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Independent Investigation Report on Sexual Abuse in SBC Churches Issued 5-22-2022


hoipolloi
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Posted (edited)

Guideposts Solutions has issued its report of an independent investigation into sexual abuse allegations made against SBC churches.

The report covers the time period between January 1, 2000 and June 14, 2021 and deals with the following issues:

  1. allegations of abuse by EC members;
  2. mishandling of abuse allegations by EC members;
  3. allegations of mistreatment of sexual abuse victims by EC members;
  4. patterns of intimidation of sexual abuse victims or advocates; and
  5. resistance to sexual abuse reform initiatives.

Oh, and here's a bingo card for recording the responses of the godly men of the SBC, their leghumpers, apologists, and assorted patriarses, theo-bros, and other males who will all undoubtedly go into high dudgeon over the report:

2069073021_SBCbingocard.thumb.jpeg.cf102025d59e19ef5ef1c6f6b542f488.jpeg

Edited by hoipolloi
Fixed typo
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The bingo card is missing "you're  bitter" and "touch not mine anointed" and "you need two or three witnesses to your abuse"

I've read a few twitter posts referencing angst among the SBC re: the Guidepost report, but I didn't know what it was referring to -- and now I do, so thanks for posting, @hoipolloi

But sadly, I doubt if things will change because of all the things referenced on the bingo card are actual ways of thinking that are deeply entrenched. 

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I know it says "you're just badmouthing (religious group)" , and I would also have had "You're hurting the church" or the Catholic Church's "Can't we just move on?" 

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Posted (edited)

The report's release is hitting the major media outlets:

Quote

While the report focuses primarily on how leaders handled abuse issues when survivors came forward, it also states that a major Southern Baptist leader was credibly accused of sexually assaulting a woman just one month after he completed his two-year tenure as president of the convention. The report finds that Johnny Hunt, a beloved Georgia-based Southern Baptist pastor who has been a senior vice president at the SBC’s missions arm, was credibly accused of assaulting a woman during a Panama City Beach, Fla., vacation in 2010.

Hopefully, this will make it harder to ignore but I'm not holding my breath.

ETA: Also, the Houston Chronicle which did a major investigation into the SBC several years ago:

 

Edited by hoipolloi
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  • hoipolloi changed the title to Independent Investigation Report on Sexual Abuse in SBC Churches Issued 5-22-2022

Russell Moore weighs in:

Quote

They were right. I was wrong to call sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) a crisis. Crisis is too small a word. It is an apocalypse....That’s because, as dark a view as I had of the SBC Executive Committee, the investigation uncovers a reality far more evil and systemic than I imagined it could be.

 

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Posted (edited)

Isn't Voddie Baucham up for being voted in as the newest SBC leader? If he becomes the president, I'm really not holding my breath that anything substantial in the way of change is coming...

Edited by SisterCupcake
misspelling
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25 minutes ago, SisterCupcake said:

Isn't Voddie Baucham up for being voted in as the newest SBC leader? If he becomes the president, I'm really not holding my breath that anything substantial in the way of change is coming...

It doesn’t look like any of the Founders/CBN crowd has said anything yet. There’s a lot of wagon circling that has to happen first. 

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1 hour ago, SisterCupcake said:

Isn't Voddie Baucham up for being voted in as the newest SBC leader?

Voddie has been nominated for Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference president, rather than SBC president. The vote will be in June when the SBC meets. 

Voddie Baucham to be 2023 SBC Pastors’ Conference presidential nominee

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Posted (edited)

This was THE headline on HuffPo's home page today (Sunday)

Investigation Reveals Top Southern Baptists Stonewalled Sex Abuse Victims   Top Southern Baptists stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades, according to a scathing investigative report issued Sunday.

Quote

“...for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC’s response to these reports of abuse ... and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC,” the report said.

...and this, holy frijoles, Johnny Hunt was friends with Ravi Zacharias and went quite far out of his way to go to one of Ravi Z's spas for "massage for his painful back" when there was so many options for treatment close to home. 

 I had not seen this accusation that he raped another pastor's wife. 

