The Amended SGM Lawsuit- Shocking Allegations

We have been experiencing some technical difficulties. Of course, it would happen on the day that the amended lawsuit is released to the press. We will comment on this tomorrow since we are desperately working to get our readers the direct links to the sources. We apologize for the confusion this afternoon.

Please join us in praying for the people mentioned in this lawsuit.

We are creating a resource page for the SGM Lawsuit. Here are some items that will be installed on that page.

Amended Complaint January 11, 2013 

SGM Survivors synopsis link

          Louisville Courier Journal  1/14  link

          Commentary by Julie Anne Smith link

Please click here to keep up with details as we have them. This will take you to a page to link directly to the amended lawsuit, along with other sources. This page is under construction.

Comments

The Amended SGM Lawsuit- Shocking Allegations — 224 Comments

  1. It appears that additional plaintiffs/victims are being added to the lawsuit. As time goes on, more will probably come forward.

  2. Horrible, lengthy abuse. Just so evil.I can’t even imagine how utterly disgusted the victims feel.

    And letting a young abuser continue on when he also needed help is just beyond me, the younger you can intervene the more chance you have of stopping their offending…They have let everyone down, absolutely everyone, even their beloved offenders.

  3. It’s SO much worse than I’d imagined; there must be MANY more people who were harmed.

    I feel sick.

  4. When I read this post, I was sitting in the classroom of an SGM church where I teach in a home school co-op that rents the facility. (I am a former member.) I have been weeping and feel like vomiting. I am heartbroken for the victims. A few months ago, I was telling my students (mostly tween girls) about “good touch – bad touch” and imploring them that if anyone (stranger, friend or family) tries to mess with them, that they must TELL TELL TELL until someone listens and the abusers are dealt with by PROPER law authorities.

  5. In a horrible way, though… I am not really surprised. The stories we already knew (from Survivors, here + the 1st filing) were like puzzle pieces, with something missing.

    Praying for all those who suffered abuse, and for their loved ones.

  6. I find these recent accounts more disturbing than the earlier ones and they were disturbing enough. The element of these stories is the betrayal of these young girls to the wrath of their abusers.

    Once again, one root of this evil is the fact that these people are so malecentric and patriarchal that they will favor the alpha male even if he is a pediphile. There isn’t much on the face of this earth that is more evil.

  7. One thing I would like to know is if Benny Phillips (formerly of the Fairfax VA church) is now a defendant.

  8. I read the page. It’s very disturbing, not just the abuse itself, but that so many people covered it up or looked the other way.

    I’m a little puzzled by the people (like the parents) who, when their kids told them about the abuse, went to a church pastor or some other church member. If I knew kids were being sexually abused, my first reaction would be to call police, not run and tell a pastor or some other church staff.

    I don’t mean to be critical of the parents, only that I sincerely find such behavior puzzling and hard to understand.

    It’s like, if a building breaks out into fire, the first people I’m calling is a fire dept or 911, not a pastor.

    If my car is not acting right, I’d think of my mechanic first, and call him for a car check up, not the church secretary or pastor.

    I’m having a hard time understanding why anyone’s first response to something like this is to go to a church member.

    It just seems natural to me that when you find out a child has been sexually assaulted by some creep (regardless of it is in a church, a school, where ever) the very first group you would think to call are police.

    Even in the Bible, we’re told in the New Testament that God puts secular authorities into place to keep law and order, so I still wouldn’t get the rationale that you have to take abuse to church people first so they can treat it like a run of the mill sin offense and work on reconciliation between offender and victim.

    Some at the SGM Survivors site posted a link to this:

    New abuse allegations target co-founder, others at Sovereign Grace Ministries, the Courier Journal.com

    Blurb from the Courier article:

    She and her sister reported abuse to church employees. “Rather than report the ongoing abuse to the secular authorities, defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse,” the lawsuit alleges. “This led to further abuse by the father.”

  9. I hate hate hate to be the one to throw doubt on any victim, but I think the new allegations need to be viewed very carefully.

    I agree that it is certainly possible that these reports are coming in as the initial suit gave courage to other victims–and in some cases, that is likely what has happened.

    However, I am also wary of the effect that hearing about this suit may have planted false memories (this has been documented to happen before – see https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/Berkowitz_Pluto_AJP08.pdf, https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/BraunPsychMarket02.pdf, and related papers at http://socialecology.uci.edu/faculty/eloftus/. I’m sure a google scholar search would also be fruitful. Lighter reading here: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2010/08/sick_duck.html or here: http://www.loweringthebar.net/2013/01/tigger-acquitted.html)

    I hope this comment doesn’t disrespect the primary directive of caring about the victims.

  10. @ Daisy:

    I attended a workshop that run by a wonderful woman who tries to get churches to develop child protection policies and maintain a child-safe enviroment. She began the workshop by telling a sad story of two sisters who were being abused at home – they were attending church with some neighbors who were being kind to them. They did not tell anyone of the abuse for a long time (although people who know about abuse could have guessed) and when they did, although the church people who were trying to help them took them seriously, no one called the police. They finally tried talking to a church elder, who worked in law enforcement, and when he heard the story, he pulled out his phone and said, “I’m dialing 911. You can tell them the story or I will.” That it what it takes.

    People are beginning to wake up, but all of us, every time, have to say, “When a child is abuse, it is a crime and the police must be called.” or “There are people who know what to do in child abuse cases. Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD they will tell you what to do.”

    I know I’m preaching to the choir, but people need to learn this so that it is their first response every time.

    “Abuse and assault (even against children) are crimes. Police handle crimes. Call them.”

    “If you are confused about whether or not a crime is happening, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD. They will get you in contact with your local services.”

    I took the chance to say this 50 times or so during the time that Penn State was in the news. I didn’t wait for people to ask me what I thought about the case. As soon as they stopped for air, that is what I said. Sadly, I got a lot of blank looks.

  11. “I’m a little puzzled by the people (like the parents) who, when their kids told them about the abuse, went to a church pastor or some other church member. If I knew kids were being sexually abused, my first reaction would be to call police, not run and tell a pastor or some other church staff.”

    Daisy, It is a shepherding cult. That is why it is so heinous that so many in the Reformed movement have promoted SGM. This is how shepherding cults work. People think to tell their pastor/care group leader, etc FIRST before doing anything. It is hard to wrap your head around how much power people give these guys. It is learned behavior. First they love bomb you and you get sucked in. Then little by little you learn to totally trust them for everything.

    It is the entitlement mentality: Care for my soul for me. Tell me what to do or think because you are the man of God.

    They are sharp looking people. They live in nice houses and wear nice clothes. They look the part of having it all together for God. Very intelligent people get sucked in but thinking people eventually leave because they did not check their brains totally at the door.

  12. @ Dana:

    You are so right on. Anon 1 posted a quote from the Courier Journal
    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130114/NEWS01/301140087/New-abuse-allegations-target-co-founder-others-Sovereign-Grace-Ministries?nclick_check=1

    “Sovereign Grace has not yet filed a formal response. But it has issued statements after the original lawsuit saying it deplores sexual abuse and has policies to prevent it, while saying the complaint contained mischaracterizations and amounted to a religious-freedom challenge by trying to get a court to second-guess pastoral guidance.”

    Second-guessing pastoral guidance. That’s how these ministries view the intrusion of the law into their “ministry.” They would like to obfuscate the fact that this is a crime.

  13. @ Pretzels:

    I see nothing stated that the added plaintiffs recovered any “false” memories. As you first stated, they likely gained courage to come forward after others were first brave enough to do so.

  14. @ Pretzels:

    Pretzels–

    While it is clear that there have been such cases, and while it seems that you wish not to offend the first directive in caring for the victims, what do you suppose that your post would incite in the mind of the readers? Why do you feel that it was necessary to post that? Your post wasn’t posted without context. You posted that concern and viewpoint in a discussion that is clearly about known rapes, abuses, and so forth that have happened and are still happening to people. I would probably ask you to pretend or even assume that such people are reading this blog. Therefore, posting a belief about possible doubt that some of the allegations could even be true, within this specific context, has the possibility of inflicting even more serious and greater harm on the victims.

    I would assume that is not your intent. Therefore, even if you have such a question, or would want to warn people that sometimes people do make things up, or sometimes people do have false memories, it has the potential of doing far greater harm to people who have been damaged severely, than not. So you might need to ask yourself is that really worth it?

    If the accused are innocent of certain accusations, then it is my hope that anyone who would abuse such a situation for personal gain would not receive it. But I think that we have to be sensible and reasonable to believe that if such wide-scale abuses have happened in this family of churches, that is very LIKELY and PROBABLE that those who are filing lawsuits are telling the truth while also being mindful to realize that the legal representatives in this case are doing their due diligence to corroborate these allegations and stories.

    So it might be a little premature and unnecessary to post what you did.

  15. Pretzels, You don’t have to worry, a jury will decide. Why plant seeds now? It is kind of hard to have false memories of consistent events all the way into your 20’s, btw, unless you are deluded.

    Would you have claimed the same about the victims of the priests in the Catholic church? Was there any evidence of false memories there? And it started the same way…a few. Perhaps there is just serious perversion going on and it takes real courage to stand up to it. Especially when it was your priest, your pastor or you dad. In some cases both.

  16. There is all the difference in the world between having suffered for a long time – and knowing it all along – and “recovered memories.”

    It sure seems as if all of the plaintiffs in the amended suit fall into the former category.

    so Pretzels, chew on that one for a while.

  17. @ Julie Anne: Thanks, Julie Anne – but he’s not even the amended filing?

    Hmm… he was the big guy at FX when a lot of things happened there, but he’s been gone for a good while, too.

  18. Here is the complete list of defendants (asterisks are shown by people/institutions newly added with this amended lawsuit):

    Sovereign Grace Ministries, Inc.
    *Covenant Life Church, Inc.
    *Covenant Life School, Inc.
    *Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax

    CJ Mahaney
    Gary Ricucci
    David Hinders
    Louis Gallo
    Frank Ecelbarger
    John Loftness
    *Grant Layman
    Lawrence Tomczak
    *Mark Mullery
    Vince Hinders

  19. In the documents released by Brent Detwiler, a detailed account is given of a recorded phone conversation that proves several things:

    1. Larry & Doris Tomzcak were aware of their son’s behavior.

    2. CJ Mahaney was aware that sexual abuse and misconduct had occurred.

    3. Following this revelation, CJ Mahaney acted in self-interest and used the knowledge of the abuse as a form of blackmail, rather than taking the appropriate steps to care for the victims and to take protective measures. Furthermore, as subsequent incidences of abuse were reported within SGM & CLC, a demonstrable pattern was followed by leadership within SGM that included suppressing the truth, acting to protect the image and reputation of the church over concern and care for victims, attempting forced reconciliations in which forgiveness was used as a manipulative tool, a failure to protect members of the church from known predators, and a willful failure to report abuse to law enforcement as well as willfully discouraging others from doing the same.

  20. I’m curious about the mention of sexual abuse within the school. Sounds like it may have gotten started early on. Steven & Denise Griney, die-hard CLC members, worked hard to create the school and then have it incorporated into the life of CLC. The school became housed later on at the property on Muncaster Mill Rd, but before that classes were held in a rented location in Wheaton that appeared to me to be poorly staffed and the children, my guess would be, were not always well supervised. I wonder if that was where things got started.

  21. Eagle, I’m not seeing the references to a child porn ring in the amended complaint, but rather to a pedophilia ring. Not that it’s any better or that they aren’t related or that more details might not come out, but just trying to clarify what I’m reading. Did I miss something?

  22. Eagle, my impression is it is Larry Tomczaks child who is bringing forth the charge of abuse. I didn’t read the disciplinary actions taken by Tomzcak – the stripping, the forced deprivations, etc were done to others outside the family context – to “females” as you put it, at large within the church.

    Also, I read the problem was pedophilia, and that because multiple people were involved, it was called a “ring.” I didn’t read anything about it being made I to a pornographic ring in the sense I think of porn, where images of children are taken and distributed for use by others.

  23. Pretzels

    First, it would be appropriate to express concern for the victims. Secondly, do not first raise questions about their testimony before you express concern for their well being.

    Also, why would you assume that these new allegations came about because of the first filed lawsuit? Could it be that these were people who waited to garner up the courage to make this bold step. Instead you have listed 5 articles on false memories and no articles on the validity of many claims of child abuse, far more true than not. 

    I hope there is not an agenda here. So, here is a warning. You have made your point on false memories. 5 links is more than enough. I think you are on the wrong track here and you have potentially revictimized some people by your approach. I will let it stand because I think it is important for others to see how not to respond. And yes, your comment does disrespect the victims. 

  24. Eagle, I just went through the entire document with a highlighter and could not find any mention of porn. Now, my eyes are not as good as my computer “find” feature, but I do not believe it is in the lawsuit (not to say that it did not happen, just I cannot find it in the lawsuit).

  25. I do not know anything about legalese but why did they not update addresses for even CJ who now lives in Louisville?

  26. Anon 1 wrote:

    why did they not update addresses for even CJ who now lives in Louisville?

    Agreed. I’d hate to see significant parts of this get tossed out on technicalities. Can someone who is in contact with or working with the attorney perhaps go over this with a fine-toothed comb and catch all those details and send her updates. It applies to addresses as well as to the list of defendants who don’t live within Maryland jurisdiction at this time.

  27. Sovereign Grace Ministries responded to the (in their words) “reported lawsuit” by saying, in part, the following:

    SGM churches are separately organized and constituted in their respective communities. They voluntarily partner together for certain aspects of their broader common mission: to plant churches, develop resources, train pastors and serve international ministries in order to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    If would appear that SGM attempted to distance the organization’s HQ from the individual churches *cough, franchises* as if to wash their hands of any responsibility other than taking money from the SGM churches *cough, franchises.* What happened to SGM being a “Family of Churches?” I thought families stood by one another and offered help and support in times of crisis, you know, unlike Peter who said, “I never knew Him” and denied Jesus three times. Aren’t ministers of the gospel supposed to feed their sheep instead of fleece them…?

