Friday, January 26, 2007

Baptist ministers and misplaced priorities

Lots of Baptist ministers email me. Mostly, their messages are chiding. They tell me that I need to be “nicer,” that I have too much of a “hard edge,” that I need to not be so “judgmental,” that I would “get more flies with honey,” that I need to “listen more,” that I could accomplish more if only I wouldn’t “put people on the defensive,” etc. etc. etc. etc. I also get lots of mini-sermons on forgiveness. At first, some of the messages gave me pause – I’m pathologically prone to self-doubt. But lately, Baptist ministers have so overloaded me with criticism that I was finally able to see the cartoonish quality of it. Thanks guys. You’ve done me a favor.

When so many Baptist ministers choose to focus on instructing an outspoken woman in “niceness” rather than on doing something about clergy child molesters, there are some seriously misplaced priorities in this denomination’s leaders.

Along the same lines, another emailer chose to tell me about the “satanic nature of labyrinths” and praised my childhood church for refusing my request for a labyrinth and meditation garden. Of course, I also proposed a small millstone sculpture as a symbolic gesture of support for clergy abuse victims, and that’s very Biblical, but it was rejected as well. So I don’t think the satanic or Biblical quality of my request had anything to do with the church’s rejection. In any event, whatever one may think of labyrinths, surely the far greater evil rests in the reality of clergy child molesters and of those who turn a blind eye.

Though most Baptist ministers have been critical, a few – including Spiritual Samurai David Montoya - have been genuinely kind and helpful. My heartfelt thanks to them.

5 comments:

waybackBBC said...

I have found your articles, blog, and participation in discussion quite helpful.

William Thornton

Mona Brewer said...

The fact that some clergy seem to always come back at you instead of looking for ways to help you in this makes me stop and think. Maybe they are also predators. Why else would they want to cover it up?

Mona Brewer

Lin said...

Christa, when people do not like what they hear or the questions asked, they always claim we are not 'Christlike'. We are not respectful or reasonable, etc.

Well, the house is on fire. How reasonable should we be while it is burning?

Shouldn't the Temple be cleared of the wolves and moneychangers?

By the way, there is NOTHING reasonable about scripture. It is all or nothing. I am reminded of Stephen.

Jessica said...

As a Southern Baptist I find it odd that you would be so narrow minded in going after only Baptist Churches. that is not to say that sexual misconduct does not occur I sure it has happened just like it's happened in day cares, boy scouts, YMCAs and just about any other facility that caters to children; but to go after us is nasty. Victims have to same access to police and victim asistance that non-baptists have. Why not go after the public schools where there is rampant abuse charges? Could it possibly be that Christians and Baptists in particular are seen as easy targets? Non aggressive? I can assure you we are not. But you can sit on your high horse and look down you're nose at us and talk about how unsafe it is for our children to be in a Baptist Church every Sunday, meanwhile I'll keep my children far away from the public school system and the godlessness that you have helped create. you may throw mud at us but we will be here long after you have come and gone.

Tom said...

All I see in the tone of this website is vindictiveness - not a genuine interest for change but an opportunity to get back at an organization you hate. I'm sorry for what happened to you in the past; I wish it hadn't created such a destructive soul.