In the News

“If religion matters at all, it matters enough to be taken to task.”
 — from the manifesto of Killing the Buddha

The Washington Post quotes me as “an expert on church abuse scandals and coverups”: “Religious leaders use forgiveness theology as a cover and as an avoidance of accountability. And it’s a way of further shaming victims. … Faith can be a very powerful thing, and power without accountability is a dangerous thing.” “A pastor admitted a past ‘sexual incident’ with a teen … His congregation gave him a standing ovation,” Washington Post, 1/10/2018.

— In connection with the sexual abuse allegations against Paul Pressler, I’m quoted explaining how religiosity often gets used in the grooming process: “In the stories of scores of Baptist clergy sex abuse survivors, I have heard this sort of religious messaging used as a weapon for perpetrating terrible crimes against kids. When forged with the evil intent of a child molester, the voice of God’s authority creates a weapon more powerful than any gun for ensuring the quiet compliance of kids who have been raised in the faith community’s bubble.” “SBC leaders mostly mum on Pressler lawsuit, but bloggers fill the void,” Baptist News Global, 12/14/2017

— On the Baylor/Ken Starr scandal, I was quoted and my book referenced: “The Findings of Fact reveal patterns of institutional failure at Baylor that are similar to what we have seen in the handling of sexual assault allegations within many other organizations, including many Baptist organizations,” I said. “They are systemic and embedded patterns, and it will take a strong and long-continuing institutional commitment to eradicate them.” “Baylor shake-up continues with Starr’s resignation,” Baptist News Global, 6/1/2016.

— In connection with a proposed resolution “on sexual predation in the Southern Baptist Convention,” linked to my column and stated, “Christa Brown discusses the limits of that resolution, and what more the SBC needs to do.”, “The Revolution is just a T-shirt away,” 4/20/2016.

— Law professor, religion-writer, and former sex-crimes prosecutor Boz Tchvidjian quotes from my book in his “Rhymes with Religion” column about the dynamics of spousal abuse in connection with the case of NFL player Ray Rice. “How some churches support spousal abuse,” Religion News Service, 9/12/2014.

— In discussing how Southern Baptist churches often demonize those who attempt to report clergy abuse and allow predatory clergy to church-hop, I state: “Until Southern Baptist leaders can honestly acknowledge the wrong in what they have done in the past and until they will hold accountable those pastors who have covered up for clergy sex crimes, no one should expect the future in Baptistland to be any different.” “Trial shines light on alleged abuse cover-up,” ABP News, 5/14/2014.

— My book, This Little Light, is quoted by Rachel Marie Stone in a Religion News Service article: “One of the saddest aspects of clergy sex abuse is that it not only inflicts the grievous trauma of sexual abuse but it simultaneously yanks a powerful resource for healing.” “A new haven opens for survivors of clergy sexual abuse,” Religion News Service, 3/14/2014.

—  My book, This Little Light, is described by Religion News Service writer Boz Tchividjian in his column, “A church silent in the face of evil is no church at all.” Religion News Service, 2/14/2014.

— From an article by Frederick Clarkson of Political Research Associates: “Christa Brown… suggests that SBC leaders have not created mechanisms for disciplining those who ‘cover-up for the unspeakable crimes of their colleagues,’ either because they are afraid or because they just don’t care. She also observes that there is no denominational process for assessing clergy abuse reports, keeping records of ministerial abuses, or providing a way to inform congregations about accused ministers. ‘One of the best ways to protect children in the future,’ Brown concludes, ‘is to hear the voices of those who are attempting to tell about abuse in the past. Those voices almost always carry ugly, hard truths – truths about not only the preacher-predators but also about the many others who turned a blind eye or who were complicit in covering up for clergy child molestations.’ “When the ‘Family Values’ agenda includes child sex abuse,”, 1/27/2014.

—  Quoted on the subject of a $12.5 million clergy sex abuse verdict against the Florida Baptist Convention: “Cases such as this are what it will take for kids to eventually gain better protection against preacher-predators in the Southern Baptist Convention…. I believe it is only a matter of time before courts will recognize that, in the context of clergy sex abuse, Southern Baptists are distorting their doctrine of local church autonomy so as to make it function as a legal strategy for minimizing the risk of liability rather than as a true religious doctrine. When courts finally recognize that reality, Baptist denominational entities will not be protected against their long, immoral and unconscionable history of do-nothingness in the face of clergy abuse reports.” “Lawyer: Abuse verdict possible game-changer,” Associated Baptist Press, 1/22/2014.

