O’Reilly Apologist Michael Reagan Was On Board Of Group That Fights Sexual Abuse (TWEETS)

One of the most nauseating moments in the aftermath of Bill O’Reilly’s ouster came when longtime talk show host Michael Reagan suggested that women ought to be sued for sexually arousing men. Well, this and a number of other ugly tweets have come back to haunt him. It cost him his post on the board of an organization that works to combat the scourge of sexual abuse in the church.

Since at least 2015, Reagan had been a member of the board of directors for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or GRACE. This group, led by Boz Tchvidjian, Billy Graham’s grandson, is best known for its work to peel back the dark matter surrounding Bob Jones University’s handling of sexual abuse. For years, the hyperfundamentalist school in Greenville told victims that they brought their ordeals on themselves because they sinned. It’s part of a legacy of victim blaming and victim shaming that has long been standard operating procedure in the fundamentalist Baptist churches that form much of BJU’s constituency.

In 2015, GRACE held former president Bob Jones III–grandson of founder Bob Jones, Sr.–and longtime dean of students Jim Berg responsible for a host of hurtful and potentially illegal practices, including failing to properly report claims of abuse, as well as blaming and shaming victims. That’s probably why Reagan’s tweets hit a raw nerve with former BJU student Cathy Harris, who contends that Berg blew off her claims of being the victim of a child sex trafficking ring for much of her childhood in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Why? Supposedly, if she went forward with those claims, she would be “damaging the cause of Christ” by preventing people from being saved.

So when Reagan started his rant, Harris demanded that he step down from the GRACE board at once.

Screenshot courtesy Cathy Harris
Screenshot courtesy Cathy Harris

For those who don’t know, Reagan was molested by a day camp counselor when he was eight years old. So you can probably understand why his full-throated defense of O’Reilly hit a nerve with Harris.

At first, Reagan didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

But a lot of people reminded him.


By Monday, Reagan realized he’d stepped in it–but not without some prodding. Tchvidjian gave him an earful over the weekend, prompting Reagan to issue a pseudo-apology.

That wasn’t good enough for Harris, who demanded that he get off the board, and now.

It wasn’t good enough for Tchvidjian, either. He publicly bounced Reagan from the board.

By Wednesday night, Reagan’s name and biography no longer appeared on the list of GRACE directors. According to Harris, GRACE doesn’t maintain its own Website, so it took a few days for the company that manages the site to get around to deleting Reagan’s profile.

So at least one of O’Reilly’s apologists has been held to account. But there are others whose feet need to be held to the fire. Like Roger Stone, who claims O’Reilly’s firing violated his right to free speech. Or Jesse Lee Peterson, who claims the whole thing was an attack of the devil orchestrated by radical-lefty lawyers. At least Reagan’s ouster is a start.

(featured image courtesy Reagan’s Facebook)

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.