10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.
“My pastor was my rapist.” An Alabama pastor is accused of raping, torturing, and sexually abusing multiple children, including the rape of a 9-year-old girl on her father’s grave.
AL.com reports Mack Charles Andrews, a pastor at the conservative United Pentecostal Church, First United Pentecostal Church in Thomasville, Alabama, is accused of sexually torturing, abusing, and raping multiple underage victims.
One of Andrews’ victims spoke about the abuse using the pseudonym “Jane” to conceal her identity. Jane reports Andrews allegedly started “grooming” her for sexual abuse when she was only 7.
Jane says she lost her virginity to her pastor on her father’s grave when she was just 9 years old, and explains how Andrews used religious superstition to terrorize her:
He told me if I didn’t say anything, he would come back and put flowers on the grave. If I did, he said demons would come and get me from my bed.
AL.com reports Jane was subjected to sexual torture prior to the rape, noting Andrews allegedly violated her with drumsticks, pens, letter openers, a figurine and even a flashlight, “grooming” her for future sexual abuse.
Jane reports the heinous abuse began when she was only 7 years old and was part of the “grooming process” to prepare her for the rape she would endure two years later. Jane said Andrews “started grooming these girls early,” before stating:
A 7-year-old girl isn’t ready to take a full grown man.
Raw Story reports the abuse allegedly went on for years. Jane told authorities her abuse at the hands of Andrews lasted 5 years (from age 7-12) until she left the church.
Jane said she doesn’t know how many victims exist but believes it was a great many. Describing the conservative United Pentecostal Church, a church that forbids girls from wearing make-up or pants and requires females to wear floor length dresses, Jane said:
It was like a cult. He was the leader, and we were the sacrifices. I think there were a lot of people who were ashamed to come forward.
Pastor Andrews was originally arrested on Oct. 3, 2013 on multiple counts of rape, sexual abuse, attempted rape, sodomy and sexual torture, according to court records.
In January 1990, Andrews allegedly raped another girl, then 13, another warrant states. Andrews allegedly attempted to rape another 13-year-old girl in March 1990, yet another record states. In summer of 1994, Andrews allegedly sexually abused a 16-year-old girl.
Andrews, who has been in jail for the last two years, was in court yesterday, Sept. 22, for a settlement docket, but he did not enter into a plea settlement.
However, at the request of Andrews’ attorney, Clarke County Judge Robert Montgomery issued a gag order on the case. Andrews attorney requested a gag order on all involved in the case including alleged victims, and also requested the order cover social media outlets such as Facebook.
Trial is set for the week of Nov. 16. If convicted, Andrews faces life in prison.
UPDATE: Andrews pleaded guilty to raping, sexually abusing and sodomizing multiple young girls beginning in the 1980s and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Why am I doing this? By now if you have gone to some of the links I have posted in my blog to other blogs I have done? Like Voices From the Grave: Suicide Victims of the Roman Catholic Church? Then you would know who I am.
As a fighter for victims of rape and pedophilia FOR OVER 14 YEARS NOW, and a survivor of such a brutal crime, by disgusting Christians? I actually met a victim from the Bob Jones University. She had contacted me after she talked to another advocate for people who were raped or had pedo crimes committed against them by Christians and runs her own blog.
This woman had come under viscious, vile attacks by this Psycho Sally and her Bob Jones University Pedophile and Rape Defending Crew. I will not get into those details, all one has to do is go to this Trailer Park Trash Troglodyte for Bob Jones University Pedophiles and Rapists and read some of their shit and you will see? The stories of the victims who were either raped at Bob Jones University or by their various pastors of their Bob Jones lines of Fundie Churches, and trust me, they are BAD? Is proven right by this disgusting blog attacking a victim and most of all?
A BRAVE SURVIVOR OF SOME HORRORS DONE TO HER BY A PASTOR OF BOB JONES UNIVERSITY WOULD MAKE YOU PUKE.
SUFFICE IT TO SAY MY LAST TIME I REALLY GOT TO TALK TO HER? SHE WAS ONCE AGAIN? UNITED WITH HER REAL BIRTH FAMILY WHO HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR HER FOR A LONG TIME AND SHE ACTUALLY? HAD A SMILE ON HER FACE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME.
