The SBC Pretends to Care About Sex Abuse

Patheos blog

June 26, 2019

By Captain Cassidy

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) just had its big Annual Meeting this year. There, they featured three main messages. First, they registered dim awareness of the huge sex-abuse scandal engulfing their denomination. Second, they outlined their response to that scandal. And third, they drilled down harder than ever on their culture wars–and sent a firm message to those clamoring for changes. Today, let me show you how we know where their real priorities are, what their real message was, and why they had to send it.

The Scandal Heats Up.
Early this year, two Texas newspapers released a story called “Abuse of Faith.” It detailed the sex abuse scandal erupting in the SBC. Even more, it had the potential to do to the SBC what the Spotlight stories had done to the Catholic Church, and for the same reasons, and in the same ways.

In “Abuse of Faith,” hundreds of victims shared stories of abuse at the hands of many dozens of SBC church ministers. Those victims also openly discussed the many ways that the SBC’s biggest denominational leaders had tried to bury those stories, silence them, and pretend nothing bad was happening.

After the story broke, the SBC dithered about what to do. A few leaders cried copious crocodile tears, including J.D. Greear, their current denominational president. Clearly they all hoped it would just blow over. But it didn’t. It got worse and worse.

When Greear insisted on an “investigation” into some of the churches named in “Abuse of Faith,” the resulting circus farce only drew attention to the SBC’s shortcomings. (See endnotes. This one runs deep.)

Addressing a Scandal, Sort Of.
Having failed utterly to quell outrage, of course, the SBC’s top leaders now felt they had to say something about the scandal at their Annual Meeting. They couldn’t just ignore it.

But they sure came as close as they humanly could to it.

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