Opinion | Rapists Presented by Their Church as Men of God – By Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

Nicholas Kristof

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

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CreditLoren Elliott/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“When a journalist for the Illinois Baptist newspaper reported in 2002 on a Baptist pastor who had sexually assaulted two teenage girls in his church, one apparently just 13 years old, he received a furious reprimand.

Glenn L. Akins, then running the Illinois Baptist State Association, offered a bizarre objection: that writing about one pastor who committed sex crimes was unfair because that “ignores many others who have done the same thing.” Akins cited “several other prominent churches where the same sort of sexual misconduct has occurred recently in our state.”

In the end, the Baptists ousted the journalist, Michael W. Leathers, while the pastor who had committed the crimes, Leslie Mason, received a seven-year prison sentence and then, as a registered sex offender, returned to the pulpit at a series of Baptist churches nearby. So Leathers is no longer a journalist, and Mason remained a pastor.

That saga was cited in a searing investigation by The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News that found that the Southern Baptist Convention repeatedly tolerated sexual assaults by clergymen and church volunteers. The Chronicle found 380 credible cases of church leaders and volunteers engaging in sexual misconduct, with the victims sometimes shunned by churches, urged to forgive abusers or advised to get abortions.”

Meet a 21st-Century Slave In the 21st century, isn’t it finally time to abolish slavery forever? nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Sunday’s column from Saint Nich.
He writes near conclusion:
“The blunt truth is that no strategy works all that well against trafficking. But maybe the most successful has been Sweden’s, cracking down on traffickers and customers while providing social services and exit ramps for women in the sex trade.”

In the 21st century, isn’t it finally time to abolish slavery forever?
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof