This is going around social media right now:
Copied: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
When I was twelve a male family member sexually molested me for two years. At first, I would tell my parents who did not believe me and said he would never do that. Eventually, I stopped trying to tell them and endured. The depression that started when I was nine increased. The molestation stopped when he found another younger girl to torment.
When I was married my sex life with my husband was good until it wasn’t. Evangelicalism is a form of religion that invites hypocrisy. There’s a lot of pressure to conform. My husband felt that pressure more deeply than I and in order to make me submissive, he started raping me.
Again, I wasn’t believed. No evangelical friends believed me. My priest didn’t believe me. “He wouldn’t do that. He’s a good Christian man. He’s a nice guy,” were all things that they said.
There was one person who believed me and that was my psychologist and he helped me leave my husband. I still thank God for him to this day. Naturally, I divorced him.
Eventually, I went to seminary and I had healed enough from the rape to start dating again. My fellow seminarians told me they wanted to date me because of my “brains, beauty, and obvious competence.” In the three years, I dated several men for differing amounts of time, two of them long enough to begin to have some serious feelings for. Mind you, we were at an evangelical seminary so sex was not part of the dating relationship.
In every case, regardless of how long or how short a time we had dated, each man would come to me, tell me how much he valued our time together, would always treasure it, but he had met someone down at the College and he believed that relationship had a potential he didn’t see in ours.
Graciously, I wished them well although inside I felt as if I had once again been raped because like my husband, they wanted someone more submissive and a much younger, more naive woman was one who still believed that malarkey about a wife being a second-class citizen instead of one who was equal partners with her husband, according to what Paul wrote in the original Greek.
Those verses about heterosexual marriage have been translated into English with an agenda which is to make sure women are property, not as people with brains, minds, souls, and spirits of our own, created as much in the image and likeness of God as any man, with our own vocations as much as any man. Paul’s intention it says in the Greek is for heterosexual women to be equal partners with their heterosexual husbands. Paul preaches egalitarianism.
If followers of Jesus universally reclaimed Paul’s original purpose for men in and women in heterosexual marriage, if we internalize it and start living it, we would be a beacon to the world teaching men and women what a heterosexual marriage is supposed to be and maybe it would filter throughout the world and we would see rape for the deviant perversion it is.
Daresay the same old same old voices will shout out erroneously translated Bible verses to say how wrong homosexuality is. <yawn>
The issue is NOT and NEVER has been whether or not homosexuality is wrong in God’s eyes. The issue is the same as it ever has been. The issue is stated in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is repeated in the Christian Scriptures. The issue is that we must love our neighbors as ourselves as God first loved us.
However, all the homophobic rhetoric is responsible for heinous acts that have no place in God’s Kingdom and are not welcome in heaven.
If a reader of this blog thinks there is anything justifiable in the following two stories, then my most loving recommendation is that the reader seek mental health treatment with great urgency.
Dear Wheaton College: Hazing Has No Place in Christ’s Kingdom
SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 BY LINDSEY PAR
“It certainly doesn’t seem possible to be focused on Jesus while kidnapping, physically restraining, and attempting to insert an object into someone’s rectum before beating him and leaving him half-naked on a baseball field with two torn shoulders.
“Five young men who identified as Christians not only singled out another young man for violence, but also signaled their Islamophobia and homophobia in the process. According to the victim’s statement, the football players who kidnapped him played Middle Eastern music and claimed to be Muslims who wanted to have sex with goats before telling him that he would be their “goat” for the evening. The Islamophobia is obvious; the homophobia of their action is shown in the way they attacked his masculinity in their efforts to humiliate him, as Wheaton alumnus Hank Chen explains. In an act of team bonding that is a modern manifestation of building cohesion through violence, these five men asserted themselves not only against a vulnerable freshman, but also against those whom they consider enemy others – Muslims and the LGBTQ community.”
“Trans Teen Brutally Murdered in Missouri; Four Charged”
“Three people have been charged with first-degree murder in the brutal slaying of a transgender teenager in Houston, Mo., and a fourth has been arrested on other charges.
“Ally Steinfeld, 17, was found dead last week in a rural area near a mobile home occupied by one of the suspects, the Associated Press reports. Both local and national media identified Steinfeld by a male name, but The TM Planet, a website focusing on transgender issues, identified her as Ally. She had been stabbed repeatedly, including in the genitals, and her eyes had been gouged out, according to the AP. Her body was burned in an attempt to conceal evidence of the crime.”
The kind of people who teach their children that such actions as those above are righteous, are also the kind of people who elected mentally deranged people such as Roy Moore and Donald Trump.
