President of the Christian Action League, 74, Is Arrested after Allegedly Paying Hooker with Checks

Privette on two occasions allegedly paid the prostitute with checks then reported the checks stolen.

Coy Privette, Tiffany Denise Summers

Rev. Coy Privette, the president of the Christian Action League, a North Carolina ultraconservative Christian political organization based in Raleigh, has been arrested for soliciting prostitution:

Privette, 74, was charged with six counts of misdemeanor aiding and abetting prostitution by renting a hotel room and paying for sexual acts, according to State Bureau of Investigation Agent Kevin Canty. Tiffany Denise Summers, 32, of Salisbury, was charged with six counts of misdemeanor prostitution, Canty said.

And:

Police said officers were investigating a forged check case, which led them to the prostitution charges. Privette on two occasions allegedly paid the prostitute with checks then reported those checks as stolen, officials said.

According to its website, the Christian Action League is:

a Christian public policy organization that addresses public policy and legislative issues from a Christian worldview. The Christian Action League has a full-time presence in the General Assembly of North Carolina and has garnered considerable respect from both the Republican and Democratic parties. The League’s purpose is to assist the church in fulfilling Christ’s command to be the “salt” and the “light” of the earth.

The Christian Action League is funded by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and it is affiliated with the ultra-rightwing American Family Association.

For over three decades, Privette has been one of the best known and most outrageous spokesmen for “family values” and Christian extreme right politics in North Carolina. In the 1970s, he was serving as minister at the North Kannapolis Baptist Church when he joined the tide of evangelicals entering politics that included the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition. He served in the N.C. Legislature from 1984 to 1992, and has been a member of the board of commissioners in Cabarrus County since 1998.

He and his wife, Betty, have four children.

Hat tip to VRW, LCD, Judy

76 Comments

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

    There also seems to be a lot of confusion here about what the Christian Action League is and does. Privette hasn’t been in charge for many years, but the character and purpose of the organization has not changed, and they certainly are not the repressive, hateful bunch that most here seem to think they are.

    Here’s a press release they did a couple of years ago, when a homosexual-bashing, pseudo-Christian, hate-monger named Fred Phelps came to town. The Christian Action League repudiated Phelps and his message of hate:

    http://salzo.cary.nc.us/cal_on_phelps.html

    -Dave
    H: 919-481-0098

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Myers,
    The main point that I think you are dancing around, about hypocrisy magnifying the gravity of other offenses, is certainly valid. But you are mistaken about what Christians claim. Christians (conservative or otherwise) do not “make the claim [that] our guaranteed rights are somehow contingent upon moral certitude of character.” Rather, Christians hold that “all men are sinners” and unworthy, on their own merit, of anything except Judgment. Fortunately, God is merciful, and fortunately He improves the character anyone who trusts and obeys Him.

    -Dave

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Bush-Fish, please do not misrepresent scripture. 2 Kings chapter 6, verses 24 to the end, is an historical account recording a severe famine during the siege of the city of Samaria by a hostile army. v.26 records that, “..a woman cried to [the king] ‘help me!'” Then, in v.28-29 it is recorded that she told him how, due to starvation, they had cannibalized her son. v.30 records, “When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and there, underneath, he had sackcloth on his body.”

    There is nothing in that account to suggest that God supports killing or eating children. (For what scripture actually says about killing children, see Lev. 18:21, Deut. 18:10, Prov. 24:11, Mat. 25:40&45, etc.)

    -Dave

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:57 pm | Permalink

    To Madison (part 1):

    I did not fault the media. I faulted the 50 or so people who posted comments here, seemingly without ANY of them even considering the fact that Mr. Privette has not been convicted. It does not appear that the possibility of his innocence even crossed the mind of ANYONE who commented before I did.

    [cont’d…]

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:58 pm | Permalink

    To madison (part 2):

    Instead, what I read here was an outpouring of ugly anti-Christian bigotry and vicious gloating. Examples:

    “In rightwing Christianity, hypocrisy is a sacred rite.” -Kaminatter

    “Typical anal-retentive ultra-right-wing control-freak self-righteous bible-whacking lie-peddling religious nutcake to ME. Glad I’m an atheist!”
    -capnmike

    “All these Xian conservatives look like bullfrogs” -Dana

    “Another christian pig.” -ted

    That sort of hate speech is probably unlike anything that has ever escaped Privette’s lips.

