Thursday, August 7, 2008

How many does it take?

How many wounded women and girls does it take before Southern Baptist leaders will take a stand?

Yesterday, it was reported that hundreds of pages of documents detail the sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent by pastor Darrell Gilyard to 14 and 15 year-old girls. Another news account provides details of the molestation allegations against Gilyard.

So this is the current news, but let’s review a bit of the history on this pastor.

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, Gilyard left Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas in 1987 after about 25 women complained of his “sexual misconduct.” The senior pastor, Rev. E.K. Bailey, “assumed that would be the end of Darrell Gilyard’s bright evangelistic career.” How tragically wrong he was.

At that time, the First Baptist Church of Dallas and Criswell College president Paige Patterson were promoting Gilyard in Southern Baptist churches. He was considered a rising star. Despite the many allegations against Gilyard, First Baptist officials “decided there was not enough evidence” to further investigate Gilyard, and, according to Rev. Bailey, Paige Patterson wrote him “an unkind letter” saying that “he would have come out to my church and solved the problem for me if I had told him first.” (That's Paige Patterson in the photo.)

Apparently, 25 accusations weren’t enough for Paige Patterson. In fact, according to the Dallas Morning News, Patterson painted “Gilyard as a victim” and suggested the accusers were motivated by “jealousy, frustration and racism.”

Even under the Taliban, a woman’s testimony is said to be worth half that of a man’s. But for Patterson, it appears a woman’s word is worth even less. Patterson wanted “demonstrable evidence” such as “photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests.” Despite 25 women’s accusations, Patterson and First Baptist “continued to recommend” Gilyard.

Hilltop Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, was Gilyard’s next stop. Senior pastor Dan Maxwell said he “had heard rumors” about Gilyard, but “Paige Patterson said he had been out there and talked to the women and there had been nothing to substantiate the allegations.”

At Hilltop, 3 more women reported Gilyard’s sexual advances and sexual misconduct. Reverend Maxwell took the information to Paige Patterson, who said “he did not believe” the stories.

In 1989, Gilyard became an assistant pastor at Shiloh Baptist in Garland, and “allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced again.” Some women met with Paige Patterson in person to discuss their allegations. Counselor Don Simpkins, who was at those meetings, told the Dallas Morning News that, rather than focusing on the allegations against Gilyard, those meetings delved into the women’s own pasts, looking to see whether they were divorced or had psychological problems. More recently, Simpkins gave a stark video interview in which he said that 6 to 8 women met with Patterson at that time and reported everything from rapes to sexual assaults.

During that same time period, one woman reported that she requested a meeting with Paige Patterson to talk about Gilyard, but that her phone calls were not returned.

One more woman said that Gilyard “pulled me down onto the floor right there in the church” and that, when she tried to report it, Paige Patterson “would not take her calls.” She wrote Patterson a detailed, 10-page letter, but Patterson still “wouldn’t agree to meet” with her.

Next, Gilyard went to Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas, where “at least 4 women” made accusations against him. As reported in the Dallas Morning News, one woman said she was “raped.”

Gilyard was allowed to resign from Victory Baptist after confessing to “several adulterous relationships.” That was the characterization Paige Patterson gave to Gilyard’s conduct, as quoted in the Dallas Morning News.

The morning after Gilyard’s resignation, Paige Patterson described Gilyard as one of the “most brilliant men in the pulpit.”

Just two weeks later, Darrell Gilyard was preaching in the pulpit of another church.

In 1993, Darrell Gilyard became pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. The church grew to 9,000 members. Gilyard was encouraged by former Southern Baptist president Jerry Vines, who “agreed to forgive” Gilyard for his “out-of-state troubles.” Reportedly, Vines also gave credence to Gilyard by speaking from the pulpit of Gilyard’s church.

Now, finally, Gilyard faces trial in Florida on criminal charges of child molestation and lewd conduct.

Consider how many have likely been hurt. Based on published news accounts, 42 women made accusations against Gilyard. Some of them were mere college students. Now 2 underage teen girls have reported Gilyard. That’s a total of 44.

And that’s just the ones who reported Gilyard. How many more were so traumatized that they stayed silent?

Yet, even in the face of so many published accusations, “Gilyard is said to be preaching and teaching at another church in Jacksonville.” Numerous blog comments, emails, and a reliable source have said the church is First Timothy in Jacksonville. It’s a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

So where are the voices of Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines now? These two former Southern Baptist presidents were plenty willing to use their powerful voices to promote Gilyard. Why aren’t they now willing to use their powerful voices to get Gilyard out of the pulpit?

