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A former Southern Baptist pastor whose colleagues turned him in has been sentenced to 17 years in jail for sexually assaulting a child. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the depravity involved in this situation.

A couple of years ago, Texas was considering a ban on abortions that would have subjected women — not just doctors — to the death penalty. (That’s what it means to be “pro-life” in Texas.)

A Republican state legislator, Jeff Leach, said he couldn’t support the “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act” because he felt only doctors should be punished, and the bill eventually died. Jack Graham, the pastor of a Houston megachurch, even praised Leach (who happened to be a member of his congregation) for his “courageous” decision.

But that exchange infuriated Stephen Bratton, the pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church, who had publicly testified in defense of the bill. He soon penned a lengthy rebuke of Graham for supporting a man who had prevented the passage of an anti-abortion bill — in a red state, no less — and for allowing supposed “murder” to continue unabated.

You have used the power of the pulpit and your influence as one who is supposed to speak for the LORD to effectively endorse the murder of another 55,000 children in Texas in the next year and 110,000 over the coming two years before our legislature meets again.

Because you are not ignorant of the Word of God, you are held more accountable for your actions. You have been given much influence through the pulpit and your leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. Much will be required from you as you stand before the Lord. Your endorsement of the shelving of HB 896 is essentially authorizing the deaths of approximately 110,000 pre-born children in this State, and you will be held accountable before God for those deaths.

Because you have endorsed this position, you have removed justice from the equation thereby giving sinful men and women no reason to discontinue the act of murder.

See, everyone? Unlike Graham, Bratton cared about children — pre-born and presumably otherwise. As a pastor, he understood the influence he had. He also understood the importance of moral integrity because he would one day stand before the Lord.

In hindsight, that was quite a statement coming from Bratton, because a month after he wrote that public denunciation against Graham, he confessed to his fellow church leaders that he had repeatedly raped an underage relative. Starting when she was 13 years old, and continuing for the next five years, he allegedly abused her with “sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week.”

No wonder he wanted to protect the unborn. In a few years, they could become his victims.

In 2019, he confessed his crimes to his wife, and she alerted the other pastors at their church, hoping they could speak with him. Once those pastors heard his confession, to their tremendous credit, they didn’t leave the situation in God’s hands. They informed law enforcement officials instead. Bratton, the father of seven, was quickly arrested.

And this week he was finally sentenced to 17 years in prison.

“Several other pastors came forward to tell authorities what was going on after this man confessed to them, and we applaud those people of conscience,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “This man, who had risen to a position of authority in the church, turned a child into a victim and violated his community’s trust. The victim and his community deserved, and got, justice.”

Stephen Bratton, 46, was sentenced Friday by state District Judge Hazel Jones after a hearing in which prosecutors and lawyers for Bratton presented evidence from a pre-sentence investigation. Bratton had pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age 14 in February and agreed to let the judge determine his sentence.

I keep going back to the utter hypocrisy of how Bratton wanted women to be put to death for wanting control over their own bodies, all while he was literally raping a child “multiple times a day.” When women made what they felt was a responsible choice, Bratton wanted them murdered. And now he’ll spend most of the next two decades behind bars after confessing to child sex abuse.

(via The Roys Report. Large portions of this article were published earlier)

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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.