UPDATE: A Hasbrouck Heights pastor told The Daily News that a video in which he says he punched a boy for being a “smart aleck” was taken out of context.
“My intention in the sermon was to make a point of how God can use our mistakes,” Pastor Eric Dammann of the Bible Baptist Church told the newspaper. “The viral clip does not show the whole sermon, where I say what I did was wrong.
“I do not endorse child abuse or the punching of children,” he said.
As of this morning the 50-second clip had gotten nearly 1.8 million hits on YouTube after being taken down from the church’s web site:
In it, Dammann says he hit a boy named Ben in the chest during a youth group meeting in Calgary 13 years ago because he was “just not taking the Lord seriously.”
“And I went over to him and I went ‘Bam.’ I punched him in the chest as hard as I could. I crumpled the kid. I just crumpled him.
“Then I leaned over and said, ‘Ben, when are you going to stop playing games with God?’ I led that man to the Lord right there.”
Dammann told the Daily News he feels “deep sorrow” over his “inexcusable” reaction.
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