Brentwood Academy (TN) Sued for Alleged Cover-Up of Sexual Assault and/or Rape

"A family has filed a $30 million lawsuit against a private Christian school in Tennessee, alleging failure to act after a 12-year-old student was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by teenage boys."

U.S. News and Word Report

https://www.facebook.com/55273944385/photos/a.390436039385.167119.55273944385/10156235899634386/?type=3&theater

Brentwood Academy

WARNING: This post contains graphic sexual language, which may be triggering to some of our readers.

Last Friday Brentwood Academy, an elite private Christian school near Nashville, Tennessee, was named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The suit alleges that during the 2014-15 school year a sixth grade boy who attended the school was sexually assaulted and/or raped at least four times by eighth graders in the school locker room.

According to WKRN:

The lawsuit claims one of the students accused in the abuse also bragged about it to the basketball team, and other students witnessed at least one incident.

Jane Doe [the mother of the 6th grader] claims that during each of the alleged incidents, the boys were left unsupervised at either after-game parties or inside the locker room.

Here is how the local television station (News Channel 5) broke the news of the lawsuit.

U.S. News and World Report published an article yesterday that contained additional details. (see screen shot below)

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/tennessee/articles/2017-08-10/lawsuit-christian-school-covered-up-rape-of-12-year-old-boy

Other media outlets have covered this story including Fox 17 (a local network) and The Tennessean (the area newspaper). 

An article in The Independent provides a link to the Complaint, which was filed in Williamson County Circuit Court on August 4, 2017.  (Warning: This court document contains graphic sexual language.)

In response to these accusations, the Headmaster of Brentwood Academy, Curtis G. Masters, is speaking out. The Tennessean published a follow-up article entitled In strong rebuke, Brentwood Academy headmaster denies school failed to respond to rape.

According to this article:

Brentwood Academy headmaster Curt Masters in his statement Thursday morning did not refute the specific claims, saying they would be addressed in a formal legal reply filed in the near future.

But he denied anyone at the school ever heard an "allegation of rape" in 2015. The attacks were alleged in a $30 million lawsuit filed in Williamson County last week by a student and his mother. 

"At no point before or during the investigation in 2015 did I (or anyone on our staff to my knowledge) hear any allegation of rape," Masters said in the statement, emailed by a school representative Thursday morning.

"When we heard of inappropriate activity, we responded immediately and thoroughly, cooperated fully with the authorities, and took appropriate disciplinary action based on what we knew.  Certain allegations in the lawsuit and highlighted in the media are not factual, will be disputed, and our defense will be vigorous."

With regard to the phrases "turn the other cheek" and "everything in God's kingdom happens for a reason", Masters claims that "certain statements attributed to me are simply not true." Interestingly, he did not specify which statements.

The Tennessean article included the following information provided by Brentwood Academy's headmaster (see screen shot below):

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2017/08/10/strong-rebuke-brentwood-academy-headmaster-denies-school-failed-respond-rape-report/555666001/

The Tennessean article conclused with this statement:

"This is a developing story".

Rest assured, we will be following this story very closely… Please join with us in praying that the truth will be revealed.

In the meantime, here is a video telling a little bit about Brentwood Academy, which I found on the school website.


Comments

Brentwood Academy (TN) Sued for Alleged Cover-Up of Sexual Assault and/or Rape — 202 Comments

  1. @ Spartacus:

    No, but great question! That was Briarwood Presbyterian Church (and Christian school), located in Birmingham, Alabama. 

    On another note… Do I qualify for Bronze if I did the post? 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting about this! It looks like so many things were not done here. There was no mandatory reporting to law enforcement. The state itself says that *everyone* is a mandatory reporter in Tennessee. If this was the case, and these incidents happened, why on earth did the school not report as it was supposed to?

    Providing a link so you can see what I’m talking about here.

    https://www.tn.gov/dcs/article/reporting-abuse-faq

  3. “The Tennessean article included the following information provided by Brentwood Academy’s headmaster. Master’s statement also includes a list of assertions that he says the community should believe. Those include:

    *Academy staff responded immediately and cooperated with a authorities when “we became aware of concerns.” The statement doesn’t clarify the specific nature of those concerns.

    *Staff and faculty are trained about mandatory reporting, and report issues immediately.

    *Maintaining the confidentiality of current and former students.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This struck me immediately.

    Did Masters actually say “the community should believe” in his list of assertions? You feel entitled to tell people what they should believe, Mr. Masters?

    Or did the writer for the newspaper choose these unfortunate words as if to say “this is Masters’ official statement on the matter”?

    Is there a sort of cultural strain in Nashville / Tennessee / the South of favoring & passively yielding to authority figures (especially those with the ‘Christian’ label)?

    …and those authority figures (especially christian ones) feeling enamored with their own power? enough self-entitlement that whatever they say is to be believed simply because they in their powerfulness said it?

  4. “When school administrators were approached by the boy’s mother about the attacks, the lawsuit states that the boy’s private counselor, a former Brentwood Academy employee, shied away from reporting the abuse to authorities, saying ‘this isn’t how Christian institutions handle these things.'”

    USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 1:08 p.m. CT Aug. 9, 2017 | Updated 12:46 p.m. CT Aug. 10, 2017

    Brentwood Academy Annual tuition: $24,690, for 2017-18

  5. Brentwood is a very wealthy town. Home to a, who's who in Country Music, and to notable sports figures. I wonder how many of these *stars*, might have, or currently do, send their children to Brentwood?

  6. Just horrendous, that poor kid. I hope there aren’t more, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

  7. Good for this mom. Thirty million ought to get the attention needed to get this out in the open. Glad the mom didn’t ” turn the other cheek” on behalf of her son. Go momma bear!!!

  8. “The lawsuits claims Masters referred to the attacks as “boys being boys” and told the victim “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.”” (U.S. News & World Report)

    Goodbye Mr. Masters … everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.

  9. Mae wrote:

    send their children to Brentwood

    It’s not surprising that Brentwood would have children capable of bullying and abuse. A lot of parents send bad kids to elite Christian schools hoping they can reform them. Most of these institutions are glad to take their money, while not sufficiently monitoring bad-boy activities.

  10. If Brentwood had kicked out the perpetrators in this situation and then those boys were then sent to an ( evil) PUBLIC school….how much ya wanna bet it would have been dealt with swiftly and professionally???

  11. Just thinking … Should it be a requirement for students who attend Christian schools to be Christians? Not to be from Christian families, but to be Christians themselves? To have professed Christ and demonstrated Christian character before they enroll in a Christian school?

  12. @ Max:

    Well, you are talking children as young as five through highschool age. People become believers at all different times of life.

    Did Jesus require belief in him “before” one could spend time with him and his disciples?

  13. Just thinking about the “just thinking” comment I just posted. I guess trying to determine if a child attending a Christian school is a Christian would be as difficult as sorting out how many non-Christian adults who attend church are indeed Christian. It’s been my experience that a lot of “Christians” in church don’t really act like they are. Of course, the Great Commission is all about reaching non-believers with the message of Christ … thus, every Christian institution will hopefully attract non-Christians who will hear and accept the precious Gospel of Christ. That is the mission of a church … and, I suppose, should also be the mission of a school operating under the banner of Christ. But, in the latter, flesh-babies coming in the door should be closely monitored … boys will be boys, as Mr. Masters says.

  14. Bridget wrote:

    Did Jesus require belief in him “before” one could spend time with him and his disciples?

    No, He only required belief in order to be His disciple.

  15. Max wrote:

    But, in the latter, flesh-babies coming in the door should be closely monitored … boys will be boys, as Mr. Masters says.

    They all need to be watched equally, even professing Christians.

  16. Bridget wrote:

    They all need to be watched equally, even professing Christians.

    Standard school protocol.

    That, BTW, is what is missing in this case – standard, required, legal procedures, in lieu of, “we do things differently here”.

    When are Christians going to set the bar higher, rather than down in the gutter lower, in the name of “we do things our way”? In this case, anyway, can’t possibly be God’s way, after what the child had to endure at the behest of incompetent administration, counselors, coaches, and teachers.

  17. “”With regard to the phrases “turn the other cheek” and “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason”, Masters claims that “certain statements attributed to me are simply not true.” Interestingly, he did not specify which statements.”

    I am sick and tired of hearing that rape, molestation and sexual harassment are things that happen for a “reason”, like the victims are supposed to sit back and take it for the sake of the kingdom. It’s phrases like that that cause many victims to cower in fear of Christianity and to view it’s “God” as a monster who enjoys engineering the rapes of children, women and men for “His Glory”. How many little ones have stumbled in their faith because they are being forced to reconcile themselves to a faith where no one reports anything, does nothing and views these events as “God-willed”.

