Sunday, January 24, 2010 Editorials for Sunday, January 24

I'm so behind I don't even know where to start. But I wanted to post links to this powerful Editorial, Letter to the Editor and Guest Column all in today's

EDITORIAL: Matt Baker trial yielded many lessons, including the power of tenacity

"The Matt Baker trial is over and the 38-year-old former Central Texas pastor begins a 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife, Kari, whose mysterious death in Hewitt in 2006 spurred a virtual crusade in our community mounted by her family and friends. Evidence of it could be seen in the courthouse parking lot this past week: bumper stickers that read 'Justice for Kari.'” (read more)

Murder Investigations

"Kari Baker’s death was a true tragedy. But hopefully this sad saga will bring public attention to the biases and prejudices that underline our legal system.

Emotions run high when someone is killed, and the deceased is not there to tell his or her story. So it is the sacred duty of law enforcement officials to protect the rights of the dead." (read more)

Diana Garland, guest column: Don't call it an affair. Call it abuse of power
"We cannot and should not dismiss the chain of events that followed and led, almost incomprehensibly, to the murder of a young mother whose parents and daughters now have an irreplaceable void in their lives. But if we focus on how this extramarital relationship began, we see a textbook example of clergy sexual misconduct, a felony offense in Texas according to the state penal code (Chapter 22: Assaultive Offensives). Matt Baker’s crime of sexual misconduct as a religious leader — long before he plotted to add murder —was not only immoral but criminal." (read more)


Shari said...

Here is one of the best lines in the editorial:

"For Baker, it was the end of a life of duplicity and predatory behavior that culminated in murder. For the Dulins, it was a bitter victory — an affirmation of justice regarding the death of their beloved daughter."

Duplicity and Predatory...... now add murderer, adulterous, lair, sociopath and convicted and you have STOIC mattieboy all summed up!

courtney said...

thanks for all of your hard work, shannon. i have been following this story and keeping up with your blog for a while now. i'm SO GLAD that matt was finally found guilty and sentenced. i watched linda's victim impact statement and she did an amazing job. my continued prayers for the dulins and kari's sweet girls.

BParsons said...

I somehow had missed this story as it developed, until I heard two weeks ago of the pending trial. Since that time I have read all I could find, and watched the onlin "48 Hours" episode that gave us the details leading to the story.

As a Southern Baptist pastor, I have always valued the autonomy of our local churches, that no church had to answer to a board of supervisors or a denomination.

Even though I continue to respect that freedom, I see a need to do something to make sure nothing like this happens again. How many victims have there been who had no "Charlie's Angels?" What can we do to give courage and inspire tenacity to those who have been sexually abused.

I have often suspected something in churches near where I work, and even in the small church where I am now, there was this manner of indiscretion by a previous pastor.

Every story makes us, as pastors, a little more suspect and a little less effective. We, of all people should be at the forefront, and seek to weed out the predators among us. If any good can come from this, perhaps it will be a new willingness to confront this abuse, and a new attentiveness to those who have suffered.

Anonymous said...

I agree with BParsons...WE MUST GET IT!! Sociopaths (like Matt Baker)and pedophiles hang out in churches!! They hold jobs where they can prey on the innocent and satisfy their lustful,evil desires. Do not let the mask they wear as "ministers" deceive you. Evil spirits are in this world and as Godly men and women we need to be more discerning of this. Too many times we hold back because we do not want to "judge anyone". We need to rise up and have a level of accountability!

Shari said...

BPARSONS: I am so impressed by your open view that all is not perfect even when it appears to be. I hope you do your next sermon "God's Love - what it is and what it Isn't." I think it would be so powerful to make the issue of abuse of power, hiding behind the cloth (and/or MD, teacher, or even "respect your elders") an open and discussed topic from the pulpit. As a woman who once was married 14 years to someone whom displayed many of the same dangerous sociopath tendencies as Matt Baker, I stayed long after I knew the danger because I could not break the promise I had made to God and family of "till death do us part." By the Grace of God, one day I knew that my God is a loving God and that he would not want me to live subservient, worthless, voiceless and in fear. Often as good Christians we feel an almost lethal need to be "rules followers" and even when we see signs, as I feel Kari was seeing at the time of her death, we feel like we are betraying God by taking care of ourselves. However, we can't be disciples if we are stifled. So I hope you will take this opportunity and let your congregation hear the message. (record it and send it to Shannon so we can all hear it!) All I have heard about Kari (whom I never knew, sadly) was that she wanted to make a difference. She wanted to help others, even in her most painful of life experiences. Perhaps you can be her voice one Sunday.
Today's ABP had a story with a quote that I was also impressed with. I will link it here, perhaps you can team up with this lady to create an open environment for dialogue so we never have to mourn a Kari story again.
Christa Brown, Baptist outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said "it shouldn't take a murder" for a church to find out its minister is a sexual predator. "

-------------------->>> I think I like this Christa Brown so...... I looked up her organization to research more! LOL

If you do that sermon - record it and we will find a way to get it on you-tube or maybe Shannon can put it here. But it is a message that needs to be heard!