When Bible verses, prayer, hymns, faith, God-talk and church rituals are perverted into weapons for sexual assault and then hammered into shields for church cover-ups, they become neurologically networked with trauma, and this renders them polluted and often toxic for the survivors.
While Southern Baptist Convention messengers inside the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex took first steps to punish churches that enable sexual abuse, survivors relegated to a sidewalk outside the meeting hall demanded a system to make it harder for clergy predators to move from church to church.
The Southern Baptist Convention meets next week after revelations of widespread stories of sexual abuse and coverup in a six-part series of investigative reports by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News.
Survivors of clergy sexual abuse and experts from across the country traveled to Maine March 29 to support legislation making it a crime for clergy members to abuse their positions of trust to have sexual relations with adults.
Women who rallied in sweltering heat outside last summer’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas to draw attention to sexual abuse and domestic violence in the denomination are hoping for a warmer welcome when they reassemble at the 2019 SBC in Birmingham, Alabama.