I LOVE THAT SURVIVOR LIKE I LOVE ALL THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS I HAVE EVER WORKED WITH IN MY LONG YEARS OF DOING THIS. AND I WILL ALWAYS STAND FOR HER. HER BRAVERY AND COURAGE IN THE FACE OF THE DISGUSTING, VILE AND EVIL THINGS THESE SCUM FROM THE BOB JONES UNIVERSITY PSYCHOTIC DEFENDERS OF THEIR RAPISTS AND PEDOPHILES? SHE SAID TO ME TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT I HELPED HER SO MUCH, BUT IN RETURN? SHE HELPED ME AND OTHERS BY HER COURAGE AND BRAVERY FOR US TO KEEP FIGHTING AND EXPOSING THIS AND STANDING UP TO IT AND DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR ALL THESE CRIMES AGAINST ALL OF US.
AND? THESE ACTIONS OF PSYCHO SALLY AND HER BOB JONES UNIVERSITY RAPE AND PEDOPHILE DEFENDING CREW? SHOULD BE CONDEMNED BY ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS AND ALL DECENT AND RIGHT THINKING AND MORAL HUMAN BEINGS IN THE WORLD.
AND THERE ARE MORE OF US GOOD PEOPLE, EVEN US ATHEISTS, THAN THERE ARE OF THESE KINDS OF SCUMBAG SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY LIKE PSYCHO SALLY.
Once again? The WhoIs data for this disgusting, psychotic shitstain on the underwear of humanity? Psycho Sally’s blog defending the Bob Jones University Pedophiles and attacking the victims and supporters of the Bob Jones University Pedophile Crew.
This is the WhoIs information for this disgusting shitstains blog.
Domain InformationDomain:blessedlittleblog.com Registrar:Domain.com, LLCRegistered On:2015-12-15 Expires On:2020-12-15Updated On:2019-11-12 Status:okName Servers:ns1.ipage.com ns2.ipage.com Registrant ContactName:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Organization:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Street:10 Corporate DriveCity:BurlingtonState:MAPostal Code:01803Country:USPhone:+1.6027165339 Email:@domainprivacygroup.com Administrative ContactName:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Organization:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Street:10 Corporate DriveCity:BurlingtonState:MAPostal Code:01803Country:USPhone:+1.6027165339 Email:@domainprivacygroup.com Technical ContactName:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Organization:Domain Privacy Service FBO Registrant.Street:10 Corporate DriveCity:BurlingtonState:MAPostal Code:01803Country:USPhone:+1.6027165339 Email:@domainprivacygroup.com
Thousands of people watched in the campus chapel, and countless more tuned in to a live Web feed earlier this month as Bob Jones University President Steve Pettit addressed the school’s handling of sexual assault reports.
Like many of those with ties to BJU, a private school in Greenville, South Carolina, nicknamed the “fortress of faith,” Julia had been waiting decades for this moment.
After watching the video for just a few minutes, she vomited.
“I couldn’t stop throwing up,” said Julia (not her real name), who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity so as not to be linked to her alleged rapist. “It shocked me. There was nothing in me that prepared me for the response that came.”
Three months before Pettit’s speech, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), an independent Christian organization, released the results of a nearly two-year investigation, detailing how the school — over four decades — heaped shame on rape victims, urged them not to go to the police and even counseled them to repent for their own abuse.
BJU leaders commissioned the report voluntarily after a scandal about one of the school’s trustees allegedly making a teen rape victim confess her “sin” before his church’s congregation.
The probe was unprecedented in the world of higher education and sharply divided the wider school community, which stretches to churches around the country and ministries around the world. BJU’s response was considered less of a test for colleges on the issue of sexual violence and more of a test for American Christianity’s most conservative wing.
In its response, the school doubled down on the biblical counseling that many victims found so devastating. Two sexual assault victims on the task force that drafted the report’s recommendations later wrote an open letter to Bob Jones, saying their “hope was shattered by BJU’s official response.”
