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Sexual Harassment is Out of Control

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by zephcom, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    It seems that women are not even safe from sexual harassment when they are pastors in churches.

    When Your Sexual Harassers Sit in Your Pews

    The article points out that many churches now have policies and procedures to protect the congregation from the pastor but nothing seems to be in place to protect the pastor from the congregation. Does the church leadership, as a group, have any moral or ethical responsibility toward the pastor they hired?
     
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  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Kobayashi Maru? What're you even talk'n about?! Supporter

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    Well, let's look at the list provided in the article that "constitutes" sexual harassment, particularly of women pastors (but not of male pastors, I suppose?)

    • Unwanted gifts.
    • Sexually suggestive emails.
    • Hypocrisy.
    • Refusal to change.
    • Small and powerful factions.
    • Gaslighting.
    • Bullying, or intimidation at the hands of a person in church.

    While I have to agree that these are tough things for a female pastor to deal with and any church body should be on the defense against these kinds of things, I think we have to scrutinize that vague item in the middle: "refusal to change." Does this mean refusal on the part by a parishioner to disagree with something he might hear falling from the lip-sticked lips of the woman pastor, something that might have to do with sexual identities and/or personal definitions of sexuality meant to serve as 'doctrine' for that church?

    Oh my, but what's next? 40 Lashings and a Crucifixion? Let's hope not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  3. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that you are building mountains out of mole hills. Typically disagreements over issues germane to the purpose of the 'meeting'...in the case of a church, doctrinal issues...are not considered 'sexual harassment'.

    And if one belongs to one of the sects which think women should be prohibited from teaching in the church, you wouldn't even HAVE a woman pastor.

    I sense from the tone of your post that you may already belong to one of those anti-women preaching sects so it probably isn't going to be an issue for your church leadership.
     
  4. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Kobayashi Maru? What're you even talk'n about?! Supporter

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    And you would be incorrect to assume that. At the the same time, that doesn't mean I'm going to just embrace every little progression of aggression or defensiveness that pops up its head from either the Conservative side or that of the Liberal.
     
  5. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    Allow me to suggest that sexual harassment isn't a conservative or liberal oriented issue. It is more an issue of male/female dominance.
     
  6. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Kobayashi Maru? What're you even talk'n about?! Supporter

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    So, why would we expect nothing of this nature to ever happen in a supposedly "Christian" assembly? And what would you like for Christians to do about it?
     
  7. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    Does the Bible not have a process already detailed for dealing with 'Christians' who are not behaving in a Christian manner? I seem to remember that it involves talking to the offender, then talking to the church leaders who would confront the offender and finally, asking the offender to move on.

    But I'm not going to bother looking it up. That should be the responsibility of the church leaders who -should- already know this.

    From the article, is appears that often women pastors are not getting the support from the church leaders.
     
  8. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    If the early church is the pattern then the pastor has great authority, and is also not a woman.
     
  9. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

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    The churches I’ve attended had policies in place to alleviate situations that might arise. Gender-based counseling or dual sessions are one example they used to prevent inappropriate behavior.

    I may be alone in my conviction but I have never felt the desire to confide in the opposite sex. There were mature women gifted in wisdom that I could consult. Especially in my current condition as a single woman.

    Upon marriage, the same would true and I wouldn’t entertain a discussion without my spouse. In my mind he’s still a man. I don’t know his heart or temptations. Only God does.
     
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  10. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    This is the biblical model. :oldthumbsup:
     
  11. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member

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    A woman in crisis bearing her heart to a man can open up a can of worms. My stance isn’t solely for my benefit but his too. I don’t want to tempt anyone.
     
  12. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Kobayashi Maru? What're you even talk'n about?! Supporter

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    Do you mean like how both Paul and Timothy at times didn't get support from various church leaders?

    Unfortunately, those protocols don't always work. So, if any persons whether male or female wish to place themselves into the position of 'leader' in a Church setting, they need to be prepared for many eventualities.

    Otherwise, they might as well not even be in the Christian ministry. Besides, it's not as if the Christian ministry is a "profession" to be entered into lightly, especially since there's no guarantee that any of the seeming parishioners there sitting in the pews are what they otherwise claim to be. On the other hand, for those pew warmers, again whether they be men or women, who do feel the call of Christ upon their hearts, then they should likewise be willing to step up to the plate on behalf of worthy women ministers dealing with bona-fide harassement.
     
  13. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Riverside in NYC (the church in question) is nothing like that. It's one of the most liberal churches in the nation.
     
