Even weeks after reading Jesusland, I still can't wrap my head around it. My brother Andrew had a great theory, which he introduced via a bizarre theatre of the mind text conversation loosely based on what the author was trying to say to him and I through her ending to this book. And that theory is that just as the author was deeply and irreparably injured by her parents via her childhood, she delivers a blow in this book that you can't recover from.
The tragedy isn't that all religious people are terrible. Or even that religious people are also truly evil.
It's that religion didn't stop the evil.
This is a story of church people that were child abusers, and the church didn't realize it or didn't do anything about it. This is a story of missionary-hosts that were neglectful parents, and the hosted missionaries didn't notice or care.
Christianity isn't comprised of perfect people. They will err, they will commit crimes. But of anything in the world, Christianity ought to be a community where those errors and crimes are aggressively stopped, not ignored.
What a tragedy that it isn't.
For more readingThis is a great piece on how Evangelicalism is and is not confronting the problem of abuse in its institutions.