Christa Brown Writes an Open Letter to Tommy Gilmore, the SBC Pastor Who Sexually Abused Her

“I thought that, if only Baptists understood the extent of the problem, they would surely choose to implement clergy accountability systems similar to those that exist in other major faith groups. I was wrong.” Christa Brown


 

Do you know who Christa Brown is? If not, you should. She has been the shining light behind Stop Baptist Predators for years. She was blogging while I was merrily skipping along in the evangelical world, not realizing the extent of sexual abuse in my tribe.

Although the site is no longer adding stories, it is being maintained so researchers can find the wealth of information contained therein. This was the first blog I visited to get a picture of the ongoing abuse in the SBC. She posted the news release of the predator in my former church who was arrested and convicted.

Christa endured serious pushback for her website. She didn’t have a network of likeminded writers when she started blogging Also, since that time, many people have become aware of the abuse problem due to #metoo #churchtoo #sbctoo. So there is more broad support for those exposing abuse. She powered on with little support and a lot of downright abuse.

Next week, Christa is going to be honored for her pioneering work by those attending the *For Such a Time is This Rally* outside of the SBC convention. It is rather fitting that the SBC refused to allow this rally inside of their hallowed halls. It is the same response that Christa received when she started writing. *Not allowed.*

The following is her story of abuse. I am deeply grateful for her dedication in spite of the trauma she endured. She is a hero.

I want to challenge those of you who attend any of the churches mentioned in this story to approach your church leadership and give them a copy of Christa’s story. I plan to email copies of it to the mentioned churches, challenging them to reach out to Christa.

Also, does anyone know the required ethics of licensed realtors? I’m thinking about checking into this. Can you imagine this guy is selling real estate?

Finally, how many of you know about the secret Baptist file of known predators? I didn’t. Click on the link in the story.


Open letter to Tommy Gilmore, the Southern Baptist pastor who sexually abused me as a kid:

Have you ever felt any remorse for what you did to me? That’s the question I always wonder about.

It’s been on my mind a lot lately because I’ll be speaking on June 11 at the For Such a Time as This Rally outside the SBC’s annual meeting in Birmingham, urging that the denomination institute better safeguards against predatory pastors like you. The horror of what I experienced from your abuse and from the keep-it-quiet cover-up responses of church and denominational leaders ultimately launched a long period of advocacy efforts on my part, because no child should ever experience the horror of what you did to me, and no adult should ever have to go through such a nightmare to try to expose a child-molesting minister.

The most difficult part of this kind of advocacy work is that it sometimes resurrects horrific memories. I did an interview with a reporter just the other day and, when she asked if I could talk a little about what happened to me as a kid, my mind was suddenly a jumble of disjointed flashbacks, and there it was again, that urge to vomit and run.

I remember how, in the beginning, when I balked at what you wanted, you said you would pray for me, so that I would come to accept that this was God’s will for my life. To this day, when someone says they’ll pray for me, it feels in my body more like a threat than a comfort.

I remember how you drove me out on that long dark road near the Addison airport – to do what you wanted and what you insisted God wanted.

I remember how you told me that God had called me to be your “helpmeet” in your holy work for God’s kingdom.

I remember how you quoted the Bible, instructing me to “lean not unto thine own understanding.” You said it was a sin for me to even try to understand and that I was supposed to just trust.

I remember the time you told me it was your 30thbirthday and you were feeling old and needed “special help” to feel better. Now I know that you didn’t even tell the truth about something as simple as your age. It was just one more ruse to get what you wanted.

Was there ever anything you said that was true and genuine? Or was every bit of it just some religiously-fueled set-up of a con-job for sexually abusing me?

I remember how, each time when you were finished with me, you would always say “God loves you, Christa.” I can still hear your voice. Do you know how much I hate those words – “God loves you”? I can’t even hear about God’s love without wanting to vomit and run.

I was a girl who would have done anything for God.

I remember how you shoved a beer in my hands there in the old parsonage on Dixiana Street and laughed at my reluctance about drinking alcohol. “Brother Hayden preaches against it,” I protested. But you said it was just another one of those rules for “lesser believers” and that it didn’t apply to us.

I remember how you insisted I take a shower at that parsonage, yelled at me to not get my hair wet, and when I started to get out, demanded that I clean myself better “down there.”

I remember how, after I flat-out broke down one day at a piano lesson in the church sanctuary and told music minister Jim Moore about the abuse, he instructed me to never speak of it again. Years later, I was shocked to learn that, even before I broke down, he had actually learned about the abuse from you. He said you had told him that you were afraid a congregant had seen you in “a compromising position” with me. Yet, Moore did nothing and your abuse of me escalated.

By the way, just as you faced almost no real consequences, Moore too never faced any consequences for his role in the cover-up. Even years later, when the church learned about it, the church still kept him as music minister and, after his retirement, it even honored him for his work with youth choirs by establishing the “Jim Moore Concert Series.” Of course, I was a member of one of his youth choirs when he was covering up for your abuse. But I digress….

I remember how you dragged me into your office and made me apologize to your wife, Sue. As if I were the one to blame. So, as a 16 year-old-girl, I blubbered and begged for Sue’s forgiveness. She offered a stony “I’ll pray for you.” (There they are again – those words that now make my stomach clench.)

I remember how you made me kneel in your office for what seemed like forever while you stood over me endlessly praying that God would cast Satan from me. I was terrified. I truly believed that I had harbored Satan, like you said, and I didn’t know how I had ever let Satan in.

I remember a lot of the rest as well – too much. They’re memories that to this day I can hardly bring myself to speak of. I’ve had lots of trauma therapy – at my own expense of course. No help from you.

You destroyed so much of the girl that I used to be. I’ll always wonder what my life might have been if I hadn’t encountered you.

Are you even aware of how destructive you were? You ripped my whole world asunder and you sullied my very soul.

You twisted faith itself into a weapon against me. You weaponized Bible verses, God, and everything I held holy. And for what? For your own sick and criminal desires.

If I could turn back time, I would run from you just as fast as I would run from someone welding a knife or a gun. But back then, how was I to know that the faith I held in my own heart could be perverted into such a powerful weapon against me?

You should have faced jail time, but you didn’t. Thanks to the fact that music minister Jim Moore and senior pastor Glenn Hayden kept things quiet and didn’t report you to the police, you were never criminally prosecuted. I figure the deacons knew about it too, eh? I remember how confused I felt when Bill, a boy I had known since I was 9 years old, suddenly told me that his dad wouldn’t let him ride bikes with me anymore because he was afraid I might be a “bad influence.” His dad was a deacon.

I remember how, after months of abusing me, you moved on to a bigger church, First Baptist of Tyler, Texas. I guess that, despite what you did, FBC-Farmers Branch must have given you a good reference. But I’m curious – how did you rationalize that you were “above reproach” and still qualified to be a pastor?

I remember how the church threw you a going-away reception with a big pot-luck supper and how Brother Hayden praised you from the pulpit as a great man of God. What was I to think? You were a man of God and I was a girl who incomprehensibly had harbored Satan. It was all so terrifying.

It took me decades to put together the pieces of trauma and understand the horror of what you and the church put me through. And then, of course, I encountered the trauma of so many others in Baptist life who tried to silence me all over again. Did you know that the church threatened to sue me when I first started talking about all this? That was like a preemptive nuclear strike in my head, and it nearly did me in.

But ultimately I rallied, and with enormous re-traumatizing effort and pain, I gathered the proof of what you did. I obtained a sworn affidavit from Jim Moore, and with sweat of blood, I finally prodded the church to sign an apology letter acknowledging your “very serious sexual abuse” of me and to send it by certified mail to all the churches where you had worked.

