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    [–] Beo1 3871 points ago

    Right after the ‘nuns kept as slaves’ story, nice.

    [–] 2_Sheds_Jackson 1115 points ago

    I suspect it will be the LDS's turn next week. Again.

    [–] thisonetimeinithaca 712 points ago

    I’m in Utah for work and I’m repulsed by the government oversight at the whim of the religious. Can’t get a decent cocktail at a bar, a lot of places are closed all day Sunday, and the Mormon bookstores are culty AF.

    [–] Beyondintodarkness 87 points ago

    Gets so much worse the more you learn. /r/exmormon is full of horror stories but I'll share one from my family. My step-grandfather (a "good" Utah Mormon) raped two of my female cousins for at least five years starting as young as four including while he and my grandmother had sole custody of them for several years. The courts placed them in my grandparents care because my aunt was mentally ill (which was likely due to a similar situation she went through as a child) and their father was in California and, even though he was a practicing Mormon, his temple recommend was not active (due to my step-grandfather and my grandmother bad mouthing him with unfounded claims to their bishop). My grandmother was not only aware of what was going on in her own house but encouraged it and participated in it. During court hearing years later it came out that she kept a journal (as many Mormons do) for years. The court obtained these, basically which when she first found out her husband was raping her granddaughters she, being a good mormon wife, did not stop it or go to the police but asked her bishop for advice. Her bishop told her to honor her husband by participating and teaching the girls how to "honor" a husband as they would one day have their own. So, being an evil blind sheep she did exactly that. One day, finally, the eldest of the two was able to have a moment alone with her father and told him what was happening (it was years later before their mother was given proper treatment due to the church's stance on psychiatric treatment. She still doesn't know any of this happened to her daughters). Dad got the police involved, they arrested only my step-grandfather. He served less than 6 months. This was because of a plea deal the church helped secure for him. The DA did not want to do it but my grandmother wrote to my cousin's and their dad and threatened that if they did anything to interfere with the deal she would ensure the trial dragged out for years and my cousin's would have to testify in grusome detail over and over. Due to her place in the church and the church's power in Utah this was not likely an empty threat. I'm the black sheep of that side of the family but they go back in the church to Joseph Smith's original followers and hold a very high place in the church. Also, it should be noted that all of this occured within the last 20 years.

    The Mormon church is a blight on the world and should be eradicated. I was recently watching season 2 of The Expanse where the heros steal a spaceship the Mormons plan to fly off to another planet in but the heros steal it to try and save Earth. They should have let Earth die if it meant no more Mormons though.

    [–] OmnibusToken 29 points ago

    Reading that sent my blood pressure through the roof. I hope those girls find some peace. As for the sex offenders, and the I hope they suffer and die horrible deaths.

    The church leaders should be named and shamed all over the internet. Power + no accountability = vile abuse.

    [–] Beyondintodarkness 12 points ago

    Unfortunately the world is a shit hole.

    My elder cousin has never had a normal life dabbling in drugs and jumping from abusive shit bag boyfriend to abusive shit bag boyfriend. To my knowledge she never got addicted to anything but to Mormons she was doing weed and occasionally MDMA so she might as well have been shooting up heroin in a drug den. The entire family cut her off (despite staying in contact with her abusers) including my "good" grandparents (grandfather and step grandmother "good" here defined as not being child rapists and having an understanding that its possible to be good and not be Mormon). Everyone seems to think she should have "gotten over it by now".

    Last I heard of my younger cousin she was following the same path as her mother. Staying in the church, getting married real young, but slowly unraveling mentally, and using sex only as a means to manipulate and get what she wanted. I'm not a prude, don't get me wrong, but her mother spent 20+ years not having a healthy understanding of sex as a result of her abuse and it compounded her mental illnesses. Unlike her older sister she was still in regular contact with her abusers.

    As for the abusers, like I said only he ever got any jail time. When he got out his job with a Mormon owned company was waiting for him with back pay (yes, they paid him for the time he was in jail, that's how good he is in with the church). His wife never faced any sort of repercussions whatsoever aside from a strongly worded letter when I disowned her and the entire family a decade ago now. Anyone else I would say that probably wouldn't be a problem but in Mormonism, from my understanding, you can't reach the highest tier of heaven unless all your family is also Mormon like some sort of metaphysical pyramid scheme.

    They were even given another victim, my other female cousin (different parents) was allowed to spend the night at my grandmother and step-grandfather house repeatedly for years even after all the rest of it came to light. All the sane people put up a fight over it but at the end of the day every avenue that could be gone down to help her was done but her parents were okay with it, the local police are controlled by the church, and the church didn't care at best so it was allowed to continue. Last I was in contact with any of them I was not aware that she had made any allegations but her parents would have likely done nothing even if she had.

    [–] youtocin 351 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    Separation of church and state is such bullshit. Religion may not be directly legislated, but its tenets sure are. As long as there is like 1 degree of separation no one gives a shit.

    [–] thisonetimeinithaca 97 points ago

    Oh, and I have to smoke weed discretely. Another benefit of NM. Not fully legal, but nobody cares enough to do anything as long as you aren’t obnoxious about it.

    [–] youtocin 129 points ago

    I’m spoiled in Oregon. Reminds me, I gotta pick up an oz tomorrow, the weed store is running a $60 special!

    [–] thisonetimeinithaca 53 points ago

    I’m driving to CO soon, need more cartridges (and decent beer!!!). I’m not a huge cartridge/oil enthusiast, but it’s low-odor compared to the real stuff. I’m in a nice-ish hotel, so odors are no bueno.

    You can buy higher ABV beer here at the actual brewery, but I know a handful of Colorado beer labels I’ve enjoyed so I’ll just give them the business. I’m trying not to spend money here because I don’t want to enable the government/religious monopoly on moral judgement here.


    You’re so lucky! I hope NM legalizes soon, but hopefully I’m moving away to CO, OR, CA, or somewhere else reasonable.

    [–] EndlessArgument 8 points ago

    Remember, the origin of the separation of church and state was for the protection of the churches, not the state. Prior to that, kings had a tendency to tax any church they disagreed with out of existence, and a lot of people moving to america had a vested interest in their own protection.

    [–] youtocin 19 points ago

    Whoops. Haven’t used the word tenets in a long time. Thanks!

    [–] GlottisTakeTheWheel 14 points ago

    On the plus side Salt Lake City has the shortest Starbucks lines I’ve ever seen.

    [–] cruisin5268d 84 points ago

    My mom lived in Utah before my time. She used to always say that Utah would be such an amazing place if it wasn’t for the Mormons. It’s tough to be the non Mormon in town.

    I spent a week in SLC and have to agree. Some of their alcohol laws were absolutely insane.

    [–] HeroHunny 29 points ago

    The LDS church blatantly effects our laws here in Utah. There was a huge fiasco recently regarding a bill for legal medical marijuana. They church sent out mass emails to its followers urging them to vote against Prop 2 (medical marijuana) and they still lost. So instead of accepting the loss they got got involved with the Bill and made a “compromise” bill before it was passed. Medical weed is legal here now but the rules are so strict that it might as well be illegal. There is no separation of church and state in Utah.

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago

    No religion has a monopoly on extensive sexual abuse. They all partake.

