Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quote for the Day: Sexual Abuse Rooted in Abuse of Power Reinforced by Silence and Dishonesty

Rev. Giles Fraser

Quote for the day: Giles Fraser at Thinking Anglicans reflects on the implications of the story of Cardinal Keith O'Brien:

Inappropriate sexual relationships, relationships that trade on unequal power and enforced silence, are the product of an unwillingness to speak honestly, openly and compassionately about sex in general and homosexuality in particular. 

And this is why, of course, the attempt of those who hold power in the various churches and of their powerful centrist apologists to dismiss honest discussion of sexual ethical issues--above all, of homosexuality--is really all about shielding power itself from open discussion. The issue of homosexuality and how the churches respond to it has become absolutely central to the discussion of how power is wielded in churches, and, above all, of how it is abused. And so it has become absolutely indispensable to discussions of the sexual abuse crisis within various churches.

The decision by many church officials and journalists and scholars who collude with them to relegate open discussion of homosexuality to the periphery, and to suggest that this is a second-tier issue as church polity, the relationship of the church to the world, questions about ordination, etc., are discussed is, in the final analysis, a decision to shield power itself from transparent inspection. It is also a decision to permit those who hold power in churches to engage in shameful manipulation of memes about homosexual guilt and shame, with the open collusion of the media and the academy--who abdicate their journalistic and scholarly responsibility when they permit closeted gay churchmen to engage in this shameful game-playing without paying any price at all for either their attacks on fellow human beings who happen to be gay, or their hypocrisy.

(Thanks to Crystal Watson of the Perspective blog for bringing Fraser's statement to my attention.)

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