According to a current student, many faculty members are extremely upset — although they can’t express it publicly for fear of losing their jobs.
There were a few firm reforms. Incoming students and faculty members now receive an hour of abuse awareness training, and all BJU employees are designated as mandatory reporters of child abuse.
The school says there will be further changes, including a review of its student culture, which many graduates say is so oppressively rule-focused that you are afraid to admit a problem at all for fear of being seen as a failed Christian.
Moral or medical problem?
Many sexual assault victims pinpoint Bob Jones’ philosophy of biblical counseling as the greatest source of harm. In BJU’s brand of pastoral care, all mental issues — such as ADHD, depression and trauma — are considered spiritual fights with God. The result: Abuse victims whose issues weren’t resolved through prayer or religious study were told they were sinning and needed to repent.
Julia said she never told her counselor, Jim Berg, then the dean of students, about the abuse she experienced as a child years before she arrived on campus. Instead, she sought help for an eating disorder.
She says he labeled her struggle “a lifestyle of sin,” and she graduated thinking “God has spit me out,” she said. When a BJU ministry student raped her several months later, she believed he was “the tool that God used to punish me.”
Sarah, a recent graduate and abuse victim, who also asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, said her Bob Jones counselor told her, “You know that the nightmares are your own fault, because you’re choosing to replay pornographic thoughts in your mind.”
“I would say that the impact of the two years of counseling I had with her is that I felt like I had been raped all over again,” Sarah said. ‘Look at me and tell me I’m not to blame. Tell me it wasn’t sin in my life. Tell me that and tell me you understand that and tell me you’re sorry for that.’
Katie Landry former BJU student
GRACE urged Bob Jones to strike these teachings from sermons and curricula, bar certain individuals from counseling and outsource the counseling of abuse victims to licensed trauma professionals. None of the counselors at Bob Jones are licensed.
But BJU hasn’t done any of that.
“God’s inerrant and authoritative word is completely sufficient to address any problem believers face in their spiritual life,” Pettit stated in his address. “We are and will continue to be totally committed to a philosophy of biblical counseling at BJU.”
“I feel Bob Jones has gone decades backwards, not forwards,” Sarah said. “They are reinforcing the very policies and counseling standards that caused the damage.”
The university did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
But BJU Vice President Marshall Franklin has been in regular touch with several sexual abuse victims who attended the school. Julia said he explained to her that BJU couldn’t budge on issues of doctrine and that it had a fundamentalist constituency to serve.
BJU’s hard-line spiritual approach to counseling has become increasingly controversial in the university’s ranks.
“I literally shook. I was so upset by the things he was teaching,” said one recent BJU graduate about her counseling class. She said she has a family member who struggles with psychological issues and asked to remain anonymous because she’s still in good standing with the university.
“The secular is bad at seeing everything as a medical issue and not a moral issue,” she continued. “But just because the world is wrong doesn’t mean we can go to the opposite extreme and call it right.”
While Pettit’s pronouncements seemed unmovable, the school’s more detailed response, posted on its website, offered an inch.
“We recognize there currently may be limits to our ability to deal with certain aspects of trauma present in some cases of sexual abuse/assault,” it reads, adding that students have the option of pursuing help off campus.
For Katie Landry, it’s an unconvincing concession. She dropped out of BJU in 2004 after she says Berg told her to “find the sin in your life that caused your rape.”
“Look at me and tell me I’m not to blame,” she said of Pettit’s speech. “Tell me it wasn’t sin in my life. Tell me that and tell me you understand that, and tell me you’re sorry for that.”
In an example of how the investigation has divided the wider fundamentalist community, Landry’s mother, father, sister and brother-in-law left the Ohio church they attended for 17 years, after the pastor allegedly refused to even read the GRACE report.
Policies and people
A campus culture that GRACE described as “showcase Christianity,” coupled with militaristic discipline, has been a suffocating one for many Bob Jones students, especially those grappling with the aftershocks of abuse.