Why aren’t there other Southern Baptist leaders who are speaking up?

Why isn’t anyone in Southern Baptist leadership willing to take a stand and say how wrong it is to allow Gilyard in the pulpit?

Why isn’t anyone in Southern Baptist leadership willing to take a stand on behalf of the 44 wounded women and girls?

Aren’t 44 enough?

How many does it take?
________________________

Paige Patterson was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1998-2000, and he is currently president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, setting an example for a whole new generation of Southern Baptist pastors.

47 comments:

Lindon said...

I am still stunned that Vines preached in Gilyards church and did not rebuke him. These men are so void of basic character and morals.

The fact that anyone can listen to Patterson on anything anymore blows my mind. After all is said and done this man has no scruples and lives for his own glory. It is all about him, money and power.

And of course, the SBC is ignoring the fact that SWBTS is going down the drain under his leadership. It is a joke.

If you have been following Patterson long enough (I have for 20 years), you will know that he has the uncanny knack to rewrite and spin his own personal history. Ever hear the story of him showing up at a dying man's bedside with a typewriter (before computers) to get him to change his will to give the money to Criswell College? That is the kind of man Patterson is. And there are plenty more stories than that.

It amazes me that Baptists are willing to keep this kind of man in a high income and lifestyle. He is like a cross between Boss Hogg and Jimmy Swaggert. He is all show and no stay. I would not allow Patterson to teach my dog. And yes, that is strong and mean but it is time to call these people out for what they are. He certainly had no problem lying about Dr. Klouda.

And middle aged and young pastors just idolize him! How scary is that? it is the cult of personality. I guess they all hope to live in Pecan Manor some day.

gmommy said...

So from 1987 until 2008...Paige Patterson is the one that everyone went to with this info.
PP was the one ministers and victims went to about a sexual pervert.
Why him???
He wasn't always in the position of President of the SBC or the seminary....why did everyone go to PP????
For over 20 years this man has been in charge????

For over 20 years his twisted thinking about himself, the authority of ministers, morality, scripture meaning, the roles and status of women and children were controlled by this blow hard who tells stories in the pulpit...about himself!!!!????

What weak, sad people we are as Christians!!!
I can't imagine why the world would desire to be like us...why would they!?

Christa Brown said...

Paige Patterson was president of Criswell College back then. Criswell College was part of First Baptist Church of Dallas, one of the most powerful Southern Baptist churches in the country at that time. During part of that time, Gilyard was a student at Criswell (as I recall Patterson got him a scholarship), and some of the young women who reported Gilyard were also Criswell students. Naturally, the young women probably thought their college president (and esteemed religious leader) would want to guard the safety of the students in his charge. First Baptist officials and Patterson were also promoting Gilyard on the speaking circuit in Southern Baptist churches - they were recommending him. So naturally, when ministers such as E.K. Bailey and Dan Maxwell realized there was a problem, they took their information to the man who had promoted Gilyard. And where did Gilyard go when he finally left Dallas? He went straight to the turf of another SBC president, Jerry Vines. Two SBC high-honchos mentored and promoted this guy from the get-go and along the way. They're the ones who brought this rattlesnake into the room, and then when a bunch of people keep getting bit, they act like they're just sitting in the shade sipping ice tea and who could have known? They could have. They should have. I believe they did. I don't know how anyone can read those Dallas Morning News articles and not reach that conclusion about Patterson.

gmommy said...

In a 20 year time span...they are clueless about this pervert??
No way.
They want it both ways.....to be the "spiritual" leaders and then clueless about evil???

Reminds me of those "unchartered waters" at BBC...
the BBC sexual predator attends sports events for children at his new church right outside Memphis.

But who ever these twisted men prey on is "under the blood".

Sickening.

Christa Brown said...

For those who might not know, gmommy is referring to Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis ("BBC"). Here's the gist of the info on that sad, sick saga. Steve Gaines is still the pastor.

Anonymous said...

What is sick is gmommy and her group of malcontents at BBC and their blog. It is an abomination and I hate to see you associated with them. Change isn't going to come because of a blog.

thegentlepath said...

Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead

When I was a young teenager, if you got pulled over and were driving drunk, the police officer would rarely arrest you. Stay polite and they'd follow you home or call your parents. Driving drunk wasn't really such a bad thing to do.

