No justice in Eddie Long settlement, by Stephen Prothero, CNN, 5/27/11
Eddie Long: homophobe, narcissist, con-artist, by Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/27/11
When ministers fall, by David Gushee, Associated Baptist Press, 9/30/10
Child sexual abuse in churches can't be ignored, by Douglas R. Sharp, EthicsDaily, 5/31/2010 ("Denominational judicatories in the mainline Protestant traditions have taken formal... steps to prevent and report all forms of sexual abuse in their churches.")
Sexual abuse of children crosses faith lines, by David Briggs, Association of Religion Data Archives, May 17, 2010 ("Despite the media attention focused on one religious group...available evidence suggests the rates of abuse, from 2 percent to 5 percent – are similar across religious boundaries.")
Are the media engaged in Catholic-bashing with scandal reports?, by Jeffrey Weiss, Politics Daily, 4/8/10 ("Catholics claim more than 65 million members in the US. That's about four times more than the membership claimed by the next-largest faith group, the Southern Baptist Convention. It's eight times larger than the United Methodist Church
.... As a world faith, the Catholics count more than 1.1 billion members.... Those numbers mean that a widespread Catholic scandal will be huge compared with any other religion .... When a Southern Baptist pastor is caught attacking a child, that denomination has no system of clergy discipline or even record-keeping. Every Baptist church considers itself autonomous and has the God-given right to tell any supposed Earthly authority to go pound sand.... So a reporter looking for whom to hold accountable has a much easier time with a Catholic scandal -- the story is clearer and the potential blame easier to correctly assign."
Catholic sex abuse cases share window in Baptist house, by Norman Jameson, ABP, 4/5/10 ("Sex-abuse cases also rock Baptist churches. Individually they are just as bad, and collectively we are doing a lot less than the Catholics about resolution. Southern Baptists as a national entity have nothing in place to prevent abusers from carrying their satchels of pain to another church or to yank credentials from an abusive clergyman.")
Catholics and Baptists have different sacraments but similar child abuse scandals, by Robert Parham, EthicsDaily, 4/4/10 ("Sacraments may differ. But the systems, secrecy and spin are similar -- and shameful.")
The churches and sexual abuse, by David Gushee, Associated Baptist Press, 3/29/10 ("The Baptist situation may be no better than the Catholic, only shielded more deeply from view.")
Matt Baker trial yielded many lessons, Editorial, Waco Tribune-Herald, 1/24/10 ("The trial’s punishment phase...reminds us that no boss, no manager, no company owner should tolerate the sort of sexual advances that testimony shows Matt Baker made to women, including a young woman at Baylor University....")
Don't call it an affair. Call it an abuse of power, by Diana Garland, Waco Tribune-Herald, 1/24/10 ("... the suicide rate among victims is high.... In her testimony...Bulls said Baker was 'wearing the mask of God' in order to engage her in a sexual relationship.")
Does the SBC respect local-church autonomy or not? by Wade Burleson, Associated Baptist Press, 11/20/09 ("The SBC will not establish a database to track ministerial child abusers out of fear of 'violating local church autonomy,' but when it comes to a church calling a woman to preach the gospel, church autonomy is slain at the feet of conventional conformity.")
Let us prey (on women), by Terry Mattingly, Get Religion.org, 9/17/09 ("The abused — in a denominational setting — at least have a hierarchy of some kind to which they can appeal. And then there is the issue of the bottom line: Their lawyers have larger institution to sue that, to one degree or another, is supposed to be monitoring the careers of its clergy....
[The article links to StopBaptistPredators] and states: "The SBC... resembles the Roman Catholic Church in contrast with the totally disorganized, non-structured reality that is the post-denominational world. Trust me: There is another story here.")
Create a safe haven -- at church, by Bill Webb, Word and Way, 8/12/09 ("The antitode is to create a safe environment for reporting abuse...." But when will Baptists understand that the church of the accused minister cannot possibly constitute a "safe environment" for reporting?)
Southern Baptists: Yes, but..., by Marie Fortune of the FaithTrust Institute, 8/22/08 ("Polity is not the problem... It is a matter of the will to use every institutional resource available rather than looking for structural excuses."
Who should lead church on safety, if not the SBC? The Tennessean, 7/10/08 ("The very fact that Baptist churches are autonomous signals that they need the information that the convention could provide..... The SBC's leadership stance suggests an unwillingness to change... it is about trust."
Cost plays a role; child safety a priority, by Rev. Wade Burleson, The Tennessean, 7/10/08 ("To argue that a list of Southern Baptist ministers who are sexual predators violates the self-government of a local church is illogical.")
Should the Southern Baptist Convention do more to let members know about sexual predators? Reader Views, The Tennessean, 7/10/08
A little autonomy can be a scary thing in fighting predators, John Railey, Winston-Salem Journal, 6/22/08 ("The Southern Baptist Convention has finally rediscovered its once-cherished concept of the autonomy of the local church and put it to a strange use.... Holy hypocrisy.")
Baptists miss an opportunity, The Dallas Morning News, 6/14/08
The Southern Baptist Convention's unconvincing claims, Marci Hamilton, FindLaw, 6/12/2008
"The SBC prevaricates by saying that as there is a comprehensive federal database of abusers, the creation of a Baptist database would just confuse matters."