Spoiler

The report offers shocking details on how Johnny Hunt, a Georgia-based pastor and past SBC president, sexually assaulted another pastor’s wife during a beach vacation in 2010. In an interview with investigators, Hunt denied any physical contact with the woman, but did admit he had interactions with her.

On May 13, Hunt, who was the senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board, the SBC’s domestic missions agency, resigned from that post, said Kevin Ezell, the organization’s president and CEO. Ezell said, before May 13, he was “not aware of any alleged misconduct” on Hunt’s part.

 

Edited by Howl
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2 hours ago, Howl said:

Voddie has been nominated for Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference president, rather than SBC president.

And no doubt he will use this as an excuse for saying nothing -- Not me! I have nothing to do with this! 

After all, he never said anything about Doug Phillips. 

Then again, Voddie's buddies in the SBC are not saying a whole lot:

 

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4 hours ago, SisterCupcake said:

Isn't Voddie Baucham up for being voted in as the newest SBC leader? If he becomes the president, I'm really not holding my breath that anything substantial in the way of change is coming...

I'm sure they're out there, but there are very few people who would make a worse choice for SBC leader. They need leaders who will ensure confidence and make people feel like reform is possible. They need people with new ideas and will appeal to broad number of views and ideas, and particularly "mainstream Conservative Christians".  Baucham doesn't seem like that person.

 

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As noted above, Voddie has been nominated to be president of the Pastor's Conference of the SBC.  Voddie's formal affiliation is with a church in Zambia, not the US, so according to the Southern Baptist Conference rules, he's not eligible to be nominated as president of the SBC. 

I've googled quite a bit and can't find a definitive description of the Pastor's Conference, but it immediately precedes the SBC annual meeting and is a line up of a variety of pastors speaking on a topic.  The president of the Pastor's Conference would be the person selecting the theme/topic and the men who will preach. So in that sense, the men selected to preach will amplify the SBC's stance.  

My thinking is that Voddie is hugely important to the SBC as a black man who does not support Critical Race Theory and has recently released a book on that topic. Voddie also  despises "woke" theology so there ya go. His role (as I see it) is to be a bulwark against accusations that SBC is an inherently racist organization. 

This is the guy who is the 2022 Pastor's Conference president: 

“My vision for the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference would be to highlight a wide swath of faithful SBC pastors, regardless of church size, age, shape, and geographical scope, as we focus on the idea that character matters in ministry.”

Easley said in addition to character, Dickard plans to focus on “strong biblical preaching.”

“We, as Southern Baptists, share the belief that the Bible is authoritative, inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and totally trustworthy,” Easley said. “Our pastors conference should reflect that same high view of Scripture from all its selected preachers.”

Dickard said his goal for the conference will be to “feed and encourage pastors and preachers through the faithful exposition of the Word,” adding: “Biblical preaching has never been about a particular style or preference. Rather, biblical preaching emerges from a theological conviction that all Scripture is inspired by God. We, as Southern Baptists, all share the belief that the Bible is authoritative, inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and totally trustworthy. Our pastors conference should reflect that same high view of Scripture from all its selected preachers.”

 

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1 hour ago, Howl said:

My thinking is that Voddie is hugely important to the SBC as a black man who does not support Critical Race Theory and has recently released a book on that topic. Voddie also  despises "woke" theology so there ya go. His role (as I see it) is to be a bulwark against accusations that SBC is an inherently racist organization. 

That and he's said some awful things about the status of children ("vipers in diapers") and the role of daughters in the home (“A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that”).

So yeah, I think this guy is problematic as the one choosing the pastors for this conference, if he's even selected to do so. Blarg.

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Kristin Du Mez has a powerful Twitter thread commenting on the SBC report.

5 hours ago, Howl said:

As noted above, Voddie has been nominated to be president of the Pastor's Conference of the SBC.  Voddie's formal affiliation is with a church in Zambia, not the US, so according to the Southern Baptist Conference rules, he's not eligible to be nominated as president of the SBC. 

