Seriously, it’s been one of those weeks on the ground and on the internet where I feel as if I should be wearing a sign that says, “Listen, don’t push my buttons, I’m not as stupid as you think.”
First I just want to highlight Spiritual Sounding Board, sort of mid conversation because this is part of an on going discussion I’ve been trying to have with them to no avail. “To no avail,” because I actually like “the church” for the most part, because I actually want to empower and heal victims of abuse. Well, clearly not everyone shares that agenda. Clearly many are far more interested in vengeance, dismantling marriage, attacking the church, and building the gallows in which to hang various offenders.
Also, denouncing faith and promoting atheism.
So the substance of this particular post is an article written by Dr. Rebecca McLaughlin called “Complementarians Should Be Toughest on Abuse.” I rather enjoyed the article and appreciated the fact that she’s calling “the church” as a whole to do better, especially around complementary marriage, headship, submission, or any other concepts that might provide fertile ground for victims of abuse to fall through the cracks or for abusers to use theology as cover or justification for domestic violence.
Spiritual Sounding board was not pleased, which you can see in this post, “Complementarianism, Desiring God, Domestic Abuse.” About part way down I tried to make a comment, but soon after the church haters and the vehement atheists invade. In no time at all I am accused of being “extremely hateful heartless selfish,” practically accused of lying, and then told to eff off. Eventually we get to accusations of playing the victim card, and than this really patronizing idea that I have somehow been victimized by the church and just don’t realize it as displayed in this comment, “It sounds like you have a lot of built up anger fermenting deep inside at what Comp theology has done to you. But Comp theology won’t allow you to verbalize those feelings. So instead you’re directing your anger towards people who have been kind and respectful to you.”
No. Actually I just have some minor annoyance at being so disrespected, some objection to the application of psychological abuse that implies I just don’t know my own mind, and being told told to eff off. People have not been “kind and respectful” towards me at all, in fact, they rarely are over there. In truth, they’ve actually always been downright abusive and disrespectful. For people who allegedly care so, so much about abuse, I’ve actually encountered nothing but abuse from that quarter.
I’m sharing this long tale of woe with some good humor believe it or not, because I think a point really needs to be made that many people in the business of victim advocacy actually don’t care about victims at all. Not one bit. They have a totally different agenda. I’ve learned this many times over the course of my life.
I’ve also seen a fair share of abuse victims actually groomed away from the church and away from faith itself, in this kind of perverse distortion where the goal is to instill in someone’s head that the root of all the evil in someone’s life actually springs from the church itself, so the only cure is for her to leave the church as a whole, and to reject her faith entirely.
And that is why victims need strong advocates within the church and safe places within the church to wrestle with these issues in a way that honors our faith and honors our values, in a way that actually leads to healing and empowerment. Without that support structure people often turn towards social justice, towards victim advocacy, and other places whose actual purpose and agenda is really just about attacking the church, virtue signaling atheism, and relieving people of their faith.