A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, Church response, Rob Porter


***

You may have heard in the news recently about Rob Porter who worked for President Trump in the White House. Porter recently resigned his position as White House Staff Secretary after allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives surfaced in the media. It was disheartening to hear that both women reported the abuse to elders in their churches and to counselors. Somehow, he was able to get a job in the White House, although it was known by White House staff months before his resignation. (Source)

“When I tried to get help, I was counseled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career,” Willoughby wrote in a blog post last year, adding later, “Friends and clergy didn’t believe me. And so I stayed.”

She also told The Intercept that when she went to her bishop about Porter’s anger issues, he cautioned that it could hurt Porter’s image. “Keep in mind, Rob has career ambitions,” she recalled the local LDS leader saying, according to the online news outlet.

“It wasn’t until I went to a secular counselor at my workplace one summer and told him what was going on that he was the first person, and not a male religious leader, who told me that what was happening was not OK,” she told the Daily Mail. (Source)

Although the above example was in the LDS church, I’ve written a number of blog articles about domestic violence in Evangelical Christian churches, and many times the response is the same.

Here is where I stand on this issue at the moment. If someone contacts me about domestic violence, I am very leery to encourage them to talk to their pastor or church leaders unless they know that their church has a proven record of helping survivors of domestic violence and has plans in place. Time and again, these women are subjected to secondary harm: spiritual abuse and emotional harm by their spiritual leaders who do not know how to handle these cases appropriately.

This tweet I saw recently was profound!

***

Yesterday, a comment came in on this post: Bethlehem Baptist Church Excommunicates Victim of Domestic Violence, but since it is an older post, not many will read it. I have posted the comment below. It needs to be read. Is this the outcome the church wants? Then church leaders need to get their collective acts together and help the survivors, and report the perpetrators!

I am so freakin’ tired of these stories!


***

delete

When I went to my pastor for help he would not even meet with me, he sent his wife instead. All she had to say, despite me being very clear that I was in fear for my safety, in addition to the emotional torment I was subjected to for years, was to keep praying for God to soften his heart. I was told to look inward and ask God to help me be the best godly wife I could be, because I should be the example of God’s love to my husband. My husband would see God working in me, as evidenced by me not fighting back, being submissive, always staying calm even in the midst of his chaos, and loving & respecting my husband despite how he was treating me.

When I did finally tell my husband I was filing for divorce, even though I had repeatedly been told that God hates divorce, I endured the worst physical assault ever dished out by him. I had a knife pulled on me, was threatened with death, and my 4-year old son ripped from my arms as I tried to flee after being held hostage for hours. I was finally able to get to a phone.

He went to jail. The divorce was finalized 3 months later. I called the pastor’s wife to tell her what happened. I got the standard, “I’m so sorry, if you need anything let us know.” I had no job, he had taken money from our account and hid it. I had 60 days to move out before the protective order expired.

I never got a call from the pastor, or his wife, checking on me. Instead, the pastor was talking with my husband, because according to my pastor, “It takes two to fight and divorce was not the answer.” Again, it was my fault. All the church ever did was put the onus on me to be a better wife, pray for him, and extend him grace because his heart was hardened. No responsibility on the abuser. No support was offered to me, not even any kind words.

***

I left the church forever at that point.

***

I had already been made to feel like I just needed to do better, and now, I was the sinful one for leaving. I left the church forever at that point. And I left the misguided teachings of an ancient misogynist book we call the bible, behind as well.

My story is not unique and that is the problem. My story is rampant in churches across the entire world. Quite frankly, I came to the conclusion that if God really loved the church, He wouldn’t have allowed man to destroy it. But man has destroyed it because man built it, just as man wrote the book that dictates the lives of people that attend it. I finally realized it was all false teachings.

I refuse to believe in a God that allows this to happen – that allows his teachings to become so twisted that women literally die because they are told not to leave. I don’t want any part of it. And letting go of all of it was the most freeing thing ever.

But to all of you in the church that enable this to happen, that do nothing more than say “well those people aren’t real Christians.” you are failing your own make-belief god, because his church is the very reason that I no longer buy into the fantasy. My son was traumatized beyond what any of you could imagine, and I will not ever teach him that God will use his horrific experience to help others, or that this was all part of a divine plan. Unlike the Godly father, I will do everything to protect my son, never allowing him to think that his suffering is justified, so that it could glorify the holy narcissist in the sky.

These teachings, that boom, and the man-made institution of the church are dangerous. I’m glad this site is speaking out as if some people have enough sense to know that the sanctity of marriage is never more important than the sanctity of life, but it is too late for me. We would have been spared a lot had it not been for the fact that God hates marriage so much. Who cares about an eternity in hell if you are already living it here on this planet? At least I’m safe now, my son is safe, and I’ll gladly burn forever to stand up and speak out against a church and a God that allows this to happen to women.

