Thursday, October 18, 2007

Southern Baptists Covering Up Sex Abuse Like Catholic Heirarchy?

Back in September I did a post about growing concerns among some that the Southern Baptist Convention ("SBC") may be covering up sex abuse of minors by pastors much as was done by the Catholic Church (See: More information has come out about one of the pastors in question as reported by Ethics ( Here are some highlights from the article which has links to a number of additional stories concerning SBC coverups:

A former Southern Baptist pastor in Cordova, Tenn., has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery by an authority figure involving a teenage boy. Last week a grand jury handed down criminal indictments against Steven Haney, former pastor of Walnut Grove Baptist Church in suburban Memphis. Haney, 47, was arrested July 12 after a man, who is now 21, said his former pastor molested him over a five-year period beginning when he was 15. In a preliminary hearing in August, the alleged victim said Haney seduced him into a long-term sexual relationship by telling him it was a test of his faith in God. If convicted of rape, Haney could face eight to 12 years in prison. He also faces three counts of sexual battery by an authority figure, a felony punishable by three to six years in jail. As of now, Haney is free on $25,000 bond.

Haney was pastor of Walnut Grove Baptist Church for 20 years before resigning last December. After his arrest, former church members
said about 30 families left the congregation after similar accusations involving Haney surfaced in the 1990s. Police said in July they were interviewing as many as 10 people who said they had dealings with Haney in the past to see if there might be additional victims.

Victims' advocates say Baptists' governance system--where local churches make their own decisions about whom to hire as a minister--makes them vulnerable to sexual predators. They say a greater problem, however, is a code of silence that--instead of exposing predators--allows them to move on quietly, often to another church, while pressuring victims to keep quiet for the "good of the church."
Funny how the most homophobic Christian denominations seem to have the most priest/pastors molesting boys.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Funny how the most homophobic denominations seem to have...pastors molesting boys"

How many other Southern Baptist pastors are you aware of who were charged with molesting boys?