Sexual Harassment

Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly – the very names of these very accomplished men have become linked to sexual harassment, a heinous act that these men callously did over and over again.

For the very few famous men who have been caught, there are many more silent situations where women and some men have been, and continue to be subjected to, unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

The deployable habits of these men, clergy, coaches, teachers, supervisors, and even presidents, who use positions of power, positions of trust, and positions of superior physical strength to impose their demented form of pleasure on others, is in no way condoned by God.

Many may be surprised that the word of God is not silent about the wrongness of sexual harassment, the evilness of sexual assault, and the depravity of rape. God makes it abundantly clear that when these malicious acts are committed, ultimately, they will not go unpunished.

In Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, was violated by the son of a neighboring ruler, her brothers murdered the rapist, killed his father, and all the men of his city out of revenge.

Joshua 19-21 tells the story of the unnamed concubine was gang-raped, and left for dead by men of the tribe of Benjamin. In hearing of this injustice, the other tribes went to war against them destroying houses and taking land.

After Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon, 2 Samuel 13 tells us that Tamar’s Brother, Absalom killed Amnon, and incited a rebellion against his father, King David.

God is grieved by sexual harassment, and all forms of injustice. While many have suffered and many more will suffer from sexual harassment, we, the disciples of Christ must know that God sees what is going on.

As we have seen in Scripture, these acts of evil will be avenged one day. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but hopefully in the lifetime of my Granddaughters. As Martin Luther King, Jr. would often say paraphrasing Amos 5:24 “Justice will roll down like waters,”
and righteousness will come like an ever-flowing stream.

In the meantime, as disciples of Christ we should consider doing these four things:

  1. Go to the Lord in prayer, and ask for healing for the victims, deliverance for those who are bound, and forgiveness for those who are the harassers.

  2. Demand zero tolerance for any acts of sexual harassment in our churches, our workplaces, our schools, and our lives.

  3. Search ourselves to identify any tendencies of sexual harassment, hate and bigotry, and when we find them, ask the Lord to blot them out.

  4. Speak out whenever we witness, or are victims of sexual harassment. “Me too” must become more than a hashtag. It must become the mantra for all our actions.

Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly – these are the names we know, but there are many more who we do not know. The past, and even our present may seem dark as allegations of sexual harassment continue to mount. However, we can take comfort that God is in control, and one day, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess the evil acts of sexual harassment and that Jesus Christ is Lord!

What to do with Mr. Cosby

If the allegations are true and the overwhelming evidence  suggest that they are, Bill Cosby is a rapist.  And he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Mr. Cosby was considered a national treasure and given honors from the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the title of America’s Favorite Father.

Those accolades were earned because of Mr. Cosby’s many charitable activities in support of the arts, education and the American family.

That lifetime of achievement, excellence and goodwill is gone.  Since we now know that the man we all loved and admired as Doctor Huxtable.  Used drugs to lure women into unwanted sex and as President Obama said recently, “That is rape”.

Regardless of the judicial findings those of us who have been touched by Mr. Cosby’s comic brilliance, his stand for civil rights or his classic television shows maybe wondering as I am:  What to do with Mr. Cosby?

Knowing what I know now:

-Should I continue to enjoy the Cosby Show?

-Should I show my grandchildren the African art he contributed to the Smithsonian?

-Should I be in support the movement to strip him of all honors including the Medial of Freedom?

What should I do with Mr. Cosby?

For an answer to that question I myself asked another question: “What would Jesus do? “

As recorded in Luke’s gospel, Jesus spoke with Simon Peter before leaving the Upper Room after the Last Supper, warning him of the coming test.

“Peter, let me tell you something. Between now and tomorrow morning when the rooster crows, you will deny me three times, declaring that you don’t even know me.”  Luke 22: 34 NLT

And what did Jesus do?  – He forgive Peter and rooted for His redemption.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, with the ability to strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31-32 NLT.

The very purpose of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross is not only forgiveness but also for redemption.

So what should we to do with Mr. Cosby?

– Yes he has done bad things

– Yes he should be punished

– Yes he has betrayed our trust

But so did Peter and what did Christ do with him?

However, more importantly in our lives

  • We will do bad things – and will have people who will do bad things to us.
  • We will betray and deny those who are close to us – and will have the same done to us.
  • We will sin and – be sinned against

Therefore, like Christ:

I will forgive Mr. Cosby.

I will hope in his punishment that he will repent and find help

And I will root for his redemption.

While doing all of this I will pray that Jesus will forgive me and redeem me for the wrong I have done.

For Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.