  18. JYJames wrote:

    In this case, anyway, can’t possibly be God’s way, after what the child had to endure at the behest of incompetent administration, counselors, coaches, and teachers.

    Right! And at the hands of other “Christian” boys.

  19. JYJames wrote:

    That, BTW, is what is missing in this case – standard, required, legal procedures, in lieu of, “we do things differently here”.

    The very sad thing is that most Christian institutions are very far behind in understanding sexual abuse/abuse and how to deal with it in their midst. They claim to have a “better way” to deal with it, but if they would only look at the fruit of how they deal with it, in the lives of those abused, they would see a very horrible result. AND if they would accept scripture where it speak of governments being in place for a purpose, maybe they wouldn’t run from the laws in place to protect children and those abused.

  20. Bridget wrote:

    They all need to be watched equally, even professing Christians.

    Indeed! As report after report on TWW has documented, flesh-babies become flesh-adults, attend church, and even go into the ministry!

  21. If these allegations are true, the school should lose its charter and all teachers and administrators should never be allowed to have anything to do with children again. Boys will be boys and everything happen for a reason is never acceptable. This "christian" school and its personnel have been shown to be anything but.

  22. Sam wrote:

    “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason” …

    Sam wrote:

    It’s phrases like that that cause many victims to cower in fear of Christianity and to view it’s “God” as a monster …

    I’d be interested to know what the underlying theology is at Brentwood Academy. I have my suspicions about Mr. Masters’s theological leaning in regard to his “everything” comment about the sovereignty of God vs. the free will of humans to behave badly.

  23. “It’s just not possible to imagine a child who’s been raped coming to Jesus and being met with: “Well, what can you do? I can’t keep an eye on everyone all the time” … These “good Christian” administrators allegedly “separated” a couple of the boys who were involved from the academy and gave a couple of the others in-school suspensions. AND THEN TOLD NO ONE. So these kids are out there somewhere, going to school with other kids.” (Nashville Scene)

    http://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/20972157/brentwood-academy-allegedly-has-a-weird-definition-of-christianity

  24. Beakerj wrote:

    ‘Boys will be boys’. What an horrific ridiculous phrase.

    Yes, that disturbed me, too. Coming from the headmaster, it essentially gives license to the other boys at Brentwood to “be boys”, however that may manifest itself.

  25. Max wrote:

    It’s not surprising that Brentwood would have children capable of bullying and abuse. A lot of parents send bad kids to elite Christian schools hoping they can reform them. Most of these institutions are glad to take their money, while not sufficiently monitoring bad-boy activities.

    So true. I have taught in public schools, as well as in a private Christian school. Some of the kids in the private schools are those who were kicked out of public schools.

  26. Max wrote:

    I’d be interested to know what the underlying theology is at Brentwood Academy.

    It begins with $25,000 a year in tuition. Gotta pay to play.

  27. @ Max:

    “Just thinking about the “just thinking” comment I just posted. I guess trying to determine if a child attending a Christian school is a Christian would be as difficult as sorting out how many non-Christian adults who attend church are indeed Christian. It’s been my experience that a lot of “Christians” in church don’t really act like they are.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    how does one determine such a thing, without it being akin to which political party one has registered with? is one a christian because they have checked some boxes but not others?

    and is the most bona fide christian the one who checked the most boxes? read an OT chapter every day, check. read a NT chapter every day, check. private prayer time in the morning, check. nightly family bible study, check. weekly group bible study, check. have a christian mentor, check. accountability group, check. weekly church attendance, check. ‘deacon’ in the church, check.

    quite honestly, the more boxes a person checks the more brainwashed and the less objective they are prone to be.

    i come to that view because the most excellent human beings i observe (selfless, sincere, kind, responsible, honest,…) have no religious faith, no religious affiliation, or else hold to their religious affiliation loosely (in whatever religion).

  28. Sam wrote:

    I am sick and tired of hearing that rape, molestation and sexual harassment are things that happen for a “reason”, like the victims are supposed to sit back and take it for the sake of the kingdom. It’s phrases like that that cause many victims to cower in fear of Christianity and to view it’s “God” as a monster who enjoys engineering the rapes of children, women and men for “His Glory”. How many little ones have stumbled in their faith because they are being forced to reconcile themselves to a faith where no one reports anything, does nothing and views these events as “God-willed”.

    You are not the only one who is sick and tired of hearing this christianese hor$e$#it.
    The only so-called ‘reason’ these horrors happen is because we let them happen.

  29. Muff Potter wrote:

    the most excellent human beings i observe (selfless, sincere, kind, responsible, honest,…) have no religious faith, no religious affiliation, or else hold to their religious affiliation loosely (in whatever religion)

    Agreed. Some of the nicest, unselfish, moral people on earth are non-Christians. Some of the meanest go to church!

    Scripture provides a glimpse of the character expected of Christians: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) … “compassionate hearts, humility, meekness” (Colossians 3:12-15). While some non-Christians display this behavior, all who profess the name of Christ should.

  30. Max wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    the most excellent human beings i observe (selfless, sincere, kind, responsible, honest,…) have no religious faith, no religious affiliation, or else hold to their religious affiliation loosely (in whatever religion)

    ?! Actually, Muff Potter didn’t write that! I was responding to elastigirl. Not sure how Muff’s name got assigned to my comment.

  31. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    We have a Christian college in our community. Once a pillar of faith and Christian character, nowadays just about anything you can find going on at a secular college occurs at this Christian school. The local newspaper has reported assorted crimes by students there.

  32. @ JYJames:

    “That, BTW, is what is missing in this case – standard, required, legal procedures, in lieu of, “we do things differently here”.

    When are Christians going to set the bar higher, rather than down in the gutter lower, in the name of “we do things our way”?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i think christian culture is hung up on words like consecrated, sanctified, set apart, not of this world, come out from among them and be separate, a peculiar people, etc. to the point of the ridiculous, the stupid, the ineffective, the prejudiced, the destructive, the illegal, the criminal.

    i think it’s plain foolish for “christian” not to search out best practices regardless of the label and ‘brand’, and adhere to them.

  33. We need to remember that our default setting is self-serving, selfish, and a lot of other self-…….which is summed up as sinners that need a Savior. Any group that does not take this in to account will not recognize the need for safeguards and proper polices and is going experience at some time real difficulties. Schools and Churches are really at risk because of the makeup of all there. Mixing gender, ages, maturity levels, and etc. without being on guard is foolish. I have been in and out of all of these doing telephone and computer communication work and I have seen both public and private schools do it right and do it wrong. Sometimes it is the dynamics of crowd psychology and the mix of personalities that can create a toxic mix or an incredible positive focus and I have seen both in the same schools a couple of years apart. The admins. that recognize this have to be on guard all the time while promoting those good influences. Two of the best I have been in (1 private, 1 public) had tight controls in place, teachers at the door watching during class change, checking rest rooms, coaches in the locker rooms, all visitors checking in at office, and hall passes required if you were out of class when class was in session. I am sure there we a number of other requirements I don’t know about but these we what I observed and these schools have had long term academic and sports success and seemed to be able to retain very good teachers for long careers. They seem to recognize that left to ourselves we will do what is right in our own eyes and they head that off as well as possible and weed out trouble as soon as they can. We must remember that scripture emphasizes that the natural response of the heart is carnal but God can change that if we will seek Him and submit to His Lordship but not everyone is at this place so…we must be wise.

  34. The next to the last sentence there a couple of we’s that should be were. Should have read.
    “were a number of other requirements I don’t know about but these were what”

  35. @ Max:

    “Some of the nicest, unselfish, moral people on earth are non-Christians.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    christian, non-christian are utterly meaningless terms to me, beyond party affiliation.

  36. A good portion of Christian education creeps me out (not all). It can be very much appearance driven and usually gives me weird Christian/Aryan race vibes. The people involved will not seem or act like *real* people.

    It can come across as controlling (maybe more so behind the scenes) with this hyper focus of molding people into an idealogical/idealized Christianized model (whatever that means depending on the insitution/group).

    It misses or does not make room for mystery, and much of the real inner work that will usually come through the “off the beaten path” and twist and turns type journey needed to grow as a person. You can’t systematize or control that type of stuff. The kind of stuff that is often experienced and known through non-controlled variables, diversity and normal life suffering. All things necessary to form the real thing they are trying to force the appearance of.

    What they are marketing and promising does not actually seem to really be *there*, is what I feel when I see some Christian education represented in statements, presentations, philosophies, and how they go about things and respond to things.