Today, that's different. And I bet if M.A.D.D. had the Internet back then I wouldn't have taken them as long as it did.

Blogs do help. Knowing that others have been tricked or hurt in similar ways helps mitigate the shame. Knowing that there may come a day when you don't wish you were dead helps. Knowing that you might be able to help someone else someday gives meaning and purpose to a derailed life.

Court cases also help. Taking stunningly huge amounts of money away from organizations that shelter abusers gets their attention in a way that (obviously) human pain and suffering don't.

Abomination? I read the gist of that BBC story. Keeping quiet when a child is sexually abused is immoral. It ought to be criminal. That child will need lots of help over the years and those "malcontents" are going to be a big part of that help. It's healing to know that your community believes you are worth defending, that it's not your fault, and that no child should be used as a mere receptacle for a sick person's sexual energy.

I mean, wtf? Abomination? Isn't it a good thing to be malcontented when the clergy protects a sexual predator?

Christa Brown said...

Anonymous: An "abomination" is something "worthy of or causing extreme disgust or hatred." I have seen nothing on the BBC blog that could even possibly justify your mischaracterization. And I am honored - always - by the friendship of gmommy. I am grateful for her contributions on THIS blog.

Cast the word where it is appropriate. What constitutes an abomination - something worthy of extreme disgust - is the blind-eyed do-nothingness of so many Southern Baptist leaders when confronted with reports of clergy sex abuse. And in Steve Gaines case, as I suspect you know, he gave a blind-eyed do-nothing response even when the child-molesting clergy perpetrator flat-out admitted it to him. Given that BBC has a pastor who responded in such a grotesquely irresponsible way, I think every person sitting in a BBC pew ought to be "malcontent" - if only they would open their eyes.

And if you've got so much wisdom about what it will take to bring about change and accountability among Baptist clergy, then I hope you'll get busy. The sooner the better.

John Harrison said...

To understand PP's power you must go back to the "conservative takeover" of several years back. PP persuaded many leading pastors to join him in the coup. Once done they set about to control all of the SBC. Due to the shortage of "acceptable" people they even consoladated the size of the SBC so tighter control was possible. As a reward for their work many went on to very high paying jobs at various SBC agencies. Some even became "academics" without proper credentials.
I am very conservative and I was concerned about the leftward drift of the SBC. At a meeting where PP was speaking I asked him how he was going to prevcent the "revolution" he had started from becoming a dictatorship or drift back to being worse than before. [This is a common occurance when there is a revolution] His response was, "We have a plan and it is very tight."
They continue to hold tight and any young pastor wanting to be a "rising star" in the SBC must pay homage.
It is sad indeed. But politics is their ambition and helping the victims of sexual misconduct by ministers does not fit into their plan.
This situation will change but only time will tell when.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the anti-BBC blog is an abomination since it truly is worthy of causing extreme disgust. Just read it.

For people who think a blog is going to change the world (or their church and/or pastor) then perhaps they need to think about signing their real names to their blogs. THEN it might actually produce some change but the FBC Jax and Anti-BBC blogs are both authored by people who aren't willing to sign their names. Steve Gaines and Mac Brunson will ignore them.

At least Christa is honest and out in the open.

Mojoey said...

Wow - this one takes the cake. I'm going to do a post on it myself. Amazing.

gmommy said...

I am proud to be a member of the "Relentless Ragtag Rebel" crew with Christa Brown!

I don't mind a bit being a "Malcontent against clergy sexual abuse"!!!

"It's healing to know that your community believes you are worth defending, that it's not your fault, and that no child should be used as a mere receptacle for a sick person's sexual energy."

You are so right. And our blogs enable us to be a type of community to each other.

The real abomination is clergy sexual abuse.
How can we not be relentless with our voices in hopes that someone will be helped??

John,
thank you for explaining the Paige Patterson power.
Christa, I am the grateful one :)

vjack said...

It is terrible that a blog like this is necessary. Since we all know it is, I am glad that it is here.

Lin said...

"They continue to hold tight and any young pastor wanting to be a "rising star" in the SBC must pay homage."

As someone who was involved in the takeover through family and was also concerned about the leftward tilt, I can attest that this is very true. We are still seeing the fruits of it today. I watched as young men at the time sold their souls to these men for advancement.

But, I was wrong in my support and too young to understand that all such movements eventually become dictatorships when power is consolidated in time. The CR was about politics and power. Inerrancy was the battle slogan to rally the foot soldiers.

