I do not know of any Protestant Church that has broken down the problem of child abuse into different categories, such as Sexual abuse, but the Southern Baptist Convention is one of the few Protestant groups admitting a problem and their numbers approached FIFTEEN PERCENT (15%).
The problem is similar among other Protestant sects.Compare this to the Catholic clergy where the numbers of pedophiles is less than 1/2 of 1%. I would wager that most Protestants do not know the statistics for their own denomination as it is denied or kept hidden.
To my knowledge only the Southern Baptists and Church of Christ admit their problem but in the case of the Southern Baptists they do not take responsibility as a group but instead deny responsibility to the victims by claiming each of their churches are autonomous and individually guilty instead of the denomination. This, in my opinion, is denying their responsibility.
However, this is not why I brought this up.
I could rail and scream about how unfair most people (and the media) is to point the finger only at the Catholic Church. At one site I actually read a post that refered to us as the 'biggest perpetrator of child abuse on the planet'. Obviously, the person is ignorant of current events and history but my experience has been that someone that bigoted and ignorant cannot be persuaded by facts.
But that's not why I brought this up.
Let me tell you what bothers me...what bothers me is that we are failing, as a culture, to look honestly at how we have sexualized everything. The boundaries have been pushed and pushed and pushed and then, suddenly, when something explodes in our face we are outraged.
Look, I happen to think pedophiles should be put on an island (me and the priest from New Mexico, but no one would listen to HIM) where they cannot hurt anyone but that is not what really bugs me. I don't know any reasonable person who believes children should be molested. What bothers me is that the number of reasonable people seems to be shrinking and today, right now, there are adults who believe that 'seducing' children is perfectly ok, doesn't harm them, is just a lifestyle choice and we are discriminating against them by criminalizing the behavior.
Ok - this is creepy. It is also a billion dollar industry. Men pay big bucks to fly to third world countries where they will cut your head off if you draw a picture of Mohammed but they will let you have sex with their children for the right price because they are so poor. And the only charities that exist in those countries are run by Christians, because in their particular culture being poor is some sort of Divine Decision and should not be messed with or Allah will become annoyed.
Very different from God as I know Him, who specifically told me that unless I am willing to feed and clothe the poor I might as well just forget showing up at HIS door after I step into the next life.
We have this weirdly sexualized culture, a culture that screams about sexual freedom and then we lose our minds over the fact that twenty five or thirty years ago (back when this stuff was considered wrong but pedophiles were thought to be curable) those in charge did not immediately shoot everyone accused of child molestation.
BUT WAIT - in some places THEY DID!!!
In Fresno and Bakersfield, entire neighborhoods were destroyed as accusations of organized child molestation was levied at parents. Their children were paraded into court, testified to horrible abuses, the parents thrown into prison...and twenty five years later the kids (now adults) are recanting....because it never happened.
Can anyone say McMartin?
I am just sick about the allegations of abuse - it hurts my heart that someone charged with bringing Jesus in the Eucharist could harm children - and I am not calling all those claiming abuse liars. However, forgive me if my experience over the past thirty years has made me a little leery of jumping on any kind of 'string 'em up' bandwagon.
Besides, as soon as I see people getting just as outraged over the 600 women A DAY who are sexually assaulted, I might think this whole uproar is real. However, I don't think the people screaming and hurling insults as my Church and The Holy Father give a rat's patootie about the victims. I don't think they care about anyone who is assaulted sexually.
I think, once the dust clears, all those howling for our heads are going to be devestated to realize that, even if the Church has to empty out its coffers and has no material stuff left, we will not be destroyed.
We will go on...we have to....Jesus said we would.
And Jesus doesn't lie.