Southern Religion

This Little Light of hers outshines the abusers

The Rev. William Thornton offers a concise, powerful review of Christa Brown’s book, This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang.

Thornton’s summary of what follows Ms. Brown’s decision to seek justice after having been emotionally and sexually molested by a Baptist minister, is searing [links added]:

What you get is: a lot of people wishing you would go away, a lot of people just ignoring you, some people in the BGCT making promises and then silently letting them slide by; you get hardball tactics from church and BGCT attorneys, mellifluous words from some Baptist leaders in private but never in public; encouraging words from SBC Executive Committee members in private, but followed by “you can’t ever tell anyone I said that”; you get a lecture from the clergy sex abuse expert in the denomination; you get snubbed by some denominational leaders and rudeness from others. You get called a liar and a long list of other things, none good. You learn that there is BGCT money to help abusers return to ministry but none for victims. You learn that the BGCT accepts reports of abuse by clergy, but only from churches and not abused individuals. You get to hear the SBC pronounce that there were 40 cases of abuse in 15 years, at about the same time you have difficulty in managing your email in-box from other abused individuals telling you their stories.

What should happen when a 16-year-old girl is sexually abused by a Baptist minister and decades later, after she has fought her way out of the predator’s brainwashing, seeks justice and proves her case?

Punish-the-victims denial still occurs and meaningful institutional reform has been rejected.

In 2008, the SBC made Number Six on Time Magazines list of under-reported news stories by refusing to create a central SBC database of church staff and clergy convicted or indicted on charges of molesting minors.

Now there’s a crying human issue for Richard Land’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, if he will take a break from carrying water for the health insurance and coal industries.

Meanwhile, Thornton at, Brown at Stop Baptist Predators and this blog, are accepting recommendations.

September 8, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Crime, Law, Medical Care, Religion, SBC | , , ,

1 Comment

  1. I am reminded of that line by Shakespeare: “See How Far That Little Candle Throws It’s Light. So Shines A Good Deed In A Naughty World.”

    Comment by victoriag | September 9, 2009

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