Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
Blog Section Banner
 
You are here: Home >> Blog

Blog

Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune offers analysis and commentary on issues that concern the work of FaithTrust Institute.

Click here to subscribe to Marie's Blog.

Notes on Men’s Anger and Women’s Truth

Notes on Men’s Anger and Women’s Truth

The performance put on by Brett Kavanagh last week was a sterling display of white male privilege. Watching as his nomination to the Supreme Court was slipping from his fingers in the face of the credible testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford, his calculated response was to lash out at the “unfair” process. He got to do that with seeming impunity because he is a privileged white man.

Read More…

Please Proclaim from the Housetops

Please Proclaim from the Housetops

— Categories: , ,

“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.” (Matthew 10:26-7) This is what justice looks like. We are getting a glimpse of it with the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses.

Read More…

Southern Baptist #ChurchToo

Southern Baptist #ChurchToo

— Categories: , , ,

As the #MeToo/#ChurchToo movement continues to echo through faith communities, there is news from the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptist leaders over the years have not only ignored sexual and domestic violence suffered by its members but many have actively excused and rationalized men’s violence towards women often with erroneous biblical proof texting. But it appears time may be up.

Read More…

Guest Blog: Hope in the Research, Part 2

Guest Blog: Hope in the Research, Part 2

— Categories: , ,

Since 2008, FaithTrust generously has posted on its website a continuing document I compile, Annotated Bibliography of Clergy Sexual Abuse and Sexual Boundary Violations in Religious Communities. Intended to be extensive and broad, the bibliography, as of the semi-annual update of May 1, 2018, is now 1,660+ pages. From the new entries in this 32nd update, the following are notable themes in the literature which deserve attention...

Read More…

Kings, Queens, and #MeToo: A Sermon for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Kings, Queens, and #MeToo: A Sermon for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

— Categories: ,

How many of you remember learning about Bathsheba in Sunday School or Bible class? Well, what I remember about Bathsheba was that she had tempted King David, causing him to sin. She was held up as the antithesis to Christian womanhood. I carried that notion until I was in seminary and read II Samuel for myself. The picture I saw there was very different. One thing I noticed immediately was that in the text we never hear Bathsheba’s voice. We hear David’s voice; we even hear Bathsheba’s husband’s voice. But never her voice.

Read More…

How Long? A Psalm of Lament

How Long? A Psalm of Lament

How long, O God? How long must we wait? How long must we wait for a sweet cool drink of justice?

Read More…

Guest Blog: Shame on Pope Francis for Casting Doubt on Clergy-Abuse Victims

Guest Blog: Shame on Pope Francis for Casting Doubt on Clergy-Abuse Victims

— Categories: ,

This Op-Ed by our friend and colleague Mary Dispenza was published in the Seattle Times on January 26, 2018. Mary is allowing us to share it here with you. In scripture we find the lines, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Survivors of clerical sex abuse are tired of turning the other cheek — tired of lies and promises, especially by popes, who through the ages have formed commission after commission, held conference after conference, issued report after report, and made promise after promise.

Read More…

No More "Me, Too's" {Part 2}

No More "Me, Too's" {Part 2}

— Categories: , ,

At the recent Golden Globe Awards, the Cecile B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement was received by Oprah Winfrey. In her response, Oprah “preached.” And I mean she really preached! In her remarks, she called forth Recy Taylor, a young wife and mother on her way home from church who was kidnapped in 1944 in Alabama by 6 white men. Taylor was gang raped and left by the side of the road. She reported to the police who, even in the face of confessions from several of the men, never indicted anyone. She went to the NAACP for help and her case was assigned to an advocate, Rosa Parks. The NAACP proceeded to organize a national campaign in support of Mrs. Taylor to no avail.

Read More…

That Was Then; This Is Now {Part 1}

That Was Then; This Is Now {Part 1}

— Categories: , ,

No. This excuse for sexual harassment, abuse, and assault simply won’t fly, although it is being used on a number of fronts by powerful men who have finally been called out on their “misbehaviors” from the ‘70’s until today. The list of abusive men grows longer each day. Literally. I can’t keep up. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Roy Moore, et al. From Hollywood producers, actors, and directors, to politicians, to popular journalists and editors, to respected professors, to John Howard Yoder, the prominent 20thcentury Mennonite theologian, this generation of powerful men seem to take the “back in the day” approach: it was okay then, so why isn’t it still okay to sexually harass, abuse, and assault?

