You don’t matter to the men of the Christian Right.
If you haven’t learned that by now, listening to high-profile Evangelists and preachers rush to defend Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments regarding women, his attitude toward them, and his conduct around them—I hope you finally get it.
They have contempt for you.
To them, you aren’t separate but equal, as they might claim from the pulpit. You may be made in the image of God, but not in the same way that they are. You are inferior. You are lesser than. You are Adam’s rib meat; baby machines, meal preparers, arm candy, pleasure tools designed by God for men to use as they desire. Some of these men of God will have the guts to actually say this, others will simply prove it to you. They are proving it to you now. Listen to them.
It’s why inconceivably, these men can manage to dismiss Trump’s recent words as harmless “locker room talk”; you know, just guys being guys, talking about grabbing women by their genitalia and forcing physical advances upon them. This is natural to them. This is acceptable. This is what goes on in the heads of men who believe that God is a dude and that women brought sin. In their twisted patriarchal world, all men act this way, all men talk this way, all men think this way.
No, we don’t—but they do.
If these professed men of God truly acknowledged your inherent value, they would be fiercely defending you right now, instead of Donald Trump. They would be openly condemning such disregard for the image of God within you, and sharply severing their ties with him—but many of them they aren’t. They’re making excuses. They’re blaming the victim. They’re doubling down. They’re digging in their manly heels right now.
And it’s not because they want to have the ear of the next President. They surely do.
And it’s not because their allegiance to a political party is far greater than to their faith convictions. That is also true.
And it’s not because they see this as an opportunity to raise their own profiles. You better believe they do.
And it’s not because the Bible they cling to reinforces their superiority. In their hands it does.
But the real reason they’re doing it, is because to them you aren’t worth defending; not your intelligence or your gifts or your worth. As a result, your consent isn’t really a concern either; you may have noticed that. It’s why, in their minds sexual misconduct almost never occurs, and when it does, it’s because you were dressed too provocatively or sending mixed signals, or because their motives were misinterpreted. They don’t believe you have the right to say or no or to be offended. If anything, they believe you should be flattered. This is the hubris of men who think God made you as an accessory.
Surely, the men of the Christian Right defending Donald Trump right now do not represent all Christian men, and definitely not men outside of the Church, which is perhaps the greatest irony here; that the most vigorous defense of his degradation of women is coming from those who most loudly claim they represent God and identify themselves as spiritual leaders.
As a Christian and a pastor and a man, I’d liked to apologize to you for these men and what you endure from them, but I won’t apologize to you on their behalf because that would mean aligning myself with them and I will not do that. They don’t speak for me. They don’t speak for many of us. They certainly don’t speak for God.
But I will tell you that many of us see you; we respect you and we recognize the God in you, and we do condemn Donald Trump’s words, and the culture of disrespect, dehumanization, and misogyny they breed. We condemn when the Bible is used to justify your minimizing and harassment and assault. We won’t stand for these things, because you, our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers; our friends, bosses, coworkers, and our pastors, reflect the character of God to us every day and we are grateful.
We don’t believe you are inferior. We don’t believe you are less than. We don’t believe we get to define you. We don’t believe we get to tell you when you get to say yes or no to us.
You do matter greatly to us—and we’re standing with you.