Did it make any difference? I don’t really know.

The Orlando Sentinel wrote that, when they began asking questions at one of your prior Florida churches, you resigned. But recently I noticed that, on your LinkedIn profile, you listed working as a “minister of preschool education, consultant” in “Southern Baptist churches” for a period that lasted four more years after that Orlando Sentinelarticle and after FBC-Farmers Branch sent out those certified letters and afterthe Baptist General Convention of Texas said that it had entered your name in its file of “known offenders.” That was pretty distressing for me to see. And I’ve wondered whether allowing you to work as a “consultant” was just another way for churches to help “hide” you by keeping you off church staff registries. In any event, not only did your ministerial career continue for decades after FBC-Farmers Branch knew about your abuse of me, but apparently it still continued even after I exposed you. No one in SBC life gave a hoot.

For years, you worked as a children’s minister at First Baptist of Atlanta, the church of former SBC president Charles Stanley. Did you tell the church about what you had done to me as a church girl in Farmers Branch? I’m betting you didn’t. But after all I’ve seen, I could also believe that the church knew and just didn’t care.

Various media outlets have written about your abuse of me, including the Austin American-Statesman, Ethics Daily, and the Christian Science Monitor. I also wrote a book about it. But despite my best efforts, there was never any significant reporting about it in Atlanta where you spent much of your career. That’s too bad because I think congregants who had kids under your ministerial care should know the truth about you.

How many other victims did you have? A woman once wrote me an anonymous blog comment saying she had experienced something similar with you, and based on the time-frame, I figured it had probably happened when you were in Atlanta. She said you had apologized. But she also said that she too didn’t think you should be allowed to be a minister.

And what about Kaye Maher? All that sexual harassment stuff when you were at FBC-Oviedo in Florida? Did you ever apologize to her? Or was all of that just good-old-boys fun for you?

I sometimes wonder how I would feel if you were to apologize to me. Truthfully, I can’t even imagine it. I’ve lived with the calculated brutishness of what you did for a very long time.

I’ve noticed that, in your real estate business, you trade on your “45 years in the Ministry”as though that renders you trustworthy, and you claim to have “retired” from ministry. So I guess you don’t tell people that you actually had to resign from a church when questions were raised about your sexual abuse of a church kid.

I’ve also noticed that you named First Baptist Church of Orlando as a “church partner”for your real estate business. It certainly appears as though you received a great deal more support from Southern Baptists than I ever did.

And I nearly gagged when I saw your stated desire that, because of you, “every client will have a deeper understanding of God’s love.” Suffice it to say that I certainly did not gain a “deeper understanding of God’s love” from my interactions with you. To the contrary, I can hardly even bear to hear those words. For me, your version of “God’s love” was evil incarnate.

And so I’m still wondering … do you ever feel a shred of remorse? Are you even capable of remorse?

How would you feel if someone did to one of your grand-kids what you did to me? Does that thought ever cross your mind?

Still trying to understand,

Christa Brown


Comments

Christa Brown Writes an Open Letter to Tommy Gilmore, the SBC Pastor Who Sexually Abused Her — 148 Comments

  1. From the op:

    “Finally, how many of you know about the secret Baptist file of known predators? I didn’t.”

    According to Christa’s final blog entry at Stop Baptist Predators, the list kept by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, was abolished in 2016.

    stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/

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  2. “I remember how you dragged me into your office and made me apologize to your wife, Sue. As if I were the one to blame. So, as a 16 year-old-girl, I blubbered and begged for Sue’s forgiveness. She offered a stony “I’ll pray for you.””

    This makes me angry!!! How dare he?!! Such an abuser. So wrong!!!

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  3. Wow. I an definitely not singling out Baptists here. As everyone knows, we’ve got enough of this stuff in Catholic-Land. But oh my gosh. My blood is boiling.

    These perps, enablers, and cover-uppers are so disgusting.

    I get why she doesn’t want to hear that God loves her. It’s horrible when words like that — words of comfort and encouragement — have triggering associations.

    I still have a really hard time relating to God as Father, because my earthly father was a hyper-critical, mean, miserable person. And a lousy father, frankly. Not entirely his fault. He had a lousy childhood, too. He simply took it out on me, his firstborn.

    What can I say? God bless this poor woman…and heal her raw, bruised heart.

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  4. I feel like weeping, vomiting and kicking the wall! What a well written letter. To see how Christa was abused w/ prayer & scripture used to justify the unspeakable. And the #@&@!enablers! It was intentional, prolonged & heinous. What a crew of monsters masquerading as shepherds!

    Is there a reason Christa is not being publicly apologized to during the convention w/ restitution for her therapy & public rebuke of her predator? There is so much these louts could do if they really cared. But, but… the issue is women getting out of line! Al says a stand must be made. See, they sure can take a stand for whatever the heck they choose to. It appears that victims will never be something they choose to stand for. Nor will they stand against abusers. Nothing has been as precarious to my faith as the evangelical response to evil…and I’m not talking about dancing.

    May Christa find unexpected healing and encouragement in Birmingham. We know it won’t come from the big dogs with empires to rule and money to make.

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  5. Stop Baptist Predators was one the sites I looked at a lot when I was beginning to figure out how to write case studies on malignant leaders, toxic organizations, and systemic abuse. A great resource back then–and glad it is archived and still available now! Thank you, Christa, for pioneering in documentation and archiving.

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  6. I am so sorry, Christa, for you and all the others. I don’t get it, I really don’t. Normal people control their libido, they do not destroy others by letting it control them. There simply is no excuse for abusing others to get a cheap physical thrill. I would say ‘hire a hooker, but frankly, that is just another form of abuse.

    Kudos to Dee for pointing out that you were a significant influence on her. When I found your blog through TWW, I was stunned that I had never heard of you. Thank you for the tremendous effort you have put into exposing and combating the evil that is sexual abuse. I hope that your health has improved, and pray that God will continue to apply his loving balm to your precious, wounded soul.

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  7. Deborah: But, but… the issue is women getting out of line!

    This really takes the cake. A boatload of abusers are exposed within SBC ranks – all males, as far as I know – and all King Mohler can come up with is concern that women are beginning to chafe at their chains. Listen well, self-serving patriarchs – your day is over.

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  8. TS00,

    I think the #metoo movement exposed the myth that all claims of female mistreatment were lies created by rabid, God-hating, man-eating feminists. Slowly but surely, those meek, submissive Stepford wives are going to begin to see that it is not just sexual abuse, but spiritual abuse that denigrates, devalues and harms women. No one is going to be able to put that Genie back in the bottle.

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  9. Christa Brown stands for me as one of the bravest people I have ever virtually met. I love her madly. I believe her unreservedly. I grieve with her and for her. I watch as beauty continues to rise from utter brutality. I am so deeply sorry and simultaneously grateful that she knows the way and holds steady the light.

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  10. Christa Brown deserves a standing ovation, and a host of medals ……. The Purple Heart among them.
    She was sorely wounded (then had salt poured into her wounds!), yet she rose up to fight anyway — not just for herself, but for countless other victims, too. Of all the courageous people in recorded history, she ranks right up there with them.

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  11. TS00: Listen well, self-serving patriarchs – your day is over.

    Indeed TS00, indeed.
    They have sown the wind and they will reap the whirlwind.
    Their brand of fundagelicalism will not see the end of this century.

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  12. Affidavit of Jim Moore #5
    “…she told me…that she had an affair with Tommy Gilmore.”

