I have a new article up today at the New York Times about the Houston Chronicle articles and sexual abuse with the Southern Baptist Convention. An excerpt can be found below.
This week The Houston Chronicle ran a series of articles exposing, in painfully specific documentation, hundreds of sexual abusers who have worked within Southern Baptist churches over the last 20 years.
This series of articles demonstrates clearly that our tradition is well past its own age of accountability. The vital question is what we as a religious community, faced with these sins, do next.
Though many have cried out about the problem in church life, too often our tradition has thought this was a problem outside our walls. Some saw abuse, for example, within the Catholic church, and attributed it to a priestly celibacy or to a powerful church hierarchy different from American evangelicalism. Others saw the shocking abuse in the entertainment industry and considered it confirmation of what happens in communities with a lack of religiosity.
We see the same impulse at work throughout American culture when it comes to sexual abuse and assault allegations against politicians. Often these acts are viewed through a partisan lens: either as confirmation of the end result of one’s politics, or a distraction to be waved away, depending on whether the politician was on one’s ideological “side” or not.
Read the full article here.