Sex scandals in free-church pews, Terry Mattingly, GetReligion.org, 5/18/08
Equal justice for prophets and priests, Rick Casey, Houston Chronicle, 4/26/08
"Let's see the state exercise equal vigilance over more mainstream religious groups."
The Bible and Pedophilia, Ed Hogan, EthicsDaily, 4/2/08
Executing child molesters shouldn't be our top priority, Barbara Dorris, Sun Herald, 3/15/08
See No Evil, Tiffany Thigpen Croft, EthicsDaily, 1/30/08
Does EthicsDaily.com Matter? Robert Parham, EthicsDaily, 11/19/07
"Denial is the spiritual, moral and organizational state all too common among North American Baptists about predatory preachers."
No predators in the pulpit, Chicago Sun-Times editorial, 8/22/07
Sexual abuse of minors in Protestant churches, Jonathan Morris, FoxNews.com, 6/24/07
The fact that the number of Catholic abuse cases "includes all credible accusations...and still is LESS than the number of cases in Protestant churches...should be making front page of The New York Times and the network evening news. It's not."
Tackling sexual abuse, Huntsville Times, David Person, June 16, 2007
"It's become increasingly clear that sexual abuse by clergy is a multidenominational problem."
Should clergy sex offenders be treated differently? Manya Brachear, Chicago Tribune, 6/12/07
"Burleson said that if the Southern Baptist Convention follows [the Texas Baptist Convention's] model, it will miss the point. Clergy offenders should still be held accountable for wrongdoing even if their victims don't come forward for decades."
Southern Baptists are convening: will any Christians be with them? Roddy Stinson, San Antonio Express-News, June 11, 2007
Sexual abuse in society and American churches, by Father Jonathan Morris, FoxNews, 7/1/07
Sexual abuse of minors in Protestant churches, by Father Jonathan Morris, FoxNews, 6/21/07
Hold churches accountable for abuse, Marv Knox, Baptist Standard, 6/8/07
Dismantle false wall of church autonomy that protects child predator preachers, Robert Parham, EthicsDaily, April 9, 2007
"Southern Baptist leaders are being disingenuous when they hide behind the shield of local church autonomy to avoid taking needed actions to protect children from predatory preachers."
Minister's past as sexual offender shouldn't have been overlooked, Reginald Dogan, Pensacola News Journal, April 5, 2007
"Too many people in churches believe that pedophilia, like most sins, can be washed away with prayer and repentance....We must put pressure on the church...to report, identify and monitor sexual offenders."
A Tale of Two Cities: Child abusers on church staff! Don Boys, The Conservative Voice, March 6, 2007
"What are church leaders thinking when they respond so cavalierly to such heinous crimes?"
Leadership, honesty needed to confront abuse problem, John Railey, Winston-Salem Journal, March 4, 2007
"SBC leaders say...there's only so much they can do - SBC churches are autonomous...That argument doesn't fly...If they want their denomination to be a moral authority, they'd better come clean when there's trouble in their own ranks. Amen."
Southern Baptists facing their own molestation issues, Stan Nelson, The Pueblo Chieftain, March 3, 2007
SNAP "is on the side of the angels....A look at SNAP's website reveals an organization that has not vacated a single Christian principle...."
Bring all abusers to justice, The Baylor Lariat, February 27, 2007
"The letter also calls for the SBC to create an independent review board and a toll-free hotline for victims. This is a good idea that should be implemented by all denominations."
Pursuing Baptist predators, by Carol Lloyd, Salon.com, February 22/2007
"offered a sort of über-defense that it can't conduct investigations about abuse complaints because of the decentralized nature of the church....
[N]o profession is immune to criminals who use their social standing to cover their abuse. But these professions all have things called...independent professional boards, government oversight and perhaps less of a sense of innate moral righteousness."
Abuse bruises certainy of self, Wendi Thomas, The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 1, 2007
Blind Faith, Denton Record-Chronicle, December 18, 2006
"Blind faith in human beings can bring disastrous consequences. The Catholic Church has learned this over the last few years...Baptists may soon be finding it out."
Abuse victims are still among us, David Briggs, The Plain Dealer, Dec. 16, 2006
"Consider how many times these wounded people have tried to speak up and were mercilessly turned away by church officials....Some religious leaders still would like to dismiss sexual abuse of children as "a Catholic problem" ... Yet a growing body of research reveals that those who sexually abuse children cross over all religious... backgrounds."
Fundamentalists must face sexual abuse by pastors, Don Boys, The Conservative Voice, June 8, 2006
Congress passes the 'Adam Walsh Bill' to protect children from abuse: It is a good start, but more needs to be done, Marci Hamilton, FindLaw, 7/27/2006
"The short statutes of limitation mean that the victim never gets justice, vindication, closure, or compensation, and that literally dozens of future children are put at risk: Predators typically abuse over 100 children in their lifetime. As long as too-short statutes of limitation remain on the books, we as a society are aiding and abetting the predators by shutting the courthouse doors before the first wave of victims can make it up the courthouse steps."
No more church secrets about sex abuse, Christa Brown, Dallas Morning News, 4/28/2006
"Sexual abuse by a trusted religious leader has a soul-murdering impact. If Southern Baptists are serious about saving souls, they should start by disclosing the secret files and ridding their ranks of clergy predators."
Where does the Baptist buck stop?, Terry Mattingly, June 19, 2002
Protestants face abuse scandal, by Richard N. Ostling (AP), Times Union, April 7, 2002 (Southern Baptist Convention has 101,000 clergy.)