Friday, September 14, 2012

NSFW: The Nude Photography Portfolio That Has a St. Louis Priest in Hot Water

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Father John Kenneth Blair - CELEBRATING LIFE MINISTRIES
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In these jaded times, we're somewhat accustomed to hearing about sexual misconduct by Catholic priests. Less so from Episcopal priests. After all, they have to live by way fewer crazy rules.

They can have sex, they can marry, they can be gay. Hell, they can even be women, believe it or not.

But one local priest is in hot water because of a letter that was forwarded to several media outlets, including the Riverfront Times. In it, the anonymous author condemned the priest for his side-gig as an erotic photographer.

According to his online bio, Father John Kenneth Blair graduated the University of Missouri-Columbia, Eden Theological Seminary and Lindenwood University. He has a Masters of Divinity and an MA in counseling, and is the "Manager of Spiritual Care and CPE Supervisor for Christian Hospital." He's also certified to counsel drug and alcohol addiction sufferers.

The Post-Dispatch broke the story yesterday, seemingly spurred by a letter that was also received by the RFT. The anonymous author starts with a lengthy description of Blair's credentials, then includes a couple dozen photos of naked and semi-nude women purportedly pulled from Blair's Model Mayhem account, his Facebook page, and from the artwork page of Shameless Grounds, the sex-positive coffee house in Fox Park.

"The sexually explicit photos and material are, to say the least, unprofessional and highly unsuitable to a Christian man with these listed credentials entrusted to the spiritual care of troubled and impaired individuals," the letter reads. "He has the opportunity, ability and training to prey on emotionally weak and unstable women from a station of trust. What moral depravity is next?"

The Episcopal Diocese launched an investigation into Blair on Tuesday after also receiving a letter. The letter's author points out that Father Blair was investigated and reassigned in 2007 after another investigation for impropriety, but the P-D reports that the diocese didn't find anything to back up the claim.

All Blair's online accounts have been either locked down or removed, but we've scanned in the pictures from the letter.

So far the investigation is only by the diocese and is not criminal. Assuming all the young ladies in the following photos are of legal age and willing participants, is it OK for an Episcopal priest to be dabbling in erotic art? Take a look and judge for yourself.

Warning: super NSFW.

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