    It might be the ritziness of the school and the area, but that informational video comes off very Stepford-ish to me, or maybe the Brentwood area/environment produces that or I am projecting it and it’s not there. But my response would be to run or be very hesitant and do more research/questioning, not immediately “jump in!” visit that school, after seeing that video.

  37. Muff Potter wrote:

    You are not the only one who is sick and tired of hearing this christianese hor$e$#it.
    The only so-called ‘reason’ these horrors happen is because we let them happen.

    Amen! Don’t hold the Father, Son and Holy Ghost responsible for human evil.

  38. Max wrote:

    I’d be interested to know what the underlying theology is at Brentwood Academy. I have my suspicions about Mr. Masters’s theological leaning in regard to his “everything” comment about the sovereignty of God vs. the free will of humans to behave badly.

    I also wonder about his theology, since the Bible says that God is good, so we can’t associate evil with Him (I wonder if Mr. Masters’ read that part of the Bible?)

  39. Sam wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    You are not the only one who is sick and tired of hearing this christianese hor$e$#it.
    The only so-called ‘reason’ these horrors happen is because we let them happen.
    Amen! Don’t hold the Father, Son and Holy Ghost responsible for human evil.

    My biggest pet peeve. Ever. Not only that but the thinking that humans are incapable of choosing good over evil.

  40. @ emily honey:
    We left private school after middle school. Unless you can get into one of the higher ranking schools, the public schools here are a long time mess. I don’t say that lightly. It’s a big problem.

    The problem Christian schools have is they want to grow. Hee hee. That causes all sorts of problems because there are all sorts of people who want private Christian education who agree on very little. Many different “biblical worldviews”. 🙂 I hate that phrase!

    The Catholics just tell them: ‘we do mass and decorate Mary’, get over it. their education is excellent here but very expensive. 15,000 per year compared to 8, 000 for typical Christian school. I like the classical education approach with basic virtues but rigorous academics. But they are few and far between. And seriously inconvenient for working moms.

    When we held a scholarship program for private school tuition here (a pilot project), the working class poor were lined up for half a mile. All colors, shapes and sizes. People want out. They want “academics” and safety. It seems strange to me that is so hard to find. You would think Christians would get it.

  41. Lydia wrote:

    Wonder how many SBC big cheeses kids go there? Nashville is home to LifeWay HQ.

    That’s what I wondered too. The school is located in a very wealthy town.

  42. Lydia wrote:

    I like the classical education approach with basic virtues but rigorous academics. But they are few and far between. And seriously inconvenient for working moms.

    There’s a classical school here and it seems to fall into the same type of problems, though. Rich Christian parents send their kids there and battle over the same sort of issues. There’s some decent public charter schools in Atlanta, but one of the secular for-profit ones had a teacher child abuse scandal. There is an online public school now in Georgia, but like you said, it doesn’t work for working parents.

    If I had kids, I have no idea what I would do.

  43. Deb wrote:

    @ Spartacus:
    No, but great question! That was Briarwood Presbyterian Church (and Christian school), located in Birmingham, Alabama. 
    On another note… Do I qualify for Bronze if I did the post?

    No bronze for you. As an attorney and teacher of the law (not in the Pharisaical sense, I hope), I hereby disqualify you from awarding yourself a bronze due to conflict of interest.

  44. elastigirl wrote:

    Is there a sort of cultural strain in Nashville / Tennessee / the South of favoring & passively yielding to authority figures (especially those with the ‘Christian’ label)?…and those authority figures (especially christian ones) feeling enamored with their own power? enough self-entitlement that whatever they say is to be believed simply because they in their powerfulness said it?

    This is absolutely, positively the prevailing attitude in the Deep South. As a Yankee with roots and significant family connections in Minnesota, Kansas, Massachusetts and multiple states out west who moved to the Deep South almost a decade ago, this is something that absolutely hits you between the eyes if you didn’t grow up in this environment. I’ve seen this played out in multiple churches since we moved here. In the final church we attended before we completely went off the formal church grid, when Pastor Ed was involved in a persistent pattern of lying and engaging in all manner of manipulative, Machiavellian abuse to maintain his position, I was told “Don’t touch the glory”–in other words, no matter what he does, no matter how evil, he’s the Man of God, and there must be a reason for it and the best we can do is quietly submit.

  45. Sam wrote:

    “”With regard to the phrases “turn the other cheek” and “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason”, Masters claims that “certain statements attributed to me are simply not true.” Interestingly, he did not specify which statements.”
    I am sick and tired of hearing that rape, molestation and sexual harassment are things that happen for a “reason”, like the victims are supposed to sit back and take it for the sake of the kingdom. It’s phrases like that that cause many victims to cower in fear of Christianity and to view it’s “God” as a monster who enjoys engineering the rapes of children, women and men for “His Glory”. How many little ones have stumbled in their faith because they are being forced to reconcile themselves to a faith where no one reports anything, does nothing and views these events as “God-willed”.

    AMEN

  46. If the “headmaster” in fact said “boys will be boys”, and the alleged disgusting acts were done to the young boy, the headmaster should be in jail.. Those acts are NOT “boys will be boys”

  47. Lydia wrote:

    My biggest pet peeve. Ever. Not only that but the thinking that humans are incapable of choosing good over evil.

    Some folks fervently believe that your (generic your) default condition is always toward evil. I once believed this too, but no longer. I’m crafted a little lower than the angels and fully empowered by my maker to choose my paths.

  48. After reading about this case, I’m outraged for the victim. But the way this was handled is not doing the perpetrators any favors either. They need serious help including (secular) counseling. I have a child that age, and this is obviously NOT normal or acceptable “boys” behavior. Have things happened to the perpetrators that would lead them to in turn act out and victimize another child? Not every abuser is also a victim, but it’s common enough that it should be considered. When something like this goes unreported, I wonder who is really being protected.

  49. @ Law Prof:
    I’m also in the Deep South, and I totally agree. I did grow up here but moved away for many years. Now that I’m back, I sometimes find it suffocating.

    I also read that BA was founded in the 1960s. Many “Christian” schools in the South from that era were really segregation academies. (I think Briarwood Christian, previously discussed on TWW, also falls in that category.) The complicated dynamics of that type of history may play into wanting to keep things “in house” and away from government authorities.

  50. If this is true, I pray that the family gets $30 million, that everyone from the headmaster to coached to teachers who were aware of this are fired for cause, and that the four boys who did this are expelled and are mandated to get counseling along with their parents.I want to know if these boys are the sons of famous people or wealthy donors.

  51. Muff Potter wrote:

    I once believed this too, but no longer. I’m crafted a little lower than the angels and fully empowered by my maker to choose my paths.

    Yes!

  52. @ ishy:
    It’s a nightmare. I started researching it all when pregnant and was on waiting lists for several schools before I delivered. It’s ridiculous! I had no idea there were 5 year waiting lists even for public magnet schools. I had my litmus test items which was mainly structure and academics. (How they dealt with chronic disruptive students was high on my list. So much time is wasted dealing with that so good behavior kids are always shortchanged)

  53. @ Law Prof:
    The only problem with this view is the migration patterns from the 70’s to now of Northerners moving South. Huge influx. We could not build McMansions here fast enough. Same for many Southern cities. . I just don’t think the cliche works that well anymore. I certainly did not grow up in authoritarian churches. Quite the opposite.

  54. Bridget wrote:

    dee wrote:
    I want to know if these boys are the sons of famous people or wealthy donors.
    So do I.

    I wonder too. Wikipedia lists many well known country music performers and sports figures as residents of the town. It’s a very wealthy town.

  55. Sam wrote:

    I also wonder about his theology, since the Bible says that God is good, so we can’t associate evil with Him

    I get concerned when someone says things like “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.” Is everyone at Brentwood Academy a citizen of the Kingdom? Is everything that goes on there Kingdom activity? Hyper-Calvinism, a common topic at TWW, puts a divine determinism over every thought, choice and event … to the point of believing that God predetermines sin. After a while, you accept “Boys will be boys” because God wills it and whatever happens has been divinely appointed. Of course, that’s considered hog-wash and stinkin’ thinkin’ by most of Christendom. Are the Brentwood leaders Hyper-Calvinists?

  56. Bridget wrote:

    @ Max:

    Well, you are talking children as young as five through highschool age. People become believers at all different times of life.

    Did Jesus require belief in him “before” one could spend time with him and his disciples?

    Max wrote:

    Just thinking … Should it be a requirement for students who attend Christian schools to be Christians? Not to be from Christian families, but to be Christians themselves? To have professed Christ and demonstrated Christian character before they enroll in a Christian school?

    I am the product of eleven years of private Christian education. This includes three separate tribes, if you will, within Evangelicalism.

