Stirring the anthill, now what?

Growing up in the country I learned that you do not stir the anthill. The ants minded their own business but when they were stirred, they scattered and went everywhere. The #metoo and #churchtoo has stuck a stick in the anthill.

An official in the 2,100-church South Carolina Baptist Convention has stepped down for unspecified reasons, adding to a number of men quietly leaving Southern Baptist jobs in recent weeks. (click to read)

The article in Baptist News goes on to list several men who have quietly left their jobs recently amid the recent focus on sexual misbehavior in churches. The sexual problems are not new, but the focus on those situations is new.

It is new enough that a survey company called our church asking a multitude of questions regarding how the church handles such a thing and if it has ever happened there and also wanted to know how the church handles abuse in the family. In the 12 years I have worked there, this is the first time we have received such a call. Which indicates to me that the anthill has been stirred.

Now what? Will church members finally get enough gumption to stand up to their pastors, to their denominations, and demand real accountability from these leaders?

Apparently not. The “For such a time as this” rally was not for women pastors or for women deacons. That was left off the table. So the people inside the building praising God and themselves, felt safe and secure.

Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded, “We established that every professor in our School of Theology must be qualified to serve as pastor of a Southern Baptist church.” Therefore, every faculty position in the School of Theology is “going to be held by a man. And we say that without apology.”

Chuck Kelly, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, said, “we are committed to the complementarian model of leadership as taught in Scripture.” Therefore, there are roles at the seminary for which a woman is not eligible by virtue of her gender, he said.

David Platt of the International Mission Board wants more missionaries, “With 2.8 billion in the world who have yet to hear the gospel and a room of 10,000 people who have the gospel, God may be calling out more than just these 79,” Platt said.

Neither the Southern Baptist Convention nor the International Mission Board wants women to be the ones who will preach that gospel.

If I had one question to ask SBC pastors, it would be: How does it feel to know that “by virtue of your gender,” you are not denied anything?”

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For such a time as this

The Southern Baptist Convention reaffirmed female submission to all males this week when they proudly affirmed complentarianism. The church is the last holdout for female equality. The first place where a woman should have been equal is proving to be the last place where she will find equality.

SBC Resolution 1 threw flowery prose at women and patted them on the back for their church service (casseroles, children’s ministry, missionaries). Even declared that God calls and gifts women for certain limited roles according to their gender.

They listed 7 WHEREASes to say all this.

Then they RESOLVED 6 times and repeated the same stuff.

Then they ended with the same message to women that they began with:

RESOLVED, that we call upon all Southern Baptists to encourage, cultivate the diverse gifts, calling and contributions of women in biblically appropriate ways.

There you have it. Nothing new. Women are equal-but. But they are limited by what they do and by all who subscribe to the Southern Baptist Convention’s teaching of male headship.

We live in a country where women have won legal rights, but in this country the majority of Christian women have surrendered their Christian rights.

We should never forget those women who bucked the system and who demanded their rights. It was not just for equality for themselves that inspired them to fight. These brave women were looking into the future to a time when all women would be equal. They would be heart-broken to know that 21st century Christian women willingly give up their spiritual rights.

There was a group of brave women and men who attended the “For such a time as this rally” outside the convention hall last week. There was only a handful there. Just as there was only a handful of women who fought for the right to vote and other legal rights that women now have.

Thank God for this handful. You will benefit from it someday. But what we need now for you to stand up and speak up. We are in such a time as this, almost 100 years (1920-2020) since government recognized that women had a voice and could use it.

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How SBC got to this point

Next week, the Southern Baptist Convention meets under a cloud over their top leader, Paige Patterson. Patterson has done his own bad deeds, but he and the SBC and FBC Houston are being sued by a man over a claim of homosexual assault committed by Paul Pressler, who helped Patterson in the conservative takeover of the SBC in 1967.

How did we get here? When a major denomination such as the Southern Baptist Convention speaks, others listen. It is important to know how that transpired because an unimaginable number of Christians have already been affected by this denomination, and their influence continues to grow. The leadership that began the complementarian movement is still in place. They are the presidents and professors in Baptist Seminaries, and pastors of mega churches. What they sowed in 1967 is what we are reaping today. Pay close attention to that date, 1967. This is important because it was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that gave women freedoms that men always had. These Christian leaders reacted vehemently against women. It was a determined, thought-out plan.

