Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Rush Across Town to Do Good Deeds." -- James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

When Are We Finally Going to Grasp that Organized Religion is Essentially a Force for Evil?

I am not talking about your individual faith. You can worship whatever iteration of Your Dear and Fluffy Lord suits you.

What I am talking about is organized religion. Like almost any entity, they grow/metastasize to the point where they are not concerned about the well-being of their congregants or the protection of those most vulnerable. They become concerned with maintaining their own wealth, their power, their status. Even if that not only involves closing their collective eyes to the evil that is committed by their own staff, but actively doing their best to cover it up.

This time around, it's the Southern Baptists:

Armed with a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors, Southern Baptist leaders chose to protect the denomination from lawsuits rather than protect the people in their churches from further abuse.

Survivors, advocates, and some Southern Baptists themselves spent more than 15 years calling for ways to keep sexual predators from moving quietly from one flock to another. The men who controlled the Executive Committee (EC)—which runs day-to-day operations of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—knew the scope of the problem. But, working closely with their lawyers, they maligned the people who wanted to do something about abuse and repeatedly rejected pleas for help and reform.

“Behind the curtain, the lawyers were advising to say nothing and do nothing, even when the callers were identifying predators still in SBC pulpits,” according to a massive third-party investigative report released Sunday.

The investigation centers responsibility on members of the EC staff and their attorneys and says the hundreds of elected EC trustees were largely kept in the dark. EC general counsel Augie Boto and longtime attorney Jim Guenther advised the past three EC presidents—Ronnie Floyd, Frank Page, and Morris Chapman—that taking action on abuse would pose a risk to SBC liability and polity, leading the presidents to challenge proposed abuse reforms.

As renewed calls for action emerged with the #ChurchToo and #SBCToo movements, Boto referred to advocacy for abuse survivors as “a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism.”

Don't give the SBC any credit for conducting the investigation. Their bad shit began coming to light because of investigative journalism, the same sort of difficult shoe-leather reportage that shook the Catholic Church.

It seems as though that this particular investigation was forced upon the leadership from below, by the members of the SBC. I am not terribly certain of that, but it may explain why this particular report wasn't buried. Or it could be that the EC was just so confident that the investigators would find nothing substantial.

What seems to be clear is that the leadership was happily using both Trumpism and pro-lifeism as tools to whip up the faithful, to keep them from looking behind the curtain. At the end of the day, the leadership cared about protecting their own rice bowls and little about taking care of their congregants or helping people in deed. It was all about self-protection, and if that meant dubbing those who dared to speak out about sexual abuse as agents of Satan, then so be it.[1]

In some manner, this does fit the pattern of large nonprofits. There are certainly others that seem to like snacking on the donations. Protection of privilege and power is Job One. Service to the adherants/members/people...ah, fuck them guys. _____________________________

[1] I personally regard the SBC as a church of bigotry and racism. I have not forgotten their origins as a pro-slavery denomination, continuing for well over a century as a denomination that has been pro-Jim Crow, pro-segregation. To this day, a central part of their message seems to be pushing culture wars and a hatred of those deemed to be "the other".

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