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Hi and welcome back! I just wanted to show you a sneak peek at Sunday’s post. Allen Coffey found this story earlier today. It’s a big one! According to their official news site Baptist Press, the top leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are haggling as hard as they can to keep their dirtiest ‘Abuse of Faith’ laundry away from public view.

(Daniel Jensen.) Credit: Daniel Jensen / Unsplash

Abuse of Faith: We Knew It’d Be Bad.

I mean, we always suspected the real truth would be worse than we could possibly imagine. It’s taken the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over two years — almost three now — to begin addressing their sex abuse scandal, called “Abuse of Faith.”

The SBC’s top leaders have tried everything under the sun to avoid addressing their strange infestation with sexual predators. They’ve tried to ignore the problem. They’ve tried to delay any examination by forming endless committees and offering make-work “challenges” to their churches. And they’ve tried to distract the flocks by drilling down extra-hard on their culture war against abortion.

Alas for them, there are just enough Southern Baptists in that sheepfold who still possess a few shreds of human decency. And they refuse to be deterred from this scandal.

So now the SBC’s leaders have hunkered down to see if there’s some magical way they can avoid looking too bad when the full story gets out.

They’re now considering a scandal-handling protocol called “the Michigan Model.”

How This Model Works.

The Michigan Model puts every bit of information about the scandal at the disposal of a chosen law firm. That law firm then writes up a report that leaves out the most top-secret information and releases this report to the public. They’re bound by client-attorney privilege, so the client can rest easy about their worst secrets not escaping.

However, in the Michigan Model the client doesn’t see the report until the public does. If all goes according to plan, the client can’t manipulate the final report at all. So there’s less chance of a conflict of interest interfering with justice.

The Michigan Model isn’t perfect by any means. After all, an SBC committee is still the one appointing the law firm, and SBC-lings tend to be deeply authoritarian and hierarchical creatures. They move through a world bound by personal connections and loyalties.

And since the final report still can’t contain the really private stuff that the SBC’s leaders would die rather than release, it’s still far from full accountability.

Still, it’s something. Even if they don’t adopt this protocol, their hemming and hawing should be sending a direct message to their followers.

Abuse of Faith: The Zombie That Just Won’t Die.

I’m relieved to see that “Abuse of Faith” has proven to be a horror-movie zombie that just won’t die. After everything the SBC’s leaders have done to crush it, this mega-scandal continues to dog every step they take. I hope this story helps their followers notice the truth at last:

These self-appointed spokesmen for morality are not operating under the guidance of an omnimax god of love and mercy. Not by a longshot.

Indeed, the main priority of the SBC’s top leaders from the very beginning of “Abuse of Faith” has very clearly been to protect themselves and their money train

(Don’t ever believe they care about victims.)

NEXT UP: We check out C.S. Lewis’ obsession with only Jesus-focused activities in The Great Divorce — and see what influence it might have had on evangelicals today. See you tomorrow!

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This is an overflow post. If I notice we’re at 450ish posts by 6pm my time on an off day, I’ll do my best to get us an overflow post so we can continue our discussions more comfortably. Publishing schedule for full posts: LSP/M, W, F, Su. Overflow posts are automatically OT-friendly.

ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...

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