For some of us, this is not a time to mourn. As survivors and advocates who have long been persecuted or ignored when speaking out, it’s a time for rejoicing.
As 1 Corinthians 13 commands us to do, we rejoice not in iniquity but the exposure of truth that has long been conveniently ignored.
Thirty years ago, my husband and I had our careers as Southern Baptist missionaries destroyed by collusion that threatened to allow a known predator with 25 years’ tenure to return to the field though his victims included teens, including a national.
As a mental health nurse-advocate and writer, I was called onto Boston radio in 1993, to address these same issues with a Catholic city in mourning. As with all grief, many were stuck in denial, shock and anger at what it was costing.
Since Catholic advocates I’d talked to, by contrast, greatly rejoiced at Boston’s news coverage, I had to shift gears to join these mourners. Yet, the only comfort I could give was assurance that they were not alone. This wasn’t just a Catholic problem, though many more Catholic communities would be facing the same, I said.
Still, nothing really changed. Not until 2002, when the Spotlight team, coached by my friend, the late Richard Sipe, took things much further.
It’s time for the Southern Baptist Convention to face its own fears and resistance to change with the floodgates now open for survivors to be heard. Thanks to these courageous journalists nothing can ever be the same.
Dee Ann Miller