Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
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04-03-2014, 07:21 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 07:25 PM by rampant.a.i..)
Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
Why don't Christians care about sex abuse or rape?

I've heard many times from friends who grew up in a Christian household that they were molested repeatedly, and neither parent did anything about the abuse.

In some cases, the father or brother were the abuser. But the abuse was simply covered up, or denied outright.

Apparently Christian colleges handle it much the same way:

“I started to tell her that my boyfriend had made me do things that I didn’t want to do, but she interrupted me and asked what I needed to repent of, and told me that I needed to forgive him, because otherwise I would have bitterness in my heart,” said Field, now a writer who blogs about her experience leaving the Christian fundamentalist movement. “I was trying to tell her that my boyfriend had raped me, and her reaction was to tell me that I needed to repent for my sins and not worry about my rapist’s sins.”




http://m.vice.com/read/sexual-abuse-has-...e-colleges

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04-03-2014, 07:55 PM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
I've seen some articles recently about cover ups beginning to be explored at Bob Jones University. There is an organization called GRACE that is working with them to uncover issues.
I believe it lies in the fact that woman sinned and brought sin into the world, and the old testament treats women as property, condones rape, and the new testament implies a woman is to be plain and quiet. So men hold the power, they blame women and ignore abuse. Even when there is guilt and/or repentance it is kept hush hush to prevent tarnishing the church.
I've been reading the book Sex & God How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Darrel Ray, ED.D. - it has helped me understand how these christian concepts spoil the idea of sex and how much my past teachings and belief about god was stifling my own sexuality.
What a relief to realize that no one was watching my husband and I, and that my actions were not going to be judged at the end of time, and that my thoughts, my feelings, my pleasures were mine and mine alone, no god was listening and watching my every thought.
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04-03-2014, 08:23 PM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
(04-03-2014 07:21 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Why don't Christians care about sex abuse or rape?

I think you're painting with too broad of strokes, here.

There are people who rape and abuse other people. Some are Christian and some aren't. By and large, I doubt many of the Christian abusers do it because they're Christian. Granted, I'm sure some abuse a station of power to do so, but if they weren't priests (or whatever), they'd likely do so as a teacher or supervisor.

As for people standing by them, I'll blame that one on cognitive dissonance. If you have two family members you care about, and one accuses the other of rape, that's extremely uncomfortable for a number of reasons. A lot of people simply deny there's a problem to make themselves feel better. Now, I think this is terrible, but this often isn't born out of a desire to protect rapists, but rather to wish a problem away through denial.


Now, I do see somewhat of a link in politics between candidates who push for religion/family values/etc who also have exceptionally creepy views on rape. I think this is likely a cause of the Just World Hypothesis and/or them simply being pissed off that women are allowed to have sex with people who aren't their husbands. So, you end up with blaming the victim, slut shaming, and legislation that seems to punish promiscuity. I feel this is a somewhat different issue that you're addressing in the OP, though.
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04-03-2014, 09:08 PM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
(04-03-2014 07:21 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Why don't Christians care about sex abuse or rape?

I've heard many times from friends who grew up in a Christian household that they were molested repeatedly, and neither parent did anything about the abuse.

In some cases, the father or brother were the abuser. But the abuse was simply covered up, or denied outright.

Apparently Christian colleges handle it much the same way:

“I started to tell her that my boyfriend had made me do things that I didn’t want to do, but she interrupted me and asked what I needed to repent of, and told me that I needed to forgive him, because otherwise I would have bitterness in my heart,” said Field, now a writer who blogs about her experience leaving the Christian fundamentalist movement. “I was trying to tell her that my boyfriend had raped me, and her reaction was to tell me that I needed to repent for my sins and not worry about my rapist’s sins.”




http://m.vice.com/read/sexual-abuse-has-...e-colleges
Maybe being told sex is bad will fuck a person up? I dunno...
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04-03-2014, 09:51 PM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, is partly responsible for Christian negativity towards women and sex.

Paul was blatantly sexist. He, or someone writing in his name, wrote:
“For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man” (1 Cor. 11:8–9 NKJ.)
“Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything” (Eph. 5:22–25, NJB.)

It gets worse.
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-5, KJV.)

