Pedophiles in the Ministry: Shame on the SBC and Warren Community Church

Shame on the SBC
Shame on Warren Community Church
Shame on those in the church who do not protect children from predators
Shame on those in the church who knowingly hire pedophiles

 

 

This story has to be one of the most disgusting examples of complete disregard by the church for the safety and well-being of children that I have heard in the past, well…come to think of it, when it comes to churches in the SBC, this is a rather common occurrence. Let me state this as clearly as I can. I am hopping mad and steaming about this piece of news.
 

The SBC makes a big stinking announcement about the Great Commission Resurgence and how it is going to reach out to the un-churched and then it refuses set up a simple pedophile database to protect children from pedophiles. Let’s see how this works out in the court of public opinion.
 

There is this church, Warren Community Church, which is really a Baptist church. But, not unlike Amway, which has had to change it’s name in order to outrun its reputation, some Baptist churches are leaving the word “Baptist” out of their church name, perhaps for similar reasons.
 

Senior pastor Dr. Kenneth Culver leads Warren Community Church. He is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Theological Seminary. There is some speculation that the church is named after Rick Warren because it describes itself as a “Purpose Driven Church.”

 

Well, what did this “purpose driven church” do? According to The Big Daddy Weave it purposefully hired a known pedophile as a Trustee. LINK

 

"Warren Community Church of Somerville, Tennessee announced in their March newsletter that Paul Williams has been selected as a Trustee.

 

Williams was the associate pastor at the center of the clergy child molestation controversy at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN back in 2006-2007. Bellevue’s investigation found: “”Paul Williams engaged in egregious, perverse, sexual activity with his adolescent son over a period of 12 to 18 months.

Now, just four years later, Williams is serving again in a church leadership role – this time as Trustee at a church less than 30 miles away from Bellevue. The church newsletter announcement even emphasizes Williams long “ministry” with children including his work with kids in Albania.”

 

Please note: This church is close to Bellevue Baptist Church, whose pastor, Steve Gaines, knowingly concealed William’s incestuous pedophilia from the congregation.
 

TWW wrote several posts about this matter back in 9/09. Here is an excerpt from that post. LINK

“On December 17, 2006, the church announced that Paul Williams, a minister and staffer at the church for 34 years, had been placed on leave with an investigation pending regarding a "moral failure," identified by Gaines and others as alleged child molestation in the 1980s. The next day, December 18, Gaines released a statement that acknowledged that he had been aware of the allegation since June 2006 but that he did not address it for several months because Williams had been attending professional counseling, because of confidentiality concerns, and out of compassion for the staffer.”



According to a December 21, 2006 article in the Associated Baptist Press: “Gaines also told the church the personnel committee would conduct an investigation of the situation and issue a statement after the inquiry.” Here’s the link:

 

What did the church investigation reveal? Here’s the shocking headline that reveals the answer:
  Bellevue report: Assistant pastor guilty of sex abuse against son

 

What happened to Paul Williams as a result of this investigation?
 LINK

“Williams…was dismissed without severance after initially being place on administrative leave with pay”, according to an Ethics Daily article. LINK:  


 

“Paul Williams, who allegedly admits to having been molested as a child, began sexually assaulting his son in the 1980s (probably during pre-pubescence). According to the church investigation, this illicit activity occurred over a 12 to 18 month period. We don’t understand why the time frame is not more precise. Williams’ son is now approximately 30 years of age and is married with children.”

 

 

It is important to note that his son has no contact with his father and ddid not allow, at the time of this article, his children to see his father.
 

So what does Warren Community Church do with Mr Williams??? They have him “love” on the children. They even took a picture of him holding children on his lap! Here is a link to BBC Open Forum which did an excellent job reviewing this story and providing that picture from Warren Community Church.
 

Let’s see how this plays in non-Christian America which is supposed to be the focus of the GCR. They call the Warren Community Church the "Idiot of the Week." From the Atheist Revolution LINK

 

I'm giving Idiot of the Week "honors" to a church. Warren Community Church in Sommerville, TN, is this week's idiot. I'm also posting this to give a shout out to Stop Baptist Predators, the excellent blog that brought the sad story of Warren Community Church to my attention.

 

As you can see, Warren Community Church's newsletter shows a nice picture of Williams surrounded by children, holding one on his lap. I didn't see any mention in the same newsletter than this man the church has decided to honor was involved in a scandal at Bellevue Baptist Church after it emerged that he was permitted to continue counseling victims of molestation even after disclosing that he had molested others.

 

If you were a parent at Warren Community Church, wouldn't you be interested in Williams' past? Evidently, the church does not believe it is relevant. I really hope they are right.”

 

 

It is important to note that this atheist blog actually commends Christa Brown of the excellent Stop Baptist Predators blog. I believe the world is impressed when Christians call attention to the dire problems in their own churches. So many pastors, like Steve Gaines, want to hide these stories, mistakenly assuming that they are protecting the church. They aren’t. The world sees it quite clearly.
 

Here is a LINK to Christa Brown’s post on this matter. She makes a very, very important point.

 

“The newsletter of Warren Community Church even shows a picture of Williams surrounded by children, and holding a child in his lap. Any parent or kid in that congregation would likely look at that newsletter and believe that Paul Williams is someone they can trust. In effect, the newsletter sets them up. It sets them up to trust a man who has already shown that he cannot safely be trusted with kids.

 

The newsletter also points out that Williams has made seven trips to help renovate a kindergarten classroom in Albania. His seventh trip was just a few weeks ago, March 19-27.”
 

It is time that the SBC stops being derelict in its duty and creates a pedophile database which lists pastors, church leaders and seminarians who have been convicted of such behavior. The convention must act to publicly condemn any church that knowingly hires a pedophile.
 

This blogger is in shock that this sort of thing is allowed to happen within the SBC. It is even sadder when the atheists get it right and the church, which is supposed to be a paragon of virtue, becomes a hideout for sickos.

 

Comments

Pedophiles in the Ministry: Shame on the SBC and Warren Community Church — 109 Comments

  1. Pingback: Bookends | Civil Commotion

  2. This made me so mad that I just sent the following comment on the church’s “Contact us” area. I wonder how many other people are going to say something to them as a result of this travesty. Thanks, ladies, for letting us know what is happening out there!

    I just learned that your church has brought on Paul Williams as a church trusteee. I am shocked that you would put someone in a position of trust and leadership that has had an incidence of pedophilia. I understand that Mr. Williams, if he has repented of his sin, deserves forgiveness and acceptance in a church and should be welcomed as a congregant who would never have access to children as a teacher, etc., but leadership and what that says to the congregation is basically out of the question–the well-being of children and the preservation of the same far out weighs any reason your church could have for giving him this position. Please reconsider what you have done.

  3. Didn’t the SBC decide not to do a database about 3 or 4 years ago? What’s happened recently to cause this to be brought back up?

    I thought that the SBC had a fairly articulate basis for not embarking on creating and maintaining a database. I think that LifeWay has published some material related to abuse and LifeWay also promoted background checks and how to do that etc.

    If churches start prosecuting abuse when it occurs and being honest and open when they get inquiries about people who are seeking jobs, that will be the biggest thing to stop abuse.

    Look at that guy from Bellevue Baptist. Everyone in the SBC knows what he did. He’s a one man database! But my understanding is that some church in West Tennessee just hired him, or someting like that.

    I have not had anyone in the public, from people of no religion to people of other religions, say that they think poorly of the SBC because it hasn’t started a database. Folks I have talked to who are not SBC seem to understand the issues, and see how an organization like the SBC might or might not start a database.

    I have also seen some pretty good arguments against starting a database.

    It’ fine to argue about the merits of a database and whether the SBC should have one.

    But I think that making the “database” the big deal misses the point.

    I am sure that I won’t change your mind on that issue, but I don’t see that continuing to get worked up over one particular solution to a problem and believing that it works really well and all other solutions don’t, does not seem to be changing any minds or winning any converts.

    That’s especially true if the arguments come from former members of churches that are SBC. I am not picking on you for that. Just making the observation that in SBC life the way to advance change is to be in the SBC, attend conventions, make motions etc. I suspect that attempting to influence events from outside has its challenges.

    Plus, I am not sure I would trust a group of preachers to run a sophisitcated reporting and archival operation that like!

  4. i am completely in favor of the creation of a database. My only question is how we would keep false allegations out of it. Any suggestions?

  5. The database would not have helped here.

    This Baptist church is located less than 30 miles away from Bellevue. Warren members get the Memphis newspaper. They watch the Memphis local news. I’m sure many at Warren were aware. Yet, they welcomed Paul Williams and put him in a position of leadership,

  6. Scott:

    That’s one of the problems I have heard mentioned.

    The advantage of governmental databases is that they are based on convictions in court.

    A private database that is based on convictions would be a duplication of what exists.

    A private database based on reporting would be based on what people tell you. If that is disputed by the other party, what is one to do? I don’t think that Baptists have ecclesiastical courts, so that’s an issue.

    I suppose the church would have to report the abuse to the authorities. If the church did not want to do that, the church would not call the SBC to report it either, I suppose. I think that there may be some legal duty of some persons to report abuse if they know about it. If a church did not call the authorities to report the abuse, but called the SBC, I think that to avoid liabilty, the SBC would then have to call the authorities.

    So, we are back to the willingness of that church to report it and stand by the report.

    Since the SBC can’t “try the accused”, so to speak, the authorities will have to. If there is no conviction, the SBC (I don’t think) would not put that in the database.

    If there is a conviction, I believe the convicted person would go on the various law enforcement databases that can be searched by the public. The SBC would not need to create a database for those folks.

    You have not mentioned this, but what about when the SBC forgets or makes mistake about putting someone in the database?

    That could be a huge problem, especially if the person goes out and offends again.

    I think that the SBC is afraid of making errors like this, and that’s why the churches of the SBC have not taken this up.

    Plus, it would open the missions contributions up to confiscation in lawsuits such as the ones that the Catholics have had to pay on.

    The churches give that money for missions, not for plaintiff’s lawyers like John Edwards! The churches don’t want to see it put at risk due to mistakes or negligence, which will occur in an imperfect system.

  7. BDW:

    Thanks for the clarification. I did not realize the connection in the article.

    I agree.

    There are arguments for a database, but this case is not one of those.

    If Williams does something at this church, can you imagine the fallout for that church?

    They would have to sell their property, probably.

    Even an allegation could force a settlement.

    What is this church thinking?

  8. Just a comment…

    keep in mind that no criminal charges have ever been filed against this person, also keep in mind, that according to the links given above…the “details” of the moral failure, were never made public and that the accusation of molesting his son,was just that…an accusation on another website…but from what I can see it has no foundation in any facts that I can find on the topic.

    Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but also, like most things, the facts aren’t as clear as it might sound.

    Anyone have any more detailed information…or more sources?