Then in 1987-88, The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was written which bedded Southern Baptists with conservative Presbyterians, among others, and also fundamentalist Christian groups Promise Keepers, and Campus Crusade for Christ. Because of their mutual desire to promote oppression of women, these groups that would not normally join together, put aside their theological differences and linked arms. This is in contrast to what Southern Baptists did in 2004 when they withdrew their presence and partnership from the Baptist World Alliance6 (a world-wide organization of Baptists) over their support for women in the clergy. This linking of arms keeps the denominations polarized in whatever efforts some may show in favor of reversing the oppression of women.

That is how women got to this point, and since fundamental Christians are the most influential groups, they are keeping us here. That is worth reading about. Below is a paragraph from the book, The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention. A Brief History, by Rob James and Gary Leaser with James Shoopman, produced by Mainstream Missouri Baptists in 1999. They did not know the rest of the story. What fundamentalists have sown, we have reaped.

“The Café Du Monde in New Orleans was the site of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their plan was written on a paper napkin. Paige Patterson, now president of the largest SBC affiliated seminary, and Paul Pressler were the architects of the plan, and they used their unique knowledge of the inner workings of the SBC to systematically put their people in key positions. This stacked the dominoes in a certain way, and when they started to fall, they continued in the orderly fashion set forth on a table in a café. What began in 1967 was finalized in 1990. “This eleventh election (of a fundamentalist president of the SBC) seals the fundamentalist victory, and they celebrate at Café Du Monde in the French Quarter, where Judge Pressler and Paige Patterson had first conceived the whole plan for the takeover, many years prior.”

Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler earnestly believed that reigning in knowledge and cultural changes, and binding the scriptures to inerrancy would bring about a stronger Southern Baptist Convention and growth. They were successful, but they were wrong.

SBC Membership Declines for the 5th straight year was reported in Baptists Briefs7 on June 25, 2012. The record year for baptisms was in 1972.

So what? What does this mean? Why should you be concerned if you are not a Baptist? Perhaps you do not even like Baptists, and you think this has no meaning for you. It affects you because Southern Baptists are the second largest Christian religion group (behind Roman Catholics) in the United States.

Perhaps your pastor graduated from an SBC affiliated seminary that gives power to, and holds in esteem, such non-Baptists as Wayne Grudem, Mark Driscoll, and a multitude of others. They teach that the pastor (who must be male) is in control of his church, and that women are to be eternally submissive to all males, forever. Wayne Grudem co-edited Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood with John Piper. This is a bible of sorts and is still a bestselling book. Grudem’s Systematic Theology is the teaching book at these same Baptist seminaries, and he, along with others, has centered his theology around women’s lower status to man’s higher status before God, and before all other males.

What happened in New Orleans affects you and me, because complementarian patriarchal churches do not remain static. Churches are constantly changing, and these changes are brought on by influences of larger churches. Just as hell-fire and brimstone is not the hot topic today as it was 50 years ago, the new hot topic is the bedroom and the husband’s authority throughout the home and in the church, and the insinuation that husbands represent Christ, in bed and in church. This theology came from somewhere and it is my belief that it was conceived on the paper napkin at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans in 1967.

Throughout this book, we have seen how a decision made almost 50 years ago has affected other Christian denominations. What decision will you make that will rectify their bad judgment?

excerpt from my book Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source

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Domino 3 – Bruce Ware

Bruce Ware is the professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. At a church in Denton, Texas, he gave husbands an excuse for abusing their wives—that of being a sinner, as if sinners are not to be held accountable.

In June 2008, at a Bible church in Denton, Texas,  Bruce Ware, a founding member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said, “And husbands on their parts, because they’re sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged—or, more commonly, to become passive, acquiescent, and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and in churches.”

Ware says in effect that men can do one of two things when wives do not submit: they can become abusive, or they can become meek and passive. While this is shocking to us, it is more so when we realize that this is exactly the language of the Danvers Statement in their Affirmations. Affirmation #4 says “In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity.”

When men in that congregation heard Ware say that men can choose to abuse their wives, every man in that congregation should have stood up and said “Not my daughter, he won’t!”

They did not. But you can. Stand up and say, “No man has the excuse to abuse my daughter for any reason, even if he thinks she is not submitting enough.”

This “headship” teaching causes suffering, because there is no way men, or women for that matter, can have the kind of god-like power that the Danvers Statement and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 bestows without it having dangerous consequences as seen by Ware’s statement.