    It is not possible to ensure any student is a believer during any portion or stage of there education. It is very possible that a student will be in transition of some sort, during so portion of their educational experience.

    Because of my experiences, I am not shocked in way by this story. I very much recall instances of sexual harassment, and one sexual assault, I am personally aware of.

  57. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:

    send their children to Brentwood

    It’s not surprising that Brentwood would have children capable of bullying and abuse. A lot of parents send bad kids to elite Christian schools hoping they can reform them. Most of these institutions are glad to take their money, while not sufficiently monitoring bad-boy activities.

    I can attest to that. So many kids were sent to my Baptist school growing up in the 70s who arrived around junior high age because they were causing trouble at home or at the public school. Ironically though, they would tell us “lifers” there that we were worse than they had been.

  58. If “boys will be boys”, what happens when the boys become men? “Men will be men”? – what does that mean?

  59. elastigirl wrote:

    quite honestly, the more boxes a person checks the more brainwashed and the less objective they are prone to be.

    And the more they’ll be into “I checked more boxes than you!” one-upmanship.

    As well as utter contempt for those who checked even ONE box less than themselves.

  60. Max wrote:

    I get concerned when someone says things like “everything in God’s kingdom happens for a reason.”

    With or without Pious Piping voice and fluttering hands?
    (As in “Where have we seen this one before?”)

  61. dee wrote:

    I want to know if these boys are the sons of famous people or wealthy donors.

    RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES, and MONEY TALKS.

  62. dee wrote:

    I want to know if these boys are the sons of famous people or wealthy donors.

    RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES, and MONEY TALKS.Lydia wrote:

    Why on earth the mother did not call the authorities first, I will never understand. Groupthink?

    “Touch Not Mine Anointed”?

  63. Max wrote:

    . But, in the latter, flesh-babies coming in the door should be closely monitored … boys will be boys, as Mr. Masters says

    What is a “flesh baby”? Sorry, I don’t speak Christian. Is that what non Christian kids are called? If so, no worries. I’m doing my best to keep my “flesh baby” away from church and religious education.

  64. ishy wrote:

    If I had kids, I have no idea what I would do.

    Do what most of us do. Listen to them. Get to know their teachers, their friends. Get involved in their activities. Don’t completely pawn them off to a private school, or public one for that matter. Be prepared to intervene. One of our Christian friends had a relative that took an interest in our son. He doesn’t go to that house. Dude didn’t do anything but both my wife and I got the hebbie jeebies

  65. The suit alleges that during the 2014-15 school year a sixth grade boy who attended the school was sexually assaulted and/or raped at least four times by eighth graders in the school locker room.

    Don’t know about Nashville, but “eighth grader” in Cali schools translates to age 13-14 and “sixth grader” to 11-12. And the legal document describes same-sex oral & anal, each happening at least once.

    To paraphrase Rich Buhler when his talk show got a similar phone-in long ago, “I want to know how a 13-year-old learned so much about oral/anal.”

  66. Jack wrote:

    What is a “flesh baby”? Sorry, I don’t speak Christian. Is that what non Christian kids are called?

    I speak Christianese (or at least I can usually figure it out), but this is a new one on me. From his past comments, Max is prone to especially thick Christianese jargon. Here’s my guess:
    1) Somebody who isn’t a REAL Christian (which opens its own definition can-of-worms)
    2) Somebody who is but doesn’t act like it and/or doesn’t care, “Because I Wanna”

    In Christianese, “Flesh” usually has sexual baggage, but is basically contrast with and in opposition to “Spirit” or “Spiritual”. JMJ/Christian Monist would probably chalk it up to influence of/contamination by Platonic Dualism, a subject he returns to several times on his blog.

  67. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    What is a “flesh baby”? Sorry, I don’t speak Christian. Is that what non Christian kids are called?
    I speak Christianese (or at least I can usually figure it out), but this is a new one on me. From his past comments, Max is prone to especially thick Christianese jargon.

    I’m a full boat Christian, stark raving, but that’s a new one on me also. Also happen to hate Christianese and generally ridicule it when friends or family use it; e.g., those close to me know that overuse of the word “season” will draw withering looks and instant mockery. Not sure what Max means by “flesh baby”, but in his defense, I genuinely think he’s trying to work his way out of the institutional Christian fog and seek truth. Seems like a good egg.

  68. I grew up in Middle Tennessee before there were any professional sports teams. High school football was a pretty big deal and Brentwood Academy was consistently on top despite being a relatively new school. I remember my dad and I thinking how great it was that a Christian school played football so well. Somewhere along the way it became common knowledge that Brentwood was recruiting students to play football which was prohibited by by the governing organization. I wish I could remember how this changed our perception of the school. I would like to think that we reacted well, but I suspect that our religion had become too tightly tightly tied to their success to change easily. Why were we willing to tolerate the duplicity? It seems to me that there were so many derivatives of true Christianity at that time and nobody, including the pastors, wanted to soil the “brand”. Luckily, pastors had less control then and the church still functioned independent of the counterfeit faith.

    Eventually, the school got in trouble for violating the rules. If my memory serves me correctly, they were the main reason Tennesee established separate divisions for privates schools in high school sports. At some point my perception changed. The school no longer represented Christianity; It was just another private school with with high academic standards for rich kids. I’m not sure if outsiders seriously viewed this as a Christian school and I’m pretty sure that “a Christian education” wasn’t the priority of most parents.

  69. Law Prof wrote:

    Also happen to hate Christianese…

    I love Christianese. I’ve had a real heart for it ever since the Lord laid a burden on my spirit for the Kingdom.

    Welease Woger!

  70. JYJames wrote:

    If “boys will be boys”, what happens when the boys become men? “Men will be men”? – what does that mean?

    It means everything you're scared it could mean, specifically when it comes to patriarchal relationships.

    And can you imagine turning this on its head, & saying 'girls will be girls' & having that include violent lesbian rapes at a private school?

  71. Law Prof wrote:

    , I genuinely think he’s trying to work his way out of the institutional Christian fog and seek truth. Seems like a good egg.

    I agree but the implication appears to be that this is the responsibility of non Christian elements. Studies have repeatedly shown that the religious population has just as much abuse as the general population. I think closed communities exacerbate the problem (secular groups like sports teams & boarding schools would also fall into this category)
    If “we” say it’s just “them” then we become blind to the risks near to us.

  72. Brentwood is pretty close to downtown Nashville, 15 miles on I-65, and seems to be more “old money,” similar to Bellevue. There are some newer subdivisions of very large McMansions. And Lifeway’s main building is right downtown, pretty handy to I-65. It’s quite possible that some Lifeway kids go [went] to BA.

    It seems that most of the really big money, especially the country music money has moved down I-65 a few miles to Franklin and beyond. [Which is where you will find Dave Ramsey’s HQ.]

    For what it’s worth, Brentwood is also home to Bethel World Outreach Center, a church which is the HQ for Every Nation. Every Nation is thought by many to be a continuation of Maranatha Campus Ministries under a different name. No connection to BA, of course, but it helps you understand the neighborhood. Nashville has almost as much spiritual weirdness as Louisville.

  73. Jack wrote:

    What is a “flesh baby”?

    Sorry Jack. That is a term I came up with to describe immaturity, whether it be in the church or world. Such folks who driven by their flesh, rather than guided by the Spirit. In my assessment, a lot of church leaders are flesh babies, regardless of age. Little babies in church are cute when they sit there in their diaper smiling at you while sucking on a pacifier. But when a 60 year old deacon comes across the same way, it’s an ugly sight indeed. Flesh babies.

  74. @ scott hendrixson:
    If you read about this school on “the web”, there seems to be a great emphases on the sports teams, and alunni that have gone on to professional sports…

  75. Patti wrote:

    many kids were sent to my Baptist school growing up in the 70s who arrived around junior high age because they were causing trouble at home or at the public school

    “Sent to” vs. “got to.” Yep, some parents unload troubled kids on a Christian school hoping that Jesus can straighten them out when they weren’t able to! It’s a convenient (often costly) hands-off way to attempt to correct a child that seldom works. Many of these little rebels never “get Jesus” while making it tough on the kids who attend such places for more noble reasons. But, praise God, for the few that really do get turned around.

  76. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Nashville has almost as much spiritual weirdness as Louisville.

    Or Dallas/Fort Worth.

    (And they rag on us Californians? “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THAT…”)

  77. Jeffrey J . Chalmers wrote:

    @ scott hendrixson:
    If you read about this school on “the web”, there seems to be a great emphases on the sports teams, and alumni that have gone on to professional sports…

    Big Red Flag right there.