    There is that rationalization again. They had an “affair”—so I’ll let my friend off the hook and believe that the girl was a willing partner and just as guilty. AAgh!
    She was 16 and he was an adult.
    She was naive and vulnerable and he was in a position of authority.
    She was a young lady searching for a faith walk and he manipulated her obedience.
    This was NOT consensual; it was abuse and it was illegal.
    Christa, you are one strong woman and I pray for further healing

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  13. Al Mohler are you listening? JD Greear are you hearing anything yet? No? Take off the insular theological headphones you wear in your echo chamber positions of power and listen. Listen and hear the sound of feet walking out the doors of your church fiefdoms never to return again.

    Hear also the word of the Lord, “when you spread out your hands in prayer I will hide my eyes from you. Even if you offer many prayers I will not listen…stop doing wrong. Learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” (isaiah 1:15++)

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  14. TS00,

    Yes, this all is confusing to normal people. Sexual abuse is primarily about power if I understand correctly. The sex is the means to humiliate and control victims but it is not a matter of uncontrollable libido at all. There is a thrill from doing what is taboo while degrading, controlling and humiliating a more vulnerable person. The thrill of getting away with it and doing it basically right in front of others is part of the twisted thrill.

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  15. On the eve of the SBC Annual Meeting in Birmingham, the Alabama Baptist (state convention paper) published Friday a lengthy article by one of the men who was ‘in the news’ last year resigning from his post at ‘a Southern Baptist institution’ due to what was described as a moral failing. He says what really happened was not an adulterous affair at all, but a matter of him being sexually assaulted by the woman:

    https://www.thealabamabaptist.org/sexual-assault-of-males-a-result-of-manipulation-threats/

    [says ‘a female contact’ perpetrated on him ‘a completely nonconsensual, unwanted sexual assault that has left me traumatized to this day’]

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  16. Jerome:…a lengthy article by one of the men who was ‘in the news’ last year resigning from his post at ‘a Southern Baptist institution’ due to what was described as a moral failing.

    Hmm… Frank Page?

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  17. NW Hiker,

    Very good analysis. You could also add that these “leaders” ( clowns to me, or worse words which I am refraining from using) ) continue to claim they have “authority” over us pew peons…. the NT has very strong words for harming “the little ones”…. a 16 year old girl, or younger, is still a little one for men in 20-30’s in church “leadership”…..

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  18. Christa, your courage and tenacity are as inspiring as your story is heartrending. It sickens me that your faith was used against you and turned into poison. That shouldn’t be done to anyone, least of all a child. I hope you continue to heal, wherever you find your healing.

    Oh, and someone just posted a link to your open letter on Gilmore’s Facebook page. I wonder how he’ll like that, or how long it will stay up.

    https://www.facebook.com/AwesomeGilmoreTeamSellsOrlando/

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  19. This is one of the best documented (supported) post on TWW for institutional corruption in the SBC and the more I think about it, the more angry I get. It is a good thing that I am not the father of Christa…… all of those church leaders, and especially that choir director guy would be on $&#* list….

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  20. Jerome: [says ‘a female contact’ perpetrated on him ‘a completely nonconsensual, unwanted sexual assault that has left me traumatized to this day’]

    Could those with more experience in the area of sexual asault and abuse comment on this linked article for the rest of us? Does it ring true (ie this person is struggling and afraid to give his name?) or does it seem like someone using #metoo to cast himself in a positive light?

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  21. NW Hiker,

    The IFB churches, in the Houston Chronicle article, kept using the word “affair” a lot to rationalize there lack of response.

    Also notice at what age she was forced to apologize to Mrs Gilmore, 16.

    When did Tommy Gilmore start abusing her?

    Referencing Judge Roy Gilmore and his election campaign. At the time of the incidents, 1970’s, the age of consent was 16 years old.

    Did Tommy Gilmore start abusing Christa before she was 16, then brought it to light at 16 knowing his version of events would be accepted? Hopefully burying the issue in plain site so to speak?

    Dee, send all the info onto the agency that gave him his real estate license. Not for revenge. But, speaking as a molestation victim, he’ll be using the license as an angle to locate more victims.

    He’s both a retired pastor “with honors” and a licensed realtor, he has to be trustworthy (sarcasm).

    Christa, thank you for helping the abused/molested out there. And a virtual hug.

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  22. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Divorce Minister,

    How dare the wife participate in the sham… oh, I forgot, she was being a good “comp” wife…

    I think the sick dynamics here are a result of bad teaching where people are taught about the female “temptress” as in the Bathsheba story. They are NOT taught the reality that Bathsheba was raped, imo, and King David abused his power to use her. Plus, as a faithful spouse, I do not want to underestimate how much we often will blame almost anyone except the responsible one–namely, the cheater. What the wife did was not right…however, I place the blame more on the pastor for exploiting her and using one of his victims against the other.

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  23. Fisher,

    It’s a thinly disguised hit piece. The editors’ note was an editorial in itself. I couldn’t get through the rest of the article after trying to claim he was blackmailed. If that was the case, why didn’t he go to the civil authorities.

    He’s doing an Uncle Raggy.

    The tone of the article makes him sound like a 14 year old that was raped in an alley, which is totally false. It’s his false reporting that makes it harder for real victims to come forward and report their own abuse.

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  24. Brian,

    Adding to my previous comment:

    I have a friend who lived with a woman for awhile, had a daughter with her. She was extremely possessive, mentally abusive.

    He worked out of the home as a graphics artist. Sometimes he collaborated with a female colleague. Because his girlfriend was so explosive in front of the female colleague, she couldn’t work with him at his home anymore. They tried working together at her house but the girlfriend would follow them over and start something up there. Eventually, his female colleague stopped working with him.

    When he would try to defend himself in an argument but unable to stop her verbal and physical onslaughts, he would call the police. When the police arrived, she would act all calm and accuse him of striking her. He would be taken away and processed. After a couple of more 911 calls by him and a police investigation, the truth came out.

    He finally figured out staying for the kid’s sake was a bad idea, left the house, sued and won full custody of his daughter.

    Even though at the time, the late 1990’s, contemporary thought not recognizing that a small percentage of abusers were women, he kept fighting back until the truth came out.

    So the whole idea he was being blackmailed into sex is just insane.

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  25. A further thought…. while I was not physically abused, I consider myself spiritually abused by fundamentalist, especially in the area of science. After 31 years as a engineering professor, conducting bioengineering research at a big time, secular humanist, heathen university, there are still “trigger words/phrases” that result in significant emotional, internal responses within me. While they have significantly faded over the years, they are still there, and probably will till my death… So, I completely, or to best of my ability, understand Christa’s response to phrases/words..

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  26. TS00,

    “Slowly but surely, those meek, submissive Stepford wives are going to begin to see that it is not just sexual abuse, but spiritual abuse that denigrates, devalues and harms women. No one is going to be able to put that Genie back in the bottle.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    it is just plain true.

    the bigger genie is the published evidence that the more women are empowered, the more the entire community benefits.

    there is no way to put this genie back in the bottle.

    comp/pat was finished long ago. were hearing the whirring machinery winding down.

    i imagine they’ll have their own generators in their bunkers, though. where the ‘faithful remanant’ will be hiding out, terrified of the evil worldly world.

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  27. SH,

    I will say that it’s interesting that TAB was so supportive to publish a totally anonymous piece by a male pastor describing sexual blackmail & assault by a woman- which I can only guess must be a more rare form of sexual assault. Especially since she wasn’t his boss or superior, etc.
    Has the Alabama Baptist given a similar platform to any pieces by female survivors of ministerial sexual abuse? Anyone know?

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  28. SH,

    He’s quoting the Scriptures in his article as if a rape victim quotes civil statutes pointing out where the law was broken when they write of their experience. Even if he’s not as angry as when it really happened, there should still be some tension in his writing. 🙂

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  29. I didn’t say I know who it is:

    Jerome: a lengthy article by one of the men who was ‘in the news’ last year resigning from his post at ‘a Southern Baptist institution’ due to what was described as a moral failing.