  9. It’s so frustrating to read these comments knowing that almost every issue brought up has been addressed in great detail in the past. I’m just too tired tonight to do the work for the ones whose comments show they haven’t kept up with this very serious issue within the Baptist denomination.
    First of all, the SBC VOTED to conduct a study concerning the feasibility and best method of keeping track of not just convicted ministers of sexual abuse but of CREDIBLY accused clergy sexual predators. However, not one dime was allocated for this study. The SBC leadership chose to ignore the motion that had been voted on and then gave some lame statement at the next convention. They never took the first step to study the problem or how to effectively track clergy sexual predators. There are detailed and documented articles on Stop Baptist Predators and on Wade Burleson’s blog. You will find a wealth of information on both Christa Brown’s website and her blog. Being an attorney, an advocate for victims, and a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, you won’t find random opinions and information but hard core facts, time lines, legal documentation, and everything else you need to educated yourself on this very serious problem of clergy abuse and the cover up that has been going on for years.
    The last thing needed is for the leaders of the SBC to over see whatever data base or tracking system would be used to protect the innocent and prevent preachers predators from moving down the road or to another city or state. We always wanted an independent panel…please take a few minutes to find the articles laying out very workable suggestions on how this could be accomplished.

    To whoever made this statement above: “…. keep in mind, that according to the links given above…the “details” of the moral failure, were never made public and that the accusation of molesting his son,was just that…an accusation on another website…but from what I can see it has no foundation in any facts that I can find on the topic.”
    Please pay attention. After going thru that nightmare which opened up old wounds of my own (there were many women like myself b/c PW was a sexual “predator”…a wolf… as well as whatever deviant label you want to give him for what he CONFESSED to Steve Gaines about sexually abusing his young son) Many were re victimized and traumatized by Paul Williams and/or by the way this was so wrongly handled. PLEASE learn one thing.
    The “details” and particulars of the way or manner in which a male or female are groomed, molested, raped, sodomized, manipulated, used, damaged, ravaged, traumatized….it is absolutely NONE of your business. A sane decent therapist won’t ask a victim to give the details of their abuse. Why should a victim relive the horror they experienced at the will and control of their abuser for you or anyone else? What is wrong with you? The most ignorant, cold, insensitive thing you can think or say is that….you want details!!!
    Newsflash….the perverted, deviant PW sat in his chair of” trust and authority” and asked women to relive their abuse in great detail for him. When he knew he had trampled their boundaries and they were vulnerable and confused he threw in a few questions just for fun….just for the thrill of it…HIS thrill. He wanted to know about their sex lives with their husbands…DETAILS.
    He asked with cold empty eyes focused on his prey…. if they had ever had sex with a women, at what age did they have their first sexual experience after what they considered being abused? I can’t write the other questions he had no problems asking. He felt powerful and in control …knowing how to press just the right buttons to disarm and bring victims back to that unsafe place forever etched in their minds and souls. He knew exactly what he was doing.
    I tried to warn people in the church 5 years before his son insisted he leave the ministry…. but he was a MINISTER!!! I was only in that office once… his wife had encouraged me to meet with him. This was only to discuss the SS lesson being taught in the single moms class. HOW do you go from living an abundant life as a Christian single mom to discussing inappropriate sexual details??? That’s what perverts and sexual predators do. I was definitely shaken but when he began to tell me I was going to bring my 12 year old son in to “counsel” with him(he gave me dates)…I snapped back into my mommy mode and there was no way that slime was getting near my son.
    I make a point of posting articles about clergy sexual predators on my face book. I got hammered when I posted the article about his position as a trustee and his 7 trips to Albania…where his daughter and 4 kids are missionaries. If I were to copy and paste the messages sent to me trying to shame me, telling me what a crummy Christian I was …defending PW….it would hopefully open your eyes to how twisted this whole thing is…and PW is just one of MANY!!!!!
    It is a fact that PW’s wife knew what he did to her son. But now I am told that PW is under the “watchful eye” of his wife, daughter, and SIL….to make certain he doesn’t harm any children AND to make sure he stays “above reproach”. I think he fell out of that box a LONG time ago. I was told they have set up strong boundaries to protect the kids in Albania. I was suppose to feel better!!!!

    It is a fact that his son has nothing to do with either parent and his 5 kids never see their grand parents. It is a fact that the son was on a morning show this morning explaining that he gives X amount of the profits from his business to help children who have been sexually abused get the help they need. He mentioned on the TV spot that his life had been affected by sexual abuse so it was an important cause to him.

    I’m done now. This exhausts me. The information is out there so don’t play dumb and don’t be lazy….do your research and figure out what your problem is that you believe you have the right to know the details of how an innocent trusting child was groomed and molested by his own dad. Research how this kind of abuse from a person who is suppose to protect you alters your life.

    Dee and Debbie, if you are interested, I will be happy to send you the recent newspaper article and the morning TV spot…also the condescending messages I received form the “friend” of PW’s daughter.There is so much more to this. SG cared NOTHING about the victim or victims.The “investigation report” was a joke. ALL the son asked was that his dad step down from the ministry and stay away from children.

    Sorry this is so long but it is actually only some of the highlights of this horrible ordeal that has forever altered the lives and health of many individuals. SG and the leadership of BBC and the SBC don’t have the least bit of compassion or remorse for those who were harmed. . They stood in the pulpit and lied with total ease.

  10. Valarie, (Dee, note it seems the comments are now in reverse order newest to oldest..by design?)

    When I talk about “details” I am referring to the difference between saying “I committed a siin” and “I molested my son”, I am NOT asking for intimate details of what transpired, just looking for specifics (maybe a better choice of words). According to the original article on the topic, it says that he only confessed to “a moral failure”, in a private conversation that was never made public. The statement that he “molested his son”, came from a 3rd party website.

    While I have an opinion on specialty databases for sexual predators, I will say that it would be inappropriate in list someone in that database unless they have been legally charged and convicted of a crime.

    There are numerous commercial “sexual offender” databases, along with state public web sites available to the public for a small fee. If it is a concern, a church can certainly avail themselves of what already exists without trying to replicate the service themselves. (http://www.geninfo.com/)

  11. Karlton,

    Before shooting your mouth off WRT something about which you obviously have no knowledge, may I refer you to the following, the official report from the church’s “investigative committee.”

    http://www.newbbc.accura.net/Reports.pdf

    This was not something that was merely rumored on a “3rd-party website.” Paul Williams admitted his “moral failure” (and the nature thereof) to several people we know of. Elmer Bailey, a former Bellevue staff member, who took Paul’s secrets to his grave. Jamie Fish, who is still on staff and was reprimanded for his silence. To his wife reportedly 3 years after the abuse ended. To a “Christian psychologist” who was counseling both Paul and his son, a clear conflict of interest not to mention that murky “failure to report criminal activity” for approximately 4 years before it came out (by the psychologist’s own admission), and finally about 6 months before it went public, to Steve Gaines himself. It’s unknown how many other people were aware of the situation before it came out, but suffice it to say it wasn’t just a rumor.

    We also have firsthand accounts from women who were victims of his behavior. As far as I know he never physically touched any of them, but his behavior with them was, to say the very least, highly inappropriate and harmful.

    Like the issue of the “itty bitty fence,” the whole “moral failure” thing has become sort of a running “joke” (there’s nothing funny about it) as those were the words Steve Gaines used when he announced an investigation was going to be conducted into Paul Williams’ behavior. Steve Gaines was the one who whitewashed the true nature of the situation.

    Note to the man behind the curtain: Yes, the comments are in reverse order now, and the preview function still doesn’t work.

  12. If I were to copy and paste the messages sent to me trying to shame me, telling me what a crummy Christian I was …defending PW….it would hopefully open your eyes to how twisted this whole thing is…and PW is just one of MANY!!!!!

    Please do. People need to see the extremes to which people will go to defend the defenseless. And a link to the article and interview, too, please.

  13. ‘While I have an opinion on specialty databases for sexual predators, I will say that it would be inappropriate in list someone in that database unless they have been legally charged and convicted of a crime.”

    The sexual perverts and pedophiles in ministry thank you. They have many victims before they are usually charged and convicted. Gilyard is just one example and even before that, several victims told his church and even the leaders who mentored him. Patterson told the victims they needed at least 3 witnesses before they brought a charge.

    I guess I was wrong that believers should have a higher threshold than the law. After all, abortion is legal.
    (
    The other problem with this thinking is that perverts and pedophiles actually target ministry and churches. Where better to go? After all, if caught, you are forgiven and if anyone talks about it they are hateful, bitter and unforgiving…after you said sorry.

    And of course, we know the court is clogged with false accusations. (rolls eyes) Actually, the bigger problem is people actually reporting it. As in Paul Williams, his wife just silently looked the other way while her child was molested. I suppose you think the child is responsible for not reporting it?

    I am not for a database because most pastors will circle the wagons as they have been doing for decades to get their friends names off the list. They will say it is “under the blood”. And I would never trust the SBC to keep a serious list of credible accusations. For example, Gilyard, if SBC, would have never made the database of credible accusations even though now he is in prison. Patterson would have kept his name off.

    Ministry has become a new law unto itself. Their sins are dealt with differently. Must be that special anointing. The only way to deal with it is to get out of the institutions that call themselves churches and find other true believers to be the Body with. It will not be easy, but it is the only way. I would prefer to err on the side of the children victims.

  14. * Sorry, wrong word. “Defenseless” should have been “indefensible.” They’re certainly not doing anything to defend the defenseless.

  15. Will someone please post the church’s web site, so the rest of us can comment to them.

    Karlton:

    Gaines told the church that Williams had confessed to him (Gaines) that Williams had molested a child. More has been documented of Williams’ inappropriate sexually oriented conversations with women who were victims of abuse. There has been documentation of much of this inappropriate behavior. There is no question of Williams’ behavior, some of which would have been criminal at the time it occurred, but there has, until recently, been a very big problem of the statute of limitations, and there is a lot of discretion on the part of law enforcement and the prosecutors.

    BTW, with all the stuff about Wiener not being fit for a political office for texts and tweets and photographs, how, in anything that’s holy, does a CHURCH justify putting Williams in a position of trust and leadership.

  16. Arce,

    http://warrencommunitychurch.org

    Phone: 901-465-0222

    Pastor is Ken Culver, but unless something happens to change his mind — i.e. hits him or the church in the pocketbook — say, through the church’s insurance carrier — he’s already made it clear that (1) it’s none of your business, and (2) that he believes in “forgiveness and restoration.” So far I’ve seen no evidence from Paul Williams of the steps required for forgiveness and restoration, and I believe he has disqualified himself from ministry and ever being allowed to be around children (i.e. his missionary trips to Albania).

    I can pretty much assure you b

  17. Seriously, the man behind the curtain needs to do some tweaking. Please disregard that last sentence fragment. I deleted that when I changed directions and proofread my reply, but it mysteriously reappeared.

    What I had started to say was I can pretty much assure you because you’re not a member of WCC you have no voice in this matter. That is, according to Ken Culver.

  18. By the way, the photo I posted of PW holding children was of him holding his daughter’s children. His son, last I heard, still would not allow him to be around his 5 children.

  19. Notastepfordsheep,

    “before shooting my mouth off”…really? What I stated was correct and reasonable given the initial article here and in what I could find on Google…I specifically asked in my comment to please offer any additional information that might be available. I did not see the link that you posted here on the initial article (did I miss it?), nor did I come across it on the web, however I did read it now that you made it available.

    Please feel free to keep your snide comments to yourself..they are not appreciated.

    Dee,

    A while back you made a comment that the example of Jesus forgiving the thief on the cross was evidence that forgiveness, does not imply elimination of consequences…I would ask you to remember also though the woman caught in adultery, where Jesus forgave her, told her to “go and sin no more” but did not insist that she be punished for her past crime…so I’m not so sure about the consequences part.