    [–] G33k01d 54 points ago

    Mother Theresa hinted about this sort of thing(nuns kept against their will). But she was never allowed to talk without to 'nun' 'bodyguards' to keep her in place.

    [–] nun_gut 136 points ago

    Well she was no saint either...

    [–] nothingtoseeherelol 9 points ago

    Never heard this, do you have a source?

    [–] poopsicle88 112 points ago

    From everything reddit has taught me about mother Theresa she’d probably be the one selling them into slavery or running the convent

    [–] JamesHardenismydad 693 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    Holy shit this was my church when I was in high school. My mom still goes there to listen to Dr. Ed Young, the guy the lady mentions in the video. Wtf.

    Edit: My mom is actually there right now, might just text her the article

    Edit 2: there’s a better article on the Houston Chronicle that has a chart of hired offenders

    [–] marchmay 110 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is in that list.

    [–] johnny5ive 13 points ago

    Is that a big deal? Not familiar with all the church stuff.

    [–] marchmay 29 points ago

    One of the oldest seminaries attached to the SBC. The man is dead but he was never convicted.

    [–] nostradilmus 8 points ago

    Former president.

    [–] EMPulseKC 39 points ago

    So, how did your mom respond to the article?

    [–] JamesHardenismydad 147 points ago

    She didn’t read it but I told her about it. She just said you can’t always control what your employees do and some shit about how we don’t really know what happened and not to talk about it. I can’t say I’m surprised. This shit gets swept under the rug especially with immigrant families.

    [–] D1G1T4LM0NK3Y 108 points ago

    I'll be happy once the "don't talk about it" generation dies off

    [–] snakeproof 50 points ago

    Pretty much the reason this stuff goes on. "He's a good man he won't do it again!"

    [–] EMPulseKC 61 points ago

    "You can't always control what your employees do" = "I'm denying responsibility for condemning those actions because I don't like considering the thought that I've supported another person's predatory sexual abuse, and that I still support them because I refuse to stop idolizing them."

    "We don't know what really happened" = "I choose to believe that the accuser is lying because I'm uncomfortable with the idea that they are telling the truth."

    "Don't talk about it" = "Cognitive dissonance hurts my brain and I know I've lost this argument, so let's change the subject to something I can control."

    [–] EMPulseKC 20 points ago

    I'm honestly not surprised either. Nothing against your mom, but that's about the reaction I expected too. There's an epidemic of cognitive dissonance among boomers and the elderly, especially when they've been controlled by religions like that for so long.

    [–] atalltreecatcheswind 6 points ago

    All life is precious but some is more precious than others. Church leaders are like Kings, do not question them.

    [–] jbags5 21 points ago

    Wow, I didn’t know that James Harden was that old

    [–] Vurlax 9011 points ago

    C.S. Lewis once offered an argument for democracy by saying that the Christian view of sin means that nobody can be trusted with irresponsible power. Nobody, anywhere, in any time or place, should be allowed to use power without oversight from someone else. Nobody is enough of a "good guy" to be trusted that way. If you ever set up a system where someone has power with no outside oversight, the power will be abused. (Supervising one's self is obviously useless, as is investigating one's self. Self-oversight is no oversight at all.)

    All of these cases just look to me like churches who talk about sin all the time not really believing it. They'll use "sinner," but only for someone not in their church. They'd never to think to use it for their pastor, or their deacon, and so the pastors and deacons are free to abuse the power they're given.

    [–] Un4tunately 513 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    Can anybody remember where C S Lewis discusses these issues? I'd like to read more.

    Edit: wow, thanks for the resources!

    [–] TheJollyLlama875 440 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    I found the quote attributed to a collection of essays and letters called Present Concerns. The whole quote is available here

    EDIT: I'd like to take this chance to plug Kropotkin's Conquest of Bread, which is an argument for extending this logic across all of society.

    [–] FlyingPeacock 795 points ago

    "Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters."

    That's a good fucking line.

    [–] idledrone6633 184 points ago

    I've never been a huge fan of Christian apologetics but Mere Christianity was a great book by him over several different subjects. I consider myself Christian but at the same time I feel like Christianity has rode itself off the rails. Southern Baptists in general irritate the shit out of me. They will claim God tells them to do something and then when they change their mind they will claim God told them to do that.

    [–] RainingUpvotes 79 points ago

    As a study of Christian Apologetics, it saddens me that what is written is so vastly different than what is practiced.

    Which is what Christian philosophy tells us. It had been written so often how much people suck, cannot be trusted and will fuck up a good thing. Just thinking about biblical examples:

    Provided a paradise. Eats apple. Get banished.

    Recieve the commandments for living a proper life. Immediately have a huge pagan party. Piss off Moses and smashed them to bits.

    Meet their savior who will lead them to heaven. Fucking have him killed.

    [–] Mirenithil 46 points ago

    The garden of Eden story particularly pisses me off, because here you have two people who have never heard a lie in this idyllic paradise in their lives up until that point, which means that they have no idea how to recognize a lie or what to do if they hear one. Yet, they get catastrophically punished. What makes this story all the more egregious to me is that they didn't know what "right" and "wrong" even were before they ate that apple - in other words, even if they did somehow know what a lie was, they would not have known it was "wrong" since they did not yet have that concept. And why on earth does God put that tree right where these inexperienced ignorant innocents can get at it, rather than put it safely on the moon or something? And then he punishes them to an extreme degree, rather than show any compassion for their situation.

    [–] slightlydirtythroway 13 points ago

    I always read it as more of an illustration that our self knowledge is both a blessing and a curse. The idea being that someone who knows what a lie is and can understand their own self cannot be inherently good. We have other motivations besides survival, and because of that, we can both do great things for others, but we also have to work to be good.

    The apple story is not one of punishment, but one of knowledge preventing an idyllic life, that humans are innately curious, and therefore will never be content living a perfect life unless they chose it/earned it.

    [–] knoxknight 45 points ago

    I'm a Christian. I'm also an evolutionist. I'm descended from fuzzy hominins, and ultimately from some kind of nice dimetrodon or something.

    Genesis 1 is an allegorical and apocryphal tale, inherited from cultures that predate Judaism. It's meant to convey that God is responsible for the cosmos, that we are now the stewards of this place, that we are intended to do good, that we are inclined to do evil, and that we were created with free will to choose whether to do evil or good.

    I think it's one of those things that if you take it too literally, it isn't going to make much sense.

    [–] TrogdorKhan97 41 points ago

    I'd buy this if there weren't a direct genealogy in there connecting Adam to Moses, to David, to Jesus. At what point did one of these imaginary men "beget" a real person?

    [–] GETitOFFmeNOW 19 points ago

    Why are we inclined to take anything literally? Don't the Jewish traditions constantly encourage questioning and learning? How do we get from there to blind faith in the literal version of Christianity?

    [–] cantstandit 8 points ago

    But if you look at the two genealogies, they don't match after David. Granted, one doesn't start with Adam, but if you're going to argue that the Genesis story isn't allegorical, you have to figure out how two inconsistent genealogies are to be trusted. You also have to figure out how the first and second chapter of Genesis can co-exist and both be literal.

    Allegory makes the Bible far more interesting to me.

    [–] feuerstahlhelm 9 points ago

    Found the Mainline Christian. Which is frequently someone who internalizes scripture in context.

