Leave it to our friends on Sharper Iron to come out with a overly simplistic theory on child sex offenders in fundamentalism. Leave it up to one of the duller tools to take a portion of one paragraph from a FBI study out of context and make it the reason why sex offenders abuse children.
Regular dim bulb commenter, R. Pittman wrote the following on Sharper Iron:
“There are basically two types of abusers–the serial abuser and the opportunistic abuser. The serial abuse is one who actively pursues opportunities for abusing children. He or she may volunteer and seek out children’s ministries. Some serial abusers may abuse a hundred children before they are caught. However, background checks and policies typically frighten this type of abuser away from a ministry. He or she will usually leave and look for easier pickings.
The opportunistic abuser is one who is overcome by the opportunity and temptation of the moment. Many times, this may be a man or woman having marital problems or engaged in pornography. Background checks will not reveal or deter this type of abuser. Vigilant supervision, however, will prevent this type of abuser from fulfilling his or her lust because he or she is not willing to risk being caught and exposed. Abuse is a hidden sin that thrives in the darkness.”
While it is true that opportunistic or situational abusers differ in the number of victims they may violate. Thankfully, they’re are not as many predatory sex offenders like this guy. At the same time, it is not like they are just bumbling along one day on a business trip far from home. Look across a hotel lobby, and stumble into an adultrous affair with a a consenting adult because he is having marital problems. Sex offenders are not simply adulterous, they are criminals. The truth is, child sexual abuse is often a crime of opportunity. The abuser typically take advantage of situational opportunities to groom their victims over a long period of time so that they could build trust and create opportunities for abuse to take place. While it is true that a sex offender may have marital problems, or engage in pornography that is not the reason the sex offender does what he does, it is a symptom. Many opportunistic sex offenders actively seek out single mothers to get close to their minor children. Many opportunistic sex offenders become coaches, teachers, youth pastors, Sunday school superintendents, etc. for the opportunity to be alone with children. Many opportunistic sex offenders will befriend a child/teen, will encourage the child/teen to confide in the offender about their troubled home. Then the sex offender will lavish the child/teen with lots of love and attention the child/teen never get’s from his/her parents. This is the type of offender who will take a long time to “groom” the child/teen.
Fact is most sex offenders are opportunistic, rather than serial (or predatory). Our criminal justice system processes more ‘opportunistic sex offenders’ per year than predatory. Both types seek out their victims in places where they feel safe to do so.
It is time to remove our heads from the sand, and admit this is a gigantic problem in Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches. One quick Google search is enough to prove this. This problem is not just out there, it is in here.