    Straight from the article:

    “It has been a year ago now that news of my termination from a Southern Baptist institution was made public. Jennifer Davis Rash of The Alabama Baptist was the only journalist who contacted me for a statement following the initial release of the information. Instead of rushing to press, as many other publications did, she declined to run a story with only partial information.”

    “my boss…was sent evidence of what appeared to be an affair…my boss brought me into his office, told me my service with the institution was over and handed me a pre-written letter of resignation. I refused to sign it and explained I had been sexually assaulted and threatened….requests to draft my own letter of resignation — one that would detail the circumstances of sexual abuse — were refused…I finally gave up…and then signed the prepared statement of resignation, admitting to a ‘moral delinquency’ that disqualified me from ministry.”

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  30. Christa Brown has always been a shining light for me, I call her a hero. When like her, in 2007, I began to deal with my abuse (which occurred in 1991) by a church minister and wanted to “do something” to expose him and began to process my anger at the long-standing cover up by Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines and others, Christa became a mentor and she was the first person I knew of who had been in my shoes and was fighting back.

    Christa, you literally saved me during those dark times, without your understanding, your friendship, your grieving with me and willingness to walk it out with me as I started to expose my own predators and conspirators. I was still so naive – my eyes were opened wide and you comforted and were not shocked, you let me blaze out there thinking I could have an impact, you cheerleaded me even though you knew it was swimming upstream, and when I finally realized defeat, you were such a great soft place to land ❤️ I will never forget it. I was alone. I was losing friends and family, long time church families and everyone wanted me to be silent. You were one of my only friends in that darkness. And “they” called you horrible things, they didn’t want me to be influenced by your greatness – you were a threat to “them”. Paige Patterson literally spat your name and told me “not to align with you”, I spat back because I knew light from darkness.

    Christa Brown started the #metoo movement before any of us even knew what to call it – in a time when she truly had to stand alone. Many of you are just grasping the path she began so long ago – for me, I’ve wanted to see her honored this way for decades. I’m so glad the world is learning your story and the cost, you paid a high price. Now, in current day advocacy, survivors don’t get labeled quite like you did, they don’t get the amount of hate and vitriol such as you did (even as I did) because you scared “them”. You memorialized it and shouted names from the rooftops (blog, interviews, your book, advocacy) and you named names and now they know that at the very least to be careful what they say and how they respond. You changed a lot of the current path, at your own costs. I applaud you loudly and I am so thankful you wrote this, it needs to be publicized. For years, I’ve hated knowing he’s still out there smiling and manipulating people and that he’s trusted. Tommy Gilmore – I will never forget his name, I also wonder how many other victims there are.

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  31. Thank you so much, Christa.

    You are truly a hero and I look up to you. You are the most qualified to lead the SBC in this crisis, I believe. So glad you will be honored at the Rally.

    Thank you for being brave.

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  32. Divorce Minister,

    Based on Christa’s 1:28 response to me, Mrs. Gilmore is totally complicit in her husband’s crimes.

    I can’t explain it right now. All I can say is that I’ve had to intercede in a non-molestation, emotional abuse situation to protect a 17 year old, where the mother and her boyfriend used this dynamic.

    I was wrong. Tommy Gilmore wasn’t trying to cover his backside. He was tripling the amount of his abuse on Christa.

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  33. Here’s one.

    I’m autistic. This is cutting a long story short; but one practical upshot is that when I take a stand on something, nobody takes me seriously. I’m not the only person in that position, nor are autistic people the only group therein, but it has forced me to think carefully in recent years about what it is that gives disproportionate influence to a few people. What tools, in other words, are the incumbent power-brokers in corporate “christian” America using that keeps them in power no matter how often their claims are exposed? Is it possible for those who stand with the poor and the downtrodden to co-opt those tools without sinking to the same level of greed and dishonesty, and if not, are there other tools they should use? (And yes, I’m well aware of the “seven mountains” theory. It has its strengths – as a theory – but also its holes.)

    It’s a long conversation. But rich, well-provided-for turkeys won’t vote for christmas. (Or Thanksgiving, if that makes more sense in the US.) Nor will the corporate suits, power-brokers and puppets alike, do anything that endangers their status.

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  34. The kick is the power and what these clowns do is co opt nothing less than the percieved power of an almighty god.

    I don’t give a blink about church or god/Jesus/holy spirit.

    There can be no waiting for justice in whatever afterlife is believed in.

    Justice needs to be meted out in this life.

    Any ‘restoration’ is a joke.

    Let them have their day in court.

    Never mind this “he who is without sin cast the first stone” malarkey.

    Am I judging? Heck, yeah!

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  35. SH: Has the Alabama Baptist given a similar platform to any pieces by female survivors of ministerial sexual abuse? Anyone know?

    My guess is no, since women don’t have a voice in most Baptist worlds.

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  36. Wade Burleson: Oh…my…word.

    Ok. Uhmm..This is confusing. It’s not Babylon Bee, nor does it read as comedy.

    If this is supposed to represent some sort of #metoo push back, it does not look good for Alabama Baptist. This is not a strategy. It’s just weird.

    Role play? That doesn’t make sense either. What happens with the dominatrix, stays with the dominatrix. Plastered online?

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  37. Does this information ring true with anyone who knows the statistics.

    “Recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that “over one year, men and women were equally likely to experience nonconsensual sex, and most male victims reported female perpetrators.” If you apply these statistics to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) numbers more than 100,000 adult men affiliated with the SBC have potentially been sexually assaulted.”

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  38. The CDC figures are “Sexual violence is common. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape and 1 in 14 men was made to penetrate someone (completed or attempted) during his lifetime.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/datasources/nisvs/summaryreports.html

    However the timing of this story is suspicious.

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  39. Jerome: [says ‘a female contact’ perpetrated on him ‘a completely nonconsensual, unwanted sexual assault that has left me traumatized to this day’]

    I can accept that someone might blackmail someone else into sex.

    There are some problems with this particular story, though. For one, like others, I question if the Alabama conference ever allowed anything by a female victim. It seems to me that they want to side with all the people that say “men are constantly accused”. I’ve had several people in my own life say that, and they hadn’t looked at any statistics on that at all, just listened to other people who said that.

    Second, his resignation letter story is a total sham. There’s no way he would have been “forced” to sign a pre-written resignation letter. Maybe they tried to make him sign one, but I can’t help but think if he really believed in telling his story at that point, he would have certified mailed a letter or gotten a lawyer involved.

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  40. Brian: It’s his false reporting that makes it harder for real victims to come forward and report their own abuse.

    It also plays into the narrative that we need to worry ourselves sick about men, and that boys will have no future if we let these female self-proclaimed victims have their 15 minutes of fame, all they want is a payday, etc., etc.

    Concern about the future of boys is a huge deal in a group that tells girls that they will need to be financially and spiritually dependent on husbands. My thought: let’s hear out survivors and not worry too much about men losing every shred of their power and prestige. And let’s teach boys that girls are their equals, deserving of dignity and respect.

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  41. Jerome: From the anonymous piece the Alabama Baptist: “my boss…was sent evidence of what appeared to be an affair…my boss brought me into his office, told me my service with the institution was over and handed me a pre-written letter of resignation.”

    I’m struggling to imagine that this happened, given the number of stories about men clinging to their pulpits for decades despite plausible allegations.

    Around here, someone set up a spoof social media account about a local public school employee and posted vile content. The poor man was frightened and outraged, but everyone knew it was a spoof. A simple police investigation quickly found the IP address of the person who made the account, which was quickly taken down. That upsetting situation was resolved by two things: the man’s reputation and police evidence.