 

 

photo credit: heinltier emotions via photopin (license)

60 comments on “A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence

  1. I had a number of conversations with Lori Alexander about domestic abuse. She told me it was far better to stay in a marriage because the bible tells us that we will suffer and this is just part of that suffering. It had nothing to do with happiness or well-being, suffering as Christ suffer was really good. It a woman dies, well – she has done a good thing in remaining. She also said that emotional and psychological abuse was not real and it was just women not submitting enough 😦 😦

    Like

  2. That is disgusting, Jo. A lot of what Lori has to say is disgusting, but she is not the only one who says things like this when it comes to domestic violence. I don’t understand how Christians can be so “pro-life’ about the unborn child, and abandon women who could be losing their lives to violence at the hands of their husbands.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Instead, the pastor was talking with my husband, because according to my pastor, “It takes two to fight and divorce was not the answer.”

    No, it absolutely does not. This is madness. Way too many churches have gone absolutely insane, and set aside even basic human kindness.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. That was no church. It was a den of wolves. I used to believe in ‘wolf Christianity’ the kind where our life on earth was meant to be full of suffering and putting myself through the worst situations to please that god’s insatiable appetite for punishment and suffering.

    Jo, that’s not surprising. What’s surprising to me is the hypocrisy Lori shows over and over. When she “doesn’t feel up” to something, she doesn’t do it, yet she tells her followers to suffer because it “isn’t about them” – that they ought to suffer for the greater good.

    Like

  5. “It takes two to fight and divorce was not the answer.”

    Exactly. So, what did Jesus do that was worthy of getting murdered for?

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
    “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

    These pastors are just following in the same line of Pharisees. They claim that they recognize good from evil, but when they are given the chance to prove themselves, they condemn the innocent and coddle the guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s really heartbreaking to me that this issue can cost women their faith, can cause them to not only stop believing in their church, but to stop believing in God himself. I can’t really blame them either, our own innate morality tells us this is wrong and if we start to believe it is also God -endorsed, than the only logical response, the only “moral” choice to make is to reject who we have been falsely lead to believe God is.

    Myself, in my experience, it’s the churchian women who need to be reached and transformed so they learn how to stand up for their sisters. In this story it was the Pastor’s wife who aided and abetted an injustice. That is what I have seen happen too. Men in leadership, men in power will listen, IF the women around them insist on it, encourage them, model how they should respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d just like to reassure the lady who wrote that letter that she won’t burn in any hell – that’s another contrived LIE; one that scares people into making decisions contrary to their own, inborn good sense. 😦 Thankfully she used her own good sense to get out of a life-threatening situation. Nonsense designed to keep sheep in the pen. smh

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Back in the olden days, when the cops would visit my house and tell my black-eyed mom to fix my dad a steak and a baked potato, I felt angry. I still feel angry when I read these stories. I know churches can do better, and I am familiar with two that would never sanction the wife for leaving a batterer. I just wish there were more.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This woman’s story is utterly appalling! I only wish I could say I was surprised. But the sad reality is that the ‘church’ is not the safe, loving place it advertises itself to be. Bullying and abuse is rampant, and enablers are prevalent. Whilst there are so many ‘church leaders’ who care more about their reputations and their institutions than they do about the people who attend them, this story will be oft repeated. And people will continue to reject God because they mistakenly believe that this is who these leaders actually represent. It’s heart-breaking 😥

    Like

  10. This story sounds very familiar… and very close to home. This whole thing just breaks my heart.

    We know that the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the “law” when he healed people on the Sabbath. (Matt.12:1-14) Today many pastors accuse abused women of violating some spiritual “law” if they leave their abusive marriages. They are willing to sacrifice an abused woman’s life, and even her soul, in order to keep the “law” they value most… not the Sabbath law… but the “law” of the marriage covenant. They say they want the reputation of a church that keeps marriages together. To them successful counselling is keeping a couple under the same roof… even if the cruelty and wickedness of abuse stays under the roof with them. They say, “Leave that sheep in the hole… let it suffer and die… so we can look good by upholding marriage covenants!”

    We don’t have to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” We already know what Jesus DID do… he broke the law of the Sabbath to rescue people! Jesus, the Giver of the Law, ignored the letter of the law to show compassion to needy people. Jesus says, “How much more valuable is an abused woman than a sheep!”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I appreciate her statements here because I can agree with them.
    “He wouldn’t have allowed man to destroy it. But man has destroyed it because man built it”. “I finally realized it was all false teachings.”

    I find these statements accurate because right now in this day and age, it seems there is a false church on every corner.

