Pastor Mike Store has filed a lawsuit against Former ERLC president Russel Moore, bringing forth claims of Libel, False Light Invasion of Privacy ( a cause of action for portraying an individual unflatteringly in words or pictures as someone or something that person is not), and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, on account of the horrific way Moore painted Stone in several letters designed to be leaked to the media in order to torpedo his campaign or SBC President In the suit.
In the lawsuit that was filed just a few days ago, Stone claims that :
In the leaked letter, Moore claims that Stone was involved in covering up sexual abuse, writing that he ‘exonerated’ churches, in a spur-of-the-moment meeting, from serious charges of sexual abuse cover-up.” The fact that Moore doesn’t seem to understand how basic SBC processes works is mindblowing, as Stone points out that the Executive Committee can’t exonerate churches, but rather only determine if they are in good standing with the SBC, which allows them to send messengers.
As a result of Moore’s “malicious, intentional, fraudulent, or reckless action” Stone says was in retaliation for the Executive committee investigating the ERLC and Moore’s impact on giving within the denomination. (That report ultimately found that the leadership and direction of the ERLC by many Southern Baptists is a substantial impediment to the growth of the Cooperative Program. Without quick and significant changes in that perception, the findings suggest the potential for a measurable decline in the near future and beyond)
As a result of those letters and the public way they have blown up, Stone says that his quality of life, both personally and professionally, has suffered.
He says further:
The actions of Defendant in orchestrating and propagating an intentional, coordinated, and malicious campaign to defame Plaintiff and cast Plaintiff in a false light before the Southern Baptist community and the public at large have been designed to intentionally inflict mental anguish and severe emotional distress upon Plaintiff, as well as tarnish Plaintiff’s reputation within the religious community and jeopardize Plaintiff’s future earning capacity, through the publication of false and highly offensive material within the SBC, entities affiliated with the SBC, the news media, and elsewhere.
Defendant has acted maliciously, intentionally, fraudulently, or recklessly by attempting to ruin Plaintiff’s person and professional reputation through a calculated public smear campaign. Defendant’s actions in repeatedly uttering false and offensive defamatory comments about Plaintiff on several different occasions show a consistent pattern of intentional and malicious acts continuing to the present.
At the very least, Defendant’s actions constitute reckless conduct in that Defendant should have known that there was no factual basis for most, if not all, of the statements made by the Defendant.
As a result of this, Stone wants a jury trial and is suing for $750,000. Because Stone has previously preached against Christians suing each other, it likely suggests that like us, he does not believe Moore to be a believer, and therefore the suit is permissible.
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