Anyways, last week Bianchi wrote an excellent article about the Penn State scandal, and how he absolutely does not want Penn State's football team to come to Orlando to play in the Captial One Bowl, or any bowl for that matter. He said the way the university covered up allegations of child abuse for years to protect the brand of their school makes them unfit this year to play in any bowl game.
"This scandal is bigger than a football team. Even though the players are pawns, they still represent a university where the coaches and administrators appear to have covered up the atrocious allegations against Sandusky just so they could protect the football team's brand. Penn State's name is now toxic in the minds of most Americans. Every time the Nittany Lions step on the field, we don't see a football team; we see a dark, evil place where countless little boys were allegedly allowed to be sexually molested by a football coach."
I agree with him. It isn't just that one of their coaches molested boys - predators can be found in any institution. It is that the Penn State institution that the football players represent, from a janitor to a grad assistant, to the head coach all the way to the president of the institution, behaved irresponsibly that allowed a pedophile to roam the Penn State locker rooms for years, having sex with little boys in the Penn State showers, and allowing him to freely romp through high schools and boys' clubs looking for potential victims.
Bianchi says the Penn State scandal is bigger than a football team. Yes, and each time when we read about sex abuse cover-ups in Baptist churches, it is not just a story about cover-ups in a single church. It is about an entire religious institution that refuses to adequately deal with sexual predators in their midst. Failure to track, failure to inform, even failure to report crimes to law enforcement.
Bianchi's article represents the outrage that so many American's have over the Penn State scandal. But I sure wish more people would express such disgust and call for sanctions when it comes to churches who act to protect the image of their church and send away a pedophile minister to another church or ministry. Where was the public outrage this year over Prestonwood Baptist Church allowing John Langworthy to go to another church without warning the other church after he was dismissed from Prestonwood for "allegations of inappropriate activity with a teenage student" at the church. No report was ever made to the authorities by Prestonwood, Langworthy was dismissed from Prestonwood, and he went on to have contact with children at another unsuspecting church and even a public school.
Where was the public outrage and call for the heads of church leaders when it was discovered that Trinity Baptist's Bob Gray went on mission to Germany after serious allegations of molestation were made against him, and as reported by TV-12's Jeannie Blaylock no one from Trinity - including the current pastor Tom Messer - notified the mission-sending agency about the allegations against Bob Gray? How many victims were there in Germany? Where were the calls by the press and public for dismissal of the church leaders at Trinity who knew of Gray's abuse of children and allowed him to lie to the congregation about it? Forget the press - where were the cries from other churches in Jacksonville for accountability at Trinity?
And keep in mind - Bianchi's outrage toward Penn State comes even with the knowledge that Penn State trustees ARE taking immediate steps to move toward fixing the problem. They really couldn't take any more drastic, immediate steps than they did in firing their president and legend Joe Paterno. Therefore how much MORE should the public outrage be over churches who not only covered up the offenses at their church, but that those in leadership have never been held accountable for their institution's lies and inaction?
Where is the media outrage over denominational institutions within the Southern Baptist Convention who will take action to excommunicate churches for the horrific "sin" of hiring women pastors, but they take no action against churches who pass pedophiles on to the next unsuspecting church?
Bianchi doesn't let up one bit:
"Do us all a favor, Penn State, and stay home. We don't want you in Orlando or Tampa or Jacksonville or Pasadena. We don't even want you in the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Ticket City Bowl or the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl. We don't want to hear your name or see your helmets or listen to your cheers. And we certainly don't want to spend an entire week during the holidays reading about, writing about, hearing about and thinking about kids who allegedly had their innocence raped away by your sociopathic assistant football coach. Don't ruin bowl week for everybody else. Play out the regular season and then do the only honorable thing you can do at this point. Just go away."
The truth about sex scandal cover-ups in baptist churches: they will not be fixed in baptist churches until Christians and pastors become disgusted like Bianchi. Christians should stay away from those churches where abuse occurred and those involved have not been held accountable. Churches and pastors who are involved in sex abuse cover-ups: we don't want to hear your wonderful sermons about Jesus, we don't want to hear your church's glorious music, and we sure don't want to contribute to your latest building program.
Bianchi says when he sees Penn State's football team he thinks of molested boys at the hands of their "sociopathic" assistant coach. Many in Jacksonville when they hear "Trinity Baptist Church" think of Bob Gray, molestations, and church leaders who have not had to answer for their non-reporting to authorities of Gray's crimes. This is why I would never recommend someone join Trinity Baptist church: as an institution they have not in my view adequately given answers to our citizens about what happened and who knew what in the Bob Gray scandal, and have not assured our community that appropriate institutional changes have been made, or that those who could have stopped Bob Gray or alerted the Germany missionary-sending agency, have been held accountable.
Mike Bianchi gets it. And I don't need to ask Mike Bianchi what he thinks about the Trinity Baptist Church scandal in Jacksonville where he used to live - his article about Penn State says it all.