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gustava

Southern Baptist & Decades of Sexual Abuse

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Terrie

not shocked. Too many relgiious organizations are answerable only to themselves, in their opinion. They don't think the law has anythnig to do with them. In those cases, you will always have abuse of some sort. Always.

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RosyDaisy

SBC leaders and members, stop talking àbout about how "grieved" you are. Hold these predators and abusers accountable. Help and support victims. Words don't mean a damn thing! Fuck every single one of you!

 

 

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Depressed
formergothardite

I wish I could say this surprised me, but from my time in the SBC this is not shocking at all. 

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Palimpsest

I think we knew this SBC expose was coming last year but I can't remember which thread mentioned it.  The story has been a while in development.

This is the primary source - first of 3 articles.  Trigger warning.

 https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php 

Quote

In 2007, victims of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist pastors requested creation of a registry containing the names of current and former leaders of Southern Baptist churches who had been convicted of sex crimes or who had been credibly accused. That didn't happen; the last time any such list was made public was by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. It contained the names of eight sex criminals.

In 2018, as advocates again pressed SBC officials for such a registry, Houston Chroniclereporters began to search news archives, websites and databases nationwide to compile an archive of allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and other serious misconduct involving Southern Baptist pastors and other church officials. We found complaints made against hundreds of pastors, church officials and volunteers at Southern Baptist churches nationwide.

We focused our search on the 10 years preceding the victims' first call for a registry and on the 10-plus years since. And we concentrated on individuals who had a documented connection to a church listed in an SBC directory published by a state or national association.

We verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse by examining federal and state court databases, prison records and official documents from more than 20 states and by searching sex offender registries nationwide. In Texas, we visited more than a dozen county courthouses. We interviewed district attorneys and police in more than 40 Texas counties. We filed dozens of public records requests in Texas and nationwide.

Ultimately, we compiled information on 380 credibly accused officials in Southern Baptist churches, including pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and volunteers.

We verified that about 220 had been convicted of sex crimes or received deferred prosecutions in plea deals and sent letters to all of them soliciting their responses to summaries we compiled. We received written responses from more than 30 and interviewed three in Texas prisons. Of the 220, more than 90 remain in prison and another 100 are still registered sex offenders.

Find our records that relate to those convicted or forced to register as sex offenders at HoustonChronicle.com/AbuseofFaith.

 

 

 

 

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stylites

I'm generally not given to hyperbole, but in cases like this; the church engaged in child sacrifice to protect their real Gods (institutions and men).

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Palimpsest
10 minutes ago, stylites said:

I'm generally not given to hyperbole, but in cases like this; the church engaged in child sacrifice to protect their real Gods (institutions and men).

I'd say that wasn't hyperbole.  They sacrifice the children's health and well-being, if not their lives, to support abusers and hide the abuse.

It is not so much that child abusers are present in the churches.  Of course they are, because they are in every walk of life.  However, abusers do seek out institutions and churches where victims are present to find employment or volunteer.  They also carefully seek out institutions and churches that, even when they become aware of the abuse, protect the abusers, cover it up, blame the victims, and refuse to do a damn thing about it!  :angry-banghead:

 

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Palimpsest

The SBC's defense is going to be that it is under new management.  They have a new broom sweeping clean.  Greear is young, sparkly, and hipster, remarkably so compared to previous leadership.  See Paige Patterson. 

Greear doesn't think sexual abuse is nice at all, but women should still submit to male authority,  https://religionnews.com/2018/06/06/j-d-greear-is-ready-to-give-southern-baptists-a-makeover/

IMO, Greear not going to be able to do much meaningful about sexual abuse in the churches, as the SBC is just a loose convention of independent churches with no central authority.  He could establish new protocols but individual churches can just blow them off.  Sad.

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usedbicycle

Rhetorical question: Is there a religion run exclusively by men that is free of sex scandals?

I have been delving into the cover ups of child sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community as well. It's eerily similar to the scandals in the Catholic Church and now the Southern Baptist Convention. The documentary "One of Us" on Netflix touches on the subject and it's heartbreaking. I think one of the best ways to fight abuse is to publicly out the abusers, because often they're never convicted and keep working with youth in different schools or churches. 