We have since come to know many decent people were ruined during this witch hunt.

But then, there is now no hunt or even acknowledgment for pedohiles, sexual predators and husbands who abuse their wives within the SBC or the young men they groomed like Gilyard.

Instead, the CR has produced men like Ware who teaches that women who do not submit trigger abuse from their husbands.

john said...

thanks lin for the back-up.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Christa - excellent article as always.

I want to remind your readers of an even more recent example of how Paige Patterson has treated women poorly and lied to hurt them.

Most everyone knows of the Dr. Sheri Klouda case - Paige Patterson fired Dr. Klouda from her position as professor at SWBTS, as PP deemed her unfit according to scripture to teach men at seminary. Dr. Klouda ultimately filed a gender discrimination lawsuit, but it was eventually thrown out of the court. Dr. Klouda's suffering from this ordeal is well documented on Wade Burleson's blog.

But then PP and his supporters, immediately after the lawsuit was thrown out, spread the rumor that all of the suffering of Dr. Klouda and her family that resulted from her termination was her own doing, since PP had offered her employment at equal pay in a different position, but she stubbornly refused and filed a lawsuit.

Well, according to Dr. Klouda, the PP job offer was a lie. It never happened. Quite the contrary, Dr. Klouda begged PP for a lateral move to a different position in the school. Dr. Klouda said so on my blog and I invite readers to read her response to those allegations and another by my pastor, Dr. Donald McCall Brunson, that Dr. Klouda admitted in her testimony that she was wrong in bringing the lawsuit (another lie about a woman by a PP buddy) - and Mac Brunson used to be her pastor! To this date Brunson has not apologized to his church or to Dr. Klouda for lying about her from the pulpit of FBC Jacksonville.

Please read Dr. Klouda's response to the lies of Brunson and Patterson here:

Dr. Klouda's Response

Anonymous said...

Reading Klouda's letter and thinking about the comments on blogs, there is Ken Sande's Peacemakers that has been around for sometime. Has anyone sought them out in this?

thegentlepath said...

It is possible to blog anonymously AND honestly.

Sexual abuse is nasty and people can be stupid and cruel to those who speak out. Believe it or not, some people are willing to sacrifice other human beings, even children, in order to keep their illusions about their religion and their religious leaders intact. Their attacks are vicious and hurtful.

Honestly. What kind of parent would use their real name and expose their children and family to the hatred of those who are rabid in their defense of their church? And for goodness sake, if you're going to complain about anonymous bloggers, you ought to be clicking on Name/URL when you post comments. Sheesh.

gmommy said...

thegentlepath,
I thought the same thing about the "anonomous person" complaining about the anonomous posts :)

I read some about the abuse you suffered. I'm so so sorry. Too many have endured abuse from the ones who were suppose to protect us.
I hope you will continue to be encouraged as you heal and recover.

Christa Brown said...

"...some people are willing to sacrifice other human beings, even children, in order to keep their illusions about their religion and their religious leaders intact. Their attacks are vicious and hurtful."

Thegentlepath: You got THAT right!
In all my life, I never encountered such hatefulness as what I've encountered since I started doing this StopBaptistPredators work. Welcome here, gentlepath.

Michael said...

I always find it interesting how brave you people are when noone knows who are you. Makes a real man (or woman) of you. In reality, all of your postulating on a blog does nothing but enhance your image of yourself but it also reveals that you are a person who is NOT in authority or you would have induced change already. You are still harping about Mac Brunson's land deal and the fence that Steve Gaines supposedly hopped.

Throughout history things have changed because of small groups of people but they were always people who were honest and upfront with who they are. Saying that you're worried about what the pastors and church members will do to you just doesn't cut it.

I do admire Christa for her honesty and openness. I may not always agree with her methodology but at least people know who they are dealing with.

Remember its hard to turn a ship as big as the SBC (and that task is made even more difficult when you have egotistical maniacs at the helm).

Christa Brown said...

Michael: Clergy abuse survivors are people who have been dehumanized and degraded in the most unspeakable of ways by men of God and often with words of God. Then they're debased still more by countless other religious leaders who act as though it's no big deal and who kick the wounded messenger rather than do anything about the depraved perpetrators. The endless, redundant, recurring message that clergy abuse survivors get from Baptist leaders is that our lives, our bodies, and our souls have no value. None. We are expendable.

