By identifying abuse in Bible we can call out injustice in life – HoustonChronicle.com

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/houston-belief/article/By-identifying-abuse-in-Bible-we-can-call-out-13619414.php

We really need to de-shame sex.

Excerpts from a really good article:

«The church must do better to unravel silence. We start by hearing and believing the survivors in the Bible. We start by calling out places of oppression when we see them. We start by talking about misogyny, sexual exploitation and abuse. When we learn to identify harmful systems of abuse in our Biblical texts, we help ourselves to recognize them and call out injustices in our current realities.

….

Religion has often treated sex as something to be feared, denied, exploited.

We must resist the temptation to make this just about the Southern Baptists (or the Catholics or university students or Hollywood). This is about all of us. It is about our culture’s normalization of misogyny and heteronormativity; about our culture’s normalization of unchecked power and the villainization of survivors. When we allow the culture to tell us that women are worth less than men; that people of color, LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized people are of less value; when we allow our culture to keep abusers in power, we all have a problem. When religion is used to protect the people in power rather than to empower the oppressed, we all have a problem.

What then should we do?

Listening to survivors — and believing them — would be a good place to start.

….

I grew up a Southern Baptist preacher’s kid. I am now a progressive Baptist minister. The church, regardless of the denomination, has a lot to answer for. While exposing the devastating and pervasive problem of sexual violence in the church might be seen as a good reason to stay away from religion or spirituality, I hope we can instead see this as the moment for change. This is the moment to move away from systems of power and privilege that create the environments conducive to abuse. This is the moment to read again our sacred stories and see a God who is present with us in pain and who calls all of us to work for healing and wholeness. This is the moment to hear the stories that need to be shared and to honor the sacred courage it takes to speak. This is the moment for change.

:

Rev. Laura Mayo is senior minister of Covenant Church: an Ecumenical, Liberal, Baptist Congregation in Houston.»

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