Thank you, @Howl, for trying to clarify what seems to be a deliberately obscure situation in the SBC leadership. Looks like there are plenty of loopholes allowing for plausible deniability by anyone in a leadership position.

ITA that Voddie's major appeal to the SBC is as a Black man saying the things they love to hear. He's done this for many years, of course, having auditioned for this role back in the VF days. As I've said, he never publicly condemned or rebuked Doug Phillips. Like Scott Brown, Voddie just moved on and figured correctly that his leg humpers wouldn't notice. Similarly, they don't care about child beating or sexual predation on young women in the name of patriarchy, so Voddie may well be elected. 

Supposedly, the PCA has also undertaken a similar study of its churches that is due to be released soon. I am trying to find confirmation of this online & will post an update if/when I do.

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1 hour ago, hoipolloi said:

Similarly, they don't care about child beating or sexual predation on young women in the name of patriarchy, so Voddie may well be elected. 

Voddie has been nominated; my sense is that confirming him at the annual SBC get together next month is a formality. 

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Michelle Lesley's most recent post that I read last night was essentially a whataboutism regarding this, always redirecting to her favorite topic -- "yeah, this adultery and sex stuff is bad, but what about the women teaching men, like Beth Moore?"

What an "endorsement" of her SBC.  Not only are your men committing sexual sins and covering it up, but many of your women are teaching men, like you've warned us 5,000 times in the last few years.

Rather than defending her own denomination, her whole post makes everyone -- Christians and non -- want to run for the hills, or another denomination.  What she doesn't realize is there are a number of conservative Protestant denominations whose men not only don't have sexual cover-ups, but whose women aren't allowed to teach.  Why would we want to join her SBC mess when we have these other denominations?

I'm glad I've never been affiliated in any way with the SBC.  My only exposure to Baptists was a few months at an IFB church, which was more than enough.  Baptists are all over the place -- Calvinists here, Arminians there, SBC here, IFB there.  The only thing they all have in common is loud moralizing, being against booze, and being conservative Protestants.

 

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Posted (edited)

A different take the Report and subsequent commentary, especially relative to LGBTQIA and abuse of boys. 

Unroll: It’s often said the patriarchy harms everyone, including the men who benefit from it.

Snip from untoll of twitter thread:  "Take the convergence of patriarchy and homophobia. We are trained to hate LGBTQIA people in white Christian spaces. Some men just straight up don’t come forward because they’re afraid of being labeled as gay, or that they tempted some pastor into “homosexual sins.”   

And if you are a young boy sexually abused by a woman? At best you’re held at fault just as much as the woman, cause white evangelicals still hate women and will hold them to account, but will put the burden on *the child* for not stopping it. 

Cause they somehow expect a young vulnerable boy to “act like a man” and that we’re not vulnerable to the fear of defying someone in authority no matter who they are. Obeying authority is beaten into us, but then it’s our fault for not defying it? What are we supposed to do? 

Edited by Howl
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1 hour ago, Khendra said:

Michelle Lesley's most recent post that I read last night was essentially a whataboutism regarding this, always redirecting to her favorite topic -- "yeah, this adultery and sex stuff is bad, but what about the women teaching men, like Beth Moore?"

What an "endorsement" of her SBC.  Not only are your men committing sexual sins and covering it up, but many of your women are teaching men, like you've warned us 5,000 times in the last few years.

Rather than defending her own denomination, her whole post makes everyone -- Christians and non -- want to run for the hills, or another denomination.  What she doesn't realize is there are a number of conservative Protestant denominations whose men not only don't have sexual cover-ups, but whose women aren't allowed to teach.  Why would we want to join her SBC mess when we have these other denominations?

I'm glad I've never been affiliated in any way with the SBC.  My only exposure to Baptists was a few months at an IFB church, which was more than enough.  Baptists are all over the place -- Calvinists here, Arminians there, SBC here, IFB there.  The only thing they all have in common is loud moralizing, being against booze, and being conservative Protestants.

