The #MeToo Movement

February 14, 2018

February 14th, 2018

If there’s one thing sacred in the spiritual and practical life of the church it is marriage – and all the expressions of intimacy that belong to the realm of marriage.  In fact, we are one of very few churches in the world that teach the potential for marriage with all its proper delights in heaven.  So it is with very mixed emotions that we note the swelling tide of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in business, academic, entertainment and political venues.

On one hand, it’s about time!  To the extent that these crimes have been perpetuated over decades without real recourse for the victims we ought collectively to be ashamed.  On the other hand, now that the pervasiveness of this abusive culture is coming to light, and women especially are being empowered to speak their truth, we have new opportunities to address the problem at its root.

One way we can do this is by learning to appreciate the distinctive, complementary qualities in men and women, and really advocating for the respect that is due to both.  Many secular studies have featured these distinctive qualities but nothing explains them better than the book on marriage by Emanuel Swedenborg ( or his simplified treatment of the same in the book on heaven and hell

Seeing our differences, we can recognize and honor the special gifts each brings to the other, and avoid any abuse of power as we strive to serve one another in good faith and decorum.

At the same time we can take a stand against the objectification of either sex, especially in the form of so-called “adult” literature and films.  Far from being designed for mature audiences these invariably appeal to the prurient interests of adolescent minds incapable of appreciating the selfish cravings they represent.  Furthermore exposure to these things desensitizes everyone to the psychological and spiritual power of sex as a means of achieving real fulfillment in the heavenly relationship of marriage.

When God in the story of creation blessed mankind and told them to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28) He was not referring to domination of the whole physical world.  Fish represent things we learn, birds our thoughts, and living things all the loves and affections within ourselves.  In short it’s all about self-discipline and self-control.  If we can just learn this one lesson we will all be blessed, and no one will be abused or victimized.

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