Saturday, August 4, 2007

Baptist Press reports on "misunderstood" pedophiles

The Baptist Press writes that "there is a new movement to view pedophiles as misunderstood and unjustly persecuted." At first, I thought they were talking about themselves -- i.e., a new movement among Southern Baptists. I hear from a lot of clergy abuse survivors who got lectures on forgiveness when they tried to report the perpetrator to Southern Baptist leaders, and so it made some bizarre sense to me that the Baptist Press would be talking about the "misunderstood pedophile."

Of course, they're really talking about others. That's what Southern Baptist leaders seem good at...rather than taking a hard look at themselves.

The article complains about a dead psychiatrist's book and quotes it saying: "Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and child are not universally considered to be reprehensible acts. The child might be told about other societies in which such behavior was and is considered normal...."

The Baptist Press seems to view this as something new. Yet, I'm sure many Baptist abuse survivors have tried to report exactly this sort of grooming behavior committed by Baptist clergy child molesters...and been ignored.

Countless Baptist clergy predators have inflicted this very sort of brainwashing on their adolescent prey. Kids are told that they're called to serve God in this way, that men in the Bible had more than one wife and had concubines, that this is normal, and that people who aren't as close to God wouldn't understand. For Baptist clergy predators, the "other societies in which such behavior is considered normal" are the biblically righteous societies of God's chosen people, and that's the sick message they often fill the brain of their prey with.

I too am offended by anyone who would be dismissive of the terrible harm that is caused by adults who have sex with kids. But I can't help but think the Baptist Press might accomplish more good if, rather than writing about a dead psychiatrist's book, it would take a strong stand against the modern-day lack of accountability in Southern Baptist churches. So many more kids could be better protected if Southern Baptist leaders would get the beam out of their own eyes and take a look at the many ways that they themselves are silently complicit in failing to take action against clergy sex abuse.

The Baptist Press points out that "normal decent people" still view pedophilia "as a gross perversion." This may be true in talk, but actions speak louder than words. Based on their actions, many Southern Baptist leaders do not appear to view pedophilia as anything more than mere "sin," "moral failure," or "sexual misconduct."

If Southern Baptist leaders really viewed pedophilia as something so horrible, then the Baptist Press would be reporting on all the many accounts of Southern Baptist clergy who have been convicted of and credibly accused of child molestation and child rape. And they would use their press to warn people in the pews about them. But they don't. For the most part, people find out about Baptist clergy abuse from EthicsDaily, the Associated Press, television news, and just about everywhere else except the Baptist Press. It appears the Baptist Press thinks the pedophilia problem is worthy of coverage only if it doesn't hit too close to home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our, now ex, baptist church has a youth minister we found out likes to talk to the children about sex and the details of their sexual experiences. He has solicited 5th & 6th graders to find out about the older kids sex experiences..He locks the doors for one on ones with the girls, touching their knees with his hands and slowly moving up almost to the crotch...this is sick sick sick and the pastor has done nothing since August....need advice