    Of course, predators work overtime to create a perfect reputation, to hold power. In this case, the school employee was just an ordinary guy, liked by some and not by others—not the Most Perfect Man Ever.

    School administrators did immediately circle the wagons around this innocent employee (as church leaders might with a guilty predator). But the employee himself called for the police investigation—quite a bold move.

    Baseless allegations do not automatically lead to the firing of innocent men.

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  42. The story, as told, has many holes. Is he claiming ‘I had sex with her so that she would not tell others I had sex with her’? Maybe such a bizarre thing could take place, but it sends off all of my ‘phony’ alarms. The guy couldn’t have recorded some of their interactions on his phone or some other concealed device, or planted a discreet witness somewhere? He’s right that few would believe him, because it all sounds pretty unbelievable. Is this going to be the new response to those who get caught in extra-marital sexual activity of any type – she blackmailed me into sex? Why does this, er, gentleman, claim he was so targeted? It could, I suppose, be a Mata Hari set-up by an unseen religious mafia, like JMac threatening the planting of child porn, but such groups needs to be exposed in order for a claim like this to be believed.

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  43. On the Alabama Baptist article, the advice at the end is mixed.

    “Every allegation of sexual assault must be taken seriously, no matter the plausibility of the allegation, the age or gender of the victim or his or her position within the church, ministry or institution.”

    Good as far as it goes, though I note it doesn’t say that the age or gender or position of the alleged perpetrator should not affect the investigation.

    However then there is the bad or could be taken the wrong way.

    First it ignores that some sexual assault allegations have mandatory reporting requirements (depending on jurisdiction) so just an “Offer to call law enforcement and defer to experts who can conduct independent investigations” is insufficient.

    Second is “Resist the temptation to gossip, whether publicly or privately” without making it clear that slander is not the same as publicly calling for an investigation of allegations that the person believes might be true (or consulting with people in order to bring about justice). Given a culture of protecting the privileged within the organization or the organization’s reputation (true it seems in the SBC as well as many other communities [atheists have their own problems with this]), privately warning people about X is going to happen. Though preferable to letting some lambs walk unsuspectingly into X’s jaws, it will mean lambs outside the circle are unprotected or that X might be maligned. The culture of the organization has to change.

    Third, I note the article no where calls for an investigation of the alleged sexual blackmailer, leaving her to move freely on to her next victim. Where is the justice here?

    Fourth the article ignores that the SBC seems to be equally bad on handling reports of female victims or male perpetrators so its advice should note this. I’m pretty sure Wartburg Watch would handle a report from a male victim of sexual assault by a female equally seriously.

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  44. Erp,

    …”Third, I note the article no where calls for an investigation of the alleged sexual blackmailer, leaving her to move freely on to her next victim.”…

    They can’t call for an investigation. That’s a Class A Misdemeanor.

    That’ why the alledged victim did not call 911 immediately after the confrontation. He would have to give a statement to authorities.

    Let’s regroup:
    -Anonymous is claiming he was sexually assualted. Details are not provided.(Felony)
    -This resulted from a credible fear from a previous extortion. (Felony)
    -There are two ministries minimum involved with this situation. These individuals are…employees?
    Presumably?

    Alabama Baptist are the hosting State for the impending Convention.
    What has The AL Association done to insure the safety of arriving male Messengers?

    The alledged extortioner is accused of targeting a ministry staff member. Will the extortioner have access to male pastors(oops..sorry..redundant)at the convention?

    AL has an obligation to come forward with what they know, for the protection of National Members.

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  45. Then I’m not the only on that senses something fishy with this article, which seems seriously short on significant details and follow up? I can imagine an innocent person allowing fear of not being believed to lead to financial extortion, but so-called sexual assault? Did she tie him down? I struggle to picture an adult male being sexually assaulted by a female minus weapons or something, which was not charged. It is difficult to not read this as a deliberate caricature of the countless proven to be true sexual assaults on women in the SBC. You know, the ones where women took the risk of not being believed and naming names.

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  46. TS00,

    I agree, and there are certain “biological” aspects that I have having a difficult time believing/understanding..

    And, unlike the poster boy for the Neo Cal group, before he fell out of grace ( i.e. Mark Driscoll), I am more modest and do not want to get into further details..

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  47. Jerome,

    There are some strange inconsistencies in this story.

    If it really happened as he says it did (and let’s face it, there are *a lot* of details missing), if he was set up by this woman and was railroaded by the church authorities, one kind of wonders if they were the ones behind it, because my sense is that the response he got from them is not the usual!

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  48. Deborah: Is there a reason Christa is not being publicly apologized to during the convention w/ restitution for her therapy & public rebuke of her predator?

    Could it have to do with the event being a grand message shaping exercise and not wanting untidy realities intruding on their finely-tuned narratives and action plans?

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  49. “Also, does anyone know the required ethics of licensed realtors? I’m thinking about checking into this. Can you imagine this guy is selling real estate?”

    Had a look, and it seems to relate to real estate transaction conduct rather than anything outside of it. Stil stunning that he reportedly references his time in churches in his work history and marketing.

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  50. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    from the WAPO article:

    ““Beth Moore threatened their power hierarchy and they were afraid,” Barr wrote in an email. “Losing Beth Moore will be a devastating blow to complementarian leaders, which is why they ganged up on her on Twitter.””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    this is what came to mind:

    in each of my pregnancies, my doctor was part of a consortium of obstetricians who work together, and cover for each other. It is just a fact that the female doctors are in high demand, the male doctors are not. The female doctors schedules are very impacted, the male doctors schedules are not.

    Observing the male doctors in this context, they appeared very uncomfortable with this fact. certainly some professional concern, but i also picked up on damage to their ego.

    but it simply amounts to change.

    similar to movie and TV credits no longer listing only men’s names but now representing women as well, the medical field is, of course, full of women.

    a patient simply sees the doctor they prefer (for reasons such as who they are most comfortable with, best bedside manner, who has the most expertise, the most skill, the most professionalism, etc).

    people listen to teachers (christian or otherwise) whom they prefer.

    We have choices.

    Thank God and all those who have fought for equal rights for hundreds of years up to this moment that we have choices. (and that is not to say we don’t need much more progress across the diversity spectrum)

    if your career market is changing, you better make changes to acccomodate it. if your career market is drying up, you make career adjustments.

    Things will go much better for the men of the Southern Baptist Convention if they let go of their need for power, stop hiding behind theology and God, and adjust to change.

    i expect this sea change will bring powerful waves that will simply wipe them out otherwise.

    (footnote: there will be no sympathy from me)

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  51. SiteSeer: If it really happened as he says it did (and let’s face it, there are *a lot* of details missing), if he was set up by this woman and was railroaded by the church authorities, one kind of wonders if they were the ones behind it, because my sense is that the response he got from them is not the usual!

    Similar to points I considered in a comment still being held up. If he was railroaded as described, who and what was behind it? Sounds like this was during the Paige Patterson shake-up; is there an SBC henchman team – a la HBC – that creates incidents to eliminate people who are no longer ‘necessary’? Or did the alleged woman just find him too hot to resist?

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  52. Deborah: Is there a reason Christa is not being publicly apologized to during the convention w/ restitution for her therapy & public rebuke of her predator?

    The SBC could benefit from a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, tailored to its wrongs and the survivors’ and members’ needs.

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  53. Sòpwith: 501c3 Clergy Accountability?

    hahahahaha

    Go fish!

    Excuse me, I’ll be on my way…

    ;~)§

    Intermission:
    Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter & Farruko – “On My Way”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dhYOPzcsbGM

    OK, I give up. What does this mean? Why do you continue writing nonsense on this blog’s comment section. If I recall correctly, you have been invited to leave here and move on. Please do.

