Abusive systems abuse people. And often those abused people will go and abuse others.
And that sucks. And it’s sad beyond belief. It’s sad to watch. It’s sad seeing people abuse someone else. It’s sad seeing someone carry on an abusive way of behaving only because they don’t know there is an alternative – abuse is their normal. Humanity is really good at abuse and protecting abuse and abusive systems. So much easier to cover it up and pretend that nothing is going on.
And in the mean time innocent people suffer.
Why do people stay in unjust and abusive systems? Do they choose to? Maybe. Maybe they think they can work the system. Maybe they think they are benefiting? Maybe they don’t actually see that they are abused? Maybe it’s too painful to change? Maybe they don’t know they have any other options? Maybe their desire for control and stability is so strong that even though they suffer, they at least have a sense of knowing what is taking place – a sense of control? Better to deal with an evil known, rather than the unknown, which might be worse?
Why is it that abusers are often given more consideration than their victims? Is it because they are powerful? Or maybe others fear turning the abuse on themselves.
Why are those who insist on maintaining a status quo (especially an abusive status quo), given more consideration than those who have suffered abuse? Why do they get to set the terms on how things might change, how fast they might change and what can be talked about? That’s just more abuse. And so nothing really changes when that happens.
Doesn’t matter if you are talking about an abusive relationship, an abusive job, an abusive work environment, an abusive policy, an abusive government, an abusive church, an abusive economic system, or anything else.
Abusive systems and the people who maintain them don’t like to talk about the abuse. They don’t like the abuse being exposed. Deep down they know what is happening is unhealthy and unnatural. And that they have been maintaining it – possibly to their own benefit. And so when abuse is covered up it drags out the pain and suffering far longer than necessary because conflict just gets put off longer. More people get abused. All so that those who maintain an abusive system can avoid the discomfort of facing consequences.
I’m really tired of abusive policies that perpetuate injustice and abuse against people. Any people. All people. I’m tired of abusive people who treat people like crap. Any person. All people.
I’m tired of abusive belief systems that convince people that abuse is normal and to be expected. It’s not. It never has been.
I’m tired of abusive institutions and organizations that have hurt many people and silenced those who suffered.
I’m tired of abusive ideology that demeans and degrades people and groups, making people believe there is an us and a them, that only the strong survive, and that might makes right. No one wins with this. And winning isn’t everything.
I’m tired of abusive theology which is designed to control people and put others into bondage and servitude in the name of God. Abusive theology starts with a belief in an abusive god. That’s not any god I’m interested in worshipping.
I’m tired of abusive economic systems that insist that people only have value based on what they produce and how much they accumulate. You are more than your stuff or what you do.
I’m tired of abusive leaders – whether they be politicians, church leaders, celebrities, business leaders, sports leaders, etc. – who climb up the ladder of success by stepping all over people, that manipulate people, that are passive aggressive, that gaslight, that are narcissistic, that sacrifice everyone else for their own success.
I don’t like abuse. I don’t like abusive people. And I’ll work tirelessly to end abusive systems. And the frustrating thing is that just when I think we’re making progress, abusive systems rear their ugly heads and show just how alive they still are.
But that doesn’t stop me. Because here’s what I know – abusive systems don’t last. They can’t. They run out of steam. They run out of victims. Their leaders and those that maintain them die off. Abusive systems all end up being exposed for what they are – empty, shallow, and without value. They come crashing down because they are frauds.
Abusive systems abuse people. And often abused people abuse others. It’s time to stop maintaining abusive systems in our society. That is the only way we will heal as a nation, as a church, as a community, as families, as individuals.