Like Sex Trafficking Victims

When it comes to Other Women or Other Men who are congregants of a preying pastor, I consider them in the same category as sex trafficking victims.

True, they are involved in sinful sex acts, yet their situation ought to engender compassion towards them as opposed to censure. These individuals are exploited individuals. 

They are victims, too!

A pastor is abusing his or her position of authority to exploit the Other Woman/Man congregant. By having sex with them, the pastor is abusing his or her congregant.

The married pastor is the one who ought to experience the severest censure!

The power dynamic makes free consent impossible. 

So, I guess I am arguing here for compassion towards these individuals as I would for a sex trafficking victim. If it is not a free choice, then it is a coerced choice.

Would you want to be held responsible for choices you made under abusive coercion? I certainly wouldn’t.

That is why I say the problem is the one abusing the power and not the prey of such power abuse.


2 thoughts on “Like Sex Trafficking Victims”

  1. I agree that when there is any kind of power/undue influence imbalance between two people, the more powerful or influential person bears the greater, or even total guilt in many circumstances. The greater the power imbalance, the more encompassing is the guilt of the more powerful party.

    Sexual predators bear complete and absolute guilt for manipulating and abusing children, who have no power whatsoever. Children are totally innocent victims in every sense. Sexually trafficked, adult victims are also frequently powerless, or have little independence, due to very real threats or acts of violence by their pimps.

    Members of the clergy are usually invested with a greater spiritual and cultural authority over members of their church. Depending on the culture and the times, they may even hold the kind of influence where they could harm the reputation, social acceptability or livelihood of individuals who do not comply with their wishes; certainly, within the religious organization, and sometimes the wider community.

    I do believe a pastor/spiritual leader has a far greater culpability for an adulterous affair than the affair partner; I think there is a lot of preying on neediness and vulnerability of others. However, in most modern circumstances I think the adult affair partner bears *some* responsibility and guilt for their own actions, because there are opportunities during the seduction phase to reject the tempting influence and advances of the pastor. A lot of people go through difficult times of stress, weakness and neediness, and yet do not succumb to temptation and seduction.

    That being said, the pastor bears the greater guilt, and unfortunately, the faithful, innocent spouse bears all the pain and sorrow… dealing with the betrayal of both the adulterous, hypocritical pastor and the affair partner(s).

  2. I agree that the pastor bears the greater guilt and should receive harsher consequences. However, the other man/woman is still an adult. If that person knew the pastor was married, he or she is still responsible for his/her actions, IMO.

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