Clergy Sexual Misconduct Committed By Male Unitarian*Universalist Ministers Gets A Pass From The Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee All Too Often. . .
Take Rev. Daniel Harper's word for it, as posted to the Mary Daly Is Corpse-Cold Unitarian Dead post of his Yet Another Unitarian Universalist blog, albeit "passed over lightly" (dare I say "buried"?) within the text of his "rant" about the decline of feminism -
"Daly was a voice for liberation. Maybe I disagree with the details of what she says, but basically she’s right: women have historically been oppressed by religion, they continue to be oppressed by religion, and that oppression has to end, whatever the cost. That oppression continues within Unitarian Universalism: last I heard our women ministers still earned less, on average, than our male ministers; sexual misconduct by male ministers all too often gets passed over lightly; better than 90% of our religious educators are women (’cause, you know, raising children is women’s work) and most of our religious educators receive inadequate pay."
Personally I think that the rest of Rev. Daniel Harper's somewhat cranky "rant" bears paying attention too as well but this Emerson Avenger blog post is going to *stick* to the clergy sexual misconduct part of it. I will say however that if female U*U ministers are in fact paid less than male U*U ministers, as Rev. Dan Harper alleges here, this is certainly a Big Fat U*U Injustice, if not a Big Fat U*U Abuse, that seems to be remarkably hypocritical in light of everything U*Us say about equality. Butt let's *stick* to the Big Fat U*U Allegation aka U*Unsubstantiated RU*Umor of Rev. Dan Harper aka Rev. CrankyAss to the effect that clergy sexual misconduct committed by male ministers is "all too often" "passed over lightly" aka *overlooked* by those U*Us responsible for "oversight" of U*U ministers and subject it to some Big Fat U*U Anal*ysis courtesy of The Emerson Impaler. . . Where I *are* my NO DONG EH? missiles when I really need them?
OK here goes. . .
So Rev. Daniel Harper effectively says that "all to often" (i.e quite frequently if not *commonly*) little, or possibly even nothing, is done by the UUA and its very aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee, to say nothing of implicated U*U congregations, to responsibly address complaints about clergy sexual misconduct committed aka perpetrated by male U*U ministers. Rev. Daniel Harper's words strongly suggest that male U*U ministers who are actually found guilty of having committed clergy sexual misconduct of one kind or another "get off" lightly in the sense of facing little or no *real* accountability aka justice for their clergy sexual misconduct. This certainly rings true with everything that *I* know about the UUA's handling of U*U clergy sexual misconduct and in my ever so anal anal*ysis of Rev. Dan Harper's words I can't help but notice that he uses the present tense. . .
That's right U*Us, Rev. Dan Harper did not say that male U*U ministers guilty of clergy sexual misconduct "got off" lightly in the past, he effectively said that male U*U ministers "get off" lightly i.e. they are *still* "getting off" lightly *today*. That's what "*gets* passed over lightly" pretty much means. Get it U*Us? In other words, taking clergy sexual misconduct "lightly" aka "less than seriously" is *still* quite common in The Uncommon Denomination™. This in*spite of the fact that almost a decade ago UUA *Vice* President Kathleen "Kay" Montgomery pledged aka promised that the UUA and its very aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee would "change and learn" and, in the "untended area" of U*U clergy sexual misconduct, the UUA and MFC would "bend toward justice." But don't take *my* word for it U*Us, take the word of the UUA's official apology to victims of clergy sexual misconduct delivered almost a decade ago at the 2000 UUA GA in Nashville, Tennessee -
And I pledge that this gap, this failure, will be remedied. This past year we experimented with a nascent advocacy program. Inspired by the Panel's report, we will change and learn and in this untended area, we will bend toward justice. "There is only us."
That right. There's only "us" and it seems that justice in the UUA is still "just us" and that the UUA and MFC are still *bending* justice so that U*U ministers who are in fact guilty of various forms of clergy sexual misconduct "get off" with little or no real accountability aka justice. Butt we're not done with our anal anal*ysis of Rev. Dan Harper's allegations just yet U*Us. There is more to what he said or, more accurately, what he did not say. . . that bears further scrutiny.
Within the context of Rev. Dan Harper's pro-equality for women "rant" inspired by the recent death of Mary Daly one *could* be forgiven for believing that complaints about clergy sexual misconduct brought against female U*U ministers do not get "passed over lightly" by the UUA and MFC and implicated U*U congregations, and that female U*U ministers face a higher level of accountability than male U*U ministers. I mean that *is* what the unwritten subtext of Rev. Dan Harper's chosen words imply. . . No U*Us? But is that really true? Do "less than perfect" female U*U ministers face a higher level of accountability for clergy sexual misconduct than "less than excellent" (so say nothing of "less than good". . .) male U*U ministers do? Who is to say that the UUA and MFC do not "all too often" "pass over lightly" clergy sexual conduct complaints that are brought against female U*U ministers? Who is to say that when it comes to "getting off" lightly for clergy sexual misconduct of various kinds that female U*U ministers are not fully equal to their male U*U "fellows"?
I could be mistaken aka "less than right" but I do have reasonable grounds to believe that "less than perfect" female U*U ministers may indeed be more or less equal to their male peers when it comes to facing little or no accountability for clergy sexual misconduct to say nothing of non-sexual misconduct. Once upon a time in a U*U World far far away I knew a victim of clergy sexual misconduct who was "less than satisfied" with the way that the UUA and MFC responded to her complaints about clergy sexual misconduct committed against her by her female U*U minister. I for *one* would not be surprised to learn that a good number of other female U*U ministers have "all too often" "gotten off" rather lightly when accused of clergy sexual misconduct by "less than pleased" U*U congregants be they male or female, and that "all too often" female U*U ministers still do "get off" every bit as lightly as male "Less Than Good" Fellows in the Big Fat U*U MFC to this very day. . . So, if I *am* indeed mistaken aka wrong I hereby cordially invite Rev. Daniel Harper, or any other U*U minister "in the know", to come here and post a comment or two that proves beyond any proverbial "reasonable doubt" that female U*U ministers accused of and/or guilty of clergy sexual misconduct do not "get off" every bit as *lightly* as their male MFC "Fellas".
