation. O'Neal is suing Smith as well as her daughter and three other commentators, according to the website.
    The pastor could not be reached, but audio clips of several of his sermons are available on the church's website. On one, he blasts the late televangelist the Rev. Robert Schuller, saying his book, "Self Esteem: The New Reformation" is "a book that will one day be burned in the fires of Hell."
    Smith says the online reviews and blog are protected under the right to free speech.
    "What somebody does in the church is one thing, but when you get out into society we have the right to free speech, and it may not be what people want to hear, but we absolutely have that right," she told the website. "He can say what he wants in the church and say, don't talk about this or don't talk about that, or don't talk to this person, but when you're out in the civil world, you don't do that anymore ... And he's not my pastor anymore. He does not have that right to keep people from talking."


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/14...#ixzz1uuF4nmNU


    Should a Pastor be able to sue if someone publicly criticizes his church?

    ~Bonita~

  2. #2
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    14,461

    Default

    Ah, no.

  3. #3
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,382

    Default

    He has no right to sue her or anyone for criticizing his church.
    Mom to E and C

  4. #4
    Community Host
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,553

    Default

    Agreed. I am not in favor of censoring what people put on FB regardless of what they say. They are plenty of people who I have hid or blocked because I find their post offensive. They should still be able to post that if they want to.

    ~Bonita~

  5. #5
    Mega Poster elleon17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    4,200

    Default

    He has the right to sue just the same as they have the right to say what they want to about the church.

    I hope if he does sue this is thrown out of court.
    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers

  6. #6
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    He can't sue over what is said about the church.

    He might be able to sue for slander, depending on what they said about him personally. Maybe.

  7. #7
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,500

    Default

    I would have to see exactly what she wrote to weigh whether it might be defamation or not. Writing one's personal opinion is not defamation no matter what the pastor believes, as long as it's clearly stated as opinion and not fact. To say, "This church felt to me like a cult: creepy and controlling," is quite different from, "This church is nothing but a creepy cult." Likewise, writing what one knows to be the truth is not defamation. "In one sermon he suggested that church elders should search our closets for inappropriate clothing," might be OK but, "He had church elders search our closets for inappropriate clothing," would not be unless it was her closet that had been searched.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  8. #8
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kris_w View Post
    He can't sue over what is said about the church.

    He might be able to sue for slander, depending on what they said about him personally. Maybe.
    It's not slander since it's been "published" and not "transitory" (meaning spoken.) And he absolutely can sue for defamation on behalf of his church.

    Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  9. #9
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    It's not slander since it's been "published" and not "transitory" (meaning spoken.) And he absolutely can sue for defamation on behalf of his church.

    Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation
    I didn't think it was the right term, but it was close enough to explain what I meant.... Legal jargon isn't my specialty

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions