1/19/2010

Pastors and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and Christianity are two terms that never belong together. Many people enjoy a close relationship with their pastors, clergy or other religious leaders. Maybe that's why we feel betrayed when we hear about abuses committed by a pastor or arrest for domestic violence.

Some of the behavior expected by pastors help to hide the crime of domestic abuse. The tendency to put the pastor on a pedestal, the frequent relocation of clergy families, discouraging the spouses of pastors from having a job outside the home... all of these add to the isolation of the victim. Unfortunately, this pattern sometimes ends in death. Domestic violence homicides are always an outrage. That it happens in clergy families is even more despicable.

Right now, Yahoo News is reporting than the ex-mistress of a minister testified that the pastor murdered his wife. Previously, WAFF reported on a pastor who turned himself in on charges of domestic violence. The blog Because it Matters - Freedom from Abuse in Christianity reports on yet another pastor who was arrested.

The good news is that most pastors are not abusers. The percentage of ministers who are domestic abuse  offenders is small. It is the small minority of abusive pastors who garner the attention of the national media.

Pastors who load supply trucks with items going to 3rd world countries isn't news anymore. Pastors who stay late to help someone with a problem, buy a food box for a parishioner, tithe, organize youth trips or senior outings, prepare sermons or are called away from family celebrations just aren't front page material.

Let's face facts, it is this kind of minister who deserves the front page space, not a pastor who is domestic violence abuser.

If you have questions about domestic violence the National DV Hotline has answers. 1.800.799.SAFE

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