  20. Arce, It became public 6 months after Williams told Gaines. And the only reason Williams told Gaines is because his son threatened to do so if he did not. In fact, Gaines never intended for it to become public knowledge. But because he was allowed to stay in his position as minister of prayer and was interviewing abused people, etc, his son went to Gaines and asked he be removed from ministry since Williams refused to remove himself.

    Gaines had to explain why he allowed Williams to stay on staff. His explanation was that it was “under the blood”.

  21. “A while back you made a comment that the example of Jesus forgiving the thief on the cross was evidence that forgiveness, does not imply elimination of consequences…I would ask you to remember also though the woman caught in adultery, where Jesus forgave her, told her to “go and sin no more” but did not insist that she be punished for her past crime…so I’m not so sure about the consequences part.”.

    Karlton, You have missed the point of the parable. Kenneth Bailey, ME Theologian and Scholar really explains it best but jut one tiny point….the woman did not commit adultery alone. So, if they caught her “in adultery” then where was the man?

    The Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus with the law. As much as you would like for it to, this parable does not excuse the consequences of sin. But I am reminded we are discussing a pedophile minister so I am wondering where you are coming from. Let us lock up our children from the Karlton’s of the world who defend pedophilia and perverts.

    The point of the parble is the Pharisees. The woman was the pawn they used.

    You are an athiest, right? Why are you bothering with parables?

  22. “While I have an opinion on specialty databases for sexual predators, I will say that it would be inappropriate in list someone in that database unless they have been legally charged and convicted of a crime.”

    Christians are supposed to be on a higher moral plane than athiests. In fact , James says that “teachers” will be judged more strictly. We should not wait for a conviction….if there is a credbile accusation, the person should step down during any investigation. Schools do this. Why not Christians.

    What we are really seeing is that many professing Christians are more like Athiests in their practice.

  23. “Christians are supposed to be on a higher moral plane than athiests. In fact , James says that “teachers” will be judged more strictly. We should not wait for a conviction….if there is a credbile accusation, the person should step down during any investigation. Schools do this. Why not Christians.”

    Good point. A principal in our district was fired immediately because they found dowloaded porn on his computer. He was a good principal, too. But the policy is zero tolerance.

  24. It is my opinion that IF PW was actually repentant (ashamed, remorseful, embarrassed, broken hearted by the harm he’s done, turned completely away from his deviant sin) there is NO WAY he would be traveling to Albania 7 times to “work” around children. Comprehending and being broken by the harm he’s done…he would never show his brazen face along with the article…. boasting about his years in the ministry and especially his trips to Albania. He knows EXACTLY how this affects the people he has victimized. He knows the pain it causes his son.This is just another flashing red light that PW feels powerful, bold, and unstoppable.
    His son is an incredible young man. He never wanted his dad to go to jail. He JUST wanted him OUT of the ministry and away from children. That is the very LEAST PW could do for his son to help him heal. It is the very least PW could do for the other people he has harmed.
    Going back to repentance…I never received an kind of an apology from PW and neither did the other women I knew of personally who PW got his thrills from at our expense. There is nothing honoring to God in what PW is doing when it causes pain to others AND when the parents in Albania aren’t given the opportunity to make their own choices about who they allow around their children.
    It is fraud for him to go to another country where he isn’t known and pass himself off as a missionary to parents and children. I have nothing against the man moving forward with his life and having gainful employment…which he does have. But there is no one or nothing that would ever convince me he should be in the ministry or allowed to be around kids. He is not trustworthy or safe.
    According to his daughter’s friend who blasted me and defended PW with NO COMPASSION for his victims…. his daughter, wife, and SIL believe he has to be monitored…so as not to harm any children!!! DANG!!! Does that not speak to you about the suitability of this man to pose as a missionary around children??? At the very least the parents in Albania should be able to choose if they want this proven sexual predator and confessed child molester around their kids.
    How in the world is this in anyway honoring God?? He is once again using a position of trust and authority to do what he wants to do in spite of his son, in spite of what is logical and BEST for all concerned.

    The minister of Warren church, Steve Gaines, PW’s wife, his daughter, and SIL (and ministers in Memphis who could at least TRY to speak to the pastor of Warren church) are wrong for allowing this. I have to wonder also, who paid for all his trips to Albania?

  25. Anonymous,

    whoever you might be…

    1. I did NOT say that he shouldn’t step down or that he shouldn’t be dismissed…before you comment please actually READ what I bothered to write. I said that adding a person’s name to a database of sexual offenders is inappropriate unless that person has been legally charged and convicted…in fact, it may itself be illegal (I defer to Arce on that point).

    2. I also did NOT defend pedophiles…again..please try to actually READ the comment before getting on your soapbox. (see point #1)

    3. Christian’s are supposed to be “on a higher moral plane than atheists”..that’s simply laughable and ignorant…

    At least you succeeded in making one thing clear…I can now see why you post using the name “Anonymous”!

  26. Anonymous,

    In regard to the parable..it does not matter whether the man was present, in terms of the point I was making (to Dee, by the way). My point was that even Jesus, when forgiving a person, did not insist on punishment under the law…my point was, that some times, forgiveness does include the consequences.

    I am in NO way defending the acts of sexual offenders. However, I find the discussion of forgiveness and an opportunity for sex offenders to re-enter society with a clean slate to be one of great passion and not always logically consistent.

    To offer a simple example .. here are some stats on recidivism rates compiled by the Sentencing Guidelines Commission of the State of Washington…you’ll notice that when grouped by offense type, sex offenders would appear to have the lowest of recidivism rates. If that is the case, would you also prevent someone who committed a murder 17 years ago and who had since repented and not murdered anyone else since that time, a place in church ministry?

    Table 2: Recidivism by Offense

    Offense Type, Total Offenders, Offenders with prior felonies, % of all Sentences, % Recidivism

    Assault 4,547 2,569 16% 56%
    Burglary 1,931 1,229 7% 64%
    Drug 9,138 5,609 33% 61%
    Manslaughter 102 27 0% 26%
    Murder 109 38 0% 35%
    Other 2,596 1,780 9% 69%
    Property 8,142 5,381 29% 66%
    Robbery 680 389 2% 57%
    Sex 831 249 3% 30%

    Total 28,076 17,271 100% 62%

    original link

    http://www.sgc.wa.gov/PUBS/Recidivism/Adult_Recidivism_Cy04.pdf

  27. I admit I don’t know a lot of atheist. The one person I know who is happens to be more respectful to others than many of the church people I know. He also had no questions concerning the PW scandal at BBC. He stood with us and supported us during a very difficult time. He tried to bring reason and fairness when we were attacked on the BBC blog for not being quicker to forgive the sexual predator.
    The people in the pews were the ones who got things twisted when it came to compassion. The “unchurched” as we like to call them…and even the uneducated understood that PW and other predators are master manipulators and not to be trusted.

  28. In addition… (Arce, please chime in here, as I am out of my element)…I found some other interesting data…

    In United States v. Mound, 157 F.3d 1153, 1154, (8th Cir. 1998) (en banc), four dissenting Judges cite Law Review articles citing statistics finding the recidivism rate of released sex offenders is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all convicted felons. In State v. Krueger, Case No. 76624 (December 19, 2000, Eighth Judicial District of Ohio, unreported), two female Judges reversed a Sexual Predator adjudication, finding the statute is based on a false assumption and in essence, an “old wives tale” of popular beliefs contradicted by empirical data.

    In April, 2001, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) released a report also on the recidivism rate of released sex offenders. In Ten-Year Recidivism Follow-Up of 1989 Sex Offender Releases, Office of Policy, Bureau of Planning and Evaluation, Paul Konicek, Principle Researcher, (available at http://www.drc.state.oh.us), the recidivism rate of 879 sex offenders released from Ohio’s prisons in 1989, after ten (10) years, was found to be 8% for new sex offenses.

    The ODRC study finds its results as typical, citing to:

    1) Gibbons, Soothill, and Way, found in Furby, Weinrott & Blackshaw, 1989. (Twelve year study finding sex offender recidivism rate of 4%).

    2) Gibbons, Soothill, and Way 1980, found in Furby, Weinrott & Blackshaw, 1989. (Thirteen year study finding sex offenders recidivism rate of 12%).

    3) Hanson & Bussiere, 1996. (Mega-analysis of sixty-one sex offender studies with a total of 28,972 sex offenders finding recidivism rate for new sex offenses five years after release was 13.4%).

    4) New York Department of Corrections, nine year follow-up study. Finding a 6% rate of recidivism for new sex offenses.

    These studies are cited on page 11 of the ODRC report.

    Page 15 of the report, the overall findings are summarized. The ODRC finds, “Contrary to the popular idea that sex offenders are repeatedly returning to prison for further sex crimes, in this population a sex offender recidivating for a new sex offense within 10 years of release was a relatively rare occurrence.” Id. at page 15, ¶ 4.

    In McKune v. Lile, 122 S.Ct. 2017, 2024 (2002), the United States Supreme Court cites to the DOJ’s 1997 report on Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault, for the finding that sex offenders have a “high risk of recidivism.” Yet this report, cited above, finds the recidivism rate of released sex offenders for new crimes as 7.7%, and that rate is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all released offenders in the study.

    High recidivism rates for sexual offenders are not supported by empirical data and statistics from either the United States Department of Justice or Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Lest anyone here misunderstand what I am trying to say (hmm, how could that happen?), I am NOT either making a case in favor of sexual predators nor am I defending, in any sense of the word, past abuses by people who have committed them. What I AM trying to get at, is that it is not as simple a question as we might like it to be, and there is real risk that in our desire to protect innocent children we are running roughshod over the rights of other people, because we think, or have been made to believe that the empirical data i.e. a high recidivism rate, exists, where in fact in might not.

    If we wish to deny past predators a clean slate when they re-enter society, and if we are doing this based on a false presumption of high recidivism, then we are walking on very dangerous ground…all I am saying is that a close examination of the available data is in order before “passing judgement” on a church that wishes to employ someone who committed a crime 17 years ago and has not done so since.

  29. To offer a simple example .. here are some stats on recidivism rates compiled by the Sentencing Guidelines Commission of the State of Washington…you’ll notice that when grouped by offense type, sex offenders would appear to have the lowest of recidivism rates. If that is the case, would you also prevent someone who committed a murder 17 years ago and who had since repented and not murdered anyone else since that time, a place in church ministry?

    Let me offer another example or two for thought. It would appear from those statistics that thieves have about a 60% recidivism rate. So would you put someone who embezzled money 17 years ago and who has since repented and not been known to have stolen money since in charge of the church financial office?

    Or let’s say the neighbor’s large dog attacked and seriously wounded someone 3 1/2 years ago (converting 17 to dog years), would you feel safe around that dog today?

    And how do you know if the hypothetical murderer hasn’t committed murder again? He could have a dozen bodies buried in his back yard and it might not be discovered for years. Or if the embezzler hasn’t embezzled again? Or if the dog hasn’t bitten someone again? Or… if Paul Williams hasn’t molested another child? Because the statistics indicate that a pedophile doesn’t start and stop with one victim. The average pedophile has over 100 victims in his/her lifetime.

    And even if there’s “only” a 30% chance a pedophile will victimize someone else, would you want to take that chance? Let’s use some common sense here. The answer to your question isn’t no but HELL NO! Not in a ministry position and never, ever allowed to be unsupervised around children again. No.

  30. Karl,

    I won’t quote your long comment but rather ask you a question. Do you think it’s trampling on people’s civil rights to permanently list them on the national sex offender registry and require they reregister if they move? Thanks in advance.

  31. While I have an opinion on specialty databases for sexual predators, I will say that it would be inappropriate in list someone in that database unless they have been legally charged and convicted of a crime.

    Which is precisely why criminal background checks are not sufficient.

  32. Hi all

    I just got back and am glad to see the response to this. Clearly something needs to be done. Perhaps Al Mohler could spend a little less time on enforcing YE science and instead start condemning pedophilia in the ranks.

  33. Maika

    Good job. The church needs to hear from the rest of the world that such things won’t fly. Hey, I think I will let them know right now before I comment further. Thanks for the inspiration.

  34. To all

    My note to Warren Community Church:

    “I am one of the editors of The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog.

    I would be interested in posting your side of the Paul Williams story. As you know, he was allegedly involved in an incestuous relationship with his son. I would assume that you carefully vet your trustees to make sure that they are men of integrity as outlined in the Bible.

    Williams has apparently has been appointed a Trustee of your church. That action is causing quite a bit of discussion in the blogosphere.

    If you would like to respond to this matter, The Wartburg Watch would present your response, in its entirety, with no editing, on our blog.

    Please contact me at your convenience. We will be following the development of this story with great interest.

  35. notastepfordsheep,

    1. I am not certain…that is not a simple question. I have struggled and given much thought to whether any type of post incarceration database is the right answer. In general I am against it, I feel that if a person serves their time, they deserve a clean slate and an opportunity to get their life back on track (second or third time offenders .. easier decision). Putting them on a national database effectively prevents them from ever getting a job, or re-establishing themselves. Now, that was for the general criminal populace, as for sex offenders, it is more difficult. I am not insensitive to the desire to protect our children, but as stated before, the basis on which we are making these decisions seems to be unsupported by the data. Putting people on a database does nothing or very little in terms of actually protecting anyone, do you seriously believe that someone, dedicated to finding a child to molest is going to be hindered in any way by preventing him getting a job…I think it is an emotional response to a complex situation which doesn’t really provide any level of safety…like checking bags at the airport is supposed to prevent people from committing acts of terror…makes you FEEL safe, but I doubt the reality has changed. I am open to suggestions.

    2. You made a statement which is indicative of the types of problem we were discussing. You said that “The average pedophile has over 100 victims in his/her lifetime.”, please send me the supporting data for that statement…hearing it on Fox news doesn’t count.

    3. you comment about murderers etc. is actually ironic since Christendom is FILLED with pastors, missionaries and book writers who have, in their past, committed quite a few crimes and now lead good, productive lives (going back as far as the Apostle Paul himself). Christians seem to have the capacity to forgive (and forget) the past sins of pretty much anyone except a sex offender, in spite of recidivism rates…why is that again?

  36. Anonymous

    Let’s see….are you really suggesting some big shots in the SBC couldn’t twist some arms and change things for the better? Are you really saying that Al Mohler and Paige Patterson couldn’t call Warren Community Church and tell them to cut out the nonsense and do the right thing?

    Last time I checked, Al didn’t have any trouble in saying he was going to make creationism his BIG priority. So, his focus for the coming year is “let’s ignore the molested kids and go after those who don’t believe in the Flintstone Doctrine.”

    You see, in the SBC, the “big” boys get what they want and they clearly don’t WANT to stop pedophiles from making the rounds. It must not be important enough. Shame on them!

  37. Karl

    I just got back. Please click on our blog posts on pedophilia. Unfortunately, it was just such an issue that caused me to leave a church. It is a major hot button issue for me. In fact, i am planning on addressing this issue within the state of NC.

    We have posted lots of statistics on this matter from decent sites. Fox News was not one of them. But, the most famous one s that the average pedophile has over 100 molestations to his name when apprehended. nota stepford is correct.

  38. Karl
    Do not know why things have turned around in the comments. Bet the techno guy is up to good.

  39. Dee,

    I love to read, but could you shorten the cycle a bit and point me in the direction of the stat that supports that statement?

  40. Oh gosh. IF Warren church responds, it will be the same ol same ol many of us have had shoved down our throats for 3- 4 years now.
    I just reread the emails I received after I posted the article praising Paul Williams’ position as trustee. This nice “church lady” said “I love you, dear one” (she thinks she’s Beth Moore) in the same sentence she calls me vicious, and I did something that was “savage” to PW, and all kinds of other dramatic accusations intended to shame me. People seem to get it about sexual abuse or not get it.

    Karlton, we don’t make up the stats about sexual abuse. We do depend on research done (NOT Fox) and it is easy enough to find yourself. As I said earlier, if you need stats to help you understand the difference between a sexual predator and a thief, that it’s unbelievably rare for a sexual predator to have just a few victims, or to be truly “cured” there are many reputable sources. Shoot, you could probably find your stats on the websites of Dr Phil and Oprah.
    But if you are an adult and you don’t already see the difference you won’t be convinced by anything said here any more than the woman who sent me hate mail could shame me for having more compassion for victims than I will ever have for predators.
    If an alcoholic stops drinking…they will tell you they are still an alcoholic and can fall off the wagon any time.
    A person with a compulsive desire to violate a child or whoever fits their ‘vulnerable prey” profile are impressively patient people. The grooming process is as exciting to them as the actual sexual assault. They have been perfecting their lying and manipulation skills for years….they have rationalized things in their minds so long they believe their own lies.They are notorious for being able to convince their VICTIMS they are somehow “involved” in an affair or relationship, that they are responsible, that this is how love is expressed, or in the case of Christa Brown that she was still a virgin and this was God’s will for her. If you don’t see how sick their minds are and how evil they are….you must not want to understand. Maybe there is a good reason for that. I don’t know.
    You can remove alcohol from an alcoholic but no one can erase the perversion in a person’s mind.

    As far as the discussion about data bases….it would have been nice had there been somewhere to look for sexual complaints and offenses (the way we can check on a doctor) for the minister who is now in prison for murdering his wife. He had a long history of sexual complaints as did Gilyard, Tommy Gilmore, and many others. EVEN with the exceptionally good job the SBC has done to cover for preacher predators….there is a LONG list in places like Snap and Stopbaptistpredators….but it’s usually too late to help anyone by the time they make those lists.

  41. Valarie,

    I do not think you are “making them up”, however, that said, there are quit a few reliable source that would seem to indicate that the recidivism rate is NOT what the general populace believes. I would hope that if you have stats to back up a counter position that you would simply provide them so all involved in the discussion can research them and learn. To simply say “there out there” is not enough. Certainly if you believe that your ideas are based on data, then it should be easy to provide that data and not make me wander the web trying to figure out which stats you are basing your position on.

  42. “In regard to the parable..it does not matter whether the man was present, in terms of the point I was making (to Dee, by the way). My point was that even Jesus, when forgiving a person, did not insist on punishment under the law…my point was, that some times, forgiveness does include the consequences.”

    Again, You miss it big time. Jesus could not insist on punishment “under the law” for her since her partner in crime was not there, too. The OT law is very clear and has different consequences depending on who was married and who wasn’t. etc. But both were subject to punishment. Keep in mind the Pharisees were also operating under Oral law, too.

    It was a trap and the Pharisees were “in sin” for setting the trap and trying to set it unfairly, too.

    so, if your point in misusing the parable was not to suggest no consequences for some pedophiles, then what was it? You cannot have it both ways.

  43. ” please send me the supporting data for that statement…hearing it on Fox news doesn’t count. “. :o)

    But MSNBC does :o)

  44. Karlton, you can let the “clean slate” pedophiles babysit your grandchildren to get a fresh start.

    Problem is, most are never caught or if caught never convicted. It is hard to prove. Some pedophiles just use inappropriate touching. I guess that is ok in your world. And I am reading your comments. They make me sick for the kids .

  45. “I do not think you are “making them up”, however, that said, there are quit a few reliable source that would seem to indicate that the recidivism rate is NOT what the general populace believes.”

    After spending some time googling this, I find the rates are all over the board and broken into many subgroups. Make sure you are taking subgroups into consideration. Pedophiles who molest boys seem to have the most victims. http://www.atsa.com/ppOffenderFacts.html (one example…there is no consensus)

    The worst part is finding out when they are finally caught and convicted that there were so many other victims that had to live through the trauma before they were caught.

    Anyway, we will let you help the ones that come out of the 10% stats. You can test your grandkids on them.

  46. Valarie said:

    “The last thing needed is for the leaders of the SBC to over see whatever data base or tracking system would be used to protect the innocent and prevent preachers predators from moving down the road or to another city or state.”

    Valarie,

    You have made an EXCELLENT point! The leaders of the SBC are so desperate because of their shrinking numbers that it’s no telling what they might do. It’s all about perception.

  47. Anonymous,

    I’m not sure of your age, but I guessing maybe 15-16 based on the constant snide comments and personal jabs, think maybe you could respond without them?

  48. Karlton,
    I suggested several sites where you can do your own research. I also suggested that if you don’t have an understanding by now of how serious this issue is…. no one is going to influence you and this is just bantering and chatter for you.
    This is where I am coming from Karlton….I have been emotionally and physically drained by the reality of sexual abuse within the Baptist churches and the way the SBC pastors have covered for each other and turned a blind eye. I had to deal with people I had known for years…beginning in 07… always saying…show me proof. Then people I didn’t know expecting someone else to jump thru hoops to inform them. I don’t know how Christa Brown kept her cool all these years answering the same questions over and over. I’m glad she is taking a break from her blog. There is plenty of information just on her site to help anyone who is interested in becoming well informed.
    I’m not a stats person and don’t care to be. I care about people who have suffered the damage of sexual abuse. I know too many to sleep well at night.
    I also know enough abusers up front and personal and the patterns of their lives to last me a life time. If you don’t…good for you!!
    I no longer feel the need to educate you or anyone else. This traumatic issue has taken a toll on my life, my health, and my once thriving business.
    I feel no responsibility at this time in my life to do anything but be a friend and a support to people who are in pain and trying to heal. Hopefully I can be an encouragement to those God puts in my path. Right now I am doing what I can to bring in referral business for a survivor of clergy abuse. I have limited energy physically and emotionally and I intend to use it wisely.
    You can gather all the stats you desire and think whatever you choose to. It won’t affect the reality of the walking wounded and the preacher predators.

  49. So val, iguess this means if the stats say only 10% molest again, then we take the chance. nevermind the vctims are the most vulnerable and defenceless in society. once again, we have those who are more concerned for pervert adults than innocent children.

  50. The “100″ number is an estimate by professionals in criminology based on interviews with a particular class of pedophiles and does not apply to all sex offenders.

    Keep in mind that possessing pornography gets you on the list to be a registered sex offender (RSO) as does being 18 and having sex with a 16 year old. In most states today, it is statutory rape for a boy one year (or one year and one day) older than a girl under 17 to have sex with her and in some states, just fondling her breast, through or over her clothes can get you a conviction. A stat rape conviction will put you on the RSO list for the rest of your life. The registry varies from state to state and there is also a federal list. It is grossly unfair to think that everyone on the list is a pedophile or rapist.

    The number of offenses prior to arrest is a different statistic than a recidivism rate. The latter is the rate of known re-offenses after release from custody, resulting in re-arrest. There is little evidence regarding whether people on the list are more likely or less likely to re-offend. Some believe that those on the list are less likely to re-offend due to surveillance. Because of restrictive laws, some have no place they can live in some parts of the country.

