Have I ever mentioned that my rapist is a youth pastor now? I probably have, but only off-hand. I cannot even begin to express the amount of grief I have suffered since I discovered that. I reported him to the police, but there’s no other action I can take. The only thing my report can really do is help a future victim. When—possibly if, but most likely when—he rapes someone else, if she has the ability to report it there will be a history there. It will help any future investigation be successful.
It breaks my heart every single day that there’s a rapist walking around a church, and he’s a pastor of children. He is in a position to do to another girl exactly what he did to me, and I have I wept so bitterly for those children. I still do, every time I think about the power he wields and the trust those parents place in him. It infuriates me like nothing else does that he is beyond the reach of justice.
Which is why I haven’t been able to read the piece that the Leadership Journal published this week. I have tried, many times, over the past few days to make my way all the way through it, but I can’t. It … it sounds like him. My rapist. It is exactly what my rapist will say when he rapes one of the girls in his care, if he is successfully convicted as so very few rapists are.
He’s a youth pastor. His church probably subscribes to the Leadership Journal. And . . . I . . . oh, GOD!! I don’t want to picture him reading this because I know what that will do. He will read it, and everything that is inside of him, everything about him that would make the rest of us recoil in horror, will rise up in glee. Because here, here is a man who understands him. And he will feel justified, because he knows that a journal dedicated to Christian leadership wasn’t able to see the atrocities in his heart. And he will tell himself that the girl he is grooming wants it, wants him, and it’s only an affair. It’s not rape. It’s romantic.
My heart is wailing.
If I had sackcloth and ashes, I would be in the streets gnashing my teeth at the horror of this.
But, I can do something. You can do something.
Please e-mail the editors of the Leadership Journal and ask them to remove the post ( LJEditor@christianitytoday.com). Ask them to replace it with an article from the victim of a youth pastor, and then another from someone like Boz Tchividjian that offers church leadership an actual education in child sexual assault, clergy abuse, statutory rape, and how it is impossible for a pastor gain consent from a parishioner because of the power he or she has.
If you use twitter, tweet along with #TakeDownThatPost and at @CTmagazine and @Leadership_Jnl.
If you use facebook or other social media, please share one of the following articles.
“An Open Letter to Christianity Today” by Elizabeth Esther
“Christianity Today Publishes a Rapist’s Story” by Libby Anne
“Because it’s Time to Take Down That Post” by Tamara Rice
“On How the Church Discusses Abuse: Denying the Endorsement” by Dianna Anderson
“Because Purity Culture Harbors Rape and Abuse” by Suzannah Paul
“Why did a Journal for Christian Pastors Give a Platform to a Sexual Predator?” By Hännah Ettinger and Becca Rose
If you subscribe to the Leadership Journal, please cancel your subscription and tell them why.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer