TX--SNAP to Baptist officials: Blast proposal to keep controversial Baylor coach
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
We call on top US Baptist officials to denounce a plan being discussed by some Baylor alums to keep a controversial coach who has been ousted for turning a blind eye to rapes.
The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is being held now in St. Louis. We urge delegates and officials to introduce and pass a resolution condemning the suggested retention of Coach Art Briles.
It’s tough to deter rapists. It’s not tough, however, to deter their enablers – colleagues and supervisors who ignore or hide rapists’ crimes. All it takes is harsh discipline. That’s what Briles deserves. That’s what will protect college students and others from sexual violence.
Even discussing a lesser punishment for Briles rubs salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of many victims of sexual violence. It tells us “Baylor football is more important than your pain.” It’s extraordinarily callous. And speaking of deterrence, such irresponsible and cold-hearted discussion deters others who’ve been assaulted from reporting criminals, helping police, and stopping more sexual violence.
No matter what university or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Baptist churches or institutions – especially at Baylor – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)