Houston Chronicle, Southern Baptist Convention, United States discussed on Morning Edition

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In spite of that back. But because of that fact secretary of state Mike Pompeo was in Slovakia today where he urged countries in Europe to resist the influences of China and Russia, he said both countries threatened democracy Pompeii. Oh, also noted efforts to bolster US military ties with that country. The United States is currently negotiating a defense cooperation agreement that would facilitate the use of European defense initiative funds to upgrade Slovak military infrastructure and further improve the ties the military ties between our two nations Slovakia's Pompeo, second stop on a five-nation tour of Europe it began in Hungary, and ends in Iceland. This is NPR news from Washington and from KCRW, I'm Cheri Glazer was state and local headlines. A federal appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of former LA county sheriff Lee Baca as KCRW Jenny Hamill reports that makes it more likely the Baka will serve time for lying to federal authorities and obstructing Justice back in two thousand seventeen. Former sheriff Lee Baca was sentenced to three years behind bars for his role in a scheme to block enough b I investigation into deputies abuse of inmates in LA county jails. Baucus attorneys filed an appeal on the grounds that the jury might have sided with the former sheriff had they heard testimony about Baucus illness and about a conversation. He had with an aide regarding the FBI investigation, but yesterday a three judge panel on the ninth circuit court of appeals dismissed those claims, the appellate panel found the trial was fair and the conviction legally sound so is there still away for the seventy six year old to avoid going to prison. Baucus attorneys could ask for another hearing with all eleven judges on the night circuit or appeal to the US supreme court for KCRW Jenny Hamill balk has been diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer's. It's been three months since former state Senate leader Kevin de Leon lost his challenge against US Senator Dianne Feinstein now he's got his eye on another job on the city council. Daily on says he's running for the fourteenth district which stretches from downtown LA to eagle rock and Monterey hills. The seats been held since two thousand five by Jose. We Sar who's being forced out due to term limits. He's also under investigation from the FBI daily on is probably a familiar face to many local voters because he represented the area for dozen years in Sacramento, I in the assembly, then the state Senate. California's biggest utility says it's going to revamp. Its board of directors is KCRW. Daryl salesman reports the move is the latest effort by Pacific Gas and electric to restore public confidence at a time when the companies filed for bankruptcy, and is under a lot of scrutiny for its role in recent massive wildfires PG says that half of its ten person board of directors will not stand for reelection this spring. Do you Tilleke announced that its new board will include eleven outside board members, meaning individuals who are not employees of PG any. It's not clear how many members will be on the new board, but outside members will be a majority pressure has been building on PG need to make wholesale changes to its governing structure one hedge fund that's among the utilities largest shareholders has called for the entire board to be replaced in a statement PG. And he said, quote, we fully understand that PG and E must rear entrust in credibility with its customers regulators and the communities it serves PGE's Equipment's been blamed for starting a number of wildfires in northern California. And an investigation is underway into whether the company's equipment sparked the devastating camp wildfire which killed eighty six people in destroyed the community of paradise last fall. You're listening to KCRW. It's six thirty five. It's morning edition from NPR news. I'm Steve Inskeep. And I'm Rachel Martin. There is a reckoning afoot in the southern Baptist convention. It's the largest Protestant denomination in the US. And it's now in the middle of a sex abuse crisis this week, the Houston chronicle published a comprehensive investigation that counts. More than seven hundred victims of abuse by church leaders of the last two decades. There was a huge diversity both in the abuse type the age of victims. But virtually all of the victims were children, that's Robert down in one of the reporters on that investigation. While there have been high profile an individual sex abuse allegations against southern Baptist leaders in the past the Houston chronicle report lays out just how widespread the abuses. Ben what knowledge exactly leaders had. I don't know. But I think that it's pretty fair to say that this stuff was out there. And there was a group of vocal people who were basically. Yelling as loud as they could that. This was a crisis to find out. How church leaders are responding to the results of this investigation. I spoke with Russell Moore he heads the ethics and religious liberty commission of the southern Baptist convention. It's shocking and scandalous, and it's a real crisis. So how could this kind of abuse go on for so many years in so many different congregations? Well, there are a number of reasons, and none of them have good, and none of them excusable. One of the things that's happened. Is that a church which is supposed to be should be the safest place in the world. For people has often been a place where predators believe that they can hide and unfortunately, too, many churches have either had the understanding that that these sorts of things couldn't happen to them because their churches and haven't been vigilant and churches that have taken a wrong headed an unbelievable view of grace to believe that somehow that means and excusing of predatory behavior or of not seeing the role of the civil authorities in recording right away. There are so many horrific reasons behind this happening. So you're suggesting that internally each church, which has a lot of autonomy. Even if they were aware of the allegations, they may have. Put religious doctrine and religious notions of forgiveness over accountability. Well, I think in many cases, there was an understanding of forgiveness and grace and reconciliation doesn't match up with what the bible teaches Jesus never in any place excuses, the harming of owner bowl of people and children and others. And so this is a human crisis. And it's also a theological crisis, the Houston chronicle as part of the report says church officials did know were encouraged to make reforms and we're not interested in doing. So do you know, why often church autonomy has been used as an excuse for a lack of accountability? Our polity does make this harder. Because each jerk is independent and church doesn't answer to Bishop read one about us. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things that can and should and must be done. And so that that means that the hard work has to be done to see how that can happen not to use her autonomy. Excuse. So what are some practical steps that churches, and the broader southern Baptist convention can take in this moment. It's one thing to say, this is this is an outrage. How do you make sure it doesn't happen again? Well, there are a number of steps. One of those institute with training churches to know, how to respond when there is a a case or a suspicion case that has to do with also training ministers have very front end of their ministries. We're working with seminaries and universities to do that. And then there has to be a way to connect churches to one another to know win. There has been an incident or an allegation of abuse happening at another church to prevent someone from simply moving from one church to the other undercover of darkness the Houston. Chronicle says in its report that at least one accused sex abuse offender remains to this day in his church position. Do you think that should be the case? Absolutely not. I think that in every case someone who is a sex offender should not only be removed from any ministry leadership and disciplined by local congregation should also be handed over to the civil authorities. Does that mean you will follow up on the Houston Chronicle's reporting and try to pass that message down to the to the local church? Yes. Who this is alcohol the congregation directly, do you see parallels to what's happening within the southern Baptist convention and the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church? Yes, I do because both are a crisis of credibility. Someone should know that would may step into a church that they're in a place that is going to be safe and a place that is going to be advocating the most strongly for those who are the most vulnerable. And so they're very much is a parallel there. What I hope is that what happens out of that is genuine reform that will ensure that the next generation of people don't have to face these questions at all Russell more of the southern Baptist convention, Dr Moore, thank you for your time. Thanks for having me..

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