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  54. TS00,

    “I don’t always understand everyone, but I think having a big tent is a positive asset.”
    +++++++++++

    i agree. very much. Nathan, no need to think about going. your contribution is valid.

    but like i said… speak plainly.

    only because if communication is the objective, it’s the responsibility of the communicator to speak in such a way that the audience will understand.

    sigh….. like i tell my loves-to-be-vague husband daily.

    if you can’t resist being clever, creative, ‘impressionistic’, at least include a plain summary statement.

    if you want to be read, at least.

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  55. ishy: I can accept that someone might blackmail someone else into sex.

    I can see a man doing it, but a woman? The only point I could see in it is to then blackmail him over the sex… or is he just that irresistible that she had to have him and only him, whatever it took?

    “a female contact arranged for me to meet with members of her organization” I mean, what the heck is with keeping every detail secret? Is this a stranger that contacted him? someone he knew? what is the organization? why would she want him to meet with them? why would he want to meet with them?

    The meeting was “in broad daylight and in a public place I felt safe”- why doesn’t he name the place? Is the reader supposed to picture a place where THEY feel safe? How do I know where HE “feels safe”? Is this a cafe? A train station? A church? A hotel room? It couldn’t have been very public if she could accuse him of raping her there…

    I mean, come on, some details, man, or your account is not credible.

    Interesting to compare his account to Christa’s. Hers is clear, straightforward, and includes names and details that ring true.

    I am so sorry, Christa. So sorry for what happened to you and all the abuse you have endured since. You are a brave and honest woman. Thank you for leading the way.

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  56. SiteSeer: what the heck is with keeping every detail secret?

    sarc: We all need to applaud the incredible bravery of Jennifer Davis Rash, who published an account that is completely impossible to verify, while boldly waving around the banner of “common journalistic practices.” /sarc

    From the Alabama Baptist (note that they are inviting more such stories):

    Editor’s Note — The Alabama Baptist is allowing anonymity for the source of this first-person article in keeping with common journalistic practices of not publicizing victims of sexual assault. TAB leadership knows the source and his family, has confidence in his interpretation of the situation and would like for his story to be added to the current conversation on sexual assault taking place in Southern Baptist life. If you are struggling with a similar issue or would like to talk with the source please email news@thealabamabaptist.org with your request and we will pass it along.

    It has been a year ago now that news of my termination from a Southern Baptist institution was made public. Jennifer Davis Rash of The Alabama Baptist was the only journalist who contacted me for a statement following the initial release of the information. Instead of rushing to press, as many other publications did, she declined to run a story with only partial information.

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  57. TS00: The story, as told, has many holes.

    The story is more like a self-help piece; those are often anonymous. But AA does not claim to be practicing journalism when they publish meditations on recovery.

    The Alabama Baptist story is starting to remind me of the Rolling Stone piece about the supposed group assault on “Jackie” at the University of Virginia. Too much anonymity, too much reliance on a single source, fully identified only after publication. Rolling Stone had to retract the piece.

    That false story is still trotted out to discredit genuine victims (as well as journalists and news organizations).

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  58. Matt Chandler, and Village Church in the NYT for another alleged cover up of child sex abuse…… these clowns just do not get it…..,
    Excuse me as I throw up again….

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  59. Ishy: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    The crux of the problem:

    “Ms. Bragg raised the possibility that the perpetrator could have been someone from the Village. That was impossible, she recalled being told by Doug Stanley, a senior director at the church, because leaders followed the church’s moral code, enshrined in the membership covenant.”

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  60. Jeffrey Chalmers: Matt Chandler and TVC should be glad that was not my sons or daughter telling me this… they are as far from the example that Christ set as I can every image…

    Chandler has made such a big deal about TVC now being “safe”. I wonder if their “moral code” includes lying. By their own rules, their whole leadership should step down.

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  61. Ishy,

    Yup…. a big lie, about one of the most depraved sins you can do…. a church leader molesting a little girl! At a Church camp! Yup, just what Christ commanded us to do…i do give a damn if it brought their who church down… you get off your arse and do what ever you can to support the little girl….. what did Christ say, “what you do to least you do to me? “.
    Hello???

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  62. Ishy,

    I have a comment in the “penalty box” … they are lying about, IMHO, is one of the most depraved sins on could commit…. a Church leader molesting a little gurl at a church camp…… does it get any worse???

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  63. Jeffrey Chalmers: does it get any worse???

    From the article.

    “The Village, like many other evangelical churches, uses a written membership agreement containing legal clauses that protect the institution. The Village’s agreement forbids members from suing the church, and instead requires mediation and then binding arbitration, legal processes that often happen in secret.

    The Village also uses an abuse prevention firm called MinistrySafe, which many evangelical churches cite as an accountability safeguard. Ms. Bragg assumed MinistrySafe would advocate for her daughter, but then she learned that the group’s leaders were the church’s legal advisers.

    The Village permanently removed Mr. Tonne from the staff within weeks of learning his name from the Braggs. To this day, the Village denies he was fired because of a sexual abuse allegation.

    Mr. Tonne’s lawyer said he had been falsely accused.

    The Village declined to answer a list of detailed questions about the matter from The New York Times, and Mr. Chandler declined multiple requests to be interviewed.”

    The Village Church at its worst!

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  64. Ishy: The crux of the problem:

    “Ms. Bragg raised the possibility that the perpetrator could have been someone from the Village. That was impossible, she recalled being told by Doug Stanley, a senior director at the church, because leaders followed the church’s moral code, enshrined in the membership covenant.”

    I have been told exactly this…by a member of a Calvinista Bible chapel, who insists that sex abuse and cover-ups could *never* happen at her church, because the righteous elders wouldn’t allow it. {FACE PALM}

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  65. Friend: TAB leadership knows the source and his family, has confidence in his interpretation of the situation and would like for his story to be added to the current conversation on sexual assault taking place in Southern Baptist life.

    So we are supposed to just trust it’s all been checked out and is on the up-and-up because they say so? That isn’t how any of this works!

    Jennifer Davis Rash of The Alabama Baptist was the only journalist who contacted me for a statement following the initial release of the information. Instead of rushing to press, as many other publications did, she declined to run a story with only partial information.

    I mean, what the heck??? I guess the point is, she chose to run a story with no information instead of partial?

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  66. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    “Instead, she watched on Jan. 20 as Mr. Chandler rose to address the congregation. She still had barely heard from him. He had mailed a short handwritten card to the Braggs back in July, apologizing for not being in touch. When Mr. Bragg suggested coffee, Mr. Chandler’s assistant offered a time that was months away.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    too busy building his STUPID organic beef side business.

    yeah, Matt Chandler has his priorities. what a total joke of a christian leader.

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  67. elastigirl,

    The Braggs are to low down in the pew totem pole for his time.. remember, these guys are “special” and above such minor things such as trying to heal one of the most depraved types of sin committed by people in his organization…
    incredible…

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  68. Bridget,

    “Knowing Matt and knowing his heart, I’d imagine he would bend over backwards for her to do what he thought was right,” Ms. Aday said, referring to Mr. Chandler.

    How foolish we are to think we “know someone’s heart” because we have seen their public face and heard them perform.

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  69. SiteSeer: So we are supposed to just trust it’s all been checked out and is on the up-and-up because they say so? That isn’t how any of this works!

    It shouldn’t be, but they got people to sign a contract to trust and “obey” them no matter what.

    One more lesson on why you should NEVER sign a church covenant.

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  70. I…just…

    I just read this recent article from Desiring God, and it reads like a passive aggressive pushback against victims of any sort. I have not read something so ignorant of a subject and people, conflating terms and protending reality, in awhile.