    Cult of The Football Jock is NEVER a good thing. (Unless you’re The Celebrity Quarterback,,,)

  78. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I love Christianese. I’ve had a real heart for it ever since the Lord laid a burden on my spirit for the Kingdom.

    When you walk the walk, talking the talk comes with the territory. What comes across as “Christianese” to some folks, is understandable language by citizens of the Kingdom.

    I believe my brother Nick in Scotland knows what I mean when I say words like “sin,” “salvation,” “fellowship,” “sanctification,” and “the Gospel.” Even though his English is not the same as mine. 🙂

    (By the way Nick … before I retired, I worked for a consulting firm which had an office in Edinburgh. I traveled there a few times – great city, beautiful country. Unfortunately, I never was able to get my Scottish colleagues to pronounce Ed-in-burg right!)

  79. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Don’t know about Nashville, but “eighth grader” in Cali schools translates to age 13-14 and “sixth grader” to 11-12. And the legal document describes same-sex oral & anal, each happening at least once.

    To paraphrase Rich Buhler when his talk show got a similar phone-in long ago, “I want to know how a 13-year-old learned so much about oral/anal.”

    That’s a question that really needs to be asked. It may be very awkward for the school and for the police to ask this if his parents are wealthy/ famous/ prominent in the community or big donors to the school. But this kid has seen or experienced some things far outside the norm for an 8th grader.

  80. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Also happen to hate Christianese…
    I love Christianese. I’ve had a real heart for it ever since the Lord laid a burden on my spirit for the Kingdom.
    Welease Woger!

    But you forgot to mention how he “spoke into your life”. : )

  81. Jack wrote:

    I agree but the implication appears to be that this is the responsibility of non Christian elements.

    Doubt it’s intentional on his part, Christians will get set so deeply into the culture that they think everyone understands the catchphrases they use, they hear them so much. Doubt he’s trying to be intentionally opaque, not Max’s style.

    Jack wrote:

    Studies have repeatedly shown that the religious population has just as much abuse as the general population.

    This is part of the reason why I’m no longer part of a formal church and no longer take part in any “Christian” conferences, read “Christian” books (except for the Bible and some C.S. Lewis, our kids love Chronicles of Narnia), do “Christian” stuff, attend “Christian” events. I’ve seen worse abuse in Christian communities than at the state university where I work, have experienced a more disingenuous, foolish and back-biting class of people in the last two churches I was a member at than in the secular organizations to which I belong. I experienced more genuine camaraderie at the national conference of biz law profs I just attended than in all the churches I attended over the last several years. A couple hundred lawyers were more decent company than a couple hundred self-proclaimed Christians.

    Am not done with Jesus or those who actually follow Him, but that group is getting more rare, and nothing is worse than a phony Christian.

  82. Law Prof wrote:

    I genuinely think he’s trying to work his way out of the institutional Christian fog and seek truth

    You got that right!

  83. Law Prof wrote:

    Doubt he’s trying to be intentionally opaque, not Max’s style.

    Again, you got that right! Ole Max is very uncomfortable with gray … he’s a black and white sort of guy.

  84. Law Prof wrote:

    Am not done with Jesus or those who actually follow Him, but that group is getting more rare

    Real-deal Christians moved from the threatened species list some time ago. They are now endangered and quickly heading toward rare status.

  85. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Max is a good guy.

    I tend to agree with the Monist that concept is usually interpreted through a dualistic lens. It might make for a lively discussion, though. I woukd love to hear other viewpoints about what it means.

  86. @ Law Prof:
    I try to stifle chuckles when my secular friends/colleagues use “season”. And they do, a lot. They have no clue. It’s often used as a way to plant an idea of time without being held to specifics.

  87. scott hendrixson wrote:

    It was just another private school with with high academic standards for rich kids.

    Too bad they don’t include high moral standards, which they seem to have abandoned along the way.

  88. scott hendrixson wrote:

    High school football was a pretty big deal and Brentwood Academy was consistently on top

    The local Baptist college here has been recruiting more seriously to move up in the conference. Several of their recruits have been arrested in recent years for assault and assorted other crimes … but the team is doing so much better!

  89. @ Max:
    We had a world class musician perform at our church and we spoke with his manager in the lobby.

    The manager said that among great performers are some very bad apples, in terms of behavior and he, as an agent, refused to have anything to do with them. He said it is never worth it. The end, he said, never justifies the means. Never turn a blind eye to the moral fabric, no matter how “celebrated” the talent.

  90. @ Lydia:
    I knew we could nail down the concrete real meaning of “season”. Baseball, for example, happens every spring and all summer long.

  91. @ Law Prof:
    Yep. Nothing worse because one expects better. Not deceit, dishonesty or cruelty. I used to really wring my hands about how to explain the Christians (church or school) to the kids or even non believers. What do you tell them? That we are not perfect? But wait, non perfect people often don’t do such cruelty or deceit in the name of Christ, no less. There is a lot of hiding behind the sinner excuse to throw honesty, decency or truth out the window.

    I don’t have to worry anymore. So simple. Get out. We are all much better for it.

  92. JYJames wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I knew we could nail down the concrete real meaning of “season”. Baseball, for example, happens every spring and all summer long.

    If Piper meant baseball. I am even madder! 🙂

  93. Deb wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Are the Brentwood leaders Hyper-Calvinists?

    I have been wondering the same thing, and I will try to find out.

    I found this story which gives a little more background about Mr. Masters: https://www.brentwoodacademy.com/about/leadership

    Although the new calvinists may or may not currently have adherents at this school, I seriously doubt they have much to do with this story. These are my perceptions of the school having lived in the area and known some of the students who attended.

    1. It is likely part of the Evangelical-Industrial-Political complex. Most of the families that send their children there are more industrial and political than evangelical.
    2. Their theological basis is fairly generic and flows from perception 1. Christianity is more about following the rules and reinforcing the brand than foundational theology.
    3. The students likely come from various traditions within the context of 1 and 2 or from no tradition at all.
    4. Although Nashville is arguably the center of Southern Baptist power, the much smaller and regional Church of Christ exerts considerable influence as well.
    5. The loud roar of football/sports and other measures of excellence make it an inhospitable environment for theologian-Pharisees to feel appropriately valued. I can think of a Christian University that has several parallels, but I,feel the process of analyzing those would be a little difficult to do without being misunderstood.

    I think his statement about forgiveness may be connected to his experience of losing his father on the mission field. The boys will be boys comment seems to be a corruption caused generated from the moral compromise necessary further his career. This is not come from moral judgement, but from my own experience of personal compromise and from similar compromise I’ve seen in the lives of others. It seems the common thread in all manifestations of institutional Christianity is that this type of compromise is necessary to keep the ship afloat.

  94. TWW previously featured Brentwood TN in its postings. Here’s one:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/12/02/spotlight-it-take-a-community-to-abuse-a-child-looking-at-fellowship-bible-church-and-tgc/

    I lived and worked throughout Nashville area from 2006-2013. Brentwood is in Williamson County which has a population 205,000, 90% white, median household income of $103,000, numerous national/international company headquarters, and (surprise!)151 Evangelical Protestant churches.

  95. scott hendrixson wrote:

    the new calvinists may or may not currently have adherents at this school

    I was thinking more along the line of possible old guard “hyper” Calvinism embedded in Brentwood belief and practice, rather than the new flavor.

  96. JYJames wrote:

    Never turn a blind eye to the moral fabric, no matter how “celebrated” the talent.

    Amen! The church in America has certainly been tripped up by celebrities who can draw a crowd, but eventually fail morally and bring reproach upon religion.

  97. @ scott hendrixson:
    Good observation.
    Said Common Thread may be very common, indeed.

    However, in secular orgs and industries (commercial, profitable), it is now evident that certain tolerance (of for example, sexual harassment) will sink the ship, rather than keep it afloat.

    How odd that this doesn’t register in a Christian school, with children. Lead with cowardice to maintain?

  98. Curtis G. Masters sounds like a pseudonym borrowed from re names of 80s and 90s hip hop artists.

    Curtis Blow
    Master P
    Notorious B.I.G.

    I think there’s a better one for the G,but I’m a little too lazy to search right now.

  99. Mae wrote:

    @ Caroline:
    Probably watching pornography at home or at a friend’s home.

    You’re probably right. It just seems that when a child is abusing another, there’s a fairly good chance that he has been a victim as well, which is yet another reason to have authorities and professional counselors involved. I don’t mean to make the situation seem even worse than it is; it’s bad enough already.

  100. Lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    Me too. Money hits them the hardest.

    I used to think sometimes watching the news that people just wanted money. Now I tend to think, this is the only way to hit them where it hurts.

