Blog: Abuse? In my Church? - 2009-07-15

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F0.png Abuse? In my Church? July 15, 2009, Jefferson Hawkins, Leaving Scientology

Okay, humor me for a minute. Let's say you are a member of a small Christian Church. You go to church every Sunday and you are active in church volunteer programs. You don't know the pastor well, but you enjoy his sermons. Then one day, scandal hits the community. Four young men have come forward, claiming that they were abused by the pastor when they were boys. A local paper is preparing to run a story. You go to church that Sunday and the pastor devotes his sermon to a vehement, strident denial of the charges. He viciously attacks the young men, calling them "agents of Satan." He claims they are "trying to destroy the church." He reads sections from their private confessions to prove how "sinful" they are. And finally, he forbids anyone in the congregation to read the upcoming newspaper articles. If you do, you risk ostracism from the church, and shunning by other members, not to mention eternal damnation.

Given that scenario, would you:

1. Keep your nose down, refuse to read the newspaper articles and keep quiet, lest you damage your standing in the church.