Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ugly Truth

This past weekend when another sex scandal about a prominent pastor came to light, the NPR website had some things to say that are worth repeating. The writer spoke of the devastation young people face when church leaders use their power to abuse and how we must stand up to these leaders.

"For many young people, the reality is that they are sacrificed on the altar built for pastors we have deified. We must dismantle the cult of the clergy and other leadership frameworks that place male leaders above reproach. We must stop regarding our cowardice as loyalty and take the risks to support our young when they are victimized.

How can we ensure them that if they disclose their abuse, they will be believed and their abusers will be confronted, regardless of their ranking? By challenging abusers who hold authority in our organizations, families and communities, we prioritize the safety and health of our young over peer approval and the comfort of "getting along."

One who cannot face aspects of himself that he despises will train that animus on another whom he regards as his opposite. Did he sell out countless individuals in order to throw congregants off the scent of his own hunt, the exploitation of young men? Was there a point when, at first, a few and then many knew what was happening and said nothing? How long will we enable the abuse perpetrated in word and deed by our pastors? When will we dare to speak the ugly, inconvenient truth even when we are afraid?"