    There is at best anecdotal interview data for a few predator sex offenders regarding the number of offenses prior to arrest. The interviewees with the largest number of self-reported offenses were men who targeted pre-pubescent children or young teen boys. There is some suggestion that SOME of the self-reported offenses were bragging, that some smaller number was reported as “hundreds”. At least one warped offender thought that if he reported having gotten away with a large number it would be seen as unfair to penalize him the first time he was caught. But there is also evidence that some of the predators may have been telling the truth about the number of offenses.

    In most cases reported to law enforcement, the offender turns out to be known to the family, either a relative, a neighbor of some duration, or a “leader’ in an organization that involves children. The offender stranger is much rarer. (One of the reasons for suspecting the reported high numbers.) If you deduct the kidnapper or home invader, most predation involves grooming the victim (and sometimes the family), which takes time, which is why the offender is known to the family in most instances of reported abuse. Because of the time required, the number of offenses per offender is unlikely to be as large as some media reports suggest.

    The cases that make the national media are the prolific predators, who are more likely to be interviewed and studied.

    BTW, the terms predator, grooming, etc., can be applied to those who improperly have sexual relations with adults as well, particularly when there is a prior power relationship. Also in another context, they can be applied to the methods of some rapists.

  51. All of that said, even one offense should put a child molester, a rapist, or a person who uses position to gain sex from a subordinate person (e.g., pastor-church member, counselor-counseled person, supervisor-supervised person, doctor-patient, lawyer-client, law officer-citizen, teacher-student) on a list and not permitted in positions in which there is contact with vulnerables.

    Beside the government lists, an entity like the SBC or state conventions, etc., could set up a data base with a panel to deal with allegations that have not (yet?) resulted in convictions. The panel could investigate, receive reports and statements, and evaluate and report the case as “confirmed”, “likely”, “unlikely”, “unsubstantiated”, or “unfounded” (e.g., essentially a false accusation). Then a church could check out the applicant for a position to see if they are on the government list or on the entity’s list and in what category, make an appropriate decision, and set conditions if necessary on employment. Having a reporting point outside the local congregation could be very useful, since most congregations seem to suppress any publication of any report or incident involving their leadership.

  52. Sorry Arce, those who molest children, even once, should be locked up forever. I am astonished at the cavilier attitude toward these innocent victims. And please, enough about 16 yr olds having sex with 18 yr olds. we get it. that is not what we are talking about.

  53. Valarie,

    I was not suggesting that you have an obligation to teach…if you chose to not engage in that form of discussion it is completely up to you. As you pointed out, you are not a “stats” person and you don’t care to be., that is certainly your prerogative.

    You speak of data and stats as though they are somehow divorced from the pain caused by sexual abusers, but I maintain that as a civilized society, any action that we take or want to take must be based, not on the emotional impact that something causes but on a clear picture of the real threat to society in general which can only be had by analyzing accurately the existing data.

    Whether we like it or not, criminals are human beings as well. If we profess a love for humanity we must strive to do what is best for all. Most of you seem to think I am some kind of monster because you think I am putting the welfare of sex offenders above that of children. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    But we must act with compassion toward all, bounded by reason, if we wish to claim any love of man. The sense I get on this blog is that most want to simply lock up sex offenders and throw away the key and let them rot for life in prison. Christians for years have loved using the phrase “hate the sin, but love the sinner”, but what is loving the sinner if that “love” has no action associated with it?

    All I am asking is for an intelligent dialog, where we can, as a group go over the many and varied statistics, and try to formulate, not only a plan to make children safer but to do so without trampling underfoot the abusers, who, like it or not, are also human beings, one’s who desperately need help. Maybe this isn’t the place to have such a dialog.

    As a professional programmer I was responsible, in large part, for writing and designing both the software and the database for one of the largest commercial criminal background check organizations in the US, namely General Information Services (GIS). I do have a fair knowledge of the problem along with having been exposed to much of the data and while I can understand the pain that being involved in this can cause, that pain should not be what drives us, our actions should be guided by reason and compassion for ALL involved in the problem.

  54. “Sorry Arce, those who molest children, even once, should be locked up forever.”

    That comment sums up this whole comment thread for me. Karlton and Arce are trying to have an intelligent discussion about this serious issue, and every response to them is less helpful than the one before. There hasn’t been a single, direct, and thoughtful response to Karlton regarding the issue of creating a database made up of folks who MAY OR MAY NOT BE GUILTY. Does anyone else see that a flippant response to that problem is ridiculous?

    Then Arce posts a helpful perspective and some good thoughts..and Arce gets the response above. Folks, this is obviously a sensitive issue…but lets be reasonable.

  55. Dear Karlton, Arce, Joey and any others where the shoe fits. I was pointed to this discussion board yesterday by a close friend. Wow the discourse has been something else, especially on your part. I know you state you are not on the side of the sexual predator but you are certainly going out of your way to defend them in my opinion. And your comments also show a very shallow understanding of the horrors of this crime and life long lasting effects on its victims.

    You want to sanitize their abuse and make a stat out of it. Please tell me when someone as a child is brutally raped and sexually abused that is simply a stat? Damn I wished I could make it that clean. See I am one of those wounded warriors. I ask that you go to http://www.darkness2light .org and do some serious homework. However, I am not sure that will convince you of anything.

    You rip up Christians and speak of the Scriptures often. You use it as a tool as to why we are wrong and you are right. Like the Holy Word of God says even the Devil knows the Word. You accuse us as acting out of pain and not love. That is a great big fat tub of BS and you know it. You all are such hypocrites.

    I was fortunate to be part of the special audience of the 2 Oprah shows last November that dealt with men that had been sexually abuse as a child; not necessarily clergy sexual abuse. We all agreed that the child that we were died the day our abuse started. The goals, hopes and dreams died with that child. We were not allowed to become the person we were created. Instead for many of us what was left was void, desperate and lost. There was no future, no goals. And did anyone care? So we had to make do and adapt as best we could. Some never survived and checked out early rather than deal with the “PAIN” that was inflicted on us. Some barely survive to this day.

    You talk about forgiveness for ALL. Well Karl, Arce, Joey and like minded: I am not in the forgiving business and neither should you. The forgiving business is the Lord’s and I will not try to tell Him how to do His job. What I am about is getting the word out about these monsters and stopping them. I have a very strong faith and close relationship with my Lord, Jesus. I am also a strong voice against this horrific crime. I work with several groups of child advocates in trying to protect our children. I put on workshops and discussion forums all over the country.

    You can forgive your pedophile buddies all you want. If they are convicted, admitted, creditability accused; I want their names in a database so that people can check. And I am not about to get into a discussion thread with you over what I mean by creditability accused. Just go to the Bishops Accountability website and see what I mean. I simply don’t want them around children. They forfeited that right when they first abused. They can live next you unmointored but not me.

    And lastly as to your comments about pain driving us; that is not what drives me. Let me say this; I count it a joy and blessing to have suffered the abuse I did. I have taken what one man meant for evil and turned it around for good. I praise the Lord for being able to do this. Why you might ask? Hopefully to reach people in being better prepared to protect our children but more importantly when I encounter ignorant, self-righteous idiots like you all, I am not afraid to speak out. See no one can to do worse to me than what that priest did to me on the fall Sunday afternoon in October 1961. I will stand my ground. Neither I, nor anyone else on this blog has to apologize to you or anyone else in wanting a database. It is long overdue.

    One last point: Warren Community Church is named for the Warren community in which it is located, not after Rick Warren. Just Google map it and you will find Warren Road just east of it on the North side of Highway 64.

    David Brown
    SNAP Director of Memphis/West Tennessee
    901/569-4500
    david@davidbrownpi.com

  56. David,

    Sorry that you feel that way. I was sexually abused as a child on 4 different occasions by 4 different people and I can recall each incident quite clearly. Don’t you dare presume to tell me that I have a very shallow understanding of the problem…keep your arrogant, unfounded, self-righteous attitude to yourself please.

    Secondly I never accused anyone of acting out of pain..I said they were making an emotional decision, there is a difference.

    Lastly, you may not be in the forgiving business, but if you are a Christian you certainly should be.
    Colassians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”…good advice regardless of your beliefs.

    Joey,

    Thank-you, I was beginning to think all was lost in trying to have a reasonable discussion.

  57. ‘Then Arce posts a helpful perspective and some good thoughts..and Arce gets the response above. Folks, this is obviously a sensitive issue…but lets be reasonable.”

    How would you define “reasonable” when it comes to a little boy being raped? You really do not want the pervert locked up forever? It is people like YOU who scare me. certainly hope you do not have children.

  58. “Secondly I never accused anyone of acting out of pain..I said they were making an emotional decision, there is a difference”

    Oh brother!

    Every word you write is “emotional”.

    the decision to use Zyclon in the gas chambers was emotional even though much science and experimentation went into it. The most cold caluclating Nazi was acting on emotion.

    Accusing folks of “emotion” is the last refuge of a scoundral since we are “emotional” beings. Even the most stoic scientist is “emotional”. The difference is how that emotion is presented.

    I would suggest you, Arce and Joey, present your stats to the 8 year old boy who was molested. Also tell him how mean it is to want the pervert locked up forever.

    Of course, I do not believe for one moment you were molested. Funny how that came up last. Athiest do not exactly have an ethic of truth. After all, there is no punishment for liars.

  59. “Lastly, you may not be in the forgiving business, but if you are a Christian you certainly should be.
    Colassians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”…good advice regardless of your beliefs.”

    David, Karlton claims to be a former believer from the SGM cult. He is now an athiest who uses scripture against believers. I suppose he thinks forgiveness means reconciliation and fellowship. He also does not take into consideration that Paul was speaking to believers and he ignores 1 Corin 5 where Paul advised them to throw the unrepentent pervert out of the Body so he could be saved.

    However, a lot of Christians get this wrong, too. They spend more time worrying about the pervert than they do the children. It says a lot about them.

    Funny how Karlton thinks the rape of children is ‘having a quarrel”. Kinds of sums up what we have been reading here from him.

  60. “Whether we like it or not, criminals are human beings as well. If we profess a love for humanity we must strive to do what is best for all. Most of you seem to think I am some kind of monster because you think I am putting the welfare of sex offenders above that of children. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    But we must act with compassion toward all, bounded by reason, if we wish to claim any love of man. The sense I get on this blog is that most want to simply lock up sex offenders and throw away the key and let them rot for life in prison.’

    Let’s see. ADULT molesting CHILD. The most vulnerable and defenseless of our society. They only have ADULTS to protect them. They are totally at the mercy of adults.

    And you think it is “unreasonable” to lock up the perverts raping children. . That is not showing “love” to children.

  61. :All I am asking is for an intelligent dialog, where we can, as a group go over the many and varied statistics, and try to formulate, not only a plan to make children safer but to do so without trampling underfoot the abusers, who, like it or not, are also human beings, one’s who desperately need help. Maybe this isn’t the place to have such a dialog.’

    Thanks, but I will focus on the victims whose lives have been ruined by ADULT. Not just by the pervert but by those who are crying for the perverts “”rights” as “human”. I suppose you think it is human to molest children? I thought it was animalistic.

    The perverts have plenty of help…everyone is running to focus on them. I will err on the side of safety for children.

