Challenging Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini – Part 1 of 3: Introduction, and He Gave No “Answer” to the Allegations.

A three-part series of opinion and research/resource articles by “brad/futuristguy” on the recent Christianity Today interview with Saeed Abedini:

  • Part 1: Introduction, and He Gave No “Answer” to the Allegations.
  • Part 2: He Raised Unchallenged Accusations About His 2007 Domestic Assault Case.
  • Part 3: Apparent Assumption of Trustworthiness Left Unexamined, and Final Thoughts.

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This post was originally designed as an open letter to Christianity Today (CT) about their April 24, 2016, online posting of an interview, “Saeed Abedini Answers Abuse Allegations,” by CT editor Katelyn Beaty. I read this, along with her Editor’s Note entitled, “Responsible Freedom,” and found them unsettling. Because I am a survivor of spiritual abuse, and those issues are intertwined with the Abedinis’ situation, I felt the need to go deeper to explore those feelings. Eventually, I changed my plan and developed this resource article as a complement to a resource bibliography. More on that shortly. But first, here is an excerpt from the “Responsible Freedom” Editor’s Note, and then an excerpt from the draft version of my open letter.

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Excerpt from Editor’s Note, “Responsible Freedom”

[…]

We want to equip our readers to live responsibly and freely under the lordship of Christ. Sometimes this will mean setting clear boundaries of theology and ethics. But many times it will mean presenting readers with the facts, then letting them discern.

[…]

Complicated is also a fitting word for the story of Saeed Abedini, the Iranian American pastor whom we interview on page 38. Abedini was jailed for three-plus years in Iran and released this January, but not before facing abuse allegations from his greatest campaigner: his wife. Some readers won’t like that we question Saeed’s conduct. Other readers won’t like that we spoke to him at all. As the Abedinis’ story continues to unfold, we offer a clear-eyed conversation with Saeed—and trust our readers to draw their own careful conclusions.

Such a “hands-off” approach doesn’t mean we editors don’t have strong beliefs about abuse, or charismatic excesses, or any number of pressing issues. For example, our editorial (p. 23) draws a solid line in the sand on presidents’ leadership styles. And we pick topics we think are important, such as eviction (p. 53) and apologetic tools (p. 44). That said, we want our readers to own their own discernment and development as they read every issue of CT. We hope this one is a fruitful exercise in responsible freedom.

*     *     *     *     *

Excerpt from Draft of Open Letter

Ms. Beaty,

I read your May edition online interview article with Saeed Abedini, as well as your Editor’s Note on “Responsible Freedom.”

I am having a difficult time understanding what you meant in your Editor’s Note by CT offering “a clear-eyed conversation with Saeed—and trust our readers to draw their own careful conclusions,” and that you want your readers “to own their own discernment and development as they read every issue of CT. We hope this one is a fruitful exercise in responsible freedom.” Yes, I agree with you that the Abedinis’ situation of abuse allegations is a complicated one. However, I’m not sure the interview offered enough clear context or current developments for readers to draw “careful conclusions” without some significant additional research, for which you didn’t give many leads or links.

For instance, I believe we need to grapple with some key issues in evaluating Mr. Abedini’s trustworthiness; this is a primary issue, since he has basically responded to accusations of abuse and problems with pornography with one-word and one-sentence denials, and categorized the 2007 court proceedings as judicial “mistakes.” But is his word trustable? Or is his denial merely dismissive deflection?

In my opinion, basing your interview on the “‘hands-off’ approach,” as you explained in your Editor’s Note, meant it did not address substantive questions readers need to grapple with whether Mr. Abedini is currently disqualified for a prominent role in public ministry. […] This is not to deny the valor of Mr. Abedini’s spiritual perseverance during imprisonment and persecution, but to value the consideration of all aspects of his character and behavior relevant to his qualifications for being a spokesperson and role model of Christlikeness.

By overlooking such concerns, I believe you have presented Mr. Abedini’s word as being trustworthy at face value. When so many allegations against him remain unresolved, I find such a stance disturbing.

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Due Diligence in Dealing with Reactions

In sorting through my reactions, I decided to do more research into events of the past six months to see if I could figure out why I had such a negative response to what CT presented. I spent several days absorbing reports from news agencies, articles by spiritual abuse survivors, and articles from mainstream Christian media. I also spent several days writing this series (I tend to process thoughts and feelings via writing).

