What a week. Charlie Rose. Matt Lauer. Garrison Keillor. All fired for inappropriate sexual behavior. That’s on top of the other recent allegations against men in powerful and influential positions doing inappropriate sexual behavior.
North Korea fires off a missile. The President forwards an anti-Muslim video. Convicted Bosnian war criminal Slobodan Praljak drinks poison in court and dies.
When are the men in powerful and influential positions going to stop this madness?
The world is in an upheaval. At least the world in the US is anyway. Facades are crashing. Facades of men who appeared to be nice guys on TV are falling away. Instead, we are starting to see a different version of these men.
Power and influence can be deadly if they are abused. Deadly to a career and deadly to life too. But this isn’t new. Power and influence have ruined many people’s lives over the centuries.
The Old Testament is full of examples of men in powerful and influential positions doing inappropriate sexual behaviors. King David is a famous example. He had everything an ancient Near East ruler could want – wealth, power, women, etc. Yet, it wasn’t enough. So he pushed the limit – had a man killed so he could have his wife. Inappropriate sexual behavior is as old as humanity.
In Genesis we hear about Judah visiting a prostitute that turned out to be his daughter-in-law. In Judges, Samson has sex with a prostitute. But that’s not the worst. In Genesis Lot’s daughters have sex with him. In Genesis Shechem rapes Dinah. In Numbers, Moses commands his troops to take the virgins they find – “Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.” Deuteronomy says the following about rape – “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” In 2 Samuel, Tamar is raped by Amnon. Even the prophetic books utilize rape metaphors.
I offer these examples in order to say that this is not something new to humanity. In fact it is a sin quite old. And we haven’t moved beyond it. Nor are we done hearing about these allegations. More will come. More will come out about celebrities, politicians, and religious figures.
We are left with a few questions. Where do we go from here? What do we do for the victims? How do we make sure that there aren’t going to be more victims? How do we make sure that no one is above the law – especially those who write the laws and sign them into law? How should our culture change in order to discourage such behavior? How should our entertainment change? How should our internet change? How should we change?
With these allegations being so wide-spread, we need to recognize something important – the issue of inappropriate sexual behavior is in the spot light. Are we open to talk about it?
How about it church? Are we willing to talk about sex in church? Rape? Inappropriate behavior?
Are we also willing to talk about these things without shame? If we wait for our secular leaders to start the conversation, we’ll be waiting a long time. Faith has some things to say about this. Let’s talk.