Saturday, February 06, 2010

The price of silence

What would you expect a Christian in a leadership position in your local church to do when he learns of the sexual abuse of a minor?

A. Report it to the proper authorities

B. Pray about it.

C. Do nothing

Well, the question is hardly fair since answers B and C are essentially the same thing. I would expect any reasonable adult in a position of authority to act in the best interest of the child. Did that happen in a real life case of abuse in New Hampshire? No! 4 church leaders charged with not reporting abuse.

Police said they are investigating the abuse of a 12-year-old girl in September. Investigators said they discovered that four leaders at the Valley Christian Church knew about the abuse and never said anything.

Police said because the four people are leaders of their church, they have an obligation to report any abuse they hear about.

Investigators said the Rev. Timothy Dillmuth learned that a girl was being sexually abused by one of his parishioners but didn't notify authorities. Police said three elders -- Richard Eland, Robert Gagnon and Michael Wedge -- also knew of the abuse.

What is the price of silence?  Why continued abuse of course. The men face a year each in prison. I hope they serve the time.

The church involved, Valley Christian Center, suddenly pulled their website. Here is a Google cache. Nothing to see here people. Move along.

Being a Baptist pastor is such hard work. You have to remember not to molest the children, and you must report abuse by others too. I wonder if they teach that in seminary?

Final instructions to new Baptists pastors:

If confronted with an allegation of sexual abuse, first pray about it, then do nothing, then blame the victim (especially if the abuser is a donor). Above all else, do nothing to embarrass the church.  When all else fails, take the website down and hide from the press. When the media attention dies down, move to another state and start over.

Meanwhile back at the Valley Christian Center, the committee for rebranding has a meeting Tuesday evening.