#metoo to #churchtoo, @wad3mullen, Ann Voskamp, Ash Wednesday, Barnacle of the Soul, Lenten Journey from distraction and disintegration, Self Control a fruit of the Spirit, Tactics of Abusive Authority, The Apology Short-Cut, The Church's Weinstein Moment, The Parasite Ploy, The Scriptural Tilt, The Strategy of Blurring, Wade Mullen
The Church’s Weinstein Moment:
Since Ash Wednesday begins the 40 day Lenten “fast” from all things distracting and disintegrating, it seems good and right to speak directly to what Ann Voskamp calls, “The Church’s Weinstein Moment.”
As I wrote in “From the Sexual Revolution to the Sexual Revolt” – I expect the real sea change in our culture to emerge from common people whose time has come. And as common people find they have #metoo in common, so must people of faith confess #churchtoo when it comes to how sexual predatory behaviour has somehow been allowed to anchor in the safe harbour of authority. Safe for authority… not safe from authority by those subjected to sexual abuse.
Tactics of Abusive Authority
#metoo and #churchtoo victims have been emboldened to share their stories. In response, some abusers have issued statements in an attempt to define the “incident” in the way they want everyone to define it.”
Director and Seminary Professor Wade Mullen goes on to identify 12 of the many tactics he’s seen, outlined in “@wad3mullen.”
Nailing “Theses for Assault” to the Church Door:
In her usual articulate way, Ann Voskamp writes: “The Church’s Weinstein Moment: Nailing Some Theses for Assault to the door of the Church.” Originally based on Wade Mullen’s twitter post, here is what Voskamp posted:
- Don’t let abusers use The Long-Ago-Tactic, amplifying distance in time and place from abuse, to distract from the seriousness of the offense. Just because abuse seems small and distant in some rear view mirror for the abuser, the victim may see the abuse peering large and hauntingly too close every time they look in the mirror. Abuse defies time and distance and can barnacle itself to a soul.
- Watch for the approach known as Attention Redirect: When the predator redirects attention to his apparent agonizing struggle, he directs attention away from the survivor’s sexual assault. An Attention Redirect results in the abuser receiving recognition, reassurance and restoration — rather than the survivor of the assault.
- Don’t let abusers use the Strategy of Blurring, smudging details with semantics, so that the victim’s story and reputation gets smeared. Because sadly: We prefer to label victims instead of listen to victims, so that we can keep certain people on certain pedestals.
- Watch for Can’t-Refute-Just-Dilute tactics. Diluting, when you can’t refute, means abusers focus on all their beneficial contributions to dilute the severity of their brutal violations. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and a long list of rights don’t make a wrong any less wrong.
- Be aware of the subtle maneuver named the Parasite Ploy: When the predator claims people of good repute knew of his actions but didn’t report, he parasites off their good reputation and his abusive behaviour survives and feeds off their credibility.
- Question a predator when he says he’s focused on the process of change. This is the Process Position: If the abuser can convince you they have already processed and dealt with the abuse, then they convince you that there there’s nothing left to deal with and the reporting process isn’t necessary. An abuser’s redemptive process doesn’t nullify the required reparation process.
- Watch for The Scriptural Tilt, when abusers tilt all focus toward Scriptures of grace and forgiveness, with disregard for Scripture’s equally weighty focus on truth and justice. When there isn’t a balance of grace and truth, we are imbalanced in our thinking, our living and our souls.
- Be wary of the Apology Short-Circuit When the sequence of truth, repentance, apology, forgiveness, and change, are short-circuited by a quick apology, the truth quickly gets buried and victims get burned. A full apology doesn’t include excuses, explanations, or extending abusive behavior. Complete apologies involve any necessary co-operation with the law. We may take an apology at face-value, but is it a true apology if there isn’t a complete 180 degree about-face from ways of abuse?
- Be committed to Enlightening Education: teach the light of Christ that lightens loads and shines the light of Truth. Don’t teach young men that consequences and repentance are just apologies and words, and don’t teach young women that consent and respect is based on what they wear.
Teach that men do have (sexual) self-control (it’s a fruit of the spirit, actually) and men are fully responsible — response-able — and are able to make a right response.
Because when we teach that men aren’t responsible for their responses and what women wear determines how they are treated and whether men assault them, then we make men the victims of clothing choices that lured them into assaulting women, instead of seeing women as the victims of sexual assault.
This Ash Wednesday
Let this mark our commitment to truth and restoration – for this is what Christ came to give in Himself.
Lord have mercy…
For more on Ash Wednesday, go to “Love in the Ashes.”