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Abuse can be found in many arenas, but when it is combined with religious positions of power it seems even more insidious. Religion has been used to cover up scandal, to justify bad behavior, to defend the powerful, and to silence the powerless. Clergy sexual abuse, financial exploitation, misogynistic practices, and disregard for community members' welfare have occurred within many different religious traditions.

Patheos writers explore these troubled areas as they emerge into the public light and reflect on causes and consequences.


Most Recent Posts

The Reason Broken=Beautiful

The Reason Broken=Beautiful

Reba Riley

Being broken is destruction—yes, it's pain and filth and ugliness and wondering how you'll ever breathe—or believe—again. But a break is also an opportunity.

Why Every Pastor Should Spend an Hour on Ex-Christian.Net

Why Every Pastor Should Spend an Hour on Ex-Christian.Net

Kyle Roberts

The more you read, the more you realize how traumatic the church and the spirituality it disseminates can be.

Within the Trauma, a Blessing

Within the Trauma, a Blessing

Bruce Epperly

No one wants to revisit a trauma, but it is possible that within the trauma there is a blessing.

Post Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Review

Post Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Review

Ty Phillips

Reba's story takes us on a hilarious and jarring ride through the mind and life of the ultra right wing and dare I say, not a small and fringe portion of Christianity.

Spiritual Healing: Run Toward Your Fear

Spiritual Healing: Run Toward Your Fear

Christine Kraemer

Reba Riley's new book attempts to push her boundaries by exploring the wounds she carried from leaving her childhood religion.

10 Ways To Deal With Your Church Trauma

10 Ways To Deal With Your Church Trauma

Benjamin L. Corey

My hope and prayer is that church trauma will come to simply mark one of the stops on our journey instead of the final landing place.

Leaving the Church: Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome Is Real

Leaving the Church: Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome Is Real

Reba Riley

"I can tell you there are thousands, maybe even millions of us. I can tell you that I recovered, that healing is available."

Reba Riley's New Book:

Reba Riley's New Book: "Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome"

Reba Riley

Reba Riley's yearlong journey of recovery—visiting thirty different religions before her thirtieth birthday.

3 Signs It's a Sexual Abuse Cover-Up

3 Signs It's a Sexual Abuse Cover-Up

Jennifer Fitz

This is me explaining the ingredients I put into my scenarios that, in my experience, are common characteristics of covert abuse.

Sexual Abuse and The Pressure to Forgive

Sexual Abuse and The Pressure to Forgive

John Shore

If you've been sexually abused, the last thing on earth you need to worry about is forgiving your abuser.

Understanding Religion and Abuse

6 Truths About

6 Truths About "Forgiving" Sexual Abuse

John Shore

If you are burdened by the notion that you are not forgiving the person who sexually abused you, please consider these truths about forgiveness.

Would Your Kids Know What to Do If Someone Molested Them?

Would Your Kids Know What to Do If Someone Molested Them?

Simcha Fisher

There are always going to be predators in the world. What you can do is give your kids a clue about what to do if someone is behaving badly.

More Commentary

What Did Josh Duggar's Counseling Look Like?

What Did Josh Duggar's Counseling Look Like?

Libby Anne

I can't say for sure what Duggar's counseling looked like, but I can speak to the counseling Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute provides.

10 Marks of Fundamentalism

10 Marks of Fundamentalism

Erin Wathen

Based on the response to last week's post about the Duggars, it's clear we need to have some clarification around the word "Fundamentalism."

When Yet Another Conservative Folk Hero Implodes

When Yet Another Conservative Folk Hero Implodes

Mark Shea

It was a sin and a crime. And soft-pedaling it only invites the scorn such euphemism richly deserves.

When Perpetrators Matter More Than Victims

When Perpetrators Matter More Than Victims

Libby Anne

When it comes to a threat to safety posed by unreported child sexual abuse, suddenly what matters is protecting the abuser?

Abuse Happens in Progressive Churches, Too

Abuse Happens in Progressive Churches, Too

David R. Henson

Now, when you are tired of talking about it. Now, when you've moved on to the next social media buzz. Now is the time to talk about abuse in the church.

Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Children

Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Children

Suzanne Titkemeyer

One good thing to result from the Duggar scandal is that it has pushed the taboo subject of the sexual abuse of children into the spotlight.

Finally Heard? The Duggar Aftermath

Finally Heard? The Duggar Aftermath

Melissa

For years survivors of the fundamentalist christian homeschool movement have told our stories. Now will we be heard?

Duggars Should Have Lost the Right to Home School

Duggars Should Have Lost the Right to Home School

Jonny Scaramanga

In the state of Arkansas, where the Duggars reside, it is illegal to homeschool if there is a sex offender present in the home.

The Oldest Son of a Quiverfull Family Reflects on the Duggars

The Oldest Son of a Quiverfull Family Reflects on the Duggars

Peter Mosley

I grew up Quiverfull, as the oldest in a family with seven kids so this story hits closer to home.

The FIRST Thing to Do When Suspecting Abuse

The FIRST Thing to Do When Suspecting Abuse

Benjamin L. Corey

Sexual abuse is a serious crime and is not something that can ever be handled as a private family matter or as an internal church matter.