I have a good friend who lived in Nashville for years, and she finally moved out. She was very uncomfortable with what she described as the cult-like religiousity that pervades the town, and said whenever she was introduced to someone, the first question was always, “Which church do you attend?”
When you’re dealing with an atmosphere like that, internal coverups of church abuses are likely. Like the one that seems to have taken place at Covenant Presbyterian.
Austin Davis is a former church officer who sued the church after he kept asking why they weren’t following their own rules. He accused them of covering up for an elder who was a child molester. He said the church had “removed” another church member’s children because of “marital difficulties” and placed them in a “safe house.”
The safe house was owned by one John Perry.
The church responded by smearing Davis, embarking on a long campaign of accusations that he was mentally unbalanced and a possible shooter who was carrying out a vendetta.
Now, here’s the elder he accused, the man who reportedly later admitted he was a child molester and was allowed to resign from his post:
“The alleged sexual battery was reported to have occurred when the victim was between the ages of 11 and 14,” said Nashville police department spokesperson Don Aaron in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
“As a result of the investigation, the allegations of sexual battery were sustained, but it was determined that the statute of limitations had tolled, barring prosecution. The victim was age 18 when she first disclosed the allegations to non-law enforcement and said at that time she did not want the matter reported to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services or the police.”
She also said there was no church coverup.
After the shootings, police will conduct another investigation. If Audrey Hale was molested by a church elder, will the church fully cooperate? Or, as is so common in religous sexual abuse, will Covenant Presbyterian slap a Band-Aid on it and let the rot fester? The usual excuse is that hey, everyone prayed and the victim forgave the abuser. Happy ending!
Or maybe not.
Covenant Presbyterian Has An Uncomfortable History With Molestation
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