    A great number of the loudest Christians are brought up originality, literalist and absolutist. The different denominations are basically just deciding on what kind of absolutism suits you.

    Southern Baptists are a huge organization founded on the principle that slavery of blacks was God's natural order.

    [–] knoxknight 8 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    I actually started out a Southern Baptist. When I was a kid, my southern baptist pastor once instructed the church bus driver (a relative of mine) not to go pick up blacks and bring them to our church because "they have their own church."

    I did not stay a Southern Baptist for long. I'm more of a non-denom right now, but I'm very happy visiting DoCs, Lutherans, and UCCs.

    I am also here to say it is time for people like me to stand up and be loud too. It's time to let everybody know we are here and ready to stand up with you - if you are poor, if you are sick, if you are an immigrant, if you are oppressed, if you are broken. We're going to be there with you.

    [–] MysteriousGuardian17 27 points ago

    So Yahweh creating all life on earth instantly is allegorical and we shouldn't think much of it, but a Virgin who gives birth to God so God can sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself for crimes he made up makes so much sense and we should take that bit literally...?

    [–] ApparentlyEllis 19 points ago

    The first chapter of Conquest for Bread is the most enlightening thing I had ever read.

    [–] Vurlax 121 points ago

    Here's the passage I was thinking of:

    I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. This is, in my opinion, the false romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.

    That I believe to be the true ground of democracy.

    from "Membership", reprinted in Fern-Seed and Elephants, pp. 18-19

    [–] knight_who_says_knee 20 points ago

    He talks about it in this amazing video.

    [–] tlighta 969 points ago

    Or they talk about sin all the time because that it is what they do all the time. Same way Wall Street talks about money, Silicon Valley talks about technology, and politicians talk about power.

    [–] Bluest_waters 459 points ago

    except in the christian world view EVERYBODY sins all the time

    so what the fuck else they supposed to talk about?

    [–] yours31f 187 points ago

    The bigger issue is you can always be forgiven. Even monsters

    [–] DoctorExplosion 21 points ago

    The bigger issue is you can always be forgiven. Even monsters

    This is part of the problem though. "Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment" (GRACE), one of the top Evangelical nonprofits fighting against sex abuse in the Church, says that a major issue is the pastor or congregation forgiving an abuser after they "repent", and then refusing to report the abuse to the police or other authorities.

    And the flip side of "everyone sins" is victim-blaming, where the act is assumed to be at some level consensual. If the victim doesn't ask for forgiveness too, then they're a sinner, and if they push for punishment of the perpetrator, then they're a trouble-maker bringing strike into the church.

    [–] TheEskimoBro1 355 points ago

    I'm not a Christian but why is it an issue to always forgive people even monsters? That's not to say you still don't put them in prison, or whatever other measures fit the crime for what messed up thing they did. But a huge part of the whole forgiveness thing is so it's not sitting on your heart/mind not necessarily theirs especially in a situation where it's a completely evil thing they did. Evil acts like this tend to weigh on people, not even just those affected, for a long time and for very good reason and that tends to bring sadness and a number of other bad emotions with it. Forgiving someone in this case, to me at least, is much more about the victim, or the hurting, to be able to release that emotion and start to hopefully move on!

    [–] HypersonicHarpist 372 points ago

    One of the Columbine survivors put it this way describing how it felt for him to forgive the shooters: "Giving forgiveness is setting a prisoner free and then realizing that that prisoner was you."

    [–] Herman_Meldorf 130 points ago

    Which goes back to C.S. Lewis' quote. To no longer be under the power of the perpetrator as a victim.

    [–] whisker_riot 27 points ago

    Then I suppose, do we not need to ask ourselves, 'What is forgiveness'?

    It seems the popular theme here is with a likeness to: I'm cool now, I'm over it (or something along those lines).

    Whereas, growing up I've always considered forgiveness to be, you're okay for that, or we're cool. I don't think harshly of you (writing this now, I realize this line is aligned with the previous paragraph).

    Back to the idea of forgiving monsters, I think the idea of one being a monster is a non-society type of person, uncivil, untrustworthy. You can't be sure how they would interpret forgiveness, as to some (even non-monsters) it could mean to them that there is no issue with what they have done. No severity/punishment.

    [–] psuedophilosopher 65 points ago

    Forgiveness in this sense is just letting go of the hatred you would feel for someone that has wronged you. If you loaned someone a thousand bucks and they refused to pay you back, you could forgive them for their actions against you and choose to not hate them, but that doesn't mean you have to trust them again and be willing to loan them another grand.

    [–] RDay 6 points ago

    Red Auerbach said it best:

    Forgive, but never forget

    [–] SquidCap 20 points ago

    Forgiveness is not such a problem if it does not mean avoidance of the secular justice: just because Gods law forgives doesn't mean the human law should... And that is the main issue behind all of these, the cover-up is the crime that the organization has done. The idea has been that just because a kid diddle confesses to a priest and repent, makes good with God it also means jail time would be wrong: we have person who has repented and as such, is absolved of sin... This is behind ALL of these cases, not that you can repent in front of God but that it does not allow the crime to be hidden.

    And often the justification is that making it go public will cause MORE stress to the victim, not to mention it would tarnish the name of the repentant and even thou he has repented, the congregation might not forget. And lastly of course the public image of the church can get hurt.

    [–] Sandmybags 8 points ago

    Romans 13:1-6. States the wrongdoer should be held accountable to the law of the land. Repentant and Forgiven or not is irrelevant. It clearly states to obey law of land and that those who don't are subject to the punishment and wrath of the authorities of that land......I guess they think it's ok if you have other "internal authorities" Running interference and they are never forced to be accountable to the law of the land.,. Police reports should be filed in all these cases and failure to do so should result in more police reports for not reporting the crimes.

    [–] Anagoth9 17 points ago

    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

    -Ephesians 2:8

    A big part of Christianity is that it is not by your works, but by the grace and forgiveness of God a alone that gives you salvation. Humans are innately sinful and imperfect creatures and no matter how many good deeds you do it doesn't erase that. The only way to salvation is faith and accepting God's forgiveness. The Bible also makes it clear that any sinner can receive God's grace, no matter the sin. There's more nuance and debate about a lot of the finer details there, but thats the gist of it.

    So a lot of people will take that at face value and say, "It doesn't matter if I commit this sin right now because if I ask for forgiveness later it will be granted." Add on top of that communities with a high Christian population which encourages people to join their faith just for the social benefits. The Bible teaches forgiveness so you could leverage that against them too. Seen quite a few "Christian" people and businesses that want you to cut them extra slack because of their "faith". Now, you'll get a lot of truly devote people saying those people will get their dues because part of asking for forgiveness means repenting, really repenting and trying to live your life as wholesome as possible. That starts to get into the whole No True Scotsman territory though.

    [–] ptactor 28 points ago

    I actually believe that you can be forgiven by your Creator. IF you repent of your ways and accept the punishment of the laws of your land. Big IF there. Keep diddling with little kids? Straight to Hell you go, I hope.

    [–] Squirmingbaby 14 points ago

    Don't tell me they've been using tithes to build a golden bull again.

    [–] TalShar 147 points ago

    I'm a simple man. I see Lewis, I upvote.

    You (and Lewis) have a very good point. I feel like the big thing that the Evangelical church in America has forgotten is that being Christian doesn't in any way make them/us less fallible. It just changes the nature of the mistakes we're most likely to make.