    I don’t go to church for a myriad of reasons. My number one reason is I don’t find them safe. As a child who suffered immeasurable abuse in my home, and by the pastorate, and deacons of my church. It’s not safe to even recount my story in any church 30 yrs later.
    There have been occasional people who have helped in some measure, some very loving , kind people exhibiting the spirit of Christ, but in my 51 years those have been few and far between.
    I believe there are some members of the body of Christ who are the church, but as a whole the church building which few and thousands attend are not the church.

    The Bible says the way is narrow and few find it. It is my personal belief that this is the truth. There are few people who actually find Christ. They might “believe”and be ” forgiven” but that’s where it ends.

    The church of Christ that is in those few that have found it will not be destroyed by man. But I think she is right, what is thought of as the church is being destroyed by man. It is powerless,void of living water, and is preaching another Jesus. It is preaching the gospel of self, reputation, greed and all sorts of wickedness.

    All this domestic abuse in the churches is a symptom of a false church with false doctrines and unfortunately deceived people.

    I will get backlash for painting all Christians with a broad brush, but I have spent a very very very long time thinking about this.
    Unfortunately I have faced evil in it’s face while proclaiming Jesus Christ on their lips.
    Not once, twice, ten, or even 20 times, more like hundreds.
    Years of chronic abuse, can make you acutely aware of the slightest nuance of danger, of false pretense, false love, false intent, false empathy, false sincerity. The list could go on.
    It’s like wearing radar antennae on your head that picks up on the smallest hint or cue.
    Unfortunately people who have sustained early childhood chronic abuse, have brains that are altered. My brain has been stimulated to find danger.

    My first reaction is to never believe or trust.
    All I am saying is it is super easy for me to not believe people are Christians, even if they say they are.
    The Bible gives some pretty explicit instructions on how to spot Christians.
    The Bible gives explicit outcomes of the results of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And I’m not talking tongues.
    The Bible does not teach us to lay down and be dumb and believe everyone and everything. It says Watch! Don’t believe every spirit, but test. It is full of words like judge, discern.
    There is so much lacking in the church teaching..probably to keep people stupid to let evil flourish. Hebrews 5:12 but solid food is for the mature . Who because of practice have their senses trained to discern evil and good.

    All I am saying is believers got to step up their game. Quit being satisfied with basic wishy washy teaching tickling this and that.
    There needs to be a visible church with discernment and the power that raised Christ from the dead to help these wounded, broken throwaway people. The false church has bruised beaten and been the pawn of the devil who comes to steal our identity in Christ, kill our power in Christ, and destroy the power of the gospel message.

    Jesus not only came to forgive sin, but to save us from it.
    Matt 1:21 “he shall save people From their sins”
    Forgiveness is the removal of guilt for past sins. To be saved from sin is to be saved from anger, the lust of the eyes, covetousness. Bitterness, jealousy etc . The verse means Jesus will save us from being enslaved to sin.

    Anyhow, this poor lady did not encounter christians in my opinion. She has every right to be angry, hurt and wounded.
    I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry she was duped, and abused. Healing and safety to you.

    .

    Liked by 4 people

  12. ” I don’t understand how Christians can be so “pro-life’ about the unborn child, and abandon women who could be losing their lives to violence at the hands of their husbands.”

    Even if they aren’t too concerned about the women, one of the signs of an abusive relationship is multiple miscarriages – especially if there isn’t a medical cause. You would think that ‘pro-life’ would be all about eliminating abuse. I find a lot of hypocrisy with the Christians who claim to be pro-life anyway.

    The story is too familiar to me, as well.

    Like

  13. Bunkababy – I read your comment 3 times and found it so tragic and true. My heart aches for what you have experienced. Thank you for commenting and giving us important things to think about. May we be Christians who care.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such is the fruit of horribly wrong interpretations of Scripture. I wish I could talk to the people telling these stories. God is for the downtrodden and want them to enter His shalom/peace where relationships are loving and kind.

    God does allow divorce for abuse and neglect. The Hebrew words often translated as “God hates divorce” are actually literally “he hates divorce” which is a Jewish idiom for when a husband divorces for no valid Biblical reason (that is, the husband simply “hates” (dislikes) his wife and so does not offer any more valid reason, such as adultery, abuse, or neglect.

    Like

  15. My heart goes out to the writer, and I can wholeheartedly empathize. Nothing makes an Evangelical woman an Untouchable faster than abuse and divorce.

    Like

  16. I’m so very sorry for what this lady went through.

    If I have time in the future, I may want to reference this post, if that’s okay, and link to it. This lady’s story covers two or three topics I have been wanting to address on my Daisy blog for some time.

    Is the lady who wrote this now an atheist, or is she saying in her post that she still believes in a God, just not the same one that a lot of Christians teach about (the God who supposedly wants women to stay in abusive marriages)?
    (Just asking for clarification on that one, especially if I get around to writing a post about this story, I am ~not~ judging her either way on that.)

    I was thinking about doing a blog post or two about deconversion stories, about how and why people leave the Christian faith or are considering leaving, and how some Christians react to those who do express doubts or leave.

    Like

  17. I too reached the conclusion a few years ago that a church is the LAST place a person should go to if they are in an abusive marriage, or for just about any life trauma or bad situation: if you are going through grief, if you have depression, etc.

    If you go to church people, many usually either won’t lift a finger to actually do anything to help you (e.g., give you rides to doctor’s appointments, financial assistance, emotional support, etc.), or they will give you wrong / bad / unhelpful advice, and/or, they will give you empty religious platitudes..

    Or, they will shame you for
    (1) having a problem in the first place and
    (2) for discussing it with them or anyone else
    (if you are suffering as a Christian, according to these types of people, you’re supposed to keep it to yourself, and deal with it alone in silence).

    Like

  18. (part 1)
    insanitybytes22 said,

    It’s really heartbreaking to me that this issue can cost women their faith, can cause them to not only stop believing in their church, but to stop believing in God himself.

    This is something a lot of Christians are uncomfortable with, some of them get angry at the ex- Christian, they get very judgmental about folks who walk away from Jesus (or just attending church), and they toss insults at the person who has left the faith.
    I have not totally left the faith myself, but I’m on the borderline of it.

    It’s very, very difficult to explain to Christians who are still all down and groovy cool with and enamored with Jesus why and how anyone who is a Christian could consider leaving the faith – but now that I’ve been going through that myself, I understand now.

    Some Christians mean well when they tell a hurting person to think of Jesus, rather than focus on these bad churches, etc, but I’ve seen Christians (even on some of these very spiritual abuse sites) chide anyone over this.

    They will scold you for leaving the Christian faith (or thinking about doing so) because, one reason of a few, you were hurt by churches or by Christians.
    It’s being incredibly unempathetic and unfair (and pretty haughty) to tell people in this position that, “You put your faith in man, not Jesus, like me!”
    (continued in part 2)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. (part 2, concluding thoughts to InsanityByte22’s post)

    Such an attitude, (i.e., shaming or criticizing someone for leaving the faith over having been hurt by Christians, and the whole, “You put your faith in man, not God, like I do, you loser!” shtick),
    and I’ve seen Christians behave in that fashion before, are not grasping how and why it is some leave the faith.

    Further, that kind of dismissive attitude only drives some further away who are on the fence about things.

    It just happens to be a reality that one component that drives some Christians away from church, or the faith itself, is the misbehavior, apathy, or negligence of many of the other self-professing Christians they see. Jesus may be an okay guy, but a lot of his followers are not.

    But a lot of Christians want to make staying in the faith purely an intellectual exercise, where they want you to keep clinging to certain views or doctrines about Jesus no matter what, even if 99% of Christians you’ve gone to for help have slammed a door in your face instead.

    I’m sorry, but to those Christians who make it sound like you should just believe in Jesus regardless of how those who claim his name behave, the behavior of others does matter, too. And seeing consistent awful or insensitive behavior does cause some to question the validity or worth-while-ness of the entire faith.

    I don’t know as though I care to sticking with a faith that does not seem to produce real and consistent good change in people, or you see people who say they believe in Jesus and the Bible, but they don’t regularly even try to do what Jesus taught or what the book says.

    So, if the lady quoted in the OP left Christianity altogether (or just church) over how terrible her church treated her when she went to them for help over her creep jerk of a husband, I get it. I really, really get it.
    It’s not enough for Christians to run around saying Jesus is wonderful, they love Jesus, and they dig his book the Bible when they aren’t doing stuff that book and Jesus taught about: helping other people out when they ask you for help.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Daisy, in your three points listed that is exactly my point. To me that is not a church. Those people are not Christians. There has to be some line in the sand drawn for the true Christians to stand up and call the church what it is.

    That is my frustration. To me that sounds exactly the opposite of Christ’s living example and what he taught. And yet people still want to call it the church.

    How many more people have to be chased out of churches, or thrown out battered and bruised before we collectively acknowledge that these places of “worship” are not exhibiting the the transforming, power of Jesus Christ?
    How more obvious does it have to get?
    And what kind of pastor is going to boot out the abused and keep the abuser, and should be trusted on anything he has to say about scripture? What kind of Christlike man has he been transformed into? Certainly not Christ.

    I think in general the church has satisfied themselves by staying in neutral. Not moving foraward or backwards. And it is ok!!

