The #Metoo Movement is at the forefront of news coverage. You read about it in newspapers, see it in your Facebook feed, and maybe you’ve had some conversations about it with your coworkers or family. But how do you talk about it with your students?
The #Metoo Movement targets three main groups: Abusers, Survivors, and Advocates. Abusers are people misusing their power or privilege and affecting a person’s life forever, a survivor is a person who is now dealing with the lasting-effects of abuse, and an advocate is anyone willing to follow the #Metoo mission: “Support survivors and end sexual violence”.
As you, and your students, read Scripture you will see these groups. In fact, a large majority of the Bible deals with the same categories of people as the #Metto Movement, but with slightly different titles. There is the Empire, those using their power to mistreat and take advantage of others; the “powers and principalities”. This was the Babylonians, the Romans, the corrupt Jewish kings, sometimes the Pharisees, and sadly sometimes even those claiming to be Christians. Then there’s the Oppressed, the one’s being mistreated, marginalized, and controlled by the Empire’s forces. These people are taken advantage of, and face lasting effects and traumas. Finally, there’s those who follow the God of the Universe, the ones who stand up for the Oppressed, and live distinctly from the Empire. This is a large component of Gospel narrative. Do you see the connection?
Do you want to talk to your students about the #Metoo Movement? Do it! Tell them that this conflict is a part of a long line of Empire/Oppressed relationships. Read Old Testament stories of Empire/Oppressed situations, show them how God is always on the side of the marginalized (Psalm 72:4, Jer 7:5-7, Amos 9:7-8). Show them how Jesus judged the Empire around him, and loved the oppressed. Share stories of historic Christians who stood up against their Empires, in support of the Oppressed. History seems to repeat itself. The faces have changed, the conflicts have changed, but three things have not:
- There have always been Abusers and Survivors.
- God’s opinion on the topic has never changed.
- Followers of God have stood up as Advocates of God’s truth.
Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. The #Metoo Movement is not “same old, same old.” God wants us to be on the side of the hurting, the broken, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the afflicted. That is why this dimension of the #Metoo Movement is of the utmost importance! It needs to be discussed, supported, and taken seriously, because God takes abuse and care of the oppressed seriously!
Teach your students that this Movement is a contemporary opportunity to be a part of a narrative spanning thousands of years, and that they have the opportunity to be God’s Advocates: Supporting survivors and ending abuse.
USED WITH PERMISSION FROM Stephen Kennedy