“People ask you questions, like, ‘You seem exceptionally sad.’ ‘Why are you sleeping so much?’ ‘You cry out in the middle of the night because you’re having nightmares, what’s wrong with you?'” said one former BJU student who was a faculty member for more than a decade in the 1980s and ’90s and asked not to be identified because she has family and friends associated with BJU. “Girls got turned in because somebody noticed a symptom of trauma, and then, of course, they got routed up to Mr. Berg.”
Lydia, who asked to be identified by only her first name, was raped as a freshman over the 2008 winter break at Bob Jones. She sought help and was directed Berg, who sent her to meet with a dorm counselor, a BJU graduate student. The counselor told “America Tonight” that there was no confidentiality; she was told to keep the higher-ups in the loop. Within a couple months, Lydia was expelled in the middle of the night with no explanation.
She believes she had become an irritation to the school administration.
“It should have been expected that I would feel stressed out and trapped and alone and emotional about it,” Lydia told “America Tonight” in 2013. “And they sent me back to the place with the person who attacked me, to be alone all day.” ‘I believe in my heart that we have always loved our students, but we have not always disciplined with love.’
Steve Pettit president, BJU
“A part of our culture placed too much emphasis on policies and not enough emphasis on people,” said Pettit in his address. “I believe in my heart that we have always loved our students, but we have not always disciplined with love.”
This culture has been changing slowly for a decade, propelled by the Internet, which exposed students to ideas outside the fundamentalist worldview. The campus handbook is still anchored in the 1950s, with an emphasis on obedience, alongside rules about handholding (banned if you’re unmarried) and music (no rock, jazz or hip-hop beats). But at a recent talent show, students performed the soft rock song “Ocean (Where Feet May Fail)” by the Christian band Hillsong United, and it was extremely well received.
A rat-out culture used to be encouraged on campus, but now snitches are a minority, according to a current student. In the last few years, student movements like Do Right BJU have sprung up, advocating for change and openness.
And on a campus where individuals have long been hesitant to speak up, a student petition declaring their empathy for victims of abuse garnered 392 signatures in the lead-up to Bob Jones’ response.
In a powerful sign of the changing times, the administration embraced the petition, with Pettit praising it on the chapel stage.
Overall, though, the university president’s language was carefully hedged, clearly geared to the Bob Jones loyalists who have felt scorched by the GRACE report and the national attention it has received.
“I wanted substance, and I felt like I walked away with mist,” said Ryan Ferguson, a popular Greenville pastor and former BJU student. “What would have happened if someone had sat down and said, ‘Case No. 5074, we wronged you. Case no. 5045, we wronged you.’ What would have happened in our town? To the faith community?”
But he said he was impressed that when he reached out to Pettit’s office, the president agreed to meet him in person.
According to some of the victims who poured their heartache into the GRACE investigation, however, the school’s response felt like just another insult. And this time they felt they had exhausted all recourse. Many used the word “hopeless.”
“I feel like we were pawns in a game I don’t understand,” Julia said.
Establishing the need: Christians should marry Christians. Still there are some who have married non-Christians whether they were both non-Christians when they married or whether both claimed to be Christians but later one spouse denied they are Christians or a believer married a non-Christian. What does God’s Word has to say to those who are married to unbelievers?
Purpose: In this session we will see four responsibilities God requires of Christians married to a nonbeliever so that you continue to live these out to please God in your life.
You should try to stay in the marriage
You should share the Gospel for the sake of your family’s salvation
Wives you should win your spouse to Christ with your godliness
Husbands you should win your spouse to Christ with your godliness
(Note for the next two session we will be looking at a lot of verses in 1 Corinthians 7…
Sexual abuse of minors was rife among superiors of the Legionaries of Christ Catholic religious order, with at least 60 boys abused by its founder Father Marcial Maciel, a report by the group showed.
The report is important because for decades until 2006, including during all of the pontificate of Pope John Paul, the Vatican dismissed accusations by seminarians that Maciel had abused them sexually, some when they were as young as 12.
The order said the report, which was released on Saturday and covers the period since Maciel founded it in his native Mexico in 1941 to this year, was “an additional attempt (by the Legionaries) to confront their history”.
