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"Tony Robinson is one of the most active church leaders in the United States, greatly in demand as he teaches congregations and denominations about church life. His work has a deep theological underpinning, which many congregational-development gurus don't have."

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author of The Gospel and the New York Times and And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament

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Posted October 18, 2016:

Take Back Your Shame, I Donít Want It

Say this for Donald Trump: he has put matters on our common agenda that need to be faced, that need to be talked about.

Matters like sexual harassment and abuse.

One reliable and awful element of sexual abuse and harassment is that those who are victims of it experience shame. It is illogical. It is not right. Yet victims of sexual abuse feel deeply ashamed. As if they have done something wrong. As if somehow it is their fault. As if they have brought this upon themselves.

That shame results in silence. No one is told. No help is sought. No report made. The devil wins.

But one of the goods things about the current outcry is that victims are saying to perpetrators, ďTake this shame, itís yours. It doesnít belong to me. I donít want it. I donít need it. It belongs to you.Ē

In the perversions of a sexist and violent culture, the perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment have counted themselves victors, smart, cool, cunning and entitled. Listen to Trump. Thatís what you hear. Pawing women was my due. Demeaning women is my right.

When what they, and he, should really be experiencing is shame. Shame for their behavior. Shame for the ways they have taken advantage of their power. Shame for their attacks on the vulnerable. Shame for the most failure of human decency.

Now women, almost all of whom have experienced some level of harassment, if not outright abuse, are rising up to say, ďItís your shame. Take it, I wonít have it.Ē

This seems to me a very powerful inversion. The victims are taking power back. They are refusing a victim mentality. They are putting the shame where it belongs, and it doesnít belong to them.

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