    So, isn’t it interesting that the amended lawsuit addresses that line of defence by stating the following:

    During the timeframe at issue in the lawsuit the Fairfax Church generated substantial revenues that were sent to Maryland, and worked in collaboration with SGM and CLC to plant churches, train leaders, hold conferences, operate the “Pastor’s College,” and sell books, music and audio products.

  28. Evie – I was just noticing the last line of their statement that you posted – “in order to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” I did not read that when I wrote my recent blog post in which I spoke of this “gospel” they promote.

    I did not see the statement on SGM site. I’ll have to take another look.

  29. Julie Anne, the statement I posted was SGM’s official response to the “reported lawsuit” which can be found at http://sovereigngraceministries.org

    They have not adnusted their statement in response to the amended lawsuit that I know of. At least nothing has been declared on their official website. Its anyone’s guess if they will draft another statement. I doubt it.

  30. NP Eagle. I kinda figured it was a misunderstanding. Its certainly true that people are attracted to the type of porn that reflects their sexual preferences, but there’s no knowing, at this point, what the whole story is.

  31. For anyone who needs a smile or a pick me up after reading the sordid, depressing abuse testimony…

    Here’s a six year old girl telling the story of Jonah. She’s 100x a better preacher than Mark Driscoll, Piper, and all the rest put together.

    Someone in the comments claims to be the girl’s mother and says the little girl is named Mary Margaret.

    The Story of Jonah, told by a six year old girl

  32. Pretzels wrote:

    However, I am also wary of the effect that hearing about this suit may have planted false memories (this has been documented to happen before

    Deep breath. Okay, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who has had these studies used to try and cause me to doubt my own memories….my own research (you”l have to dig for yourself, I haven’t the energy for it tonight) showed that this concept and these studies originated with a group called

  33. ….sorry, browser glitch….a group called NAMBA. I’d tell you to Google that, but I’m not that cruel. It stands for National Man/Boy Association and their motto is “Sex before eight or it’s too late.” I think there might have been an agenda behind this. There have also been studies showing that it is impossible to ‘plant’ false memories. Your mind knows the difference between a 3 dimensional real memories and a 2 dimensional suggestion.

  34. Jeannette, I’m 100% with you on this. The work on so called False Memory Syndrome all originated with people who had been accused of abuse. Yes, there will be the occasional person with a psychiatric condition or motivated purely by malice, who will make false accusations of abuse, but the overwhelming majority of people who recover memories do so spontaneously when their brain can no longer repress and dissociate them and some triggering scenario brings them to the conscious mind. Then, just like when they were a child, no one believes them. I too have had memories questioned, and it really is like being re-abused.

    But I see nothing in what I have read about this that would indicate that these memories were ever dissociated. Why anyone would assume that troubles me, and also shows that they have no idea how difficult it can be for adult survivors to ever speak out — how paralysing the shame and terror can be.

  35. @ Jeanette:

    I believe it’s NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association). And yes, they are perverted and disgusting. Personally it’s never been clear to me how merely being a member of that organization doesn’t result in automatic sex offender status – isn’t it basically an admission of being a pedophile, or at least wishing to be one?

    I had no idea that NAMBLA had anything to do with the false memories thing (which I’ve done no research about at all). Wouldn’t surprise me, though, as they are essentially an organization of abusers/would-be abusers and as such will come up with all sorts of covers/excuses for their behavior.

  36. Addendum to previous comment:

    …And isn’t interesting that an organization which claims that pedophilia is not harmful has to come up with crank research to “prove” that victims are lying. If it’s not harmful, why would it cause trauma? Duh.

  37. Bob Cleveland wrote:

    Here’s a copy of the actual amended complaint:
    http://blogs.courier-journal.com/faith/files/2013/01/First-Amended-Complaint-as-filed-11.pdf

    The amended suit inspires me to some *sinful questioning*. Only the lawyers can answer right now. Under Paula Poe, the primary perp was a PASTOR. Now *called* to a church near you? Under Karl Koe, it mentions “Defendants, including the PASTOR father of the predator…”
    Curious minds want to know.
    Then there’s “Carla Coe was repeatedly abused by Defendant Tomczak AND HS CO-CONSPIRATORS”
    Who are they, and are they working in my church’s nursery? And to read that LT “verbally admitted” his abuse to the defendants and to the church” — was there any hint of any of this in the “documents” and who all was in the know? I know it’ll all come to light, including undoubtedly more perps, but right now I’m just Appalled….

  38. I left this comment on the other thread, but decided to move it here.

    “Hmm….I went to read the amended lawsuit and I just can’t. Just reading what has been shared in these comments is triggering. My heart goes out to those women – and the little girls they were. I am saddened. But I am not shocked. This is something that is not unique to SGM. Pedophiles have a network and like attracts like. And church leadership is a great setup for them. It just reminds me why I don’t trust churches.

    Honestly, I tried to watch Wade’s sermon this week and couldn’t. I realized I still just don’t trust men. And that’s sad because I believe Wade’s sermons are good (or I wouldn’t try to watch them).

    One of the managers where I work is a registered child sex offender and that has been/is difficult. God, help your people to understand the depth of the effects these crimes have on the victims and those who love them. I’ve heard so many say that children are resilient and they don’t remember these things. Just don’t make a fuss and let it go. This is absolutely false.

    God help….”

  39. @ Hester:
    Hester, you’re correct. It is NAMBLA. I knew that didn’t sound right, but don’t care to Google that name….

    When I found out that they were behind the concept of ‘False Memory Syndrome’ and had commissioned the initial studies, a weight fell off. My mother used this to try and keep me from going to a therapist. When you grow up having your own mother trying to undermine your memory of events and then have these ‘cautionary studies’ thrown at you…..it is a real mindf***. And it is, therefore, a bit of a hot button issue with me. From what I have read, it isn’t taken seriously in most legit psych circles anymore.

  40. @ Jeanette:

    “From what I have read, it isn’t taken seriously in most legit psych circles anymore.”

    That’s what I seem to recall hearing also. Probably one of those things that continues to be popularized by crime shows, etc. long after it has died a well-deserved scientific death.

  41. @ Hester:
    Well-deserved, indeed.

    And to any survivors who are reading, please know that anyone who throws the ‘false memory’ thing at you is probably either, a) trying to cover their own issues, b) doesn’t want to believe ‘Christian Pastors’ are capable of this kind of thing, or c) just knee-jerk defending ‘the Church’. Don’t let it mess with you. Your memory is fine.

  42. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    anyone who throws the ‘false memory’ thing at you is …

    False memory is a legitimate issue. And it needs to be addressed. In this case it does not seem to apply based on what I’ve read. But here in NC we’ve put several folks away for long times due to really bad child interviewers.

    Address it and move on. Don’t just claim it can’t exist.

  43. I’ve posted before about my former ties with Campus Outreach which was heavily Calvinistic. I know of one girl and her husband now in Maryland to go to the Sgm bible college in order to start a plant in Tennessee. I feel that campus outreach was cultish and without a doubt SGM is a cult. Neo Calvinism leads to this behavior. Note the Neo in front if Calvinism. I have utter respect for any orthodox Calvinist out there.

  44. Jeanetter/LynneT

    I believe that there will be a concerted effort on the part of individuals to cast doubt on the testimony of the victims. Since this blog allows for dissenting opinions, I am guessing that such people will show up here. I will allow the expression of an opinion and will make sure that those who are supporting the victims are aware of the comments. However, i will not allow a constant barrage of opinions by one person. Delta Dagger was one of those people. However, when I make a move to ban them, I will inform our readers in the form of a comment.

    Once again the person can appeal the decision. However,I doubt that will happen.

  45. Eagle

    Wow. That has to be one of the BEST assessments of this whole situation.”what does this say about the gift of discernment that those above have for Mahaney.” I guess God just hasn’t “told” them like He has “told” them the reason for the tornado.

  46. @ Eagle:

    Eagle, I too am interested in the aspect of “support” from other national Christian leaders of SGM/CLC.

    I say that at the risk of sounding a bit selfish. I am not in any way connected to SGM, I am a total outsider to the events of the last few years and the lawsuit. And I sincerely don’t mean to bring up secondary issues if doing so takes away from the primary issue which is the lawsuit and its victims.

    However, as recently as 2010 and 2011, two of the “Ambassadors of Reconciliation” (puh-leeze, in hindsight having read the lawsuit it hurts to type out that now-meaningless title) preached as guests on separate occaisions at the church I’ve attended when I’m back in the US.

    In fact following both of their appearances, I purchased their respective books.

    One of the “AoRs” in fact, will be speaking again in the near future at that same church. I am not a member of the church (by choice) but I wish I was simply so that I could inform them of the “AoRs” involvment with the review of CJ’s leadership, and to ask if that report is perhaps inaccurate in light of the information contained within the amended lawsuit?

    As a layperson (laysheep?) I’m interested in the broader implications of any affiliation with SGM by outside national church leaders, and how to wisely evaluate my own stance on either reading their books, following their blogs, or seeing them speak.

    Big hint: I’m frankly leaning strongly toward never listening to a word again from any of them and tossing all their books, etc. into the trash the first opportunity I get! But I do want to be fair here as well.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Another quick thought after re-reading the amended suit this a.m.: I’m not a lawyer, but I’ll be interested if any of the case law established by the Sandusky trial (which of course is still in the appeals process) will have any bearing on this case.

    I’m thinking of the role of the assistant PSU coach, the big red-haired guy (I’ve already forgetten his name) who first saw Sandusky victimizing a kid in the locker room, and who took the information to Paterno instead of immediately to the police.

    Am wondering if any PA precedent was set forth regarding non-reporting of the crime to the authorities that impacts the SGM case in Maryland? Legal types, would love to know.

  47. Eagle

    The Washington Post reported late last night. As for  the addresses, I believe it is listed that way to reflect the residency status of the individual at the time of the alleged incidents. Residency is important in filing suits but I am just guessing here.

    Also, it does show that they were living here at the time of these reports. They weren’t flying in from Geneva and retreating after a lecture.

  48. Jeannette

    Years ago, I read an article called Pedophilia Chic. I forget who wrote it but, if I remember correctly, the author was making the point that there was a concerted effort by gops such as NAMBLA to normalize relationships between adults and children. I remember thinking that such a thing is an example of the depths of the sin in our culture. When we do not protect our children, we have gone over the edge.

  49. dee wrote:

    I believe it is listed that way to reflect the residency status of the individual at the time of the alleged incidents. Residency is important in filing suits but I am just guessing here.

    Dee, you beat me to it, I concur with your guess that the addresses reflect residency at the time of the alleged incidences.

    Now mind you, I ain’t a lawyer but I have logged countless hours of my life watching “Law and Order” so I figure that’s GOT to be the equivalent of a law degree, no? :)

  50. Jeanette

    I think it is important to let these people have a say here. They may be inadvertently revealing the appraoch the defense will take. I am making sure that the comments are read by those involved in the suit. Oh, feel free to go for the jugular when they do comment. They deserve it.

  51. Lynn

    Be careful with the false memory thing. Although it exists, one of the worst things one can do to a victim is to say that they have a false memory when they report an incident. This has been used by defendents of the the perps to attempt to disqualify the testimony of an individual. The person finally gets the courage to come forward and then they are accused of making it up. It is damaging to the individual and can result in long term pain on top of the pain of abuse.

    I will make the following point today. The Catholic church at first tried the false memory thing on the victims of the abuse in the church. As time as progressed, it is obvious that the reports were true. Jeff Anderson has successfully sued the church for its complicity in this matter. They have tried everything to denigate the testimony of the abused and all it has done is paint the church with a picture that will forever taint Catholicism. Some of those people will live with the betrayla of the church when they were children and abused and further betrayl by the church when they finally came forward. Such an experience can do long term damage.

    Child sexual abuse exists because the child is made to feel that they have done something shameful and they must keep it secret. For example, in my own experience in a Baptist church, one elder said to  young man. “Why did you do it? You knew it was wrong.” Despicable! How he lives with himself I do not know.

    One only needs to read the years of comments at SGM to know that there has been a culture of pain at SGM and that the only humane response is to believe the victims. Trust me, the lawyers will turn over every stone trying to prove them liars, etc. The victims are courageous to face the inevitable trials.Based on the evidence of years of reading, I believe and support these victims.

    Sometimes, pushing a point, although true, is not compassionate in a given situation, especially when the individual is a victim themself.

  52. Rafiki

    There is no question that the Sandusky situation will linger in the national conscience for years to come. Did you know he is still denying that he did anything wrong? Talk about false memories!!!

  53. Rafiki

    I have watched just about all the old Law and Orders. I am now onto Law and Order Criminal Intent. I enjoy many of the old episdes of the original because many of them were based on actual cases.

  54. Daisy:

    I am with you. I can’t imagine a child being molested and no one calling the police, especially the parents.

    But if people are sincere and trying to be “biblical” (as they have been told), sometimes they do things that are completely wrong and actually unbiblical.

    Just reflect for a moment on the culture of the Catholic Church. In places where some of the worst molestation occurred, there are Catholics in the church who are well educated in theology and the law.

    Now in the Catholic view, what the “Church” decides is seen as being on par with scripture. But the outcome is the same.

    A “Church” decision or an interpretation of what is “biblical” becomes what people follow – to their own detriment, and amazingly, to the detriment of their own children.

    Even people who contact the police sometimes don’t follow through with prosecution because of the perceived difficulties for the child in testimony etc.

    But I am with you. I would be calling 911 fast.

  55. Dee, in the early 90s I appeared as an extra in an “L&O” scene in Central Park. This was when Chris Noth and the late great Jerry Orbach were still on the show! :)

    Wow, I think I saw that Sandusky was pursuing appeals but to continue with outright public denials? Unreal.

    If the allegations in the SGM suit prove true, the behavoir of the SGM leadership and pastors in refusing to contact law enforcement was exactly as bad as the PSU personnel who took their concerns to the sainted “JoPa” instead of the cops. The exact same deal.

  56. About false memories. I was once asked to testify for the defense in a child abuse trial. The defense had asked for the victim (my brother) and myself to be hypnotized (which not sure about all the laws but in our state was admissible). The defense said that this would prove that it was a false memory. The hypnosis proved that the abuse did indeed happen, and also shed light on additional and more graphic details that the victim produced, which further made the point. (And I’m not advocating hypnosis, it was quite an ordeal for me personally)

    I know SGM thinks that all of this is “psycho-babble” but the point is that any child psychologist can discern pretty easily whether this is a false memory or not. And in my experience, false memory usually tries to suppress the abuse, not add abuse to where there was none. So false memory is a knee jerk reaction by the defendant.

  57. These are quite some additional allegations with at least one hard to believe. I was shell shocked when I first read them on Survivors.

    From what I understand, these are some pretty credible lawyers on this case. I would think that these lawyers would have vetted these allegations as best they could before amending the lawsuit. One would think they wouldn’t want to put out an allegation that could be easily invalidated since it could cause a loss of credibility and possibly jeopardize the rest of the lawsuit.

    Of course before the SGM Emails that Brent Detwiler compiled, I knew there were problems in SGM but not to the degree that the emails showed.

  58. “Look at every place where a woman is in control. Maybe not all, not all, but most. You see nothing but confusion.” – Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson

    Well, let’s see. Men, most certainly are in control of SGM and women absolutely are NOT in control. How is this a good healthy situation?
    How has making men into little gods over women an children done anything but hurt, oppress, and destroy?

    Rev Jesse, I wish there was someone in your life who could rub your nose in this stuff. We are all sinners saved by grace. Men do not make better leaders and protectors of justice than women. Let loose of the lie that men should rule cause women drool. It is nothing but an ego stroking fantasy that you cling to because of the evil hidden in your own heart.

  59. PhillyInDC wrote:

    I know SGM thinks that all of this is “psycho-babble” but the point is that any child psychologist can discern pretty easily whether this is a false memory or not. And in my experience, false memory usually tries to suppress the abuse, not add abuse to where there was none. So false memory is a knee jerk reaction by the defendant.

    During the Satanic Panic of the Eighties (Thank You Mike Warnke), there was a LOT of Recovered Memory Spectral Evidence being thrown around. Recovered Memories under Hypnosis, Recovered Memory Therapists/Activists with an Agenda, Grand Unified (Satanic) Conspiracy Theory, lots of Bad Craziness.

    (For instance, a sudden remembering in great detail of abuse from 20-30 years ago with NO signs of anything amiss between then and now is of dubious credibility. Especially if that sudden rememberance came from a session with a Recovered Memory Activist. And/or if the recovered memories are as spectacular as MD’s “I See Things”.)

    Besides “knee-jerk reactions by the defendant”, there are also those who lived through that Bad Craziness and are understandably gun-shy.

    Now. The lawyers in this case are probably aware of the possibility of false memories, and should have gone with those whose testimony and accounts show no possibility of false memory. Those who have always remembered (with normal blurring of memory over time, normal being different for such a traumatic event) but for whatever reason have not come forward until now.

  60. dee wrote:

    Rafiki
    There is no question that the Sandusky situation will linger in the national conscience for years to come. Did you know he is still denying that he did anything wrong? Talk about false memories!!!

    Dottie Sandusky denies it, too. Her support enabled her husband to continue doing what he did while she turned a blind eye. What else could it be? After all the evidence came out and victim after victim revealed including an adopted son, she persisted in turning a blind eye. It became clear Dottie Sandusky refuses to face facts and instead chooses to defend her husband no matter what.

    How many victims might have been saved from abuse if she had taken action and done something instead of living in denial. Her denial is nothing new. Along with her husbands longstanding behavior, her self-imposed denial was as well. Was her husband aware of his wife’s denial, her decision to again and again turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and not question him? Of course he was, and it enabled him to continue in his actions. She had long ago decided that her husband could do no wrong, and when the evidence showed she was dead wrong, she refused to accept it, because she looked good as long as he looked good. As he stood there denying any wrongdoing, she stood by his side as his enabler. Her support strengthened him in his deceit, and continues to up until this day.

    Lets call it the Dottie Sandusky Syndrome (DSS). You know who has DSS? Carolyn Mahaney. She looks good as long as her husband looks good, and she has enabled his behavior all along because of the benefit she’s derived from doing so. Why stand up to him when her position as a woman of privilege and distinction is derived from him? If she were to do anything to stand up to him, it would bring her down, too. Not only that, it would undercut everything she has taught other women and built her career and reputation upon. No, Carolyn Mahaney has a serious case of DSS. Behind her mask of smug indifference lies a woman with two-faces: the one she uses to pretend her whole ministry to women is based upon her ideal marriage and family life that she and her husband use as the basis for the “spiritual authority” they exercise over everyone in SGM (and the world), and the one she uses to deny that there’s anything wrong with that carefully constructed facade that has been used to rake in all their money.

    I don’t know about you other women out there, but I find there’s no excuse for a woman to be a coward. There’s no excuse for a woman to deny the truth and to pretend things are fine because its expedient to her cause. A woman like Carolyn Mahaney thinks she can hide out in her complementarian world and think she’s being virtuous by standing by her man. Like Dottie Sandusky, Carolyn Mahaney is caught in her own web of deceit. As are the other women in SGM that are choosing to turn a blind eye. A virtuous woman is brave and isn’t afraid to act, even when it may cost her life. Acting to keep your countertops clutter-free, enabling your husband’s deception, and promoting a false image of happiness & perfection are hardly the qualities of a Christian life.

  61. dee wrote:

    There is no question that the Sandusky situation will linger in the national conscience for years to come. Did you know he is still denying that he did anything wrong?

    This might be a case of repeating your own PR so often you end up believing it. Plus, both SGM and Penn State had Cosmic Justification through Appeals to a Higher Power — in SGM’s case God and The Bible, in Penn State’s case Football.

  62. Evie wrote:

    Lets call it the Dottie Sandusky Syndrome (DSS). You know who has DSS? Carolyn Mahaney. She looks good as long as her husband looks good, and she has enabled his behavior all along because of the benefit she’s derived from doing so. Why stand up to him when her position as a woman of privilege and distinction is derived from him?

    1) Personally benefiting from the Status Quo. Power, Celebrity, and Church Lady Superior Dance.
    2) Queen Bee Syndrome.
    3) “High Self-Esteem”, i.e. seeing only Godly Perfection every time she looks in the mirror.
    4) Humbly, of course.

  63. Anonymous wrote:

    I am with you. I can’t imagine a child being molested and no one calling the police, especially the parents.

    Not even if they have been conditioned that God Will Punish Them if they do? (“Touch Not Mine Anointed! Do My Prophet No Harm!”)

    Or that they have to close ranks and circle the wagons no matter what against all those Secular Humanist Heathen out there?

  64. HUG….Mike Warnke! Blast from the past!! Thanks a lot for recovering those memories :-/ Walk the plank!

  65. Anon 1, is it just me, or do you get the impression some women lay hold of complementarianism and won’t let go because in it they find an excuse for their inaction? “He’s the head, the leader. I follow. Thats my role. Its not fair to include me in the discussion because I don’t belong in that sphere anyway. My place is in the home.”

  66. Deb wrote:

    Evie,
    I totally agree with Anon 1.
    DSS is an apt description of that wretched condition.

    Deb, I’d say we can safely diagnose Tanya O’Neal with the condition. Although in her case, I’m a little unclear. Maybe Chuck has it he’s covering for his wife. What a pair!

  67. Evie wrote:

    Anon 1, is it just me, or do you get the impression some women lay hold of complementarianism and won’t let go because in it they find an excuse for their inaction? “He’s the head, the leader. I follow. Thats my role. Its not fair to include me in the discussion because I don’t belong in that sphere anyway. My place is in the home.”

    It’s not just you, Evie! This is the comp version of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and shouting “nyah nyah nyah I can’t hear you because I’m a good comp lady!” Winsomely shouting, that is.

    Wonder if every older Christian single gal’s BFF the other Carolyn, a CLCer who was Cheerleader Numero Uno for comp-influenced singleness (to a lot of people’s detriment, mind you) and a Josh Harris fangirl with her own blog, has made any statements about this situation.

    Not that she’s under any obligation whatsoever to do so, and I do mean that sincerely.

  68. @ Evie:

    “…is it just me, or do you get the impression some women lay hold of complementarianism and won’t let go because in it they find an excuse for their inaction?”

    Not hard to believe at all. Many women I know use it as a weapon in the blame game. “I like it that he’s in charge because then any problems in the house are HIS fault!” And they honestly can’t see that this is unhealthy.

  69. Debra Baker wrote:

    That mentality had no sway in the Nuremberg Trials.

    Thing is, “Ich habe nur meine Befehle ausgefert” WAS a valid defense under the German bureaucratic system. In the traditions of German bureaucracy, the one giving the orders was responsible, not the one carrying them out. As long as the one carrying them out had the paper trail documenting the order and who gave the order. (That is why the Holocaust was so meticulously documented.) Not surprisingly, this tradition was abandoned after Nuremberg.

  70. Evie wrote:

    Anon 1, is it just me, or do you get the impression some women lay hold of complementarianism and won’t let go because in it they find an excuse for their inaction? “He’s the head, the leader. I follow. Thats my role. Its not fair to include me in the discussion because I don’t belong in that sphere anyway. My place is in the home.”

    AKA “It’s easier to just go with the flow.” Just be the meek widdle wifey and you’ll never have to decide anything or do anything other than what God and hubby says. It’s like being a little kid again; no scary having to make decisions or think for yourself or think at all. Just go with the flow.

  71. Evie, Based on what I have seen in the comp world….. I would characterize it as more of a daddy/daughter relationship Than the one flesh union God intended. The wife becomes a perpetual adult sized child in her emotions and intellect.

  72. Eagle

    Give this time. Remember, the press has been inundated with the Catholic church and Sandusky. This is just one more story in the lineup of child sex abuse. As the charges become more well known, including a child pedophile ring, it will attract attention.

  73. Moniker

    That’s quite a little synopsis-emphasizing an assault by spoons, etc. This is going to build. Think of a snowball.

  74. dee wrote:

    That’s quite a little synopsis-emphasizing an assault by spoons, etc.

    “Assault by spoons” as in foreign object rape?

    Or is this Ezzo and the Pearls’ wooden spoon that doesn’t leave marks for CPS?

  75. Regarding the comments along the lines of “why didn’t the parents report it to the police.”
    It is hard to imagine why the authorities weren’t called, given the severity of the situation. I think this is partly because as Christians we tend to give other people the benefit of the doubt – we think that an incident was an isolated incident, and since the perpetrator appears to be repentant we should “forgive” and give them another chance. (This is the same “logic” that an abused spouse uses to give the abuser another chance because the abuser brought chocolates and flowers.) That is why it is important to be truth-tellers – so that people are able to connect the dots and protect themselves.

    In a former church (mainline denom, not SGM), I had a close-up look at this when the very young daughter of a friend was sexually abused by a teenager who was babysitting. The teen was the son of close friends of the family, so it was even more of an emotionally charged situation. The parents also did not agree on the right course of action, which is why they sought the counsel of … you guessed it! … their pastor. They were given bad counsel (in my opinion): because the teenager was sorry for what he had done, and because he and his family went to therapy, they were advised not to pursue legal remedies. I don’t know what happened to the young man (or to the sweet little girl who must by now be in her 20s), but the parents ended up divorcing over this – the stress that it caused in their marriage was heartbreaking – and the mother ended up leaving the church and then also, eventually, the faith.

  76. Anon 1 wrote:

    Evie, Based on what I have seen in the comp world….. I would characterize it as more of a daddy/daughter relationship Than the one flesh union God intended.

    Which brings up all sorts of creepy vibes of daddy/daughter incest and pedophilia.

    The wife becomes a perpetual adult sized child in her emotions and intellect.

    I saw that happen once, with my mentors in Catholicism. Three pre-pubsecent kids and pregnant with twins, she just cracked up and regressed into widdle-girl mode. Add a husband from a family with 19 siblings, a strong dominant personality, and an attitude of “I AM ALWAYS RIGHT” and she just folded up into a widdle girl, escaping into 24/7 Devotions Devotions Devotions Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary Mary. Like Quiverfull with Rosaries. It wasn’t pretty.

  77. I bet this is gonna be on 20/20 or another show…the world will see these guys for what they are. Part of me would be glad they would be exposed where everyone can see what has been hidden…part of me is sad that the church of Christ is shamed. Not sure what part of me is stronger!

  78. Good point Debra!

    Rafiki and Hester, I know women are directly victimized by complementarianism because it subjugates women on the basis of faulty biblical interpretation.

    Thankfully the tireless work of many saints over the decades is starting to bear fruit. A quiet but noble band of believers have been laboring to expose the lie of complementarianism right down to its evil ESS roots. Countless hours have been spent researhing the scriptures and formulating a correct exegesis that can be used to combat groups like SGM who state emphatically that “leadership in the church is male,” causing divisions among God’s people.

    “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

    I am confident that the Lord is at work dismantling the structures of complementarianism and with the organizations that steadfastly espouse its principles. Its has no place within the teachings and declarations of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    But it remains a difficult task for women to stand against the authoritarian powers within the church and for their voices to be heard. I think its high time for Christian egalitarian men to be flooding the marketplace with books and articles denouncing complementarianism. I appreciate the men here on this blog who have added their voices to the outcry. And I am confident in God that the correct understanding and interpretation of his word has been sent forth for the purpose of combating this evil that has infiltrated the church, and men and their ministries who resist the word are being brought down as a testament to what is true. “Whatever can be shaken will be shaken SGM.” Tweet that, CJ.

  79. P.S. I was a kid genius who got hit HARD by the emotional/personality retardation side effect. When my mother died in ’75, I was 20 chronologically and physically, 50 in my knowledge and brainpower, and 6 emotionally and personality development. After Mom died I had to grow up FAST, and I’m still not wrapped all that tight.

    And as far back as I can remember, the Thirties-thru-Fifties comedy skit shtick of adult actors in little child roles has ALWAYS creeped me out. Big Time.

    So “the wife becomes a perpetual adult-sized child” hits me harder than most. I’ve been an adult-sized child and had to climb out of it (with residual damage). I’ve seen a wifey regress into that mode. As I said, It Is NOT Pretty.

  80. justabeliever wrote:

    Part of me would be glad they would be exposed where everyone can see what has been hidden…part of me is sad that the church of Christ is shamed.

    In Yiddish, this is called a “Shanda fur die Goyim”; i.e. a scandal that brings reproach upon the faithful by association and adds ammunition to the enemies of the faith.

  81. Evie wrote:

    Anon 1, is it just me, or do you get the impression some women lay hold of complementarianism and won’t let go because in it they find an excuse for their inaction? “He’s the head, the leader. I follow. Thats my role. Its not fair to include me in the discussion because I don’t belong in that sphere anyway. My place is in the home.”

    I can tell you I LIVED this in the form of extreme neglect (and was the reason we ended up divorcing). At the end of the day, if something wasn’t done it was on me as the “head” of the household. To the church, the problem was that I didn’t love her enough or correctly.

    I never claimed “headship” of the household or that my wife needed to obey or even submit to me. But I did make sure things got done and made everything my responsibility- I guess that was how I saw I was supposed to be the “head” of the family. But really, on a two person team, if one person lies in bed all day, it falls to the other to make up the difference, male or female, head or not. I probably could have made it work forever too, because taking care of me and her wasn’t too difficult- she pretty much never left the bedroom. But throw a baby in the mix, and suddenly there wasn’t enough of me to go around.

    I don’t think comp “roles” caused problems in my marriage, but they sure were used as an excuse. Especially when a decision we’d made together ended up being something she didn’t like- I would hear “Well, I never agreed with that, I was just submitting to you as the head”. It was news to me.

    And this is why, if/when I start dating again, I want to find a woman who is both Godly and someone whose not looking for me to control or fix her. I want someone who knows how to take care of herself and doesn’t think she needs a man. I want to be desired, not required.

  82. You’re so right HUG, it isn’t pretty. And it bugs me when people try to paint the picture like its something celestial. Like its some heavenly order, sent from Mary Queen of the Universe or something.

    Plus, I don’t think you’ve lost your head at all Headless Unicorn Guy, or your heart. You’ve no need to go to Oz in my book :-)

  83. That what I’m talking about Jeff. Men are hurt, too. I don’t know what kind of church you were part of when you were married, but I can tell you from my experience, complementarian style counseling sucks the life out marriage.

  84. Honestly, Evie, I never gave comp much thought when we got married. Yes we went to a comp church, but it was never preached, brought up in counseling, or really talked about. It was just a part of the culture we were in (this would be 2nd Baptist, Houston- pastored by Ed Young, Sr. We were married by Ben Young).

    For my part, I always determined that if she felt like she had a role to play, that was her choice and her calling. I never felt like I asked or required her to be anything other than the woman she chose to be . . . until I realized that the woman she was choosing to be was harmful to me (and our son).

    I never really considered the church I was at when I got divorced that patriarchal, but I do remember when they finally decided to get involved, they offered to send the women over to the church to instruct my wife on how to be a better wife and I wouldn’t allow it. I didn’t want a partner who was living in some kind of obedience to a role. I wanted a wife. I wanted my friend back. Whether the house was cleaned or the dishes were done- none of that matters when your spouse has turned her back on you.

  85. @ Evie:

    I want to add a hearty amen to that, Evie. My husband and I never could seem to function as a team when our former ministry inserted their patriarchal, complementarian, authoritarian selves in our lives. We are still involved in circumstances that would challenge any marriage. But, without our former church, our relationship and communication are better that they’ve ever been. Go figure.

  86. @ Jeff S:

    My heart is sad for you. It’s the system that’s flawed. I hope the future holds better things for you.

  87. Of note on the parents calling the police: according to the legal complaint details 4 of the 9 perps were prosecuted.

  88. Jeff S wrote:

    I can tell you I LIVED this in the form of extreme neglect (and was the reason we ended up divorcing). At the end of the day, if something wasn’t done it was on me as the “head” of the household. To the church, the problem was that I didn’t love her enough or correctly.

    Most of the time when comp is the subject, it’s in the context of condoning or licensing the husband abusing the wife.

    Looks like this is the flip side — the wife calling the shots in a mooch-and-sucker show situation.

    The danger of that (and some real bad experiences in my past) is one of the reasons I’ve developed a deep distrust of women, and why comp/patrio/Sharia has such a pull on my hindbrain — If I’m calling the shots, she can’t do me dirt. She can’t refuse me. She can’t reject me.

    Yet up against that is that even more than sex, I’ve longed for Companionship and you can’t have that depth of Companionship with what’s essentially a doormat and domestic animal.

  89. @ Eagle:
    Now that you are searching so diligently for a healthier environment, you will probably find healthier relationships to choose from. To be honest, I was the Stepford clone for a while. And I shudder at JeffS’s experience. I hope I didn’t put my husband through that. I wish better things for you, too. I guess we are all learning.

  90. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    AKA “It’s easier to just go with the flow.” Just be the meek widdle wifey and you’ll never have to decide anything or do anything other than what God and hubby says. It’s like being a little kid again; no scary having to make decisions or think for yourself or think at all. Just go with the flow.

    HUG, I have very recently come out of the NeoCal/ESS/Comp ghetto, and you are spot on. In my experience the common denominator in the male abuse of power + female self-infantilization equation is not so much pride but FEAR. When you fear the opinions of others, fear losing control (menfolk), fear being responsible for your own thoughts and actions (ladies), or fear violating some manmade doctrine more than you love God and love your neighbor, you are wading into idolotry.

  91. Evie wrote:

    You’re so right HUG, it isn’t pretty. And it bugs me when people try to paint the picture like its something celestial. Like its some heavenly order, sent from Mary Queen of the Universe or something.

    That is probably just “men of sin” grabbing and claiming some Cosmic Authority to justify what they wanted to do anyway.

    When Evangelicals flake out, it’s usually some form of Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist.

    When Catholics flake out, it’s usually some form of Mary Channeling.

    That’s just the way the different church cultures shake down.

  92. Eagle wrote:

    What type of guy wants to date and marry a woman who is not intelligent, incapable of thinking of herself, always needs to be constantly guided, who looks down on education and career.
    Who? I sure as heck would not want one. I would want someone who is a parnter. Who I could have long, intelligent and deep conversations with about life, faith, politics, interests, etc…

    Same here, Eagle. And I never found one.

  93. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    My heart is sad for you. It’s the system that’s flawed. I hope the future holds better things for you.

    Thanks- that hope is already realized. It’s hard to even measure how much better life is now. I have full physical custody, and while it’s hard being a single parent, there is so much joy that I am thankful every day.

  94. I wouldn’t cut Dottie Sandusky any slack. Unless she was part of a church that taught the nonsense we’re talking about, she should have seen some red flags. But, I don’t really know her history. For the people from SGM, I understand all too well their environment of fear and intimidation coupled with a genuine desire to live true Christian lives. It’s intoxicating. And you don’t even see that you’re drinking the kool-aid. It usually takes a tremendous crisis to wake you up. And when you do it’s not always easy to walk away from the nightmare. Especially without support.

  95. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Most of the time when comp is the subject, it’s in the context of condoning or licensing the husband abusing the wife.

    It is interesting to note that a lot of what women have experienced in the call to submission was exactly what I experienced from the church, only they changed the word to “love”. I was told “You need to learn to love her with agape love”. Yes, it was my fault, and if I’d done more- if I somehow wasn’t a failure at being a loving husband, then the marriage would have been fine.

    The lie that is common to all of this is that we have the power to change others. Whether it is being “loving” or more “submissive”- an impossible task is given and when it inevitably fails, it is the faithful spouse who is blamed.

    My understanding of “love” was to be sacrificial- to always give up my wants and desires if we were at an impasse. So by trying to “love”, I was giving her all the control. All she had to do was declare a different opinion from me and I would yield in the name of loving her the way “Christ loved the church”. I mean, what really is worth fighting over and forcing my way on? Why should I ever demand things be they way I desired? That isn’t very loving, is it? Interesting how that yields pretty much the same behavior as “submission”, isn’t it?

    I remember lying on top of my bed one day, completely broken, thinking about how all the promises had failed. That if God was supposed to provide me the ability to endure, or love in some way that I hadn’t been, that he hadn’t. But then I realize those promises never came from God. If he hadn’t provided, then it wasn’t because of me or my faith, or him or his power, but those making false promises on his behalf.

  96. Eagle and HUG,

    Thanks for your affirmation of intelligent women. I listened to Wade's sermon we posted in our 1.6.13 EChurch this afternoon in which he makes similar remarks.

    The three of you are such a blessing to us.

  97. Deb wrote:

    Jeff S,

    I am so glad you are here in our TWW community. You have a perspective that I appreciate so much!

    Thanks Deb- I appreciate all of the encouragement I’ve received.

  98. Jeff, I can’t pretend to know why things broke down the way they did. I’m not getting the impression your ex-wife was interested in conforming her life to much of anything tied to her faith, which may have been part of the overall problem. You sound like you were motivated by a desire to do the right thing according to your understanding of what that meant i.e. assuming the responsibility for the effective management of the household ultimately fell on you since as a man you were the “head” of that household. And I can imagine how frustrating it must have been for you to see other wives/mothers running efficient homes because they believed thatchurch. heir calling or role. How nice it would have been if your wife had gotten that message! And its equally frustrating for some women who see men in a church working hard at serving their wives like princesses, when at home what they receive very little appreciation.

    I don’t know your ex-wife of course, but I can tell you from my experience that the whole “biblical roles” thing hit me much harder, and being in a church that was strictly complementarian reinforced the mindset. I blame myself in many ways for swallowing the bait. I had been led to believe I was living in obedience to God when I made the some of the decisions I did that affected how my marriage developed and the form I believed it should take. But in doing so I lost sight of the actual man I married. I also lost sight of other things that I put out of view altogether while assuming I was in full command of “Gods plan” for my life. What really happened is I limited the scope of my life and my relationships to the framework the church imposed on me. I deeply regret making that mistake.

    So, I dont know what was going on in the mind of your ex and to what extent she was influenced by the culture of the church. Maybe she shut down because she didn’t feel like she fit in. Some women are simply not wired to be homemakers, and that’s a tough thing to deal with when you’re in a church that places worth on the quality of a woman’s skills as a homemaker. But I will say that in a complementarian culture, the men will feel more free. Even if they don’t consciously define their world on those terms, their worldview is allowed to be larger. A woman’s worldview is seriously restricted. It can leave a person feeling trapped. But it all depends to what extent each person accepts the limitations. I didn’t know theimitations would damage my life or my marriage. Quite the contrary. I thought they held the keys to my fulfillment.

  99. @ Deb: Yes indeed!

    Ditto for Jeff S – you’ve given us a lot of insights into things that were (to me, anyway) very opaque, and I appreciate that as well as your compassion for others.

  100. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ Evie:
    I want to add a hearty amen to that, Evie. My husband and I never could seem to function as a team when our former ministry inserted their patriarchal, complementarian, authoritarian selves in our lives. We are still involved in circumstances that would challenge any marriage. But, without our former church, our relationship and communication are better that they’ve ever been. Go figure.

    Good point beenthere, because the goal of marriage is oneness. No two people are alike and therefore no marriage is alike. When we try and force a form onto something that is, by nature, a creative thing, that is taking on a new form as it grows and develops, we rob it of its essential power. The power to become something unique, the expression of two people blending their lives into one. Its like skipping the formative years and imposing adulthood on something that intended to be childlike in its sense of joy and discovery. Where’s the fun in that?

  101. dee wrote:

    Be careful with the false memory thing. Although it exists, one of the worst things one can do to a victim is to say that they have a false memory when they report an incident.

    Agreed. But it has happened. And should not be tossed out just because we’re “really certain” it isn’t true. And in this case it doesn’t look like it applies.

    But see this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rascals_day_care_sexual_abuse_trial

    I watched this happen on the news and local newspaper over the several years of the arrests and trials. It turned into a farce. Little to zero physical evidence. But lots of testimony from “experts” who elicited the stories from the young kids. At the end of the day only the prosecutors seem to feel they did it. And as a practical matter prosecutors never admit to a mistake.

    But again, this dose not seem to apply in this case. But it may have to be addressed.

    And on a related note my wife was on the board of a local rape crisis center for years. It was mostly a fund raising position. But she and others decided to leave the board when it came up that the position of the center was the woman was ALWAYS right, not matter what the evidence or court results were. Period. The men accused were always wrong not matter what. Supporting victims in a crisis is not the same as lynching the accused. Which was what most of the staff at the center wanted.

  102. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    I wouldn’t cut Dottie Sandusky any slack. Unless she was part of a church that taught the nonsense we’re talking about, she should have seen some red flags. But, I don’t really know her history. For the people from SGM, I understand all too well their environment of fear and intimidation coupled with a genuine desire to live true Christian lives. It’s intoxicating. And you don’t even see that you’re drinking the kool-aid. It usually takes a tremendous crisis to wake you up. And when you do it’s not always easy to walk away from the nightmare.
    Especially without support.

    So, so true.

  103. “The lie that is common to all of this is that we have the power to change others. Whether it is being “loving” or more “submissive”- an impossible task is given and when it inevitably fails, it is the faithful spouse who is blamed. ”

    But what is really needed is boundaries. The person who is going to take advantage of such things is always going to take MORE without boundaries.

  104. Lynn,

    Let me say upfront I about as Liberatarian as you can get. I am sick and tired of the entitlement mentality of this country whether in church or government. But I work hard at not letting that get in the way of evidence where I see it.

    I, too, was on the board of a rape crisis and spouse abuse center back in the late 80’s for about 10 years. Part of that was a reqirement our board put in place that board members have to volunteer in all capacities from advocate in court to manning walk ins once every month.

    Boy did I get an education. It was not the night I was manning the walk ins but another board member was there when the mayors wife came in a taxi in her housecoat. Of course she could not call the police now could she? We paid the taxi far, btw.

    What I also learned is that there are tons of rapes never prosecuted for many reasons. Many were date rapes. So we just did the counseling.

    On the spouse abuse side, one of our biggest problems were the pastors. They would come and tell the woman her man said he was sorry and she needed to come back and forgive him.

    “The men accused were always wrong not matter what. Supporting victims in a crisis is not the same as lynching the accused.”

    Another thing I learned is that rapists, unless serial types, rarely go to prison. There are pedophiles there after about 50-100 victims but rarely rapists. Perhaps you can explain that one to me? And I have never met a female rapist for some reason. Nor a female pedophile in all my years in that venue. Perhaps there are.

    So what in your view is a “lynching”? Discussing abuse charges on a blog?

  105. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    HUG,

    You are so intelligent and funny. Can I again say funny? I love your fresh takes on the issues. I hope life is good to you, friend. I know it’s more challenging to find a relationship when you’re older. I’m glad to meet you here, and get to hear your insights.

  106. Lynn wrote:

    But see this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rascals_day_care_sexual_abuse_trial
    I watched this happen on the news and local newspaper over the several years of the arrests and trials. It turned into a farce. Little to zero physical evidence. But lots of testimony from “experts” who elicited the stories from the young kids.

    This was in 1989, near the end of the Satanic Panic, near the end of when Recovered Memories were believed to always be genuine, before False Memory Syndrome (helped along by the activist “experts” for the prosecution) was really known. Recovered Memory Spectral Evidence was accepted unquestioningly at the time, untempered by testing to see if said memories checked out as valid.

    I hope nowadays we are more cautious and “test the memories” for validity against other evidence.

    It was the Recovered Memory activists and “experts” who damaged their own credibility; True Believer Syndrome interprets everything as confirmation of the True Belief, discounting reality checks. You see this tendency in Conspiracy Theory nowadays, and the Satanic Panic had a LOT of Conspiracy Theory. And Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory can detach you from reality.

    So if there is no Conspiracy Theory Dogma involved and other physical evidence correlates with the Recovered Memory then, yes, it’s most probably genuine. But Recovered Memory unsupported by other evidence — especially if presented by True Believers — that has a greater chance of being False Memory.

  107. On the spouse abuse side, one of our biggest problems were the pastors

    Anon 1, I was on staff of the women’s shelter in town. In all 10 yrs. there, we were unsuccessful at getting churches (with 1 exception) to let us provide training to either their staff or congregations. The answer was always, “no thanks.”

    :(

  108. anon 1 wrote:

    So what in your view is a “lynching”?

    The staff’s position was no matter what the evidence the woman was always telling the truth. And trials were just a delay in locking them up and throwing away the key.

    Yes rape is terrible. And there are a lot of women who need help. We raised money over the years to pay for the staff and buy a renovate a group home/shelter. And we totally support the mission to SUPPORT victims. No questions asked. You show up we help you out. But the staff took this farther than we and many others on the board could deal with. Basically they resented having the legal system involved.

    What really blew up the board was when a long time attorney on the board who had literally help raise millions over the years was told he had to resign and never come back. For years he had been on the board and helped lobby for better laws and worked with victims as they traveled the court system. His sin was being assigned by a judge to represent a group accused of a gang rape. Per the staff that was not allowable. No matter that he was assigned. Didn’t matter to the staff. That he was representing someone(s) accused of rape meant he could never work with the center again in any way.

    At the same time there was another case where it became apparent that the dad was pushing his daughter to claim rape due to his bias against the boy not being of the same skin color. Didn’t matter that the sex was consensual and on going. Once the dad got involved it was now rape and the accused must go to jail per the staff.

    Again, my point is that there are issues and not every situation is 100% as described. The situation this post is about doesn’t seem to fit that description.

  109. Evie wrote:

    So, I dont know what was going on in the mind of your ex and to what extent she was influenced by the culture of the church.

    It wasn’t the church, because she didn’t attend for the last four years of our marriage. However, she read a lot of Christian fiction. Her favorite book was “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers, which I have not read, but I understand it is turning the book of Hosea into a romance novel- the idea that the man “redeems” his wife through sacrificial love.

    Having never read much Christian fiction, I’m not sure to what extend comp ideas are thrown in, but I suspect a lot.

  110. Jeff you wrote,

    My understanding of “love” was to be sacrificial- to always give up my wants and desires if we were at an impasse. So by trying to “love”, I was giving her all the control. All she had to do was declare a different opinion from me and I would yield in the name of loving her the way “Christ loved the church”. I mean, what really is worth fighting over and forcing my way on? Why should I ever demand things be they way I desired? That isn’t very loving, is it? Interesting how that yields pretty much the same behavior as “submission”, isn’t it?

    That’s fascinating. You’re right. It is the same idea as submission. So weird isn’t it? I mean for it to work, it seems to me the working definitions of love and submission need to be mutually understood. I just dealt with a difficult situation in which was word “forgiveness” meant something different to someone than what it meant to me, and my definition wasn’t acceptable. They tried to force me into behaving acording to their working definition. But I’ve learned it can be easy to assume we’re thinking the same way when we’re using the same words, and it may not be the case. At. All. Know what I mean?

  111. Evie wrote:

    But I’ve learned it can be easy to assume we’re thinking the same way when we’re using the same words, and it may not be the case. At. All. Know what I mean?

    Yes, very much.

  112. Sounds like at some point she jumped the shark Jeff, and entered the fantasy world of Francine Rivers. Guess you made the mistake of being too real.

    As an aside, I’ve read romance novels are to (some) women what pornography is to (some) men, and that they are just as ancient.

  113. Eagle wrote:

    What type of guy wants to date and marry a woman who is not intelligent, incapable of thinking of herself, always needs to be constantly guided

    Of course most normal guys wish to date or marry a partner, not a submissive doormat. Most of us normal females do not wish to date or marry a domineering “head” either.

    But – and I’ll draw on my own “Christian singles” experience here – where us “normal” folk ran into trouble was simply taking even “comp-lite” doctrine/theology to its logical extreme, which led to absolute paralysis of the singles, i.e. there was NO dating, none!

    The prevailing Christian culture, reinforced by messages from the pulpit and “Reformed” media, told women that marriage is a superior state, period. That you are inferior if you are not married. Wash, rinse, repeat this ethos 24/7.

    Can you understand how this cultural pressure might make even the most confident, open minded woman a bit anxious about getting married? Especially if she’s an “older” single in her late 20s and 30s.

    For the men, the prevailing Christian culture, reinforced by messages from the pulpit and “Reformed” media, is that they are despicable, depraved sinners, hanging by that thread over the fires of hell by an Angry God. And that the #1 evidence of this depravity in Christian men is LUST LUST LUST.

    Pretty soon, even the nice, normal, natural, healthy “butterflies” that men experience around women to whom they are attracted are overspiritualized as evidence of one’s deep depravity that must be crushed or you. are. not. elect.

    So throw a group of normal single women (with church-induced anxiety about marriage) together with a group of normal single men (with church-induced anxiety about lust) and let the fun begin, NOT!

    The men refuse to even ask the women out on a simple date because they’re afraid that will mean they have to propose within 7 days, or they’re not being “intentional” and therefore not one of the elect.

    Or they are only asking that cute girl out for a casual cup of coffee not as a pure Christian brother but because frankly, she’s really cute, and this of course is lust and therefore they are not one of the elect.

    The women stifle all normal aspects of their personalities in a desperate effort to be “good Christian ladies” i.e. submissive i.e. one of the elect. Any woman who asks a man on a date is a bold harlot and therefore not one of the elect. The women harshly judge a guy who might be a bit flirty because that’s proof that he’s a lustful horndog and therefore not one of the elect.

    The end result is total relational paralysis, zero dating, and whole lot of Fun Christian Group Activities For Older Singles (TM) that lead to intense frustration for both men and women.

    Sorry this is so long (and off topic of the lawsuit) but the above was my experience among well-educated, successful, urban career men and women both. It doesn’t take a very strong or even overt dose of comp cultural infusion to acheive this pathetic stasis even amongst intelligent people.

  114. Evie wrote:

    Guess you made the mistake of being too real.

    You actually have no idea how accurate this is.

    Or maybe you do- but it’s REALLY accurate.

  115. “Again, my point is that there are issues and not every situation is 100% as described. The situation this post is about doesn’t seem to fit that description.”

    Then it really baffles me why you brought it up here? Considering we are talking about children in a church setting.

    Fact is, even convicted rapists rarely go to prison. Even with DNA evidence. And, It is very hard to prosecute “molestations”. I have witnessed the courts award custody to fathers who had been accused of molestation. The big lie is that fathers are rarely awarded custody. The truth is that 70% of fathers who FIGHT for custody win. Know why? The courts believe that if a father fights for custody he must be a good father. Because few fathers ever fight for custody. Add to that, few rapists who are convicted actually serve time. And few molestation charges are provable because there are no witnesses and ususally no penetration DNA as evidenced by wooden sticks in this case. Our system is acutally geared favorably toward those who use their evil and private parts as a weapon.

    When you start looking at facts and dealing with these issues on a daily basis with our sicko culture (even in church), it is easy to see why they wanted to err on the side of victims.

  116. Jeff S wrote:

    Having never read much Christian fiction, I’m not sure to what extend comp ideas are thrown in, but I suspect a lot.

    Don’t know either, but the book cited was Christian ROMANCE. Over at the Lost Genre Guild years ago, there was a thread about how realistic-setting Romance novels were probably more damaging than any Fantasy novel. That Romance was more likely to kick the reader into a fantasy world than fantay proper, because the realistic background (Forks, WA, anyone?) can addict the reader into thinking their own Sparkling Edward is out there, Perfect in Every Way (as their husband is a mere mortal). In a way, it’s a female version of Perfect Porn Star Syndrome, where any RL human has NO way to compare to the fictional Romance fantasy.

    I’m a Furry and a Brony. If I do a romance fantasy with a Furry or a Pony, I KNOW I’m not going to run into them IRL. That gives some distance between fantasy and reality. However, if I do one with a richer-than-God (or more Christian than Christ) 50 Shades of Grey guy or Perfect Porn Star Supermodel/Billionaire…

  117. Evie wrote:

    As an aside, I’ve read romance novels are to (some) women what pornography is to (some) men, and that they are just as ancient.

    One word: EDWARD (sparkle sparkle sparkle)…

  118. Rafiki,
    You forget the part of being in your thirties/forties/older and having no eligible singles in the church older than 25.

  119. Rafiki wrote:

    So throw a group of normal single women (with church-induced anxiety about marriage) together with a group of normal single men (with church-induced anxiety about lust) and let the fun begin, NOT!

    The men refuse to even ask the women out on a simple date because they’re afraid that will mean they have to propose within 7 days, or they’re not being “intentional” and therefore not one of the elect.

    Or they are only asking that cute girl out for a casual cup of coffee not as a pure Christian brother but because frankly, she’s really cute, and this of course is lust and therefore they are not one of the elect.

    The women stifle all normal aspects of their personalities in a desperate effort to be “good Christian ladies” i.e. submissive i.e. one of the elect. Any woman who asks a man on a date is a bold harlot and therefore not one of the elect. The women harshly judge a guy who might be a bit flirty because that’s proof that he’s a lustful horndog and therefore not one of the elect.

    The end result is total relational paralysis, zero dating, and whole lot of Fun Christian Group Activities For Older Singles (TM) that lead to intense frustration for both men and women.

    I have long maintained that Christians are just as screwed-up sexually as everyone else, just in a different (and often opposite) direction.

    “There are two types of men with a drinking problem. Those who drink too much, and those who do not drink at all.” — attr to Winston Churchill

  120. “It wasn’t the church, because she didn’t attend for the last four years of our marriage. However, she read a lot of Christian fiction. Her favorite book was “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers, which I have not read, but I understand it is turning the book of Hosea into a romance novel- the idea that the man “redeems” his wife through sacrificial love.”

    I have not read it but these Christian romance novels are all the rage in many circles. They are the Christian equivalent to the bodice ripper novels. They are ridiculous. I know women who have book exchanges on these things at mega churches.

  121. Rafiki wrote:

    The prevailing Christian culture, reinforced by messages from the pulpit and “Reformed” media, told women that marriage is a superior state, period. That you are inferior if you are not married. Wash, rinse, repeat this ethos 24/7.

    Can you understand how this cultural pressure might make even the most confident, open minded woman a bit anxious about getting married? Especially if she’s an “older” single in her late 20s and 30s.

    Instead of boy-crazy secular girls, you have marriage-crazy Christian girls. Both “I Don’t Wanna Die a Virgin!”, just on the Christianese end there’s always a ring and ceremony involved. But the obsession and desperation is the same.

  122. anon 1 wrote:

    Then it really baffles me why you brought it up here? Considering we are talking about children in a church setting.

    I didn’t. Jeannette did. And I said you you’d couldn’t ignore the issue. Just deal with it and move on. Some people think it never happens. I disagreed. But it is rare.

  123. Lynne,

    Nope, Pretzels brought it up first. Jeanette, an abuse survivor, talked about repressed memory also being used by NABMLA (man boy love association)to blame the victim. Then we also discussed this being used by the Catholic church to blame the victim.

  124. “Just deal with it and move on”

    The whole point, as I made to Pretzels, is that we do not need to deal with it. There will be a jury trial. It seems very hurtful to victims to even suggest a thing here. They might be reading, you know. Perhaps that is what you were counting on? I am sure the SGM lawyers will be looking for it. Perhaps you could help them with your expertise on it.

  125. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Its funny you should say that because your nickname here brings to mind Pretty, Pretty Princess and I see sparkles. Truly, I do. But then the headless part advances despite my protestations and I hear shrieks of bloody murder. So help me out, which is it? :-P

  126. Lynn
    The Little Rascals case is not applicable to this situation. That was guided memory recovery with little children. One must look at the Catholic church for a better understanding of what is applicable.

    The lawyer thing does not apply here. So that committee was mistaken. We are talking about specific abuse situations here.

    I am deeply concerned that there is a concerted effort starting to denigrate the victims in this situation. It’s evidenced by implying their testimony could be “recovered” memories.
    This will easily be refuted by witnesses which I bet are being obtained by the attorney.

    So enough of the Recovered Memories. It does not apply to this situation and I think the discussion in this thread is not the most sensitive time and place for it.

  127. Evie wrote:

    There will be a jury trial.

    My only point was it happens. Rarely. And is likely not a part of this case. Likely. And it will likely be dealt with. At trial. Of course.

    What is your point? Other than to yell at me?

  128. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    It stands for National Man/Boy Association and their motto is “Sex before eight or it’s too late.”

    Aside from that outlook being pervy and disturbing…

    There is definitely a problem in our culture where people believe sexual urges cannot be controlled, or should not be, and this unfortunately includes a lot of conservative Christian teaching on the topic of sex, which is why you see them writing editorials shaming Christian singles who are still unmarried past the age of 30 (they assume we are all having sex, even though we are not), and telling 15 year old Christian kids to get married as soon as they turn 18 (seriously. Al Mohler has done this, as have a few others who run in his circle).

    I am waiting until marriage to have sex, marriage has not happened for me yet, and I’m in my early 40s. I’ve managed to hold on this long, and I was engaged at one point, so I’ve had chances to cave in.

    As far as the pedophiles and pederasts, I don’t know, some of them may have even more several problems, perhaps biological (I’ve read interviews by some who were in jail, begging never to be let out again because, they said, they knew they would prey on kids again. They claim they have strong, uncontrollable urges).

    But I would guess there are plenty of them who could control themselves if they chose.

    I see a lot of dangerous thinking about sex from Christian churches, who are buying into the same assumptions as the secular culture (ie, that one cannot control one’s sexual desires/ urges).

  129. “That Romance was more likely to kick the reader into a fantasy world than fantay proper, because the realistic background (Forks, WA, anyone?) can addict the reader into thinking their own Sparkling Edward is out there, Perfect in Every Way (as their husband is a mere mortal). In a way, it’s a female version of Perfect Porn Star Syndrome, where any RL human has NO way to compare to the fictional Romance fantasy.”Headless Unicorn Guy

    I agree. I think both have powers to draw us out of reality and when habitually engaged in can rob the practitioner of his or her ability to engage intimately, in any satisfying sense, with someone in the real world so they keep going back more and more to their fantasy land where intimacy involves very little risk or effort.

    I may have to find out who Edward is pretty soon though jk

  130. Rafiki wrote:

    Or they are only asking that cute girl out for a casual cup of coffee not as a pure Christian brother but because frankly, she’s really cute, and this of course is lust and therefore they are not one of the elect.
    The women stifle all normal aspects of their personalities in a desperate effort to be “good Christian ladies” i.e. submissive i.e. one of the elect. Any woman who asks a man on a date is a bold harlot and therefore not one of the elect. The women harshly judge a guy who might be a bit flirty because that’s proof that he’s a lustful horndog and therefore not one of the elect.
    The end result is total relational paralysis, zero dating, and whole lot of Fun Christian Group Activities For Older Singles (TM) that lead to intense frustration for both men and women.

    Rafiki

    From someone who has a blog critiquing Josh Harris’s “kissing dating goodbye” book you gave a good summary of what happens in a lot of church environments where they promote “kissing dating goodbye.” My experience has been it makes single almost “afraid” of those of the opposite sex. It is sad when you see singles in their 20’s and 30’s acting like they are teenagers in how they relate to the opposite sex.

  131. Jeff S wrote:

    Rafiki,
    You forget the part of being in your thirties/forties/older and having no eligible singles in the church older than 25.

    Oh, that’s a total given! Just to clarify, I was writing based on my own experience in both my church and other evangelical churches from the age of 28 to about 37.

    I am now in my early 40s and glad I am done done DONE with the Christian singles culture I described.

    When I am back in the U.S. I have attended services at one of the larger PCA churches in the country, and I’ve counted four, count ‘em, four singles over the age of 40 in that rather large congregation.

  132. Hester said,

    Not hard to believe at all. Many women I know use it as a weapon in the blame game. “I like it that he’s in charge because then any problems in the house are HIS fault!” And they honestly can’t see that this is unhealthy.

    This is one big, big problem of gender complementarianism (and patriarchialism) is that it raises girls to be very codependent, and I don’t think the gender comps and pats (patriarchalists) even see this danger.

    The comps and pat seem totally oblivious to the dangers that teaching codependency as “biblical femininity” puts females in, or how stunting it is to their growth.

    Codependency teaches female not to take responsibility for their own choices and lives and to be overly dependent on a male figure (father or husband).

    Aside from teaching females they are not to take responsibility for their own lives, codependency can and does lead to what the Bible calls “fear of man,” and extreme passivity, which God is not cool with.

    I’ve heard some pastors (even one whom I used to pretty much respect) say things like, ‘when Adam and Eve sinned, God held Adam responsible for Eve’s disobedience, because God looks to the male as the head/leader.’

    What a bunch of bunk. The Bible says all believers, male and female, are sinners and each responsible for his/her own standing before God. Women answer to God for their sins, not their husbands.

    I’m over 40 and never married, so this teaching doesn’t even address women in my situation anyway.

    Anonymous said,

    Daisy:
    I am with you. I can’t imagine a child being molested and no one calling the police, especially the parents.
    But if people are sincere and trying to be “biblical” (as they have been told), sometimes they do things that are completely wrong and actually unbiblical.

    I agree with the people mean to do the biblical thing, but what they think is biblical is sometimes actually opposite to what the Bible really teaches, and not just in regards to how to handle child sexual abuse, but other areas of life.

    I’m bowled over by the ‘see child abuse, call the pastor or church pianist first’ mindset.

    If my home’s roof blows off in a storm, first guy I’d call is a roof repairman… not my pastor. Toothache? Visit your dentist, not your pastor.

  133. Phoenix/Readers

    I am going on an errand. Can you let me know if you find out anything more about an allegation of an arrest?

  134. “My only point was it happens. Rarely. And is likely not a part of this case. Likely. And it will likely be dealt with. At trial. Of course.

    What is your point? Other than to yell at me?”

    To shame you for even bringing it up here when it took great courage for these long time victims to speak up. They were abused/molested/raped as kids and had no voice. Now they do and it must be agonizing for them and their families in what happened.They are getting ready to subject themselves to pure hell for a bit of belated justice and to protect other children. Your comment was unnecessary at this particular time. You have the right to bring it up and I have the right to respond. :o)

    YELLING is all caps. I did not use all caps with you.

  135. @ anon 1:
    Well we just disagree. I disagree that my point was what you say it is. And you disagree with what you think my point was.

    Oh, well.

  136. @ Steve240:

    Steve, you know what’s funny? IKDG was never sold nor explicitly taught or referenced at our church (hence my reference to “comp-lite”).

    But many many people had nonetheless absorbed the IKDG message as being the “ideal” even a decade after the publication of the book.

    Most of my girlfriends (and a few of the men) owned the book, and many other Christian pastors, bloggers, and teachers had written about and reinforced it as the ideal from the late 90s to mid-00s (before anyone woke up to the disastrous effects of this garbage on ADULTS).

    It’s amazing how pervasive and widespread the IKDG mindset became amongst evangelicals of all stripes.

    And HUG, as much as it stings to see you refer to so many smart independent older (mid-30s and up) Christian women referred to as “marriage crazy girls” – I believe it’s somewhat accurate. There was a real immaturity in how many women reacted to the very real pressure from the Christian culture.

  137. Through a glass darkly said,

    Christians we tend to give other people the benefit of the doubt – we think that an incident was an isolated incident, and since the perpetrator appears to be repentant we should “forgive” and give them another chance. (This is the same “logic” that an abused spouse uses to give the abuser another chance because the abuser brought chocolates and flowers.)

    I agree. But I’m the sort of Christian who thinks a child molestor or spouse abuser can be equally repentant while they are behind bars and getting psychological help.

    I don’t know why so many Christians think “forgiving a person means he or she does not have to face any negative consequences for his/her actions at all, including not facing criminal laws and the penalties for breaking them.”

  138. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t know why so many Christians think “forgiving a person means he or she does not have to face any negative consequences for his/her actions at all, including not facing criminal laws and the penalties for breaking them.”

    Exactly. Forgiveness is not a get our of jail free card.

  139. Jeff S wrote:

    Whether the house was cleaned or the dishes were done- none of that matters when your spouse has turned her back on you.

    If she had with major depression, she may have been incapable.

    I had maj. depression for over 30 years (was diagnosed in childhood), and even tasks that should be simple, such as brushing one’s teeth, can seem monumental. I also had panic attacks (anxiety disorder), low self esteem, and codependency, all of which are huge, huge hurdles in living a full, independent life.

  140. Eagle, you said,

    What type of guy wants to date and marry a woman who is not intelligent, incapable of thinking of herself, always needs to be constantly guided, who looks down on education and career.
    Who? I sure as heck would not want one.

    I’m sorry to be a broken record

    and will try to keep this brief. I am a recovered codependent. I have read many online articles by psychologists and psychiatrists about it, and some books.

    The type of men who want a women like that (the super feminine, spineless, June Cleaver, the type of women produced by gender complementarianism) are controlling, abusive, and/or narcissists or egotistical.

    All the books I have by therapists and doctors warn women that they keep attracting these abusive men because they are too nice.

    A lot of women who are codependent (too nice) think they can attract and keep a man by being a doormat, by morphing themselves into whatever kind of woman they think their BF or husband wants and by putting all his needs above her own.

    What happens is that this types of women either attract abusive men, run of the mill jerks, or narcissistic men, or the ones who are not mean and abusive – the average guys who date them- but who grow deeply bored after awhile (because they are dating a mirror image of themselves, not a true person with her own views/hobbies, etc, who can challenge them or hold their interest), so they break up with them.

    In short, based on all the books and stuff I’ve read, it’s abusive or narcissistic men who want a stepford wife.

  141. Oh that quote from NAMBLA, who I’ve had the misfortune of hearing of before, has had me enraged all evening. Something in me dies a bit when I realise people take pleasure in such evil.

    It also got me to thinking- does anyone, anywhere, know of any genuine, serious testimony of entrenched paedophiles becoming Christians & radically changing, even if what that means is that they remove themselves from all contact with children, rather than their urges changing? I have it in my head as some kind of unchangeable state, but if God exists & is at work in humanity, how can that be uniformly true? And yet I can’t come up with a single credible example…can anyone?

  142. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The danger of that (and some real bad experiences in my past) is one of the reasons I’ve developed a deep distrust of women, and why comp/patrio/Sharia has such a pull on my hindbrain — If I’m calling the shots, she can’t do me dirt. She can’t refuse me. She can’t reject me.

    I used to be a doormat. In some ways, you can control a doormat easier than a normal woman -but- never totally.

    Doormats are the world’s biggest experts at being passive aggressive and will get you back and get their way in the end or eventually – not directly, but sneakily, and in their own good time, and you won’t see it coming.

    Also, I was molded into being a submissive doormat, but inside, I had a healthy amount of anger.

    However, I was taught (by my mom) that nice Christian girls don’t express or feel anger, so you learn to repress it, you are taught that all conflict is wrong, so you can never be upfront with folks when they push you around. So you stuff your anger down.

    But you know what happens?

    After weeks or months of the same person bossing you around rudely or being mean/ abusive, you do explode at them.

    That is why it’s very dangerous for anyone to think they can repeatedly push around, abuse, or control a shy, quiet, sweet type of person who appears to be taking it in stride without a word of protest.

    Most of my life, I was a doormat, and I sincerely tried to be one, because it’s how I was instructed to.

    But a few times over my life, I eventually got fed up with taking weeks of harassment from the same person for weeks on end, and bit their heads off – one girl I chewed out so bad, so thoroughly, she became afraid of me until the day I quit months later.

    The same thing is true for male doormats: these are the males who “go postal” and one day bring a gun to work and kill their bosses. Years of being abused, repressing it, only to snap one day.

    Never, ever think you can be dominant or control a mousey, shy person who has low self esteem. They will either get you back in a sneaky way, or they will explode on you.

  143. “It also got me to thinking- does anyone, anywhere, know of any genuine, serious testimony of entrenched paedophiles becoming Christians & radically changing, even if what that means is that they remove themselves from all contact with children, rather than their urges changing? I have it in my head as some kind of unchangeable state, but if God exists & is at work in humanity, how can that be uniformly true? And yet I can’t come up with a single credible example…can anyone?”

    Only when they get caught and then the “church family” shows up in court to beg for mercy cos he is born again..oh and he is sorry, too.

    I think a real repentent pedophile would be so overcome with remorse they would volunteer for life imprisonment.

  144. @ HUG & Jeff:

    “Don’t know either, but the book cited was Christian ROMANCE. Over at the Lost Genre Guild years ago, there was a thread about how realistic-setting Romance novels were probably more damaging than any Fantasy novel. That Romance was more likely to kick the reader into a fantasy world than fantay proper, because the realistic background (Forks, WA, anyone?) can addict the reader into thinking their own Sparkling Edward is out there, Perfect in Every Way (as their husband is a mere mortal). In a way, it’s a female version of Perfect Porn Star Syndrome, where any RL human has NO way to compare to the fictional Romance fantasy.”

    HUG, you are absolutely right about romance novels. I’ve never actually subjected myself to one (though I am reading Twilight at the moment for the express purpose of mocking it), but from what I’ve seen of TV movies of romance novels (Christian and non), they tend to portray either unhealthy or ridiculously optimistic/starry-eyed views of relationships. On the one hand you get the love-at-first-sight, meet-and-marry-in-3-months-live-happily-ever-after type of book; and on the other hand you get Twilight and Phantom of the Opera (no, most people don’t read the book but the musical is one of the best popular examples of what I’m talking about), where stalking/obsessive behavior is considered romantic/sexy. Case in point: 50 Shades started its life as a Twilight fanfic.

    Christian romance usually seems to fall into the first category (starry-eyed optimism). And yes, from what I’ve seen, comp roles are pushed or at least suggested. I know a middle-aged woman whose first husband was an NPD pedophile and after she divorced him she was single for many years. She was and is INTO romance and overall I don’t think it’s been good for her. (For example, she had a female friend who collected wedding dresses yet was perpetually single or in and out of dysfunctional relationships…and she couldn’t see how just plain creepy this was.) And of course, Christian romance has all of Christian fiction’s endemic problems too (shockingly polite criminals, etc.).

    And yes, romance novels can definitely be “porn” for women. What I’ve read so far in Twilight is definitely designed to titillate and play on the female readers’ fantasies of the perfect man – i.e., Edward’s world-famous “incandescent” and “scintillating” chest. (I laughed hysterically for that entire chapter.) What cracks me up even more is that some Christians actually tried to claim that Twilight supported abstinence, since Edward and Bella don’t “do the nasty” till they get married in the last book.

  145. @ Jeff:

    As others have pointed out, your experience of being the husband and blamed for everything is quite unique and different. I have honestly never heard of that happening until today when I read your comments. As I’m sure you know, it’s usually the women who are blamed for all problems in the marriage and then told to just submit more to fix them. Interesting that the solution presented was exactly the same (“Just _______ more and all will be well”).

  146. The link to the very brief “update” on thetollingbell.org was on the SGM Survivors website. This is the entire text “Apparently MCPD has made 1 arrest and suspect is indicted. More soon on the facts and accuracy…”

    The Tolling Bell is a brand new blog. Here is their information:

    Who We are
    Firstly, welcome to our site!

    The Tolling Bell.org is a SGM news site, with a team of writers that offer opinions and post links to pertinent articles/blogs/events regarding Sovereign Grace ministries. We are pro SGM reform. Right now, we can’t necessarily say we are pro-SGM. Our crew’s history with SGM dates back a LONG time. And to our regret – we were part of the problem (NCO’s if you will). Please note the koolaide trash bin at the right of the entrance. Additionally – please check out our intro post and also read the comment rules below.

  147. @ Eagle & Daisy:

    “What type of guy wants to date and marry a woman who is not intelligent, incapable of thinking of herself, always needs to be constantly guided, who looks down on education and career.”

    I’ve had cause to wonder this in the past. I know a guy from a PCA/Neo-Calvinist family and both his girlfriends (one of them now fiancee) have been…well, let’s just say not bookish types. The perfect kind of girls to be happy smiling comp wives talking about how wonderful submission is. Looking at them I wonder, why? He isn’t a stupid person. Doesn’t he like having intelligent conversation?

    Also, his current fiancee has little or no education, appears to have no skills or interests of her own, and suddenly became interested in everything he liked when they started dating. (Heck, she suddenly became a Christian and “converted” not long after they started dating.) They’re using Dave Harvey’s marriage book for their pre-marriage counseling. Quite honestly, I am scared for them.

  148. @ Hester:

    Thanks Hester. I know of a few other men, though their stories are much worse than mine. In my case, the only physical violence was throwing things like remotes at the TV or a pillow at me (though this was escalating) while some of these other stories of men have women that used kitchen knives and such to attack.

    One thing I will say, I DO think the church gave me more leniency than they would a female- I was never subjected to Nothetic counseling, for example. And in the end, when we divorced I had financial resources which many women in a similar position do not have. My experience was difficult, but it has given me a great deal of empathy for women who have been victims of domestic abuse.

  149. Good luck in the SGM reform camp. Sounds like a good idea, kinda like trying to remove the leaven from a stale loaf of bread, adding water, kneading it around some in hopes of it becoming a fresh new lump, and then baking it thinking it might sell and provide sustenance. I say its a waste of time. Start fresh to get something fresh. The SGM lump is good for the dump. Leave it to waste away on its own. Good grief!!

  150. Daisy wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    Whether the house was cleaned or the dishes were done- none of that matters when your spouse has turned her back on you.
    If she had with major depression, she may have been incapable.
    I had maj. depression for over 30 years (was diagnosed in childhood), and even tasks that should be simple, such as brushing one’s teeth, can seem monumental. I also had panic attacks (anxiety disorder), low self esteem, and codependency, all of which are huge, huge hurdles in living a full, independent life.

    Daisy, I am sorry that you have had to fight major depression for so long. I know it is a difficult road. I have met many people with major depression and anxiety and continue to meet weekly with a man who is married to a depressed wife. Depression can make life almost unlivable.

    Believing that major depression + anxiety was the problem, I fought very hard to work through the challenges. I really don’t want to go into details, but there is a difference between someone with depression who uses the diagnosis to justify hurtful behavior and someone who takes responsibility for doing the work so they are safe to be around. For the former, I think it’s safe to say that depression isn’t the only issue in the mix.

    I’m walking a careful line here because I want to be sensitive to those who suffer depression. I am convinced that my ex’s issues were deeper than depression and removing myself and our son from the situation was the safest and healthiest choice.

  151. My guess is thetollingbell.org site will receive a lot of foot traffic from many of happy campers at sgmsurvivors.com, leaving comments like, “Oh. My. Goodness!! You guys are so great, this is such a great idea, we thin this is wonderful, I can’t believe you’re doing so our heart’s are with you you’re so great please let us know how to think about the situation and let us know what we can do to serve!”

    Snark

  152. @ Hester:

    I think the author of ‘Twilight’ is a Mormon?

    Someone sent me Twilight part 1 on a DVD, so I watched it. Then part 2 came on cable, so I watched it.

    Bella (especially in part 2) is the classic codependent, unable to feel any value, worth, or have a sense of identify on her own, she derives all of it from her boyfriend. When her vampire BF dumps her, she spends months pining for him. They show a montage of her sitting in a room looking out a window as the months go by, all depressed because he’s not there.

    @ Evie

    Even if they [complementarian men] don’t consciously define their world on those terms, their worldview is allowed to be larger. A woman’s worldview is seriously restricted.

    Even churches and denominations that aren’t ‘hard core complementarian’ are alienating for any woman of any age who doesn’t fit the “wife and mother” demographic.

    Many preachers are upset that their churches continue to go down in numbers, and I’m convinced it’s in part because they are still catering, quite obsessively, to the 1950s nuclear family ideal (mom + dad + kids), when most people today, including Christians, are never married/ divorced/ widowed/ or married-with-no-kids.

    If you’re not getting your needs met by your church and your particular stage of life / marital status is forever overlooked, and that to constantly cater to the “married-with-kids” group, you’re going to stop attending.

  153. @ Lynn

    Little to zero physical evidence. But lots of testimony from “experts” who elicited the stories from the young kids

    I think that’s what happened with the McMartin pre school case from the 1980s.

    anon said,

    Nor [have I seen] a female pedophile in all my years in that venue. Perhaps there are.

    There are a lot of them – particularly the school teachers who begin intimate relationships with their students, those are some of the only cases one will see reported in the news.

    There is a female-only group for female pedophiles, similar to NAMBLA. I don’t know if they are still active or not.

    They are grown women who advocate for adult females being allowed to have sex with little girls. You can read about this group here (World Net Daily site).

    @ Evie said

    As an aside, I’ve read romance novels are to (some) women what pornography is to (some) men, and that they are just as ancient.

    I don’t know about that, but let’s not fall into the trap that many conservative Christians put out, such as:

    1. only men are visually orientated (hence, females are supposedly “turned on” only by romance novels – which is not true); or

    2. female Christians (especially never- married ones over the age of 30) never, ever experience sexual urges/ desires. They (supposedly) only desire romance, relationship (as in emotional closeness), and cuddling (again, not true for all women).

    @ Rafiki
    It doesn’t get better for unmarried Christian women at any age. I’m in my early 40s and never married, though I wanted to be married.

    If I had a nickel for every time I saw on a Christian blog or preacher in a church or TV show say a woman’s highest calling in life is to be a wife and mother, I’d be more wealthy than George Soros and Warren Buffet put together.

    It’s not just the Reformed or gender complementarians who slight singleness and turn marriage and kids into a god, but also Baptists, fundamentalists, and any conservative Christian groups.

    Did you know that some Christian authors, who are married, have even written that if you are a Christian who has not married and/or had kids in your 20s (they never draw an exact age on this, but it seems to be one’s late 20s) that you are sinning?

    That’s right, if you’re not married with two kids by the time you are 25 – 30, you are committing sin because marriage is greater than singleness and is God’s plan for all Christians.

    (Despite the fact the Bible says in the New Testament that both states are equal.)

    As for your description of dating in the Christian world – yep. And this situation is discussed at length in the book “Singled Out,” by Christine Colón and Bonnie Field.

    By teaching that all Christian women are potential temptresses, that people cannot control their sexual urges, and that (in Christian teaching and dating advice books, even aimed at adults over 30!) that the genders should not meet alone (not even for a cup of coffee), and it’s led to a dry up of dating.

    And if people don’t date, they don’t get married. And so we have lots of Christian women over 35 who desired marriage who never got married.

    (Also, there aren’t enough unmarried Christian males for for the unmarried females.)

    I’m not quite ready to start dating right now, but when I do, I am now open to dating Non Christian men.

  154. There is now a name and a link to the arrest report. I’m not familiar with the name and don’t see the connection to SGM; but perhaps that will be clarified. As Dee said, care is needed as this is a new and unproven blog; although the articles seem sound from my own Survivor POV.

  155. “There are a lot of them – particularly the school teachers who begin intimate relationships with their students, those are some of the only cases one will see reported in the news.”

    Good point. We had one here just a few years back. 25 year old teacher caught having sex in her car with one of her HS students.

  156. It’s worth noting that my ex was a huge fan of the Twighlight books.

    Also, I believe that Bella throws herself of a cliff after Edward leaves her because she needs him so much. That’s not a great message to be sending. Suicide should not be romanticized, nor a noble answer to losing a boyfriend.

  157. Rafiki wrote:

    And HUG, as much as it stings to see you refer to so many smart independent older (mid-30s and up) Christian women referred to as “marriage crazy girls” – I believe it’s somewhat accurate. There was a real immaturity in how many women reacted to the very real pressure from the Christian culture.

    Your comment reminds me of how unmarried Christian women get hit with conflicting, contradictory, insulting views on the topics of marriage, singleness, and dating from other Christians all the time, from lay persons in the pew, to pastors in churches, Christian TV shows, and on Christian blogs and Christian books.

    If you are a Christian woman who wants marriage, some Christians will tell you that you are making marriage into an idol, so you should “be content in gift of your singleness” and always remember, “Jesus is all you need.”

    These sorts of Christians will make you feel guilty or ashamed for wanting to be married.

    (I do agree some Christian groups have turned marriage into an idol, but merely wanting it does not necessarily make it “idolatry.”)

    The other group of Christians will validate your desire for marriage, but then, they will either assume,

    1. you are at fault for your prolonged singlehood (i.e., you deliberately chose to remain single past your 30s because you were consumed by career), so you get blamed for it;

    and
    2. it is assumed you are fornicating all over the place (even though you are not), so shame on you for fornicating you big trollop, but (at the same time, they say), don’t worry about it because God will happily forgive you of your sexual sin

  158. What I find really interesting about the following is this quote (please excuse my poor HTML formatting!)”The fact is, if leaders within evangelicalism were doing their jobs speaking up for those who don’t have such platforms you’d have never heard of online apologetics and discernment works like Apprising Ministries.

    Part of the work AM is doing is apprising you of issues as they develop. Unfortunately, one that I was not able to cover was the controversy surrounding C.J. Mahaney,[1] president of his Sovereign Grace Ministries.[2]

    As it was surfacing, I was lacking time to look into it. I was, however, in contact with some “names” well known within the Christian blogosphere who said that they were aware of it and found it not worth reporting.

    http://apprising.org/2013/01/14/lawsuit-targets-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-co-founder-over-alleged-child-sex-abuse/

  159. Jeff S wrote:

    It’s worth noting that my ex was a huge fan of the Twighlight books.
    Also, I believe that Bella throws herself of a cliff after Edward leaves her because she needs him so much. That’s not a great message to be sending. Suicide should not be romanticized, nor a noble answer to losing a boyfriend.

    Yep, I noted that in some post earlier.

    Bella (main character in the Twilight books/movies) is a classic codependent, getting her sense of identity and value from her relationship with the BF, which is evidenced when she becomes deeply depressed and makes several suicide attempts when he breaks up with her.

    If it makes any of the guys on this thread feel any better – and granted, I’m past the book and movies series target demographic – but – I am a female and hated the Twilight movies.

    I saw part 1 and 2 and thought they were idiotic.

    Sparking vampires? No, I like scary ones, and sparkling screams “girly man vampire,” one that I could beat up.

