Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez's voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders. She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
After a hard-fought campaign that drew national attention from Hollywood celebrities and presidential candidates, voters rejected the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or Proposition 1, handing a victory to conservative critics who argued that its expansive protections for transgender people could endanger women and children. Many of the classes listed in the ordinance—race, sex, age, and religion, among others—are already protected under federal law, but sexual orientation and gender identity are not. Proposition 1 was only on the ballot this year because the Texas Supreme Court in July struck down the ordinance passed by the city council, ruling that the question of anti-discrimination protections must be put before the voters.
The Rev. Matthew Russell pulls out his small, white reading glasses and props them on his nose. He glances down at his notes and the Bible he brings to the altar of St.
Rachel Martin talks to Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention about how church leaders are responding to a report that exposed widespread sexual abuse of church members and children. There is a reckoning afoot in the Southern Baptist Convention. It's the largest Protestant denomination in the U.
Simmons, a powerful gatekeeper in the entertainment and media worlds, damaged careers and self-confidence with his pattern of sexual assault and harassment, the women say. Russell Simmons in July. He is a forefather of hip-hop who went on to great success in fashion, media and more.
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This week The Houston Chronicle ran a series of articles exposing, in painfully specific documentation, hundreds of sexual abusers who have worked within Southern Baptist churches over the last 20 years. This series of articles demonstrates clearly that our tradition is well past its own age of accountability. The vital question is what we as a religious community, faced with these sins, do next.
Russell, 20, allegedly assaulted a student acquaintance in her dormitory room March 7, university spokesman Eric Miller said Thursday. In a separate incident, former basketball player Michael New has been jailed on charges of theft, evading arrest, and possession of marijuana. Charges against Patrick Coleman, a former Cougar football player, are pending.
Sexual abuse is not only sin but also a crime. In every case, if there is suspected sexual abuse of a child the church should report the incident to the civil authorities. With the sexual assault of adults, the church should provide a refuge for survivors and should walk with them towards involving the authorities and bringing perpetrators to justice.