Oh Susanna! http://dmergent.org/articles/


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By Rev. J.C. Mitchell

I was at home when the phone rang.  It was the senior pastor where I worked as
an associate.  She sounded serious, and
asked if I could attend the Staff Parish Relations Committee meeting that
evening.  I could tell that I should, and
I could tell from her tone it was serious enough to not ask any questions at
that time.  I attempted to squash my
curiosity and worry until the meeting, as I had no idea what it was about, and
needless to say, I am glad the meeting was only hours and not days away.

I arrived at the meeting room filled with the wonderful
team.  Then the announcement: one of the
female youth was sexually assaulted by another member in the church.  The senior pastor thought I should be present,
as part of my job description included the youth.  I am not going to share any specific details.  The youth I know suffered in school and
needed help, and it was the counselors at school that caught that something was
wrong.  Blessed are the teachers.  I know as a church we handled the situation
as thoughtfully and caring as we could, not perfectly, but we learned.  The senior minister once said to me that this
was the hardest ministry she was ever involved with, and I agree, having had to deal with the return of the man that assaulted the youth when the senior
pastor was on sabbatical. (Note to self: have good pastoral care and leadership
lined up when on sabbatical).

So why am I thinking of this hard and disturbing event in my
ministry? The Audi commercial on Super Bowl Sunday triggered this memory,
because I saw the term bravery being attributed to a youth who kissed a girl
without consent.  That is sexual
assault.  Yes the girl smiled, but does
that make it right?  I don’t think
so.  She may even find herself seeking
help in the days ahead, and why shouldn’t she?
She is treated like an object: to be possessed.  The youth that hit the “brave” boy responded
with violence, so I am not happy about that, and while if that was my daughter,
sister, friend, or a girl nearby, I may have had felt that same urge.  Not only is violence never the answer, it is
clear that violence was also a demonstration of the boy believing he possessed
his girlfriend.

This is where we do need to be better as society.  The GoDaddy commercial that included
consensual kissing between what I could tell are two nice human beings, that
yeah, I may not have pegged as together even if at a party, is the commercial
that seems to be all the talk on Monday and even Tuesday.  I still didn’t even really see it, as I was
so upset that Audi was broadcasting that bravery is equal to sexual assault and
women are simply objects.

As church we need to speak out against such
objectification.    I can only imagine
someone who had been sexually assaulted, watching these commercial at a Super
Bowl party, seeing the word “Bravery” printed on the screen, while others said
“awesome” or “way to go.”  Where could
she turn?  Will there be someone that
will catch the tear before she covers it with fake laughter?

Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, ‘O
eternal God, you know what is secret and are aware of all things before they
come to be; you know that these men have given false evidence against me. And
now I am to die, though I have done none of the wicked things that they have
charged against me!’  (Susanna 1:42-43)

We need to hear Susanna, for our worldly culture is viewing her
and her sisters as mere objects.  To be
handled without consent and protected with violence.  Let us give voice to Susanna and confess the
rape culture, and replace it with the culture of love: the culture of God.

(Further Recommendation is a great piece about the V-J
picture of the kissing sailor
)

via Articles – [D]mergent http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/dmergent/~3/p7rDWO_s5no/oh-susanna

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About Rev. J.C. Mitchell

Pastor, Husband, Father, Theologian, & Motorcyclist. Reads Rene Girard to Baxter Black and everything in between. Theology of disability, non-violent atonement, & the open road are of great interest. Mimetic & Narrative Theories are two respective theories that work throughout his work. Strong dark roast coffee is a wonderful reality God gave us through dancing goats, which JC greatly appreciates. Will work for black licorice.

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