Just last week, Boz Tchividjian, a prominent Liberty University law professor and the grandson of Billy Graham, stood before a roomful of journalists and declared that Evangelical missions are a "magnet" for sexual abusers and that Evangelicals "are worse" than the Catholic Church at handling the problem.
Speaking to the annual gathering of the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) in Austin, Texas, Tchividjian said that Evangelicals have "sacrificed the souls" of innocent children, and of known data from abuse cases, a shocking 25 percent are repeat cases, he claimed. Tchividjian is also the executive director of an organization called Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which works on combating abuse in the Evangelical community.
Last summer, GRACE spearheaded an online petition condemning the "silence" and "inattention" to sex abuse in Evangelical organizations, especially its missions.
Where are you, mainstream media?
Despite reporting saying that Tchividjian made his remarks to a "roomful of journalists," not a single major American media outlet reported Tchividjian's eye-opening and shocking claims. (Update: As this post was going to publication, we saw that Huffington Post did indeed post a story about Tchividjian's claims.)
The story has been picked up by a handful of Catholic sites and a few other religion blogs, and all of them appear to point to the story written by Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Religion News Service, who attended the RNA conference. Bravo to Ms. Pulliam Bailey for her reporting.
And, once again, the New York Times's National Religion Correspondent, Laurie Goodstein is nowhere to be found on this compelling story. Goodstein appears to be an award-winning member of the RNA, but apparently she either did not attend the conference, or she did not find Tchividjian's remarks worth reporting.
As we recently reported, nearly one out of every four articles that Goodstein has published in the last three years has trumpeted specifically the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
Could it be that Goodstein is deliberately ignoring Tchividjian's eye-opener because it would undermine the implicit premise pounded into her reporting that sex abuse is primarily a Catholic problem?
The double standard rolls along.
ADDENDUM: Sarah Pulliam Bailey notes that Goodstein actually hosted the panel at the RNA at which Tchividjian made his remarks. Commonweal's Grant Gallicho, who identifies himself as "Catholic" yet has falsely smeared this site and this post on Twitter, claims that Goodstein actually "convened" the RNA panel.
Both observations actually bolster our original assessment! We specifically wrote, "[A]pparently [Goodstein] either did not attend the conference, or she did not find Tchividjian's remarks worth reporting."
In other words, our original estimation was entirely correct! Goodstein was actually present at the panel and personally heard Tchividjian's eye-opening remarks, yet she did not print a single syllable about it in the Times.