This helped me confirm my gut feelings, and to boil down my concerns about the Christianity Today interview to three issues:

  1. This interview did not really answer or clear up allegations. Mr. Abedini merely dismissed them and the people making them.
  2. The interview created new issues that now must be addressed, with Mr. Abedini apparently accusing his wife of fraudulent actions in the 2007 charges of his domestic assault, failures on the part of the Idaho court in relation to his conviction, and malpractice by his lawyer.
  3. I felt that, underneath these issues, there was an unsettling and perhaps unexamined assumption that Mr. Abedini was trustworthy to serve at this level of public recognition.

Others who have been critical of the interview have already weighed in, such as in the threads of CT’s April 26th tweets about the posting of the article here and here. So, I thought I would take a different approach and offer what I hope are some constructive tools for people to do their own due-diligence research.

 

As a first step, I compiled a Resource Bibliography on the Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini Situation. It overviews the main sources for the bibliography, links to a basic timeline, offers a set of articles that capture most of the main issues of contention, links to news reports and Christian blog/media articles from November 2015 through April 2016, and gives research procedures for finding the 2007 domestic assault court case and 2011-2012 State Department travel warnings.

Then I detailed my three main issues with the CT interview and Editor’s Note.

*     *     *     *     *

1. There was no “answer” to the allegations.

The way I see it, Mr. Abedini appears to employ a consistent personal behavior pattern of dismissing any allegations (abusive behavior and use of pornography, plus the recently raised allegation that he plagiarized someone else’s material on revival), giving vague reasons and/or refusing to give specifics, and labeling any critics or accusers as “liars.”

Abuse and Pornography Use

Accusation stated by Naghmeh Abedini, in Christianity Today, Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Wife Halts Public Advocacy, Citing Marital Woes and Abuse, by Bob Smietana (November 12, 2015). Quote:

In two emails to supporters, Abedini revealed details of her troubled marriage to Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and pastor imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.

Those troubles include “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography),” she wrote. The abuse started early in their marriage and has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said. The two are able to speak by phone and Skype.

Touring the country to advocate for Saeed’s release while coping with marital conflict proved too much, she wrote. She told supporters she’s withdrawing from public life for a time of prayer and rest.

“It is very serious stuff and I cannot live a lie anymore,” she wrote. “So, I have decided to take a break from everything and seek the Lord on how to move forward.”

Abedini hinted at her family’s struggles in a recent op-ed for The Washington Post.

Background evidence through Calvary Chapel Boise, noted in Phoenix Preacher, “Things I Think,” by Michael Newnham (February 1, 2016). Quote:

1. In the strange, sad, case of the Abedini’s, facts are in short supply.

Before we attempt to discern the things unknown, I think it would be wise to mark out what we do know.

We do know that Saeed Abedini was convicted of domestic abuse in a court of law.

We know that as far back as 2007, his spousal abuse and addiction to pornography was known to the pastor he worked under, Bob Caldwell of Calvary Chapel Boise.

We know from sources that Caldwell briefly put Abedini under discipline for this, a time our sources put at 3 1/2 to 4 months.

Therefore, what we know is that Saeed Abedini had no business being in the position he was in after that.

Response by Saeed Abedini, in Christianity Today,Saeed Abedini Answers Abuse Allegations,” April 24, 2016. Quote:

[CT] So you felt more support when you were in jail than when you were out of jail?

[Saeed Abedini] Yeah. Because people are confused. People now have two different Saeeds. One of them is a hero of their faith; one of them is an abuser, an addicter [sic]. When I talk with some people, I can see the confusion. I don’t believe this confusion is coming from God. This is completely coming from Satan, who wants me to stop preaching the gospel and wants people to stop rejoicing for my release, because it was a big victory for the Christian world. Now with these false accusations, trying to make the churches all around the world confused—it’s clear to me that Satan is behind this.

[CT] You said “false accusations.” Does that mean you are saying that Naghmeh’s accusations are false?

[Saeed Abedini] Yes.

Plagiarism

The allegation of plagiarism emerged April 19, about a week before the interview was posted. Understandably, the interview might not have been able to address this, due to necessary lag time between the actual interview and posting it. But since this is an emerging concern, I will include it here.

Breaking News. Phoenix Preacher, Abedini Responds To Plagiarism Allegations, by Michael Newnham (April 19, 2016). Here is the overview of the situation, and there are screenshots in the post. Quote:

On April 13, Pastor Mike Sasso of Calvary Chapel Eagle posted this summary on the subject of revival on his Facebook page.

On April 15, the Christian Post published this article by Saeed Abedini...which looks a lot like Mike Sasso’s outline.

[…] I reached out to both Abedini and Sasso for comment. […]

Additional Information. Phoenix Preacher, “He Plagiarized My Dad,” by Michael Newnham (April 27, 2016). This post includes a screenshot from Tracy Sasso Cruzado’s Facebook page, and notes the following. Quote:

“He Plagiarized My Dad.”

“So says Tracy Sasso Cruzado about Saeed Abedini on my Facebook page. Her father is Pastor Mike Sasso who made plagiarism allegations against Abedini last week.

If the Sasso’s are telling the truth, Abedini lifted an entire teaching which turned into a series of posts on his Facebook page.

He then lied about where he got the teachings and tried to smear Sasso’s character.

Abedini claims that all of the allegations against him are lies and that he is a target of Satan who does not want his ministry to prosper.

What are Your Conclusions?

After reading these excerpts and perhaps their originating context, consider these questions:

  • What is your tentative conclusion about how adequate or inadequate Mr. Abedini’s response was, to various allegations?
  • Is there enough evidence to suggest/confirm a probable pattern of deflecting the questions and accusing the questioners of lies?
  • Is there evidence and/or documentation elsewhere that backs up his counterclaims?
  • What questions would need to be answered to clear Mr. Abedini of the claims against him?
  • What questions would need to be answered to confirm or deny his accusers’s claims?

*     *     *     *     *

Series Links

Challenging Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini – Part 1 of 3: Introduction, and He Gave No “Answer” to the Allegations.

Challenging Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini – Part 2 of 3: He Raised Unchallenged Accusations About His 2007 Domestic Assault Case.

Challenging Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini – Part 3 of 3: Apparent Assumption of Trustworthiness Left Unexamined, and Final Thoughts.

Resource Bibliography on the Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini Situation.

54 comments on “Challenging Christianity Today’s Interview with Saeed Abedini – Part 1 of 3: Introduction, and He Gave No “Answer” to the Allegations.

  1. Would it be possible to have a link to a PDF of the Editor’s Note: “Responsible Freedom?” I think that CT only allows a limited number of hits on their site if you’re not a subscriber. I am not able to read the entire article without subscribing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Yes, I agree with you that the Abedinis’ situation of abuse allegations is a complicated one. However, I’m not sure the interview offered enough clear context or current developments for readers to draw “careful conclusions” without some significant additional research, for which you didn’t give many leads or links.”

    I am not so sure it is as complicated as it is more bizarre than anything else.

    If I am to believe Abedini, then I must believe that the courts, his lawyer, the police, his wife and others got it all wrong. Then I must belueve Satan got all the above to do his bidding just so Saaeds ministry “could not prosper’.

    CT seems to play into this pathology by not even trying to follow up on his bizarre answers. Perhaps that is why the editors note? Legal implications? This certainly is not over.

    I would not be surprised to find out that Saaed is NPD. He certainly comes off as one.

    Just think, we would have not known a thing about what is behind the curtain if Nagemah not spoken up for herself.

    At this point I do not see an upside to getting back with him for her or her children.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “This dude has some serious mental health issues.”

    While most probably true, if Saeed Abedini “has some serious mental health issues,” then his domestic violence conviction makes him a perfect whipping boy for feminist frustrations.

    First, lacking an independent platform or attract a sizeable following, Saeed Abedini is unable to address a large audience on his terms. Instead, as a nobody, he is reduced to having other speak for him. The agendas of these groups and individuals may not be compatible with Saeed Abedini’s long-term best interest.

    Next, much like Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Saeed Abedini’s name sounds suspiciously un-American. Who knows, with a name like that, he might be a terrorist. Thus, merely because of his ethnic background, he becomes easily convicted in the minds of many through guilt by association.

    Third, even Saeed Abedini’s domestic violence conviction may be suspect. Under some circumstances, it is possible to be convicted of domestic violence without ever having laid a hand on a domestic partner. Mere verbalizations may be sufficient to fulfill elements of a crime.