    [cont’d…]

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:58 pm | Permalink

    To madison (part 3):

    I said Mr. Privette is entitled to a presumption of innocence. If you were accused of a crime, you would not want everyone to assume your guilt before your conviction. So follow the Golden Rule: do unto him as you would have others do unto you in like circumstances. In this case, that means suspend judgment until you find out whether or not he’s really guilty.

    The duty to presume innocence until a person is proven guilty, at least for matters which will be adjudicated in a court of law, is a basic principle of justice. Leaping to judgment before you have all the facts that will eventually be available to you invites embarrassment — though few people seem to be embarrassed by such errors, anymore.

    [cont’d…]

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

    To madison (part 4):

    Do you remember that chorus of hateful “hang ’em high” sentiments in the Duke lacross team case? Now that we know the players were falsely charged, why hasn’t there been a chorus of apologies from those who assumed their guilt and demanded their scalps? Has there been even ONE such apology, from ANYONE in the peanut gallery? Perhaps there has, but I’ve not seen it.

    In Privette’s case, there is plenty of reason to suppose that, like the Duke lacross players, he might have been wrongly charged.

    [cont’d…]

  • Dave Burton
    July 23, 2007 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

    To madison (part 5):

    The only way that I can imagine such out-of-character behavior from a man like Privette would be if he’d had a stroke or similar mental impairment. That can change a person’s personality, sometimes dramatically.

    Consider: My grandfather lived to age 94. In his last year he began to suffer from dementia. All his life he had been a cultured, soft-spoken man. He was a genius, a professor of astrophysics, and a true Christian gentleman. But in his final year, dementia robbed him not only of his intellect, but also of his personality. He got to the point that he didn’t know anyone anymore, and he became frustrated and angry, and he did something that he had never done before: he began to cuss. I recall that my grandmother was in tears when she heard it. “I didn’t think he knew those words,” said grandma.

    Think of that: a man married for six decades, whose wife never heard a profane word escape his lips! But even sixty years of Christian self-control can go by the wayside if a man’s brain is damaged.

    [cont’d…]

  • Dave Burton
    July 24, 2007 - 12:00 am | Permalink

    To madison (part 6):

    So I suppose that some sort of brain damage or tumor might account for Privette’s bizarre alleged behavior. Yet even that seems highly unlikely in Privette’s case. Brain damage might make a man stupid enough to pay for a hooker with a check, but I very much doubt that any sort of brain damage could turn a very elderly man into a sex addict.

    So my guess is that Privette is innocent.

    But that’s just a guess. Unlike everyone else here, I’m suspending judgment pending his trial.

    -Dave

  • Madison
    July 24, 2007 - 6:55 am | Permalink

    Dave –

    Having spent considerable time in Cabarrus County, and having been on the receiving end of Coy Privette’s hate-filled rhetoric for about 30 years, I’m not in any way confused about him or the Christian Action League, the former temperance organization that he transformed into a lobbying group for evangelical politics after he and it lost the fight to stop “liquor by the drink” in North Carolina in the 1970s.

    Guilty or not, Privette is reaping what he has sewed. To his opponents, he revealed himself to be a mean-spirited, judgmental man, who made a career advocating the suppression of the rights of anyone who is not a straight, white Christian nationalist male.

    Maybe you believed his hype, or maybe you’re here to spin his predicament for the benefit of people who are unfamiliar with Privette and Tarheel politics. The disingenuousness of equating Privette’s indictment by the NC State Bureau of Investigation, the top law enforcement agency in the 10th largest state, to the arrest of the Duke Lacrosse players by Mike Nifong, a county DA, who, we now know, had a political agenda, makes me suspect you’re here to spin. (We’ll know for sure if your next response is, “Clinton did it.”)

