Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crocodile tears or no tears?

Crocodile tears” are fake. They’re a hypocritical display of emotion.

The expression comes from an ancient story about how crocodiles weep in order to lure their prey, or that they cry for the victims they are eating. (Crocodiles DO have tear glands, but I doubt they feel any real remorse.)

The Baptist General Convention of Texas is good at doing crocodile tears. “We care greatly about clergy abuse victims.” That’s what they say to the press. And then they brag about being a “leader” in addressing clergy sexual “misconduct.”

But from the reports I get, all that “we care greatly” talk is just that…nothing but talk. And their claim of being a “leader” reminds me of a guy who’s been lapped on the track and crosses the finish line thinking he has bragging rights when, in reality, he hasn’t a clue.

(I mean….duhhhh….how much longer do you think it’s gonna be before they finally figure out that “misconduct” isn’t the right word choice for describing clergy child molestation and child rape??? Do you think they have a clue how minimizing and hurtful that is? These guys are slow….really, really slow.)

All that bragging and “we care greatly” talk presents a phony front, and winds up luring clergy abuse victims into believing that the Baptist General Convention of Texas will actually do something. So, it’s sort of like the crocodile. It just sets victims up for even greater wounding and betrayal.

Victims go to the BGCT, thinking someone there will surely help them. (After all, they “care greatly”, don’t they?) But from the accounts I hear, help just doesn’t happen. No one helps the victim find the perpetrator. No one helps the victim warn the man’s current congregation. No one helps the victim with counseling.

That’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that the BGCT sends out its Mr. Wolfe-style guy to help the church take care of the problem…and that typically winds up in a WHOLE lot more hurt for the victim.

I don’t think other Baptist state conventions are doing any better. From the reports I get, it seems that many other Baptist state conventions don’t even bother with crocodile tears for victims who report abuse. They just ignore the victims or send back a perfunctory “all churches are autonomous” note. That’s pretty cold, but I don’t think crocodile tears are any least not for the victim.

Crocodile tears just give the Baptist General Convention of Texas a better public image. But it’s not about any real caring for the victims.

So what do YOU think? Is it better to get crocodile tears or no tears at all? As best I can tell, that seems to be the only two options Southern Baptist leaders have to offer for clergy abuse victims.


WatchingHISstory said...

Yesterday our pastor preached part II from the first chapter of James on the subject: "Embracing Life's Trials" and you were on my mind again as he preached.

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

In 1958 McMinnville, Tennessee was celebrating their sesquicentennial at the court house and I was a bashful 12 year old down town by myself watching the town celebrities get hit with pies. I was pressing into the crowd to watch when someone though that it would be cute to just arbitrarily hit an innocent victim and I was that person. I was suddenly the center of the attraction and everyone was laughing at me.

For 47 years I live with arrested personality development, fearful that if I tried to standout in a crowd I would fail in my effort and be laughed at. I never told anyone about this humiliation and carried the hidden stigma of victimhood.

New Years eve 2005 God healed my personality and released me to be the kind of person he wants me to be.

This was not a born-again experience because I had become a Christian at age 10 and was baptized in water as an outward sign of an inward work of grace.

Did God arrange this humiliation of me for his purpose? Absolutely! Yes!

During forty seven years I had stumbled through Church experiences seeing the humiliation that God himself endures because of the faulty theological views of Christ's atonement. God is mocked from the pulpit. Preachers have the audacity to obligate God to be a God of love. They rule by their own self-determination.

Their behavior reflects their arrogant self-centered theology. You observe this behavior in your struggle.

While He is a God of uncomprehendible love, He is also a God of wrath far greater than the human mind can understand.

Bellevue Baptist is the focus of this American theological error and the flagship of the SBC. Over twenty years ago God allowed the calamity of the pedophile in this church to accomplish his purpose.

God is mocking American fundamentalism and it's lukewarm gospel. He is spewing it out of his mouth.

Through the internet, bloggers are serving God's purposes and many of our great American mega-churches will crumble.

Christa, our causes overlap. My cause is for the pain and humiliation God endures from these bigshot preachers who tread the blood of Christ and disgrace the Spirit of Grace. They rape and sodomize God from their pulpits.

I am embracing my 47 year humiliation with joy knowing that I am a partaker with God in His suffering.

Christa Brown said...

Watching: My cause does NOT overlap with yours. Do not presume to think it does. I am appalled by your comment and find it profoundly offensive.

The humiliation of a single incident of getting hit with a pie does not compare to the profound psychological wounding that is caused to kids from being repeatedly raped, sodomized and molested by clergy, who often commit such atrocities while spouting "God's love." The very fact that you would even make such a comparison is perhaps indicative of why Southern Baptist leaders do virtually nothing to effectively address this problem. Maybe they all minimize it as much as you do.

You speak of preachers who "rape and sodomize God from their pulpits." But that's a metaphor. For kids, there is nothing metaphorical about what is done to their bodies. It's real. And there is nothing metaphorical about a faith community that then turns its back on the kids to whom preachers do this. That's real also, and the wounds caused by that institutionalized silence are severe.

Who the heck are you to presume that God "allows" for pedophiles in churches in order to accomplish His purposes? And having a pedophile as a preacher is something a great deal worse than a mere "calamity." That's what happens when I break my favorite teapot.

WatchingHISstory said...
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WatchingHISstory said...
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gmommy said...

How dare watching use this forum for his own self serving platform.

How dare he continue to reinjure the wounded with what SHOULD be a comfort....

WatchingHISstory said...
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