Blogger Sued by Former Pastor Wins in Court

27 Jul

Back in June, I posted about Julie Anne Smith. You can read that brief post here.

She had been sued by her former pastor, Chuck O’ Neal, of Beaverton Grace Bible Church.  Pastor O’Neal had claimed damages of $500,000, after Ms. Smith posted a negative google review about her former church and the authoritarian style of the pastor.

The court has found, that Julie Anne was expressing her views in a public forum and that it was protected as Free Speech.  A real victory for bloggers seeking to shed light on abusive practices in the church.

You can read more here and here.

In a true stroke of poetic justice, the judge has ordered that Pastor O’Neal pay for Julie Anne’s legal costs and attorney fees.

Special thanks to The Wartburg Watch for keeping me up to date on this story.

8 Responses to “Blogger Sued by Former Pastor Wins in Court”

  1. Freedom at 1:02 pm #

    Excellent news!!!!!!!!!!!! The more people that know about this ruling (and others like it), the less that cults disguised as churches can use fear and intimidation to scare people into hiding their dirty secrets!!!!

  2. M. Rodriguez at 1:10 pm #

    Free speech wins again

  3. christianagnostic at 4:34 pm #


    Exactly…hopefully people will speak up and warn others without the fear of legal troubles.

    M. Rodriguez-

    Gotta love free speech….for all it’s faults, America still gets this one right a lot of the time!

  4. ... Zoe ~ at 12:20 am #

    That is good news.

  5. Donald Miller at 8:21 pm #

    I can just imagine what kind of a guy that pastor is. I suspect the reason many people are religious is because f their desire to control–not themselves–but others.

    • christianagnostic at 6:25 am #

      I agree…many people have used religion to control others. Seems that this pastor didn’t realize that his sort of bullying doesn’t fly in the real world.

  6. Julie Anne at 3:18 am #

    Wow – You covered my story! Cool – and thanks! And now I’m following YOU 🙂

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