"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Barbara Blaine-Founder of SNAP
(She has more cojones than the entire SBC leadership)
TWW would normally post an excerpt from a Christian History manuscript today. However, due to some factors beyond our control, that will be postponed for one week.
We are currently involved in a discussion surrounding pedophilia and the church. The current issues being discussed in the comment thread involve both forgiveness and restoration. I have decided to change my post for tomorrow and look at both of these issues and how they relate to pedophiles and the church.
This issue is a hot button issue for both of us at TWW. We watched a church which dealt with this problem in a most unsatisfactory manner. Frankly, I have been astonished at how much churches lawyer up in these circumstances and show little regard for the well-being of the children involved. These churches mistakenly believe that they are protecting the church by utilizing intimidation tactics normally seen in secular organizations. (The Mafia comes to mind).
In many instances, there seems to be more interest directed toward the perpetrator with churches often providing character references for these perverts. In our state, recently, a man was sent to jail for consuming large quantities of vile child pornography. This is the sort of stuff in which little kids are molested on camera for popular consumption. So, who defends such a creep? Well, a minister defended this man, stating he had now become a Christian and should have his jail sentence delayed so that he could stay at home and get his affairs in order. Said pastor never once mentioned any concern for all of the children harmed by this pornographic business. I think this is sick and I say shame on him.
Recently I spoke with a gentleman who is the head of a national ministry. When I brought up the Eddie Long debacle, his first response was that we needed to forgive him and restore him. Restore him? He hasn't been unrestored! Not one word was spoken about the children and their need for help. Not one word was mentioned about insisting that Long ask the children for forgiveness. Nope! In fact, this ministry was inviting Eddie Long to speak! I wonder if they ever considered getting any molested children to speak…
David Brown wrote an excellent comment on our blog. He is a representative of SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests). For those of you unfamiliar with this fine organization, here is a link to their website. Here is a quote from their Welcome page.
“If you've been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who've been hurt just like you have. Together, we can heal one another.
We are SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
We are the nation's largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns, brothers, monks, and others). We are an independent and confidential organization, with no connections with the church or church officials. And we are here to help.
SNAP was founded by Chicago's Barbara Blaine in 1988. Since then, SNAP has helped thousands of survivors. We offer support in person, (via monthly self-help group meetings in chapters across the country), over the phone, on line, and at twice-a-year national meetings.
We also provide a safe and productive outlet for the passion many survivors feel toward preventing future abuse.
Our web site exists to provide support and knowledge to all victims of clergy abuse, to help educate the public, and to help ensure that in future generations, children will be safe.”
This group has done more to help those molested by clergy than any other organization. They have been instrumental in the actions against the Roman Catholic Church and its pedophile priests. They provide support groups and can help in getting psychological counseling for victims. If you want to understand how victims feels, this is the group to ask. If you need help in resolving your own experience, this is the place to go.
During our own little debacle, SNAP offered legal help and was willing to address the situation by sending representatives to meet with and confront the church. When this organization speaks, everyone should listen carefully. I can assure you that their very name sends cold chills up the spines of churches that have been on the receiving end of their attention.
Once again, I say shame on the churches that have not spoken out loud and clear on this issue. Shame in the men who have not demanded churches do the right thing. Instead, you all hide behind the sorry excuses. The world sees through them and so does Jesus who loved the children. Al Mohler, Jack Graham, Mac Brunson, Paige Patterson, JD Greear, and many, many others, your silence is deafening. Perhaps you should spend less time worrying about the eternal subordination of women and more time addressing a real problem. SNAP makes you guys look like a bunch of impotent backslappers.
And since you can't seem to rouse yourselves to do something about this issues, I offer the following. David Brown (Many thanks!) suggested the Bishop's Accountability blog. LINK If they can do it, so can you.
Lydia's Corner: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23 John 7:1-30 Psalm 108:1-13 Proverbs 15:4