Jewish Community Watch started a Wall of Shame for that purpose and they're doing tremendous work to help abuse survivors.  http://www.jewishcommunitywatch.org/wall-of-shame/

I'm just weary of patriarchal organized religion as a whole now. It's way too easy for men in power to manipulate and abuse with zero consequences for them.

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EowynW
38 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

The SBC's defense is going to be that it is under new management.  They have a new broom sweeping clean.  Greear is young, sparkly, and hipster, remarkably so compared to previous leadership.  See Paige Patterson. 

Greear doesn't think sexual abuse is nice at all, but women should still submit to male authority,  https://religionnews.com/2018/06/06/j-d-greear-is-ready-to-give-southern-baptists-a-makeover/

IMO, Greear not going to be able to do much meaningful about sexual abuse in the churches, as the SBC is just a loose convention of independent churches with no central authority.  He could establish new protocols but individual churches can just blow them off.  Sad.

The SBC is quickly going more and more Calvinist, and their theology of men vs women just going to add fuel to the fire of abuse issues in church. 

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Unimpressed
Palimpsest
3 hours ago, EowynW said:

The SBC is quickly going more and more Calvinist, and their theology of men vs women just going to add fuel to the fire of abuse issues in church. 

I'll definitely agree that the SBC is going more and more Calvinist.  But the SBC was always its own ultra-conservative flavor of Baptist.

However, do you consider the Biblical Patriarchy Movement Calvinist?  I'm not sure I do.  I think it is broader than that.

I see Biblical Patriarchy as a cross, or inter, or non-denominational movement that encompasses a lot of areas.  From Fundamentalists  to Evangelicals, From flavors of Baptist to flavors of Reform Presbyterians and beyond.  

A movement of insecure arseholes wanting to subjugate women, regardless of religious denomination, in fact.

Edited by Palimpsest

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EowynW

I came from the IFB, which made SBC look positively ungodly for a long time, LOL. But now SBC has moved towards fundamentalism.

i do agree about the foundations of biblical patriarchy, but I wasn't defining it as solely Calvinist. I just meant that in the past the SBC wasn't as hell bent on the gender roles or the fundamentalist nonsense. Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for SBC churches to have women in leadership and preaching. Over on Wartburg Watch, Spiritual Sounding Board & Wayne Burleson's blog, there has been a lot of talk about this issue in the past few years. The old SBC statement didn't even include a passage on gender roles or bar women from preaching. It started to shift in the 70s/80s. The Calvinist takeover of the denomination, the leadership changes, the rewording of statements and etc, have brought in a much more patriarchal view. I'm not explaining it well, I'm sorry. I don't deny that the SBC has had some patriarchal undertones, but the past few decades it has gotten worse with the fresh blood pouring in. 

Edited by EowynW
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Spent
Briefly
5 minutes ago, EowynW said:

I came from the IFB, which made SBC look positively ungodly for a long time, LOL. But now SBC has moved towards fundamentalism.

i do agree about the foundations of biblical patriarchy, but in the past the SBC wasn't as hell bent on the gender roles or the fundamentalist nonsense. Over on Wartburg Watch, Spiritual Sounding Board & Wayne Burleson's blog, there has been a lot of talk about this issue in the past few years. The old SBC statement didn't even include a passage on gender roles or bar women from preaching. It started to shift in the 70s/80s. 

The SBC has been moving that direction for several years, as you said.  Some of those years we were unfortunately part of the SBC.  It started before we joined an SBC church, and it was the main reason (not the only reason, just the main one) I was unhappy from the start when we joined.  I was sort of raised in an SBC church and it was probably always biased towards men but it had changed to much and for the worse, during the time I was not part of an SBC church.  One more reason why I am kicking myself for ever even considering a fundy lifestyle! I am not at all surprised to see this.

4 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

The SBC's defense is going to be that it is under new management.  They have a new broom sweeping clean.  Greear is young, sparkly, and hipster, remarkably so compared to previous leadership.  See Paige Patterson. 

