Question: Dear Sir: Last night I confirmed my
suspicion that our pastor is having an affair with the choir director in my
church. She is a single woman with three young children for two different men.
He spends long hours with his "sweetheart" in the Pastor’s Study
after church service on Sundays. I saw them holding hands and kissing last week
while I was on the beach. It was not a friendly, pastoral kiss. How can a
spiritual leader, or any decent man do such a thing? How terrible!. What can we
do about this? Why do men do such terrible things?
Answer: How terrible indeed! Without a doubt I know
that most of the readers of this column know of, or have heard of rumors of
pastors, politicians, medical doctors, chief executive officers of large
corporations, or other influential persons who have been involved in sexual
impropriety, or in the sexual exploitation of women. Thus the title of my
article today–-"Sex in the Forbidden Zone" (Published 1997). I
actually borrowed this title from a book with the same title, written by
psychiatrist Dr. Peter Rutter, where he writes about men in power who have
illicit sexual relationships with women and why they do it. Although women and
men are guilty of this debasing behavior, this article will focus mostly on men
firstly, because research indicates that "96 percent of sexual exploitation
by professionals occurs between men in power and women under their care."
Secondly, because "the male-female power imbalance is reflective of the
pattern that exists in the culture at large." (Rutter, 1997).
- THE PAINFUL TRUTH
- Why do men in power (government, church, or corporation) seduce their
female clients, parishioners, protégées? Or should I also ask why are
women attracted to men in power positions. As Dr. Rutter questions in his
book, "What motivates men to give up their professional oaths and
protective roles to make the fantasy of forbidden sex a reality? And why
do women, who may have no sexual interest in these men, often say yes–compromising
themselves and their other intimate relationships?"
The stories are many, unbelievable, and sad. To many male
leaders in our country have chosen not to be satisfied with their marital
partners and have for years led a double life of illicit sexual encounters. Most
of the times others know about the illicit behavior and are afraid to confront
the issue, or they more than often turn their heads, feelings that it’s none
of their business.
The sad truth is that the stories about our spiritual leaders’
promiscuity is unforgiving and unbelievable. How could they do this we all are
asking? The regrettable truth is that these men stay in their spiritual or
political power positions for a very long time stagnating their own spiritual
growth , but through their charismatic skills and wistful charm, they are
successful in pulling the wool over the eyes of "prey" and naive
- THE RUMORS
Here are samples of some of the disturbing rumors we hear everyday:
"The pastor is a lover boy." The pastor has men as
sweethearts." "Our pastor has more children with other women than
with his wife, and they still have him preach from the pulpit."
"Our pastor cannot keep is hands off women." "Our community
leader’s house is a breeding ground for promiscuity." "Our
political leader gets favors by having sex with whom ever he wants."
It is embarrassing and disturbing to hear these rumors and
then to find out that they are actually factual. Even more painful, the church,
community, or business does nothing about it. We often act as if this behavior
of our pastors/community leader proves their virility, but does not disprove
their spirituality. We directly or indirectly encourage them by covering up for
them or assisting them in their escapades.
- WHY DO MEN DO IT?
- Why do spiritual leaders and other professional males do this? We will
explore this in Part Two next week. However, it is evident, as Dr. Rutter
states that "men’s cultural training, often reinforced by family
messages when they are growing up, encourages them to challenge women’s
intimate boundaries and discourage them from developing a more empathic
response to the feminine, despite the fact that they have so much more to
offer women than predatory sexual opportunism." Go
to Part Two