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United Church of Christ

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Waves of Faith-October 20, 2017

On Tuesday at Bible Study we were talking together about women in the bible. It was a topic most of us have considered plenty of times before. But there was a different edge to the conversation and  level of heat to this discussion. It really had very little to do with the class or the bible per se. This week many of us are seething - that is not too strong a word - about patriarchy. It is the story of Harvey Weinstein that has got our teeth on edge.

 A story so common most people in Hollywood never thought to mention what was going on. It is a story so primal and awful that Maureen Dowd wrote in the Sunday New York Times that people want to punish this man and revel in watching him get burned at the stake. But I don’t believe the anger is only about Mr. Weinstein. He is a bad actor, to be sure. But from what I have read, part of the reason that he is being called to accountability now, is because his power is waning, and his stock which was high for years, has begun to lose value. He is part of a system that protects people in power from accountability.

The harder part of this moment is that it has stirred up so many memories for so many people - women, youth, people of color, anyone dis-enfranchised - of all the times when sexual pressure accompanied power.  All week I have heard memories of college roommates who were raped, and no one spoke of it. I have heard of people who were forced to accept sexual harassment as part of the office scene. I have heard again and again about victims who were assumed culpable, or silenced even when they reported. Facebook has exploded with people who say they were sexually exploited, molested or taken advantage of. It is an epidemic. The only good news is that we are finally talking about it. But I believe we need to stop and say that this is WRONG. Being sexually abused should not be a right of passage for every woman in our society.

The Bible is full of examples when prophets confronted people who abused their power. It is as old as Nathan’s anger when David slept with Bathsheba. Today we need to be clear that God takes a dim view of anyone who abuses power.

Peace, 

Rev. Susan

Posted: Friday October 20, 2017

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