For those of us recovering from suicidal thinking in which shame is the unbearable experience we are trying to escape, this can lead us to believe that we are defective in ways that few others are. But here is the truth: in any group of 100 typical American adults, it is estimated that:

  • 3 are in a physically abusive, intimate relationship
  • 6 are considering suicide
  • 10 say they have no close friends
  • 18 suffer from an anxiety disorder
  • 20 have been divorced
  • 20 regularly or often feel lonely
  • 21 of the married women have had an affair, 8 of whose husbands never found out
  • 26 say they have had a midlife crisis
  • 27 have cut off the relationship with a family member
  • 30 were arrested and have a criminal record
  • 34 have zero savings and are one paycheck away from a disaster
  • 36 of the married men have had an affair, 24 of whose wives never found out
  • 90 have a major regret they live with

If everyone in a typical congregation were to wear a sign listing their experiences using the categories above, all the shame within its walls would evaporate almost instantly.

Learn more about the Damaged Good Project.

 Adopt the Damaged Good Church Welcome Statement

Our Church welcomes and is enriched by all who are broken, including the censured, the disbarred, the decertified, the defrocked, the scandalized, the estranged, the convicted, the fraudulent, the terminated, and those malignantly humiliated on social media. Whatever our failures, we believe that guilt and exclusion should not be a life sentence and never a capital offence. Everyone deserves to recover.

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