From Pam’s House Blend: http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2012/01/02/to-protect-north-carolinas-children-vote-against-the-marriage-amendment/
By: Scott Rose
Monday January 2, 2012
Reposted with the generous permission of both Pam and Scott
The Southern Baptist Convention has a dirty little secret — and wants their very aggressive public war against gay North Carolinians to distract you from it.
It is known that there is a history of SBC child rapes. . . but the public does not know nearly the full extent of the crimes . . . because the SBC leadership does not want the public to know the full extent of its child rape crimes.
One exceptionally courageous SBC child rape survivor, Christa Brown, has written a book about child rape in SBC churches and additionally maintains a website about SBC crimes of child rape, StopBaptistPredators.org
After you’ve read Christa Brown’s book and website, start looking through comment threads where she has published articles on the topic of SBC child rape.
Many alleged victims fear that if they came forward, their Baptist communities would retaliate against them.
Brown herself has encountered some actual, and/or attempted retaliation from SBC members.
Where fear historically has been used to keep victims silent, you can be sure there are numerous victims.
And, after the SBC child rape problem started to come to light, the Southern Baptist Convention behaved dishonorably. SBC is centralized. But, faced with desperate please from survivors of child sex abuse — SBC leaders abdicated responsibility by saying that each SBC church has autonomy to deal with such issues as it sees fit.
To clarify what that means; Southern Baptist Convention leaders are aware of child rapes within their organization, but — out of whatever motivations — can not be bothered to take effective organizational action to provide maximal safeguards against additional child sex abuse crimes in Southern Baptist Convention churches.
And, it isn’t that the Southern Baptist Convention could not take centralized actions — applying to all of its member churches — if it wanted to. In 2006, for example, the SBC tightened its already severe strictures against acceptance of homosexual human beings. Among other new SBC rules then introduced and now in effect, any SBC church that accepts a gay member who does not “repent” of her/his homosexuality is to be booted out of the SBC fold. The whole Church kicked out of the SBC, for accepting one out gay human being in its congregation.
The contrast between 1) the Southern Baptist Convention’s disingenuous refusal centrally to help stop child sex abuse, despite pleas from child rape survivors, and 2) its zeal to stigmatize gay human beings is stark.
(How can these monsters sleep at night?)
To the extent that the SBC tries to mask the malice of its anti-gay animus, it says that it will minister to homosexuals so long as they repent. Yet even where a non-evidence-based, anti-scientific Southern Baptist claims to be acting in good faith towards gay human beings, the atmosphere such people create for gay youth and other gay people constitutes psychological abuse, every bit as ignorance-fueled and unacceptable as the abuse that occurs when a Christian Scientist refuses chemotherapy for their child when the course of treatment has a 90% cure rate.
Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse in a court, ignorance of modern medicine, psychiatry and psychology is no acceptable excuse for inflicting psychological injuries on gay persons, young gay persons included. Never mind, for now, that many Baptist Churches not part of the SBC welcome out LGBT members. The American Medical Association’s position on sexual orientation clearly is against such public political gay bashing as that occurring now around the proposed North Carolina marriage amendment.
Who do you think knows better about protecting the mental health of young people? A strict regional “religious” group that doesn’t make an adequate effort to stop church child rape, or America’s leading medical experts?
In North Carolina, the proposed marriage amendment was pushed forward by the late Senator James Forrester, who also was a Deacon of the First Baptist Church in Stanley. Yes, Senator Forrester was more interested in writing anti-gay discrimination into the state constitution than he was in using the power of government to protect children from sex abuse in Southern Baptist Convention churches. Almost as bad, from a human rights standpoint, is this sordid gang’s oft-repeated motive of putting the suppression of gay citizens’ civil rights beyond the review of a judge.
That goal is, in its way, every bit as dishonorable as the SBC’s shirking of responsibility over its child rape crisis. Firstly, the notion that anti-scientific, anti-gay bigots may impose an anti-gay state-level constitutional amendment and then hope never to see the amendment reviewed for its constitutionality is hubristic.
But additionally, what ethics do these political gay bashers bring to the process of campaigning for their anti-gay marriage amendment? You read that right; I want to talk about the anti-gay bigots’ leaders’ ethics. US Courts of law are evidence based — and additionally, “Thou Shallt Not Lie” is the Ninth Commandment. Yet the sponsor of the amendment, the late Senator and SBC Church Deacon James Forrester routinely told malicious, demonizing lies against gay human beings, the better to incite his followers to anti-gay discrimination. Caught out in his malicious lies, Forrester played the victim, saying that equality supporters were trying to “discredit” him. But what if he had born false witness, i.e. perjured himself under oath on a witness stand? Why is an elected official telling lies about a minority to the public, when in a court of law he could be tried for perjuring himself in such a fashion? Tried and convicted for perjury, would the dishonorable Forrester whine that the jury had discredited him?
Forrester’s widow Mary Frances Forrester also has engaged in malicious lying defamation against gay people as part of inciting voters to anti-gay discrimination. In 2008, Mary Frances Forrester wrote an anti-gay hate speech document, packed full of anti-gay defamation — outright lies — for the so-called Christian Action League. The extreme level of her lying, anti-gay defamation was noticed; under pressure to do the right thing, CAL removed Mary Frances Forrester’s hate speech document from their site. Had she lied that way under oath in court, she could have been convicted for perjury, but it appears she has not even thought to apologize to the victims of her malicious lying. A fine, lying example she sets for youth. Reverend Mark Harris, President of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, has personally been involved in Southern Baptist Convention decisions not to take effective action against SBC child rapes, and is strongly pushing for the anti-gay marriage amendment by many means, including by telling ignorance-and-malice-fueled anti-gay lies. The hypocrisy, that out of all of the Bible’s outdated strictures and commands, Harris insists on his interpretations of the alleged anti-gay ones, but does not even follow The Ninth Commandment in talking about those of his fellow citizens that happen to be gay.
In sum, here are the reasons that campaigning and voting against the anti-gay marriage amendment will help better to protect the children of North Carolina:
1) To some extent, the leaders of the Southern Baptist Conference appear to be using their opposition to gay rights to distract public attention from unresolved child sex abuse issues within the SBC;
2) Even those religious persons that sincerely believe it is “right” to attempt to “save” people from the “sin” of homosexuality — (including by campaigning and voting for the anti-gay marriage amendment) — are, objectively considered, inflicting psychological harm on young gay people and others. If you can grasp that it is wrong for a Christian Scientist to deny medical treatment to their child with a curable heart condition, you can grasp that it is wrong for Southern Baptists, and others ignorant and/or willfully ignorant of modern 1) medicine; 2) psychiatry; and 3) psychology to inflict psychological harm on gay human beings, including young gay human beings;
3) Young North Carolinians should be given ethical adult role-models to emulate; the political and religious leaders of North Carolina that are routinely, shamelessly and unapologetically lying about sexual minorities are presenting a profoundly dishonorable model of behavior to the state’s young people;
Don’t forget to take a good, long look around Christa Brown’s site StopBaptistPredators.org, and to read her book This Little Light; Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and his Gang