A local Mennonite pastor was arrested this past weekend for allegedly baptizing more than half a dozen people while in a state of mild intoxication.
“Here in Manitoba we have a zero tolerance policy for BUI’s,” said Constable Michelle Hildebrecht. “I witnessed the pastor drink a tiny cup of what appeared to be wine and then proceed to pour water on the heads of seven or eight people.”
Pastor Johan Ratzlaff was escorted, without incident, to the local jail where he awaits a meeting with Judge Kornelsen on Tuesday morning.
“I’m completely innocent,” claims Reverend Ratzlaff. “Besides we’ve had communion followed by baptism at this church for decades. I had no idea there was an undercover officer in the building.”
Constable Hildebrecht plans to visit other churches in the area to make sure they are complying with the strict new legislation.
“I’m especially concerned about all those dunking churches,” said Hildebrecht. “I’m not sure it’s safe to be immersing people in water like that after you’ve had half an ounce of red wine.”
If convicted, Reverend Ratzlaff could face months of community service, likely at the local thrift store, and will be required to blow into a little plastic tube prior to entering the church and performing any future baptisms.
(photo credit: by Keith Allison )