Of course, almost none give their names. Gutless wonders. If they want to stone me, they should at least take off their hoods and do it with some integrity. This charming little lecture is from firstname.lastname@example.org - and my responses are below.
"From what I have read from your web page and Baptist Press, you certainly did represent yourself and SNAP with a vengeance. Your way of expressing yourself just made everyone angry. You do not conduct yourself with dignity and kindness. You are abrasive.
Everyone knows by now that you were a victim of sexual molestation by a Baptist pastor… But nothing is going to help you recover until you can forgive this man….Evidently you feed off that anger and that is what keeps you going each day. (1)
From your writing and decorum (if there was any), you even show anger and hatred toward those who would want to hear from you and, at least, try to help. You parse words and sentences from letters you adamantly stated you didn’t receive…but DID receive. (2)
…You were granted the privilege to address the meeting. But your website still puts you at odds with the very ones from whom you desire assistance and action. Have you ever read the child story..”give a mouse a cookie”? You need to..You are never satisfied with each step..you want more, more, more… RIGHT NOW!!! (3)
You are an angry activist. Have you ever heard ..”you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? Try it sometime…(4)
…I agree with you that child molestation is awful….Yes, there needs to be a way of warning other churches of this when it has happened….Unfortunately, most SBC churches don’t do background checks and no one can make them do that. (5)
Like I told you before….there is no hierarchy in the SBC. You can’t get that through your head. (6)
…If I had been in that meeting, I would be so angry at you I wouldn’t want to give you the time of day." (7)
1. No amount of my forgiveness will serve to make kids any safer, and I'm content to leave forgiveness in God's hands. It’s actually two things that keep me going: (a) wanting to know that church kids in the future will be safer than I was, and (b) the constant emails from other Baptist abuse survivors whose stories haunt me, who remind me of how pervasive the problem is, and who express gratitude for my speaking out about it.
2. If anyone wants to read something other than the Baptist Press version, here’s a start. And here is SNAP’s actual apology, the SBC’s response letter of 9/29 and SNAP’s letter of 9/26. I think most people could simply compare the tone of SNAP’s 9/26 letter with the tone of the SBC’s 9/29 letter and get a pretty clear picture.
3. At the meeting, I expressed my appreciation for being allowed to speak, but I also made very plain that I was looking for deeds on their part. I have indeed read the children’s story “Give a mouse a cookie.” And what I don’t understand is why every other Baptist parent who has had the privilege of reading that story – or any other story to a kid – doesn’t see the urgency of doing everything possible to protect kids. You’re absolutely right on this point, mustang,….I want more….I want real and effective action to make church kids safer…and yes….I want it RIGHT NOW!!! And furthermore, I won’t apologize for wanting that.
4. Oh yes…I get the “catch more flies with honey” line rather redundantly these days. I wish you guys could come up with some different clichés.
5. The fact that most churches don’t do background checks is more than “unfortunate.” It’s dangerous. But even that is just one small part of what needs to happen. As you rightly recognize, “there needs to be a way of warning other churches” when child molestation has happened.
6. I've heard the "no hierarchy" bit plenty of times from you and plenty of others. But what I just can’t get through my head is how it could ever be possible in any moral world for the ecclesiological legalism of congregational autonomy to preclude effective action to rid the ranks of clergy predators who use spiritual authority to savage the souls and bodies of kids in ways that are unspeakable. Besides, I don’t see how it would violate congregational autonomy if the SBC were to provide congregations with the resource of an objective independent review board.
7. Well, you weren’t at that meeting, mustang. That much is obvious. In any event, your rather ridiculous anger is the least of my concerns.