Revelations of a scandalous amicus brief raise the question: Who’s driving the SBC?
There’s a story my family has told since before I was born about my great-uncle Johnny. When his four daughters were teenagers, the family took a long trip in which they had to stop in a familiar town for dinner.
About 30 minutes out, Aunt Betty Jane and the girls started talking through the variety of eating options and, after 10–15 minutes of deliberation, they agreed upon the best restaurant. But when they arrived in town, Uncle Johnny, who hadn’t said a word, pulled into a different restaurant, got out of the car, and walked silently inside, leaving five dumbfounded women looking at each other and wondering what had just happened.
That story—at least, a sinister reading of it—came to mind as I tried to process last week’s revelation of an amicus brief filed in April by legal counsel for the Southern Baptist Convention, the SBC’s Executive Committee, Lifeway Christian Resources, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The case is Samantha Killary’s lawsuit against the city government of Louisville, Kentucky, where law enforcement employees allegedly enabled her years-long sexual abuse by her father, also a police officer.
No SBC entity is named in the lawsuit. But because it is similar to other lawsuits being brought against the SBC and the Executive Committee in Kentucky, legal counsel apparently advised these entities to file the amicus brief, encouraging the state Supreme Court to exclude “non-offender third parties” from Kentucky’s recent change in the statute of limitations for abuse claims.
This may protect the SBC from legal liability, but it harms Killary and excuses the institution that hurt her. It is an enormous betrayal to abuse survivors …