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Welcome to CBE’s Library

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A brutal grand jury report on clergy abuse of minors in Pennsylvania was published last week. It details a mass cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by more than three hundred priests in Pennsylvania, and outlines the procedures churches employed to protect predatory priests and conceal sexual abuse.

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We should all be asking what healthy masculinity looks like, and celebrating where men manifest that goodness. Here’s my take on the three hallmarks of healthy masculinity.

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A resolution on the “dignity and worth of women” sounds lovely. We’ve got the bones of something empowering here. But these words—women matter—have no purchase without a shift in theology. 

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We asked our supporters what concrete measures churches can take to combat abuse in Christian communities and strengthen their internal response to abuse. Some of you weighed in with some great ideas and examples, which we’ve compiled below.

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Naturally, social hierarchies are safe for those at the top. They’re designed to preserve the existing social structure, which already prioritizes the needs and perspectives of the group with power. Social hierarchies don’t make less powerful people and groups safer. Rather, they exacerbate any vulnerabilities and pose danger and harm to marginalized people.

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It matters that Mary and Jesus are often inaccurately imaged with light skin in the West. It matters that pastors preach on Jacob, David, and Peter but not Rahab, Tamar, and Priscilla. And it matters that, Sunday after Sunday, women don’t see preachers who look like us in the pulpit.

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In stumbling after Jesus, the church has sometimes faltered. Sometimes, we’ve been the ones holding women’s bruised and bleeding hearts in our fists. And sometimes, for all our good gospel intentions, we’ve done the wounding. 

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Last night, Sarah Bessey (we’re fans!) began a conversation about the strange, sexist, abusive, and toxic things Christian women are told on a regular basis. We’ve collected some of the most powerful tweets so far in a list--follow the ongoing conversation happening on twitter under #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear.

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What happens when the hall of theology becomes an echo chamber? What happens when half the sky meets God but the church doesn’t want to hear their story? What happens when the theological insights of women are pressed to the margins of Christianity?

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Patriarchy doesn’t try to erase women because we have been absent or idle. Patriarchy tries to erase women because it judges our stories, experiences, and contributions as less vital than those of men. 

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