I wish I could write only of nice things. I wish I could speak only of freedom and every believer – man or woman, boy or girl, living out all the gifts God placed in them. But some things are too ugly to ignore.
I previously wrote that God-on-the-back-seat-man-at the-steer believers, sometimes called supporters of Christian patriarchy, fail to answer a simple question when their writings prompt it:
If your husband/ pastor molests your daughter, what would you do?
It is no accident that they don’t answer. Some of those entrenched in these philosophies probably have a moral compass so harmed by these teachings that they no longer know what is right on this score any more. And others? The answer some of them seem to believe will drive any sane person away from these teachings. So here are a few beliefs some of them may not want to admit:
Molested girls solicit their own abuse, and become eternal “harlots.” Their adult abusers were not required or were incapable of exercising self-control. (Retha’s note: This reminds me of patriarchal attitudes towards modesty contrasted to punishing small children.) The character of a harlot cannot be overcome by the blood of Christ, and forever limit their value to God. (Retha’s note: Remember that these groups believe a woman’s value is found in being a submissive wife and mother, and men in patriarchy would choose a wife that won’t bear the stigma of harlot.) Gothard, for example, blames Dinah in Genesis for her own rape.*
They don’t answer, as the answer is too ugly, and they know it. They can’t directly tell you they will defend the molester and for the rest of her life blame the girl.
To people who start getting interested in material from Vision Forum/ Institute of Basic Life Principles or any other males-at-the-centre-females-an-addendum group – stay away. These teachings are poison. It may look nice on the outside, but their laws steal, kill and destroy. The inside is heartless and mindless and against the nature of Christ.
To people who came from such a background – we in the outside world cannot deprogram and untangle even half of what you heard. But outsiders could – even by just reacting with shock or incredulity when you explain – show much of what you heard is wrong. Morally wrong, factually wrong, spiritually wrong. Typical Christians (and typical unbelievers) will be horrified the more they hear of it. Even if you don’t know Bible texts to counter much of it, even at the cost of leaving your parental home against their wishes, it was right to leave this kind of dogma behind. Your value is not determined by your gender, by what others did to you, or your performance in a rigid role.
* Jews, on the other hand, seem to find the rape of Dinah a moral outrage. They get their Bar Mitzvah age – the age of a boy’s coming of age – from the outrage of Simeon and Levi. Simeon and Levi were said to be 13 when they killed Shechem and his people.