Yet again and again, elements within the faith have veered away from Christianity’s egalitarian roots, with biblical teachings distorted in ways that belittle women. The prominent conservative evangelical author and teacher Beth Moore, in an open letter that she published earlier this month, recounted the sexism she has experienced during her years of ministry. She describes being talked down to by male seminary students, being made to feel invisible, and meeting a theologian she had long respected whose first comment to her had to do with her appearance. Her examples “may seem fairly benign in light of recent scandals of sexual abuse and assault coming to light,” she wrote, “but the attitudes are growing from the same dangerously malignant root.”
This attitude of disesteem toward women has given rise to a culture that among other things has discouraged abuse victims from coming forward. So here’s a proposal for evangelical Christians: Let’s confront misogyny and patronizing behavior in our ranks. Stand with the victims of sexual abuse rather than with the perpetrators. Embrace the animating spirit of the Me Too movement. Be public (and private) voices for victims and for justice. Think for a moment how it would look if a watching world saw evangelical leaders give a fraction of the public support to women who have been assaulted compared with the “mulligans” evangelical leaders hand out to Mr. Trump for his sexual transgressions.