  14. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    Modern church politics and discipline is more complicated than that. Most liberal churches like Riverside are reluctant to come down hard on anyone because they want to have a welcoming, tolerant atmosphere.

    Perhaps the author in question simply wanted to feel validated. I'm not sure there are any easy answers without changing the spiritual nature of doing church that these groups are accustomed to.

    All pastors, especially in mainline churches, have tough jobs to do, with lots of demands and the pay isn't very good.
     
  15. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Right, toxic behavior needs to be addressed. And so it is sometimes necessary to not allow a toxic individual into the church, basically wiping the dust off our feet and letting them go.

    Bringing that home, my paternal grandfather was a toxic person, especially after my grandmother passed and the only person really reining him in was gone. He was attending his son's (my uncle) church as my uncle is a pastor. My grandfather was frequently intoxicated even in the morning and so would show up to church drunk, and even when sober he would harass the women of the congregation. After confronting his behavior several times--from family, church leaders, and my uncle--and his refusing to even acknowledge that his behavior was unacceptable, he was finally informed that he could no longer be welcome at church unless he address and recognize his toxic behavior.

    Certain behaviors shouldn't be tolerated. I loved my grandpa, and while my uncle's church isn't my church (I don't attend, his church is non-denom and I'm Lutheran), this was the right decision. My grandfather was a bonafide narcissist who was verbally abusive, unable and unwilling to admit his faults, and generally was willing to treat anyone--including family--like garbage if it served his own interests. Though he was able to hide this side of himself for a very long time, and it was soul-crushing that someone I looked up to as a child was, in truth, a fairly rotten individual.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  16. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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  17. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    You are truly wise.

    I have walked away from fights, knowing that I would beat the other guy senseless if I engaged him.
     
  18. Monksailor

    Monksailor Active Member Supporter

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    Zephcom, I am sorry that you apparently have experienced sexual harassment. NO ONE should have to endure that. I dare say that sexual harassment has been taken out of context here, though. From reading the OP and comments I see a prevailing assumption coming through; women are the victims of sexual harassment/abuse. Men are and have been sexually harassed, too. I suppose that since the sexual identity role changes going on in our culture, specifically Hollywood emulating women ruling over and dominating men and men being made to appear as irresponsible, fearsome, and incapable duds, men are now experiencing an exponential increase of sexual harassment; "affirmative action" or tit-for-tat, so-to-speak, from the many women in an authoritative position to impose sexual harassment/abuse today. I do not mean to diminish the wrongfulness of sexual harassment of women but IMO there is an unspoken practice of men being the recipients, also. Unfortunately MEN, having been NATURALLY designed with a bigger and stronger body in order to protect and provide, it is perceived as shameful for a man to admit that a woman took advantage of him in a sexual manner, even if it is limited to verbal, so the majority of women perpetrating this offense (# of cases) go unreported. It is a FACT that a woman can even rape a man. Some ignorantly think that it is not possible but it is, I assure you. It is not a matter of strength, but rather the threat imposed and just like a female giving up and letting it happen to survive, so also can a male.

    You are the shepherd of your flock. That means that you are in charge of it: to protect it and discipline (train) it; "rod and staff." You are not above or excluded from your flock. You are also a member of your church. You should be protected just as any other member from abuse. I suspect that you may not have much, if any, established rules of conduct or a church disciplinary process established. Few do today. It is "unpopular." It is VERY Biblical, though. If you &/or your board will not establish AND ENFORCE rules of conduct or such you can only expect many abuses going on in the church, UNCHECKED. If I were a pastor in today's American or most other cultures, I would not counsel any one or be alone with any one without a witness (and best if a secure, incorruptible recording format); no exceptions. If not possible, then I would find another way to serve the Lord. I believe that satan is removing so many from the pulpit and elsewhere in the church with false accusations which attract a guilty pronouncement before which any due just process is even contemplated.
     
  19. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 En cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos Supporter

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    I don't think that's the issue at the churches in question. Most clergy in mainline Protetant denominations are extremely professional, emotionally mature individuals who go through a very rigorous process of discernment and calling. The problem is that the laity are sometimes far below where the clergy are at in terms of emotional and spiritual maturity. These churches tend to be so open you get some who go there for the social prestige more than a serious commitment to the church's vision, and who have their share of immaturity and maladjustment.
     
  20. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

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    Like I said above, sexual harassment is NOT a liberal or conservative issue. It is an issue of male/female dominance.
     
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