    Fourth, anyone with a working knowledge of law enforcement is at least aware that many domestic violence calls can be difficult to sort out. All too often supposed victims are working the system to leverage other legal outcomes such as removal, separation, or divorce.

    Outcomes of calls for service often turn on officer discretion and subject interpretation of statutes. Efficiency is frequently determined by numbers of arrests instead of resolution by more time consuming and difficult to document means.

    Furthermore, some cops are badge heavy and some prosecutors are zealous.

    Fifth, even more troubling, some suspects with “serious mental health issues.” are easy to roll using Reid. This, of course, leads to sometimes infamous wrongful convictions. Unfortunately, however, those revolutions only come to light long after the damage is done to careers and reputations. .

    Sixth, that Saeed Abedini professes unawareness of his domestic violence conviction until recently further suggests someone perhaps out of touch with reality.

    Thus, at this point, Saeed Abedini seems to be little more than the victim of an online gossip campaign. What is said about him says far more about the man’s accusers than anything he may have done. Much the same thing may also be said of his defenders.

    Like

  4. Thanks Brad! Well done. I’ve shared this on the ACFJ facebook page.

    If it weren’t for the the suffering that people like you and me have gone thru, there wouldn’t be any fire in the belly to keep on confronting these people (yes, I’m referring to you, CT!) for their flabby journalism.

    I admire and respect you for being so indefatigable, Brad.

    Christianity Today seems to be playing it both ways; trying to keep all of their readership on-side…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Barbara said: “Christianity Today seems to be playing it both ways; trying to keep all of their readership on-side…”

    It almost seemed like CT wanted to give people a reason for why they should believe him. Unfortunately, I think the article revealed much more and was damaging to Saeed. However, I know that there will be people who will emphatically stick by him.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks, all, for the feedback.

    @Loura and @lydia00 – I do think there are many behavior patterns that seems to manifest narcissism — orbiting around self as reference point for all else, and attempting to draw others into that orbit and keep them there.

    One of the things I almost put into the series was this:

    This fits the profile of a Diotrephes, a prominent figured whom the Apostle John called out for loving the spotlight, refusing to accept authority, being inhospitable, spreading unjust accusations, and controlling the relationships of others. (See 3 John 9-11.)

    @Barbara and @Kathi — I feel Christianity Today did their readers a grave disservice. The title was misleading; there was no “answer” about the abuse, and then, in my opinion, Ms. Beaty used open ended questions where pointed ones were needed. This did not remove the cloud over Saeed Abedini’s head, and did not move things forward. I hope they take some kind of corrective measures.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. lydia00 said, “Just think, we would have not known a thing about what is behind the curtain if Nagemah not spoken up for herself.”
    What a brave soul for exposing the truth.
    Thankful for this post as the truth must be exposed regardless of CT’s “flabby journalism”. (good terminology, Barb)
    And no doubt CT is trying to play it both ways. I find this tactic to be so shallow.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lydia: Then I must believe Satan got all the above to do his bidding just so Saaeds ministry “could not prosper’.

    Whenever people go to the ‘it’s all Satan’ well to defend themselves it’s a red flag for me.

    withheld: First, lacking an independent platform or attract a sizeable following, Saeed Abedini is unable to address a large audience on his terms. Instead, as a nobody, he is reduced to having other speak for him.

    What? He seems to have done an awful lot of interviews/has a facebook page/etc… He is not having trouble speaking for himself. Whether people believe him or not is another question.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Barbara, I’m so upset by this article, I may call some of the contacts I have at CT. The article was so poorly written and is only encouraging Saeed’s narrative. The evidence that Brad and I have found show there is indeed a conflict of interest here. Allowing Saeed a platform is going to cause harm to the Body of Christ as he is showing no humility, no proper response to care for his family, and is falsely claiming that God wants him to go forward with his ministry instead of focusing on his family.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I am having a difficult time understanding what you meant in your Editor’s Note by CT offering “a clear-eyed conversation with Saeed—and trust our readers to draw their own careful conclusions,” and that you want your readers “to own their own discernment and development as they read every issue of CT. We hope this one is a fruitful exercise in responsible freedom.”

    It means Kaetly Beady is in Saeed’s cheering section, pompoms and all?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It seems to me that Beady’s position is ambiguous and that alone in this situation is troubling. For many people who read the article quickly, this is simply not enough information to be making a decision about the abuse allegations. Still I do wonder if the ambiguity was intentional perhaps because CT’s editorial policies are controlled
    by certain big name Christian movers and shakers who don’t want to rock the boat since there was so much support for Abedini when he was imprisoned. I think that Saeed is getting a lot of behind the scenes support from Graham, Inc. Who indeed is the wind beneath his wings?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Katelyn Beaty has definitely given Saeed a free pass. If she had credibility as a journalist, that credibility is now blown to smithereens.

    She needs to do a course in what constitutes responsible journalism on domestic abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “He seems to have done an awful lot of interviews/has a facebook page/etc.”

    Unless one is widely know, which Saeed Abedini is not when compared to some other people whose lives have been subject to an abnormal amount of scrutiny, Facebook is not significant platform. Likewise, unless someone has a tremendous amount of leverage, pre-publication/broadcast review is not a normal part of the interview process. Moreover, most media outlets, not to mention a goodly number of interviewers, come with agendas.

    Precisely because Saeed Abedini is a nobody caught in a momentary spotlight, he is a useful pawn in an ongoing battle of the sexes and theological posturing. Thus, after he has outlived his usefulness, he will be discarded and replaced by another momentary celebrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “…so we are feminists, racists (because of his name) and gossips.”

    There are elements of feminism, even hints of misandry, in some of the statements made about Saeed Abedini on this forum just as there are attributes of patriarchy and misogyny arising from his supporters.

    More interesting, however, is mention of “gossips” since, most probably, no one contributing to this forum has ever met Saeed Abedini, much less talked with him at length.

    Like

  15. More interesting, however, is mention of “gossips” since, most probably, no one contributing to this forum has ever met Saeed Abedini, much less talked with him at length.

    So what? Saeed has talked plenty about himself, and his wife, in public. We can form some opinions based on that.

    Sixth, that Saeed Abedini professes unawareness of his domestic violence conviction until recently further suggests someone perhaps out of touch with reality.

    Or that he’s a liar and a total fraud. Either way, there’s no way he’s fit be a pastor or spokesman of any kind. And it’s hardly “gossip” to say so, let alone misandry or racism.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “,,,he’s a liar and a total fraud…there’s no way he’s fit be a pastor or spokesman of any kind.”

    I absolutely agree. Then, I feel the same way about a lot of preachers and parishioners.

    Like

  17. withheld:Unless one is widely know, which Saeed Abedini is not when compared to some other people whose lives have been subject to an abnormal amount of scrutiny, Facebook is not significant platform.

    He is only being scrutinized in the circles where he is widely known. That is also where he has a platform to speak out – which he has used to accuse his wife of lying and play the martyr. I don’t think your arguments fly.

    And not liking abusers does not equal misandry. Heavens!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “More interesting, however, is mention of “gossips” since, most probably, no one contributing to this forum has ever met Saeed Abedini, much less talked with him at length.”

    Ok. So let’s use that logic in other venues. I have never met Mark Driscoll so discussing his very PUBLIC words and behavior is, “gossip”? Are you trying to convince us that Saaed is a totally different person ….in person ? A lot of people tried to convince us the same about Mark Driscoll, for example. The only problem is they ended up making Mark Driscoll a hypocrite. Which is Greek for ‘preforming under a mask’ as in acting.

    I would give your view some credibility if Saaed sought privacy upon his return. But the guy just cannot help himself, can he? The more he talks publicly, the bigger hole he is digging for himself as he blames everyone but himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “There are elements of feminism, even hints of misandry, in some of the statements made about Saeed Abedini on this forum just as there are attributes of patriarchy and misogyny arising from his supporters.”

    It might help if you define feminism. Would females voting be feminism? Equal pay for work, perhaps?

    As to misandry, I must protest. I love men. Just not all at the same time. :o) But I am a bit of a misogynist at times too, I expect. I cannot stomach deceiving narcissistic females, either. :o)

    Like

  20. Saeed Abedini is at the very least a “limited public figure” in terms of his public profile. His words and deeds on public record are evidences of who he is, and, in my opinion, he has not adequately answered any of the allegations against him with sufficient other details or documentation. Nor has he explained how his current declarations are in line with this part of his public statement on Facebook, as reported in the Idaho Statesman on January 30, 2016:

    It is not my intention to speak further publicly—through social media or any other channels—at least until I believe we have made significant progress in private. I thank you for your understanding and support.

