LeHermitage
Covering Realms Not Often Seen

Southern Baptists allegations of Sexual Molestation

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    LeHermitage Forum Index -> Religion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
TheHoodedMan
Site Admin


Joined: 23 Feb 2007
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Southern Baptists allegations of Sexual Molestation Reply with quote

Sex abuse victims' advocates go after Southern Baptists
POSTED: 5:37 p.m. EST, February 21, 2007POSTED: 5:37 p.m. EST, February 21, 2007
Story Highlights
• NEW: Sex abuse victims' advocates turn focus to Southern Baptists
• NEW: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests launches campaign
• Group says Southern Baptists not doing enough, covering up sex abuse
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- The victims' advocates who dogged the Roman Catholic Church over sex abuse by its clergy have now turned their attention to the Southern Baptists, accusing America's largest Protestant denomination of also failing to root out molesters.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has started a campaign to call attention to alleged sex abuse committed by Southern Baptist ministers and concealed by churches.

SNAP presented a letter Monday to Southern Baptist Convention executive committee members in Nashville, asking the group to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse and to create an independent review board to investigate molestation reports.

Church leaders concede there have been some incidents of abuse in Southern Baptist congregations, but say their hands are tied when it comes to investigating complaints across the denomination.
40 cases of alleged abuse

Unlike the Catholic Church, with its rigid hierarchy, Baptist churches are independent. They make their own decisions about hiring ministers and conducting investigations, Baptist leaders say.

"They don't want to see this problem," said Christa Brown, a SNAP member from Austin, Texas, who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Southern Baptist minister. "That's tragic because they're imitating the same mistakes made by Catholic bishops."

In the past six months SNAP has received reports of about 40 cases of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist ministers -- with some of the incidents dating back many years, Brown said.

SNAP leaders hold that abuse is typically underreported because being molested is such a painful experience that victims often wait years before stepping forward.

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said the denomination plans to teach its churches how to conduct background checks, and to require letters of recommendation for job candidates.

But he said the Southern Baptist Convention does not have the legal authority to create an independent board to investigate abuse complaints.

"As much as possible within our structure, we're going to assist churches," Page said. "We're deeply concerned about this. We believe children are the most precious gifts from God."

Southern Baptists passed a resolution in 2002 urging its churches to discipline ministers guilty of sexual abuse and to cooperate with authorities in their prosecution.
Pregnant with her minister's baby

But Brown said that's not enough.

She says the Southern Baptists need an independent review board precisely because there's no clear chain of command among Baptist churches. The SBC also does not keep a list of ministers who have been accused of abuse. Advocates say this means molesters could move from church to church.

"I believe kids are not safe in Southern Baptist churches," said Brown, who runs a Web site called the Voice to Stop Baptist Predators.

One SNAP member, Debbie Vasquez, said she was raped by a Southern Baptist minister in Texas when she was 15 years old.

Now 48, Vasquez filed a lawsuit last year against the pastor, the Rev. Dale "Dickie" Amyx and his current church, Bolivar Baptist in Sanger, Texas, about 45 miles north of Dallas. She claims the church knew, or should have known, about Amyx's past.

Vasquez says she was raped when Amyx was a minister at the now-defunct Calvary Baptist Church in Lewisville, another town north of Dallas.

When she became pregnant with Amyx's child at age 18, church leaders forced her to go before the congregation and ask forgiveness as an unwed mother. But the congregation was never told it was Amyx's baby.

The lawsuit claims Calvary Baptist helped Amyx get another job at a church in Arizona.

Amyx acknowledged in court documents that he had a sexual relationship with Vasquez and was the father of her child. Texas court records also show that Amyx was convicted in 1967 for giving beer to a minor.

When reached at home Wednesday, Amyx said he couldn't comment on the case and referred all questions to his lawyer, James A. Harrison. The attorney did not return multiple phone calls.

Vasquez said she filed the suit because she fears Amyx could be abusing other girls and she wants to see him removed from his position.

"In any denomination where you have these men with this power that's not questioned and you have these people who are vulnerable ... you're going to have a problem," Vasquez said.
Cover-up accusations

Philip Jenkins, a professor of religious studies and history at Pennsylvania State University and author of the book "Pedophiles and Priests," said it's harder to track child sexual abuse in Protestant denominations.

