Others have already discussed the news out of Ravalli County today that the Reverend Harris Himes, best known for his hateful rhetoric and medieval views at the Montana Legislature,has been charged and arrested for fraud, but it’s hard not to take a moment to reflect on the good pastor’s fall, one that I imagine Dante would enjoy crafting a punishment for.
Reporter Laura Lundquist’s story offers comprehensive look at Himes’s career and was updated this evening to note that he has turned himself into Ravalli County authorities:
One of two men charged with theft, fraud and conspiracy turned himself in to law enforcement Wednesday.
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said Harris Himes turned himself in Wednesday morning after learning that there was a warrant for his arrest.
As the stories note, it’s a sordid tale, centering around an effort to defraud someone who intended to invest an inheritance to provide the financial freedom to work as a minister. Instead of the promised returns, Himes and his partner used shell companies, false addresses and outright lies to mislead their victim, culminating in abandoning the man in Mexico:
It turned out to be an empty building that was not owned by the company or the two pastors, according to court papers.
The victim claimed Bryant left him in Mexico soon thereafter, and the victim returned to Texas alone.
To recap, Himes robbed a fellow Christian, a man dedicated to the faith Himes has used as as weapon against so many people, of the resources necessary to continue his faith work. And why? To pay off his credit card bills.
Himes is, as others have noted, an entirely despicable man. He’s demonized gays and lesbians, calling for their execution; he’s used his questionable commitment to his faith to demonize his political opponents; he’s argued against protecting children from bullying because of his homophobia; he’s written a book with a cover so atrocious that it may invalidate the entirety of Western culture.
There’s no question that Himes represents the worst of the militantly political Christianist movement and there’s no question that he’s exercised undue influence on politics in the Bitterroot Valley and beyond for the past decade.
The only real question is why anyone let him. Well, Republicans, why?