 

American Baptists (the historic Northern Baptists) and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (mostly escapees from the too-conservative SBC) are more progressive in their thinking, much less apt to moralize, and much more likely to appreciate the occasional alcoholic drink. 
That being said, I hope the SBC goes down under a hail of lawsuits for its shameful, evil, destructive behavior and coverup. 

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@Khendra, what @VVV said about the American Baptist Convention is spot-on. My dad’s side of the family is ABC and enjoy the occasional drink and dancing. There are plenty of women ministers, and judgmentalism is at a minimum.

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Additional interesting info from the Houston Chronicle reporter who worked on their 2019 SBC investigation:

 

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The Conservative Baptist Network:  "While we disagree with certain aspects of the report..." 

Just **** these people...they don't get it because they refuse to get it.  I hold no hope for substantive changes because this is an inherently and explicitly patriarchal organization.  Patriarchy does not hold men to account, especially not for sexual transgressions. 

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17 hours ago, Howl said:

The Conservative Baptist Network:  "While we disagree with certain aspects of the report..." 

I have seen this again, and again, and again, and again in cases of pastors and other church/para-church leaders guilty of immoral behavior. Even when they admit what they did was wrong in the main, they have this compulsive need to nit-pick on all the details. Sometimes it builds to the point where defending themselves over the nits gets them so angry they stop apologizing for the big wrong, and stop cooperating with a process of repentance and change. If only they could just say "This was wrong" and leave out the "but..." -- especially in the early days!

The fact that the key players that were trying to control the EC jumped ship rather than face what was coming, holds out a bit of hope that those who are left might enact some meaningful reforms. Time will tell, and I think skepticism is appropriate in the meantime.

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Nick Carmody, J.D., MS Psych is a prolific tweeter who has an astoundingly astute take on narcissism, which he has honed tweeting about America's own narcissist, Trump. 

Anyway, back in 2019 he was tweeting about America's conflation of the 2nd Amendment with "God-given rights" and wandered into narcissism territory and made a point relevant to the SBC report, SBC pastors and SBC leaders: 

The gravitational pull between narcissists and religion exists for a number of reasons. For starters, the self-righteousness that religion provides...is extremely attractive to those who view themselves with pathological levels of grandiosity/superiority.

Second, the idea that an all-knowing, all-powerful God-like figure not only wants to have a “personal relationship” with them, but is literally singling them out and currying favor on them and their life...is an extremely intoxicating form of narcissistic supply.

…..and, Third,… based on some of the responses, it is apparent that the irrational hysteria surrounding the defense of 2nd Amendment, even in the face of frequent mass shootings/murder, primarily involves two things: Fear (“Feelings”)  and the subordination of Rights…. Both of which tie into a religiously-empowered sense of the collective narcissistic entitlement as seen through the lens of “God-Given” rights.

Two things:

Aside: Pay attention to this as reich wing politicians and pastors use the Uvalde school shooting to promote "God-given gun rights."

It made me realize that part of the magnetic attraction to Trump's grotesque narcissism is that Trump himself is a source of narcissistic supply for pastors who are getting high on Trump's "achievements" of gutting Roe v Wade, a right-wing SCOTUS, and various other SBC/fundamentalist/evangelical/Christian Nationalist/patriarchal FetLife wet dreams. 

 

 

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On 5/24/2022 at 4:13 PM, Howl said:

The Conservative Baptist Network:  "While we disagree with certain aspects of the report..." 

Just **** these people...they don't get it because they refuse to get it.  I hold no hope for substantive changes because this is an inherently and explicitly patriarchal organization.  Patriarchy does not hold men to account, especially not for sexual transgressions. 

This echoes my thoughts about Catholicism, which is also a patriarchal organization trying to dig its way out of sex abuse. 

The Conservative Baptist Network's statement reminds me of a statement made by Pope Francis:

Quote

Pope Francis called Monday for every member of the Catholic Church to pray and fast in penance for the evil of clerical sex abuse, and to be involved in needed change within the Church.

Pope Francis said this in 2018 and some people resented him asking everyone to fast and try to think of changes when not everyone was involved in the scandals and the laity doesn't have much power.

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