    It’s not okay!
    Everyday I turn on my FB, another pastor has committed adultery, or committed heinous acts.
    (The church is so busy pointing fingers at the unsaved for their sins. They selfrighteously oppose abortion, call out the desperatly lost lgbtq community, with nary a look at their own decieved heart!if I hear one more person online say they are supposed to call out unbeleivers in their sin I will scream. Oh the hypocricy.l

    They are not pastors. They are wolves, and what a sad day it is for that congregation to have been sitting under such bland, milky, itchy teaching that their spiritual senses could not have picked up on any other thing in his life that was amiss.
    I swear when some church member or pastor is found out, i can guarantee you that sin is not in isolation. He will have exhibited other sin in his walk. You have to fine tune your mind to watch.

    I have some very strong feelings on this subject and high standards, but isnt that what Christ came for? Are we not to be moving from glory to glory and image to image? Are we not to be without stain or wrinkle?
    If it is in scripture it must be possible.
    This false church has been given doctrines of demons. Platitudes. Agendas. We have campuses. And leaders whose sole job is to lead leaders…Lead leaders??
    Are we not to follow Christ?

    If nobody is going to say it I will. What have I got to lose? The church has already beaten me to a pulp as a little kid, and done more damage along the way, and now I see this rotten tree (church) damaging my adult kids who choose to go to church.

    I’m not bitter, I’m angry at the church who continues to wound. I’m angry with false teachers and pastors. I’m angry that the church is so deep in slumber it has no idea how far gone it is. It is heart wrenching when the people come out so badly damaged and deceived they want nothing to do with God. His image has been shattered by devils in the pulpit.
    I have no problem calling a spade a spade.
    God. The God in Heaven is how I defined him, he is nothing like who they preach. I know. He saved me out of evil. He, through a very long process redeemed me, put things back together and is continuing to refashion me in his image as a run after him. Or slowly crawl. Mostly crawl.
    He offers so much more than anything some “campus” can offer.
    Wake up.
    As long as we tip toe around these people leading lambs to the slaughter are we not complicit?
    I’m tired of the games Christians play. Don’t judge. Don’t say anything bad about another person in blatant unrepentant sin. Christian’s have become cowards.

    I know of a situation my daughter was in. Every God fearing Christian caved , CAVED to the abuser. I was not directly involved in the least. It was a Christian nonprofit my daughter worked for. But instead of standing up for righteousness the board went a long with the abuser. Then after 2 more employees besides my daughter being abused and fired,the board quit. Abuser wins.
    I clearly don’t have all the answers. But I do know the church is not being equipped to deal with sin.
    Okay I have ranted enough. I have hijacked the board. I just desperatly want the church to change.and I am clearly saddened.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My heart is broken for the writer and for all here who have experienced spiritual abuse heaped on top of abuse received at home. Thank you, all, for sharing here. I, too, am hesitant to refer a victim of abuse to a church pastor for counsel knowing all of the hurt, pain, and blame that victims experience from those who say they are called by God to serve others. It’s a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Mark’s quote from Jesus’ scathing character analysis of the Pharisees reminded me of another section of that description:
    For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bunkababy, if you would like to share your story publicly, please let me know. You write so well and I know that it would resonate with people.

    It is the personal stories that people connect with. After they connect with someone’s story, it might be the very first time they have not felt alone. That is why they are so powerful and why this place is Spiritual Sounding Board. It’s not for just me, it’s a place for others to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “It takes two to fight and divorce was not the answer.”

    In conservative Christianity/Comp world if a man sexually tortures a three-year-old little girl it is either 100% her fault, or 50% her fault and 50% his fault.

    In conservative Christianity/Comp world if a man beats his wife it is either 100% her fault, or 50% her fault and 50% his fault.

    I get so mad at my liberal friends when they say about conservative Christian men who are taking the side of rapist and wife beaters, “he wouldn’t say that if it was his daughter or wife.” I say, “Yes, he would! Our fathers and husbands don’t give a tiny d*mn about us. They treat us like sex slaves. Our needs, thoughts, and feelings never matter, never.”

    Conservative Christian men have Christianity rigged in their favor. The same way Ariel Castro had his nightmare house rigged in his favor.

    My great-grandfather was a bible loving man; a devout man. He advised his sickly underweight overly submissive daughter to stay married to her husband who was beating her. It pleasured my great grandfather that his daughter stayed married to a man that beat her. He was pleased he could arrange for another man to have a trapped submissive wife.

    My father married my mother when he was twenty-two and she was seventeen. My mother had the naivety of a seven-year-old little girl; this was what my father wanted in a wife.

    My father forced my underage mother to get pregnant right away after they got married where she would be even more trapped. When I was a baby I was sick all the time. One night I would not stop crying and it got on my father’s nerves so he beat his teenage wife in her face and her face gushed blood. Did my mother’s father care that his teenage daughter had been beaten because of a sick baby she was FORCED to get pregnant with? He was pleased that another man had a submissive wife. This is the Christian father and Christian husband way.

