Friday, 3 June 2022

Southern Baptist Sexual Abuses Scandal - SBC Official Says It's More Important to Protect the SBC than to Protect Potential Abuse Victims

North Carolina attorney, Joe Knott. SBC Committee Member
"I guarantee you women and children are going to be victimized"
SBC leader warns that trying to prevent abuse will destroy the mission.

In a frankly astonishingly laissez faire response to the report into historical sexual abuses in member churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, North Carolina attorney and long-time committee member Joe Knott, warned against implementing the measures recommended to protect vulnerable children and women from sexually predatory pastors, youth workers and missionaries because it could lead to ruin.

I am terrified that we are breaching our long-standing position of being a voluntary association of independent churches, when we start telling churches that they should do this or do that to protect children or women.

Joe Knott, SBC Committee member
The recommendation came from the independent Guidepost Solutions report which found that leaders of the SBC had focussed for decades on trying to protect the SBC while allowing known abusers to continue to abuse children for fear that taking action to prevent it and warn member churches might lead to them withdrawing from the SBC.

In a bizarre admission that Baptist pastors are expected to abuse women and children, Knott justified his do-nothing recommendation with:

I guarantee you women and children are going to be victimized no matter how much — and that is going to make us potentially targets of great class-action lawsuits, which could be the end of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Joe Knott, SBC Committee member
The Guidepost Solutions report [PDF] had reported that, in trying to protect the SBC from liability claims:

…survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy — even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation.

Knot's intervention came after the SBC Executive Committee had agreed to the request of the taskforce set up to implement the Guidepost Solutions recommendation, for $3 million of SBC funds be set aside to fund the measures. The budget will now go forward for approval at the SBC AGM later this month. It remains to be seen whether the AGM will approve the budget or whether the "do nothing and allow the inevitable abuses to continue, or the abusers might disaffiliate their churches" approach, preferred by Knott and his allies, will prevail.

These are the same people who tell us that they have an objective moral compass that comes from God. Apparently, it is a moral compass that points unerringly backwards to the brutal Bronze Age.

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2 comments :

  1. "I guarantee you women and children are going to be victimized no matter how much — and that is going to make us potentially targets of great class-action lawsuits, which could be the end of the Southern Baptist Convention." Wouldn't that be a good thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The outcome would be, but I don't think the continuing abuse of women and children is a price worth paying for it.

      Delete

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