Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"We have been aware . . ."

In Odessa, Texas, a grand jury has indicted a Southern Baptist youth pastor on nine counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Robert John Weber, 44, was youth pastor at Second Baptist Church of Odessa, and allegedly, he had been counseling the girl at the church. The indictment details three sexual encounters Weber reportedly had with the girl in August and October.

It’s another case that shows the typical Baptist pattern: So long as a Baptist minister isn’t in jail, he can remain in ministry. It’s an appallingly low standard for people who occupy positions of high trust.

Excerpts and quotes below are taken from the Odessa American.

The senior pastor of Second Baptist Church, the Rev. Randy S. Duckett, issued a typed statement, saying this:

“We have been aware of the situation from the beginning and have re-assigned Mr. Weber to a different ministry within our church.”
The 15-year-old’s mother said she was “happy to learn of the indictment but unsatisfied with the church’s reaction.”

“The mother… said Weber harassed her daughter with text messages and led her to believe he would divorce his wife and marry her.”

“’She’s 15, but she still plays with toys and plastic animals,’ the mother said of her daughter.”

“Church members meanwhile have expressed disbelief over the charges and pledged to support Weber through the legal process, said Dena Ward, who attends Second Baptist….”

“’Everybody was shocked, and nobody believed it,” Ward said …. ‘Everybody that I have talked to is 100 percent standing behind him.’”

So . . . can you even begin to imagine all that must be going through the head of that 15-year-old? She is almost certainly filled with plenty of confusion and self-doubt already . . . and now she watches while 100 percent of her faith community stands with the minister.

And what if there were other kids who might have been considering speaking up? How likely do you think that is now?
_________________

Photo by KWES News West 9.

Update: Awaiting DNA results in sexual abuse case, Odessa American, 3/4/2010.

10 comments:

Lin said...

It is the pew sitters that allow this stuff to go on. Even after caught they keep him on staff? Are they nuts? A school teacher would be put on admin leave!

Elisabeth said...

The comments on the Odessa American article are vicious.

Christa Brown said...

Yes, I thought so too. It's pretty appalling how so many people are so willing to publicly savage a 15-year-old girl.

gmommy said...

I have my special Christian friends who I trust. But on these issues, I feel more safe with my non church, ethical, thinking, moraled friends than I do the general masses in a church. There is just no compassion or logic to how these people respond to a sexual crime by one of their "anointed men of God"!!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Can we PLEASE STOP with the joke of a "profession" of so-called Youth Minister. These pervs. have to go! And they are all pervs. Why do you think they go in to the "profession" in the first place!

Christa Brown said...

Anon 10:21: Maybe you can get away with anonymously leaving your trash-the-15-year-old remarks on the Odessa American site, but not here.

And one more thing: This isn't just a matter of one kid's accusation. It's a grand jury indictment. Furthermore, EVEN IF it were just one kid's accusation, that kid should still be treated with respect and not trashed. For the love of God, she's a kid!

Anonymous said...

And one more thing: This isn't just a matter of one kid's accusation. It's a grand jury indictment. Furthermore, EVEN IF it were just one kid's accusation, that kid should still be treated with respect and not trashed. For the love of God, she's a kid!

January 7, 2010 10:43 AM

There are very sick people in Christendom. They cannot stand to see their idols smashed and blame the victim.

I fear the only way God could teach them compassion is to allow them a personal experience with such things.

Anonymous said...

Yes, my daughter is completely torn up by all of what is going on. I don't know where to go from here, but I think I'm in the right place. Can someone please help? Our church has turned their back on us.

Christa Brown said...

"Our church has turned their back on us."

Anon 1:01 - I'm sorry. I know how painful this is. My heart goes out to your daughter and your family. I often think that this is what hurts people 10,000 times more than the abuse itself. It's having the entirety of the faith community turns its back. Yet, that is what happens in Baptistland about 99 percent of the time.

I hope you are able to get independent professional counseling for your daughter. I do NOT recommend pastoral counseling or any sort of counseling connected to any church. We have seen far too many people re-wounded and re-victimized by how they are treated when seek counseling about clergy abuse from other clergy.

If you call 1-877-SNAP-HEALS, they may also be able to provide you with some thoughts/suggestions.