Report: Southern Baptist Leaders Mishandled Sexual Abuse Allegations

    Photo: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty Images [via New York Magazine]

    The Facts

    • An investigation into the alleged sexual abuse by Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ministers has confirmed the 2019 reports documenting 700 cases of abuse by clergy and other employees of the SBC.

    • The 288-page report was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, an independent investigator sanctioned by the SBC's own Executive Committee.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    We knew this report was going to be bad, but it turned out to be far worse than expected. This tragic and reprehensible abuse of power goes against everything Southern Baptists are supposed to stand for.

    Narrative B

    Very sadly, this isn't shocking. The SBC, like the Roman Catholic Church, is an institution built on male supremacy. As the Catholic church scandal showed, intolerance for reproductive rights and cover-ups of sexual abuse go hand in hand. In these situations, men are forgiven for their sexual crimes and the rights of women are shunned altogether.

    Narrative C

    While the findings of the report are deplorable, the SBC has been radically transparent since its release, which will hopefully deter anything like this from ever happening again. The church must now push forward with a message of hope and restoration, while doing their utmost to ensure justice is served.

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