Maciel, who died in 2008, was perhaps the Roman Catholic Church’s most notorious pedophile, even abusing children he had fathered secretly with at least two women while living a double life and being feted by the Vatican and Church conservatives.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 92, who was secretary of state under John Paul, was for years one of the Legionaries’ biggest protectors in the Vatican.
Pope Francis accepted his resignation as dean of the college of cardinals on Saturday and simultaneously changed church law to limit the dean’s position to a five-year term, rather than for life.
The Vatican first acknowledged Maciel’s crimes in 2006, when former Pope Benedict ordered him to retire to a life of “prayer and penitence”. But Benedict resisted calls from some in the Church who said the order should be dissolved because it was toxic to the core.
The Vatican instead took over the order in 2010 and began a process of reform.
The new report says that between 1941 and 2019, 175 minors were victims of abuse by 33 priests in the order. At least 60, or about one-third, were abused by Maciel himself, it said.
Most victims were boys between 11 and 16, it said.
ABUSE OF POWER
While the report said the 33 amounted to only 2.44% of the 1,353 priests ordained by the order, it said that nearly 43% of those who committed the abuse were in positions of authority, making it difficult to report or punish the abuse.
“(Abuse) was linked to the abuse of power and conscience on the part of some who took advantage of their posts to abuse,” it said.
Of the 33, six have died, eight have left the priesthood, and one had left the order. Of the 18 who remain members, four have “ministerial restrictions” to keep them away from minors and 14 have no public priestly ministry, the report said.
Seventy-four seminarians studying for the priesthood also abused minors and 81% of them were not ordained.
Father Christian Borgogno, a former member of the order, said that the numbers of those abused were “clearly unlikely” to be accurate and believed that they were much higher.
“It is difficult to think that this is anything more than a whitewash of the (Legionaries’) image,” he said in a tweet. He said the reported lacked “independent sources”.
After Maciel’s death, Vatican investigations found that he had also fathered several children with at least two women, visited them regularly and sent them money. He also used drugs.
Former members have said the order was run like a cult, with rules forbidding any criticism of the founder or questioning of his motives.
They said Maciel gave huge contributions to the Vatican during the papacy of John Paul, who admired the Legionaries’ orthodoxy and ability to produce vocations.
The Pedophile Priests of St Thomas More parish in Durham NH are Fathers Joseph Desmond, Paul McHugh and Leon Gaulin. St Thomas More Parish 6 Madbury Road Durham New Hampshire 03824-0620 1-603-868-2666
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A deeply religious man, beloved by his church/community, targets and grooms a young child for sexual abuse. The child tells an adult and they report it to the elders of the church. The church investigates the abuse and then sweeps it all under the rug. The deeply religious man is never reported to the police, the victim is blamed for seducing the man, and the man goes on to molest many other children, leaving a trail of scarred families in his wake.
Your first reaction, naturally, is to assume that I’m talking about a Catholic priest because we all know the Church has a long and sordid history of covering for sexual predators. But, as the title of the article probably clued you in, this is far from a problem with just the Catholic Church.
This burgeoning crisis of abuse has received far less attention than the well-documented scandal that rocked the Catholic Church. That’s in part because the evangelical and fundamentalist world, unlike the Catholic hierarchy, is diverse and fractious, composed of thousands of far-flung denominations, ministries, parachurch groups, and missions like ABWE. Among Christian evangelicals, there is no central church authority to investigate, punish, or reform. Groups like ABWE answer only to themselves.
The scale of potential abuse is huge. Evangelical Protestants far outnumber Catholics in the United States, with more than 280,000 churches, religious schools, and affiliated organizations. In 2007, the three leading insurance companies that provide coverage for the majority of Protestant institutions said they received an average of 260 reports per year of child sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders and members. By contrast, the Catholic Church was reporting 228 “credible accusations” per year.
Why do the most pious always seem to be the most prone to this kind of problem? Two reasons come to mind. The first is that they tend to be incredibly authoritarian. Conservatives defer to those in power and conservative Christians even more so. Add to that mix the fundamentalist demand for blind obedience and you have all the ingredients for disaster:
Like Catholics, fundamentalists preach strict obedience to religious authority. Sex is not only prohibited outside of marriage, but rarely discussed. These overlapping dynamics of silence and submission make conservative Christians a ripe target for sexual predators. As one convicted child abuser tells clinical psychologist Anna Salter in her book Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, “Church people are easy to fool.”
