BARRE – Police have begun investigating a series of traffic near misses between vehicles and pedestrians that have been occurring over the past several weeks in the normally pedestrian-friendly city of Barre. Cars often stop and encourage foot traffic to cross the road, even when there is no crosswalk present, when the pedestrian is not ready to cross, or even before the pedestrian has left the building they were in. But lately things have been more dangerous for people crossing North Main Street, and police have identified several members of the Barre Evangelical Free Church as having been involved as drivers in the incidents.
“I’ve spoken to a few members of the church, sure,” said Officer Randall Light. “They told me that if people weren’t crossing at a crosswalk, they deserve to be mowed down. I explained to them that this wasn’t necessarily the case, and they said that the law is the law, and if you break the law they have no sympathy for you, and then they started telling me stuff out of the Bible that I didn’t quite follow, but basically I’d avoid these guys on the road for now until we get this sorted out.”
The BEFC’s pastor, Rev. Bram Stone, confirmed Officer Light’s account, saying that the Bible was very clear that anyone breaking any sort of law deserved the worst sort of punishment they could come up with, and that Jesus was very clear in his ministries that the people who should be unquestionably obeyed were strict religious leaders who loved rules and laws. “God forgives people,” Stone said. “If I were to forgive someone, I would be putting myself onto an equal footing with God, which would be the height of arrogance. I would remind all of us that if the jaywalkers hadn’t been in the road in the first place, I wouldn’t have attempted to murder them, so it isn’t really my fault. Remember, God is in control, so any bad thing I do is his will.”
Several other area churches attempted to distance themselves from Stone’s message of unconditional violence and judgement, but The Winooski was informed by Rev. Stone himself that any church that didn’t agree with him was not a “real church” and was preaching a “false gospel.” Unfortunately we were unable to complete the interview after our reporter connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, technically a crime, and was violently set upon by the Evangelicals.