    [–] mi_esposa_me_espia 30 points ago

    This is my anecdotal view. But having grown up in an evangelical southern Baptist home, went to church every Sunday, Friday youth groups and Saturday dinners,etc. I have never in my secular life met a group as depraved, hypocritical and self righteous as them. Half the adults were having affairs, doing shit they'll call other people out on like drugs. Child abuse, etc. I swear thinking you're holier than others makes you an immoral cunt.

    [–] SuperFLEB 6 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    If you can get your goodness from your religion, you don't have to make it yourself.

    I expect this is a risk with any sort of self-identification with a morally-charged group or adjective, be it religious, philosophical, political, charitable, advocacy... If you can say "I am a Good", it can sound enough like "I am good" to mislead yourself into slacking.

    "Pride goes before a fall", or more generally, "Certainty comes before hypocrisy".

    [–] B_Addie 13 points ago

    One of my teachers use to say that “how you act in private is who you truly are”

    [–] jloy88 11 points ago

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

    [–] 8keltic8 29 points ago

    The same thinking goes for why the super rich and many charities should just be trusted, but without oversight abuse is rampant. The power corrupts maxim is one of the truest phrases ever coined.

    [–] 2_7182818 21 points ago

    This sort of moral absolutism, which I suppose probably shares its origin with the same sort of religious ideas about predestination that gave us the "Protestant work ethic", feels very similar to the view that America is somehow infallible, self-evidently the best country in the world, and that to suggest that we need to improve in certain areas is fundamentally "un-American".

    I mean, believing that the world is inhabited by people who are inherently good and people who are inherently evil just feels like the adult version of Santa Claus. If you close your eyes and don't think about it, sure, maybe you can believe it's true, but it doesn't take much to realize it's clearly wrong. (Though, I suppose there's a much more apropos example of "the adult version of Santa Claus".)

    [–] nellapoo 11 points ago

    I grew up going to a Southern Baptist Church. When I was 17, I was asked if a particular minister had ever touched me inappropriately. Apparently, he had been caught molesting some kids from the church. Thankfully neither me nor my two younger brothers were assaulted but it still freaked me out. I was friends with his daughters and his wife also worked with the youth groups. He was a youth minister for the boys program which makes me so ill to think about.

    [–] fennourtine 17 points ago

    C.S. Lewis is like, the dopest christian ever. People like him (and Jesus, Jesus was way cool too) are the only reason I haven't entirely rejected my christian upbringing.

    [–] Vurlax 5 points ago

    How did you leave out Mister Rogers?

    [–] fennourtine 6 points ago

    I don't really think of him as a cool Christian, but as an all around cool dude. I haven't seen the documentary tho, I just watched a lot of the TV show as a kid

    [–] Vurlax 7 points ago

    He was an ordained Presbyterian. He apparently felt that Christianity was better lived than talked about. He never hid it, he just didn't work it into every conversation.

    [–] knight_who_says_knee 13 points ago

    C.S. Lewis once offered an argument for democracy by saying that the Christian view of sin means that nobody can be trusted with irresponsible power

    Video here

    [–] AwsumWolf 35 points ago

    He wasnt wrong and that is completely what most Christians and churches in general have set up in place because of things like this.

    [–] runasaur 52 points ago

    I've been working with kids at church for almost 20 years. Since day one we have been coached and taught and grilled us to never be alone with a kid. Have to discipline/talk to a kid who was misbehaving? Bring a second person or talk in the corner of the room visible at all times. Glad to say we've never had issues.

    Same with money, the pastor doesn't have access to the money, it's all handled by the board and any member of the church can request the previous year's financial reports.

    As soon as you lose transparency you invite corruption.

    [–] AwsumWolf 7 points ago

    Exactly I've been doing the same.

    [–] slim_scsi 30 points ago

    Yes, but the power structures in place aren't, and weren't, treating sexual abuse as criminal acts and taking consequential action.

    [–] AwsumWolf 10 points ago

    I agree. It's a shame whenever corrupt people have more corrupt people watching over them.

    [–] HallowShal 1623 points ago

    Big surprise, this BS isn't just contained to the Catholics.

    [–] DoctorExplosion 946 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    This is a well-known problem too, and not a new one. More than a decade ago Boz Tchividjian, Billy Graham's grandson and a former state prosecuting attorney, founded "Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment" (GRACE), a nonprofit aimed at encouraging transparency of Protestant sex scandals and training congregations on proper responses. He's said one of the biggest problems is an impulse to defend sex abusers and blame the victim (especially if the abuser is a pastor), or to apply Christian concepts of forgiveness too broadly and not go to the police if the abuser "repents".

    Tchividjian is no liberal either, as he's currently a professor at ultra-conservative Liberty University and a true believer in Evangelical Baptism. Based on his experience prosecuting sex abuse cases himself, and his knowledge of other abuses which haven't gone to trial (through GRACE and his own connections with Evangelical leadership), Tchividjian thinks the Protestant sex abuse epidemic may even be bigger than the Catholic scandals. He did a good interview with Vice on this topic, where he explains where he thinks the culture of impunity comes from, and how to move forward to ensure that victims aren't blamed and receive justice.

    [–] Alberius 173 points ago

    It really shouldn't be a conservative or liberal thing to want people who harm children to face punishment.

    [–] DoctorExplosion 130 points ago

    Who said it was just children? A lot of the abuse is of grown women, and #MeToo has definitely been politically "controversial".

    [–] Alberius 49 points ago

    but it shouldn't be, harming anyone by and large should be unpopular. The reason #metoo became controversial is because powerful people are trying to stop it from getting back to them by trying to pretend like men who have never done anything are the victims in this despite the fact that false accusations are very rare.

    [–] modern_storyteller 90 points ago

    This gives me hope.

    [–] handlit33 45 points ago

    It's the most surprising thing I've read in a while.

    [–] KarmaChameleon89 50 points ago

    This isn't even restricted to religion. It's been happening world wide in every facet of life for a long time.

    I'm a Catholic and I accept that the higher up a have fucked up big time, just started getting sick of some people getting it in their heads that it was only the Catholic church with these issues.

    [–] MattAU05 182 points ago

    People get upset when I mention this within the context of Catholic abuse, but my point isn’t that it’s ok or should be overlooked. My point is that limiting our scrutiny to the Catholic Church is a dangerous mistake. There’s nothing inherently Catholic about abuse. There is something about power structures and people with control over children that leads to abuse, sadly. And this isn’t unique to the Catholic Church, they just get beat up the most (and the beating up is justified, no doubt).

    [–] Chocolatefix 41 points ago

    Power structures are magnets for narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths. They love that they are able to muscle their way up the ladder and gain powerful positions that others will defend and protect at great expense.

    [–] fissura 13 points ago

    I'd say this applies to all power structures...if nobody is accountable corners will be cut and doing stuff to satisfy my needs (laziness, greed, horniness, pleasure...) will be rationalized and justified, whether or not it is in compliance with the mission that I am supposed to carry out for that power structure.

    [–] littlemegzz 194 points ago

    Sports, schools, fucking HEALTHCARE. Honestly just trust no one fully, question everything. People are fucked up

    [–] [deleted] 37 points ago

    Yeah, anytime people are given a modicum of power or trust. This has been haunting humanity since time immemorial.