In other words, the religion itself does not breed sexual predators but some variations of it create the most fertile ground for them to flourish. Like any other predator, they gravitate to bountiful and safe hunting grounds. Despite my own hostility towards religion as a militant atheist, I feel it’s important to make this distinction because all too often, people equate the religion with the crime which is not really fair. On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable, responsible even, to point out that it’s the “conservative” part of “conservative Christianity” that lends itself most to creating those hunting ground which is why you don’t see this kind of abuse proliferating in more liberal institutions:
Over the past five years, in fact, it has become increasingly clear—even to some conservative Christians—that fundamentalist churches face a widespread epidemic of sexual abuse and institutional denial that could ultimately involve more victims than the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church. In 2012, an investigation at Bob Jones University, known as the “fortress of fundamentalism,” revealed that the school had systematically covered up allegations of sexual assault and counseled victims to forgive their attackers. Sovereign Grace, a network of “neo-Calvinist” churches, has been facing multiple allegations of child molestation and sexual abuse. In 2014, a New Republic investigation found that school officials at Patrick Henry College, a popular destination for Christian homeschoolers, had routinely responded to rape and harassment claims by treating perpetrators with impunity, discouraging women from going to the police, and blaming them for dressing immodestly.
Despite the sexual abuse of women and the sexual abuse of children coming from very different kinds of darkness, the way these religious organizations respond is almost identical and that is not a coincidence. The reputation of the institution or group or even one man is considered far more important than the harm being inflicted on the victims. Justice is not even a consideration, especially when it’s a woman that was “asking for it.” At that point, it’s not really a crime. If you think that’s repulsive, these pious men can even convince themselves that little girls were asking for it, too.
In Joyce’s article, she recounts how Russel Ebersole and Russell Lloyd, two of the higher ups in the Association of Baptists for World Evangelicalism (ABWE), investigated claims by a 13-year-old girl named Kim that she had been molested by a respected member of the community. It did not go well for Kim:
As Kim struggled to answer their questions, the Russes became convinced that she was telling them the truth about Ketcham touching her. What they couldn’t believe, given fundamentalist precepts about the nature of sex and women, was that she was an innocent party. “It was lust in its most base form, uncontrolled in the body of a spiritually immature woman,” Lloyd wrote of the 13-year-old in his diary. Ketcham, he wrote, had become Kim’s “secret lover.”
The Russes “strongly encouraged” Kim to sign a statement, styled as a confession, in which she apologized for her role in a “relationship” that “transgressed God’s word.” She didn’t understand much of it, but she signed it anyway. “I did exactly what I was told,” she says.
Think about how warped and sick your worldview needs to be that you can consider a 13-year-old to be an equal partner in a sexual relationship with a 58-year-old man. Now think about how broken it would have to be to cover up the abuse and allow the man to continue molesting children for the next two decades. Now you have some tiny understanding of how twisted the mind of a Christian fundamentalist can be.
The worst part about all of this is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If religious leaders would go after sexual predators with both barrels blazing (metaphorically), they would be applauded for protecting their flock. Even I would go to the mat defending a church that exposed a predator as quickly as possible and helped bring the full weight of the law to bear. It’s nigh-impossible to weed them out before they hurt someone (unless they have a prior history, of course) but that’s true everywhere, not just for religious institutions. It’s not the crime that defines your institution but how you respond to it. So far, conservative Christians desperate to protect their reputations have succeeded only in covering themselves in shame and putting the lie to their claims of virtue.
Kim’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Yet. Following 22 years of self harm and deep psychological damage, the full story came out in an extensive investigation. After years of being lied to by their church, Kim’s parents didn’t understand why their daughter was so damaged. Even Kim still blamed herself for the actions of a monster as well as her parents for not helping her. Now that it’s all out in the open and Kim finally understands that she was a victim like so many other women, there’s a chance for her and her family to heal. If only all of the victims of conservative Christianity were so lucky…