McKenna Denson wasn’t the only victim of sexual abuse by a Mormon leader.
I posted earlier today about how she appeared over the weekend at a Mormon chapel to deliver her testimony… only to confront her alleged rapist’s congregation about what she endured at the hands of one of their trusted leaders.
Another (unnamed) man did something similar in another (unnamed) location during a Fast & Testimony meeting. When it was his time to speak, he shared a story about how his wife was traumatized by what’s known as the Mormon Masturbation Interviews in which bishops ask extremely intrusive sexual questions to children in a one-on-one setting.
Just before two Church leaders asked him to “dismiss” himself, the man explained how the intrusive questioning “traumatized and shamed” his wife when she was only 15 years old. He urged everyone to “never allow your child to be alone during a bishop’s interview no matter how much you trust the bishop. It’s not a risk worth taking.”
Remember that Sam Young, a fierce critic of those interviews, is currently on the verge of being excommunicated. This is a topic Mormons need to confront and call out whenever possible. Based on the response from the local leaders who kicked the speaker out, the Church itself is hoping no one talks about it at all.
As I said earlier, I’ve seen some commentary online about how this sort of protest is disrespectful. Video cameras aren’t allowed in chapels and this kind of statement hijacks a religious service. Still, to any Mormons who feel that way, I have to ask: What’s more disturbing? All the abuse committed by Church leaders, or the fact that people are going to great lengths to call them out for what they’ve done?
It brings to mind the memorable line from evangelical preacher Tony Campolo to a Christian congregation, a version of which goes like this: “While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”