  62. “Don’t you dare presume to tell me that I have a very shallow understanding of the problem…keep your arrogant, unfounded, self-righteous attitude to yourself please.”

    No one on this blog is more arrogant and self righteous than Karlton!

  63. Anonymous,

    You pervert what others say, and certainly their intent, you insist on using personal attacks and sarcasm while others are trying to have an intelligent conversation. It is apparent that you lack maturity and are ill equipped to participate in a adult discussion…

  64. I can attest to what Anonymous is trying to communicate. A friend of mine had a 7 year old son molested at church. He did not tell his parents but told his older sister.

    Then the parents called the police. And the real interesting stuff started to happen. The church rushed to “help” the molester and stand by him because he was so sorry for what he did. The child was pretty much forgotten by the church family. In fact, many acted as ihe child ruined their pure church by allowing this to happen.

    The parents were shocked at how this all fell into place. Many people were demanding they forgive the molester and not ruin his life by pressing charges since no penetration occured. (The parents figured there was not enough time or there would have been)

    How do explain this to the 7 year old? He is caught in the middle. How to explain to him that he is precious, valuable, when so many adults whom he trusted for his spiritual health, are now acting as if he isn’t? They are acting as if the molester was more valuable. The parents told me this opened up a whole other topic that was much to big for a 7 year old as in why adults can be so wrong about something so important.

    And I wonder how many other kids would dare tell about the same thing when they saw how the 7 year old was treated when he was violated. Our “responses” carry a lot of weight, both with adults and especially with other children. Children are not stupid, they pick up on a lot.

  65. “You pervert what others say, and certainly their intent, you insist on using personal attacks and sarcasm while others are trying to have an intelligent conversation. It is apparent that you lack maturity and are ill equipped to participate in a adult discussion”

    Intelligence would demand you look at how this plays out with children who are victms of molestation. Where are THOSE stats?

  66. Karlton,

    I don’t what to say, other than I am sorry that it seems my fellow believers cannot approach this discussion rationally, nor do they seem to want to. Before I get back to the issue of creating a database (which I want to do)…let me say a couple things…which I am sure you know, but just to confirm:

    1. Despite what folks here are saying, you are right…Christians are called to forgive without exception. I can even forgive someone without assuming that they will never commit that sin again, since MY FORGIVENESS IS NOT CONDITIONED ON THEIR GENUINE REPENTANCE. Jesus taught (a) love your enemies (b) forgive your brother 70×7 times…in other words, an unfair amount of times… and (c) show mercy as you have been shown mercy…and the mercy we have been shown is infinite mercy, since we have since against God. This leaves no room the perspective that there are sins that are too great for us to show compassion and forgiveness towards the sinner.

    2. Obviously this does not mean that the state is not fully justified to prosecute criminals, or punish evildoers, or that Christians cannot participate in that process. Christians can follow Christ’s command to forgive without that forgiveness condoning or supporting the sin. I can have compassion towards a rapist while still firmly believing they should be locked away. I can have compassion on a murderer while respecting the state’s responsibility to sentence them to death. Etc.

    3. Just because you are an atheist, I have no reason to suspect you of lying about horrific events in your past, and I am sorry that others here do. I expect that anonymous is having a bad day.

    4. Your appeal to statistics and facts and call for reasonable dialogue is not a defense of pedophiles, and others accusations along those lines about you are simply ad hominem and discredit the folks making those statements.

    So now that we have that out of the way…what would your thoughts be about creating a database where folks who had been accused, and their was documented evidence to support the accusation (such as a confession) even if there was no conviction in a court of law? Then churches would have criminal databases plus a database of folks who are guilty but had never been prosecuted (which happens at times for various reasons, especially in cases where its within a family).

  67. 1. Despite what folks here are saying, you are right…Christians are called to forgive without exception. I can even forgive someone without assuming that they will never commit that sin again, since MY FORGIVENESS IS NOT CONDITIONED ON THEIR GENUINE REPENTANCE. Jesus taught (a) love your enemies (b) forgive your brother 70×7 times…in other words, an unfair amount of times… and (c) show mercy as you have been shown mercy…and the mercy we have been shown is infinite mercy, since we have since against God. This leaves no room the perspective that there are sins that are too great for us to show compassion and forgiveness towards the sinner.”

    Joey, If this is true, then why didn’t Paul advise their forgivness toward the guy in 1 Corin 5? or why didn’t Paul communicate his forgivlness of Hy and Al in 1 Tim 1? Or how about John? Why didn’t he write Gaius and tell him to forgive Diotrepehes? Instead, he said he would deal with him later.

    There are other exampes but you have a very immature, simplistic understanding of forgiveness as most Christians do. In fact, there is no forgivness from Christ without repentence. I know that is not taught much in this shallow Christian world, but it is true. And that repentance is continual because we have the Holy Spirit who convicts of us sin continually if we are true believers. (Hebrews 10:26-31 and ALL of 1 John are instructive here)

    Forgiveness is when we give up what we think is our right to revenge for wrong doing against us. This does not mean we ignore criminal acts or that we do not help the civil authorities when investigating evil. We do not put forgiveness up against protecting the “least of these”. in fact, we enable evil when we do so. Which is exactly what you all are advocating but I doubt you can see it. So, you resort to using forgiveness as a club to beat people with. Funny how the atheist uses scripture as a club here.

    You are using forgiveness as a club to beat people with and do not understand it at all. but the molester at church loves you for it.

    Please study this topic in CONTEXT. Forgiveness does not always mean restoration. Nor does it always mean reconciliation or even fellowship. WE can forgive the embezzler but we still send him to prison. We can forgive the bank robber but we still send him to prison.

    We can forgive the molester from behind bars so as to protect the little ones who did not deserve it. I just wish more adults were concerned about them as much as they are the perverts.

  68. “We can forgive the molester from behind bars so as to protect the little ones who did not deserve it.” – Anonymous

    I totally agree. I even said as much in my previous comment:

    “I can have compassion towards a rapist while still firmly believing they should be locked away. I can have compassion on a murderer while respecting the state’s responsibility to sentence them to death. Etc.”

    And I agree with you that forgiveness does not always mean restoration. Nothing I said would indicate otherwise, I believe.

    I would also argue that Paul’s instruction and correction, just like church discipline or excommunication…do not contradict Christ’s instructions to show mercy and compassion and forgiveness. Many times they are the very way we show mercy. So a church can forgive a pedophile while still not letting him teach in any capacity or be involved in any children’s programs etc. Forgiveness does not mean pretending something didn’t happen, or trusting that it won’t happen again. It is not being bitter towards that person for what they did, and treating them in a compassionate and loving way. Its not holding their sin against them (in a relational way, not in the judicial sense).

  69. Joey,et al

    When your child looks at you and says he is sorry, do you always assume he is sorry? You assess the sincerity of his apology and will occ wait until he is truly repentant. There are slot of people who can mouth a mea culpable but we can know if they really mean it, at least on some occasions.

    Jesus did not forgive everybody unless you are a universalist. One must ask, sincerely, for Jesus’ forgiveness else one is like the Mafioso who were good churchgoers and then went out and killed again.

    Also, I cannot forgive a pedophile who harmed a child that I do not know. The apology and restitution must be directed towards the child and parents.

    Way too many Christians play games with the forgiveness business. It is serious stuff. Lots of criminals cry crocodile tears when caught but. For many,it is just that. They got caught.

    A real pedophile would demonstrate the depth of their repentance by taking on actions that show some semblance of understanding. They would not delberately expose themselves to children or purposely move into an apartment next to a playground like on chuch pedophile has done in our area.

    I am an opponent of cheap apologies just as I am about cheap grace. When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die- not come and party.

  70. “So a church can forgive a pedophile while still not letting him teach in any capacity or be involved in any children’s programs etc.”

    The question is, why is he there if he is a pedophile? If he is in the church at all, he has access to children. That is the whole point. The fact he walks around means he has access to children.

    We have ignored what is in the heart of one who molests the least of these. Should we trust their words of repentance and for how long if they are freed from prison. (Keeping in mind, repentance is a change of heart…totally…hard to prove without lots of time)

    Keeping in mind, we are to be the protectors of children….they cannot protect themselves. I prefer to err on the side of children.

  71. Joey,

    First, I agree 100% with everything you just wrote…no arguments from me.

    To the database issue…I understand the desire to have one, but there are several points of concern that I have..

    1. Even private database systems must comply with FCRA requirements on pre-employment screening, will churches comply with these Federal regulations?

    2. Upkeep and correctness: There are many reasons why even people convicted of offenses in the court system might need to have their names removed from a private database of information..including, but not limited to: a deferred adjudication, expungement, a judges order that records be sealed or some sort of judicial set aside under state law.

    3. The most difficult part of this process is that now we are asking to go one step further. Virtually all private databases are at least based on public court records. Now we want to add people to a database based on accusation, confession or because someone else has them in their database, even though they have never been tried by the legal system, that seems contrary to everything this country was built on as a country of laws. I cannot even begin to imagine what type of legal problems can arise from that. Arce,
    chime in any time.

    What you are really doing is repeating the worst parts of American history, the times like Red scare of the 1940′s and 50′ when a simple “accusation” was sufficient to be blacklisted and investigated by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, or, if you prefer the witch hunts where simply being accused was sufficient cause to be burned at the stake, or the Japanese-Americans during WWII who were incarcerated for no other reason than being of Japanese descent.

    I am all in favor of sending offenders to prison, I have never said otherwise, and I also believe that our children need to be protected, but I believe that those things must happen within the context of the legal system and for private citizens to create databases of sex offenders based on accusation is to effectively undermine the very society we are trying to create. No one says it is an easy decision to make, and no one wants a sex offender to “get away” with their crime, but there are laws for a reason and they need to be followed.

  72. Martin

    same thing happened in my church. Crazy women wanted to counsel the offender and told the parents of molested boys not to press charges.
    An elder subtly placed blame on a boy and asked him why he didn’t tell his parents!!!! Pastors blamed friends of the abused for causing trouble and having “malice of forethought” during a church service. And the pastors who overlooked the abuse were promoted.

    And Satan smiles.

  73. David

    Thank you for commenting on this blog. Your organization, SNAP, advised a group of us who confronted a pedophile situation, actually two different pedophiles, an d gave us much help when we were being abused by a church for confronting the appalling response of thebpastors.

    SNAP has single handedly broughtnthis issue to light and I, for one, am grateful for your group. The SBC is behaving like the RCC. Perhaps that’s the reason that atheism is on the rise in the world . Continue to fight the good fight.

  74. Intelligence would demand you look at how this plays out with children who are victms of molestation. Where are THOSE stats?

    As some of you seem so worried about the quaity of life for the pedophile, I thought we might consider the victims.

    What are some of the consequences to the child of molestation throughout the stages of his or her life?

    (Karlton is excepted since it did not seem to bother him and all victims need to be as mature and unemotional as he is today)

  75. “1. Even private database systems must comply with FCRA requirements on pre-employment screening, will churches comply with these Federal regulations?”

    Not true. Churches are even exempt from all Labor laws. The SBC could have a database of credible accusations and get by with it. You would not believe what churches can get by with. They have special status.

  76. “3. The most difficult part of this process is that now we are asking to go one step further. Virtually all private databases are at least based on public court records. Now we want to add people to a database based on accusation, confession or because someone else has them in their database, even though they have never been tried by the legal system, that seems contrary to everything this country was built on as a country of laws. I cannot even begin to imagine what type of legal problems can arise from that. Arce,
    chime in any time.”