    In the Christianity I was born and raised in, (the Southern Baptist Wife Beating Convention,) women and children can take rapes and beatings for years, or all their lives. But Christian men cannot take thirty seconds of not getting their feeble bottoms kissed or having to take full blame for some selfish sick garbage they have heaped on a woman or child.

    Because of all these Christian husbands and Christian fathers I knew growing up; at sixteen I decided I would rather go to Hell than ever be married to a Christian man.

    If I meet a man who goes to church I want him to stay the hell away from me and every child I know. I consider church going men to be creeps who believe it is worse for a child or woman to not kiss men’s bottoms then it is for men to beat and rape the child or woman.

    Like

  25. Lori Alexander; I had women like her in my family growing up.

    If Lori Alexander was anywhere close to being a decent human being she would be sick at her stomach with guilt and shame, but I know that hag is not a decent human being and will never care about the toxic perversion she has heaped on mothers and their little girls.

    The lifestyle Lori promotes is the lifestyle my mother lived and is the reason I wish I never knew my sadistic scumbag father, the reason my mother and me both wished we had been aborted, the reason I am an atheist today, and the reason Christian lifestyle reminds me of Ariel Castro.

    I actually believe men like Ariel Castro make women like Lori h*rny.

    Like

  26. f. I can’t really blame them either, our own innate morality tells us this is wrong and if we start to believe it is also God -endorsed, than the only logical response, the only “moral” choice to make is to reject who we have been falsely lead to believe God is.

    This is so true. If I believed what some of these men say about women truly came from god I would believe that is not a god to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. This, from the current scandal in the White House involving Rob Porter –
    “His second wife wrote a blog post that described how an official in the Mormon church had told her to think carefully about what she said about Porter’s abuse. ‘When I tried to get help, I was counseled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career,’ she wrote.”
    A p*ssy-grabber as President, a Dominionist as second-in-command, a house full of representatives of the christian Right, and millions of pastors endorsing same — every woman in the USofA has reason to be very nervous.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, Julie Anne. It’s nothing short of heroic. Women need VOICES.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I don’t know your story, Christianity hurts, but every time I see your name, my heart aches. I’m so sorry about the pain you have experienced. I just don’t understand how people can be so cruel.

    Like

  29. My appreciation and thankfulness for SSB grows with each new post. It is exposing lies, deception, so much more of the heinous deeds carried under disguise of church. We who have been sorely abused, lied to, shamed, put off, sent back to the perpetrator, have often felt alone. We struggled in silence and tried to continue making sense where there was/is no sense to be made.

    My mother used to say, “If you have experienced something inappropriate and are feeling you are the problem, but you know better, you can be certain there are others like you who just haven’t spoken up yet.” So wise, so true.

    I find it enlightening, although upsetting to know there are many, many of us who have suffered at the hands of the church so often that we can’t safely return ever again. We can listen to our inner voice because it resonates with others who share intimate stories of their lives at SSB.

    Thank you, Julie, Kathi, and all of the rest who give selflessly to minister to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. @Carmen:

    A p*ssy-grabber as President, a Dominionist as second-in-command, a house full of representatives of the christian Right, and millions of pastors endorsing same — every woman in the USofA has reason to be very nervous.

    SInce November 2016, the American Evangelical “plain reading” of the First Commandment has been “Thou Shalt Have No Other God Before Me — EXCEPT FOR DONALD TRUMP” and Evangelicals have been The Trump’s Amen Chorus (like those deacons seated behind Polishing-the-Shaft Schaap).

    And here’s a possible explanation:
    DONALD TRUMP ACTS A LOT LIKE THE MEGA-PASTORS WHO GET EXPOSED HERE AND ON WARTBURG WATCH. These MenaGAWD’s antics have conditioned the pew-peons to view that kind of attitude & behavior as God’s Anointing. So when a real estate tycoon who acts like that but even more so runs for President, He Must Be Even More Anointed.

    Like

  31. @JulieAnne:

    I don’t know your story, Christianity hurts, but every time I see your name, my heart aches.

    I think Christianity Hurts has been a regular commenter on this and other blogs using handles like “Guest” and “100pinkapples” — apparently not out of any ulterior motive, more like she just changes handles now and then (or may just use a different one for each blog). All these handles tell the same horror story of a little girl who’s childhood was one long continuing sexual abuse by psychopath sadist male relatives who justified everything they did with Scripture and God (like Christian Complementarianism(TM) filtered through bath salts). Another pattern in these (which makes me think they’re the same commenter) is making comparisons to the Ariel Castro kidnapping/sex slave case (Cleveland, Ohio, circa 2013). Apparently her abusers could be described as “Just like Ariel Castro, Except Christian(TM)!”