This is a teaching that directly impacts homes, subjecting whole families to whatever kinds of leadership husbands decide they are divinely entitled to. The BF&M 2000 Section on the Family says “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.”

When men are taught they have authority over women, this complementarian teaching that was born in churches and nurtured in Christian families, bleeds out into society. Both men and women who never go to church are influenced by it. Often it results in abuse of wives and girlfriends in both church and society.

Wives lose their status in marriage and come under the domination of the husband to whatever degree of submission he decides he wants. Girls are raped, sex trafficked, beaten, and murdered because females have been devalued. This devaluation produces long-term detrimental effects, and women and families suffer because of it.

Because complementarians push second-class citizenship for women in churches, when they advocate for abused women in shelters they come across as hypocrites. Church ministries spend time and money bandaging the wounds of those afflicted by male dominance, but they will not address the teaching that causes it. As Jesus said, “they will not lift a finger” to change it. In fact, they continue to perpetuate it.

They didn’t stand up for their daughters and they won’t do it now. But somebody has to. Will that be you?

Read A Cry for Justice: Paige Pattersons been exposed now Bruce Ware must be exposed.

Excerpt from my book “Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition

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Domino 2 – John Piper, does a wife submit to abuse?

John Piper, who, along with Paige Patterson, founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and who is quoted extensively in the pulpit, says this about women submitting to abuse in their marriage:

“She may have to endure being smacked and then she goes to the church and the church will deal with it.” (Does a woman submit to abuse?)

Piper does not mention going to the police. The church will deal with it, he says. Maybe with Sharia Law, the religious body deals with it. Maybe in the Mormon church, they will deal with it. But no church that I know of has the power or authority to deal with domestic problems. And I bet you anything, Piper doesn’t know of one that has the authority either. I wonder how many wives went to his church when their husbands “smacked” them.

John Piper gives a titillating story of a husband asking his wife to join in group sex in that same 4 minute youtube, Does a woman submit to abuse? He says that if a husband asks his wife to engage in group sex, she cannot submit to him because she has a greater obligation to submit to Christ and this would not be pleasing to Christ. So she says something like:

“Honey, I want so much to follow your leadership as God calls me to do that. It would be sweet for me if I could enjoy your leadership. But I can’t go there.”

Notice that there is no condemnation for a husband who would ask his wife to engage in group sex, but, instead, an explanation is issued of how she can continue to honor and obey such a man who would lead her into sin. He remains her leader even though he has just attempted to lead her into immorality.

Complementarians claim they do not want women to be doormats, but it is not these teachers of the law who are actually living in those marriages. If a husband wants his wife to be a doormat, she will be a doormat. That is what the submission doctrine is about—freedom and monarchy for husbands, but limits, servitude, obedience and bondage, if the husband so decrees, for wives.

If the husband in Piper’s example decides his wife shall engage in group sex, she will engage in group sex. Even if she used Piper’s syrupy words to excuse herself from participating in sin, if her husband believes he has the right to force her to submit to him in everything, she must comply or face the consequences. According to Bruce Ware, if the wife does not submit to her husband, it is understandable to complementarians (because men are sinners, Ware said) when the husband beats her for non-submission.

We will discuss Bruce Ware in Domino 3

Ruth Tucker knows John Piper personally. Recommended reading “Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife : My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse” by Ruth A. Tucker

A Cry for Justice (John Piper is living in a parallel universe, says Ruth Tucker in interview)

From my book Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition

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Let the dominoes fall

So Dr Paige Patterson got fired. But those who fired him knew all this time how he felt about women. It is right there in The Danvers Statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and it is right there in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. It is right there for all to see.

They know it. They also agree with it.

They have not denounced either one of those statements and they will not. Paige is just the fall boy. Patterson is old, involved in another lawsuit about homosexuality assault (along with the Southern Baptist Convention and Houston First Baptist Church).

So, what is it going to take to change their minds about women’s equality? The secular world led this charge and they got rid of Paige.

But wait! There are others who need to be called to account. John Piper, Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, and Denny Burk all need to apologize for the damage they have done and continue to do against women.

If your church denies women doing any of these things: take up the offering, pass out attendance pads, hand out bulletins, read scripture out loud in church, teach men in Sunday School, be a deacon (oh, my soul, what blasphemy!) preach (oh, I am about to faint – can’t have women preachers), speak up. One giant has toppled, Give a push – push the others out your way – and claim your equality.


