When Your Sexual Harassers Sit in Your Pews

When Your Sexual Harassers Sit in Your Pews
Erik Gliedman/Times Herald-Record via AP

The women pastors I know began to whisper last week. Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, the first woman pastor of the progressive bastion of the mainline church, Riverside Church in New York City, was stepping down.

If Rev. Butler was a man my first guess would have been his dismissal was a result of sexual transgression. My next guess would be a financial misdeed. But because Rev. Butler is a woman, those were far from my thoughts as to what happened at Riverside. Instead, I asked: Was the environment so toxic that she could no longer maintain her mental health in the job? Was she sexually harassed? Was latent sexism hanging around the church?

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