Some 380 Southern Baptist pastors, ministers, Sunday school teachers, deacons and church volunteers have been accused of sex offenses over the last twenty years. 700 victims have come forward, the youngest only three years old. One hundred are still in prison and one hundred are registered sex offenders and at least thirty-five have been allowed to find new jobs at churches.
Efforts to get the leaders of the Southern Baptists to deal with the abuse, track offenders and act against congregations who harbour or conceal abusers have failed – the SBC Executive Committee has rejected all proposals, while, of course expressing “sorrow”. August Boto who drafted the refusal to act, admitted sexual misconduct was a criminal activity, but stated that “ it is always going to happen”, the implication being that they have to put up with it and not make too much fuss.. “ It’s criminal activity and we shouldn’t be resigned to it.”. But they seem to have done nothing about it.
Why is all the attention on the Catholic church, and how come self-described “christians” tolerate this behaviour and brush it aside? The Southern Baptists have a reputation for very right-wing political views, “family values” and historic racism, covering up some of the most egregious behaviour towards their fellow citizens. They should be seen to be doing something about it.