Eric Dammann, the ‘punching pastor’ who is the subject of a video that’s gone wildly viral, in which he describes punching a teenager in the chest for ‘not taking the Lord seriously,’ is responding. He says that the story was a bad example to use in a sermon, that he’s not okay with abuse, and that the boy in the story has forgiven the pastor for punching him.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video of the pastor, punching the air and describing the incident. Pastor Dammann closes his speech with an interesting statement.
“There’s times that that might be needed.”
Now, however, the pastor has released a statement apologizing for the incident, and for including the punching story in his sermon.
“I deeply regret my actions of 13 years ago. I do not condone abuse in any form. I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it. By viewing the clip it is certainly understandable how outraged people are. I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act. My actions were not reflective of Christ and the teachings of the bible. I was wrong, there are no excuses to be made. I was forgiven by Ben many years ago and can only ask the same from my church, community and the world.”
On the church’s Facebook page, it’s clear that many members of the public aren’t ready to forgive the pastor, either for punching the child or for the telling, in which the pastor appears to hold the punching up as a positive example.
“what I don’t understand is how is this man not in jail… he confessed to child abuse, publicly, on video… he should have been arrested by now, not to mention dismissed from his position at the church. He must not be allowed anywhere near children…. [sic]”
“Hopefully there are youths, young adults, parents and grandparents in this congregation reading these comments before the Church Administrators delete them and come realize that there are other churches, religions, and social organizations in their community that do NOT condone violence against children in the name of Jesus.”
In light of Pastor Dammann’s apology, do you think it’s time to forgive and forget, or should the punching pastor be held accountable for his actions?