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Nondenominational & SBC sex predators

GetReligion’s tmatt has an interesting post on the Washington Post story about the Baylor University study which found pervasive sexual abuse of women by clergy.

She also correctly observes that the problem is larger than references to denominational policies and practices imply:

Meanwhile, the nation is filling up with totally independent, nondenominational churches with few if any ties — especially legal ties — to anyone or anything. Is anyone keeping track of the clergy who serve these churches? Is anyone accountable for them? We are dealing with a form of church government and tradition called the “free church” and, truth is, the clergy in these churches are very, very free indeed.

Toward the end, she gets around to the Southern Baptist Convention when she says:

The SBC, however, resembles the Roman Catholic Church in contrast with the totally disorganized, non-structured reality that is the post-denominational world. Trust me: There is another story here. Is that buried somewhere in the Baylor research?

Well-earned credit is given Stop Baptist Predators for coverage of the issue.

Thus far no Southern Baptist pastor has cranked up the nerve to make the standard argument that tmatt is wrong — the SBC is somehow helpless to deal with predatory pastors. You see, SBC churches are autonomous, and that somehow produces hands-off approach.

That argument is contradicted by the SBC’s hands-on approach when the issue is fellowship with “unrepentant” homosexuals, calling women pastors, providing pensions, health benefits to pastors, etc … .

Not to unjustly single out the SBC. It is the largest non-Catholic denomination in the U.S. and earned its reputation for refusing to safeguard Southern Baptist parishioners against sexual abuse.

For example, the SBC won special Time Magazine attention last year for refusing to take effective action to safeguard Southern Baptist children against sexual predators.

Which brings us to a key unanswered question: Whether nondenominational sex abuse by clergy is a larger problem than clerical sex abuse fostered by SBC inaction.

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September 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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  1. […] Nondemoninational sex predators « BaptistPlanet baptistplanet.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/nondemoninational-sex-predators – view page – cached GetReligion’s tmatt has an interesting post on the Washington Post story about the Baylor University study which found pervasive sexual abuse of women by clergy. — From the page […]

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