    Summary: Empathy is bad. Compassion is good. Don’t be pulled in with the victims, who are positioned to drag you down, because you won’t be able to see and uphold truth.

    1) The author doesn’t have a basic understanding of the concepts he is using and accuses the concepts of doing things they are not really doing 2) Underneath it belies the real thesis, a feeling and thinking of suspicion, hostility and coldness toward people reeling in pain from trauma. The whole piece is odd.

    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-enticing-sin-of-empathy?fbclid=IwAR1jK6J-hbHT55QlC_4-bjMHmy_ehNV2kAGUTUxENNwHkGzdEo9q6SjrePA

    It’s written in the form of a letter to Wormwood from Screwtape.

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  71. Ken P.: From the op:
    “Finally, how many of you know about the secret Baptist file of known predators? I didn’t.”
    According to Christa’s final blog entry at Stop Baptist Predators, the list kept by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, was abolished in 2016.

    I didn’t know about this.

    CYA in full affect in this story. I think we need a clear accounting of just *how many* abusers are in places, high and low, in church culture.

    Why else would the higher up’s hate the sunlight disinfectant? Keeping up a good front alone doesn’t seem to be the only answer. Why would you not, if you are not at least sympathetic, toss these men to the wolves where they belong? If it’s personal relationships that are the problem, why on earth to they get HIRED AGAIN by strangers???? Maddening.

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  72. emilyhoneycutt: I…just…

    Ha! that is about my reaction…empathy is the ‘counterfeit’ of compassion?? What are these men playing at? as if they have either. And none of them are good enough to ape cs lewis in their writing so they should probably stop trying.

    “Article by Joe Rigney: “When humans are suffering, they tend to make two demands that are impossible to fulfill simultaneously. On the one hand, they want people to notice the depth of their pain and sorrow — how deep they are in the pit, how unique and tragic their circumstances. At the same time, they don’t want to be made to feel that they really need the assistance of others.”

    This second part is the clincher here. Reading through the lines, I’m guessing he means ‘people who are in deep pain don’t like to be preached at, being told it’s all their fault, being told to let it all go, despite the lack of apologies or justice’.

    This article Is full of ‘feelings are bad’. What a wreck.

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  73. emilyhoneycutt: It’s written in the form of a letter to Wormwood from Screwtape.

    The estate of C.S. Lewis should sue for infringement of intellectual property. The author of the article should, at a miniumum, be embarrassed to have shown such hubris as to think himself worthy of imitating such an original thinker.

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  74. Jerome: “my boss…was sent evidence of what appeared to be an affair…my boss brought me into his office, told me my service with the institution was over and handed me a pre-written letter of resignation. I refused to sign it and explained I had been sexually assaulted and threatened….requests to draft my own letter of resignation — one that would detail the circumstances of sexual abuse — were refused…I finally gave up…and then signed the prepared statement of resignation, admitting to a ‘moral delinquency’ that disqualified me from ministry.”

    Funny how this affair supposedly disqualified him completely but people who have “affairs” (/s) with 16 years in the youth group are given pass after pass?

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  75. Fisher:
    Thanks Brian.You confirmed what I thought I was reading.

    I find the editors note at the beginning interesting: “and would like for his story to be added to the current conversation on sexual assault taking place in Southern Baptist life. ”

    Why is that? What do they believe that it adds other than ‘proof’ that women are liars and should not be believed? Hmmm.

    As for the content, I cannot say what happened but if you are ever in this situation, why on earth would you not call the person’s bluff? Isn’t that the general recommended response to blackmail, especially such weak blackmail as this?

    I can’t imagine someone telling me this and thinking, oops, got to sleep with them then:

    “At the end of our professional meeting, however, she made a startling comment out of the blue. She held up her phone, showed me a picture of my boss and then remarked she could call him right then and claim I had raped her.”

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  76. SiteSeer: The meeting was “in broad daylight and in a public place I felt safe”- why doesn’t he name the place?

    I think this part is meant to push back against the people who say there is nothing wrong with meeting with a woman alone in a public place. Because she might blackmail you! Clearly there should always be 5 people present even in a public space because women are terribly dangerous creatures. *eyeroll*

    I am very much trying not to make judgments on the veracity of this story, but it is full of some pretty deep nonsense.

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  77. Lea: Sidenote: Do you eat Turkey for Christmas in the UK? As in, it’s a ‘thing’?

    Yes, exactly. Hence the aphorism “like turkeys voting for Christmas” to describe a hypothetical scenario in which people would be acting against their own interests and, therefore, aren’t likely to do it.

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  78. Lea,

    I certainly agree with you about the Desiring God post. Very clumsy and ponderous and self-preening. I think the motives are to support the so-called biblical counseling methods whether they are comforting or not. The style reminds me more of Doug Wilson’s verbiage than C.S. Lewis’ scewering wit. Could the author be a New Calvinist? Seems typical of their self congratulatory snark. He could use a good high school English teacher.

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  79. FW Rez: The estate of C.S. Lewis should sue for infringement of intellectual property. The author of the article should, at a miniumum, be embarrassed to have shown such hubris as to think himself worthy of imitating such an original thinker.

    Amen!!! All these rip-offs of *The Screwtape Letters* (both Catholic and Protestant) set my teeth on edge.

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  80. Brian,

    Addition to comment. It took me a couple days to put the words together.

    Mrs. Gilmore knew her husband was doing something illegal with Christa, but she didn’t even care. She willingly participated in it by allowing Mr. Gilmore to force Christa to make a needless apology.

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  81. Lea: “At the end of our professional meeting, however, she made a startling comment out of the blue. She held up her phone, showed me a picture of my boss and then remarked she could call him right then and claim I had raped her.”

    Cow piles! File under: That Never Happened.
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  82. The man claiming to be raped does have to be take seriously, if for no other reason than that victims’ stories are too often ignored. His story is however too vague for any specific action to be taken (and frankly with what is given sounds implausible). Many of his recommended general courses of action can and should be challenged because they will not help victims (evaluate a minister before submitting, but, nothing about what to do if betrayed [or even whether it is a good idea to submit in the way implied to anyone]). The wolves are being left to roam and even encouraged by some of his advice.

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  83. Erp: The man claiming to be raped does have to be take seriously, if for no other reason than that victims’ stories are too often ignored. His story is however too vague for any specific action to be taken (and frankly with what is given sounds implausible)

    Now that he has shared it, though, I don’t see it going away without a quest by others to find out more. Inquiring minds want to know the rest of the story.

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  84. SiteSeer: the rest of the story.

    I am rather hoping that reporters and bloggers are studying the sudden resignations of prominent SBC pastors around 2018. The man attended the fateful ministerial conference in 2017. He and his wife moved away after he was fired. He was escorted by security in his former workplace. Speaking engagements and items scheduled for publication were canceled. He and his wife received messages about repentance.

    Most of all, this man claims that his situation was reported: “With every new article published about me online I felt the assault happening over and over again.” The bread crumbs are there, and this story cannot possibly describe more than a few men.

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  85. emilyhoneycutt,

    The article wasn’t particularly well written or the views well articulated but the general point is one also made by mental health practitioners. For example “Empathy for the plight of others is very positive and powerful. In it the empathetic person is able to imagine being in the place of the troubled person and feel what they feel. In fact, empathy precedes compassion. Empathy without compassion leaves the individual drained of energy as a result of feeling what the other feels. Empathy occurs immediately and leaves no emotional room between the individual and the one who is suffering. Compassion is more cognitive in nature. There is a sense of self awareness that provides some necessary space between the two people. The empathizer experiences the same suffering with the other, leaving the empathizer overwhelmed. As a result, compassion allows the individual the be more helpful than the individual who experiences empathy alone.” (MentalHelp.net)

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  86. Catholic Gate-Crasher: All these rip-offs of *The Screwtape Letters* (both Catholic and Protestant) set my teeth on edge.