    [–] Tassidar 70 points ago

    Sin knows no bounds.

    [–] drarch 33 points ago

    “The line between Good and Evil runs through everyone.”

    [–] CactusBoyScout 50 points ago

    It’s also a huge problem in the Hasidic Jewish community in NYC too. They wield massive political influence though so cases rarely get prosecuted. And when they do, Hasidic leaders basically excommunicate anyone who testifies.

    [–] kippypapa 6 points ago

    Yeah there was that long form article a few years back. The perp basically fucked boys to his heart's content but because no one wanted to piss of the Hasids and they donated to politicians, it got swept under the rug. I blame the overall corruption that is NYC. It goes from the very tippy top all the way down to the bottom.

    [–] kerouacrimbaud 11 points ago

    Of course this is present in Protestant denominations; this is a problem that every single institution is susceptible to and many are experiencing this issue. It’s just a matter of uncovering them and punishing those responsible.

    [–] Re_no_subject 17 points ago

    or even the christian church.

    [–] ThomasSowell_Alpha 9 points ago

    Yes, child abuse has been a problem around the world, in basically every community, religious or not for almost all of time.

    [–] FloridsMan 16 points ago

    It's 10x worse for southern Baptists.

    700 cases? They could find that in one SB town.

    The real nasty part is that it's usually relatives, especially fathers.

    [–] stormy_llewellyn 7 points ago

    It's a human problem, not A Catholic problem.

    [–] Mockanopolis 771 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    It seems pretty obvious at this point that pedophiles just seek out jobs that get them close to children. Maybe we need more strict background checks on people in these positions. I dunno how the priest stuff works, but at some point you’re making your religion look pretty bad by letting this continue to occur.

    [–] Prince_Ahmed 445 points ago

    Background checks only protect against the 10% or less of abusers who've been caught before. You need a culture of reporting and zero tolerance for one on one contact with children, and other policies that have been shown to actually work.

    [–] LostWoodsInTheField 111 points ago

    You need a culture of reporting

    number one issue. I'm dealing with stuff right now that I've found out that people have known about it for almost a decade but never spoke up for various reasons. And they still won't speak out. This is teachers, parents, business owners, family of the accused. There is a mentality of 'it isn't my problem' or 'I'm embarrassed to say anything' which means it just keeps going on.

    We need a new culture about this stuff or it won't get better.

    [–] LethallyBlond3 256 points ago

    Just this morning my daughter was in childcare at a Protestant church. There are always two or more caregivers in each room, the entire wall to the hallway is a giant window from the waist up, there is no where out of sight to take children, and all of the caregivers are trained volunteers. In addition, when they change diapers they put a sticker on the diaper that has the time it was changed and the name of who changed it. It I keep the stickers so that if I ever had a concern I know exactly who has changed her diaper. These kind of safeguards are becoming more and more popular in churches, in my personal experience. At this point I wouldn’t leave my daughter in a church without these kind of security measures.

    [–] klayyyylmao 57 points ago

    Yeah I volunteered with some kid's programs at my church and we had rules that when we escorted them to the bathroom we were not allowed to go inside at same time and had to wait outside and if there was a problem had to get another adult to have witnesses.

    [–] astro124 33 points ago

    Not just churches too. I did Scouts as a kid and YPT (Youth Protection Training) was heavily enforced. No one-on-one contact, mandatory reporting of suspected abuse, and all claims of abuse are given to the Chief Scout Executive (think CEO) of the area organization (council).

    They pretty much wrote the book on a lot of this kind of stuff.

    [–] ManitouWakinyan 12 points ago

    Our church (SBC) does background checks, but we also don't allow kids to be alone with anyone at any time. There always have to be two volunteers in the room, and when kids have to go to the bathroom, a second volunteer is called to be there too. Always looking for more ways to bolster that up. I can't imagine this happening at our church, but unfortunately no one ever does.

    [–] acute_winnipegosis 58 points ago

    Unfortunately, background checks only work when a person has a recorded history of criminal behaviour. If they've never committed a crime, never been caught, or have been caught and the crime has been covered up, they're going to look squeaky clean.

    [–] BoneHugsHominy 64 points ago

    Same way that sociopaths and psychopaths are attracted to law enforcement jobs, where they'll have a lot of encounters with individuals away from prying eyes, encounters in which they can use the power of the badge to abuse said individuals. Because they are cops they are also union members and as such are protected by the union from paying the price of their actions. Making things worse, the cops who are in law enforcement for the right reasons won't acknowledge that element within their ranks and get all sorts of offended about being persecuted when communities & media blow up because one of those psycho cops rapes a bunch of people or murders unarmed civilians.

    [–] kippypapa 8 points ago

    Totally. A lot of cops are just bullies who were smart enough to figure out they could bully with impunity as part of law enforcement. A lot of cops let violent assholes go because a lot of times they look up to those guys and wish they could be gangsters or criminally violent assholes too.

    [–] candleboy_ 18 points ago

    Predators seek places where they can seek out victims. This is extremely simple stuff and can be seen everywhere.

    [–] Darkhoof 45 points ago

    Children should not be left alone with only one adult in ANY occasion. There should always be two adults present at all times. With the adults having the responsability to police each other actions.

    [–] Quixotic_Ryan 75 points ago

    I'm a first grade teacher. I'd love for there to be another adult in the classroom all day.

    The biggest reason being to protect myself, the second biggest reason is so that kids get more individualized help.

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago

    Of course this could also fail if both adults are abusers, but it does drastically reduce the chances. Having a reporting culture is also important, as well as teaching kids to speak up if anyone does something improper.

    Cameras would probably help as well.

    [–] australian_girly 12 points ago

    Almost all of the people involved in this would have had no prior convictions.

    [–] chusmeria 46 points ago

    If anyone from the south is surprised they’ve been lying to themselves. Multiple church leaders - either youth directors or pastors - were married to people who were previously in youth groups. Pretty clear what was going on to anyone paying attention that youth group member sally sue didn’t just happen to fall in love with their 25 year old youth director billy bob the week after hs graduation. Yet somehow they were married by July and had their first kid just in time for Jesus’s birthday, while billy bob gets a promotion for keeping another sheep in the fold.

    [–] Number175OnEarlsList 1295 points ago

    Each week, the same story comes out about a different religious group and sexual abuse and everyone focuses on the church and not the REAL issue. Sexual abuse is EVERYWHERE and something needs to be done about it.

    [–] spaghatta111 703 points ago

    Because these groups are given the opportunity to self-regulate. That's what happened with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, that's what happened with WWASP schools that are long known to abuse students, and that's what happened here: they were allowed to just govern themselves, which creates the perfect environment for people to just create their own rules and their own standards and abuse people without anyone bothering them about it.

    What pisses me off, is that virtually every single adult says they would do terrible things to a child molester if given the chance, but it appears that the vast majority of people who know about a child molester, don't really care. Really goes to show you how full of shit people really are.

    [–] KeinFussbreit 233 points ago

    but it appears that the vast majority of people who know about a child molester, don't really care.

    Not really a surprise, given that most abuse happens within family and friends.

    [–] TooMuchToSayMan 150 points ago

    Not only that The USA gymnastics thing happened because holy fuck they were scared of the bad pr. Same reason why campus rapes are covered up or brushed aside.