  101. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In Christianese, “Flesh” usually has sexual baggage

    Interestingly, was just reading an article about Gothard’s discussing of ‘sowing to the flesh’. I think flesh is more than sexual, I kind of think of it like maslow’s base needs, but that’s not really christian lingo.

    I don’t think it’s possible or wise to try to ‘screen out’ non christian kids. What is wise is to set standards and enforce them. To make wise choices.

    and not to, you know, ignore sexual assault complaints in favor of happy clappy damaging nonsense.

  102. Max wrote:

    There’s nothing good about me, but the Jesus who lives within me.

    And yet Psalm 8 says that you were crowned with glory and honor.

  103. @ Max:

    You have a point about not only Christian jargon, but jargon in general; every specialism has it and it’s useful in context. The pretentiousness comes when jargon is used for its own sake, and therein lies the comedic value too.

    On the topic of Edinburgh: as a matter of general education, it has three syllables; “-burgh” is pronounced “bruh” – bit hard to spell exactly what I mean there, so another way of describing it is that it’s like the second syllable of “java”. “Burgh” itself comes from the same root as the German “burg” meaning a castle or fort. There are several other “burghs” in Scotland and northern England:
     Jedburgh (JED-bruh)
     Sumburgh (SUM-bruh)
     Winchburgh (WINCH-bruh)
     And several more

    In authentic midland Scottish, however, the two syllables ED-in are run together. Hence the Glaswegian:
    Emdy fae Enbra?
    … meaning, “Does anyone here present hail from Edinburgh?”

    IHTIH

  104. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Yep. Nothing worse because one expects better. Not deceit, dishonesty or cruelty. I used to really wring my hands about how to explain the Christians (church or school) to the kids or even non believers. What do you tell them? That we are not perfect? But wait, non perfect people often don’t do such cruelty or deceit in the name of Christ, no less. There is a lot of hiding behind the sinner excuse to throw honesty, decency or truth out the window.
    I don’t have to worry anymore. So simple. Get out. We are all much better for it.

    When I find one whom I can identify as truly serving Jesus, a Christian, not just a cultural “Christian”, I expect better; when I go to a church, virtually any church, I expect to run into far worse and more destructive behavior than I’ll ever see in non-religious venues.

  105. Caroline wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    @ Caroline:
    Probably watching pornography at home or at a friend’s home.
    You’re probably right. It just seems that when a child is abusing another, there’s a fairly good chance that he has been a victim as well, which is yet another reason to have authorities and professional counselors involved. I don’t mean to make the situation seem even worse than it is; it’s bad enough already.

    Sadly, there are four boys that were actively involved. Perhaps there was prior abuse. It seems though, this kind of behavior is becoming the norm, almost a type of hazing. Where they are learning this type of behavior could also be from violent video games.The article also said the four offenders had a reputation of being bullies.
    I still wonder if at least one of the offenders come from well known parents, or wealthy parents. Was the school being lenient in discipline because of that? Maybe more will be disclosed as the court case moves along.

  106. Lea wrote:

    I don’t think it’s possible or wise to try to ‘screen out’ non christian kids. What is wise is to set standards and enforce them. To make wise choices.

    Totally agree. Set standards.

  107. Lea wrote:

    Lea

    Yep. And they trot out 1 corin 6 to which I reply: you thought what you did “trivial”? 🙂

  108. Lea wrote:

    I kind of think of it like maslow’s base needs, but that’s not really christian lingo.

    This is closer to what we were taught in some ways if I get your meaning. And part of it is not progressing or maturing in all things. Arrested development in thinking, emotions, etc. Self control. I don’t recall a sexual angle which I guess fit under self control. Ha!

  109. JYJames wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I knew we could nail down the concrete real meaning of “season”. Baseball, for example, happens every spring and all summer long.

    Deer.

  110. Lydia wrote:

    But wait, non perfect people often don’t do such cruelty or deceit in the name of Christ, no less. There is a lot of hiding behind the sinner excuse to throw honesty, decency or truth out the window.

    This is why it drives me crazy when people talking about ‘satan made me do it’. Somehow, Satan seems to have left the gay dude I know, or the non-christian or the guy who never goes to church alone, but he made you do it…Right.

  111. Lydia wrote:

    Jesus calls us friends even family. I get Misty eyed when I think of that.

    Dear Lydia, I’ve had a long journey with Jesus. I’ve studied the Word as best I could and stored a lot of information about theology, eschatology, and assorted other ologies. In the last chapter of my life, my theology has become pretty simple: “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.” And my eschatology has been reduced to “When Jesus comes, I go”.

    When you’re a friend of Jesus and in the family of God, it doesn’t get any better than that! It takes the weariness out of the journey.

  112. @ Max:

    “Karl Barth was at Rockefeller Chapel (really a Gothic cathedral!) on the campus of the University of Chicago during his lecture tour of the U.S. in 1962. After his lecture, during the Q & A time, a student asked Barth if he could summarize his whole life’s work in theology in a sentence. Barth allegedly said something like “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

    Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2013/01/did-karl-barth-really-say-jesus-loves-me-this-i-know/#6ydQPoGAPXxHmbkT.99

  113. Lydia wrote:

    Set standards.

    True.
    And setting standards is where many of the education choices (private, charter, magnate, corporate) fail. Some public traditional schools do better with protocols in place that recognize the normal developmental issues of students – and what to do when something happens. They have to. There is no “we do things our way here”, but rather, the Common Good and Rule of Law.

    (Why Christians would be Common Good/Rule of Law-deniers is an enigma. CG and RofL should be the bare minimum lowest bar for Christians, and these were recognized by the Founding Fathers.)

  114. @ JYJames:
    Public school system here have one standard: do whatever it takes to not get sued. It’s sued every week, anyway, for just about any offense you can think of and it’s always settled.

  115. @ Lydia:
    Seems a bit out of hand.
    Attorney Jeff Anderson is quoted as saying that lawsuits are the only way to halt abusive clergy – and expensive ones at that.

  116. TOTALLY OFF TOPIC [Delete if needed]:

    Mark Driscoll has started live Facebook video of his sermons. The comments must be filtered… Lots of brown-nosing.

    It’s interesting how all the branding is MDM [Mark Driscoll Ministies]. Can’t find a mention or logo for the Trinity Church, where this message series happens. I guess Mark is maintaining ownership of his IP.

    https://www.facebook.com/pastormark/

  117. Max wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    How would you pronounce Pittsburgh … as in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA?

    If it were over here, it would be pronounced Pitts-bruh, of course, but knowing it’s in a different country does affect the way it reads in my head. It’s a bit late with Pittsburgh, though, as I heard it pronounced properly years ago!

    I suppose it’s a bit similar to, say, Marseilles – it’s clearly not “Mar-sails” as it’s French. Illinois is interesting, though.

  118. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I suppose it’s a bit similar to, say, Marseilles – it’s clearly not “Mar-sails” as it’s French.

    I think this is why americans pronounce a bunch of herbs (and the word herb) differently. Where I live used to be owned by the French anyway. Watching british cooking shows is always fun.

    Even though people make comparisons between words, pronunciation is going to be different based on where the words came from and influence around the local area. Arkansas/Kansas are pronounced completely differently.

  119. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Flip Wilson parodied that one beautifully! It’s ridiculous but fits in perfectly with determinism.

    That’s why it’s called “The Geraldine Defense”.

  120. We are across the river from Illinois, which is usually pronounced with a silent s. But I’ve heard it with the S pronounced, which is usually spoken by people who also have thick backwoods accents. Cairo, Illinois is always pronounced Kay-Ro, never Kai-Ro, like the one in Egypt. New Madrid, MO, home to the earthquake fault, is pretty close, except that the emphasis is on “Mad” and not “drid.” And Versailles, KY is always “Ver-Sales.” Always.

  121. We have an upper class old money section of our town called “Buena Vista” and for reasons unknown to anybody and from days of yore always pronounced ‘beeyou-nah vista’; that in a town with a large Latino population and where everybody has at least a little Spanish knowledge necessary for the work place. Go figure.

    And for those who may have forgotten, Louisville Ky is pronounced ‘loo-uh-vul’ with the sounds all run together and swallowed as though it were one syllable. It is necessary to use the tongue differently and open the mouth less than if one were speaking of King Louis the whichever and some ‘ville’.

    When we moved over to this side of the mountains I retrained myself to say ‘loo-ee-vill’ because nobody knew what I was saying. Then when RJR merged with some tobacco interests from KY a bunch of people from ‘loouhvul’ moved here and then folks thought that I was not really from ‘loouhvul’ because I said ‘loo-ee-vill’. At which point I was way past caring, and I have found some degree of freedom in living in the land of way-past-give-a-rip linguistically.

