TX- Church to hold rally for admitted molester
For immediate release: Monday, July 28, 2014
Statement by Amy Smith of Dallas, SNAP leader (281 748 4050, [email protected])
Supporters of a convicted child sexual predator are holding a rally today to support him. We hope they will change their minds and cancel the event. We also urge officials at a Leander church to cancel a similar event set for Aug. 10.
This month, a jury found Greg Kelley guilty of sexually abusing a four year old boy. Before sentencing, Kelley voluntarily accepted a plea deal in which he admitted guilt. Two young boys testified against him. One mom testified that her son told her Kelley had molested him.
People who want to support a convicted and admitted predator should do so privately, not publicly. To hold rallies for a convicted and admitted predator endangers kids by making it harder for those who see, suspect and suffer child sex crimes from speaking up.
Those who believe Kelley is innocent should visit him, pray for him, write to him and help his family. But they should do so in ways that do not scare other victims of other predators into staying silent.
By mounting public displays of support for a convicted and admitted predator, these misguided individuals are rubbing even more salt into the already - deep and still - fresh wounds of abuse victims and making it harder for police, prosecutors and employers to catch and oust child molesters.
Adults must learn to accept a disturbing truth: child molesters don't have forked tongues or devil’s tails or horns on their heads. They are usually not "creepy" people who give us "the willies" or seem socially inept. They are usually charming and charismatic and outgoing. That is often how they are able to gain the trust of children and adults.
So we must overcome the dangerous temptation to believe an accused sex offender is innocent just because he's likeable or talented or devout. Discrediting victims and publicly supporting predators, especially convicted ones, not only hurts the innocent victims who have already suffered too much, but it also hurts other victims who suffer in silence and self-blame.
It creates a hostile environment and does not encourage victims to speak up and help protect other innocent people.
We urge officials at Generations Church to cancel this hurtful event. If congregants really must support a convicted predator, we ask that they do so privately.
The church is run by pastors Bob & Tammy Brydon (1461 E. Woodview Dr. in Leander, TX (512-616-7000, [email protected]). According to the church website, the Brydons have been “actively involved in local church ministry, in both lay and pastoral staff positions, in several large Austin-area churches.”
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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)