“As I read this information I was filled with very mixed feelings. Yes, this seems deplorable. At the same time, isn’t it worse to have a system which just blows around platitudes and does the “aw-shucks” shuffle, while playing the we-can’t-do-anything-about-it card? This is just as disingenuous and offensive as some feel about the Pope’s recent apologies to abuse victims. At least he’s apologizing! That’s more than we’re getting over here.”
Danni’s right. What Southern Baptist leaders are doing is just as offensive, if not more so, than what Catholic bishops did in failing to protect kids against clergy sex abuse.
Catholic clergy abuse victims reported their priest-perpetrators to bishops, and the bishops kept things secret and often assigned priests to new locations.
Baptist clergy abuse victims reported their pastor-perpetrators to denominational leaders, and denominational leaders kept things secret and allowed the pastors to stay in their pulpits or move to new locations.
Whether the clergyman is “assigned” to a new location or “allowed” to move to a new location, the kids who are molested, raped and sodomized are just as horribly hurt.
As Danni’s comments make apparent, the only real difference is that Southern Baptist leaders have an extra card in their deck. It’s the “we-can’t-do-anything-about-it” card.
They play it as a joker.
Bishops don’t have that card in their deck. Everyone knows they have power and so they bear blame – and rightfully so.
But Southern Baptist leaders should also bear blame. Their joker card is exactly that. It’s a joke.
Southern Baptist leaders have power. They simply don’t choose to exercise that power for the protection of kids against clergy-predators. Instead, they throw down their joker of “we-can’t-do-anything-about-it.”
And they walk away smiling. Just like a joker.
But that card is an evil pretense.
They cloak their cowardly joker in words of religion. They toss down the “we-can’t-do-anything-about it” card, and then they say the Bible dealt it to them.
They claim the Bible tells them that all churches are autonomous and that this trumps their obligation to protect kids.
Worst of all, they don’t even have the gumption to call their card what it really is: “a joker.” Instead they pull a “Word of God” label from their sleeve and try to fool everyone.
Southern Baptist leaders distort the Word of God to propagate their own small-minded pile of chips, and they do it at the expense of kids.
But peel back their stealthily-slapped-on label and you’ll see what’s really on the table.
It’s a joker.