Two pastors – one Southern Baptist, the other an independent Baptist – are linked to a mortgage scheme in which many people lost their homes. Both Baptist bodies lack an effective system for clergy accountability.
Following several suicides by gay teens, a Southern Baptist leader said evangelical churches' response to homosexuality has been rooted in fear and ignorance. Will churches' actions speak louder than his words?
Newt Gingrich is wrong. The term "Cordoba" – the name planned for the Islamic center near Ground Zero – isn't "a symbol of Islamic conquest." It's a reference to the city where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in peace.
Sooner or later, Southern Baptists will learn the lesson that pious preaching won't protect kids against clergy child molesters. What we don't know is how long the lesson will take.
Oregon lawmakers passed a law prohibiting schools from making deals that hide the sexual misconduct of teachers who resign. The practice is called passing the trash. Why can't Southern Baptists do something similar?
Thinking that clergy sex abuse is about sex is like thinking the Bataan Death March was about marching.
Many Southern Baptist Convention leaders, including President Frank Page, have indicated they don't think a predator database would help prevent clergy child molestation.
For six years, a convicted child molester was pastor and minister a First Baptist Church in Romeoville, Ill. Deacons knew. Other ministers knew. A denominational official knew. Yet, nothing was done until a minister anonymously contacted the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and SNAP got the media involved. Meanwhile, kids were marching into Vacation Bible School at a church with a registered sex offender in the pulpit.
If a church building had a serious structural problem, leaders would likely call in a foundation expert to inspect the property and advise on appropriate action. But when a Baptist church has a serious problem with its spiritual foundation--when it confronts an allegation of clergy child molestation--leaders circle the wagons and insist they can handle it themselves.
Elana's father was smuggled out of Germany as an 8-year-old boy. Her grandparents and other paternal ancestors were all annihilated in the Holocaust. Many on her mother's side were slaughtered as well.
A bipartisan House committee just released its investigatory results. It found that speaker Dennis Hastert and other congressional leaders were negligent in failing to protect teenagers from inappropriate advances by former Representative Mark Foley.
Over and over again, the words "congregational autonomy" have been flung in my face to explain why Southern Baptist leaders cannot take action against ministers reported for sexually molesting kids.
When congregational autonomy becomes an excuse for failing to protect kids against sexual predators, then it is part of an immoral construct. That is the perversion I see in the country's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.
In the wake of the Foley scandal, parents feel more vulnerable about their kids' cyber-safety. Sales are soaring for software that can track kids' online activity. As parents, we want to know who the predators are, and we want our kids protected.
"The fact is any cleric--Catholic or Protestant--who molests a child to satisfy his own dark urges should be immediately dismissed and severely punished. Period. However, church leaders have gone blind to their responsibilities."