    You are equating the church with the state. That is like saying a pastor can sue because he was not hired due to an allegation. He can sue, but the court will throw it out.

    Dr. Klouda tried this when she was fired from SEBTS for being a woman teaching Hebrew to men. SEBTS said they were a “church” and the judge threw out the case.

  77. “3. The most difficult part of this process is that now we are asking to go one step further. Virtually all private databases are at least based on public court records. Now we want to add people to a database based on accusation, confession or because someone else has them in their database, even though they have never been tried by the legal system, that seems contrary to everything this country was built on as a country of laws. I cannot even begin to imagine what type of legal problems can arise from that. Arce,
    chime in any time.”

    You are equating the church with the state. That is like saying a pastor can sue because he was not hired due to an allegation. He can sue, but the court will throw it out.

    Dr. Klouda tried this when she was fired from SWBTS for being a woman teaching Hebrew to men. SWBTS said they were a “church” and the judge threw out the case.

  78. Anonymous & Joey & Dee

    I just got off the phone with the Federal Trade Commission (also FCRA) office of the general counsel and was told, that


    A.) A church IS required to follow FCRA regulations regarding pre-employment notification (no exceptions)

    B.) It would be illegal to use a database which is NOT based on court records (i.e. one based on accusation, inference, or confession) for pre-employment screening purposes and they “strongly” advised anyone planning to do so to consult with an attorney first.

    Guess that answers the question for now.

  79. “Jesus did not forgive everybody unless you are a universalist.” – Dee

    Jesus offers forgiveness to any and all. Whether they accept that offer is, of course, up to them. But he does not require payment on their part for their sins before extending the offer of forgiveness. Nor should we.

    “Also, I cannot forgive a pedophile who harmed a child that I do not know. The apology and restitution must be directed towards the child and parents.”

    This is true to a large degree, but in the context of church, if someone wishes to be restored to the church after committing this type of sin, then there is a type of forgiveness that is required on the churches part to allow that. The sin was primarily against God. the victim and his/her family, but if the offender is a church member, then it was also secondarily a sin against the church. It brings reproach on the body. And we can either forgive him for this or not. I would argue we must (if he doesn’t want it then its a non-issue of sorts). Again, this doesn’t mean pretending it didn’t happen, not being in favor of prosecuting etc. The examples you give where the perp is treated better than the victim, or prosecution was discouraged…that is completely wrong, and mind boggling.

    The concept of Christian forgiveness IS scandalous. Turning the other cheek, loving your enemy, showing undeserved mercy…it isn’t cheap, its marvelous. I understand the concern that we are opening ourselves to attacks from within by the worst of the worst…but the solution is not to toss out Christian forgiveness. Naivety is one thing…the church trying to play the state is one thing…those issues need to be dealt with…but lets not throw out forgiveness, compassion, and charity in the mean time.

    Karlton, I will think about it…but I am inclined to completely agree with you.

  80. Joey,

    Excellent comment! I’d like to add, that atheists as well as theists can and do practice this type of forgiveness, it is not unique to the Church…it is a decision of consciously acting in a way that produces the type of society in which we want to live.

    I hold no anger or desire for vengeance against the people for molesting me when I was young. I certainly wish it hadn’t happened, but I like to think I am as concerned for their well being and recovery as I am for my own…and again, I would want the same compassion if the tables had been reversed.

  81. Anonymous

    I know of some teens who were molested. There have been serious issues with some of them including drug abuse, anger, etc.There are a number of books written by those who were victims of such abuse and such books point out the long term pain.

    In fact, in the ongoing trial of Casey Anthony, the defense attorney brought up that she was sexually molested by her father (not proven). It is evident from this tactic that it might be used as a way to show that Casey had been so harmed that she might have done things that most people would consider evil.

  82. Karl

    The creation of such a database only serves to warn churches of the potential for trouble. The church can then do a more careful investigation instead of merrily appointing pedophiles to positions of trust.

  83. Dee,

    It doesn’t work that way…first, if they are concerned about hiring a sexual predator, then pay the fee and do a search of legitimate legal sources either through a private company with GIS or by searching court records directly or both!

    If there is no record of a conviction, then in this country, at least at the moment…you are innocent of any wrongdoing.

    Not to mention that any Church doing this would potentially be a target for a lawsuit, since, once again using such a database for pre-employment screening is illegal.

  84. just got off the phone with the Federal Trade Commission (also FCRA) office of the general counsel and was told, that

    A.) A church IS required to follow FCRA regulations regarding pre-employment notification (no exceptions)

    B.) It would be illegal to use a database which is NOT based on court records (i.e. one based on accusation, inference, or confession) for pre-employment screening purposes and they “strongly” advised anyone planning to do so to consult with an attorney first.

    Guess that answers the question for now.”

    What exactly did you expect the Feds to say?

    Let me put it to you this way, if the SBC wanted to start an internal database of women known to teach men, they could legally. And then churches could check on women before they hired them.

    Anyone can sue. But it would most likely be thrown out of court as most of these cases are when it involves a church. They can do the same using an internal database of suspected perverts applying for jobs.

    As someone who has a family member who is an attorney that has mostly mega church clients, I know what I am talking about. They juggle about 5-7 lawsuits at all times. And nothing comes of any of them except to harass the church. I agree they should be harassed but I am telling you that you do not understand the relationship of the law to the church.

    About the only thing the gov can do to really harass them is when it comes to zoning stuff. Otherwise, they get by with tons of stuff that would blow your mind when it comes to hiring, firing and operating.

  85. None of my comments were intended to defend or protect anyone who has sexually or otherwise abused a child. My point was that we must be careful about how we interpret the fact that someone is a Registered Sex Offender, because many on such lists are not predators of small children and many who are not on the lists are as dangerous to our youth and children as those on the list.

    I have been qualified for some years to be the ad litem attorney for children when their parents’ rights are being terminated due to abuse, but until this week, I have not asked to be placed on the list to do so. My reason was my concern that I would lose my cool in court at the parent who had abused the child, and by doing so, cause the case to be lost. I dearly love small children and would go to any length to protect them from harm. To me, children are people the way God created us to be, before other people get them messed up. Until the last couple of years, I would be in tears while reading some of the cases I have studied in preparation for court, where I often represent women who were abused, and sometimes where their children were abused, to keep the father from getting custody as a way to control the mother and keep access to the children, often merely as a tool to punish the mother for leaving and/or reporting the abuse. I am one of the few attorneys in central Texas who take such cases without thousands of dollars up front. I ask if the prospective client has been to Legal Aid (almost always yes, but the man beat them there and was turned down, but the conflict of interest rules keep them from representing the woman). I then ask if they can pay the filing and service fees up front. If so, I get that. If not, I front that expense. I ask them to pay $100 a month if they can, no interest, $50 a month otherwise. Most do, some do not. I rarely bill for all of my time at the lowest rate attorneys charge in this area, and never try the usual collection tactics. Just a call to inquire about how the family is doing, and, if they can, to please make some kind of payment each month; and to pray for me that I can continue to help hurting families.

    As a result of that, my wife and I must live very cheaply. Frequently, I make a “dry stew” that uses 4 ounces of meat and makes 2-4 servings, with veggies from the garden or the farmers’ market. We don’t travel, don’t have cable, do our own laundry, don’t have any retirement funds, and still owe for my legal education.

    I do not defend predators. My point has been that there is a tarring with a broad brush that results in ruining lives and even gets people killed, because they were put on the RSO list but did not rape small children or seduce teen boys, did not use violence at all, etc. We need to be careful when we make general statements.

    I have represented the mother of a 4 year old little girl who was raped by and forced to do oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Would you lock a 12 year old up for life? He does need therapy, counseling, and a lot of watchful eyes, and if it happened again at age 17 or older, then, yes, toss the key away.

    I have worked with churches when the pastor or another staff member has violated their position of trust with a person not their spouse, usually one who is being counseled or a staff member. To me, that offense should result in a permanent career change for a church minister.

  86. “I have represented the mother of a 4 year old little girl who was raped by and forced to do oral sex on a 12 year old boy. Would you lock a 12 year old up for life? He does need therapy, counseling, and a lot of watchful eyes, and if it happened again at age 17 or older, then, yes, toss the key away.”

    What about the 4 year old?

  87. “Would you lock a 12 year old up for life? He does need therapy, counseling, and a lot of watchful eyes, and if it happened again at age 17 or older, then, yes, toss the key away.”

    Perhaps this is where most of us just shake our heads and wonder what people are thinking. Yes, I would lock up the 12 year old. Here is why:

    1. A raped 4 year old has not only emotional damage but physical damage.

    2. So, you are willing to take the chance that it could happen to another child in order to allow the 12 year old to be free.

    3. Who is going to “watch” the 12 year old every minute?

    4. The 12 year old committed an adult crime….how is the rape of a 4 year old not premeditated?

    5. You are more concerned with the healing and rights of the 12 year old who was convicted than you are of the 4 year by implication of what you suggest

    6. Th 12 year old would be put in juevenile incarceration not adult prison. He can be counseled, mentored and helped there.

    7. In my state his rape would not be on his public criminal record when he turns 18. If we did a background check on him, we would never know he had raped a 4 year old.

    8. Now, what about the 4 year old with physical and mental damage? What about other children out there…we need 2 victims before we can throw away the key?

  88. so, because of the Judicial system, the 4 year old becomes the pawn in that sick scenerio. Not a lot of people concerned for her. I cannot give the 12 year old a pass because this was modeled for him. he is still dangerous and should not be free.

  89. He is not free. He has been sent to a juvenile incarceration and treatment facility, and will be there until the therapists believe he no longer presents a risk to other children. It is not in their professional interest to underestimate that risk, and the rules are pretty strict. If he is released before 18 y/o, he will be monitored. If he is considered to still present an unacceptable risk to other children, he can be kept in the juvenile system until 21 or, depending on the specifics of the court adjudication, he may can be transferred to adult prison and treatment facilities. It is not a system designed primarily around the rights of the juvenile perpetrator, but it is designed to rehabilitate and if successful, return the offender to society with oversight.

  90. The victim was provided counseling services. All of the parents involved are very poor and do not have the resources so the counseling is provided by the government.

  91. Guest 45,
    You appear to be a complete jerk.Why did you feel the need to post that link? Post all you want about the minister who confessed to being a sexual pervert yet he is considered worthy to work around children in Albania and to serve as a trustee for another church.

    “Is it any wonder how the father was so good at Financial Matters”

    What the heck does your asinine comment even mean? Are you helping or encouraging this young man in any way at all?? Do you think your stupid remark will help him build his business so he will be better able to support his family?? I get so sick of people like you (and there are way too many of you) who NEVER give a thought to showing respect or compassion for people who have been wounded to their core and yet they get up and try their best to live a normal life and make a better life for their families.

    Do you enjoy the pain of those who have been degraded and betrayed by the very person who should be the safest person in their lives. Focus on the piece of crap who is probably grooming kids in Albania and who arrogantly sits on the board of trustees at some stupid church 30 minutes from the church where he confessed to being a child abusers. You posted that for no good reason. You obviously are as compassionate as Steve Gaines and the other redneck brutes at BBC were. I regret discussing this horrible traumatic issue on this blog. Here is a clue for you …..decent people protect those who have been wounded not mock them….we expose and the sexual predators for the damage they’ve done.

