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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, May 23, 2022

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant denomination, stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades while seeking to protect their own reputations, according to a scathing 288-page investigative report issued Sunday.

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"Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC's response to these reports of abuse ... and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC," the report said.

"In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy - even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation," the report added.

The report asserts that an Executive Committee staffer maintained a list of Baptist ministers accused of abuse, but there is no indication anyone "took any action to ensure that the accused ministers were no longer in positions of power at SBC churches."

Catholics, Morons, now Southern Baptists, sheesh... Makes you wonder if organized religion isn't the source of the problem in the first plus, doesn't it?

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-05-22 09:10 PM | Reply

"Makes you wonder if organized religion isn't the source of the problem in the first plus, doesn't it?"

If you're seeking access to children, organized religion provides lots of opportunity.

#2 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-22 09:17 PM | Reply

#1 is supposed to be Mormons, not Morons ... but those count too.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-05-22 09:32 PM | Reply

So, the religious types are the actual groomers.

#4 | Posted by truthhurts at 2022-05-22 10:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

While the report focuses primarily on how leaders handled abuse issues when survivors came forward, it also states that a major Southern Baptist leader was credibly accused of sexually assaulting a woman just one month after he completed his two-year tenure as president of the convention. The report finds that Johnny Hunt, a beloved Georgia-based Southern Baptist pastor who has been a senior vice president at the SBC's missions arm, was credibly accused of assaulting a woman during a Panama City Beach, Fla., vacation in 2010.

Sex abuse survivors, many of whom have been sharing their stories for years, anticipated Sunday's release would confirm the facts around many of the stories they have already shared, but many were still surprised to see the pattern of coverups by the highest levels of leadership.

"I knew it was rotten, but it's astonishing and infuriating," said Jennifer Lyell, a survivor who was once the highest-paid female executive at the SBC and whose story of sexual abuse at a Southern Baptist seminary is detailed in the report. "This is a denomination that is through and through about power. It is misappropriated power. It does not in any way reflect the Jesus I see in the scriptures. I am so gutted."

The report also names several senior SBC leaders who protected and even supported alleged abusers, including three past presidents of the convention, a former vice president and the former head of the SBC's administrative arm.

www.washingtonpost.com

Just to be clear for the faithful, I'm not implying that religion somehow empowers sexual predators. What I am saying is that the very concept of faith - belief without physical proof or evidence - leads to potential targets being deferential to their predators in ways secular life may not, but for others viewed as cultural authority figures by victims as well. The lure of God is powerful and intoxicating, but it too often seems more the devil's work when it comes to predation, sexual abuse and exploitation.

Organizations must hold their members - and especially leadership and officials - responsible for their actions, and narratives like these show just how derelict many of them are in this regard.

#5 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-05-22 10:15 PM | Reply

"Just to be clear for the faithful, I'm not implying that religion somehow empowers sexual predators."

I thought that was your point in a nutshell.

Organized religion, specifically. Not quite willing to go that far with religion as a whole.

Religious institutions. David Koresh comes immediately to mind.

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-22 10:26 PM | Reply

"What I am saying is that the very concept of faith - belief without physical proof or evidence - leads to potential targets being deferential to their predators in ways secular life may not"

Faith, trust, candy. Kids are easy to exploit.

I completely agree with what you are saying. One of my favorite getting pulled over stories involves a drunk priest and three underage drunk Catholic school boys. The officer opened with "I'm sorry, Father" upon seeing the collar and let them go.

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-22 10:28 PM | Reply

The lure of any kind of power from a variety of sources can result in these kind of horrible cases and similar ones in Hollywood, corporate America, politics, or any number of other institutions, the military... college coaching, families... and yes, faux churches.

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2022-05-22 11:10 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

These are the type of groomers conservatives prefer.

The type who rape young boys without telling them about homosexuality.

It's a win win in the Republican play book.

#9 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-05-22 11:51 PM | Reply

All White Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and Fundy's scare me...

All unhinged...

#10 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-05-23 06:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Sue them into poverty.

What do these grifters lover more than anything? God? No. Money. Take it all away from them.

---- them.

#11 | Posted by Nixon at 2022-05-23 07:39 AM | Reply

Religion = Cult.

#12 | Posted by bat4255 at 2022-05-23 07:55 AM | Reply

Under the Banner of Heaven all things are justified.

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-05-23 10:20 AM | Reply

So, the religious types are the actual groomers.

Always have been.

#14 | Posted by qcp at 2022-05-23 11:02 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

The Southern Baptist Convention, largest Baptist group in the US, organized at Augusta, Georgia, in 1845 by Southern Baptists who disagreed with the antislavery attitudes and activities of Northern Baptists.

You can't understand White Evangelical Christianity without knowing this.

Time to tax the ---- outta them.

#15 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2022-05-23 11:18 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

More than 700. SEVEN HUNDRED. They love the fact so much of the Catholic's dirty laundry is out in the open but theirs is still swept under the pews. They play it up as holier than thou but there have been articles and research on it showing if anything it is currently far more rampant in the Baptist ranks. That is no defense for the atrocities of the Catholic Church either both are simply abhorrent.

Look you can have your faith and beliefs but religion is in the end about power. Religious leaders having power over their parishioners or whatever you choose to call them. No matter how good the intent of a belief system, when men get their hands on it they always twist it to serve their ends.

#16 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2022-05-23 11:29 AM | Reply

#4 | Posted by truthhurts

Religion by definition is grooming.

#17 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2022-05-23 11:29 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#3...
Well, they follow the angel Moroni, so they should be called"Morons".

