Remembering Barbara Blaine, Founder of SNAP

Remembering Barbara Blaine, Founder of SNAP

CFFP Board President Dr. Jaime Romo shares a remembrance of Barbara Blaine, who died on Septermber 24, 2017 at the age of 61. Ms. Blaine founded the advocacy group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

In 2002, as an assistant professor at a Catholic university, I attended a conference on the East Coast just as reports of clergy sexual abuse were breaking in the Boston Globe. The stories sparked my own repressed memories of having been groomed and sexually abused by my pastor and his diocesan employee friend some 30 years prior.

These memories were uninvited, unwelcome, and overwhelming. I had no idea how to move forward at the time. Fortunately, I was connected with the Los Angeles gathering of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Read More »

Are Idaho lawmakers ready to legalize all religiously motivated child abuse?

Are Idaho lawmakers ready to legalize all religiously motivated child abuse?

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As Idaho legislators consider a bill that would protect children from egregious “faith healing” medical neglect, some have a lot to say about religious freedom.

Sen. Lee Heider, who chairs the Sen. Health and Welfare Committee, has repeatedly stated that he opposes a bill that would make it illegal for adults to deny children necessary medical care for religious reasons.

“I don’t find fault in the fact that, because of their religious beliefs, we should prosecute them if a child dies. You know, it’s a first amendment right, the freedom of religion.”

“I think everybody cares about the health of children,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter told the media, “but we also have to remember the very first amendment to our Constitution. . . . No. 1 was religion. . . . I think it’s important to remember that they didn’t do ‘em alphabetically.”

Given this allegiance to protecting people’s right to freedom of religion, I wonder if legislators would support the legalization of all parenting decisions made in the name of faith that also jeopardize children’s health and safety. Read More »

A new pilot program for faith communities who put children first

A new pilot program for faith communities who put children first

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This year marks the beginning of an important movement to protect children from abuse and neglect that is enabled by ideology. And the most important players are faith communities that are ready to be role models in child protection.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project has just launched the pilot phase of its hallmark program: the Child-Friendly Faith Communities Designation Program. It’s one of the ways we are carrying out our mission to partner with faith communities to protect children from maltreatment that occurs in certain religious and cultural settings. Read More »

We’re off to a great start in 2015!

We’re off to a great start in 2015!

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The Child-Friendly Faith Project is excited about the new year!

Looking back, we accomplished a lot in 2014. We completed development of our Charter Member designation program, a curriculum designed exclusively for faith communities. We held our first raffle giveaway. And our conference presented more than twice as many speakers as last year. But there’s a lot more to come! Read More »

Interview with Marci A. Hamilton, JD

Interview with Marci A. Hamilton, JD

Marci A Hamilton 200x200Professor Marci A. Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. One of the country’s leading scholars in church/state law, she represented the City of Boerne, Texas, in a successful challenge to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a case that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Boerne v. Flores. Professor Hamilton is the author of the newly revised God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty and Justice Denied: what American Must Do to Protect Its Children

We asked Professor Hamilton about her significant work as a child advocate and her keynote address at this year’s Child-Friendly Faith Project Conference.

Read More »

What does a victim of child sexual abuse look like? Don’t ask Christianity Today.

What does a victim of child sexual abuse look like? Don’t ask Christianity Today.

girl with red veil shutterstock_reducedAn embarrassing apology published by Christianity Today shows that leaders in the faith community still have a lot to learn about child sexual abuse.

The readers of Christianity Today have taught the magazine a lesson—they know more about child sexual abuse then its editors do.

Last Monday, CT published an article on its Leadership Journal website written by an unnamed pastor who is serving time in prison on sexual abuse charges. The article, entitled “From Youth Minister to Felon: My spiral of sin destroyed my life and ministry,” was intended to prevent abuse. Instead, however, it showed that CT editors can be just as insensitive to victims of abuse as many religious leaders have been. Read More »