As an outspoken advocate against homosexuality in Atlanta, Long is now accused of coercing three young men into a sexual relationship with him. Naturally, the media is all over this.
I’m not too familiar with Long, and many of you might not be either, because he’s just in a different circle from me. I’m not going to spend my time even accusing or condemning Long, and you’ll see why in a minute. But it seems like every few months, the church is just due for a scandal, preferably involving a sordid sexual affair.
I don’t mean to detract in any way from the plight of the victims in these cases. But ironically, it isn’t just the victims who are victimized, but as an honest man, I’m victimized and so are you, and I’m going to tell you why.
My Job Cannot Be My Top Priority
I’ve worked in a few different professions that bring me into contact with kids and teenagers. I’ve worked as a youth leader, pastor and teacher of all different age levels from high school to elementary special education. Men are valued in education because they are relatively rare, especially in special education, and men are valued in churches because they are seen as leaders and role models for kids.
Both of my professions have been stained by stupid, selfish men.
And every time another guy screws up at his job, I can’t make my job my number one priority. I can’t make the kids in my room my top priority. My top priority has to be my safety. I’m not concerning myself with what the kids in my classroom need. I’m concerned with how things appear. For example, many of my special needs kids wanted a lot of hugs. No, no, no. Can’t do that. Have to push a kid away, even if I know they desperately need a hug and aren’t going to get hugs anywhere else. My coworker put himself in harm’s way to keep a young, crying, mentally disabled girl safe from her own dangerous actions on a school field trip, which required a lot of physical contact. What danger was he in? How his actions would appear to know-it-all strangers with cell phone cameras.
We live in a world where a mere accusation is enough to ruin you, because we take this stuff seriously. Kids know that they can call child services and get their parents arrested for no reason. Because of that, I have to look at every kid and ask myself, “Is this kid capable of destroying my life?” There’s just no room for trust. Did you see that Dateline special where child actors were acting lost on the street, and almost none of the men stopped to help? Most men are too scared to even come near a helpless kid, grow a mustache, or wear tiny basketball shorts like the good old days, for fear of looking like a sleezebag. Believe me, I look good in tiny basketball shorts and a mustache, but it’s not worth it.
You could say that being mindful of my relationships with students is a positive outcome, and it certainly is. But it has unintended consequences. The result is going to be more and more men avoiding jobs that involve children, because the risk of even being accused of impropriety is too high. And now that people are all keyed up, searching for pervs in the pulpit or classroom, the risk is higher than ever for us honest guys, while most of the real pervs are unemployed slobs who watch the Disney channel all day.
Hello, I’m a Predator!
When it comes to sex scandals, there really is no such thing anymore as “innocent until proven guilty.” If you’re accused, you’re guilty. And with this attitude, the atmosphere at work has been transformed. I went to employee training a few weeks ago, in a room filled with women. The sexual harassment video featured numerous video clips of male actors harassing women. There was no such thing as a woman harassing anyone. The message was clear: ladies, you should be afraid of the five men in the room.
That’s not fair. It was embarassing to me. Men don’t victimize others. Very few men victimize others. But no matter how well my co-workers or church members know me, they just might, for a second, wonder if I’m the next guy to molest some kids. Because every child molester is the guy you’d “least suspect,” right? Guilt by association. As a Christian, a pastor, a teacher, and a man, my character is slandered and my credibility questioned because of the actions of others.
The End of Men
We know another sex scandal is a black eye on the church. It destroys our credibility. Why would we believe the crusades of Bishop Long, if they turn out to just be the insane ravings of a closeted homosexual who hates himself? Of course, by extension, anyone who is against homosexuality must be a closeted homosexual, goes the logic.
But scandals don’t just end credibility. They end something else. There are still some people who believe that men are necessary, even beneficial every once in a while. Perhaps a man comes in handy when a pickle jar needs opening, or when the rim of your toilet needs to be peed on. But the people who believe men are useful is shrinking, and every scandal is another nail in the coffin for men. Each scandal proves that men only hurt others. At the rate we are going, the end of men is coming.
Women now outnumber men in colleges in America. In the next generation, women will become more the leaders of the world than they ever have been. And as that happens, there will be a growing desire to “stick it to the man,” literally. More women will decide, as some already have, that men are useless. They aren’t needed to make babies. They aren’t needed to raise babies. They aren’t needed as leaders, teachers, pastors, or anything else, because they can be replaced. And if men are nothing but a bunch of wild lunatic monkey phalluses who only hurt others, why not just replace them and get it over with?
What crosses your mind when another scandal breaks? Is the end of men coming, or the end of any sort of credibility in the church? As men or women, parents or church members, how to these scandals affect you?