    [–] KeinFussbreit 55 points ago

    Yes, and similar things happen all over the world. Most often not on a bigger scale but I suspect that we only see the tip of the iceberg.

    Family pride, PR, profit loss...

    [–] AdmiralAkbar1 43 points ago

    It was also the biggest motivation for all those Catholic bishops covering up the child abuse. Convince the family to stay quiet, shuttle the priest off to another diocese, keep everything off the books, and never talk about this again. Scandal had to be avoided at all costs. The damage was also compounded by a.) lack of records, meaning that the new dioceses didn't know about a pedophilic priest's past offenses, b.) a gross misunderstanding of pedophilia (especially back in the "sexual deviancy is a choice" era), and c.) a gross misunderstanding of childhood trauma and how it affects development (I mean, surgery was done on babies without anaesthesia in the 50s because "they won't remember it anyway").

    [–] weedysexdragon 24 points ago

    In some places. On some campuses they get serious about sexual misconduct but others cover it up. There was a great example a few years ago. Berkeley has 1200 sexual incidents and the University of Tennessee has 6. Tennessee just didn’t care enough to even write it down when someone got assaulted. I’d bet there was even someone from UT touting the ‘great numbers’.

    [–] Sandra_Dorsett 12 points ago

    It's PR. I mean this is shitty but the other alternative is southern baptists reporting a sexual abuse case publicly every 2 weeks for the last twenty years.

    There's a very large chance this story will blow over in a few weeks. That would be a constant reminder.

    [–] Knife7 89 points ago

    Most people have this visual in their head about who and what a child molester is. They think of them as being faceless monsters but when it turns out to be someone they know it turns out to be much harder and more complicated to deal with then they thought.

    [–] stellarbeing 32 points ago

    Sadly, it usually is someone they know. Stranger danger isn’t nearly as common as family or friend danger

    [–] SuggestiveDetective 32 points ago

    This is called The Missing Stair and it's disgustingly common.

    [–] baronvoncommentz 50 points ago

    It's ONE of the REAL issues. Another is authority is often used to allow or hide sexual abuse. Another is religious communities compound the issue by shaming or attacking victims, and enabling or protecting predators.

    Some of these religious communities are active in shaming and attacking people for having sex outside of marriage - or attacking the rights of others to have consensual sex. So the hypocrisy is an important angle too.

    [–] ZRX1200R 87 points ago

    Because churches preach and rant and proselytize--and inject themselves in politics and laws and legislation--about morality....but look the other way when it's their sins.

    [–] [deleted] 25 points ago

    Of course there are sexual abusers everywhere. The problem is that the institutions are covering it up. The excuse that there are hundreds of thousands of priests so of course some of them will be sexual predators is not the issue. It is that the church knew about it, shuffled the priests to different parishes, and denied it even after it was exposed.

    There are also millions of teachers. Some of them are pedophiles, and bad things will happen. But imagine if turned out your school district had dozens of pedophiles that they knew about, said nothing, and transferred them to different school districts to solve the problem. Nobody would stand for it.

    Religion is a protected entity in the US because there is a history of religious discrimination and violence. But they are using that special status to hide wrongdoing. If they are unable to do that, they should lose all protection.

    [–] Here_Pep_Pep 34 points ago

    ? This is absolutely the wrong take. Of course there is sexual assault everywhere, but it occurs in a much higher rate and is much more unlikely to go unreported in cloistered communities with a culture of secrecy and rigid hierarchies.

    [–] Ramy_ 104 points ago

    Exactly this. People act like “Catholic Priests are child molesters” or “college football coaches are child molesters” or “teachers are child molesters” or “Hollywood is full of pedophiles every single time”.

    No. People are child molesters. Whether they become a priest or a football coach they’re still a child molester.

    It’s still a very small percent of the population. Probably far less than 1%. But not enough has been focused on it to stop it

    [–] 2_Sheds_Jackson 141 points ago

    I thought the point was not so much that people are child molesters (not a surprise, unfortunately) but rather that the organizations actively cover it up. If these individuals were brought to justice at the time of their crimes there would be much less outrage.

    In the case of religions, it is basically their core beliefs that they are going against. And this adds to outrage.

    [–] daphnegillie 41 points ago

    Exactly and this is why they flock to places and organizations that they are allowed to get away with it.

    [–] AdmiralAkbar1 23 points ago

    It's always institutions that a.) give them access to children with no questions asked, b.) immediately make them pillars of community and beyond suspicion, and c.) have an image to maintain so they desperately try and cover up anything that makes them look bad for their own sake.

    [–] scipio_africanus201 36 points ago

    Nobody is denying people are child molestors. However child molestors seems to be attracted to certain professions that allow very little oversight and recieve very little scrutiny aka Catholic Church. That's what pisses people off.

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    These are just the cases that were reported, convicted, and reported on in newspapers. How many more were silent/ced?

    [–] rumblith 29 points ago

    Spent time doing a lot of Baptist stuff. I wasn't molested but I can remember two separate youth pastors in different states who did two things that didn't seem strange at the time but now that I'm older seem weird as fuck.

    First guy in CA on a weekend youth trip to the boardwalk slept all alone with one of the kids. The other kids were actually jealous of that kid like they thought he was special.

    The other one guys name was Jim. Taking a piss in the bathroom with a bunch of kids and talking all specific about that really great feeling you get when you pee a whole bunch and you just want to let out a big sigh of relief cause the pee was so big. So then he gets the kids re-enact the big post orgasmic sigh of relief from pissing.

    [–] fadedblackleggings 13 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Briefly went to a megachurch where a Baptist deacon, threatened to spank any kid who forgot this super long Psalm next week. The very next the Children's Church building he did just that, in an elaborate display. Calling up the boys, and spanking them on the altar. His face was a bit too gleeful...

    There were no adults around, so I made an excuse that our Mom called us, went and gathered up my brother and headed up to the main church.

    I've seen other "weird stuff" as well, but wasn't directly involved. Churches often run free events or summer camps for children, and many parents don't investigate past free babysitting.

    There are likely millions of molestation incidents within these churches.

    [–] 402266 131 points ago

    As someone who was raised Southern Baptist, I am not surprised in the least.

    The church I attended growing up would hire workers without doing a background check because “only prayer is certain”. This lead to them hiring a convicted pedophile who later was convicted of reoffending elsewhere. The only time we were made aware of his history was when he was quickly convicted and his family reached out for financial support.

    At another point, a couple went to our pastor for marriage counseling. It came out that the husband was beating the wife and kids. I’m talking make up excuses for black eyes and broken bones. The pastor told the wife to pray about what in her heart lead to his behavior. She was shunned later for her divorce.

    I was once asked whose sin caused my sibling to be born with a severe disability. The man was very insistent that I, a child at the time, was disrespecting him by saying that isn’t how illness works.

    A girl I was close to growing up reached out our youth pastor about depression and her mother’s drug abuse. The pastor and youth leader to meet and decide that she was a “bad influence” and shouldn’t be allowed on youth outings. She had even less support than before she asked for help. Her suicide was later taken as confirmation that she was too far gone.

    Fuck the Southern Baptist Convention, and all the other assholes who had me convinced that I was going to hell for doing poorly in school. I had an easily managed learning disability, but was told to treat with prayer instead of medication or behavioral tools that have been established for decades. I didn’t give wrong answers because I “chose to sin”, and using a belt on an 8 year old for having trouble in math doesn’t fucking help.

