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I really enjoyed this interview with Rachael Denhollander. Lifting this gal up in prayer and feeling grateful for her voice in the world. Praying for her continued clarity, strength, and protection.

I’m going to post this with just one caveat. There’s a tendency in our culture to go very tribal and political in our approach to child sexual abuse. I can tell you from experience that a poor response to child sexual abuse cuts across all politics, all systems, in the church and outside of it. It is a huge mountain to traverse. One of the obstacles in dealing with child sexual abuse is that culturally our morality tends to split down along tribal lines and become very subjectively defined.

How I wish child sexual abuse and ensuing cover ups were confined to one area of the world, like only in the Catholic church, rather than also being a huge problem in the secular world where some of us have just spent nearly 30 years trying to convince people that the Seattle mayor’s abuse of young boys was not a valid “lifestyle choice.” Public schools, foster care, court systems, politics, you find victims of child sexual abuse with little voice, absolutely everywhere.

I’m not trying to shame the Catholic church here either, but rather to present them as an entity whose wheat recently got all shaken up, and now kids are a whole lot safer then they used to be. Dragging things out into the sunlight is a great disinfectant. Also, a great healer.

So, I somewhat disagree with Rachael when she implies that a failure to respond to and protect victims is a bigger problem within the evangelical world than outside of it. Child sexual abuse and a poor response to it is actually everywhere. My personal feelings are that it is a “bigger problem” in the evangelical world simply because I expect us to be the ones leading the way, to do better, to be a lighthouse on a hill, an ever present refuge for the least of these.

Precisely as Jesus taught us to do.

 

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