If this blog serves in any small way to help clergy abuse survivors, INCLUDING anonymous survivors, to rebuild their self-image, then I am grateful for that opportunity. What's tragic is that Baptist leaders seem to have so little concern for helping to restore those who have been wounded by Baptist clergy or for ministering to them.

And who the heck do you think you are, Mr. Michael Anonymous, to lecture anyone on anonymity??? Throughout history, timid men hide in the shadows and turn a blind-eye while horrible deeds are done by the powers-that-be, and while institutionalized structures inflict misery on the lowly. And then those timid men excuse their own do-nothingness by mumbling rote words about how hard it is to turn a ship.

Christa Brown said...

Abuse survivors: Many of you have sent me emails saying how brave you think I am. But let me tell you something - you are brave as well. I am not much different from you. We all have our own paths that we travel in our own time. For the first SNAP press event I went to, I went thinking I would simply stand in the background for support. In other words, it wasn't about me at all. Yet, when the camera crews and reporters showed up, I literally ducked behind a truck. I hid. Even though no one was expecting me to say a single word, I couldn't bear to even imagine that my name or my face would somehow be connected to all this ugliness. My path has led me to this point, but S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Do not ever - EVER - allow big-on-talk bullies like "Michael" to shame you or pressure you. If you want to remain anonymous, then do so. If you reach a point where you want to be open with your identity, then do so. But do it solely for YOUR reasons. Travel your own path in your own way. Find your own way toward healing.

One thing we know for sure by now - none of these SBC leaders are going to help us. Year after year, they all apparently missed that Sunday School lesson on the Good Samaritan. So, we must find our own ways over and around these rocky desert roads, and hopefully, we can help one another along our ways.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Michael - name, address, city and state please. Then you can lecture us about anonymity. You show your immaturity by lecturing people on something you yourself are engaged in: anonymous blogging.

gmommy said...

I don't know if the "Michaels" out there harp on the anonymous thing because they believe it is important or they just use it to DEFLECT from the real issue.

The truth is hard to handle!

The SBC leadership doesn't care about the weak and the wounded.

The SBC leadership has done nothing to show grace to victims.

The SBC leadership sit on their thrones and expect the already wounded to have the guts they don't have!

The SBC leadership has promoted and protected the "careers" of sexual predators FOR YEARS!

The SBC leadership don't practice the most basic biblical principals.

The SBC leadership are a bunch of fat cats good ol boys who have lost their way...IF they ever knew it to begin with!

The SBC leadership have no compassion for the ones who need it. They are interested in power....and they use that power to promote their own agenda and life style.

I don't give a flip what Michael thinks....no matter what bogus name he/she goes by.

They are just trying to deflect from the ugly filthy truth.

"Michael"....you reach out to a real victim who has been beaten down and forgotten with YOUR name and YOUR pocket book
(Debbie V. would be a good place to start)
then MAYBE you can give us advise.
Until then....who cares what you think.

John Doe said...

It is apparent that Michael is a bully. It is also apparent that Michael has had little success in changing wrongs in his own life as he has turned into the type of person that we all fight against.

Picking on others for trying to change the status quo. Telling us there is no hope in going against the establishment only serves to strengthen our resolve to stay the course---TOGETHER, UNITED!

John Doe
www.SurvivorsPage.com

gmommy said...

Well said, John Doe!

J. Davidson said...

You are wrong Blogs can and DO make a difference. I ran a Blog (now defunct but still there) that dealt with a church and its attached school when sexual abuse issues were exposed with them. They were resistant to anything we had to say at first but did eventually come around. It took time, effort, media pressure, and education to get them to do so.

Eventually they agreed and we helped them write a Child Protection Plan, new policy and procedures, established an independent review board, and new training for staff. ALL of this from a lowly Blog that could make no difference. And people told me the same things I have seen here and they were wrong.

And that was for one small church and school. I can not imagine the effort it would take to try to do that with something like the SBC.

Also the people who were part of the parents group formed on my blog were almost all anon posters and for very good reasons.

oc said...

I find it interesting that some
get so upset over "anonymous" bloggers. I believe this is becauses some aren't even coming close to barely understanding the issues involved. Or even trying.

So, I find it disgusting that this pet peeve is so important to them; rather than the grangenous, festering sin which allows sexual predators to prey upon the innocent for years and years, and from church to church.

Yeah, let's put forth great efforts to stamp out anonymous blogging! That seems so much more important. Let's major on the minor, then we can ignore the major. It's just this kind of thinking is much of the problem in the SBC.

oc said...