#18 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2022-05-23 11:30 AM | Reply

Baptists who don't like abuse are welcome to join the Methodists.

#19 | Posted by Tor at 2022-05-23 11:33 AM | Reply

The only reason the Catholic church takes on the chin so much about this is the celibacy thing. They make a big production out of not doing the sinful it.

I don't know a single religion free from such things. But seriously what do you expect from those whose narcissistic calling in life is believing they are some god's mouthpiece. It's just more show biz personalities with a weekly tent show.

#20 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2022-05-23 11:50 AM | Reply

Why do people tip-toe around these glaring truths?

Of course organized religion is evil and corrupt. Is 5000 years of empirical evidence not enough proof for you?

#21 | Posted by kudzu at 2022-05-23 12:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

#20 | Posted by RightisTrite

They take it on the chin for creating a culture where abuse has thrived for centuries. The celibacy thing doesn't help that. I know Priests, Nuns, Deacons as well as Ex-Priests, Ex-Nuns and retired priests. It is interesting what they will talk about and what they won't.

Beyond the global sexual abuse scandals, the mass abuses in Ireland and Canada of children in facilities run by the church are a couple of other leading examples of why the Church is despicable.

#22 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2022-05-23 12:42 PM | Reply

"Southern Baptists who disagreed with the antislavery attitudes and activities of Northern Baptists."

Checkmate, Atheists.

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-23 12:49 PM | Reply

Northern Baptists were among the leaders of the Abolitionist Movement to end slavery.

They were also the ones who wrote Thomas Jefferson the letter about keeping church and state separate, and it was in his responding letter that he first wrote about "the wall between church and state" agreeing with them.

Like most institutions, and most people, the church in general has a history both of excellence and failure.

#24 | Posted by Corky at 2022-05-23 01:16 PM | Reply

Isn't this a crime?

#25 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-05-23 01:59 PM | Reply

Perhaps a gun-owning Baptist parent should dole out some personal justice.

#26 | Posted by Docman at 2022-05-23 02:14 PM | Reply

So, the religious types are the actual groomers.
Always have been.

#14 | POSTED BY QCP

Why else have Republicans starting projecting this onto everyone else?

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2022-05-23 02:45 PM | Reply

Is this the watershed moment the GOP has been trying to fend off, with all their ridiculous attempts to label public school teachers as groomers?

I mean, it might be, but the GOP would label any political opponent as a threat to children. It's kinda their M.O. Pregnant women are a threat to their own children, for example.

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-23 02:50 PM | Reply

Isn't this a crime?

#25 | POSTED BY LEGALLYYOURDEAD

Seems RICO should apply

#29 | Posted by truthhurts at 2022-05-23 02:56 PM | Reply

Organized religion, specifically. Not quite willing to go that far with religion as a whole.
Religious institutions. David Koresh comes immediately to mind.

#6 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

100% agreed. Nothing wrong with any religion, natural beliefs, yoga, meditation, transcendentalism, any other type of spirituality. If it gives you meaning, purpose, direction, hope, inner peace, whatever, more power to you. I don't need it, but I'll never interfere with someone who feels they do. However, organized religion tends to empower the religious leader over the flock almost absolutely. This control leads to not only these types of abuses and others, but also people defending behavior in their religious leaders for which they would condemn anyone else.

#30 | Posted by El_Buscador at 2022-05-23 03:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

It's the Christian thing to do. Apparently.

#31 | Posted by Jaspar at 2022-05-23 04:21 PM | Reply

Being an Atheist/Agnostic for decades now,
I just don't know why human beings (by and large)
can't make the mental leap that it is MORALITY that
matters, not RELIGION.

Morality, by far, is the more important of the
two... It is not even close.

I know several Atheists (including myself) that try
very hard to live simple humble moral lives...

#32 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-05-24 06:50 AM | Reply

#30 | POSTED BY EL_BUSCADOR

You have to understand the purpose of organized religion.

It makes people feel superior to others. It's the same trick of the Republican Party. Who cares how much the factory owner is making as long as you are doing better than that minority person down the line.

#33 | Posted by Sycophant at 2022-05-24 09:08 AM | Reply

Yeah, I know Sycophant...

smart people know!

it's the dumb sheep that follow...

#34 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-05-24 12:01 PM | Reply

I think Christianity started from a good place, from a benevolent worldview. A different belief system, a growth from Judaism, a belief in renewal, all that. It took a few hundred years for Christianity to be accepted and legalized by the Roman Empire, which saw Christianity as a threat to its grip on the world. Fast forward another couple hundred years to the mid-late 5th century, Christianity had spread through most of Europe, assimilating pagan traditions into its own practices - see Saturnalia becoming Christmas - and established churches in nearly every inhabited area. Then falls the Roman Empire. With it fall government structure, communication, and organization. Into the vacuum steps the Christian Church, which establishes authority and control where there were none. And it didn't take long for Christian leadership to figure out that with authority and control come wealth and power. They've been building upon that ever since.

#35 | Posted by El_Buscador at 2022-05-24 01:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

In other religious news ...

UCLA to pay record of nearly $700M in doctor abuse lawsuits

LOS ANGELES (AP) " The University of California system announced Tuesday it will pay nearly $375 million to more than 300 women who said they were sexually abused by a UCLA gynecologist, bringing a record amount in total payouts by a public university in a wave of sexual misconduct scandals by campus doctors.
apnews.com

Now everyone do Universities.

#36 | Posted by oneironaut at 2022-05-25 08:49 AM | Reply

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