Well, well, well. This week we had the suspension of Bill Gothard by his own ministry (they’ve placed him on what they delicately call “administrative leave”) after a mere 34 women alleged sex-abuse as girls at IBLP. Those of us who said something was rotten a long time ago in Oak Brook, Illinois, among their other locales, were dismissed as virulent Enemies of Truth, willing to question a Great Man of God. I have one response to that: Pass the sick bag.
We just went through the public downfall of another champion of family values (and historical costuming), Doug Phillips, who flamed out in spectacular fashion. This morning I checked my email to find yet another savory tapa served up from the kitchen of evangelicalism. It appears that numerous adults are making allegations (and filing lawsuits) over rampant child molestation among the Jesus People USA, a big fad a few decades ago. I say “fad” because most evangelical movements, whatever they are, last about 20 years if they’re lucky.
If I had a dime for every evangelical and fundamentalist I’ve heard sneer at Roman Catholic priests because they are “dirty child molesters”, I’d be one wealthy woman. Indeed there were and are Roman Catholic priests molesting children and destroying innocence. But let’s not act like Protestant evangelical fundamentalists can keep away from children any better.
I subscribe to several sites that share breaking news on child molesters whatever their religious stripe. We have an epidemic of child sexual abuse, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the pervs claim to believe. They are a menace to children. The Independent Baptist church molesters and their filthy enablers who cover up sexual abuse are just as damned as any molesting priest wearing a clerical collar or some cult leading loon. They are all monsters for harming children.
Why does it take so long for these outhouses to blow? I know why. It’s because everyone who enables abuse has something to lose by outing the perpetrator or leaving. Everyone is on the take. People get paychecks. They have mortgages. Or maybe they like their position of influence. Or it makes their empty life feel more important because they are the right hand man/woman to the First Grand Cyclops of whatever “ministry” or “church” they operate. Whatever it is that causes them to demonize the victims and cover up for the perp, the net result is destruction of innocent people. And I’m sick of it.
There’s a new wind blowing, one of the only refreshing breezes on this fetid planet. That wind is the sound of victims who aren’t being quiet anymore. They’re coming forward, whether they are former missionary kids dumped and molested at boarding schools in some remote place while Mom and Dad evangelized strangers, whether they are altar boys scarred for life by pedophile priests, ATI/IBLP Gothard refugees who are now reporting what really went on, or one of the innumerable victims at churches of every stripe on earth. I say to them, step up to the mic. The world is ready to hear your stories.
We blame much of the downfall of this country on the war against the traditional family, abortion rights, and on and on. My theory is that this country is finished because the people who were supposed to be the lights in the darkness are actually part of it. They live their darkness, however, in secret, all the while braying into bullhorns and microphones about family values, raising “godly” kids, fighting Muslims and Obamacare.
I have a message for all the spiritual abusers in high places who prey and feast on innocents. Here it is: You’d better run. Your victims are finding their voices. To those who say that those voices speaking out “harm the cause of Christ”, let me ask you this: Since when did the Cause of Christ involve child molestation?
The true Cause of Christ is served when those who claim to be followers of Jesus deal with the perverts in their midst who harm innocent children. The true Cause of Christ is to speak for the helpless and for those without a voice. Failure to clean house in churches and ministries guarantees that the world will do it on the next newscast instead. To paraphrase a bumper sticker, Jesus is coming back, and boy, is He angry.