Butt we're not done yet U*Us because, perhaps in his pro-feminist zeal. . . Rev. Daniel Harper has himself all too lightly passed over aka completely omitted a rather inconvenient Big Fat U*U Truth. And what may that be U*Us freely and responsibly ask? Well the "less than convenient" U*U Truth that the highest level UUA and MFC officials responsible for *oversight* of U*U clergy sexual misconduct are ALL female U*U ministers, probably very well paid ones I *might* add. . . and have been for the last couple of decades. That's right U*Us I am talking about Rev. Diane Miller who, according to her very own publicly available Big Fat U*U ResU*Umeh, was "appointed Director of Ministry for the Unitarian Universalist Association" in 1993 and was the UUA's Director of Ministry right up until 2001. Rev. Diane Miller's "less than immediate" *successor* as Director of Ministry was/is one Rev. Beth Miller, who was appointed as the new director of the UUA’s ministry and professional leadership staff group in June of 2006. Initial screening of clergy misconduct complaints of all kinds, be they clergy sexual misconduct or non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct which (if I may say so. . .) are all too often passed over even more lightly than clergy sexual misconduct complaints, was given over to the UUA's now defunct Congregational Services Staff Group, which was directed by Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris for eight years until it was scuttled in July of 2009. It is my understanding, as per this UU World article en*titled 'UUA reorganizes Congregational Services staff' and other sources that, even though she officially resigned as UUA Congregational Services Director in the spring of 2009, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris "will continue to be responsible for congregational safety and ethics issues for one year, as a consultant." Just what the UUA needs. . . yet another negligent and incompetent Big Fat U*U "Consultant".
Butt we're not done yet U*Us. . . because the top level UUA administrator who until very recently (when she was perhaps very wisely *relieved* of her *responsibilities* for "oversight" of U*U ministry by now somewhat less than brandspanking new UUA President Peter Morales) had the most direct "oversight" of how Rev. Diane Miller, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, and Rev. Beth Miller ever so lightly passed over the clergy sexual misconduct and indeed non-sexual clergy misconduct of "Less Than Excellent" U*U ministers was none other than UUA Executive *Vice* President Kay Montgomery aka Kathleen Montgomery. U*Us know who I am talking about. No U*Us? The very high level, and presumably very well paid, UUA administrator whose signature is on the *bottom* of that apparenlty "less than sincere" Big Fat U*U Apology to victims of clergy sexual misconduct that she delivered almost a decade ago at the 2000 UUA GA in Nashville Tennessee. In light of just how all too often clergy sexual misconduct complaints have been all too lightly "passed over" by the UUA, both before and most regrettably *since* that official apology was delivered to victims of U*U clergy sexual misconduct, I can't help but rather pointedly point out how deliciously ironic it is that UUA *Vice* President Kathleen Montgomery seems to prefer to be known U*U World-wide as Kay Montgomery aka K' Montgomery. Indeed sometimes I even wonder if UUA *Vice* President Kay Montgomery isn't something of a Big Fat U*U Dick Cheney of the UUA administration, i.e. the proverbial *real* power behind the "throne" of the Big Fat U*U eh? Presidency.
After all U*Us. . . don't they say that *behind* every Great Big U*U Man there's a Great Big U*U Woman?
And God only knows how long O*Kay Montgomery has been Executive Vice President of the UUA. . .
How embarrassing for Rev. Daniel Harper. To think that the "good people" at the UUA who are *most* directly responsible for the evil of the clergy sexual misconduct of male U*U ministers all too often *getting* passed over lightly by the UUA and it's ever so aptly named Ministerial *Fellowship* Committee are ALL too often Big Fat U*U Women. . .
How's *that* for cranky Rev. CrankyAss?
You are hereby officially *challenged* by the "Dark Knight Of The U*U World" to come here and be the Big Fat U*U "Champion" of Rev. Diane Miller, Rev. Beth Miller, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, and last butt by no means least. . . Executive *Vice* President of the UUA Kathleen K' Montgomery by trying your Big Fat U*U Best to re*butt all or most of I what I have said here about them in this field of dishonour. Unless of course you *care* to quite humbly and contritely "confess" that maybe just maybe The Emerson Avenger is a voice for liberation. That maybe you disagree with *some* of the details of what he says, but *basically* TEA’s right: *these* Big Fat U*U Women have historically been oppressors in the Tiny Declining Fringe Religion known as The U*U Movement, and that they continue to oppress *within* the Big Fat U*U Religion, and *that* oppression has to *end*, whatever the cost. *That* oppression continues within Unitarian Universalism. After all Rev. CrankyAss the last *I* heard *your* U*U women ministers still pass over lightly both U*U clergy sexual misconduct AND non-sexual U*U clergy misconduct. Am I "less than right" Rev. Harper? If you believe so then have the Big Fat U*U *Guts* come over here and put your Big Fat U*U Mouth where the The Big Fat U*U Monkey I just made out of U*U is. . .
Oh and Crappy New Year Rev. CrankyAss! :-)
Labels: Kathleen Montgomery, Kay Montgomery, Rev. Beth Miller, Rev. Dan Harper, Rev. Daniel Harper, Rev. Diane Miller, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris, U*U clergy sexual misconduct, UUA *Vice* Presidents