After I am done apologizing for being a man, I am going to have to start publicly repenting for being a Christian. It is hard sometimes to know which is more ridiculous.

But the response of some “Christian” pastors to the current debate on sexual harassment and assault, certainly moves the “Christians” to the front of the line in the ludicrous and insensitive category. 

Pastor Carl Gallups, the senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, who apparently was a regular speaker at Donald Trump’s political rallies during the 2016 US Presidential election, has identified the real culprit in sexual assaults. Predictably, it is not men who are at fault, but the women they assault who are to blame. Gallups suggests:

If a woman wears sexually suggestive clothing around a man is that not also sexual assault? Men are visually stimulated and unwanted stimulation should meet the basic definition of assault. I am not condoning bad behavior by men but women need to understand that by walking around in their little sister’s skirt they are guilty of indecent visual assault on a man’s imagination which does cause mental anguish and torment especially on men who really are trying to live in harmony and respect toward women; something made more difficult when every ripple and curve are exposed to the men around you. Something to think about.

So Mr. Gallups, how much suggestion is too much suggestion? Who gets to decide what is and what is not suggestive? It used to be an ankle showing beneath a long skirt that sent men into a tizzy of passion, where do we draw the line today? Who should be in charge of monitoring and policing female attire? How much cover-up will enable you to keep your libido from inflicting itself upon a woman?

More to the point Mr. Gallups, how exactly do you know what a woman is suggesting by the clothing she chooses to wear? Does your faith somehow empower you to read a woman’s mind and to know what she is thinking and intending by the clothing she is wearing? Who gave you the right to interpret hidden messages behind a woman’s attire?

But, even more to the point, Mr. Gallups, do you have such a low opinion of men that you really believe men are powerless in the face of their urge to inflict violence upon women? Or, are you just speaking from personal experience?

If I drive a fabulously expensive and showy car, and you consumed with envy over my hot wheels assault me and steal my automobile, am I to blame for your criminal activity because of my conspicuous display of material good fortune?

This line of thinking is deranged. It does not take the conversation about gender relations in any kind of positive or even remotely helpful direction.

It is demeaning to men to assume that we are unable to deal with the urge to do violence. Anyone who cannot resist the temptation to harm another person, should be in jail. If I cannot keep my anger from causing me to harm you, you are not guilty for my violence, no matter how irritating and unreasonable you may be.

Other people are not responsible for my actions. I alone am accountable for my choices and my behaviour.  Harm can never be excused by blaming the victim, no matter how provocative the victim may be.

Women are not accountable to me for what they wear. I am accountable for my actions and choices regardless of the powerful forces by which I may at times be afflicted.


perhaps this might go part way towards at least helping a little: