Southern Religion

Southern Baptists can’t handle the truth

Christa Brown at Stop Baptist Predators deals with the Southern Baptist failure to take immediate, reasonable steps to protect the victims:

We saw this pattern in the recent case in Port Orchard, Washington. “We want the truth to come out,” said senior pastor Jamie Greening, after another minister in his church was arrested on child sex charges and after police said he had “confessed on tape to raping a 12-year-old.”

Failure to protect other potential victims while awaiting an outcome at trial is negligent. As Brown explains:

Just because a man hasn’t been criminally convicted doesn’t mean that he hasn’t sexually abused a child. In fact, many experts estimate that 90 percent of active sex offenders have no criminal record. This is consistent with FBI data, which indicates that only about 1 to 10 percent of child molestation crimes are ever even disclosed, much less prosecuted or convicted.

Children and other potential victims are put at undue risk when a criminal conviction is a faith group’s only measure of “the truth” in these cases. The widespread Southern Baptist standard in these matters is wrong.

March 9, 2011 Posted by | children, Crime, SBC | , , | Comments Off on Southern Baptists can’t handle the truth

There is a price in Baptistland for defending those sexually abused by clergy

The passion of religious faith transmuted into meanness, explains Christa Brown:

I never imagined a world of so much meanness until I stepped onto the terrain of Baptistland with pleas for clergy accountability and for care of abuse survivors.

Worst of all . . . it’s a malignant meanness that masks itself as religion.


The comments deserve a read too.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | children, Churches, Crime, Religion, SBC | , , , | Comments Off on There is a price in Baptistland for defending those sexually abused by clergy

Silsby & Coulter to be freed

BBC reports:

Bernard Sainvil told Reuters the case, which involves 33 children, should be closed this week because there were no criminal grounds to pursue it.

A lawyer for the two said he thought they would be freed by Thursday.

ABC reported that with regard to Laura Silsby and Charisa Coulter, the judge has all the information he wants.

February 24, 2010 Posted by | SBC | , | Comments Off on Silsby & Coulter to be freed

Baptists and Muslims search together for peace [Update: Parham Interviewed]

Baptists and Muslims — two groups often identified by their extremists — share the common desire to love God and neighbor, according to a documentary being aired by ABC affiliates.

The film, “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,” was produced by, the website of the Baptist Center for Ethics.

Robert Parham, the executive editor of the web site and executive director of the center, talks about the documentary in a column for the Washington Post-Newsweek On Faith panel.

“Baptist-Muslim engagement may be the most unanticipated and underreported religion story of 2009 with the far-reaching potential to advance the common good. Time will soon determine whether it is a fool’s errand or a fullness-of-time movement.”

ABC television affiliates were scheduled to start showing the film Jan. 3, according to EthicsDaily. A list of times, dates and broadcasting affiliates is available at Interfaith Broadcasting. There is a trailer.

Parham concluded:

Our documentary is about replacing the negative narratives with positive ones. We hope it will bring Baptists and Muslims together on the local level for conversations and community-building. If Muslims and Baptists are peacemakers together in the United States, then they will show the rest of the world a better way forward.

Robert Parham Interview

Bruce Prescott interviewed Robert Parham regarding Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims.

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , | Comments Off on Baptists and Muslims search together for peace [Update: Parham Interviewed]

An altar call on behalf of undocumented aliens

Libby Grammer Garrett, a Baptist and a master-of-divinity student at McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, makes a hide-blistering appeal to conscience and faith on behalf illegal immigrants.

Facing directly into the hurricane anti-immigrant misinformation directed at the issue, she writes, for the Associated Baptist Press::

When real people who are made in the image of God become involved, we realize that the issue of undocumented immigration is testing the capacity of Christians to resist temptations that undermine a Kingdom ethic — xenophobia, racism, greed. If Christians claim to look to the Bible as our guide on moral decision-making, then we must do so on the issue of undocumented immigration as well.

Having earlier quite accurately said that most Americans are badly informed about immigrants by “inflammatory and misleading news sources,” she reminds us that:

Jesus himself was an alien in Egypt when his parents fled to save his life. He was kind to strangers and taught a Kingdom ethic in which inclusion of outsiders was central. Paul noted our status as resident aliens in the world and what might be called our ‘naturalized citizenship’ in the Kingdom of Heaven.

She calls upon Baptists, and through them all of us, to give “public witness” to the real needs of undocumented immigrants.

We recommend the entire blog to you. Read it here.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Politics, SBC | , , | Comments Off on An altar call on behalf of undocumented aliens

Baptists graying out . .

Baptists are graying out, says the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey. The Associated Baptist Press’s Bob Allen writes:

. . . 21 percent of the people who identify themselves as Baptists are 70 and older. That compares to 12 percent of the general population, 13 percent of Catholics, 14 percent of mainline Christians and 10 percent of Mormons who fall in that age range. Forty percent of the national population is 50 or older, while 58 percent of Baptists fall into that age bracket.

Losing out too, among Hispanics and Asians:

Seven percent of Hispanics self-identified as Baptists in 1990, compared to 3 percent in 2008. Asians were 9 percent Baptist in 1990 but now make up 3 percent of Baptists. Asians were also the group most likely to profess no religion.

And, yes, “the percentage of Baptists who are widowed is 12 percent, twice the national average.”

In this cloud. Allen found no silver lining.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Baptists graying out . .