    Note that the original meaning of “Taking God’s Name in Vain” refers to doing Evil and claiming it is of God. (AKA God saying “You do your own dirty work! Don’t drag Me into it as an accessory!”) NOT the “cussing and cussing alone” so popular today.

    Like

  32. P.S. All I can say from her posts (under whatever handle she used at the time) is that on an abuse scale of 1 to 10, Christianity Hurts was on the receiving end of a 12 to 18. For years if not decades. I am surprised she is still alive and sane enough to make legible comments; how much of her died inside over all those years of abuse?

    She is either incredibly tough (though damaged) or a survivor on the level of someone who lived through Auschwitz or GULAG..Judging from those I know who went through severe abuse (one of whom ended up as broken as “Reek” from Game of Thrones), the damage will always be there (like Frodo after he bore the Ring this side of the Undying Lands).

    Like

  33. I actually believe men like Ariel Castro make women like Lori h*rny.
    — Christianity Hurts

    Wouldn’t that make Godly Lori as sicko a perv as Ariel Castro?

    50 Shades of Grey is the Fantasy.
    Ariel Castro is the Reality.

    Like

  34. I actually do not believe my story is any worse than anyone else’s. I have a cousin who is in prison because he was used a child sex toy his whole childhood. He became a drug addict to try and minimize the pain and started robbing people at gunpoint. He was a sweet little boy. Another cousin who committed suicide because he was raped as a little boy. My huge Christian family does not care that they were raped as little boys. They hate them for stealing and doing drugs. There is something very sick in Christianity when stealing and doing drugs is worse than raping children.

    In conservative Christian homeschool, we were told, “We will condemn you if you do not get married and breed breed breed. Oh, and when you get married you can never deny your husband sex. If your husband rapes you it is your fault for not being submissive enough, and there is no such thing as rape in marriage. You may not divorce your husband for raping you.
    If your husband beats you it is your fault for not being submissive enough, you may not divorce your husband for beating you. No matter how vile your husband is to you; you are to kiss kiss kiss his bottom.” It always sounded like sex slavery to me. You can’t tell your husband no to anything, especially sex. If he beats you you can’t leave him and you have to kiss his bottom more.

    I sincerely feel like all the children I read about whose parents love people like Debi Pearl and Bill Gothard have it much worse than me. They are children being psychologically and physically terrorized for being new little people. These babies are so desperate not to be hurt and to be loved. They are trapped with parents who get a thrill out of hurting them.

    Keep in mind that I have a huge Christian family with more aunts, uncles, and cousins than I can count and I have listened to their stories of misery heaped on them in the name of the bible all my life and it infuriates me. I was told that before my grandfather became a Southern Baptist preacher he was sweet, adorable, and fun.

    After he became a Southern Baptist preacher he became hateful, heartless, and extremely abusive to his two sons. If you have ever seen The Shining by Stephen King; Jack Nickalson on that movie reminds my sister and me of our father and his brother. Our grandfather turned his two sons into batsh*t evil trainwrecks all because of the bible. He was a fire and brimstones preacher.

    Like

  35. 50 Shades of Grey is so offensive to me as a woman and traumatizing to me as a sexual abuse victim. I have told my sister I wish I could ask the perverted woman who wrote it if Ariel Castro turns her on. A man my sister works with told her it sets women back fifty years.

    I was reading a blog once and they started talking about 50 Shades of Grey. A girl came on and said her and her boyfriend were both sexually abused as children and they can not have orgasms without that kind of stuff involved. I don’t want to judge two rape victims but I don’t get it, it makes me sick.

    As a dyslexic person, I enjoy and am impressed with your savvy articulate post with references to history and classic cool books. You should be a writer for a magazine or paper. I read a lot and most of the writing is so boring.

    Like

  36. Christianity hurts. I think you need to stop calling your family Christian. They may say they are, but the ones who do those evil deeds or who turn the other way are are evil. Evil and Christianity don’t mix. It’s either one or the other. When you see and experience Christianity, you will know it.

    Like

  37. Julie Anne,

    If I may, and as I do comment right now, I find myself trembling. A reaction; but I don’t mean to give the appearance of anger, just concern. We who have been hurt in Christian homes/situations/schools/churches/missions etc. by people and the system, cannot stop calling our truth “Christian” without minimizing the actual truth. To say evil and Christianity don’t mix is well, not fair, because it did mix. Do you know what I mean?

    As you know, one of the most difficult parts of telling our stories is at first having people not believe our stories. ‘Oh pastor would never do such a thing.’ ‘Well you must have provoked your husband.’ ‘Oh well that’s not Christianity’ is something the abused can and does hear over and over again. Or, ‘Well that’s not true/real Christianity.’ My point being I guess is that it was true Christianity. It was our Christianity. We knew no other. So we not only have to tell our truth, we need to stay true to our truth. It was Christianity and it was evil and for the abused, they do mix.

