So, I was debating whether to write this post because I have already read some great points on why this post from the Leadership Journal is so problematic. Long story short: the publication gave a criminally charged sexual predator a platform to “share his story.” I mean, that alone should create some major red flags. How it managed to actually get approved still baffles me. The publication has since then taken the post down and issued an apology, which you can find here.
I first learned of the article through Emily Maynard (@emelina), a person I happen to follow on twitter. [Sidenote: Follow her. Just do it] Emily and many others started the hashtag, #TakeDownThatPost to persuade the appropriate staff at the publication to do the right thing and remove the article. It was so damn touching to see that a bunch of Twitter followers could be the voice for that voiceless victim.
When I saw that article, I knew that I could not be silent. That I needed to be more than a silent participant. As a former victim of sexual abuse, I know all to well, the feeling of shame that engulfs you. The feeling of utter loneliness and despair that consumes your life. The long and hard journey that it takes to reach some sort of healing or just a way to move forward. Multiply all those feelings and emotions, and then imagine being a Christian on top of that. People think that a few Christian-ese phrases can erase the thing that happened to you. It does not. So you don’t want to share because most people who you know can only offer empty words. You don’t really blame them because that’s what Christianity has become. Yet, it should not be like that.
#TakeDownThatPost may be perceived by some as a little thing on a social media website, but it is so much more than that. It is important. Those that feel like that they have no voice because of the things that have happened to them need to know that they are loved. That it is not their fault. That there are people out there that are fighting for them. That their voices are important. Another twitter participant, Micah J. Murray (@micahjmurray) noted, “those who participated in #TakeDownThatPost have shown courage, grace, and true leadership. This is what Christianity can look like today.” I could not have said it better.