Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relationships?
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06-02-2013, 01:28 PM
Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relationships?
Does the overall depiction of women in holy books, combined with the mentality the believes that God allows bad things to happen - because he is "testing" our love, our faith and our steadfastness in one of his many mysterious ways - contribute to the battered spouse sydrome? Does it encourage victims of domestic abuse to stay with their abuser because they have a deep rooted notion that "s/he loves me and s/he is doing what is best for me, I just need to trust s/he".
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06-02-2013, 02:55 PM
Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relationships?
Yes Sad

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06-02-2013, 03:14 PM
RE: Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relations
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."
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06-02-2013, 03:21 PM
RE: Does Christian Religion encourage complacency?
I doubt it.

The U.S. is a "Christian" nation, they say it all the time. True or not, most of the U.S. is Christian. The divorce rate here is over 50% but the non-Christian rate is way less than 50%, so clearly Christians are divorcing. This means they cannot all believe that staying with the wrong person (for any reasons, including abuse) is just a test of their faith.

However, there are lots of other reasons that women (and sometimes men) stay with an abusive partner, reasons that have nothing to do with religion but rather with psychology. Those reasons are much more likely to come into play with people not leaving abusive partners.

My guess is that a Christian without those reasons is just as likely to leave an abuser as a non-Christian would be. More or less.

Now, you didn't ask about Islam - my answer for that religion would be quite a bit different. For that matter, any religion that does not allow divorce and forces an abused faithful member to remain with her (or his) abuser for religions reasons even when that person wants out. But that is not the case for (most flavors of) Christianity.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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06-02-2013, 03:41 PM
Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relationships?
Right, Skeptic - however- where did those psychological problems come from?

Seth Andrews touched on the effect of religion on sexuality. That even those who 'Deconverted' still carried sexual shame in some form.

Does this apply to the psychological aspect of religion that God punishes you because he loves you.
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06-02-2013, 05:22 PM
RE: Does Christian Religion encourage complacency?
(06-02-2013 03:21 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  However, there are lots of other reasons that women (and sometimes men) stay with an abusive partner, reasons that have nothing to do with religion but rather with psychology. Those reasons are much more likely to come into play with people not leaving abusive partners.

My guess is that a Christian without those reasons is just as likely to leave an abuser as a non-Christian would be. More or less.

Now, you didn't ask about Islam - my answer for that religion would be quite a bit different. For that matter, any religion that does not allow divorce and forces an abused faithful member to remain with her (or his) abuser for religions reasons even when that person wants out. But that is not the case for (most flavors of) Christianity. Also what Cathym112 said about sexual shame often being a factor, and religion focuses so much on sexuality it would be difficult to completely separate it from other issues.
I agree that other reasons exist, but I do think Christianity influences the decision, and this is because of knowing people in abusive relationships who were Christian. It took my one aunt 40 years to leave her husband (separated, not divorced. She got an apartment) because of Christianity. Obviously she wanted to, because she did it, but she was too hung up on the idea that god wants you to work things out/suffer through it rather than leave. (She also had a lot of religious problems because one of her sons is gay. This is fucking insane because her other son is an abusive alcoholic, yet she has a problem with the other one, who is a nice guy, just because he's gay).

My dad was an alcoholic and addicted to painkillers. He never beat anyone up, but he could be an asshole. My mom considered leaving him for a long time, and would tell me her [very religious] cousins kept telling her she should never even THINK of leaving, because christians should not get divorced, no matter what. Like, literally no matter what.

I see a lot of that in older generations, and I certainly hope it is changing (for the sake potentially abused and even unhappy people), but I still think christianity can have an impact. I think peer pressure plays in, too, the idea of failing at your marriage, being unable to handle whatever, what will the neighbors think, etc.
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06-02-2013, 08:54 PM
RE: xtian family values
It's not so much the specter or disapproval of divorce that encourages violence and oppression in xtian homes - it's the whole complex of patriarchal notions. The idea of a lord who decides, presides and disposes, who has God's ear, and vice versa, who is more blessed and imbued with more heavenly authority than anyone else in the household. Thus, the patriarch isn't being abusive - he's meting out discipline, exercising control of his erring dependents, asserting his natural dominion. And the abuser (aka asshole) tends to believe it himself - or at least enjoys bellowing some of this doctrine.

And it doesn't help that obedience, meekness and suffering are so very highly regarded by the faithful. Preferred more in some members of the flock than others - of course!

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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06-02-2013, 09:05 PM
RE: Does Christian Religion encourag
^That, too.

My response, though, is because I have personally witnessed religious third parties telling (more or less religious) people in abusive relationships that they should, never, ever even consider separation, much less divorce, because god would disapprove. This disturbs me because that would seem to make it more likely for the person to get hurt more, or even hurt worse.

I agree that patriarchy plays a role as well, but it's so ingrained in monotheism that it would be hard to separate the patriarchy from the religion in many cases. Though we're talking about Christianity, I'd also mention the view that some Muslims seem to hold that women are responsible for any bad shit that happens to them, whether it's violence or rape. I've read about hasidic jews having people who will cause problems with the whole family or the family business or whatever if one of the girls or women dresses "immodestly." I think it all just underlines the whole idea in monotheism that women are weak/sinful/unimportant, and if they don't put up and shut up, they are bringing it on themselves.
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06-02-2013, 09:36 PM
RE: Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic r
(06-02-2013 01:28 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  What amyb said.
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06-02-2013, 09:44 PM
Does Christian Religion encourage complacency within abusive domestic relationships?
Yes it does. And while I empathize with those women I'm a lot more concerned for children in this matter because adult women in an abusive relationship are infinitely more capable of absenting themselves than are abused children.
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