As the mainstream media continues to report on allegations against Hollywood and political stars, some of which comes decades after the allegations with absolutely no evidence, largely silent in the reporting is the sexual misconduct taking place among police officers and members of the church and cult groups.
The latest social media blitz is coming in the form of the hashtag #ChurchToo.
Rachel Blevins reported on the social media eruption with several tweets.
Twitter user Elizabeth Halford noted, after the hashtag “MeToo” went viral, several of the nearly 2 million users from around 85 countries who shared their stories, were sharing account of sexual abuse that occurred at the hands of religious leaders.
“Following the #ChurchToo hash with interest. Many #MeToo stories at the hands of the church,” Halford wrote. “And me? I was made to sign a purity contract at age 11. And witnessed a man confess from the pulpit having sex w/a child. Praised for his bravery. No further action.”
Blevins then provided numerous examples.
“I CANNOT COUNT the number of times I’ve heard guys in church PUBLICLY admit to molestation, harassment, assault, etc, only to be praised for their bravery & honesty,” Johnson wrote. “No consequences. The church’s legacy of protecting abusers is sickening. #churchtoo”
I CANNOT COUNT the number of times I’ve heard guys in church PUBLICLY admit to molestation, harassment, assault, etc, only to be praised for their bravery & honesty. No consequences. The church’s legacy of protecting abusers is sickening. #churchtoo
— Rosemary Johnson (@yellowinmysoul) November 21, 2017
“I was sexually abused by a pastor. When reported, the social worker chose to protect the minister instead of my 7yo body,” Anderson wrote. “Because of that, the abuse continued for years. Kids deserve better. #churchtoo”
I was sexually abused by a pastor. When reported, the social worker chose to protect the minister instead of my 7yo body. Bcs of that, the abuse continued for years. Kids deserve better. #churchtoo
— Robin Anderson (@RobinAnderson15) November 22, 2017
“I was raped when I was 9 by a member of my church,” Darrow wrote. “The pastor, and my parents, told me I needed to forgive him, as that is what Jesus would do. They made me hug my rapist and tell him I forgave him. #churchtoo”
I was raped when I was 9 by a member of my church. The pastor, and my parents, told me I needed to forgive him, as that is what Jesus would do. They made me hug my rapist and tell him I forgave him.#churchtoo
— Darlene Bliss-Darrow (@darcorina) November 22, 2017
In some of these allegations, the women, even young girls, were made to feel like they were the ones to blame for the misconduct.
“At a friend’s youth group, in response to a talk on purity and modesty, l went with tears in my eyes to a female volunteer. l shared that l had been raped and felt shame about not being pure,” Dingle wrote. “She responded by asking if l had repented of my role in what happened. #churchtoo”
At a friend’s youth group, in response to a talk on purity and modesty, l went with tears in my eyes to a female volunteer. l shared that l had been raped and felt shame about not being pure. She responded by asking if l had repented of my role in what happened. #churchtoo
— Shannon Dingle (@ShannonDingle) November 21, 2017
I was 12 but it was viewed as cheating. I had to pray with my abusers wife for forgiveness. She was so disappointed that I broke her trust. #churchtoo
— Debbie McNulty (@DMcNulty70) November 22, 2017
The Roman Catholic Church has a long history of sexual misconduct, even among its popes and priests. Some of it so shameful, that I’m not even going to write about it here, but you can read much of it be their own historians.
Protestant churches are not without their own sexual abusers and teachers that seem to dwell on the sensual in order to titillate their audiences.
The Bible commands us in Ephesians 5:
3 But immorality [c]or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among [d]saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no [e]immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 [f]trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even [g]expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are [h]exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
Confessing and repenting of sin are necessary. That is a part of the Christian life, but it should not remove consequences for sin.
Among cult groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are spending $4,000 per day (totaling more than $2 million) in order to hide documents of pedophilia among its leaders.
But it’s not just trusted religious leaders engaging in this behavior. It’s occurring among police officers as well.
In 2015, the Associated Press ran this piece documenting what is taking place among those entrusted to enforce the law.
— AP Interactive (@AP_Interactive) November 1, 2015
Matt Agorist commented:
The probe revealed that 550 officers were decertified for various sexual assaults, including rape. Some were dismissed for sodomy or sexual shakedowns, where victims were forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest.
A further 440 officers lost their jobs for other sex-related offenses, such as possessing child pornography, being a peeping Tom, sending sexually charged messages to underage teens or having sex while on duty.
About one-third of the officers lost their jobs for committing sexual offenses with juveniles.
Another independent study found that sexual misconduct is the second highest of all complaints nationwide against police officers, representing 9.3 percent in 2010, according to a study by the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
In 2010, 354 of the 618 complaints involved nonconsensual sexual acts, and over half of those involved were minors.
Perhaps the most chilling aspect of police sexual misconduct is the likelihood of under-reporting. As the case of the NYPD cops intimidating the rape victim shows, police officers stand up for their own—even if it means protecting a rapist. When a person becomes a victim of police sex crimes, how can they be expected to go to the very people who employ their abuser and report it — especially given the fact that it is well known police will go to great lengths to protect their own.
“It’s happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida, who helped study the problem for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “It’s so underreported and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them.”
“Police crimes are not uncommon,” Philip M. Stinson, a 2016 study‘s lead researcher wrote.
The study revealed that approximately 3 police officers are arrested every single day for committing crimes, and a many of those crimes are sex crimes.
“Our data directly contradicts some of the prevailing assumptions and the proposition that only a small group of rotten apples perpetrate the vast majority of police crime,” wrote Stinson.
While nearly 60 percent of the crimes “occurred when the officer was technically off-duty, a significant portion of these so-called off-duty crimes also lies within the context of police work and the perpetrator’s role as a police officer, including instances where off-duty officers flash a badge, an official weapon, or otherwise use their power, authority, and the respect afforded to them as a means to commit crime.”
These are people that we live with day to day. They are often trusted in our communities and they are far more likely to have access to our children than Bill Clinton, Charlie Rose, Al Franken or Harvey Weinstein.
How about we start bringing justice across the board?