Most of us have seen the animated movie called ‘It’s A Bug’s Life’, but have you noticed the many parallels to abuse victims and the monsters that often control their lives? In the movie, a colony of ants are being controlled or ruled by the much larger and stronger grasshoppers. The grasshoppers come around a few times a year and take whatever they want, which was usually food. The ants were in constant fear and spent much of their lives preparing for the next time that their world would be invaded by their abusers. Even though there were thousands of ants, they never thought about fighting back or trying to change the way things were. They lived out their lives enslaved to the idea that this is just how things are and we can’t do anything to change it. Until one day when a young ant starts to push back against the tyrants. The first ones to reject his efforts are the other ants who are convinced that he is only going to make things worse. The thought of being free from the oppression is rejected for the status quo. But through a series of events, along with the pleading of this new activist, the ants begin to realize that they greatly out number the grasshoppers. The only thing that the grasshoppers fear, besides birds, is that one day the ants will wake up and figure out that if they just banded together that they could be rid of their abusers once and for all. So to keep this from happening they terrorize the ants even more with threats of death and destruction. This seems to work at first until the little brave ant makes one last stand to convince the other ants that they really can do this if they will only stick together. One by one the ants begin to look at each and wonder if they really could defeat the bullies who had abused them for generations. Soon, one by one the grasshoppers are defeated by the overwhelming numbers of the ants that began to unite together. Its not that all of the grasshoppers suddenly disappeared, but now they new that they could no longer have free reign. If they were going to abuse others then they would pay a price.
This would probably mean more if you actually saw the movie, but the similarities are many. Abusers are often mean, strong, scary and have some kind of leverage over those that they abuse. But we are more in number than they are, if we will only unite together. There are many in our churches and organizations who are afraid whenever someone stands up and wants to change the status quo. They will often reject the lone voice of a victim because that is easier than standing up to the tyrants. The ‘good’ members of the organization may even send the victim out of their midst so that they don’t have to be reminded of such horrible things. But every once in awhile someone manages to break through the fog and convince the bystanders that they can really make a difference.
Abusers are terrified that if we finally figure it out, if we finally start working together, if we finally start holding them accountable, that their reign of terror will be over and they will be behind bars. So they threaten to sue us or destroy us in the public arena. Whatever it takes to beat us back into submission. Lets change the status quo. Lets dare to stand together to protect those who have been and are being abused.