Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

TYC Sex Scandal Should Be Oversight Lesson for Baptists

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
We have watched in anguish as details unfolded about the scandal at the Texas Youth Commission. Teens were sexually abused - no one took action - leaders donned blinders - accountability was absent.

In many Catholic dioceses across the country, we have seen a similar pattern. And lately, we have begun to see this tragic pattern among Southern Baptists.

The largest Protestant denomination in the country has no policies or procedures for protecting kids against sexual predators who wear the mask of a minister. There is no effective system of accountability, nor any independent review process for those who attempt to report clergy sex abuse.

In SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, we know the human cost this lack of accountability carries with it.

That is why we have repeatedly asked Southern Baptist leaders to institute specific accountability measures for the protection of kids. Specifically, we asked them to create an independent review board so that those who seek to report abuse would have somewhere to turn.

This isn't a radical notion. Catholics began implementing review board procedures in 2002. And Texas' capital-city newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, recently suggested an independent oversight process for imposing accountability at the Texas Youth Commission. (Editorial, Fixing TYC mess is next order of business, 3/18/07)

Yet Southern Baptist officials have repeatedly responded to SNAP's request with excuses similar to those made by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who reportedly said there was nothing he could do with information about TYC abuse unless a local prosecutor asked for help. (Editorial, TYC details, response are equally disgusting, 3/10/07)

Similarly, Southern Baptist officials assert there is nothing they can do about clergy abuse because ecclesiological authority remains at the local level in autonomous churches. This means there is no process for independent review of complaints about clergy sex abuse. Instead, a complaint against a minister is reviewed by his own colleagues within the church, if indeed it is reviewed at all.

As the Statesman rightly recognized, the Texas Attorney General may have given the legally correct answer in deflecting responsibility, but "that's not good enough" when what's at stake is protecting adolescents against sexual abuse. (Editorial, 3/10/07) Likewise, Southern Baptist officials may be giving an ecclesiologically correct answer in asserting their lack of authority over autonomous churches, but "that's not good enough" when what's at stake is protecting kids against clergy child molesters.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Christa Brown Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Christa Brown is the national outreach director for SNAP-Baptist and maintains the website. She is a wife, mother, attorney, jazz-lover, slow-runner, and a Southern Baptist abuse survivor.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Clergy Child Molesters Should Not Be Kept Secret: Are We Clear?

Biblical Blasphemy of Baptist Clergy Sex Abuse

Clergy Predators Lurk Like Online Predators

Baptistgate parallels Foleygate

TYC Sex Scandal Should Be Oversight Lesson for Baptists

Secret Files of Pedophiles

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend