Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

11 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace. Jeremiah 8:11

It is the big scandal that Americans are discussing on the Internet right now: Reality TV star Joshua Duggar has admitted to molesting 5 girls, four of them apparently his sisters, when he was a teen. The hypocrisy stinks more than the worst abattoir, because this family marketed themselves as knowing the perfect system for keeping children behaved, and for keeping girls safe.

The idea behind “Christian” Patriarchy is that women should just keep quiet and serve first fathers and then husbands, and in exchange, men will protect them and they and their children will be safe from the harsher realities of this painful world. This, so say the “Christian” Patriarchalists, is how God ordained men and women to complement one another.

Except that it doesn’t work. A world where women have to keep quiet, and men have all authority, is not a world where women are safe. Bill Gothard was one of the two most prominent leaders in this movement – he had to resign after molesting several teenage girls and young women. Doug Phillips was the other one – he had to resign for sexually abusing his children’s nanny. Why did this not come out sooner? Well, Gothard and Phillips had power. Their voices counted. The women/ girls did not have power. Their voices did not count.

And now, it comes out that the family that was the most prominent public face of “Christian” Patriarchy harboured a molester of girls. When it came out, the parents did not send him away, which allowed him to molest again.

Some people say he should be forgiven, it is in the past, boys will be boys and Josh got saved since. In a sense, I don’t care if he did get saved. (In another sense, I do. Gospel transformation always matters, but it is not the focus of this article.) This is not about him.

This is about 5 girls, one as young as 5, who were violated. They won’t forget this. The abuse was not stopped when they first talked. Their voices did not count. Under the teachings of the cult they follow, they would even have heard that the abuse was (at least partly) their fault.

Their parents went on TV after this happened, to tell others they have the perfect system for keeping daughters safe and children well-behaved. This is a system that teaches that if you don’t look happy, you are not honouring your authorities: Keep up the charade, and your real voice don’t matter. If you are a boy, it will matter someday. Prepare for the day you can take charge of women (but not by taking charge of your little sisters’ bodies now, please!). If you are a girl, your voice will never count.

This is a system where girls’ are taught to submit, where boys are taught they will rule, where parents have too many children to supervise, where molested girls are blamed for not being “modest” enough, where a boy is kept away from girls other than his sisters, where the concept of sex is constantly flaunted before this boy in the simple fact that his parents have a growing brood of over a dozen children. Can anyone see how this could go wrong?

And many commenters on the situation is still doing it. They are acting as if the young women, and one underage girl, does not have their own voices that count. Here, for example, is Mike Huckabee’s opinion:

…the fact that [Josh] confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility. Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.

Really? When he said “the victims wanted this left in the past”, how many of the five victims has he asked? Can he speak for all five of them? Even if one of the five actually asked for the file to be destroyed, as we heard, that leaves four important voices that we did not listen to. He cannot speak for these 4 women/ girls.

Male-on-top-of-the-authority-chain religion is, for the most part, not a shield that protects women from danger. It is a gag that stifles the sound when they cry out about danger. It tells women to just forgive and be reconciled, and not upset the status quo. As long as the men look “responsible and circumspect” after all they did, even an incestuous family is all good and “authentic”.

Comments on: "Josh Duggar shows gender role religion is not about protecting women. As if we needed more evidence." (1)

  1. Excellent post.

    “The idea behind “Christian” Patriarchy is that women should just keep quiet and serve first fathers and then husbands, and in exchange men will protect them and they and their children will be save from the harsher realities of this painful world.”

    Similarly: if wives submit to (obey) their husbands, the husbands will love & cherish them. They place the responsibility for success on the females, and if the marriage or family is less than happy, they blame the females. How convenient for the males! Somehow the females, whose words count ONLY if the males allow the female words to count, are responsible for the success of their marriage/family.
    How do we know Josh “has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult?” Weren’t we all led to believe he was living a “responsible and circumspect life” as a teenager? We have no real “testament to his family’s authenticity and humility,” because we don’t know what else they are hiding. If females are required to appear happy, the family is neither authentic nor humble, and the “responsible and circumspect life” may cover up a multitude of sins. As you pointed out, Retha: hypocrisy.


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