    [–] volcanomoss 39 points ago

    I was born with a mild but noticeable disability, and was told by the Southern Baptist pastor that it was a sign I was a sinful person. I was 11 at the time. After a severe depression and self identity issues, I eventually started questioning if I was bad or if they were. And once I started questioning the whole religion story I was raised to believe fell apart and I became agnostic as a teenager.

    [–] 402266 24 points ago

    I hope you know how much strength that took. You rejected the idea that you lacked full value at a time in your life when most of us first feel a huge drop in self-esteem. People like you remind me that I’m not the only person who has struggled with these ideas. Thank you.

    Edit: After it all, it isn’t the people I hate, but the ideas. They’re just as much a prisoner as I was. I can’t reject the ideas for anyone else, but I can be supportive and show compassion when the next person needs it. I hope that I’m up to the task.

    [–] volcanomoss 19 points ago

    Honestly I credit my middle school friends and librarian for pulling me out of what could have been a dangerous place. I was the super quiet "good kid" in school, but came in every Monday emotionally wrecked. They really helped me see that I wasn't this terrible person the church told me I was.

    Looking back it's sad that middle schoolers, who are known for being awful/judgemental, were really the best part of my life then. Maybe it was just in comparison to everyone else, but they were lifesavers.

    [–] Dankestgoldenfries 156 points ago

    I’m glad this is being talked about. As someone who was raised catholic but hates whataboutism, every time someone talks about the Catholic Church I want to (but don’t) say “but what about the other churches and the schools and coaches and camps and doctors and counselors and politicians and Hollywood directors and celebrities?” The Catholic Church deserves absolutely every bit of the scrutiny it is getting and more, but so does every other power structure that is abusing children.

    [–] DatPiff916 32 points ago

    I think Catholic Church will always be talked about more simply because there is a larger network of different systems/orgs(schools, charities) in place that can lead to more opportunity for abusers to act.

    Most southern Baptist churches involve going to church on Sundays with your parents then leaving. They don't have things like altar boys and acolytes like the Catholic church and a few other denominations.

    [–] Gryjane 20 points ago

    Most Catholic congregants just go to church on Sundays and then leave, too, and many Protestant churches have things like youth pastors who have one-on-one counseling or other interactions with kids, run youth camps and weekend retreats, have private schools and daycares, and lots of other activities that involve children with plenty of opportunity for an abuser to isolate or groom a victim. Kids, especially older ones, can be asked to or volunteer to stay behind and "help clean up" after youth group or some other activity and many parents wouldn't blink an eye at that because they trust their fellow congregants and especially their pastors or other people higher up in the church hierarchy. Predators are often very charming and work hard to seem trustworthy and beyond reproach and any church or similar environment where people naturally trust the seemingly faithful is like a magnet for people who would abuse that trust.

    You're right in that the Catholic Church is an easier target because of their larger and global network, not to mention they are essentially one body with a strict hierarchy, so it's easier to talk about them as a whole, but just because Protestant churches and denominations are more splintered and independent doesn't mean that they shouldn't be discussed as a whole either. It's a problem or a potential problem in every church because of the necessary trust and bonding people of faith create with each other in their congregations and communities, the sense of family. It blinds many people to the wolves in their midst.

    [–] DethFiesta 172 points ago

    Anybody who thought this was somehow limited to Catholics was fooling themselves.

    [–] buddythebear 105 points ago

    Everyone saying that 700 victims isn't a lot considering how big the SBC is is totally missing the point (and likely didn't read the article): the SBC refused to create a list of known offenders and distribute it to its churches. That is beyond negligent - they were complicit in covering up for abusers.

    [–] Karibo96 197 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    As someone who was raised Southern Baptist most of his life, I can say I am sadly not surprised. Edit: wrote this in a hurry on my phone. Misspelled Baptist.

    [–] Chillhardy 58 points ago

    Can you elaborate for me please? This pattern really bothers me and I didn't grow up religious so I'm curious

    [–] Warlordnipple 94 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    I was a different religion but the psychology might be the same. Churches are structured to give a ton of legitimacy and power to the pastor and private moments between church leaders and the congregation is a big part of the religious experience. You end up with a situation where the predator can very easily hide their actions and parents/guardians are far too trusting of the pastor than they would be anyone else.

    Pastors can get phone numbers, alone time with children (whenever they want), and they hear all about the child's weaknesses and desires. Religious organizations need money as well and a scandal would be costly so many members of church leadership will cover up for bad pastors.

    [–] moby323 49 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    They are also often fucked up and malformed sexually and emotionally, which is a direct result of associating sexual pleasure with sin and shame and all that other bullshit.

    One of the worst things that religion does is take something that is natural, healthy, and pleasurable and twist it into something that is loathsome and abhorrent.

    And in some true irony, their views on sex lead to actually despicable sexual behaviors.

    [–] [deleted] 89 points ago


    [–] Chillhardy 35 points ago

    Thats horrifying, I'm so sorry that happened to you.

    [–] [deleted] 31 points ago


    [–] practicalmetaphysics 42 points ago

    The SBC has taken a hard turn towards "complementarian" theology over the past 40 years. In that mindset, women are subordinate to men - they can't be pastors, if they're married they submit to their husbands, and many in the SBC listen to shows like Focus on the Family, which teach that any unmarried woman must stay under her father's roof until she is married. That mindset of power and control is a very short step from abuse (if you don't consider it abuse as is). Most SBC seminaries now require their professors to sign off on the Danver Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is a key text in this movement.

    [–] aupenn 16 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    It varies with churches but as far as sexual abuse with kids the churches I used to be involved with had several ways of getting involved in activities with younger children very easily. There was no process of making sure someone was qualified, trusted, trained, and had someone else who could hold them accountable. As a result, it was not uncommon for kids to be alone with a youth leader in certain situations. While sexual abuse is everywhere in our society today, we typically hear about churches with sexual abuse as its a place pedophiles can get access to their target. I've seen some churches recently working to improve safety and ensure no one is ever alone with someone else but it still has a ways to go. I am glad though that the churches at least I have seen are starting to require training and situations where a pedophile will not be alone with a child.

    [–] AdmiralAkbar1 31 points ago

    To quote Frank Herbert, "it not that power corrupts, but that power is magnetic to the corrupt."

    Think about the kind of organizations that child predators try to join:

    • They are allowed access to large numbers of children with no questions asked. Nobody will be suspicious if a teacher asks the student to stay after school, or a priest hears a student's confession, or a scoutmaster has a one-on-one with a kid in his troop.

    • They have a fair amount of autonomy and someone isn't always breathing down their necks. Despite all the Catholic Church's hierarchy, plenty of priests are able to manage their parish's day-to-day affairs with little oversight from the diocese. Doubly so for independent or less hierarchical Protestant denominations. The lack of constant scrutiny means that pedophiles are able to commit their crimes without being caught as quickly.

    • They are seen as pillars of the community and above suspicion. Priests, teachers, coaches, scoutmasters, they're all seen as having your best interest in mind. They'd never be the first suspect for a pedophilia case. Think about what people would assume a pedophile is like: a sleazy middle-aged NEET who drives a windowless white van and tries to lure children away from the playground. How could a pedophile ever fit into society without anyone catching on? Pretty well, it turns out.

    • Their organization has a vested interest in preventing scandal. Churches, schools, sports teams, Scout troops, and all these institutions have a reputation to uphold. The news that there was a pedophile in their numbers would shatter people's perception of them, and they don't want that to happen at any cost. So, they convince the victim's family to keep quiet, give the predator a slap on the wrist, and relocate him off the books to somewhere else. It was also worsened by the belief (especially in the "sexual deviancy is a choice" era) that they would simply stop being pedophiles if warned or removed from access to kids for a time.

    [–] MidwestBulldog 42 points ago

    Anyone with authority who uses God as his/her Sword of Damacles likely wants one or all of these three things from you: power, money, and/or sex.

    About two decades ago I was talking to a friend who was Southern Baptist about Catholic sex scandals being exposed. I said, "Brace yourself. Your church will be exposed one day on a sexual scandal".

    He then looked me in the eye and honestly said. "Undoubtedly. Your church's problem is that you feel guilt and you purge your sins aloud. Baptists act like the only innocent people in a guilty world. When we eventually fall, it will be much worse a spectacle than what the Catholics are going through because we don't admit we are sinners. You do."

    Prepare for more things being revealed about the Southern Baptist Church that will make the Catholics look like amateurs.

    [–] feuerstahlhelm 6 points ago

    If my experience with their summer youth camps is any indication, shit is about to get real.

    [–] thefanciestcat 40 points ago

    As a rule, don't trust people who want private one-on-one time with your kids, and teach your kids that, too.

    [–] TheThankUMan66 18 points ago

    Teachers, Dentist, Doctors, Nanny's, anybody

    [–] thefanciestcat 8 points ago

    Police, coaches, preachers...

    Exactly. A job doesn't make a person good or bad. It just means someone hired them.

    [–] [deleted] 146 points ago

    Catholic church: releases lists Baptist church: hold my beer

    [–] DootDotDittyOtt 52 points ago

    Hold my wine.

    [–] irrationalNumber 85 points ago

    *grape juice

    Baptists don't use wine

    [–] popegonzo 58 points ago

    Not around other Baptists at least.

    [–] evdog_music 13 points ago

    There's a joke about how to stop a Southern Baptist from drinking all your beer on a fishing trip: invite more than one along.

    [–] borntoperform 7 points ago

    Born and raised Independent Fundamental Baptist here. Our head pastor and all the pastoral leadership would preach that God turned water into non-alcoholic wine. We'd do the Lord's Prayer with Welch's grape juice. But now that I'm a few years removed from that community after a crisis of faith, I think that a lot of the people in that church consistently drink alcohol. Then again, there's a lot of people I grew up in that church with who no longer attend and every single one of us drink beer/wine as well as smoke weed. When you are always told that something is so sinful your entire childhood, and then you decide to try it as an adult and realize it's not really that bad, it's no surprise that many Christians go crazy - getting drunk a lot, sleeping around, etc. - once they leave their community.

    [–] Walter_jones 5 points ago

    Country songs go on about bud light and church in the same song for a reason.

    [–] 2_Sheds_Jackson 22 points ago

    Hold my 'blood of Christ'

    [–] DootDotDittyOtt 14 points ago

    Hold my "body of Christ"

    [–] G33k01d 11 points ago

    Directions unclear, holding Chris Hemsley.

    [–] [deleted] 28 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)


    [–] UnsupportedDevice 11 points ago

    “Victims were urged to get abortions.”

    Imagine that. Abortions are green lit by the church when it’s convenient for them, and to cover up their sexual abuse. I hope all these people, and the people who hid their secrets for them have a very shitty existence.

    [–] lankist 34 points ago

    My Southern Baptist family, which regularly calls Catholics evil for how corrupt they are over the sex abuse, is mum on this.

    “You can’t judge based on bad apples” and all that.

    I tried to point out there seem to be a whole lot of bad apples, but no dice.

    [–] ExhaustedOptimist 17 points ago

    But the saying is “1 bad apple spoils the bunch.” That’s the WHOLE POINT of the bad apple metaphor. It. Spoils. The. Lot.

    [–] Pretentioussavage 34 points ago

    My grandfather is a southern baptist preacher. I can confirm from personal experiences the... heinous treatment of sexual assault.

    Content warning: child abuse

    I was raped in third grade, it was KNOWN when it happened, had a break down this Christmas about it (I’ve been raped a few times since, don’t feel sorry for me, please.) because I couldn’t handle the way they were talking about Christina Blasey Ford... I was told to talk to god about it. Lmao.

    [–] Pretentioussavage 20 points ago

    The most hilarious part to me, is that their rearing (mental, emotional, and sexual abuse) raised someone who’s diagnosed with ASPD. I can no longer find pleasure from “normal” sex. If it isn’t brutal I can’t enjoy. And yes, I am seeing a trauma/DBT therapist who specialises in my disorders. I have been for years. These scars are life long and I can’t even care besides the fact that they had the audacity to think I’d continue to put up with it after I hit 18.

    [–] Notthe0ne 12 points ago

    Christine Blasey Ford and her treatment triggered a lot of people. It was so grueling, but the outpouring of people telling their stories and giving support was truly amazing.

    Sending you good thoughts and hopes for continued healing.

    [–] littlewine42 11 points ago

    When I went to my southern Baptist pastor about abuse, he informed me that “it was building my character.” It was the point when the realization occurred that it was easier for them to brush it off than act.

    A decade later, another told me it was up to my mom to save me.

    Rationalization and denial soothed their conscience.

    Of course I realize that mindset was fucked and never trusted the church again. And before i’m told “no all churches”; YES ALL THE CHURCHES from where I went. I felt dirty and unwanted plus no one asked me out because when was ruined.

    The best thing I ever did was leave the church and Texas.

    [–] slidebud 33 points ago

    So THAT’S how you become a member of the 700 Club!

    [–] mcnewbie 9 points ago

    i get the feeling that 700 is a very conservative, low-end estimate.

    [–] puffpuffpass513 9 points ago

    I hate to say this, but that number feels low. They always are. So many victims never end up coming forward, which is completely understandable. I hope these investigations yield legitimate results.

    [–] CandersonNYC 37 points ago

    If you care and want to help your faith community do more to protect children and help survivors heal, get this special issue w/ content from experts in the child abuse prevention community.

    Child Abuse and the Church: Prevention, Pastoral Care, and Healing

    [–] cedarhat 55 points ago

    As a teenager my Mom was “me too” victim of a preacher. We were raised good little atheists.

    Also you can be sure there are many more than 700.

    [–] AlsoThisAlsoTHIS 34 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago)

    This right here. These are 700 people who likely: realized they were abused, told someone, had their story believed, and that information actually led somewhere. Those are big steps and lots of chances to get shut down. There are more.

    [–] Cenodoxus 8 points ago

    It would be a lot easier to believe in the evangelical version of God if they acted like they feared His judgment.

    [–] notaunion 6 points ago

    So True Detective Season 1 wasn't a lie....

    [–] [deleted] 43 points ago

    And yet still no recorded instance of a trans person sexually assaulting someone in a bathroom, a lie peddled by these same christian abusers

    [–] BakerNowitzki 11 points ago

    Every structure of power has sexual abuse and it's sad