"Southern Baptists are massively decentralized compared to the Catholic Church," he said. "They're independent. It's very difficult to gauge how many abuses might be occurring within the Southern Baptist Convention."

Several child sex abuse cases in Southern Baptist churches have surfaced recently.

Bellevue Baptist, a megachurch near Memphis, fired a longtime minister, the Rev. Paul Williams, last month after he acknowledged sexually abusing his son 17 years ago.

The church's internal investigation found that church leaders, including current pastor, the Rev. Steve Gaines, knew about the abuse last year, but did not act immediately.

The investigation began in December only after the prodding of Williams' son, who asked Gaines why his father was allowed to continue as a minister even after leaders had found out about the abuse.

"I accept full responsibility and could have handled this in a more appropriate way," Gaines told the congregation last month.

In another case, Shawn Davies, a former music and youth minister at the First Baptist Church of Greenwood, Missouri, pleaded guilty last month to molesting boys ages 12 to 16.

Vasquez says she's seeking damages for medical costs and mental and physical injury as well as punitive damages.

"They're allowing these men to go from church to church," she said. "They're not protecting the victims. They're protecting themselves."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The above was found on CNN.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Fresca
Wanderer


Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is most unfortunate... and yet not unforseeable.

The evangelical movement has been plagued with corruption though the years, all one need to do is look at the scandals that hit the news.

The main issue i see is control, namely control over others.

Whenever you have an organization that is in a position of controling some aspect of other peoples lives (be it spiritual or civil) abuse will exist on some level. We see this happening in governmental agencies as well as in religios institutions/organizations (Christian and non-Christian alike).

In a circle I was in many years ago, I saw how the HPS really made the lives of the weaker members of the circle miserable, needless to say... I left. A dear friend of mine growing up was molested by a Catholic priest.
In NYC it was dicovered that CPS was using _healthy_ inner city children as guinea pigs for some very toxic and dangerous HIV drugs.

Is this really a case of Christians ? or is this really a case unscrupulous (sp?) people getting into some power and going as far with it as think they can get away with ?

Would their actions differ if their religion was focused on a head of cabbage ?

Does it need to be exposed ? Yes
Is it wrong (unethical and/or immoral)? Yes
Does it need to be remedied ? Absoloutely

Should anyone be supprised ? I dont think so
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TheHoodedMan
Site Admin


Joined: 23 Feb 2007
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fresca wrote:
This is most unfortunate... and yet not unforseeable.

The evangelical movement has been plagued with corruption though the years, all one need to do is look at the scandals that hit the news.

The main issue i see is control, namely control over others.

Whenever you have an organization that is in a position of controling some aspect of other peoples lives (be it spiritual or civil) abuse will exist on some level. We see this happening in governmental agencies as well as in religios institutions/organizations (Christian and non-Christian alike).

In a circle I was in many years ago, I saw how the HPS really made the lives of the weaker members of the circle miserable, needless to say... I left. A dear friend of mine growing up was molested by a Catholic priest.
In NYC it was dicovered that CPS was using _healthy_ inner city children as guinea pigs for some very toxic and dangerous HIV drugs.

Is this really a case of Christians ? or is this really a case unscrupulous (sp?) people getting into some power and going as far with it as think they can get away with ?

Would their actions differ if their religion was focused on a head of cabbage ?

Does it need to be exposed ? Yes
Is it wrong (unethical and/or immoral)? Yes
Does it need to be remedied ? Absoloutely

Should anyone be suprised ? I dont think so


It is a real shame, but it goes on. You would think that some background checks would be instituted to help prevent this from happening.

I personally believe that the people involved have done it before and nothing is done to stop it.

It is always the other person, no one is willing to take responsibility to insure safety of children.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    LeHermitage Forum Index -> Religion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


© 2007-2008 Informe.com. Get Free Forum Hosting
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
 :: 
PurplePearl_C 1.02 Theme was programmed by DEVPPL JavaScript Forum
Images were made by DEVPPL Flash Games