Coronavirus isn’t the only pandemic currently destroying human lives.
Although Covid-19 remains a deadly threat to human lives around the world and warrants a serious response from all of us, we cannot afford to allow this pandemic to turn our focus away from other sinister global forces that persist in actively destroying human lives on a staggering scale.
The brutal death of George Floyd again turned public attention to the pandemic of systemic racism—a history-old pandemic that hasn’t declined. Floyd’s desperate yet unheeded cry for mercy “I can’t breathe!” recharged the #BlackLivesMatter movement which large segments of the U.S. population still don’t understand, sparking nation-wide angry protests against police brutality.
The investigative reporting of NYTimes journalists into sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein triggered the #MeToo/#ChurchToo pandemic. The courage of a few prominent women who spoke out about the sexual abuse they’d suffered emboldened other women (men too) to speak up. The #MeToo hashtag created by Tarana Burke went viral, followed in short order by a tsunami of #ChurchToo tweets making visible a pandemic of sexual violence against women that continues to fester both outside and inside the church, even though for the moment other pandemics have eclipsed it.
After I gave a series of lectures in June on #MeToo/#ChurchToo for Professor Paul Metzger’s DMin cohort at Multnomah Seminary in Portland, Oregon, he pressed me for an additional interview to call the attention of a wider audience to the ongoing destructive #MeToo/#ChurchToo pandemic.
Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for Cultural Engagement: New Wine, New Wineskins and Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah University and Seminary. Paul is editor of New Wine’s journal Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture.
He and I have collaborated on several projects—including co-teaching seminary classes at Missio Seminary in Philly and Multnomah Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am blessed to call him my friend and to share our conversation with you.