    When you see and experience Christianity, you will know it. ~ Julie Anne

    This here for me reminds me of all the times I’ve been told while sharing my story that I was never a Christian in the first place. With the wave of a hand, my story and the stories of others becomes invisible based on others telling us we’ve just never known real Christianity yet. The focus becomes Christianity (and the “real” Christianity, and that focus will keep us here to the end of time wading around in that discussion) instead of keeping it on the truth of the experience/abuse. Our stories involve Christianity and always will.

    Like

  38. I actually do not believe my story is any worse than anyone else’s

    Christianity hurts, I think one thing that is hard to realize is how rampant abuse of children really is. It’s touched my family as well, but I think my mom watched me like a hawk as a kid because she knew that.

    On 50 shades, I didn’t read the books but I saw the first movie and my read was that the guy was basically abused himself and it messed him up. There was nothing ‘sexy’ about it. (No clue what happens after the first movie though)

    Like

  39. Zoe, thank you for sharing how my words affected you. That’s important for me to know. You’re right. That is what was Christianity for you (and others).

    It makes me think of my recovery process. It took a loooonngg time before I called Chuck O’Neal a wolf and the church a cult. I probably would have rejected those words years ago, too. At some point, there is a time in the recovery process where people make a transition with their words. I need to be sensitive about that. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Julie Anne,
    I’ve read comments of Zoe’s on other blogs and I think you’ll find that she – very like yourself – has a quality much admired by many — wisdom. It has its price.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I agree that as God’s treasure, he puts us over any tradition or sacrament. Jesus told the Pharisees that traditions and sacraments like marriage were made for people and not the reverse. Whenever, we endanger the well-being (physical, emotional, psychological) of another to preserve a tradition we have moved dangerously far from the greatest commandment, love.
    Hope Has A Home

    Like

  42. Christianity Hurts, I hope you keep posting about your experiences (and Zoe too!).

    Your voices need to be heard. There are a lot of sick, evil people and sick, evil deeds being perpetrated in the name of “Christianity”. Especially against the vulnerable. Yes, it is painful to hear, but huge portions of the “church” have devolved into horrible, scandalous places, at least in North America. For those of us who still believe in the Lord, it is heart-breaking to hear that someone’s faith in God has been destroyed by evil people (who claim to be doing God’s will, etc.).

    I admit it can hurt to hear testimonies like yours because, for those of us who still believe, we have compassion and empathy for others, and sincerely strive to be authentic and caring in this harsh world. It is very painful to realize that we (by self-identifying as Christian) are lumped in with vicious, revolting, sinister, religious creeps… the kind of people we hate, disavow and work to expose. And because we love Jesus, it is hard to hear that depraved people have defined who and what God is to their victims.

    But even though we have reached different beliefs about God, I hope you keep sharing… I believe you deserve to be heard after all you have been through.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. And just for the record, my father was a cunning, abusive psycho behind closed doors. My family eventually experienced an intra-family homicide due to the mind-bending abuse. However, my dad was an atheist and my mom a Christian. I don’t know what I would have ended up believing if my dad had been a “bible-thumper”.
    I. Can’t. Imagine.

    Like

  44. @Zoe:

    With the wave of a hand, my story and the stories of others becomes invisible based on others telling us we’ve just never known real Christianity yet.

    “Real Christianity” as in “Mine, NOT Thine”?
    Or just substitute “True Communism” for “Real Christianity” and see if anything changes?

    Like

  45. If I could, I would like to ask for prayers for the wife of my husband’s pastor. His bishops have decided that the church and he should try to come to a mutual agreement that he leave the church. He has been controlling, manipulative, etc as their pastor, and he doesn’t seem agreeable to this plan. I don’t think that the ways of interacting are limited to just church life; they are likely present within his marriage as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Yes, they are usually more careful around others. His behavior with other church members has hurt them, so without the ‘filter’ of others, she could experience worse. I hope that she is out of town and stays somewhere safe.

    Like

  47. Song of Joy,

    For those of us who still believe in the Lord, it is heart-breaking to hear that someone’s faith in God has been destroyed by evil people (who claim to be doing God’s will, etc.). ~ Song of Joy

    Thank you.

    I wanted to mention Song of Joy that my faith in God was not destroyed by “evil” &/or abusive Christians. My faith/trust in them may have been destroyed but it was only a part of the story of years of study and my eventual changing my mind about my former belief system.

    Like

  48. @ Headless Unicorn Guy

    @Zoe:

    With the wave of a hand, my story and the stories of others becomes invisible based on others telling us we’ve just never known real Christianity yet.

    “Real Christianity” as in “Mine, NOT Thine”?
    Or just substitute “True Communism” for “Real Christianity” and see if anything changes?

    I’m not really able to understand what you are saying here.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s