A few notes on this story…
We did not take this to the media. The public outcry and interest in the story brought it to the media’s attention. Our goal all along has been to create accountability and action for the church involved, seeking justice for these women, and this is what’s come of it. Christa and LIz specifically stated they did not want to go to the media directly, as this has never been about revenge, but justice. We intentionally did not seek out media attention as we wanted to give the church time to do what was right. We say this to make it clear to anyone reading that we have tried to de-center ourselves from this as much as possible and point to the brave and courageous women who came forward. This has nothing to do with getting website hits or episode downloads. We make no money doing this podcast and want to make our motivations clear.
We also want to publicly say that there are people who attend this church that are incredibly good and kind people who knew nothing about what happened. Please don’t condemn all the people for the actions (inaction) of their leadership. On the podcast, we often use sweeping generalizations when we challenge the church, offering the caveat occasionally that we know it’s not everyone. We want to toe that line very carefully in bringing attention to stories such as this. Generally, we don’t worry too much about peoples hurt feelings when we challenge the church as we want everyone to recognize the larger systemic issues. In this case, it became especially apparent that real people are being swept up in this story and are hurting. They are catching a small glimpse of the pain Christa and Liz have felt all along. To those that knew and did nothing, we want you to ask yourselves why and move forward with the appropriate changes and a firm resolve to do better. But to those that didn’t know, or people who came to Rosewood after all of this happened and couldn’t have known, it’s not your fault. Be kind to them. Many of these people are he same ones that will be calling for accountability now and we want to offer our support and encouragement to them. Whatever your thoughts are on the church at large and whether it’s all worth it or not, there are good and kind people that are hurting. Be gentle with those who deserve gentleness. Only take the gloves off for those who refuse to acknowledge their role in this.
When media approached us to talk and use the podcast, we agreed with the hope and desire to see this start/continue a more open and honest conversation on #churchtoo and how churches deal with allegations against church leadership. Our motivation has never been to destroy or hurt the church, but to see it become what we believe it can be. We believe shining a light on this mess is the only way to get rid of the darkness. Our encouragement to everyone involved is to ask your church leadership what their policies and procedures are. Ask how they would handle a situation like this. If it’s anything even remotely like this, then advocate for change. Demand better.
As one of our favourite artist/activist/role models Andre Henry says regarding injustice, it doesn’t have to be this way.