People guilty of such hich crimes and misdeamors had better get help very soon. I mean that with all love because otherwise too many lives, those of both victims and perpetrators are lost to hate and fear.
My internet crashed yesterday and so I picked up a book I had purchased a few months ago and has been sitting on the To Be Read Pile.
The Bible lives in more ways than one.
As someone with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies and a master’s in Theological Studies from a seminary north of Boston, MA, I was blown away by how much Rob Bell taught me in this book. I opened it. I read the first sentence. Then I devoured it in one sitting, my heart leaping with excitement and joy the entire way through it.
Having come to think that was not the best way to read it, I am now going to reread it, one chapter a day, in prayerful meditation.
Every person who picks this book up is going to get something out of it. If you are a person who has questions about the Bible, this book is for you. If you have a friend who is into the Bible, and you can’t figure out why this book will tell you. If you have been reading and faithfully studying the Bible for a long time, I think this book has something to offer you.
Posted with permission from the author
My parents always said to be careful who you associate yourself with because you are known by the company you keep—that the people around you reflect on you and manufacture other’s perception of you from a distance.Sometimes that mistaken association will be so detrimental and embarrassing, that you will need to speak out and severe the connection.
I’m a Christian, and I realize that word may come with a great deal of baggage for you. You might have an idea about the kind of person you believe that makes me, simply because of the professed Christians you see out there in the world or the ones you may know. You may believe you know what I think or how I feel or how I vote because of the way someone else thinks or feels or votes.
Since I’m aware of this potential association and since I too see what you see every day—I need you to know where I stand:
I’m not with the Christians who shilled for this President, who sold their souls and leveraged their pulpits for political capital, who continue to defend his every vile deed, every reckless Tweet, every gross abuse of power—despite him not bearing the slightest discernible resemblance to Jesus.
I believe this President and his Administration are fully devoid of Christlikeness.
I’m not with the Christians who believe healthcare is a luxury saved only for the rich and the well; those who claim to be followers of Jesus, the healer—while throwing the poor and elderly and ill, to the wolves of circumstance or sickness.
I believe all people who are physically, emotionally, and mentally ill, deserve every chance to get well—and by more than just thoughts and prayers.
I’m not with the Christians who police the bodies and bathrooms and bedrooms of strangers, who distort the Bible in order to justify their fear of people for who and how they love; the ones who’ve turned gender identity and sexual orientation into a weapon of damnation—who would tell adults who they can fall in love with and marry and raise children with.
I believe LGBTQ people are made fully in the image of God and deserve every happiness and right this world has to give them.
I’m not with the Christians who savagely beat their breasts about their shrinking religious freedoms, while regularly manufacturing monsters out of Muslim men and women seeking to live out their chosen faith tradition here in peace, without silencing,harassment, or discrimination—those Christians who do not admit or call out the prevalent and deadly extremism in our faith tradition.
I believe those practicing Islam should be as free and unfettered in this country as those who claim Christianity.
I’m not with the Christians who believe a woman’s body is anyone else’s jurisdiction but her own, those who believe they can legislate their morality upon another human being or take a woman’s personal autonomy from her for any reason.
I believe that women get the only say in what happens to and within their specific bodies.
I’m not with the Christians who refuse to acknowledge their privilege and bias.
I’m not with the Christians who believe everyone should be able to get a gun, but not every one should be able to get prenatal care.
I’m not with Christians who believe God is responsible for Donald Trump’s Presidency.
I’m not with Christians who believe they have the Bible figured out enough to condemn anyone else.
I’m not with the Christians who believe they get to tell strangers they’re going to hell.
Yes, I’m a Christian, but I don’t want you to mistake me for those who may claim to speak for me or represent me by default—those you may have sitting across from you at dinner or worshiping next to you at church or preaching on TV or Tweeting diatribes.
I hope that the fruit of my personal faith is apparent.
I hope that it yields compassion for the hurting, protection for the vulnerable, eyes for the forgotten.
I hope it champions equality for all people, truly diverse community, and a love that transcends difference.
I hope these things are obvious and that they set me apart from those Christians who may speak a different message with their lives—and quite loudly at that.
I also want you to know that there are many of us out here; people with a real, prayerful, fervent desire to follow Jesus, who feel like we’ve had our identities stolen by the pulpit bullies, fear mongers, and Bible bigots who make the headlines and steal the bandwidth and monopolize the conversation.
We want you to know that they do not speak for us. We don’t believe they speak for Jesus.
I guess what I’m saying, is that I hope you won’t too hastily judge all of us based on those who share the name of our faith tradition, and little else. We are as distressed as you with what we see them doing in the name of Jesus these days.
We’re exhausted by their hatred, fed up with their intolerance, disgusted by their violence—and no, we’re not with them.