    For the record, a lot of us North Carolina liberals never believed the Coy Privette myth. I agree he probably didn’t turn into a sex addict in his dotage, but, as I said earlier, believe instead he has been one all his life. Consorting with hookers was not unusual — in fact, was something of an entitlement — for men of Privette’s generation and class, especially in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Bill White
    July 24, 2007 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Some of the commenters here have been trying to reach out and defend Coy Privette. Most people who have been around him knows that though he spouts pious words constantly his actions never back up his words. Even the people who support him will tell you he can stab you in the back quicker than anyone in the county. He has had this reputation for decades. His political base is made up primarily of home builders who turn to him for help in finding ways to avoid making improvements to the propertys on a one time basis. This is worth thousands on every house built. What should be the focus is these large checks he had in his possesion. Where did this money come from? Was he enlisting this prostitiute to cash the checks for him to help cover his trail? I don’t know but hopefully the SBI will continue its investigation. The fact he was with the prostitute on several occasions is not surprising as much as the bizarre way he was apparently paying her. Also it seems that their should be grounds for filing charges about a false police report. Im sure Coy is smart enough to “lawyer up” quickly so many of these questions may never be answered. In N C in the last few months we have seen corrupt politicians exposed from both parties. Whether it has to do with money or sex, they seem to have all the bases covered.Coy Privette spent several years in the N C legislature and then was told to resign his postion with a “christian” orginization which was paying him a salary or he would be tossed out of the legislature. He learned all his tricks from these senior politicians who are now in jail or awaiting sentencing. Hopefully we have not seen this investigation end.

  • myers
    July 24, 2007 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Dave,

    “The main point that I think you are dancing around, about hypocrisy magnifying the gravity of other offenses, is certainly valid.”

    Sorry,I didn’t think I was dancing: hypocrisy doesn’t magnify or detract from the gravity of the charge, which is a matter of law and not faith and as such will be decided by the courts. As for his opinion on theological matters, let’s just say I prefer to take my council elsewhere.

    I’m saying quite simply, that if “Christians hold that all men are sinners and unworthy, on their own merit, of anything except Judgment” then guilty or not of this crime, he has no right to be judging others. Unfortunately, too many Christians have allowed a handful of Charlatans, appropriate and distort the message of Jesus, to serve a political agenda, which is completely contrary to the sermon on the mount. Are all Christians to blame? No. Just those who let individuals claim they speak for all Christians. In this respect ,hypocrisy IS the issue, if one is going make accusations about others. Matthew 25:40

    “Christians (conservative or otherwise) do not make the claim [that] our guaranteed rights are somehow contingent upon moral certitude of character.”

    I’m not referring to the tenets of your religious views, I’m referring to my rights under the constitution. One being the fundamental choice to worship God in the manner I choose. It helps to know your family history and my ancestors came to this country, in part, to escape the persecution of state sponsored religion. Any organization that wants to claim to be the “moral majority” is in fact making a claim of authority based on moral certitude. I don’t care what the Christian Action League does as long as they stay away from our constitution. It’s a mystery to me, that if politics were the solution, why did Jesus reject ,as one of his temptations , world rule?

    “Fortunately, God is merciful, and fortunately He improves the character anyone who trusts and obeys Him.”

    Interesting, no mention of joy, love, compassion and forgiveness, all prominent themes of the New Testament.

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  • Dave Burton
    July 29, 2007 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Bill White wrote:

    “Coy Privette spent several years in the N C legislature and then was told to resign his position with a ‘christian’ orginization which was paying him a salary or he would be tossed out of the legislature.”

    What? Are you sure? When did that happen? What organization are you talking about? What position was he told to resign? Who “told” him that?

    Privette left the legislature about 15 years ago, and I don’t think he’s drawn any salary from the Christian Action League in many years, either. For the last 7 or 8 years the CAL has been run by a very nice fellow named Mark Creech.

    -Dave

  • Dave Burton
    August 29, 2007 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Well, I was wrong. He pled guilty.

    I still find it astonishing.

    -Dave

  • mik
    October 28, 2008 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    suppose its better than raping altar boys like the rest of them.

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