This morning I was alerted to a post on WORLD News Group written by a woman who was unhappy that her church was taking child safety so seriously. (You can’t make this stuff up, and, no, I should not have been surprised, given the website it came from.) In fact, the woman was so offended by the child safety rules of her church, she pretty much says that what Jesus would do in the face of such rules and regulations is take the child in his arms and that’s where she leaves it.
Well, friends … he’s Jesus. He is not my child’s Sunday school teacher.
The author of the post is probably a nice woman. Maybe she’s lived a very sheltered life and, therefor, has not been exposed to how much abuse has happened in church bathrooms and parking lots and alone in Sunday school classrooms and in the name of “ministry.”
Is it in every church? No. Has it happened enough that we should take great care that our church grounds are safe for kids? YES, YES, YES. It is not an indictment of churches to say that child safety rules are necessary. It is not an indictment of humanity to say that they are necessary. It is not proof that the government is encroaching on our churches (an odd jump the author made) to say that the rules are necessary. It is an indictment of pedophiles and it is proof that we—some of us anyway—are finally seeing that a child’s safety is more important than our comfort and our pride. If we cannot take a child alone to the bathroom, so be it. If this feels strange to a mom used to wiping bottoms without a second thought, so be it. It means a pedophile can get away with less in our church and we should be proud of that. It is an honor and a privilege to care for children’s spiritual formation and it should be an honor and a privilege to uphold such rules on their behalf, to protect them from those who do not mean as well as we do.
The post was quickly removed.
Maybe it’s coming back, maybe it’s not. But I found a cached copy and took screen shots and am putting it here as evidence: Evidence that we can’t afford to be quiet.
We can’t stop talking.
Because people are still spreading and perpetuating ignorance and unhealthy, self-centered views of child safety regulations. As long as posts like the one on WORLD get written and published, we have to keep beating the drum and trying to help people see.
More on this post later, but for now, here it is. Simply click on each image to read the article:
UPDATE: WORLD tweeted me to tell me that they removed the article because the author failed to note the necessity of such [child safety] rules today. Suffice it to say … I’ve never found a more appropriate use for a #StuffGoodEditorsSay hashtag in my life. Prior to publication is always the time to notice such huge, irresponsible oversights, and a good editor keeps publications like WORLD from ever publishing articles like the one above. Good readers? They hold publications accountable for irresponsible editing and publishing. If you read the article and would like to let WORLD know what you thought about them allowing this piece to be published at all, please do: email@example.com