  92. Valarie

    I hope you understand that we at TWW support strong measures against pedophiles. Please read our posts about the issues at BBC. We devoted a number of posts to the issue a couple of years back. I think Steve Gaines should have lost his job for hiding Williams . But the girly men in the SBC don’t seem to think so.

    We, too, were involved in a church that poorly handled a pedophile situation. I left that church and continue to advocate for this issue. In fact, I intend to do something concrete in the near future.

    Blame the comments, do not blame us. We are all to well known by a church or two for our stand on this issue.

  93. Dee and Deb,
    I apologize for sounding like I was blaming you. I understand your position and your mission on this blog. I have been reading for a long time.
    In one of my comments I mentioned this young man had been on TV advertising his business. Right after that I knew there was no good purpose in exposing him during this discussion. We want to expose the preacher predators and the ministers who cover for them. Unless we can do something positive to help victims of clergy abuse we certainly shouldn’t do anything that could be harmful.

    I copied and pasted the statement made by Guest 45 and asked 3 of my friends if they knew what it could possibly be implying and none could figure it out. One thought maybe he was implying they both knew how to make money…but that was long shot and pretty lame.
    If you are going to be so insensitive and make a pointless remark, (Don’t) at least be articulate about your purpose. I think it was just a thoughtless way to be mean. So Guest 45…you really stink IMO.
    Dee and Deb…we’re cool and thank you.

  94. Even in a situation such as this, in which there were almost certainly people at the Warren church who knew about Williams’ history, it could have made a difference for Southern Baptists to have a denominational database of convicted, admitted and credibly accused clergy sex abusers. With such a resource in place, the SBC would then have a basis for potentially disfellowshipping churches that insist on keeping such men in positions of trust. There would exist the institutionalized possibility of a consequence for those churches. And it would make a psychological difference to many Baptist clergy abuse survivors to simply know that the faith of their childhood cared enough to at least take the bare-bones step of keeping records on such men.

    And what if Williams had decided to move to a small church in Florida or Texas instead of just 30 miles down-the-road? What are the odds that people would know about him? Since he was never criminally convicted, he’s not going to show up in any public databases. Other major faith groups in this country now have denominational systems for removing such men from ministry so that they cannot church-hop their way to new positions of high trust. Those systems often fail. But when no denominational system of accountability even exists, as with Southern Baptists, then failure of accountability becomes virtually inevitable.

    Unlike other major faith groups, Southern Baptists have insisted that their faith precludes them from taking on any denominational responsibility for credentialing ministers or for the hiring and firing of ministers. So they claim they can’t implement the sorts of safeguards that other major faith groups have. But why can’t they build a cooperative system that would at least allow churches, and people in the pews, to receive information about reported clergy who have been credibly-accused? If Baptists can build systems to cooperatively provide better retirement plans for ministers, and to cooperatively take the “great commission” across the planet, then it seems utterly disingenuous to imagine that they are incapable of building a system to cooperatively assure the better protection of kids against clergy predators and to hold their own ministers accountable.

    For Baptists to think that each of the 43,000 churches can effectively address the problem of clergy predators on their own is like thinking that each municipality in this country can effectively address terrorism on their own. They can’t. It is the sort of problem that requires a cooperative effort.

    In most cases, there is a significant time lag between the time of the abuse and the time when the victim becomes capable of speaking about it and reporting it – often 20 to 30 years. This reality is well-established, but Baptists fail to account for this reality. One of the consequences of this time-lag reality is that the vast majority of cases cannot be criminally prosecuted. For Baptists to persist in looking solely to the law to do the job of cleaning up their own churches is terribly dangerous. If a Baptist clergy abuse survivor wanted to report an abusive minister 30 years after the event, where would he go? What denominational office would even hear him? Until there is a safe place to which the victims themselves may report abuse with a reasonable expectation of being objectively heard, other denominational efforts will amount to little more than window-dressing.

    In my opinion, the very worst in all of this is that Southern Baptists have used religion itself as a rationalization for their do-nothing denominational approach to clergy sex abusers. If this is really about protecting the denominational coffers against lawsuits, then Baptist officials should speak honestly and say so and allow for the possibility that those liability issues might be addressed, debated, and/or insured against. But instead, Southern Baptist officials use the religious doctrine of local church autonomy to justify their do-nothingness. It’s a shame of a sham. Every Southern Baptist in the country should be ashamed at the way in which religious doctrine has been so egregiously exploited for the self-serving ends of religious honchos and a system of cronyism. This corrupt radicalization of the doctrine of local church autonomy serves to crumble the very moral foundation of Baptist faith and gives that faith the appearance of a phony-baloney cowardly fraud.

  95. Not to say HYPOCRITICAL. They kick churches out for having a woman pastor, and in some areas, a woman deacon. They kick churches out for allowing LGBT Christians to be fully participating members. But they endorse and cover up for clergy that abuse children, thereby aiding and abetting the crime. One wonders if the decline is not the punishment of God for this hypocrisy. Remember that the hypocrisy of religious leaders was the one thing that angered Jesus the most during his earthly ministry.

  96. Christa,

    I appreciate what you said, and I am with you that we need to protect children, but I am still adamantly against any type of database that goes beyond reporting “convicted” felons to reporting those who have only been “accused”, regardless of how credibly.

    This is the price that must be paid to live in a nation where people are considered innocent until proven guilty and are not considered or treated as though guilty before being tried by a jury. It is just like free speech, sometimes, in order to protect the ideals of freedom of speech you have to support the right of some people to say some pretty offensive things. In the same way, to ensure the concept of innocent until proven guilty, sometimes others must be put in harms way. It’s not that we want it that way, but it’s the price that sometimes must be paid.

    That said, I think there is much that can still be done to protect children, many changes that could be made both inside the churches and in the legal system and they can be done without sacrificing or looking the other way while the freedom of others, not proven guilty in a court of law, is trodden underfoot.

    Even if we could lock up every accused offender on the planet, there are still, sadly, many out there who would prey on a child that we know nothing about.

    Let’s focus on the the things that we can do to provide more protection for children both from the predators we know and even more importantly from those we don’t.

    1. Children should always be with more than one person (Church’s should “legislate” this for their employees), not only in classes, but when being counseled, etc.
    2. Infant or child care, should always be done again in pairs (or more). If a child need to be accompanied to a bathroom, again more than 1 adult should go.
    3. All church workers should undergo a criminal background check
    4. These policies should be PUBLISHED PUBLICLY for all to read and understand.
    5. Awareness classes could and should also be taught in Churches, right along with Bible study
    6. Most importantly, the importance of awareness, the policies that protect children, etc. should be preached from the pulpit now and then.
    7. The church’s (esp. mega churches) should use some of that money to hire professional abuse and child counselors to come in on a weekly basis and be able to spend time with children in the church who have experienced abuse in the past, they should be praised and encouraged, not shunned and made to feel ashamed in order to protect the “reputation” of the church.
    8. Parents of abused children should also be free to partake and use the services of the professionals hired by the church.
    9. Most importantly, parents AND children should receive EXPLICIT instructions on what to do in case ANYTHING happens which seems counter to what is appropriate. They should have names and numbers of caring, trained church members to contact and they should be made to feel that contact of these people is ENCOURAGED and that not only will their concerns be taken with the utmost gravity, but they themselves will be embraced even more by the church and other church members. They should NEVER feel the slightest sense of shame, fear, intimidation or alienation.

  97. 7, 8, and 9 would be great! But none of those things will stop the established Baptist pattern of predator preachers moving to the next church or mission field either with help from those who have knowledge of their “moral failures” or by turning a blind eye and hoping for the best.

    The reason the Catholics are now being held accountable and the abusers are finally being stopped is b/c at least the Catholics kept records.
    Tommy Gilmore’s name was in a “secret file” the SBC had. Several ministers and his wife KNEW what he did yet he moved on to work at Charles Stanley’s mega church in the CHILDREN”S dept.for years. It did no good to have his name in a “secret” file or for the ministers not to report him or at least strongly suggest he find another profession.
    The Baptist churches are the safest place for a pedophile.

  98. I disagree with the church hiring the counselors. If a church employee or member was the abuser, then the church should PAY for the counseling with the counselor chosen by the parents from outside the organization. Otherwise the counselor is in a position of conflict of interest and cannot be a credible witness nor an independent adviser to the family.

  99. Arce,

    You are absolutely correct! Sometimes what’s best for the church and what’s best for the abused are in direct conflict. Sovereign Grace Ministries has been notorious for NOT getting victims the professional help they need. I guess involving outside counselors and even the police would have tarnished the sterling reputation they were desperately trying to build. Sorry CJ & Co. The cat’s out of the bag…

  100. ‘This is the price that must be paid to live in a nation where people are considered innocent until proven guilty and are not considered or treated as though guilty before being tried by a jury.”

    This means pedophiles in churches have a free ride! Never mind 1 Corin 5. Now, if they had been accused in a pubic school, their “rights” go out the window.

  101. Arce,

    I agree that if a person prefers an outside private counselor then the Church should pay for it, assuming that the abuse occurred in their church. I was referring more to a situation where a mega church knows that they have people in the congregation who come from abusive pasts, they should, in addition to spiritual counselling also keep on staff a professional to provide assistance to those families when and if needed (in addition).

  102. Have the Baptist advocate groups (against sexual exploitation of children & coverups by the “redneck cronies”) taken these cases to the media? Public shaming & hitting them in the pocketbook (via civil lawsuits) is about the only thing that will shake the foundations of such ongoing harmful wickedness (the “sweep it under the rug” mentality is, I dare say, as painful to the abused, if not moreso, than the abuse itself).

    See how one man who took a stand in another “religious” group** ended up with over two dozen mainstream media documentaries being produced & aired; not to mention the ensuing lawsuits:
    http://silentlambs.org/historyofsl.htm Very inspiring for victim-survivors everywhere.

    What you will see is that the “redneck cronies” mentality (or I should say “Purposeful Modus Operandi”) is exactly the same as what is described in these SBC blog articles. The “men in positions” (no matter which “religion”) seem to only care about “appearances” & the almighty dollar bottom-line than in protecting children. And all followers or church members who cry “touch not thine anointed” & rally behind the secrecy & coverups & blame the victims are deaf, blind, dumb & deceived beyond belief & only pour salt in the wounds of the affected victims & their families. This willful, wanton ignorance on the part of the “flocks” & the manipulations by “leaders” to keep abuse under wraps are both inexcusable. Keep speaking out against all odds, shout it from the rooftops.

    On another note: Make it a habit to start asking every preacher, minister, pastor, deacon, etc. if they are a Freemason. Ask them to their face. The “secrecy” mentality is the Masonic hallmark. They also take oaths to protect (“lie” & coverup) any crimes of other members of their “brotherhood.” There is enough research on the net of Masonic infiltration & strangleholds in churches, SBC not excepted. Visit the Freemasonry Corner at CuttingEdge.org or sites like Ex-Masons for Jesus, etc. for more info (the “mystery of iniquity” that was already on the scene is Paul’s day is the medusa of Egyptian/Babylonian “mystery religions” of which the Masons & other Luciferian societies are based & which are actively working to destroy Christianity from the inside-out).

    **This comment is in no way, shape, or form an endorsement of that “religion,” but only offered as inspiration for advocates & survivors of childhood sex abuse everywhere, myself included, as to what one determined person can accomplish. Thank you.