Read More…

Twenty-First Century Truth-Telling and the Reformation

Twenty-First Century Truth-Telling and the Reformation

— Categories: ,

This week is highlighted in many quarters by a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses which challenged the Roman Catholic Church. Mostly Luther denounced the corruption he saw in the church and the selling of indulgences, described by some as “get out of purgatory free cards.” But historically there is no argument that his protests in medieval German shifted the axis of The Church and signaled the split in Christianity that later became Protestantism.

Read More…

Guest Blog: Hope in the Research

Guest Blog: Hope in the Research

— Categories: , ,

By Rev. James S. Evinger — Since 2008, FaithTrust generously has posted on its website a document I compile, Annotated Bibliography of Clergy Sexual Abuse and Sexual Boundary Violations in Religious Communities. Intended to be extensive and broad, the bibliography, as of the semi-annual update of October 11, 2017, is now over 1,600 pages. Here are four emergent themes in the recent (last five years) literature which deserve attention from those who support FaithTrust’s mission.

Read More…

Order More Millstones...

Order More Millstones...

— Categories: , ,

Brentwood Academy is an elite, non-denominational Christian, college prep school in a Nashville suburb. A civil lawsuit has been filed by a mother on behalf of her teen-aged son who was a sixth grade student at Brentwood in 2014-15. The suit alleges that the sixth grader was bullied and raped repeatedly by an 8th grade student in the locker room while other boys held him down and watched. The suit further alleges that the school knew and did not report to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services as required by law.

Read More…

When Child Rape Leads to Marriage

When Child Rape Leads to Marriage

— Categories: , ,

“When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. ‘It was forced on me,’she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding.” -Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. Not in Afghanistan or Sudan or the Philippines. In Florida. In the 21st century. In the church or at least a church. A child is raped, becomes pregnant as a result, and the “solution” to this problem is to force her to marry her rapist. How can a church even begin to affirm and bless this kind of “marriage”? I wonder if the rapist also paid the child’s father 50 shekels of silver (see Deuteronomy 22:28)?

Read More…

Has Nothing Changed?

Has Nothing Changed?

— Categories: ,

As Sexual Assault Awareness and Action Month draws to a close, we might pause to consider where we are. Thirty years ago, Catherine MacKinnon said, “The fact is, anything that anybody with power experiences as sex is considered ipso facto not violence, [i.e. not wrong] because someone who matters enjoyed it.”

Read More…

We Showed Up

We Showed Up

— Categories: , ,

Women learn at an early age to live with fear of violence—at home, at school, in the workplace, on the street. This awareness is something we all share even though our ways of coping with it may differ.

Read More…

GUEST BLOG: Dancing in the Darkness

GUEST BLOG: Dancing in the Darkness

— Categories:

My friend Amy doesn’t do windows. Unless she happens to be working on a computer system using Microsoft. In that case, she’s an expert, on single PC’s or corporate systems. In the course of this work, with all the fast clicking often required to solve complicated, technological issues, she’s sometimes found herself accidentally running across a whole can of worms no ethical person would dare to ignore. Amy does do doors, if need be. Even if those doors open into places where others might fear to tread.

Read More…

GUEST BLOG: International Solidarity for Survival {16 Days of Activism} by Mary E. Hunt

GUEST BLOG: International Solidarity for Survival {16 Days of Activism} by Mary E. Hunt

— Categories: ,

Argentine feminists are experienced in struggles against violence. On October 19, 2016, thousands of women took to the streets to protest femicide, the murder of women because of their sex. “Ni Una Menos,” (literally, “not one less,” meaning no more women killed) is the name of the sponsoring group that has now convened the country’s women three times to demand government help with an epidemic of murders. The proximate cause of their demonstrations this time was the rape and murder of Lucia Perez, in Mar del Plata.

Read More…

Hope in a Time of Darkness

Hope in a Time of Darkness

— Categories: ,

Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can. These words are often attributed to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, although there is some dispute about their authorship. They may have been penned by a woman, unnamed of course. It appears they were frequently revised. But our ancestors offered them to us to ponder so ponder them we shall.

Read More…

Living in Parched Places

Living in Parched Places

— Categories: , , ,

I live in a parched place. In east Tennessee, it has only rained 3 times in the last 4 months. This relentless heat and drought are palpable every day. So also on this political landscape: the heat of hateful rhetoric and the drought of substantive discussion of the serious issues. Facing the weeks ahead, I turn to Jeremiah 17.

Read More…

GUEST BLOG: Just My Mother's Daughter

GUEST BLOG: Just My Mother's Daughter

— Categories: ,

“For crying out loud!” I yelled for three long months, starting in early June. “My whole life’s being hijacked!” “Why NOW?” I asked, as if there’s ever a good time for a case of abuse threatening to destroy a ninety-year-old—who just happens to be my mother, living hundreds of miles away.

Read More…

Document Actions