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Chesterfield County Police recently conducted a sting in which detectives posed as underage children in order to catch people soliciting them for sex. 17 people were eventually arrested… including John Blanchard, the pastor of Rock Church in Virginia Beach.

“They reached out and were trying to coordinate an opportunity to have sex with a minor,” Maj. Mike Louth with Chesterfield County Police Dept. said.

According to Louth, when suspects came to the arranged location, they were met by police and arrested.

The fact that a pastor was charged with felony solicitation of prostitution isn’t exactly shocking these days — though going after a minor is beyond disturbing. But the most shocking thing about this story may be the following detail:

Blanchard was arrested on Friday, October 29… before getting released on bond.

He was in the pulpit on Sunday, October 31… with no mention of what had just transpired.

He didn’t give a typical sermon, but he was onstage during portions of the service, talking about Jesus and ignoring the elephant in the room.

Blanchard obviously knew what was coming. It’s odd that he didn’t warn the congregation about it. But as of last night, the church’s website still described him this way:

Coming from a background in atheism and a dysfunctional childhood, John’s heart is to reach a generation with a message of hope through the healing and delivering power of Jesus Christ.

The world was apparently a safer place for children when Blanchard was an atheist.

(Thanks to everyone for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.