I understand their curiosity and concern.
Bob Allen is the fearless journalist who has written more articles on Baptist clergy sex abuse than any other journalist in the country. As the managing editor of EthicsDaily, he put into print more than 75 pieces on Baptist clergy sex abuse. You can see links for a whole lot of them at the bottom of this piece.
Starting two years ago, with SNAP’s first trip to Nashville, Bob Allen worked diligently to cover the news about the Baptist clergy sex abuse problem and the calls for accountability. He was the first to break some of the stories, and he covered some stories that weren’t covered by anyone else.
So I understand how many of you might imagine that Bob’s work didn’t exactly endear him to Baptist leaders. And many of us have already seen the lengths to which some Baptist leaders will go to try to keep ugly news quiet, haven’t we?
Of course, for many of us, it doesn’t take much to imagine bad things happening. After all, we’re people who were terrorized and traumatized by those we trusted most and in places we thought most safe. Then we watched the bizarre surreality of others who covered for the dastardly deeds as though it were no big deal.
For people like us, the world can seem pretty unpredictable and unsafe. We KNOW that the most trusted people can be people who wear masks and who do terrible things that no one would ever believe possible… and that they usually get away with it.
So, it’s not too hard to imagine the dire possibilities of what might have happened to Bob Allen:
- SBC officials threw Bob in a lion’s den.
- A certain big-game hunting seminary professor put Bob’s head on a trophy.
- A prominent Memphis pastor was seen hopping Bob’s fence, and Bob hasn’t been seen since.
- A Nashville pastor shoved Bob in the dumpster along with the church’s financial records.
- The FBI put Bob in the witness protection program.
But of course, none of those things actually happened.
Bob Allen left EthicsDaily and went to work for the Associated Baptist Press, which describes itself as “the only independent daily news agency that reports on and for Baptists.” (In other words, it’s not funded by or beholden to the Southern Baptist Convention like the Baptist Press is.)
If you want to continue to follow Bob Allen’s work, you can find his articles at abpnews.com.
Hopefully, Bob will continue to chronicle Baptists’ lost-in-the-wilderness journey toward clergy accountability.