Showing posts from January, 2018

Finding the Root of Collusion with Abuse

It all adds up to collusion: Whether we're talking about child abuse, sexual harassment, or spousal abuse, no matter if it occurs in the workplace, at school, or at a house of worship, the greatest confusion lies in how to assign blame. Some don't want to blame anybody. They speak as if there is a high road to take, especially if the victim is an adult. Juries find ways to blame females of all ages for a host of problems. So do church councils, congregants, teachers. For starters, she's blamed for not saying anything sooner. For being seductive. For not screaming or fighting back sufficiently. Not watching her child closely enough (even when that's not the case). Continuing to maintain some kind of relationship with the perpetrator. Or, most commonly, for lying, exaggerating, or being wrong about a tiny, insignificant detail that may get the whole case thrown out. I'm more intrigued with what makes a victim stand up and continue speaking out, despite the blame

Double-Binds of Clergywomen with #MeToo

Hard to say how many clergywomen these days are victims of sexual harassment in Christian churches. Only one denomination ever tried to track that specific fact--the most progressive one, as you might have guessed. Yet that study by the United Church of Christ Coordinating Center for Women's Study is ancient. Published in 1986, it showed 48% of those surveyed revealed they had been victims of male clergy. With all the education done since, some may insist this percentage has surely changed. I'm not at all sure. My hunch is that women in ministry have just been driven further into the margins on this issue--shamed into submission. Or, like so many I've heard from, willing to work in positions of lesser prestige, even doing menial work, rather than remaining in the toxic environment where they are educationally prepared to work. The 48%, of course, excluded representatives from groups just starting to emerge in more conservative denominations in greater numbers, wher

#LongB4MeToo , I'm Outraged!!

More than two months after J. Dana Trent's  fine article of confession , speaking from the rare breed of Baptist women who have managed to be ordained, I have finally been able to gather my thoughts to address her remarks. I have never been more outraged in my life. Where were women like Trent twenty-three years ago when I began an outcry that was read by thousands thru a series of articles published by Baptists Today? Yes, confession is in order. From a host of my sisters who chose to look the other way despite my desperate attempts to awaken them. Women closely akin to the scores who betrayed me when attempting to advocate for the removal of sexual predators on Southern Baptist foreign mission fields, rather than sweeping them quickly under the rug as if that was the normal, healthy thing to do--same as the masses were doing back in the States with other predators. Yet, people were noticing and staying silent. That's what collusion is all about, and collusion with sexual