Oh,and here you go Michael.


Larry.

john harrison said...

Michael apparently has some involvement with the SBC because he used one of their oldest analogies as to why it cannot change;"it's hard to turn a ship as big as the SBC". That statement has been used for years by leadership in the SBC to justify their not doing anything about change. I heard it offten in the 60's when we were involved in the Civil Rights effort.
While it is true it will take time it is equally true that the SBC has the world's largest religious press and once it is put into play millions of attitudes can be affected.
let's not worry about the Michael's out there. They all blind, tired, loyalists to an organization that makes them feel important.
Michael, you are hurting a lot of good people who at one time in thewir life trusted the SBC church name to provide spiritual developement not a lifde-long nightmare.These people deserve your love, support, and assistance to oversome this grerat injustice. And together we must work to prevent as much of this from happening again as possible.

Michael said...

Sorry I was gone most of yesterday but checked back in this morning to read all your loving comments. And you wonder why the leadership in the SBC thinks you are a joke????

As for Mr. Jax Watchdog--I will be glad to put my name, address, and phone number on here--right after you do. I'll not be holding my breath waiting on you to do it since I'm fairly sure that you won't.

Keep up the great comments--it just reaffirms the reason nothing is happening in the SBC.

Christa Brown said...

Michael: Your statements indicate a very sad perspective. SBC leadership thinks those who have been molested, abused, and raped by Southern Baptist clergy are "a joke" for their efforts in seeking to protect others. How silly it seems that you would also imagine we should care what SBC leadership thinks of us. That would be sort of like the Emperor with no clothes thinking his subjects look like "a joke" because they have grins on their faces... and then thinking they should care about his view of them as "a joke." Meanwhile, he's strutting around in public buck naked.

And how revealing that you blame clergy abuse victims for why "nothing is happening in the SBC." Oh... I see... if only we victims would assume the right attitude of deference toward the high-n-mighties, then something would happen??? That seems to me sort of like the perspective of a 1950s white Southern preacher who hands out left-over-crumbs to a hungry black man at the church's back kitchen door, and when the black man doesn't say "Thank you sir" with precisely the perfect tone of voice, then the white preacher-man chastises him for his insolence. And the white preacher-man tells himself that this is exactly why nothing will change... because black people just don't have the right values and manners, etc. He blames the black man for his own institutionalized subjugation and then arrogantly pats himself on the back for his own goodness of giving out crumbs to such a lesser person... a person who isn't even welcome in the church's sanctuary.

The reason why "nothing is happening in the SBC" has nothing at all to do with any fault on the part of those who have been raped, molested and savaged by Southern Baptist clergy. It has to do with all the reasons that gmommy so eloquently put forth in her 7:24 comment above. Look in the mirror, "Michael." YOU are the reason why "nothing is happening in the SBC."

John Doe said...

Yep, a bully, for sure...

Reminds me of that old saying, "It is better to be thought of as ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

This is Satan at work folks. Satan uses uninformed, and inexperienced, people like Michael to try to make you doubt yourself, your experience, and your fight to change the future of what the church is.

Our experiences are real, Michael, just as the willingness to ignore us is real by those in leadership positions within the Southern Baptist hierarchy.

I suppose we survivors could just go hide under a rock and ignore the fact that each and every day there are new victims of predatory baptist predators. Yet, I do not believe the true and loving God I serve would be happy with me if I did so.

I'd suggest, since it is obvious that you are not a survivor of abuse, that you go somewhere else to spread your venom. There are groups of people our there who would love to fortify your ego by praising your words as an important means to some perceived end.

John Doe
www.SurvivorsPage.com

Michael said...

I do enjoy your many platitudes and calling me a "bully." I personally think its fine for genuine abuse survivors to post anonymously. I do not think its appropriate for someone who has a blog to do so anonymously. There's a big difference.

By the way, I'm still waiting for FBC Jax Watchdog to post his name, address, and phone number. It ain't gonna happen though and you people know it. I've also never seen the names, addresses, and phone numbers of "gmommy" and the woman who runs the anti-BBC blog so your little rantings fall on deaf ears.