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article57514008.html

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Saeed was given a platform on May 4th at Womens Bible Study Connecting The Dots. See their FB post for pic and vomit-worthy accolades for him:

    Their calendar on their website confirms he was their guest speaker on May 4th. (2016) http://womensbiblestudy.com/quick-calendar/

    JA, I’m not yet savvy on how to put images into my comments on your blog. I’m sending you an email with my screen shot of what I wrote on their FB post.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Women’s May 4th Bible Study… what are they thinking. This is causing me distress because it has been the women in the ‘c’hurch that have been the most destructive towards my claim of abuse against the ‘quiet man’ … why do women do that??

    Like

  23. Barbara–This is so APPALLING!! I’m looking forward to reading what you wrote on their FB post!

    Like

  24. I’ve left a voice mail with Lisa from Connecting the Dots. I will report back (maybe in a separate blog post with your images) what I find out. Thanks for the info, Barb.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What I wrote on the FB post at Womens Bible Study Connecting the Dots —

    I’ve given three links to post which explain in depth, with documentation, why it is NOT APPROPRIATE to give Saeed Abenini any kind of ministry platform at the moment. Please read these posts and publicly repent for what you have done.

    And I gave them the three links to this three part series by Brad Futurist Guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I have commented several times on his FB page asking him how he could be in ministry while he was not making things right with his family. I was met with people accusing me of being nosy/judging/tool of Satan. I was eventually blocked.

    It’s shocking because I have always heard of cults, but haven’t ever seen one in action. The people that follow him act like cult members, not questioning his motives. His posts often feature him. That along with his unwillingness to take ownership of any poor behavior leads me to believe he is narcissistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Doc David (@HeadShrinkInc)

    Love your name – haha!

    Yes, that is exactly what you will find with a cult following – people defending their guru leader, even when guru leader has done wrong. They will pull the grace card, or victim blame, or deny it, minimize it, etc. It can be crazy making when dealing with those who follow a cult leader. I’m glad you saw it exactly how it is.

    And you are right – he and his sister spend a lot of time cleaning up his FB page, protecting his image.

    BTW, if anyone posts on his Facebook page, if you take a screenshot and send it to me, I’ll tweet it after he removes it (he or his sister will most likely if it’s negative).

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “I would give your view some credibility if Saaed sought privacy upon his return.”

    If, as previously argued by another poster,Saeed Abedini has mental health issues, then he is quite likely being exploited by both sides in what appears to be little more than a battle of the sexes.

    Like

  29. “It might help if you define feminism.”

    Why is my definition of feminism so much more important than the definition of misogyny?

    Like

  30. @Withheld, I don’t think I’m following why you believe Saeed Abedini is a pawn in the battle of the sexes, other than that seems to be an important aspect of the situation, in your thinking. Would you mind defining at least all four terms you’ve used that relate to that point — feminism, misandry, patriarchy, misogyny — and any others that you’ve used that you think would be relevant? I think that’d help, because those terms hold different meanings to different individuals/groups these days, and I don’t know the way you’re seeing them. Thanks …

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Pingback: Articles on Naghmeh Abedini, who is bravely exposing the abusive behaviour of her husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini | A Cry For Justice

  32. “…those terms hold different meanings to different individuals/groups these days….”

    Along with a working knowledge of history, a common dictionary should suffice for the above.

    As previously pointed out, anyone with “mental health issues” is more easily manipulated than someone with stronger psychological framework.

    Like

  33. @Withheld. It seems to me that your appeals to generic sources as if those are sufficient to understand precisely what you mean for those terms [which apparently is what everyone should take them to mean] indicate that you don’t really want to engage in dialogue. I take your response as dismissive and condescending; it feels more like “hit-and-run erudition” than trying to help others understand your point of view.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. you don’t really want to engage in dialogue

    Yeah. When people go straight to the dismissive ‘amusing’ rather than engaging? You know what they’re about.