Greear doesn't think sexual abuse is nice at all, but women should still submit to male authority,  https://religionnews.com/2018/06/06/j-d-greear-is-ready-to-give-southern-baptists-a-makeover/

IMO, Greear not going to be able to do much meaningful about sexual abuse in the churches, as the SBC is just a loose convention of independent churches with no central authority.  He could establish new protocols but individual churches can just blow them off.  Sad.

Which is going to be very interesting, to see how they play that.  The individual churches are independent.  They are like their own little kingdoms, in many ways.

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Waffle Time
Hane

No religious institution is spotlessly clean, but I have to give props to the Unitarian-Universalist Church. Because of our Safe Congregations initiative, children under 18 cannot be left with fewer than two non-related adults while on church property or at a church-sponsored activity. Any clergy members ousted from the church for any reason are written up in our national publication, UU World. After a former member was convicted of child sexual abuse and incarcerated, he asked to return to our church after his release. Our pastor and leadership interviewed him, decided it was not safe to have him back, barred him from returning, and informed our entire membership in writing and at Sunday service that he was no longer allowed on our property.

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older than allosaurs
39 minutes ago, Briefly said:

Which is going to be very interesting, to see how they play that.  The individual churches are independent.  They are like their own little kingdoms, in many ways. 

The Chronicle story has noted that the SBC has managed to take action when member churches take steps toward recognizing women or gay people as full participants. Somehow that gets harder for them when the topic is sexual abuse:

Quote

"Other leaders have acknowledged that Baptist churches are troubled by predators but that they could not interfere in local church affairs. Even so, the SBC has ended its affiliation with at least four churches in the past 10 years for affirming or endorsing homosexual behavior. The SBC governing documents ban gay or female pastors, but they do not outlaw convicted sex offenders from working in churches."

 

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stylites
7 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

 

Greear doesn't think sexual abuse is nice at all.

He’s still buddies with C.J. though and was one of those that supported that groups move into the SBC

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VVV
4 hours ago, EowynW said:

I came from the IFB, which made SBC look positively ungodly for a long time, LOL. But now SBC has moved towards fundamentalism.

i do agree about the foundations of biblical patriarchy, but I wasn't defining it as solely Calvinist. I just meant that in the past the SBC wasn't as hell bent on the gender roles or the fundamentalist nonsense. Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for SBC churches to have women in leadership and preaching. Over on Wartburg Watch, Spiritual Sounding Board & Wayne Burleson's blog, there has been a lot of talk about this issue in the past few years. The old SBC statement didn't even include a passage on gender roles or bar women from preaching. It started to shift in the 70s/80s. The Calvinist takeover of the denomination, the leadership changes, the rewording of statements and etc, have brought in a much more patriarchal view. I'm not explaining it well, I'm sorry. I don't deny that the SBC has had some patriarchal undertones, but the past few decades it has gotten worse with the fresh blood pouring in. 

I was just going to say the same thing. I grew up in a church that was dually aligned with both the SBC and the ABC; we used SBC literature and organizations (GAs, RAs, etc) but our pastor came from an ABC background and seminary. My mother was ordained a deacon--not a deaconess but a deacon in the same role and with the same ordination as the men had always had-- in the late 1970s. And there was no mention of gender roles in the old Baptist Faith and Message. 

The conservative takeover in the 1970s and 80s really messed things up was an evil plan and execution, and Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler have both had their own scandals which have not had nearly enough press or severe enough consequences.

Edited by VVV
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Meh
Evangeline

Agreeing with those who have said the Calvinist takeover has worsened any patriarchal leanings in the SBC. One of the strategies has been changing the organization and leadership of the churches. The SBC was famous for its committees. Everything was done by committee, so much so that it was a big joke about how you couldn't paint a wall without a committee to pick the color and so forth. Women had been active on all these committees, from personnel to finance to missions, and were therefore running the churches along with men. The new thing is to disband the committees and replace them with elders, who are not voted on, are handpicked by the pastor, and have indefinite leadership terms and are all -- surprise, surprise -- men. The SBC was once pretty democratic but no more. The SB seminaries have apparently been teaching this along with the rest of the Calvinist strategy for about 20 years and they've successfully taken over. I'm just glad so many members have left and hope the hemorrhage continues. 