“Similarly, I direct that women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold and jewelry or expensive clothes; their adornment is to do the sort of good works that are proper for women who profess to be religious. During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful. I am not giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing, provided she lives a modest life and is constant in faith and love and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:9–15, NJB.)T

Women, this is what the founder of Christianity (and those who wrote in his name) thought of you. You were made to be playthings for men, submit to them, and remain silent unless spoken to, because your opinions weren’t important. You were inherently evil and had led men into sin. You weren’t to make yourselves look attractive. The best way you could save your wicked selves from going to hell was to shut up, accept your second-class status and bear your husband’s children!

Some commentators go to great lengths to make excuses for Paul, yet it’s irrelevant what he wrote elsewhere, or what other Pharisees thought of women, or that he had female friends. He clearly disliked assertive women and feminine sensuality, thought women were intellectually inferior to men, and that they were their husband’s property. His writings are read out in churches today. Young boys and girls hear them, and that’s unacceptable.

Most people today quite rightly ignore the misogynistic Paul, yet some still insist God inspired his theology. That makes no sense.

One of the reasons churches have been so successful over the centuries is that they degrade and hold back women; half their congregation! Churches have traditionally refused women leadership, encouraged pregnancy and discouraged them from entering the workforce and getting higher education. There’s more to this than Paul’s prattle.

When women get educated and confident, their families become empowered. Statistically speaking, the more affluent people become, the less likely they are to go to church (at least outside the United States.) The empowerment of women throughout much of Europe over the last fifty years has meant a marked rise in standards of living and a sharp fall in church attendance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oYkMrVrE8Q). That’s not good for business, which is why I think feminism is usually frowned upon in church.

Paul loathed his own sexuality.
“The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me—living, that is, in my unspiritual self—for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing good the things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me…I can see my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death” (Rom. 7:18–24, NJB.)

Poor, pathetic Paul! Deluded with puritanical ideas, he was repulsed by his own libido and miserable. He was a suppressed, toxic little man, ill at ease with himself.

It’s no surprise he was celibate:
“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:8–9, KJV.)

To be single was quite unusual for a Pharisee, as they were expected to marry. I suspect Paul would have had difficulty finding a woman willing to live with him. Or he may have been homosexual, yet ashamed to be, so he lived “in the closet.” Whatever the case, he quite clearly had a neurosis about sex:

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:6–13, KJV.)

"He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving away to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God, He wants nobody at all to ever sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thess. 4:3–7, NJB.)

“Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. But since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband must give his wife what she has the right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves free for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you” (1 Cor. 7:1–6, NJB.)
Commentary is almost superfluous. He thought sex was distasteful, an annoying but necessary nuisance, like going to the toilet. He implied people should get it over with quickly, so they could get on with praying. He thought people got married so sex was on tap. A spouse served the same function as a convenient toilet.

From where did he get this sour, jaundiced perspective? He may have been sexually abused as a child, or had erectile difficulties, or been disgusted by his own attraction towards men, or been brainwashed with Platonic ideas about base bodily functions. He may have genuinely thought the end of the world was imminent, so it was better to not reproduce.

I think he was put out by people’s sexuality, particularly because it was way more interesting than his spiritual profundities. So he tried to control this part of people’s lives too.

While most people today quite rightly dismiss this dogma, a sizable minority doesn’t. Consider the psychological damage inflicted on millions of innocent people through their upbringings. All youngsters explore their sexuality; yet the child is often told that such behaviors—even thoughts—are sins! The consequence is guilt and shame. The underlying agenda is to get people to dislike themselves. When an ego is wounded, a person feels shame, so is easier to control. The virgin Jesus is pure and sinless, just like his mother, so jumps to the rescue, and the church has conned another customer. The punter is saved from a problem he never had in the first place.

This negativity about sex is a filthy stain that’s hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. Shame on churches for promoting this as the word of God!
Sex is a special, natural, wholesome, and beautiful part of life. It’s a private affair, so preachers should butt out of people’s personal practices.

Churches wound people where it hurts most, in their ego, by making them feel guilty about their own sexuality.

