#ChurchToo and The Limits of Redemption With Gabe Stoutimore and Deb Helt

When Soul Care Turns Abusive

As women have revealed their experiences with sexual assault and sexual harrassment, #metoo has spawned the hashtag #churchtoo, where women and men are sharing stories of sexual abuse in their spiritual communities. Churches and other spiritual communities that promote values like community, connection, forgiveness, and reconciliation often leave the most vulnerable among us open to abuse.

 Photo by  Ben White

Photo by Ben White

Today we welcome back Deb Helt as a guest host and speak to Gabe Stoutimore, who writes about religion and culture, as he recounts his own story of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of a clergyman. In Part 1 we hear Gabe's story. Next week we'll talk about the larger cultural question of what place, if any, spiritual values like forgiveness and redemption have in this moment. 

Gabe writes about faith and atheism. He holds a MA degree in Religion & Public Life from the University of Leeds and an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Bristol, both in the UK. His first book "I Guess God Thinks I'm Gross" is due for release in 2019. He lives in Menlo Park, CA and works at Facebook.

Deborah is a Los Angeles-based therapist and development consultant. She holds Masters Degrees in Urban Planning from UCLA and in Clinical Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute. She currently splits her time between work as a Marriage and Family therapy intern and work as a fundraiser for high need cities and school districts throughout Southern California. Her clinical interests include postmodern narrative therapy, relational gestalt, interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness. She is interested in exploring the role that therapists can play to support social movements. 

In This Episode

"If My #churchtoo Story Hadn't Happened, I Might Not Be an Atheist" in Relevant Magazine