The article below was taken from Stop Baptist Predators. I am publishing it here because you need to read all of it. Our SBC leaders have lost their sense of justice...of basic right and wrong. Some believe this man's career and bank account are of more importance than a child's innocence. I doubt that our Lord would agree His blood came that cheap. There is forgiveness for any sin but that does not erase the consequences. This is just more proof that our children are no longer safe in our churches. This is happening way too often and being swept under the rug because our leaders do not want bad media. They should take a lesson from the Catholics. It is not going away.
Christa Brown writes:
Fifty people showed up at a North Carolina courthouse to support a church youth leader who plead guilty to child molestation. Among the supporters were numerous other ministers, who urged the judge to be lenient in his sentencing of the child molester.This recent news brought to mind lots of similar cases, but the one I couldn't’t stop thinking about was the Leslie Mason case.
That's his prison mugshot. Not that long ago, Mason was a prominent pastor and “a star” on the rise among Southern Baptist leaders. Just days before he was scheduled to preach the keynote sermon at the Illinois Baptist State Association’s annual convention, Mason was charged with multiple counts of child molestation.Ultimately, Mason struck a deal. He plead guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault involving a teen girl in exchange for the prosecutor’s dismissal of eight additional counts involving another girl at Mason’s church.At the sentencing hearing, Mason’s lawyer entered into evidence 32 letters of support for Mason. Many were from other Southern Baptist ministers and deacons in the community.
The one that really caught my eye was this one that has a child’s hand as part of its logo. It’s from Doug Devore, the Executive Director of Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services. He asks for leniency and urges that Mason should receive no prison time.You got that? The Illinois director of Southern Baptist children’s home services said “it would serve nothing to imprison” a minister who sexually abused teen girls.
This wasn’t just some personal letter on Devore’s part. He wrote it on Baptist Children’s Home letterhead and pointed out that he had “30 years of experience in working with children and families with similar issues.”Take a look at this guy Doug Devore. Even with 30 years of experience in Baptist Children’s Home services, Devore still doesn’t seem to have a clue about the horrific harm that is caused to children when a trusted minister sexually abuses them.
It’s deeply disturbing that a Baptist leader with 30 years worth of children’s home experience would so minimize this terrible crime. And it’s a betrayal to Illinois Baptists that this man would so misuse the “Baptist Children’s Home” name as to turn it into a support system for a child molester.Obviously, Mason’s attorney thought those “30 years” worth of experience from the director of the Baptist Children’s Home might carry some weight with the judge. He made Devore’s letter “Defendant’s Exhibit 1” and placed it at the top of the pile.
Thank God the judge cared more about kids than Devore. The judge sentenced Mason to 7 years.
It’s no wonder Southern Baptists have such a serious problem with blind-eyed responses to clergy child molestation when even their children’s home director urges NO prison time … as though this crime wasn’t even a matter of serious consequence.
Ironically, the stated mission of the Illinois Baptist Children’s Home is “to care for children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected or are otherwise in crisis.”But how much “care” does it show for abused children when a high official like Devore thinks it’s of so little consequence that he urges no prison time for a child molester? Devore sold out “care for children” to try to protect a crony from prison.
You might imagine that some higher-ups at the Illinois Baptist State Association would have called Devore to task for that letter. But you would be mistaken. Devore is still the statewide executive director of Illinois Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services.The person who was called to task wasn’t Devore, but was instead the editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper, Michael Leathers, who dared to publish the news about Mason’s child molestation charges. Leathers was forced to resign.
Glen Akins, the executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, explained by saying it was “God’s will” for Leathers’ tenure there to end and that Leathers would be happier in a position that didn’t require a “high degree of spiritual sensitivity.”
Huh? It looks to me as though Leathers may have been the only person connected to this saga who demonstrated “spiritual sensitivity.”But of course, in spiritual matters, people often view things differently. After invoking “God’s will” to oust Leathers, Illinois Southern Baptist officials then took additional steps to restrict the newspaper’s independence and to assure that reporting like the sex-abuse story wouldn’t happen again.
I guess hushing up clergy sex abuse is THEIR notion of “spiritual sensitivity.”
My notation: Mr. Weathers, I know this does not help you directly, but you did the right thing no matter what the cost. They cannot shut down our blogs.