As an atheist blogger who tracks clergy sexual abuse, I am officially outside the system. A few of us who fight the good fight do so from within the system and at great risk. My dear friend Christa Brown is a good example, and now it seems I can point to Amy of Watch Keep. Amy is the Houston leader for SNAP as well as a member of Houston's First Baptist Church. Amy has been outed as a "being on the fringe" and "standing outside the SBC" What are her crimes? She tries to protect children. Her story starts below:
A pastor at our church of almost 18 years, Houston's First Baptist Church, has told me and my husband this week that it's for the best that we step down from serving there, teaching in the youth ministry, since we don't see what I'm doing is a problem, like he does: my efforts to shine the light of truth and spread awareness about the horrific problem of child sexual within Southern Baptist churches and the silence from SBC leaders. Up until this blog post, I have never mentioned our church or any of the HFBC pastors on my blog.
I have never talked to this pastor, Doug Bischoff before, not in person, not on the phone, not via email. Last Friday, he left me a message, but I was out of town. Then, Monday, I didn't get a chance to call him back, being my 18th wedding anniversary, etc...and he left me another message late that afternoon, in a little put-out sounding tone of voice, in my opinion, saying, "trying to reach you, don't know if you're out of town or what."
What do I know about the SBC? It is simple. If you read my ever growing list of clergy sex offenders, the SBC dominates. They are the problem. They hide from accountability under the banner of church autonomy, which is just another way of saying local pastors are not held accountable to any standard besides a loyalty and doctrine pledge. You will get passed from church to church as a child molester, but dip one contrary toe in the pool of doctrine and you'll be banned for life as an apostate. It cracks me up that you can lose everything over challenging the trinity, but suffer nothing for violating a young child.
I rant. I rave. I post story after story, but what I do pales besides the effort of people like Amy. They are the true heroes. They risk much in the battle. We must give them our love and support. Even when they play for the opposing team.