Another Church With Another Sex Abuse Scandal Shows That Every Institution Must Proactively Protect Children

It seems that nearly every day this is a fresh story of children being sexually abused. This time it’s evidence of such abuse going on inside the Southern Baptist Convention.The temptation is to hope there is an easy fix that involves setting up training or some other measure that ensure against all future abuse. The truth is that this is a complex problem that crops up in so many places because it stems from an evil embedded in human nature. To guard against it, we need our institutions to act proactively, to create a culture of speaking up and acting on evidence rather than ignoring it.The Catholic Church is grappling with evidence of priests who abused children for decades. This has prompted calls to allow priests to marry and to give lay people broader authority in the church.But the experience of the Southern Baptist Convention suggests making such changes won’t solve the problem. A Houston Chronicle investigation showed sexual abuse at the hands of hundreds of pastors and volunteers, in a denomination in which pastors are allowed to marry and lay people historically take on large roles in their churches.  Continue reading...

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