I have had a ridiculously busy week, during which I have been praying about an answer to another questioner. (To that questioner: please know that I haven't forgotten and am still praying about it) After reading some very serious remarks from Rando, I have found it necessary to speak up again.
Rando, it came to my attention recently that you posted some questions to me near the end of a long letter to/about Derrick. I saw some of the letter, but I didn't read the entire thing since it was for Derrick. I didn't ignore your questions to me, I just didn't see them nor have I had time to sit down and answer them.
The one I am addressing posted on Saturday and is serious enough in nature to discuss immediately.
Rando, you posted this: "What a joke. No wonder the Baptists are hiding pedophiles from Homeland Security. Huh? Baptist Sects are anonymous? The IRS should revoke their tax exemption status for hiding pedophiles from the law. Obstruction of Justice is a CRIME. Not only that, they engage in fundraising for the Tea Party. What happened to the separation of Church and State? They should Pay Taxes like everyone else does!! ... Oh by the way. Notice how the Baptist Religions are protecting Child Rapists but the victims are getting raped a second time. Read the comments! http://www.abpnews.com/faith/theology/item/8941-patterson-don-t-take-church-matt
Wow, there are so many issues on so many levels to discuss here. First and foremost, I want to be very clear that child sexual abuse is completely wrong, should be prevented as much as humanly possible, and when it unfortunately occurs should be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is absolutely no excuse for any person or organization to assist and/or protect pedophiles. And yes, if Mr. Patterson (in the link Rando provided) is suggesting this in his statement may he be found guilty and bear Jehovah's wrath.
So, let's ask ourselves these questions. What religious organization contains pedophiles in it? What religious organization has knowingly kept pedophiles in the same capacity? What religious organization has recently been found guilty in court and awarded $10+ million to the victim of child sexual abuse? What religious organization has a policy to not report child sexual abuse to the civil authorities?
Perhaps maybe the first thought was Catholics, or maybe due to Rando's statements, Baptists. I am sure your first thought was not Jehovah's Witnesses. Let's look at the facts.
1) What religious organization has pedophiles in it?
The answer: All of them. Pedophiles exist everywhere. This includes Catholics, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Some may only have a one or two victims; some may have very many. Most pedophiles may even pass a background check.
2) What religious organization has knowingly kept pedophiles in the same capacity?
The answer: Probably all of them. Organizations are, by nature, protective of their own. Due to the human factor, there is some level of corruption in all of them. It has been well-documented that Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses are guilty of this despite what their press representatives say to the media.
3) What religious organization has recently been found guilty in court and awarded $10+ million to the victim of child sexual abuse?
The answer: Catholics, Baptists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Again, Catholics we know. Recently there was a $12.5 million verdict against the Florida Baptist Association for hiring a would-be pedophile. They had done the background check, but they didn't check the references, and so the verdict. Last year, there was a $28 million verdict against the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society in the case involving Candace Conti, a young woman abused by a fellow JW. The reason behind this verdict will be discussed in a minute.
4) What religious organization has a policy to not report child sexual abuse to the civil authorities?
The answer: Jehovah's Witnesses. I can't answer for Catholics as it is very difficult to find some kind of policy regarding this issue.
If the Florida Baptist Convention did, in fact, ignore checking the references of the perpetrator, then they ignored the policies of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a section online about Preventing Children and Youth from Sexual Misconduct, the first thing listed under Prevention is checking five references, specifically three that aren't on the person's resume. It also goes on to state that if an allegation of sexual misconduct should occur, one of the mandatory things is to notify the civil authorities. It says, "Abuse must be reported. Ministers are mandatory reporters."
Most of the rank and file Jehovah's Witnesses are unaware of the policy laid out by their faithful and discreet slave. Once a person becomes an elder, they are given the elder's handbook called "Shepherd the Flock of God". This manual addresses protocol for pretty much everything an elder may have to deal with. It specifically addresses what to do in the case of child sexual abuse. In the case that there are not two witnesses to a specific event (and let's face it, there usually isn't in sexual abuse), the abused and the abuser are called in to speak with the elders, presumably separately. If the abuser denies the allegations, then the elders are told to "leave it in Jehovah's hands". That's it. There is no contact of civil authority. It's just...over. The abused has to deal with it and leave it in Jehovah's hands.
All of these accounts, from Catholics, Baptists, and Jehovah's Witnesses are sickening. But how dare Rando make the comments he made as if his own are exempt. Just remember, when you are pointing your finger at someone else, three of your fingers are pointing back at you!
So, let's look at some of Rando's words again. Because the WTBTS is guilty of the same, let's substitute that in for "Baptists".
"What a joke. No wonder the WTBTS are hiding pedophiles from Homeland Security...The IRS should revoke their tax exemption status for hiding pedophiles from the law. Obstruction of Justice is a CRIME...What happened to the separation of Church and State? They should Pay Taxes like everyone else does!! ... Oh by the way. Notice how the WTBTS are protecting Child Rapists but the victims are getting raped a second time. Read the comments!
I will however change the website to www.silentlambs.org.