    Same! Ugh. They’re all way too long and many like this are full of some gross self-importance or hubris. Just say what you want to say and stop hiding it behind a wall of bad parody.

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  87. Lowlandseer: The empathizer experiences the same suffering with the other, leaving the empathizer overwhelmed. As a result, compassion allows the individual the be more helpful than the individual who experiences empathy alone.” (MentalHelp.net)

    But this is a practical consideration for people who actually care about others. It is concern for the caring person. I have heard it described as an issue in health care, for instance.

    This article sneered at the hurt person more than anything. That’s gross.

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  88. Friend: I am rather hoping that reporters and bloggers are studying the sudden resignations of prominent SBC pastors around 2018. The man attended the fateful ministerial conference in 2017. He and his wife moved away after he was fired. He was escorted by security in his former workplace. Speaking engagements and items scheduled for publication were canceled. He and his wife received messages about repentance.

    As someone said earlier, it does sound like Frank Page, and the timing would have matched.

    I forgot what conference, and went back to check, and the article is suddenly behind a paywall. Interesting…

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  89. Lowlandseer,

    I (and many others who post here) are well versed in the mental health field and research around empathy and trauma. The article says empathy is sin, full stop, and distinguishes it as completely separate from compassion. The author doesn’t understand either of the terms or how to handle them at a basic level? The arguments are all overshadowed by projection of who knows what and infantalization toward victims.

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  90. ishy: it does sound like Frank Page, and the timing would have matched.

    March 2018? That guy is 65! Can you imagine if this was written by him? How many people are resorting to blackmail to jump in the sack with that guy, really? I definitely pictured someone 30s/40s writing this but it seems even more ridiculous to hear from an old man.

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  91. Erp,

    If this is a real account, I will apologize.

    If the TAB polished up his account, the did him a disservice. They should have left it in his own words.

    Uncle Raggy’s victim was quoted in the secondhand, not written as if the firsthand.

    Reading other’s accounts here on the TWW, when written in the firsthand, my ingrained survival instincts, a visceral feeling, a gut feeling will arise. His account has nothing of it.

    I believe that every person making claims of having been abused or raped be taken seriously.

    This article is written in such a way that says “I’m the victim, not her,” thus my Uncle Raggy comment.

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  92. Brian: Mrs. Gilmore knew her husband was doing something illegal with Christa, but she didn’t even care. She willingly participated in it by allowing Mr. Gilmore to force Christa to make a needless apology.

    Like Fred Phelps’ wife, she knows her place — Sweet and Winsome and Submissive.

    Remember that scene from Roots where Massa is stepping out of the house for a little Brown Sugar(TM) down by the slave cabins leaving his wife there to sit Sweet and Winsome and Lady-like?

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  93. Lea: March 2018? That guy is 65! Can you imagine if this was written by him? How many people are resorting to blackmail to jump in the sack with that guy, really?

    Problem is, when that kind of old guy looks in the mirror, all he sees is:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5mtclwloEQ
    Edward Cullen Sparkles optional.

    It’s like the Seventies Disco Lounge Lizard with his polyester shirt open to the waist and a cocaine spoon in his chest hair (dyed like his Gothardian scalp hair). God’s Gift to Women, cruising for some.

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  94. emilyhoneycutt: I (and many others who post here) are well versed in the mental health field and research around empathy and trauma. The article says empathy is sin, full stop, and distinguishes it as completely separate from compassion.

    That kind of “compassion(TM)” is the kind that oozes from sociopaths.

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  95. Catholic Gate-Crasher: Amen!!! All these rip-offs of *The Screwtape Letters* (both Catholic and Protestant) set my teeth on edge.

    Yeah.
    A lot of others have tried to write sequels and knockoffs to Screwtape Letters, but none have ever worked. Lewis pulled off the original, and nobody’s been able to since.
    I know. I’ve read a couple of them, including a My Little Pony fanfic version.

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  96. Friend,
    emilyhoneycutt,

    I can’t comment on what Mr Piper specifically has decided about compassion and empathy, because I’ve no plans to read his article. But I agree that infantilisation (as we call it here in Blighty!) is a big deal, and a very serious issue whenever it rears its ugly head.

    One could say that the fundamental problem with the sort of “complementarianism” often exposed here on Wartburg is the infantilisation of women. Since “complementarianism” is already a long and unwieldy made-up word, I wonder whether I might start referring to it as “gender-specific infantilisation” to distinguish it from the real-life (and GENUINELY beautiful) principle of different people complementing one another.

    If I feel compassion towards someone, without actually understanding them, it’s very difficult to see how I can respect them. Compassion without respect is toxic. Sooner or later it will delude me into thinking that I know better than [generic] you do what’s best for you. Thus, I’ll start forcing “cures” and “answers” onto you that you don’t want, and I’ll become angry and resentful when you don’t gaze up at me in grateful admiration. As indeed we see with hard-line “complementarianism”, that divides women into “godly and submissive” vs “ungodly feminist”.

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  97. Nick Bulbeck: As indeed we see with hard-line “complementarianism”, that divides women into “godly and submissive” vs “ungodly feminist”.

    The false dichotomy is always at work in the fundagelical world. Everything is black or white, good or bad, christian or heathen, conservative or liberal. There are no gray areas, no subtleties and certainly no uncertainties. When you uphold the Only True Way, then all other ways are necessarily wrong.

    ‘You don’t want to be a raging feminazi, now do you?’, and all the women cower into submission. ‘Are you going to reject your God-given authorities?’, and the typical parishioner will shut up and sit down. There couldn’t possibly be other alternatives. Maybe every single one of your systematic theologies are hogwash, er, less than perfect. In fact, I’m fairly sure that they are. How’s that for certainty?

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  98. Nick Bulbeck: If I feel compassion towards someone, without actually understanding them, it’s very difficult to see how I can respect them. Compassion without respect is toxic. Sooner or later it will delude me into thinking that I know better than [generic] you do what’s best for you. Thus, I’ll start forcing “cures” and “answers” onto you that you don’t want, and I’ll become angry and resentful when you don’t gaze up at me in grateful admiration.

    Danerys Targaryen outside of (and after) King’s Landing.
    Type Example of the Dark Side of Activist Do-Gooder.

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  99. TS00: ‘You don’t want to be a raging feminazi, now do you?’, and all the women cower into submission.

    Again, the Principles of Newspeak applied to “snarl words”.

    “Feminazi” (coined by Rush Limbaugh) actually had a valid application meaning EXTREME Female Supremacist (the funhouse-mirror reflection of EXTREME Male Supremacist). But now the definition has broadened to mean “any woman who does not bend the knee to my Manly Maleness”.

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  100. TS00: ‘Are you going to reject your God-given authorities?’, and the typical parishioner will shut up and sit down.

    The threat of Eternal Hell is a powerful motivator.
    And God becomes nothing more than Pastor’s Enforcer.

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  101. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Feminazi” (coined by Rush Limbaugh) actually had a valid application meaning EXTREME Female Supremacist (the funhouse-mirror reflection of EXTREME Male Supremacist). But now the definition has broadened to mean “any woman who does not bend the knee to my Manly Maleness”.

    And the minute a woman makes a (valid) point about the ways society needs to change, she is immediately accused of being a feminist (if people have demonized that word specifically), or a feminazi (although I have no defense of rush personally on this front), or being single with 8 cats. Which is supposed to be the direst of insults *eyeroll*.

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