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Pentecost – the Advocate

Today is Pentecost Sunday which is observed in many churches, while others ignore it altogether. This Sunday completes Easter, and is also called the Birthday of the Church.

Mary at the tomb completes the picture of Jesus and women. But the story does not end there. This is where you come in. This is how I can assure you that women are equal – No Buts.

Jesus promised an Advocate, the Holy Spirit. He told them to wait for the Holy Spirit.

Women, Jesus did not promise you a husband to lead you! He promised the Holy Spirit to lead you and advise you. Listen to what Jesus said.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16

Women, that Advocate is not your husband. It is the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t mention husbands, and why would he? Nowhere does Jesus tell women that they are to be ruled or lead by their husbands. In fact, these four women had no husbands leading them.

Women are Equal – No Buts: We have been powered by the same Source.

Suggested reading:
Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition
Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source
Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood


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Like Mother, like Daughter

This Mother’s Day, preachers will preach on the glory of motherhood, and some preachers will preach on the glory of womanhood (submissive women), but I want to preach on a different kind of motherhood. I want to tell you the story of Sarah in the Bible, mother of nations. I want women to know that in 1 Peter 3:1-6, we have the promise of being like Sarah, a mother of a nation of new believers.

Let’s begin:

Some like to quote Peter when he said Sarah called Abraham “master” in Genesis 18:12, “So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” The New International Version Bible uses the word “master,” unlike other translations that use the word “Lord.”

It is impossible to connect 1 Peter 3:1-6 to the words of Sarah found in Genesis to support the doctrine of wifely submission, but Bruce Ware, one of the founding members of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, attempts to do just that in his book, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity as Theological Foundation for Family Ministry.1

Ware writes, “I find it astonishing that it is in this text, of all New Testament passages that teach on husband and wife relations, that the strongest language is used to describe a wife’s submission! Peter appealed to Sarah as an example and said that she “obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” (1 Pet 3:6a), indicating that they would be Sarah’s “children” if they fearlessly followed this example.”

Ware, who is a professor of Christian Theology, has missed the beautiful promise of this passage. The promise is not that women would be Sarah’s children if they are submissive, but that they would become mothers like Sarah because they themselves would be founding a new nation of believers, not by giving birth in the physical sense, but by spreading the gospel message so people can be born again by the spirit.

To emphasize, Peter does NOT tell wives they are Sarah’s daughters if they submit to their husbands like Sarah did. What he DOES say was startling, and likely raised the hairs on their heads by its audacity. Peter tells these women that “like mother, like daughter” and just as their mother Sarah birthed a new nation, they, too, are birthing a new nation of believers.

We can interpret Peter’s words something like this, “That was the way it was done back in Sarah’s day, but things have changed. We are now under grace by faith, not under the law. You have done what is right in becoming Christ-followers, and are Sarah’s daughters—children of the freed woman—if you do not fear as you keep following Christ, and, like Sarah, you will birth this new nation of God’s people.”

Again, Paul says the same thing:

“Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother (Sarah)….Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:21-26, 31).

Mothers of a nation of believers!

1 Peter 3 contains a powerful promise of building a nation of believers that is for all time.

Twenty-first century Christian women are also children of the free woman, but some still choose to cling to Hagar by holding to a master/slave relationship with their husbands, and pastors still enforce this type of submission, even when they know it is wrong.

Sarah is mentioned four times in the New Testament, three of which are specifically about her becoming the mother of a nation. 1 Peter 3:6 is too, but the greater truth of it has been neglected. By passionately claiming the first part of the scripture that says wives must submit to their husbands, the promise it held for New Testament wives has been ignored. This particular reference to Sarah in 1 Peter 3:6 emphasizes the new covenant and has those new Christian women actively participating in the ministry of the gospel by birthing a nation of believers (1 Peter 3:6; Hebrews 11:11; Romans 4:19; Galatians 4:2-26, 31).

Wives, continue in your marriages even if your husbands are unbelievers, for by doing so, you will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers.

Male headship is dethroned when Peter told Christian women that they will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers.

From my book “Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition

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My plea to Dr. Paige Patterson

It is not egalitarians that is bringing down the complementarian giants. It is the giants themselves. And, again, it is because the secular world has led the way. Dr Paige Patterson is coming under fire because of a 2000 interview in which he said he was happy that a woman had two black eyes because her husband hit her, and for other outrageous statements that he has made about women.

