Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Straight to Hell"

From Childersburg, Alabama comes this lovely missive today:

“You are going straight to Hell. No doubt about it.

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. I hope that when you die, people smear your name in the mud and force your friends and family to sit there and listen to it.”

Then Mr. Childersburg himself proceeded to smear the men who have alleged that a now-deceased Alabama Baptist pastor molested them in childhood. Ugly stuff.

Of course, it’s people like this who prove my point. This is why Baptist churches need the resource of an outside independent review board to assess clergy sex-abuse allegations that cannot be criminally prosecuted (which is most).

No one who is trying to talk about the trauma of having been sexually abused by a Baptist minister should have to worry about encountering vitriolic fools like this. And there are far too many of them in Baptistland.

Clergy sex abuse survivors need a safe place to which they can report Baptist ministers with at least a reasonable expectation of being objectively heard. That does not exist in Baptistland.

It doesn’t exist for reports about ministers who are still standing in their pulpits, and it doesn’t exist for reports about ministers who are deceased either.

Baptists don’t want to know the truth of such ugly deeds as clergy child molestations. They don’t even want to attempt to know the truth.

That’s the problem. Denominationally, they don’t even try.

And as for this guy in Childersburg, Alabama who tells me I’m going “straight to Hell”? Well, what else is new?

Join the crowd, Mr. Childersburg, because you’re far from the first “good Christian” to tell me I’m going “straight to Hell.”

In fact, I’ve heard so much of your pseudo-religious style of hate-talk that it’s become flat-out boring and banal.

So here’s how I feel about it. If “heaven” is filled with bully Baptists like Mr. Childersburg, then I don’t want to go there.

In fact, Baptists like Mr. Childersburg make me think that maybe someone should put up a warning sign on heaven’s door: “Enter at your own risk – big bad Baptists are here.”

Of course, despite all the vitriol that arrives in my inbox, I know that not all Baptists are like Mr. Childersburg. Nevertheless, even the non-bully Baptists aren’t doing much of anything to systematically address clergy sex abuse.

That’s where the real shame lies.


Jim said...

Christa, I've been a Christian minister nearly all my adult life and I'm with you: if heaven is filled with "Baptist bullies," I'll pass. However, I don't think that is the only option: I believe the bully-boys will be monumentally surprised when Jesus asks them, "what have you done for the least of these...." I can think of no group more deserving of the title "least of these" than the victims of clergy sex abuse, abandoned by communities that called themselves the "body of Christ." I believe He will say: "depart from me, I never knew you."

Melanie Sakoda said...

Keep up the good work! It's people like you who are making a difference in this problem.

Melanie Jula Sakoda
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
SNAP East Bay Director
Toll Free Phone:

Anonymous said...

You're an amazing person Christa. Loved the line about "...big bad Baptists..." :-) In spite of all you go through, you still keep a sense of humor. Too bad what you said might be true!

You're an inspiration!

Ginny said...

I saw a t-shirt the other day. Loved it. It read: "I LOVE Jesus Christ, it's just his followers I'm not too crazy about!". Having been brought up in the SBC, I have known some decent men and some who wouldn't pass the 'smell' test. Keep preaching, sister, we need more like you...in ALL denominations.