Also, I have been a Southern Baptist all of my life and have just as much aversion to sexual abuse as any of you on here. I just believe there are better ways to deal with it than screaming out on a blog and criticizing every Southern Baptist that ever lived because some idiot pastor somewhere abused someone. You need to get real and begin to understand the power structure within the SBC. Its not going to change so you'd better learn to work within the system. Paige Patterson has nearly absolute authority at SWBTS and will continue to do so for years to come since he personally authorizes every appointment to their Board of Trustees. Blogs and anonymous letters aren't going to sway him one whit--you need to either file some lawsuits or get on the Board of Trustees.

Christa Brown said...

Even my own perp would probably say that he has "just as much aversion to sexual abuse as any of you on here." After all, I'm told he was chair of the committee to come up with policies/procedures for protecting children at one of his fine Florida churches.

EVERYONE - even the perps themselves - profess "aversion to sexual abuse." This problem isn't about professed attitudes; it's about lack of action.

And it's not about mere "idiot pastors" either. It's about pastors who molest, rape, and sodomize kids, and about the countless others in SBC leadership who turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. You're the one who needs to "get real", Michael, because THAT's what it's really about.

gmommy said...

"I personally think its fine for genuine abuse survivors to post anonymously."
"I've also never seen the names, addresses, and phone numbers of "gmommy"..."

Michael,
No one owes you anything.
I AM in fact "a genuine abuse survivor". Can't get much more genuine.
Christa has all of my contact information.
I have no illusions of changing the SBC...or idiots like yourself.
This is a blog for people who have been abused, who want to lend support to victims, a forum to expose the truth about abuse, and to discuss the issue.
Christa makes the calls about this blog...not you.

oc said...

Michael said:

"Remember its hard to turn a ship as big as the SBC (and that task is made even more difficult when you have egotistical maniacs at the helm)."

And you know what? I think he's on to something there. It would be hard to turn the SBC ship around. Maybe too hard. Maybe not even worth it. After all, it seems the ship is infested with rats anyway and is taking on water. It's become a massive, rudderless hulk with many a gaping holes and rotting timbers in it's hull. Many have abandoned the SBC ship because of disrepair due to the rats which have over-run it and now captain it. And the rats have been informed of dire straits yet still choose to ignore the danger of sinking.

Turn the ship around? I don't know. I'm thinking that those who have abandoned the SBC ship are right to do so. And smart.
Many saw it listing to "heartless" years ago and got off the barnacle encrusted schooner then. Some of us are still clinging on to pieces of what was once a mighty and beautiful ship. And now it is a shame and an embarrassment to be a crew member on a ship in this sad and sorry condition with little promise of ever seeing land. A storm is brewing. I'm tired of the decrepit condition of this mammoth ship, I'm weary with sea-sickness of denial, and dying from the plague of cover-up. I think I may be better off rowing like a slave in the midst of dangerous high seas aboard the dingy of honesty and right intent.

Abandon ship? I never wanted to.
But I don't no how else to sound an alarm to those who will not hear. Maybe they will see when there is no one left on board.

So I believe I'm next overboard.
I'm walking the plank voluntarily.

oc.

oc said...

And Michael,
I have not been sexually abused. I was physically abused as a kid by my father because I tried protecting my mother from his assaults, until I became strong enough to turn things around and make him pay for it, then I was expelled from the house
at 17. I know that is not nearly the same as sexual abuse. But I try to understand other's pain too.

But it's apparent that you just don't get it. And I won't bother to explain it to you because frankly, I don't have the patience. But I will tell you this, get off gmommy's case big boy, and come bully me instead.
I think's it's best for you to move on.

oc.

Christa Brown said...

Wow. OC, you have painted such a powerful picture of this "massive rudderless hulk" of a ship, "listing to heartless" and "dying from the plague of cover-up." I am reading your extraordinary words over and over... and weeping... because in addition to the truth of their description, I also see the heartbreak and the love in them.

Anonymous said...

The credibility of our leaders:

http://www.baptiststandard.com/2001/8_6/pages/kaemmerling.html

This is a story about Patterson's brother in law who was allowed to stay an IMB trustee while he was being investigated by the feds for fraud. He was convicted and served time and only then did he have to step down!

And guess what? Now, Patterson has made sure he has another relative on the IMB. Another brother in law is president of NOBTS. The Patterson's take care of their own.

So you can see that integrity is not something that is valued by our leaders. So, we are being a bit silly to think they would actually get serious about sexual predators. Why should they care? All they care about is that you send your money so they can keep their big incomes.