Dr.  Patterson has not given up yet, but he is taking a beating on twitter and blogs and in the minds of many Christian egalitarians. The Southern Baptist Convention will stand beside him and a showdown is coming because he is on the program to speak in June at their annual meeting.  We’ll see what happens but many are calling for him to recuse himself and let somebody else speak that day.

 Note: Patterson is the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX, and a co-founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and also helped instigate the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which prohibits women from pastoring a church and declares that wives are to submit to their husbands.

In 2015, I wrote to Dr. Patterson and sent him a copy of my book Dethroning Male Headship. I offered to meet with him.

April 17, 2015
Paige Patterson
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2001 W Seminary Dr
Fort Worth, TX  76115

Dear Dr Patterson,

Would you spare a few minutes for me to sit down and talk with you?

There was a man named Stephen who spoke the Word of God, but the religious men of the town connived against him. The young man Saul approved of the murder of Stephen and held their cloaks while they threw the stones. Armed with righteous fervor, Saul tried to destroy the church; going from house to house, he dragged out the believers, both men and women, and threw them into jail.

Saul knew the Law. He was determined that the Law would be honored because God wanted that. So he set about doing it. But he was wrong.

Saul knew only part of the story. He knew God wanted righteousness, but Saul thought he knew what that righteousness was. Saul had not encountered the risen Christ.

While the new-born church body was gathering converts, Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. Until one day he came face to face with Jesus himself.

I refuse to believe that it is too late to stop the teaching against women that is causing so much harm to the church body. I believe that it can be reversed. I believe that God is even now speaking to hearts of those who have persecuted women while citing the Law.

I believe that you can use your considerable influence to setting this right. I would love to meet with you for a few minutes in your offices or if you are in the Houston area.

Your sister-in-Christ,
Shirley Taylor
Street Evangelist for women’s equality

Got a reply from Dr Patterson:

Thank you for your letter of April 17 along with the book “Dethroning Male Headship.” In a sense, I am not fully certain why you wrote me. Obviously I am on the other side of this issue. You, of course, have every right to hold your position and to propound your position whenever and wherever you want.

The issue in the final analysis is not really about gender, however. It is about the sacred Scriptures. Given the extensive misrepresentations of our own positions that I read in your book I do not think anything is served for us to sit down and talk. Especially is that true when all such discussions take away from the time we might spend leading men and women to faith in Jesus Christ.

 Thank you, however, for the communication and may God richly bless you in every way.

Until He Comes, Paige Patterson.

I would like to tell Dr. Patterson that it is still not too late to make this right. It is too late to make amends to the women you have harmed by denying their calling, but it is not too late to stop harming young women and girls who feel called to preach, yet are denied that privilege and responsibility by the Southern Baptist Convention.

He is coming under fire because of a 2010 interview in which he said he was happy that a woman had two black eyes because her husband hit her.

Stand up and be a man, Dr. Paige.

Suggested reading:


Also my books

Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition
Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source
Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood

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Mega abuse from mega pastor

Why did Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church think it was all right to make sexual advances toward the women on his church staff and with other women?  What kind of excuses did he make for himself every weekend when he stood before 25,000 people assembled there to hear the gospel? The accusations began decades ago, long before the #metoo movement. But they were dismissed – swarms of people kept coming to church, money poured in, and Willow Creek with Bill Hybels reached star level. Wanna-be megapreachers studied his methods and tried to apply them to their own congregations.

The leaders believed Hybels.

But what did he believe about himself? Did he try to convince himself that the women were at fault for tempting him?

 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Genesis 3:12

Was God at fault for giving him this desire to dominate women?

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Was his wife at fault for something?

So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than (his wife) Leah, and served Laban for another seven years. Genesis 29:30.

He admitted a tiny, tiny little bit of responsibility, calling himself “naive.”  This megapreacher Rev. Bill Hybels said that “he had placed himself in situations that would be far wiser to avoid. I was naive … I commit to never putting myself in similar situations again.”

“I won’t ever do it again!” But he got away with it for years. Long enough for him to build his empire and wealth and retire.

The 25,000 people who came to hear him did not all know what he had done. But listen to their response upon hearing of his early retirement.

Some members of his congregation shouted “No!” in response to his decision, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation following his address. 

What is your response to abuse of women? Make no mistake about it. Men who make unwanted sexual advances toward women are abusing women. The church gives men this right to dominate women.


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