So churches like to badmouth human sexuality, and don't like addressing real sexual issues. The result is much sexual abuse that doesn't come to light, high rates of teenage prenancies and abortions and high STD rates in Christian countries.
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05-03-2014, 06:38 AM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
This reminded me of a recent piece by Sam Seder over at the Majority Report (a progressive radio show). Here's the episode blurb from YouTube.

Quote:Journalist Kiera Feldman explains the history of the evangelical Patrick Henry College, the role of Patrick Henry in building a movement for Christian power in the federal government, how Patrick Henry avoids federal oversight, the culture of sexual assault at Patrick Henry and coverups by the Patrick Henry Administration, how the Dean of Student Life at Patrick Henry systemically blame the victims of sexual assault and rape, the evangelical self help book that blames women for sexual violence, the warped logic of Christian purity and the future of Patrick Henry College.




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05-03-2014, 06:50 AM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
Sexual oppression leads to issues like this.
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06-03-2014, 11:34 AM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
(05-03-2014 06:50 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Sexual oppression leads to issues like this.

Agreed. It's disgusting. Coming from a church background for most of my life, I was also a victim of being shamed to be a female. I literally felt like the preachers were verbally castrating me. Often, churches like to rob women of their sexuality by saying ridiculous statements like, "Men are visual and need sex for pleasure, women are emotional and do not face the same temptations." And other such things. Women are generally victim-shamed for dressing too provocatively, or for just being naturally pretty. I wasn't allowed to wear certain clothing at the Christian high school I went to, for example, and my mom once told me that I looked like a *slut* because my t-shirt showed a bit of my midriff when I was going out for a walk.

I think it was the last straw for me when a special preacher came to our church and said that, "Based on one study, women rate sex as #13, with gardening being #1. Men rated sex as #1." I don't know what study this was from, either 70 year olds or heavily indoctrinated religious folk. The worst part was, my creepy husband at the time loved that message.
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06-03-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
(06-03-2014 11:34 AM)Flowergurl Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 06:50 AM)donotwant Wrote:  Sexual oppression leads to issues like this.

Agreed. It's disgusting. Coming from a church background for most of my life, I was also a victim of being shamed to be a female. I literally felt like the preachers were verbally castrating me. Often, churches like to rob women of their sexuality by saying ridiculous statements like, "Men are visual and need sex for pleasure, women are emotional and do not face the same temptations." And other such things. Women are generally victim-shamed for dressing too provocatively, or for just being naturally pretty. I wasn't allowed to wear certain clothing at the Christian high school I went to, for example, and my mom once told me that I looked like a *slut* because my t-shirt showed a bit of my midriff when I was going out for a walk.

I think it was the last straw for me when a special preacher came to our church and said that, "Based on one study, women rate sex as #13, with gardening being #1. Men rated sex as #1." I don't know what study this was from, either 70 year olds or heavily indoctrinated religious folk. The worst part was, my creepy husband at the time loved that message.

Well I was talking about the priests that if their sex lives would be fine they would not rape and molest people left and right. But you are right also.
Sex must be embraced not oppressed.
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06-03-2014, 11:58 AM
RE: Sex abuse a big problem in America's Bible colleges.
(06-03-2014 11:38 AM)donotwant Wrote:  
(06-03-2014 11:34 AM)Flowergurl Wrote:  Agreed. It's disgusting. Coming from a church background for most of my life, I was also a victim of being shamed to be a female. I literally felt like the preachers were verbally castrating me. Often, churches like to rob women of their sexuality by saying ridiculous statements like, "Men are visual and need sex for pleasure, women are emotional and do not face the same temptations." And other such things. Women are generally victim-shamed for dressing too provocatively, or for just being naturally pretty. I wasn't allowed to wear certain clothing at the Christian high school I went to, for example, and my mom once told me that I looked like a *slut* because my t-shirt showed a bit of my midriff when I was going out for a walk.

I think it was the last straw for me when a special preacher came to our church and said that, "Based on one study, women rate sex as #13, with gardening being #1. Men rated sex as #1." I don't know what study this was from, either 70 year olds or heavily indoctrinated religious folk. The worst part was, my creepy husband at the time loved that message.

Well I was talking about the priests that if their sex lives would be fine they would not rape and molest people left and right. But you are right also.
Sex must be embraced not oppressed.

That's true. But sadly, Pastors can also sexually molest people, as well as other congregation members.
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