Letter from the Editor

BY STEPHANIE CHIAO

Dear Reader,

In keeping with this journal’s mission to foster dialogue between Christian communities on campus, the editors of To An Unknown God chose “women” as this issue’s cover theme. We believe this is a pertinent and meaningful subject for our readers, and we have explored topics such as dating, leadership, sexuality, and more. As in previous issues, we hope that our journal will challenge individuals to carefully examine their beliefs and ultimately contribute their first and best fruits to God’s Kingdom on earth.

On October 24, a fifteen-year-old girl was beaten and raped for two and a half hours at a high school homecoming dance in Richmond by a gang of at least twenty boys: investigators estimate that ten took part in the rape – more just watched. When the police finally arrived near midnight, they found the girl unconscious beneath a picnic table. It took so long for help to arrive because none of the men or boys who had watched or participated in the attack called 911, only another girl who heard the story through the grapevine later that night. The girl survived, and her condition is stable, but the scars she bears may stay with her for her entire life. The scars our community bears – because our culture teaches men that it’s acceptable to dehumanize and violate defenseless women instead of protecting them – will take even longer to heal.

As Christians, we participate in the ministry of reconciliation as God’s adopted daughters and sons. We are called to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of this world,” acting as forces that preserve life and shine light on evil. This work of restoration includes healing of the relationships between women, men, and God – and learning to see women as God sees them. As society and societal views on women change, we must take up our roles as prophets and healers, and we must contribute to the evolution of a Christian voice to speak out and understand women as God does. We invite you to explore this issue with us now.

Stephanie Chiao

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3 thoughts on “Letter from the Editor

  1. our culture teaches men that it’s acceptable to dehumanize and violate defenseless women instead of protecting them – will take even longer to heal.

    Good article, excepting this phrase. Our culture does NOT teach that it is acceptable to violate defenseless women, rather it teaches men and women that sex has no real consequences, that women are responsible to defend themselves (thus absolving men of any responsibility), and that men only are truly responsible for violence (thus depriving women of agency). As bad as this act you describe, it is an expression of human (not male) depravity,

  2. I’m pretty sure male depravity is human depravity. And although I find the idea of ten young women gang-raping a fifteen-year-old boy (or girl) horrible and inexcusable, I also find it somewhat farfetched. Not because women are less violent than men (in fact, I believe the statistics of women acting out physically have been increasing dramatically, and most intimate partner violence occurs between two mutually combative individuals) but because it doesn’t resonate with anything in my cultural experience. I can’t think of an instance of that happening off the top of my head. I can think of numerous instances of men gang-raping women or other men. It seems to be a traditionally male way of harming others.

    If our culture didn’t teach the young men involved that it’s acceptable to gang-rape a teenage girl, if that weren’t embedded very deeply in our social DNA, who do you think did?

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