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Pastor Steven Seagal

May 10, 2011

Meet Jim Moats, pastor at Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Pennsylvania. For five years Moats has led his congregation to believe that he was a former Navy SEAL who had served his country in Vietnam. Furthermore, after the death of bin Laden the Patriot-News thought they would do a piece on SEAL veterans and their experience in that elite fighting force, so they interviewed Moats who had been letting everyone believe that he was in fact a SEAL. He even posed for a super-duper picture:

Triumphant Super-Vet: "I love God, guns, and country! Yeehaw!"

There was only one problem… well actually, there were a lot of problems.

The first, and the biggest, Moats was never a SEAL. The second, his gold Trident medal that the Navy rewards those that have finished SEAL training had been bought at a military surplus store. The third,  some dude who is in charge of the list of all members of the SEAL squad saw the story in the newspaper and checked his list only to find Moats name not there.

And the fourth: he stole the idea for his service from a Steven Seagal movie and G.I. Jane. Everything else I could forgive, but after having suffered through said Seagal movie I’m not sure I could forgive someone trying to indwell that persona! Though Seagal supposedly did teach Anderson Silva that wicked front kick Silva used to decimate Vitor Belfort in his latest fight, so I guess that’s pretty cool… but Under Seige probably negates that, and almost every movie Seagal made certainly makes this a bad choice.

Moats not feeling quite as triumphant: "OK, maybe that wasn't the best idea I ever had..."

You can read the whole story HERE, and there is a video. To be honest, what he did was extremely stupid, but I actually sort of felt bad for him by the end of the article. In his social situation–religiously and culturally– to find value by letting people believe this story is a telling commentary about certain sects of the church and ideals in the country, and an insecure man caught in between, casting an image for people to adore.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim T permalink
    May 10, 2011 8:40 am

    Under Siege is the most awesome action movie of all time!

  2. May 10, 2011 8:46 am


  3. Jim T permalink
    May 10, 2011 10:19 am

    What a lack of good taste in cinema….

  4. May 10, 2011 8:22 pm

    Oh my word. I live only 25 minutes away from this dude.

    Also, just as bad as the incident are the comments on the web site where the article is located. (sigh)

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    May 12, 2011 4:55 pm

    What sprang out at me was this comment from the retired SEAL tasked with maintaining the database re impostors:

    “We deal with these guys all the time, especially the clergy.” (emphasis mine)

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