Posted by: Botolff | February 4, 2009

Is There a Blind Spot?

“I did have some doubts, and I wondered: ‘Is all this absolutely right?’  But then to question the situation, actually to initiate a discussion, would have taken more courage.  And I think it’s also the case that if you value and respect someone, you don’t really want to destroy the image of that person.  You don’t want to know, in fact…if disaster lies behind the facade.”

Is there a possibility that we choose to remain in a “blind spot” when it comes to what happens in many churches? 

Two times after my termination, I talked to the head of the missions committee of the church that got rid of me.  Both times we had conversations about the inappropriate way I was treated by the leadership of the church.  I had funds for a trip I was supposed to take that his team was specifically and exclusively supposed to be in charge of directing….according to a signed agreement given to me by the pastor after my termination.  He and his team were later railroaded by the elders with their own proposal that they handed to him and his committee to sign.  I wrote the head of the missions department a letter asking him why they were making the decisions that they were.  In his response, he blamed me for not letting him know earlier about the conflicts that were happening.  I called him minutes after I got his response to let him know he knew there was a problem as soon as I did, and to ask him why there wasn’t anything being done about what was going on.  His response…”I don’t want to open Pandora’s box.”  I made it clear that the contents of the box have already spilled out all over the place and I’m taking the heat for it.  He said he hoped I’d be able to heal.  I told him I hoped he would step up and take responsibility to address the problem, because redemption and restoration was up to him and the rest of the church.  That was our last conversation for over 5 months.  The other day I got a Facebook invite from him to “be his friend.”  What?  Really?  And people from church have the audacity to suggest that I shouldn’t act so angry.  What else does one do with such abusive non-sense?

I wish those of us who have experienced forced termination could blame it on people sleeping (as if that would really help).  I think a few people are sleeping, but many are not.  They’re awake.  At least awake enough.  They just have their fingers in their ears and their humming “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Either people have been abused so severely themselves that they accept it as a natural part of their daily experience, or they are so scared of their abusers, that they are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the perpetrators are happy in hopes that someday they will be loved by them and not hurt themselves.  If you get the chance, ask a battered wife who has escaped from her abusive husband, how well that last strategy works.  Or a man who has finally escaped the grip of his emotionally manipulative wife, how well that strategy worked for him. 

So many people pretend.  We pretend that these things aren’t happening.  We convince ourselves that “these people” wouldn’t do this.  We idealize folks and treat them like gods worshipping them over the God who himself has proven to be more humble and honest than the people committed to remaining in control.  Speaking of control, what can all this control lead to if control hungry people are left in charge?  Well, I wish we could ask the author of that quote I put at the beginning.  I bet she could tell us.  Her name is Traudl Junge. 

She was Hitler’s personal secretary. 

“Blind Spot- Hitler’s Secretary (2002)” Amazon link here .  Youtube link here.


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