Kid beaten by minister for *reporting* abuse
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Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:18:09 PM EST
I've written a lot lately on one of the dirty secrets of dominionism--religiously motivated child abuse, which is heavily promoted.  From the literal literal beating of babies, occasionally to death to the deliberate transfer of kids in dominionist homes to other abusive families, it's sadly all too common.

One of the most despicable things about this is that, all too often, it's the dominionist preachers themselves promoting the abuse--and, in the case I'm about to note, sometimes even crossing the line to committing abuse themselves.

The Chicago Tribune reports:
The pastor of an Elgin church has been charged with battery after it was alleged that he repeatedly used a piece of wood to discipline a 12-year-old girl.

Police said the girl's mother took her to the pastor because she doubted the girl's claim that she was being sexually abused by another man.


Now, in many states, this would actually be a violation of law by the minister--not just engaging in "chastening" the kid with a stick, but failing to report abuse.

You see, in 25 states, clergy are required by law to report suspicions of child abuse or reporting of abuse given by a child; several other states have mandatory reporting requirements by anyone who suspects a child is being abused.  Illinois is one of the states in question that does require clergy to report child abuse.

Sadly, this is not what happened:

Elgin police said Thursday they believe the girl's original allegations are true. On Wednesday they charged Daryl Bujak, 30, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, with misdemeanor battery. He was released after posting $500 bail. He has a June 16 court appearance in the Elgin branch of Kane County Circuit Court, said police Lt. Mike Turner.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "It's a sad case for this girl."
. . .

Bujak's church, at 385 Silver St. in Elgin, describes itself as a fundamentalist and independent Baptist congregation.

Elgin police said the girl's parents took her to the church after she alleged she was being sexually abused.

Bujak told the parents that she was lying and privately disciplined the girl on Wednesday evenings between March and May of 2005. The girl, now 13, was struck with a 3-foot strip of wood molding, causing welts and bruises on her legs and buttocks, according to police and the girl's mother.

"He took her in the ladies room, across from his office," the mother said in an interview Thursday. "I was downstairs in the Fellowship Hall." Afterward, the mother said, "Her face was red, and I could see that she'd been crying."


Now, doing a bit of searching on Google, I was able to find that the church in question has a website, and apparently not only do they buy airtime on national cable channels (including adverts on ESPN and CNN), but to say they are fundamentalist is quite possibly an understatement.

Among other clear "red flag warnings", the church is apparently King James Only (typically a position only held among dominionist "independent Baptist" and pentecostal churches), are quite explicitly premillenial-dispensationalist (and the statements also seem to indicate they are heavy into "spiritual warfare" theology), have (in their "King James Only" promotion) used explicit codewords which may indicate they are Christian Reconstructionists, and in fact has a lecture series on their website that promotes "Landmarkian" Baptist theology--that is, the idea that they are the only truly saved and the only church that has "gotten it right" in nearly 2000 years of Christendom (the same general theology is held by most pentecostal sects, and in the Assemblies and neopente sects is used as justification for sheep-stealing and infiltration of mainstream Christian churches for purposes of "conversion from within").  The church itself seems to also run a small denomination in and of itself of multiple missionary churches worldwide.

Many of these churches are the same sorts that promote the use of religiously motivated child abuse, particularly "chastening rods", against youth seen as "willful" or "rebellious".  Sadly, the girl reporting she was being raped was seen as one of these "rebellious" kids and "given the rod":

When the daughter raised the allegations in March 2005, the mother was uncertain what to do. She turned for guidance to Bujak, who by then had been the family's pastor for about a year.

Bujak talked to the girl alone for two hours, according to the mother. "He said she recanted," the mother said. "He said, `I know these types of girls. She has a rebellious streak.'"

The mother said she would arrive at the Elgin church more than an hour before 7 p.m. services on Wednesday evenings and discuss the girl's behavior with Bujak.

He'd bring out the stick if he decided discipline was necessary, the mother said.

"It was a long stick," she said. "He had it up on his bookshelf. I never watched."

The mother said she was unaware of Bujak disciplining other youths that way. She estimated about 30 people regularly attend services.

It wasn't until a heart-to-heart talk in October that she realized the girl was telling the truth about sexual abuse, she said.


All too often, parents are told not to trust kids--that children are manipulative, that they lie and scheme to get what they want, and all they need is "discipline" and to have their wills broken.  Even Focus on the Family's founder, whose advise is almost liberal compared to the sorts of things promoted by the Pearls, Tedd Tripp, Roy Lessin et al, has promoted the idea of "tyrant children" being manipulative.

Needless to say, this sort of thing can literally destroy the ability of kids to trust.  I myself have been in therapy for basically being unable to trust and being anxious, a very common symptom of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.  (Complex PTSD is a common consequence of longterm abuse, including longterm child abuse and spiritual abuse.  Many walkaways, like myself, have it from both the original spiritual abuse and religiously motivated child abuse.)  Other experts, and even the poor girl's own mother, have expressed this concern too:

Allegations that the child was disciplined by the pastor after trying to tell her mother about abuse shocked child-welfare advocates.

"The girl probably thinks that if she is being harmed there is no one she can go to and tell safely," said Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris, whose office deals with child-abuse victims.

"When a kid gets up the courage after being sexually abused to tell a parent, that means that it is a cry for help," Harris said. "They won't say help anymore if they are taught that when you say help you might get punished, you might get beaten for it."

Ronald Davidson, a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago's department of psychiatry, said if the charges are true, the girl was "betrayed three times"--by the adult who abused her, her mother and then the pastor.

"My sense is it will be hard for this child to easily trust another adult for some time," Davidson said.
. . .

The mother, who home-schools the girl, said her daughter is in private counseling and no longer attends the Elgin church. "We're just working on trying to rebuild our relationship," the mother said. "Because our relationship was built on lies and deception."


Ironically, had the child not been in a correspondence-school "homeschool" the abuse might have been caught earlier; schoolteachers, too, are mandatory reporters.  

On a distinctly more disturbing note, and in direct relation to religiously motivated child abuse, dominionist parents are increasingly encouraged to "homeschool" (aka correspondence-school their kids at home) to hide signs of religiously motivated child abuse, and are even expressly coached on how to avoid investigation by child welfare authorities.  

Also, parents are increasingly encouraged to send their kids to doctors and "Christian counselors" belonging to dominionist-run medical and "counseling" organisations--and, again, one of the big selling points is so that a concerned pediatrician or psychiatrist will not report abusive childrearing tactics.

Sadly, this girl's case is probably not isolated.  And, sadly, most kids in such a situation will have their ability to trust that anyone will help them shattered, possibly irrevocably.  (Yes, there's a reason that a lot of us walkaways end up in therapy.  Having abuse aided and abbetted, or met with even more abuse, by pastors and other folks you trust to get you out of a bad situation is a biggie.)




Display:
I just emailed Pastor Bujak and told him that his beating of a child had made me decide to come to Jesus. I'm sure that's what Jesus meant when he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

Praise the Lord and pass the two-by-four!


by Mary Alice on Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 06:25:50 PM EST



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