Alas! Bishop Thomas Weeks III, the Senior Pastor of Global Destiny plead guilty to the felony charge of aggravated assault against his wife, internationally known speaker, author and singer, Juanita Bynum. With this plea, the Bishop took full accountability as he acknowledged grabbing, throwing down and kicking Juanita Bynum on August 21, 2007 in an Atlanta hotel parking lot. He apologized to his wife and received 3 years probation, 200 hours of non-church related community service and mandatory anger management counseling.
Dr. Juanita Bynum did as many women (and sometimes men) must who have suffered at the hands of their violent attackers in domestic situations–accepted Bishop Weeks’ apology. Juanita Bynum said she forgave Bishop Thomas Weeks. Despite withstanding a prolific media campaign of television, on-line and radio interviews and press releases with a pristine clean-cut imagery of the Bishop who intimated Dr. Bynum set him up and proffered himself as the one who had been habitually abused by his wife, Dr. Bynum was vindicated, as much as could be possible, with today’s admission and apology. Unfortunately, Juanita experienced what many accusers suffer: a complete tirade against one’s character to deflect focusing on the relevant facts and real culpability. Had Nicole Brown Simpson survived, she might have been able to fill in all of the blanks that occurred in her condo on that fateful night. Just like OJ’s book deal on how I would have done it, if I would have done it was squashed, we hope that Bishop Weeks will pull his book off of the market since it is evident that he has not yet fully learned his lessons. Moreso, he does not need to profit one more cent on the back of his wife.
The presiding judge apparantly scolded both Bynum and Weeks regarding their behavior during this divorce before the public. This blogger veers from those remarks and emphatically states that in completely reviewing every moment of public footage Juanita Bynum made in press conferences, television appearances and print media, she continually re-stated her agenda to deal with the subject incident and all immediate and ancillary information relating to the same. When prodded to delve into other marital issues, Juanita maintained her commitment to talk about domestic violence and her new-found introduction into the world no one in their right or left mind ever wants to enter as a first-partaker. Since when does a woman get scolded for being a public figure who stated the conditions of the assault and everyone else turned her statements and actions upside down to fit another account of the story. The content and tone of Juanita’s press interviews was completely different than that of the Bishop. And in case anyone may be a bit confused by the judge’s remarks, Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks was before the court as two individuals, a husband and a wife, not world leaders. When Juanita was being attacked, she did not represent all of those people who would be influenced by her behavior in public during a tumultuous divorce. She represented who got kicked, Juanita Bynum. There is only one saviour of the world, Jesus Christ and He already died for our sins. I am by no means suggesting that Dr. Bynum should not be mindful of her life choices and how she may influence the world. But, I am by every means suggesting that she must be acknowledged as an individual for who she is in her very own persona, essence and countenance at some points in her life and this was one of them. Kudos to Juanita Bynum for taking the lid off of the pressure cooker full of clergy gone wild who justify their behavior and vilify anyone who wants to hold them accountable. Too many men, saved or not, clergy or not, beat their wives, de-humanize them, de-value them and eat away at their self-worth and want an offering and servitude in the process. Domestic violence is real and must be dealt with in the church of all institutions, if we say we have the answer to a dying world.
As for the Bishop, I pray that one day soon he will enjoy full restoration. This will only transpire if he continues down the path of repairing the breach, first and foremost to his wife, the very one he has been called and ordained to protect and cover. And what must the rest of us do? Thank God that it was not us, and just as God forgives and restores us through His Grace, that we don’t hold a man for the rest of his life to what God has cast into the sea of forgetfulness, once he has sincerely repented to the one he offended and to God.
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