For Kay, who has fought the fight, done the work and deserves more, from all of us.
So much for powering down this blog. Tonight I get on my soap box that I have piled on top a lot of other soap boxes. I want to make sure you hear me. Listening? Good, here goes… (Don’t take your eyes or ears off me people, this is important!)
One of the first blogs I plugged into when I was searching on-line for some courage to expose and hopefully drop my Father Gibson baggage was originating out of California. Kay Ebeling was doing something incredible. She was throwing down on the Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis as a blogger and a journalist. On a shoestring she was producing City of Angels. She was reporting from the court-house in LA and traveling on donations and subsidizing her great opus at great expense (financial and personal). Unlike many of the blogs on the subject of the Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal, she wasn’t just writing from the comfort of her home, she was going into the field and diving into the stacks at courthouses to provide transcripts and first hand accounts of court proceedings. She has been taking unpopular stances and writing articles on the condition of survivors. Whether you like her or don’t care for her you have to give her the respect earned by someone who has stood tall and spoken her mind. She has told stories that would otherwise have been lost and she keeps on fighting everyday.
After an emotionally draining episode with the Catholic Church in Chicago recently, she decided to take a little down time and reassess her situation. She pulled down some posts on her blog on the advise of her attorney. She is looking out for herself and taking stock of where she wants to go from here. Even though she explained all of this in her current blog , she has taken a lot of flak from our own community. Really people?! You think that giving this woman grief about taking a break and accusing her of selling out to the church is the way to treat a survivor who has shown a lot of courage in this fight? Seriously?
I know she is controversial, I know she rubs some of the survivor community the wrong way. SO WHAT? Many people out there do not support Kay even though she is one of us. Many of those same people would like her to close down City of Angels and go away. If you are one of those people then you have sided with the Bishops and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church who have gone to great lengths to shut us all down. You are buying into the tactics of the people who support pedophiles and continue to turn a blind eye towards those who have been targeted, abused, raped, marginalized, isolated and intimidated. If you are personally attacking her or calling her a sellout, you are on the side of the protectors of the monsters that stole our innocence, our sense safety, our sense of self and our faith. Are you enjoying the company? How does it feel to play for that team?
Kay is a warrior in this community. You cannot deny that, even if you don’t like the way she does her work. Unfortunately, there are not many out there who have done anything near what she has accomplished. There are a lot of people taking shots from the relative comfort and safety of their computers. Many of these people are happy to arm-chair quarterback her every move. My question to those people is this: How is the view from the bench? You are not in the game, yet you feel like you can criticize those that are?
We are never going to be in agreement on all things as a community, we are going to struggle with how to do things and how to shape a message. Some will go their own way and others will stay quietly in the shadows. Some will join with SNAP or FACSA or some other group and work through that organization, others will chart their own courses. Kay has helped pave the road for many survivors, we owe her respect for that.
If you have some shots to take at Kay, send them my way. If you think you are superior to her, think again.
At some point this community forgot that we have a common bond. We have a common adversary that will go to any extreme to divide us and they are loving the infighting. Lets keep the convesation on the issues we face and leave the personal stuff on the sidelines where it belongs. Be critical of her ideas if you don’t agree with them,but keep the personal venom out of it.
Whatever your opinion, whatever your thoughts, be clear on a few things. This community needs Kay and City of Angels. We need every voice that is speaking out. We don’t have the luxury of numbers at this point. We need people willing to expose the truth, even if the survivor community is required to look inward when that truth is exposed. We need Kay as much as we need everyone else in this struggle. We need to support our warriors.
Keep the discourse civil, keep the personal attacks to yourself. When did respect go out of the survivor calculus? Where is the leadership in this community?
Kay, when you are ready to come back, many of us will be here to support you.