I think we all ought to give a standing ovation to Mennonite World Review for their amazing September 2nd issue that came out this week. They eloquently tackled a tough topic, covering almost all areas in new and creative ways. In case you didn’t see these amazing pieces, check out the links listed below:
- Abuse victims’ stories told as steps to heal are promised - Kelli Yoder interviews Rachel Halder of Our Stories Untold, Carolyn Holderread Heggen who is author of Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches, and Ruth Krall who has studied and written about gender, sexual and domestic violence, particularly in the church and concerning the John Howard Yoder case.
- Healing truth: Theologian’s abuse is church’s unfinished business - In this piece, Paul Schrag addresses the resurgence of conversation about John Howard Yoder and his abuses. He writes: “Sixteen years after Yoder’s death and 21 years after the walls of secrecy surrounding his predatory behavior came crashing down, new calls are emerging for the church to confess its role as an enabler of sexual violence by its brightest theological star. These calls represent more than pleas for justice. They stand as declarations of empowerment for all who have suffered the double indignity of violation and then of being disbelieved or shunted aside to protect a false image of virtue.”
- Let’s talk about sexism – Joanna Shenk writes an amazing piece on sexism in the church, and how the John Howard Yoder controversy is deeply rooted in a sexism problem that exists in our Mennonite churches. She writes, “I’m recognizing that Mennonites have an opportunity to model the work of undoing sexism. Not only do we have a responsibility to talk openly about Yoder’s sexual harassment and abuse, we have an opportunity to make connections between discipleship and being an ally to those who are oppressed. Sexism and patriarchy continue to exist in the church, and we’re likely to recreate John Howard Yoder situations if we don’t honor the voices of women and hold men accountable.”
- Opinion: What’s to be done about John Howard Yoder and sexual abuse in our midst? – Our Stories Untold partner and associate editor, Barbra Graber, had a reprint of “What is to be done about John Howard Yoder?” In this re-write, she elaborates on her original suggestions for moving toward justice, peace and healing for sexual abuse in our churches, homes, and communities. Even if you read the first publishing here, you should see this one as it includes many more valuable points and suggestions.
Did I miss anything? Please post additional pieces in the comments if I did.
I can’t help but shout a little “Hallelujah!” for such amazing recognition of sexual abuse within our churches. Let this work continue in love and light.