— “A leading advocate for victims of sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention offered a remarkable idea. Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators suggested a Truth and Reconciliation commission, modeled on the one that helped South Africans put the horrors of apartheid behind them, might also help the Southern Baptist Convention come to grips with its child sex abuse scandal.” Frederick Clarkson, Child Sex Abuse Crisis of the Religious Right Grows, Daily Kos, 12/10/2013.

— Quoted extensively on the subject of why outsiders are essential to any organizational system of accountability in Rick Cohen’s article on “The Dangers of Keeping Organizational Secrets.” Nonprofit Quarterly, 11/7/2013.

— In “Evangelicals behind Catholics on Abuse,” my book is referenced and I’m quoted talking about “many of us who were abused by the sexual predation of evangelical ministers and re-abused by the bullying of other evangelical leaders who wanted to keep the abuse quiet.” Baptist News Global, 9/27/2013.

— Quoted extensively by award-winning religion writer Peter Smith on evangelicals’ need for something akin to a “Truth and Reconciliation” Commission for confronting clergy sex abuse in their ranks. “Evangelicals urged to confront sexual abuse,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/15/2013.

— Quoted on the subject of the SBC’s 2013 annual convention, calling it “another year of Baptist do-nothingness” on clergy sex abuse and noting that Southern Baptists promised nothing but prayer for clergy abuse survivors. Associated Baptist Press, 6/14/2013,

— “‘I just can’t imagine a more recalcitrant church hierarchy’, Clohessy commented … after witnessing interactions between Southern Baptist Convention leaders and SNAP’s then-Baptist representative, Christa Brown. ‘I’ve seen Baptist officials be stunningly cruel to her — in person and in print.'” “SNAP leader shames Mahaney supporters,” Associated Baptist Press, 5/30/2013.

— Quoted by Rachel Marie Stone in a PRISM Magazine article, stating:  “It is a huge blind-eyed mistake for faith communities to seek to explain the harm of clergy sex abuse by focusing only on the clergy perpetrators. Faith communities must take a hard look in the mirror and begin to see the ways that they themselves inflict egregious additional wounds through complicity and a failure of compassion.” PRISM Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2013

— Quoted on the case of a multi-accused Baptist pastor in Missouri who remains in the pulpit: “If a minister isn’t literally sitting in prison, he can find a Southern Baptist pulpit to stand in.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/8/2012

— Quoted on the subject of a church’s First Amendment defense: “Merely because something may be legally possible doesn’t make it morally right.” Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/27/2012

— An article on “Millennials losing their religion” quotes my book as saying that clergy sex abuse is a “soul-murdering” offense. Associated Baptist Press, 6/25/2012

— Quoted: “It will take the long dogged development of the law to eventually prod [the Southern Baptist Convention] into action.” Associated Baptist Press, 6/12/2012

— “Advocate says Baptists ill-equipped to address sexual abuse by clergy,” Associated Baptist Press, 10/14/2011

— Quoted saying that a church’s legal argument for privilege with respect to information about suspected child sex abuse was “tenuous.” And “even if it is a possibility as a legal argument, that doesn’t necessarily make it a morally right argument, particularly when it’s an argument being asserted by the church. ” Associated Baptist Press, 9/1/2011

— Investigation Discovery’s “True Crime with Aphrodite Jones” interviewed me as an expert on Baptist clergy sex abuse for its “Twist of Faith” program about “murdering minister” Matt Baker. The program aired on April 28 and May 1, 2011.

— In its March 10, 2011 issue, Réforme magazine published a profile story about my book, This Little Light, and about clergy sex abuse among Southern Baptists. Réforme is the largest Protestant publication in France. Kudos to journalist Alexis Buisson for a stellar article! You can read an English translation of it here.

— The French book review magazine, Books, published a review of my book, This Little Light, titled “L’Eglise Baptiste, Paradis des Pedophiles.” Books, Nov. 21, 2010.

— On April 14, 2010, Jaime Romo, of Healing and Spirituality, interviewed me about my book, This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang.

— The Associated Press quotes me: “Having a review board that would assess the credibility of allegations against clergy could be a great resource for local churches, especially small churches. It doesn’t step on the toes of local churches. It helps local churches.” USA Today, June 10, 2008.

— For program aired in April 2007, ABC 20/20 interviews me for its show on “Preacher Predators.” (link shows parts 1, 2 and 3)

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