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From at least 1996 until this past week, CBN had a teaching paper on its Website that suggested that if you're a victim of child abuse and molestation, you could feel guilty about what happened because you can somehow "consent" to incest or "allow yourself to be molested."  That paper was taken down late Wednesday afternoon, at least in part due to a stink raised by fellow Kossacks and Tree Climbers Roxine and SwedishJewfish.  There's still a link to it on this section of CBN's Website, though it goes to a 404 page.

Now why would CBN cave so quickly in response to a protest by a bunch of God-hating libruls?  Well, I suspect it may have something to do with this advice to anyone who has discovered abuse has taken place, which was in that paper more or less unchanged for 16 years:

Before you do anything, seek the counsel of a minister. Ask for confidentiality if you desire. And act only when you are sure of God's leading. Be sure you understand the consequences of any action you decide to take. Whatever the Lord shows you to do, remember you can and should intercede in prayer for everyone concerned. Remember that it is not vengeance, but help that is needed.
Anyone who followed this advice would have opened themselves up to a world of legal trouble.  In just about every state, certain professionals are required to report suspected child abuse to the child protection agency or the police--no ifs, ands or buts.  In 26 of those states, that list includes clergy.  And in my state of North Carolina and 19 other states, anyone who suspects abuse is required to report it.  If anyone seriously believes that the First Amendment would protect someone who doesn't report child abuse because a minister advised them not to do so, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

This isn't a case of "better late than never" on CBN's part.  This teaching paper was online well after people became aware of how traumatic abuse can be.  And somebody in Virginia Beach just now figured out that this was a lawsuit waiting to happen?  Together with the suggestion that this is somehow the victim's fault, this paper is several times worse than any of the many outrages we've seen from Pat Robertson in the last half century.

As I've said before, there are only two plausible explanations for this outrageous paper being out there for so long--either CBN was been too lazy to take it down, or Robertson actually believes that child abuse victims can consent to what happened to them.  The latter scenario isn't as ludicrous as it seems at first blush.  Not only is 16 years an eon in Internet terms, but we're talking about a guy who thinks people whose spouses have Alzheimer's should just divorce them.  A good case can be made for the former, though.  At least two Kossacks reported the CBN call-center volunteers with whom they spoke were horrified that this paper was out there and thought it needed to be taken down.  

Whatever the case, CBN has some serious explaining to do.  And that explanation better end with a full apology--and probably some firings as well.

Originally posted to House of LIGHTS on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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