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Palimpsest
12 hours ago, stylites said:

He’s still buddies with C.J. though and was one of those that supported that groups move into the SBC

I should have made it clear that I was being sarcastic ...

His beliefs are no different.  IMO he was put in charge last summer because he would appear to be a brand new broom  The SBC knew this investigation was going on and that the story would be out.

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zee_four

Looking at the graphic males me think wow, that's a lot of white men. In all seriousness not that that's surprising, but the graphic really puts a face (no pun intended) to it.

 

I was raised and confirmed Catholic so that's my experience with this kind of stuff.  It seems many SBC are quick to condemn Catholicism, it makes you wonder how their response will be in comparison. I know the Catholic church really cracked down on Archdiocese wide training for youth leaders and background checks etc.

 

My ex in laws are SBC, and my son who is 5 and lives with them goes to church and Sunday school at their SBC church. This story doesnt bring the issue of sexual abuse in organized religion out of no where to me but it will for my ex in laws. I wonder what the best way to approach the issue is, especially with my ex MIL... as much as I want to be like "See????? Told you! Its not just Catholics just like I said. How the hell do we make sure little zee stays safe?" I know thats probably not the best.

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formergothardite
2 hours ago, zee_four said:

It seems many SBC are quick to condemn Catholicism, it makes you wonder how their response will be in comparison.

I checked and none of the SB people I know have said a word about it. 

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

Meanwhile, here in Greenville, SC, people (many of them SB) are outraged that a local liberal moms group is hosting Drag Queen Story Hour at a local library this Sunday afternoon. I don't think it's the drag queens they need to be concerned about. 

(This issue is personal for me because I've known one of the drag queens since he was born; he grew up with my kids, & I babysat him & taught him in Sunday School & children's church. For some reason, he is taking the brunt of the abuse, and I haven't seen his own mom defending him, just siblings and friends, myself included. People we went to church with are ripping him to shreds.)

Edited by FeministShrew

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zee_four
1 hour ago, formergothardite said:

I checked and none of the SB people I know have said a word about it. 

Admittedly most of my SBC first hand experience comes from my ex's family. So they might have been being more negative towards me than anything else. 😛 It was either jibs about the sexual abuse scandal or just worshipping statues in general.

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Spent
Briefly
7 hours ago, formergothardite said:

I checked and none of the SB people I know have said a word about it. 

Several of my relatives were SBC.  I'm mainly referring to the older generations that are mainly gone now.  One of my cousins married a Catholic.  You would have thought that Armageddon was happening in that branch of the family.  It was not pretty.  The cousin married him anyway, but it was dicey.  Quite a few of her family members boycotted the wedding.

I think in many ways, the anti-Catholic bias in the SBC/BC is probably generational.  When we were trying to be fundy, Mr. Briefly got into watching specific televangelists and similar shows.  John Hagee was the main one, Hagee was originally SBC or possibly BC, when he had the affair with another woman and left his wife for her, he was kicked out of his church and formed his own. But quite a bit of what his sermons are is recycled, hard-line SBC and he has made more than one statement that is anti-Catholic.  He's not the only one.

6 hours ago, FeministShrew said:

Meanwhile, here in Greenville, SC, people (many of them SB) are outraged that a local liberal moms group is hosting Drag Queen Story Hour at a local library this Sunday afternoon. I don't think it's the drag queens they need to be concerned about. 

(This issue is personal for me because I've known one of the drag queens since he was born; he grew up with my kids, & I babysat him & taught him in Sunday School & children's church. For some reason, he is taking the brunt of the abuse, and I haven't seen his own mom defending him, just siblings and friends, myself included. People we went to church with are ripping him to shreds.)

I am sorry your friend has to deal with that.  I think a lot of people still equate LGBTQ = pedophiles.  They are wrong, but they will never admit it.  

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