How can people of faith respond to the to the national #MeToo and #ChurchToo conversations? Here’s a sampling of ideas, opinion pieces, blog posts and resources available online. This list is being updated periodically to include new material.
It Never Starts at Assault: the overlooked ways in which the Church enables abuse. Denise Anderson, co-moderator of the 2016 General Assembly, writes at Ecclesio.com about practices that often don’t get interrogated — including paying women less and comments made to women leaders about their appearance, parenting and singleness. Anderson asks: “If this is how we treat women outwardly when everyone is watching, what then is happening when no one is watching?” Added 2/22.
Bodies of hope and harassment. abby mohaupt writes at Ecclesio.com about the people in churches who commented on her clothing and weight, about being propositioned and people who don’t understand the meaning of the word “no.” She contends that “people in the church have to be willing to root out the causes of harassment and assault, and then they (we) have to work against those causes.” Added 2/20.
A joint statement on sexual injustice from Presbyterian Women and the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns. Added 1/26.
Amid #MeToo, evangelicals grapple with misconduct in their own churches. National Public Radio explores issues #MeToo raises in evangelical churches. Added 1/25.
I can’t even remember the names of all the men on my #ChurchToo list. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor Cynthia A. Jarvis describes in The Christian Century her many #MeToo encounters in the church — with professors, supervisors, ministers, theologians and church leaders — and what that tells her about total depravity. Added 12/22.
A letter on #MeToo and #Churchtoo from General Assembly co-moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston. Added 12/6.
The pastoral is political: #churchtoo. PC(USA) pastor Emily Heitzman writes on the RevGalBlogPals website about the messages she received about sexual harassment as a teenager, when women from her church brought charges against a pastor and he was found not guilty. “What kinds of messages are we in the church sending to victims of sexual abuse – whether through our actions or through our silence?” Heitzman asks. Added 12/5.
Sexual Abuse Happens In #ChurchToo – We’re Living Proof. Hannah Paasch writes in the Huffington Post about purity culture. Added 12/5.
“I believe the women.” PC(USA) minister Stephanie Sorge Wing, writing for the Young Clergy Women International website, writes of how many women have internalized a victim-blaming culture, and how “Scripture speaks soundly against a dominant culture that does not believe women.” Added 12/5.
What churches must do right now to stop being part of the sexual harassment problem. Amy Butler, senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York, writing in the Washington Post.
PC(USA) minister and rape survivor Ruth Everhart, writing in Sojourners that #MeToo is an opportunity for the church.
Also from Everhart, writing in the Christian Century (added 12/5):
- A pastor’s #MeToo story. Her account of being sexually abused by her senior pastor and supervisor, a PC(USA) minister, and the case she brought against him in the church courts. As a result of complaints filed by victims, a criminal case also was brought against a youth leader from that congregation, who was convicted and incarcerated.
- 18 ways churches can fight sexual assault in 2018.
Can we talk about sexism? Asks Susan Rothenberg, a Presbyterian minister from Pennsylvania.
Why not me? From the Feminism and Religion website, by PC(USA) minister Marcia Mount Shoop, who has written and spoken publicly about her experience with sexual violence.
An Open Letter to my Brothers in light of #MeToo, by Mike Morrell
Four ways churches can respond faithfully to #MeToo, by MaryKate Morse on Mission Alliance
An online #MeToo worship resource from Rachel Guaraldi, a Quaker chaplain and spiritual director.
Dear Church: #MeToo. In this blog post, Lutheran pastor Jennifer Chrien presents accounts of sexual harassment experienced by women in ministry.
#MeToo and the Bible. Video from a panel discussion held Nov. 12 at Faith Lutheran Church in Chico, California, featuring a rabbi, Lutheran and AME ministers and a college comparative religion professor.
The church and the #MeToo movement, a Catholic perspective from Our Sunday Visitor.