The change will come when the money dries up and the fancy lifestyle we pay for these leaders stops. There are more efficient ways to fund missionaries than the SBC with less waste paying too many in a bureacracy high salaries. Patterson does not even buy his own toilet paper! It is provided for him at Pecan Manor!and will someone explain to me why they need separate 501c3's to run more money through? Like Patterson's Patmos Ministries he runs from Pecan Manor.

If you don't believe me then read Mary Kinney's "Spending God's Money" about her experience with NAMB. As I read about warehouses full of trinkets from China that they ordered but could not use because the wrong date was on them, I could feel my blood pressure rising. Not to mention Bob Reccord's slush fund. Or him attending a premier of Narnia in London at OUR expense. Oh, the stories go on and on while we ignore the sexual predators and force out missionaries because they have a PPL or were not baptized in a baptist church by some guy with a man made title and fire a Hebrew Professor simply because she is a woman!

Once you realize the pure lack of integrity of our leaders, you realize the Mac Brunsons and Steve Gaines' are a natural outcome of 30 years of raw political power and influence because they were mentored by these folks. They are simply following the leaders. They are the norm. They literally do not know the difference. And they are NOT living the fruit of Christianity. They are hirlings and wolves. It is a power game
and we the lemmings in the pews pay for it.

The SBC has lost its soul. Giving them more money is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

Why anonymous? Because these folks with power will do anything to censor the truth. I have watched them with my own eyes go after folks who tell the truth. They are not above calling their employers and having them fired. I have watched their campaigns to discredit anyone who dares speak out.

So where does one with no power or influence who has been raped by an SBC pastor who is protected by these big name people go? The statute of limitations has run out so one cannot convict. Seems to me those in the pew would WANT TO KNOW. But, sadly, we see that our leaders are more apt to protect themselves and their money pot than our children.

Christa Brown said...

Here's the link to the article referenced above about Paige Patterson's brother-in-law who was a trustee of the International Mission Board:
www.baptiststandard.com/2001/8_6/pages/kaemmerling.html

Fascinating stuff. E.g.: "Despite his earlier judgments in civil court, Kaemmerling was elected as an IMB trustee. And after his conviction in criminal court, he continued to serve as an IMB trustee for eight months. Kaemmerling was elected to the IMB post during the last year his brother-in-law, Paige Patterson, served as SBC president."

Anonymous said...

Christa, I thought the Kaemmerling link was interesting because it only shows that Patterson excuses all kinds of sinful behavior among his followers.

Except of course, we know how brave he was to get rid Dr. Klouda. Her crime was being a woman Hebrew Professor with a very sick husband who relied on her position, health insurance and heart doctors in Dallas for her husband's sake.

I have no idea what Lord Patterson is following. One he makes up as he goes, I guess.

It sure isn't the ONE and only ONE I read in the Holy Writ.

Anonymous said...

I hearing about these things about Patterson and other blogs about the issues with Klouda. Why has there not been the appeal with other notable leaders like Rick Warren in the SBC or Ken Sande of Peacemakers to readdress such grievances?

thegentlepath said...

gmommy - thank you for your kind words - and I think you're right that arguing about anonymity is a "deflective" mechanism.

But here's the thing - and this is specifically for you, Michael - molestation and sexual abuse occurs within a system. And although it's not your fault that a child of your faith was molested, I don't understand why you aren't working to change the system that sheltered abusive clergy?

The book, The Lucifer Effect, by Philip Zimbardo, deals extensively with how and why this happens. It's really NOT a matter of bad people covering up and good people blowing the whistle. We're all just people and the institutions we create can enhance our capacity for good or our capacity for evil.

I'm going to choke just saying this (I'm an atheist) but wwjd? If you really believe you're going to get judged, don't you think it would look good on your record that you stood up and fought for a child?

Christa Brown said...

GentlePath: I'm so glad you mentioned The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo. I've got a copy of it on the shelf right by my desk, and it's all highlighted up with yellow tabs sticking out. The subtitle of the book is "Understanding how good people turn evil."

Clergy sex abuse would be a much easier problem to deal with if it were just a matter of a few bad apples. But it's really a problem about the whole bushel of good apples who allow for the rotted environment in which this evil persists.

As Edmund Burke purportedly said, "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

It is GOOD people who do nothing. It is GOOD people who, by their inaction and inappropriate actions, allow this evil to persist.

In honor of your mention of Zimbardo's book, I've temporarily put up a copy of M.C. Escher's angels & demons illusion print in the right column. Zimbardo has it at the front of his book.

thegentlepath said...

It's a great book! I wish more people would read it.