Monday, June 02, 2008
Sorry It's Been So Long: One of Many Things We Have in Common With Feminists
Sorry it has been such a long time since I blogged. I can't believe I missed the whole month of May. I have photos from our training in Tilamook but still can't get them uploaded. I will blog about that later.
Last December I got a call from Washington DC. One of the staff of the National Crime Victim's Department had asked me to present a discussion at the conference on the faith community and sexual assault. This year the conference is in Portland at the downtown Hilton. I plan to have the group look at Genesis 34 (the Rape of Dinah) and discuss how to work with clergy and engage them in a discussion of the dynamics of rape and abuse.
I think that sometimes I do too much of this. However, God keeps opening these doors and I guess I have no choice but to go through them. I have met great and courageous people. I have also learned so much from many of them.
Sunday night Lori and I went to the speaker's and member's reception. It was on the 23rd floor with a beautiful view of Portland. We sat with three young women from Pulman, WA who were Sexual Assault advocates for the state. Usually you network and visit with many people during these receptions. We sat with them for 2 hours and talked about a lot of things. Something that we thought was very interesting was our discussion on pornography. They go to the universities at Pulman and Moscow, ID and talk to the Greek societies about pornography and how it oppresses women and men. One of the women made the comment that feminists and the faith community can have a common cause concerning pornography. They are right. Yet I wonder why we don't work together on this? Lori and I left asking this and other questions.
This fall our prayer is to add addiction recovery groups to our home communities at Agape. I have recently finished my work for certification as a Batterer Intervention Provider and plan to use this to help develop our men's ministry. One component to our sexual addictions group will be compassion. The faith community has addressed pornography from a "purity" issue. It seems that men, and women, struggle inwardly to battle the urge to lust. Yet, this seems to be a personal, inner struggle. Pornography, is about compassion and empathy. Our group will focus on compassion. It is not the inward struggle that the sexual addict has to fight--it is their attitude about the opposite sex, themselves, and their own self-esteem. Resisting pornography has more to do with how I view women than whether or not I have pure thoughts.
I think we do have more in common with the feminist movement than we have been willing to admit.