Mark Galli: A Response to the Christianity Today Article

"I’m troubled that I distressed any women, or men for that matter, by anything I said or did.  But the fact of the matter is that I never in 30 years ever approached a women with the intent of sexually harassing, intimidating, or 'hitting' on her. Never. But some women believe I had done that, and for that I’m regretful." - Mark Galli

Related at Church Leaders: ‘Never Happened’: Former Christianity Today Editor in Chief Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations

1307 reads

There are 5 Comments

T Howard's picture

One of the responses to Galli's defense:

Quote:
“Thank you for the master class in how to use scripture to gaslight victims of sexual harassment,” someone commented on Galli’s article.

According to Merriam-Webster, gaslighting is

Quote:
psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.

Questioning the validity of someone's perception or feelings cannot by itself be gaslighting. Someone's emotions and perceptions can be wrong. I guess, though, in this postmodern world "your truth" and "my truth" means our perceptions and emotions are never wrong, especially if we claim victim status.

This is crazy and dangerous. Anyone can accuse anyone of victimizing them if their feelings get hurt or they feel uncomfortable around someone. A comment made innocently or naively can be perceived as abuse, harassment, or a microaggression.

Case in point: a white individual asks an Asian individual, "What's your nationality?" What they probably mean is, "What's your ethnicity?" However, the Asian individual gets offended by the question because it assumes the Asian individual isn't an American and the individual considers it a form of anti-Asian racism and a microaggression.

Of course, if the white individual responds that's not what he/she meant by the question, it doesn't matter. Because, all that matters is what the "victim" feels and thinks it meant.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's a really tough balance. On the one hand, there is evidence in multiple studies that sexual harassment and, more seriously, abuse, are under-reported and--when law is violated--under-prosecuted. That drives a lot of the efforts to increase the power of victims to be heard and defended. On the other hand, as victim-empowering increases, the rights of the accused are imperiled. Temptation to falsely accuse increases. (I can hear some objecting loudly already to what I'm saying--because I've read a lot of this--that nobody wants to falsely accuse in these situations. That's just not a realistic take on human nature.)

So it's a real quandary.

As for this particular case--like most of them--I don't feel the need, or believe I'm qualified, to judge who's right about what happened. That job is taken and I'm glad to leave it to those to whom it belongs in the short run as well as to Him to Whom It Belongs in the long term.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

T Howard's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
As for this particular case--like most of them--I don't feel the need, or believe I'm qualified, to judge who's right about what happened. That job is taken and I'm glad to leave it to those to whom it belongs in the short run as well as to Him to Whom It Belongs in the long term.

Agreed. I'm just opining on the view that someone can never question the validity of someone else's perspectives or feelings.

G. N. Barkman's picture

The article on your blog about judging righteously is spot on.

G. N. Barkman