    That was right before I found out that my school-book classical pronunciation of Latin marked me as an alien at my then-new church. Why is it always us vs them? Have we not had enough of that? Apparently not.

  122. @ GSD [Getting Stuff Done]:

    Just for fun, I always pronounce Illinois as though it actually were French (that is, ee-yan-wah, with no accented syllable).

    Gaelic spelling is even better. There’s a great phrase, meaning “dark beauty”, spelt àilleachd dhorcha, used as the tag line for a social enterprise that uses the wool from black sheep (among other things). Àilleachd Dhorcha is pronounced “AH-yach-k ngo-ROCH-a”.

  123. okrapod wrote:

    Why is it always us vs them? Have we not had enough of that? Apparently not.

    Thing is, though, us AND them can be constructive. Different is good.

    Different became fundamentally bad at the fall. Fundagelicals, seeking to be justified by law, are still fundamentally afraid of difference.

  124. elastigirl wrote:

    (although i think Aragorn should have ended up with Éowyn)

    I know what you’re saying on one level, and yet on another, I thought Arwen was a good match too.

  125. @ Muff Potter:

    That might have worked in the film. In the books, it’s a different story (pun half-intended there). There are numerous bits of Tolkien’s back-story-telling that aren’t picked up in the films at all, and the Aragorn / Arwen Thing is one of them.

    (That’s not to say I didn’t like the films – I think they’re a fantastic complement to the book. As Robert Redford, with his directorial hat on, once observed: if all you’re doing is filming the book, why make the film?)

  126. @ Max:

    Max

    At a time when it’s rare to hear a real word of encouragement within and outside the walls, you have given us one. Thank You!

  127. Muff Potter wrote:

    Of all languages mispronounced by Americans, German gets butchered the most.

    I don’t doubt it. At one point in college I could read what they called ‘scientific German’, especially medical records, fairly well, but I can’t pronounce a bit of it correctly. Not even remotely recognizable.

    The only thing I have found more difficult is Mandarin. I just wanted to be able to say ‘how much (cost)’ and ‘where is the restroom’, and I never even got that right; it being a tonal language and I being tone deaf as we native English speakers are accused of being.

    Oh, well. Language, smanguage, I make a pretty good potato salad; that counts for something. And come the next disaster I plan to take up chicken raising again. One can always content oneself with that sort of thing.

  128. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    TOTALLY OFF TOPIC [Delete if needed]:

    It’s interesting how all the branding is MDM [Mark Driscoll Ministies]… maintaining ownership of his IP.

    “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not mere men?” 1 Cor. 3:4

    1 Corinthians 1:12 “What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, ‘I follow Paul,’ ‘I follow Apollos,’ ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’

  129. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Of all languages mispronounced by Americans, German gets butchered the most.

    I think German is, funny enough, hard to pronounce because of its similarities to English. And also because many people are more familiar with Spanish/French as a foreign language, and try to pronounce it more like them.

  130. Perhaps this has been asked upstream (I haven’t read all of the comments above) and I am possibly running the risk of receiving some pushback, but why was this boy kept in this school for even a second more after the first incident? Unless the four rapes happened consecutively, then there was a gap in time between them. Just wondering.

    That asked, I believe the school, the administration, and the offending students should be held accountable under the full weight of the law as well as in civil court.

  131. Based on the limited evidence available right now, and based on the conflicting accounts, and based on the fact that no action was taken when the situation was first reported, then it looks rather like nobody really thought it was coerced sex (rape) at the time. Nobody? Well yes, I am thinking nobody-at the time. It could be just CYA, but why would a parent buy into some CYA on the part of the school? I just have suspicions at this point as to what the adults were thinking.

    Based on never having any first hand knowledge of the school but looking at the promo and hearing about the costs and educational goals and location of the school, and the history of the school as being unaffiliated with any denomination, it looks to me like this may be a school of the ‘country day’ variety aimed at the affluent who want their kids (and themselves) to make the right connections with the ‘right kind’ of people who have the ‘right’ values (success an money and status) and some of whom may live in gated communities of some variety. I am thinking that the word ‘christian’ as they use it has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with ‘our kind’; our kind of course being defined by us.

    We have two private schools here like that and one school associated with SBC mega which is alleged to be headed in that direction. This is a common picture, I am thinking.

  132. Burwell wrote:

    why was this boy kept in this school for even a second more after the first incident?

    Initially, his parents were unaware, IOW, he didn’t tell his parents. His mother found out from another parent who was informed by her son at the school. The boys in the locker room all knew what was going on, even if they were not instigators.

    Better education for students of what to do when something is happening would help. At a Christian school, one would expect even at home and church students would be taught empathy and responsibility, from at a young age.

    Normally, even public lower schools and middle schools teach openly: if you are aware of something, say something (and where to go with this information). Including harassment.

    There is something wrong with the Brentwood Academy community culture (students, parents, administrators, teachers, staff, coaches). That’s why this went on so long. Many red flags:
    – the boys could guard or lock the locker room to keep adults out, is just the beginning.

  133. JYJames wrote:

    There is something wrong with the Brentwood Academy community culture (students, parents, administrators, teachers, staff, coaches).

    It certainly looks that way. All of the above. It looks to me that what is wrong comes under the heading of values. And it seems to me that our society is saturated with a values problem, too often with the welfare of the kids being way down on the list of values.

  134. okrapod wrote:

    our society is saturated with a values problem

    The human heart problem.
    Contrast with Jesus: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, then love your neighbor as yourself.
    Where on the continuum of growth in Christ, His values, is the Brentwood community found? Time for a reality check.

  135. @ okrapod:

    A common problem that shows up in many social constructs.
    Whenever someone with name recognition and/or money, joins a church, an organization, a Civic club, and so on, the emphasis of said group starts to revolve around the interests of such people.

  136. JYJames wrote:

    Contrast with Jesus: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, then love your neighbor as yourself.

    Yes. I seem to often hear the apparent opinion that there is no ‘then’ in the sequence of loving. For that matter no sequence of loving, as if Jesus never used the words ‘first’ and ‘second’ in relation to the commands about loving. When that happens people get confused as to what loving one’s neighbor, or for that matter loving oneself, looks like. That is primarily, I think, because we on our own do not know how to love adequately, and if we lose that primary contact with God who loves then we just pretty much flounder around rather pitifully.

    Because I am a skeptical optimistic realist, however, I think that sometimes it can be a real temptation to think only of love your neighbor, while we get to decide what that means and how to do it, and use that as a shield between ourselves and God while thinking that God demands too much of us and is pretty much not to be trusted. The whole ‘who is my neighbor’ thing for example. We sometimes want to define for ourselves both who our neighbor is and what loving our neighbor looks like in action while all the while God insists that we accept His definitions and descriptions. In my opinion, we are sometimes not as pitiful as we are deceitful at times, fooling ourselves for our own reasons.

    At least, I am pretty sure I got a graduate degree in self deception somewhere along the line, and I think I see that in some other folks’ ideas also sometimes. But not here on TWW, thank goodness. TWW can be a real oasis in the desert.

  137. JYJames wrote:

    Initially, his parents were unaware, IOW, he didn’t tell his parents. His mother found out from another parent who was informed by her son at the school. The boys in the locker room all knew what was going on, even if they were not instigators.

    Thank you, JYJames. That makes some sense…I only hope that after the mom/parents learned of the rape that they pulled the son from the school

  138. @ Burwell:
    Unfortunately, they tried to work with school leadership, and their outside counselor had formerly worked for the school, so was in support of inappropriate (by law) leadership.

    This did not go well. Thus, the lawsuit, after, one imagines, lots of heartache for the son.

    Fortunately via the lawsuit, this is finally coming out into the open – for truth and transparency, which is good for everyone.

  139. JYJames wrote:

    Unfortunately, they tried to work with school leadership, and their outside counselor had formerly worked for the school, so was in support of inappropriate (by law) leadership.

    I wonder if the parents were aware of this conflict of interest when starting counseling.

  140. @ Lea:
    You can read the article from The Tennessean that I just posted above and see what you think.

    It seems the fact that the counselors were associated with Brentwood was seen as a plus. In other words, there was a great deal of trust going on in the boy’s family.

    Closed communities, religion or ethnic or sports or work, engender that trust. Sometimes a person has to break away to see the light. In this case, lawyers who know sexual assault law, have no time for the shenanigans (damage to boys) going on at Brentwood. It’s a major deal now that it is no longer swept under the rug like nothing happened.

  141. okrapod wrote:

    if we lose that primary contact with God who loves then we just pretty much flounder around rather pitifully.

    True dat.
    I try to keep fresh my love with God personally daily so that I’m ready for what’s happening around me. He fills up my cup or as you stated, I “just pretty much flounder around rather pitifully”. Life is a complex course, we need God.

  142. The article in the Tennessean says that ‘multiple students’ told their parents what was going on. Multiple. This does not look like the kids did not know what to do in this situation and that therefore more education in what a kid should do would work toward solving the situation. It looks like the failure to react properly is an adult problem. Why would not ‘multiple’ parents go to the school about it? Even if they did not want to confront the parents of the victim, thinking perhaps that they already knew, why would these ‘multiple’ parents leave their own children in the school?

    And how come there were several kids involved in the assaults? And how come the alleged perp allegedly bragged about it to others, assuming he thought he had an appreciative audience for his violence? It sounds like lots of people knew and lots of people did nothing. But, hey, they have football so what could go wrong?

    They got problems right there in river city-to steal from the song.

  143. Max wrote:

    When you walk the walk, talking the talk comes with the territory. What comes across as “Christianese” to some folks, is understandable language by citizens of the Kingdom.

    Or goes from a Technical Jargon into a Mystery Language, i.e. the Secret Handshake and Passwords of an Inner Ring. (And just as important, marking those who are NOT.)

    In the process, clarity is lost, Doublespeak becomes normal, and the words become meaningless outside the bubble.

    I believe my brother Nick in Scotland knows what I mean when I say words like “sin,” “salvation,” “fellowship,” “sanctification,” and “the Gospel.” Even though his English is not the same as mine.

    Until the word is redefined into its “diabolical meaning”, My Dear Wormwood.

    We’ve seen this happen to “Gospel(TM)” and “Grace(TM)” in the exposes on this blog; how “Grace” in the official name of a church has become what “Democratic Republic” is in the official name of a country. And the Gospelly Gospel(TM) with similar redefinition. (“Sin” was long ago redefined as “Whatever YOU Do That I Don’t”.)

    Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Max is a good guy.

    There’s nothing good about me, but the Jesus who lives within me.

    Max, do you have any idea how Humblebrag Smug that can sound to those outside the Christianese Bubble? Like a lesser version of the Glorying in My Utter Depravity that the Neo-Cals have been called on again and again in this blog.

    And those of us on the Outside can have a VERY different image of Jesus imprinted than you. Like child sexual abuse done or covered up in the name of God, a common whistle blown on this blog. To the rape victim, “Jesus” (diabolical meaning) is the god of their rapist or the rapist’s enablers, by those abusers’ ACTIONS. Then they hear you speak “Jesus” as word. Word or Action – which speaks louder?

    To reach someone who’s already been warped by those “diabolical meanings” (like the 12-year-old rape victim who kicked off this thread), you have to come alongside them and build trust over time. Speak their language, not have them immediately speak yours. And remember to them the same words mean different (and after that victimization, diabolical) things. It’s a long slow process, no matter what miracle stories you have heard; miracles are by definition rare exceptions, and the expectation of a abrupt Boolean “Damascus Road” miracle sets up its own set of traps.

    In a non-sexual context, my introduction to Jesus was a one-two punch of Jack Chick and Hal Lindsay (and their fanboys). Followed many years later by getting mixed up on the fringe of a Shepherding group (talk about jargon) during a series of Rapture Scares. The image that put into my head which has never been completely been dispelled (and comes out in times of stress) is “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” country.

  144. Burwell wrote:

    @ JYJames:
    THEIR LONG TERM RESPONSE WAS TO PLACE CAMERAS IN THE BOYS LOCKER ROOM???

    Especially after the story of that Voyeur MOG who put cameras in the women’s room?

  145. Friend wrote:

    Max wrote:
    How would you pronounce Pittsburgh … as in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA?

    Yinzertahn

    With the hip-hop traffic light across Penn Ave by the Convention Center.

  146. JYJames wrote:

    @ Lea:
    You can read the article from The Tennessean that I just posted above and see what you think.

    It seems the fact that the counselors were associated with Brentwood was seen as a plus. In other words, there was a great deal of trust going on in the boy’s family.

    A trust that turned out to be seriously misplaced.

  147. refugee wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    You could really tell from watching those films that Peter Jackson had cut his teeth, so to speak, on horror/monster movies. Yikes.

    Don’t forget Meet the Feebles.

    Once you have Met the Feebles, you will never be able to watch The Muppet Show the same way again.

  148. Lea wrote:

    Even though people make comparisons between words, pronunciation is going to be different based on where the words came from and influence around the local area. Arkansas/Kansas are pronounced completely differently.

    I’ve even heard some really variant local pronunciation differences in several common words between Northern (Redding) and Southern California (Los Angeles).

  149. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Burwell wrote:
    @ JYJames:
    THEIR LONG TERM RESPONSE WAS TO PLACE CAMERAS IN THE BOYS LOCKER ROOM???

    Especially after the story of that Voyeur MOG who put cameras in the women’s room?

    Right? Seems like a really bad idea. But maybe that’s standard. IDK. I hate the idea of cameras in places that are supposed to be private.

  150. @ okrapod:
    Many moons Ago, I actually took classes to lose the Southern accent because on tape I thought I sounded like Ellie Mae Clampett. Therefore, traveling on business, I was from Louee-ville. Like King Louis for whom we are named. Very correct. Now the native pronunciation is all the rage for visitors from afar and I am out of fashion. Again.

    And I find myself saying “y’all” and ‘hey’, anyway. Sigh.

  151. @ okrapod:
    I can imagine it was hard to love the Roman occupiers. 🙂

    What is interesting is to define love. and what that might look like.

  152. @ Lea:
    Cameras in locker rooms was not in any of my comments, actually.

    However, in regard to said cameras in locker rooms, in the local YMCA and health clubs, there are cameras in certain areas of the locker rooms to prevent theft of lockers. Guests know to shower and change in off-camera areas.

    With sound recording throughout Brentwood’s locker rooms, there would have been a recording of the perpetrator boys calling after the victim for assault purposes, and perhaps the victim crying out for help. (Painful to think about.) If cameras had been at the door, there would have been a recording of the perpetrator boys locking adults out and guarding the doors against supervisory entry.

  153. Lydia wrote:

    Many moons Ago, I actually took classes to lose the Southern accent because on tape I thought I sounded like Ellie Mae Clampett.

    Aww. I think I dropped mine naturally (or at least muted it) because I went to school with a bunch of Yankees. And then I would go home or to Mississippi and it would bounce right back! Now I go in and out, depending on what I’m talking about and who I’m talking to.

  154. Massachusetts has it’s own unique pronunciation.

    Worcester is pronounced, Woostah

    Marlborough, Southborough, Northborough, borough is pronounced, boro.

    Never mind the infamous, “park your car in the Harvard Yard”, which is spoken by the natives as:

    Paaahk ya Caaah in the Haaahvid yaaahd.

  155. THIS IS A VERY UPSETTING INCIDENT. I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE THAT CHILDREN DO THIS. ANYWAY I THINK THE SCHOOL SHOULD BE CLOSED. THERE SHOULD BE NO SECOND CHANCES FOR THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN. I AM PRAYING FOR ALL OF THE VICTIMS IN THIS INCIDENT. SHAME ON THE ADULTS AND CHILDREN THAT KNEW OF THIS INCIDENT AND DIDN’T DO EVERY THING IN THEIR POWER TO STOP IT, INCLUDING REPORTING THIS TO THE POLICE. THIS IS NOT GOD’S WORK, THIS IS THE DEVIL’S WORK.

  156. Mae wrote:

    Worcester is pronounced, Woostah

    This is correct; the real Worcester is also pronounced Woostah. Similar to Gloucester (Glostah) and Leicester (Lestah).

  157. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Worcester is pronounced, Woostah
    This is correct; the real Worcester is also pronounced Woostah. Similar to Gloucester (Glostah) and Leicester (Lestah).

    Really? Cool beans! That’s how we pronounce these towns ( same names ) in Massachusetts too.

  158. Burwell wrote:

    JYJames wrote:

    Initially, his parents were unaware, IOW, he didn’t tell his parents. His mother found out from another parent who was informed by her son at the school. The boys in the locker room all knew what was going on, even if they were not instigators.

    Thank you, JYJames. That makes some sense…I only hope that after the mom/parents learned of the rape that they pulled the son from the school

    If the situation was anything like the bullying situation we experienced a long time ago, a teacher sat down with the victim and his parents and tried to tell them what the victim was doing to incite the other students to act out.

    Seriously.

    It was a big factor in our choosing to homeschool.

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