Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Are we complicit with Trump in Abuse?

Many were shocked to hear Trump's recent comments about sexually assaulting women.
Many were then further shocked to hear people minimise his comments.
I have to say that sadly I wasn't shocked by either.
Over the years I've seen many respected people be complicit in abuse.

As a child I experienced adults ignoring the abuse I experienced.
As an adult, I've experienced adults not even caring about abuse.
Here's some of the ways I've seen this:

1. Not caring about child protection issues. 
Years ago, I learned on a training course that the biggest factor for child abuse was people in power failing to ensure proper child protection policies. Since then, I witnessed many people not wanting to bother with proper procedures, and just assuming that no one who seems friendly and goes to church is a child abuser (which is totally untrue).  Such attitude is so different to the biblical call to protect the vulnerable.

2. Downplaying complicity in abuse.
When it came out that Joe Paterno was complicit in his colleague Sandusky abusing little boys, many defended him. These defences often went along the lines of 'he didn't do the abuse himself, he just failed to report it properly.' One TGC article  by Colin Hansen even argued that Paterno did so much good, he just made a little mistake, resulting in the court of popular opinion unfairly judging him.

Such responses shocked me. It shocked me that people would defend Paterno because of his sports achievements. It also shocked me that people thought it was fine to know of ongoing abuse and not try to stop it.

Abuse thrives where people are complicit:
Whether its a coach failing to properly report abuse to the authorities, or a pastor failing to implement child protection policies, or failing to call out Trump for harassment and assault - it's complicity. It all promotes a culture where the vulnerable are not protected.

Jesus is different:
Jesus is the good shepherd (John 10). He protects the vulnerable sheep, and carries them close to his heart (Is 40:11). He uses his rod to fight off the wolves who try to harm his sheep (Ps 32). He rebukes the watchmen who fail to blow the trumpet (Ezek 33), and the shepherds who fail to shepherd (Ezek 34). He rebukes those who call evil good.