We’ve all seen our fair share of ridiculous church signs, but this one from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Indiana had me particularly gobsmacked:
Stop sexual harassment; wear clothes.
It was an appalling statement, suggesting that women were responsible for sexual assaults against them… rather than the men attacking them. It was the very definition of victim-blaming. It implies that women who cover themselves up — like Muslim women in full burqas — never get harassed or raped. And that’s just not true. The sign completely absolves harassers of any personal responsibility for their actions.
Luckily, the community was outraged:
“As a mom of two daughters, this infuriated me. As a female myself, this infuriated me. As a human being, this infuriated me,” Jeffersonville resident Allyson Condra said.“This brought tears to my eyes, and, I’m sorry, but being a resident in this town of mine that I love, I don’t accept this and I do not see that anyone should accept this,” Jeffersonville resident Melissa Scully said.
“I mean, would you say that to a 6-year-old girl who has been assaulted when they wear overalls and pigtails,” Jeffersonville resident Madilyn Shipman said.
The pastor of the church said he didn’t know who put that sign up, however it was never approved by him. The message was quickly changed after he found out about it. Still, the damage had been done.
I guess we’ll just have to wait for the church’s next signs: “Avoid robbery; don’t own anything.” “Avoid car accidents, walk everywhere.” “Avoid kidnapping, don’t reproduce.”
Those make just as much sense.
(Image via WLKY)