    Like

  35. “Instead, as a nobody, he is reduced to having other speak for him.” Quote Withheld, May 4th, 2016 @ 3:02 AM

    I cannot agree with your interpretation of Abedini’s low profile persona, for even the smallest of churches in the most rural communities list “Pastor Saeed Abedini” under the Prayer Request section of Sunday morning bulletins. Due to his imprisonment and “persecution,” believers in rural communities were asked to pray for his release, and at that particular time we were unaware of the wife’s domestic situation. So no, I do not believe that Abedini should be labeled as a “nobody”

    And to our shame, the wife, who was abused by this pastor/husband as the records prove, most likely, will never be listed as a valuable believer who needs the prayers of the saints. So exactly where is the justice in this situation? Jesus knows and He sees……He cannot be fooled

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I prayed for Saeed release daily and now if he Really Loved his Wife and Children, shouldn’t a Christian man want to please God, repent and Do All in his power to Please His God and Savior Jesus and Get on his knees and ask for Forgiveness, work to repair his Marriage. ! SORRY but I can’t understand his Heart , Not Longing for his wife to Hold and love , his wife and children *s hearts are breaking ! THIS IS NO WAY FOR A Pastor / Christian to behavior! ! Saeed has been blocking people from his F.B. , ???

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Lorraine, welcome to SSB. You are asking the same question that many have been asking. There is definitely something not right with his behavior as a pastor or a lay person!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. “It might help if you define feminism.”

    Why is my definition of feminism so much more important than the definition of misogyny?”

    I don’t know because I don’t know in what context you are using ” feminism”. It could be equal rights or it could be bra burning matriarchy? Some pastors use it in the context of all women being deceived.

    My grandmother was referred to as a “feminist” because she was a suffragette. So any help on your part concerning your usage of the word would be appreciated.

    Like

  39. “Along with a working knowledge of history, a common dictionary should suffice for the above.”

    Oh dear, that has not worked with Neo calvinists, either. :o)

    Like

  40. “If, as previously argued by another poster,Saeed Abedini has mental health issues, then he is quite likely being exploited by both sides in what appears to be little more than a battle of the sexes.”

    I don’t consider most bad behavior a mental health issue. I will concede that being in an Iranian prison might bring on some PSTD. I am not convinced that is always manifested in such entitlement Behavior.

    However the abuse for which he was convicted was long before he went to Iran. Even his own patriarchal Calvary chapel Moses model Pastor put him under discipline for it. Would that be ” battle” between patriarchal males?

    It is fun to write platitudinal rebukes but it really is helpful when you explain the context or give specific examples.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Withheld said
    “If, as previously argued by another poster, Saeed Abedini has mental health issues, then he is quite likely being exploited by both sides in what appears to be little more than a battle of the sexes.”

    Saeed has himself stated at least two times recently (in his interview with CT, and his interview at Womens Bible Study Joining the Dots) that his life since he was released from the Iranian prison is WORSE than what he was going thru in the prison.

    Withheld, it’s a complete red herring to bring up the question of whether Saeed has mental health issues in order to bolster your suggestion that this is ‘little more than a battle of the sexes’.

    And why make “a battle of the sexes” sound like an unimportant issue that can and should be brushed off?

    Saeed has abused Naghmeh. He pled guilty to abusing her in 2007. He now tries to obfuscate that fact and confuse everyone by playing the blame-shifting tap-dance that abusers typically play.

    Furthermore I object to you using the term “battle of the sexes” because the term implies both sexes are equally in fight mode, both sexes are aggressors, and both sexes are therefore at fault. The term “battle of the sexes” cleverly doesn’t name the perpetrator: the abuser. Like so many euphemism for domestic abuse, it depicts the abuse as mutual, it avoids active verbs, and it avoids naming the abuser who is the cause of the whole problem.

    What has been on display to the public in this Abedini saga is not a “battle of the sexes.” What is on display is male oppression of women — and society’s collusion with and enabling of men who oppress women.

    Saeed the MAN has fought to oppress and intimidate and isolate Naghmeh the WOMAN who is his wife. Saeed has fought all her attempts to bring him to repentance. While they were still living together, Saeed fought to continue using porn. And Saeed has fought to control the agenda and manipulate the impressions of bystanders. And above all, Saeed is FIGHTING AGAINST having to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for his BAD BEHAVIOUR.

    (sorry for those caps; I’m not good at html yet).

    Liked by 1 person

  42. “That along with his unwillingness to take ownership of any poor behavior leads me to believe he is narcissistic.”

    So far his public words and behavior led me to the same conclusion. If that is the case publicly (if one recognizes such things) can you imagine how bad it would be for the wife in private? Yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

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