  160. Rafiki wrote:

    @ Steve240:
    Steve, you know what’s funny? IKDG was never sold nor explicitly taught or referenced at our church (hence my reference to “comp-lite”).
    But many many people had nonetheless absorbed the IKDG message as being the “ideal” even a decade after the publication of the book.
    Most of my girlfriends (and a few of the men) owned the book, and many other Christian pastors, bloggers, and teachers had written about and reinforced it as the ideal from the late 90s to mid-00s (before anyone woke up to the disastrous effects of this garbage on ADULTS).
    It’s amazing how pervasive and widespread the IKDG mindset became amongst evangelicals of all stripes.
    And HUG, as much as it stings to see you refer to so many smart independent older (mid-30s and up) Christian women referred to as “marriage crazy girls” – I believe it’s somewhat accurate. There was a real immaturity in how many women reacted to the very real pressure from the Christian culture.

    I just saw this post. I hope Deb and Dee will cover this topic when they do their post on singles and the church. My former church did not allow dating. My husband and I never dated before we were engaged. Maybe I’ll chime in more if the topic is covered in a post. Thanks to all for sharing your experience. It has given me a lot to think about.

  161. Regarding marriage and idolatry, it’s maddening. The evangelical church in general is guilty of idolatry of the family, and every single Christian over the age of 30 knows it (but we can’t talk about it because we lack credibility and just come off as bitter).

    Want to know how to make people crazy? Tell them that family is the most important institution in the church contrary to what Jesus and Paul taught. Then when they get divorced make sure they aren’t allowed to have one, and then call them idolaters for wanting one while you ignore them at the church picnic because they don’t really fit in. And bonus points for giving the never marrieds are hard time for their obvious idolatry of career. And heck, might as well just throw those couples with no kids or only one kid in there too. I mean, we really only want to hang with folks who are really faithful.

    We actually have a pair of blog posts coming up on “A Cry For Justice”: one about the idolatry of family within the evangelical church and one about how the concept of “family worship” gets twisted into a weird view of “father as priest” man made tradition. A lot needs to he said on these topics, because right now family is just becoming another bar to jump over put up by the Pharisees to elevate themselves above the masses.

  162. @ Jeff:

    I think Bella only contemplates suicide (I know she is alive at the end of the fourth book), but of course your criticism stands. The message is, if your boyfriend/husband/significant other/whatever leaves you, killing yourself is an acceptable coping mechanism (and oh-so-romantic!). I won’t be reading past the first book. I don’t revel in self-torture that much. : )

    @ Daisy:

    Oh yes, codependency abounds along with the unnecessary and overly-florid adjectives. Already in the first book Bella is going on about how if Edward left her her entire universe would be crushed, yadda yadda yadda. She also seems unable to feel moderate emotions and vacillates between elation and despair, based mostly on Edward’s presence or her perception of whether or not he is pleased with her.

  163. “Want to know how to make people crazy? Tell them that family is the most important institution in the church contrary to what Jesus and Paul taught.”

    Oh, this comes up so much in many areas. Abusive toxic families that people think they have to have relationships with, etc. I often talk about this with them just to give them a different perspective on “family”:

    46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

    48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
    Matthew 12

    Gives a whole new meaning to what is “family”. :o)

  164. Daisy wrote:

    Bella (main character in the Twilight books/movies) is a classic codependent, getting her sense of identity and value from her relationship with the BF, which is evidenced when she becomes deeply depressed and makes several suicide attempts when he breaks up with her.

    No, Bella is an Author Self-Insert, Uber-Mary Sue sub-type. I’ve seen the type before, in really BAD fanfic.

  165. @ Hester:

    Never read or seen Twilight, and never read romance novels. The blurbs on the back are hilarious for how cliched they are, though. The male love interest is almost always either a brooding lord with a poncy name like Royce (marrying up the stations fantasy), or a mysterious man with a nature name like Storm who’s half Cherokee or half Mohican (taming the wild but noble savage fantasy). In either case, the ‘danger’ of the man is the biggest part of his appeal, and the frailty of the woman is what draws him in, because apparently by him being able to dominate this delicate little flower, he’ll be tamed. Or something.
    Of course, post Twilight there’s a third category of love interest – Mr Supernatural, the vampire/werewolf/leprechaun who just needs a human touch, blah blah blah.

  166. Daisy wrote:

    . only men are visually orientated (hence, females are supposedly “turned on” only by romance novels – which is not true); or

    ALL humans are visually-oriented.
    ALL primates are visually-oriented.
    Sight is our main sense.

  167. As far as the name on the tollingbell site, the gentleman attended CLC, but I think he left at some point before I did. On Survivors, someone said he taught at a local Christian high school, and didn’t think he was connected to the lawsuit. Crazy, though, since I knew him and used to attend one of his bible studies.

  168. Hester wrote:

    I know a guy from a PCA/Neo-Calvinist family and both his girlfriends (one of them now fiancee) have been…well, let’s just say not bookish types. The perfect kind of girls to be happy smiling comp wives talking about how wonderful submission is. Looking at them I wonder, why? He isn’t a stupid person. Doesn’t he like having intelligent conversation?

    Maybe he doesn’t want a wife who could EVER outshine him. Like a pointy-haired boss who always has to be the smartest one in the company by making sure nobody else in the company can be as smart as him.

    Or Lord Farquar from Shrek decreeing that everyone in his realm have their legs amputated so nobody can ever be taller than him.

    Or if he’s neo-Calvinist and comp/patrio, well, why should a broodmare/womb need a brain?

  169. Never read or seen Twilight, and never read romance novels. The blurbs on the back are hilarious for how cliched they are, though. The male love interest is almost always either a brooding lord with a poncy name like Royce (marrying up the stations fantasy), or a mysterious man with a nature name like Storm who’s half Cherokee or half Mohican (taming the wild but noble savage fantasy). In either case, the ‘danger’ of the man is the biggest part of his appeal, and the frailty of the woman is what draws him in, because apparently by him being able to dominate this delicate little flower, he’ll be tamed. Or something.”

    Sounds like John and Stasi Eldredge. :o)

  170. Evie wrote:

    Its funny you should say that because your nickname here brings to mind Pretty, Pretty Princess and I see sparkles. Truly, I do. But then the headless part advances despite my protestations and I hear shrieks of bloody murder. So help me out, which is it?

    First, I have a fairly common name, and had to go to my handle as it was unique.

    Second, the handle comes from a picture I did many years ago for the AnthroCon conbook, the year the con changed its venue from Albany to Philadelphia. The theme that year was “Join the Furry Revolution!”, meaning the American Revolution. Well, my mind went ZANG on that other revolution, the French. And this was the result:
    http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/File:LAgeDeRaison.jpg
    The Age of Reason has No Need of Unicorns.

    (Remember that the Unicorn is a classic symbol of sexual purity and Furry Fandom is infamous for sexual craziness.)

    And then came the 2000-word short story for the conbook (rejected due to maximum length of 1000 words), “Conversation with a Dying Unicorn”, that years later I found bootlegged onto a blog I never heard of (note, some cussing in blogger’s commentary):
    http://thingsthatarerectangles.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/51-the-unicorn-story/

    And that’s which it is. Like Popeye and God’s vowel-less Name, It Is What It Is.

  171. Thanks to exCLCer- More info coming in on the arrest. The man charged was allegedly once a member of CLC and left. He did not teach at the school or pastor at the church but had contact with the families.

  172. Hester wrote:

    On the one hand you get the love-at-first-sight, meet-and-marry-in-3-months-live-happily-ever-after type of book; and on the other hand you get Twilight and Phantom of the Opera (no, most people don’t read the book but the musical is one of the best popular examples of what I’m talking about), where stalking/obsessive behavior is considered romantic/sexy. Case in point: 50 Shades started its life as a Twilight fanfic.

    I’ve read the original book (Phantom of the Opera, not repeat not Twilight), and it is a lot darker than any of the movie/stage versions.

    I have also read Barrie’s original Peter Pan. Same thing.

  173. Former CLC

    It must be creepy to  find out you were once in his Bible study. Looks like he should have studied harder, hmmm?

  174. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of women who are codependent (too nice) think they can attract and keep a man by being a doormat, by morphing themselves into whatever kind of woman they think their BF or husband wants and by putting all his needs above her own.

    Woo. Daisy, the “morphing themselves into whatever kind of woman they think their BF wants” sounds like my writing partner giving me his evaluation of my ex-girlfriend.

    We did a “psychological autopsy” on what I remembered of her and he figured her to have been a “quiet histrionic”, i.e. a “hysterical personality” without the usual “drama queen” behavior of the standard histrionic type. No drama queening, but other histrionic traits — inability to bond long-term with a man, desperation to attract a man, compulsive flirtation, and the morphing you mentioned above. (I was looking for someone else who saved themselves for marriage, so she morphed into a virgin.) My writing partner was sure her parents had divorced before she hit puberty, as that experience at that stage of development messes up a girl’s mind more than a boy’s and in a known pattern, and she fit that pattern.

    What happens is that this types of women either attract abusive men, run of the mill jerks, or narcissistic men, or the ones who are not mean and abusive – the average guys who date them- but who grow deeply bored after awhile (because they are dating a mirror image of themselves, not a true person with her own views/hobbies, etc, who can challenge them or hold their interest), so they break up with them.

    If you want a mirror image of yourself, just look in a mirror 24/7.

  175. @ Headless Unicorn Guy: I don’t know that Peter Pan is “darker” so much as it is a kind of almost realistic fantasy written during a time when infant and child mortality rates were still very high… I think its resonance was likely more with the adults who were reading it to their kids (particularly if any of those adults had lost kids of their own) than with the kids who were hearing the story.

  176. @ Jeff S:

    Jeff, I think – seriously – all married Christian couples, especially the ones who maybe do fit the 1950s nuclear family ideal – should split up a Sunday or two, and go to new churches where nobody knows them.

    That is, the husband walk in alone to Church X, and his wife go alone to Church Z. Do this a few times at different churches.

    As Christians, we are not to lie – but – I wonder, without coming out and saying you are single (if you’re a married person doing this experiment), just walk into a singles Sunday School class, try attending other church events alone, and see how you are treated.

    In most cases, unless you go to a very rare church, you will be ignored, or subjected to pity, scorn, or probing, rude questions or assumptions.

    And yes, placing too much emphasis on human family ties does take away what Christ commanded about the the family of Christ taking prominence, and it can led credence to wacky ideas about the husband being the male priest of the home.

    (The Bible says all believers are priests, and only Christ is head priest of all, so I have never understood how so many complementarian preachers get away with teaching that ‘husband is priest of the home’ nonsense.)

  177. Eagle wrote:

    You know side note….all this empheiss on complementarism gives me a different view of dating.
    What type of guy wants to date and marry a woman who is not intelligent, incapable of thinking of herself, always needs to be constantly guided, who looks down on education and career.
    Who? I sure as heck would not want one. I would want someone who is a parnter. Who I could have long, intelligent and deep conversations with about life, faith, politics, interests, etc…
    Who wants a stepford wife clone…. not me….

    Eagle,

    I’d bet my bottom dollar most if not all of the men who would want a wife like that are abusers.

  178. Hester wrote:

    I think Bella only contemplates suicide (I know she is alive at the end of the fourth book)

    I know she throws herself off a cliff because Edward leaves, but some have told me this wasn’t really a suicide attempt. I really didn’t get their explanation, but whatever it is, having the heroine throw herself off a cliff because her boyfriend left is not a good message to send.

  179. As far as this whole “what kind of guy wants a girl like that?”

    Being the knight in shining armor for a damsel in distress is a very powerful draw. In fact, I think it is for both sexes (look at how many Disney movies have a heroine change an abuser with her love). We want to save people. We want to be Jesus.

    But we aren’t.

  180. I don’t think Bella is trying to kill herself. She needs the adrenaline rush in order to get her Edward fix.
    She sees him when she does dangerous things.

  181. Jeff S- ” We want to save people. We want to be Jesus. But we aren’t.”

    Really good reminder for me today. I’ve been alerted to some tweets by a girl that I coach which are describing some disturbing self destructive behavior and thoughts. I know a little about her background and I am not sure if telling the parents first is the wisest solution. I will be seeing her today and am trying to decide what to do about it. I hope that I reflect Jesus.

  182. Jeff S wrote:

    Being the knight in shining armor for a damsel in distress is a very powerful draw. In fact, I think it is for both sexes (look at how many Disney movies have a heroine change an abuser with her love). We want to save people. We want to be Jesus.

    John Eldrege’s “Wild at Heart” book, which is praised by many evangelicals, feeds into this in a very unhealthy way. (But I don’t recommend this book at all.)

  183. @Dee – I don’t know who the pastor named in the lawsuit is, and I really don’t even want to think about it or speculate. I’m sure it’ll all come out eventually. I think I said before that I really feel sad for everyone involved, especially the victims, but also the people in the churches who are really truly trying to love and follow God and all hell is breaking loose around them.

    As for Nate M, it was an hispanic Bible study that I was helping out at and trying to pick up spanish. It was just a short time, then he was gone from the church.

  184. anonymous wrote:

    Eagle wrote:
    Who wants a stepford wife clone…. not me….

    Eagle,
    I’d bet my bottom dollar most if not all of the men who would want a wife like that are abusers.

    Yep. As I said in a post up the thread, psychiatrists who write about codependency and abuse say that abusive men intentionally go after codependent women (women with poor, or no, boundaries at all) because these sorts of women are easier to manipulate, control, and abuse than women who are not.

    Ironically, by teaching Christian girls to be too… compliant,
    considerate of other people’s needs and feelings, indecisive,
    look to a man for their value/ purpose/ leadership,
    and sweet
    (all of which such parents consider to be the perfect picture portrait of “biblical womanhood”), their gender complementarian or patriarchalist parents are turning them into prime pickings and targets for abusive or dishonest men (and women).

  185. @ Jeff S:

    It’s not just that Bella puts herself into situations where she can be physically harmed, but her entire life – her entire identity, goals in life, and her dreams and ambitions are entirely wrapped around Edward Cullen (the sparkly vampire BF). She has no goals or dreams or her own.

    Even when Ed leaves town, she seeks out another male to fill the emptiness / lack of identity and purpose (her werewolf buddy Jacob).

    Everything to Bella is about being Ed Cullen’s GF (girl friend) – which is just as dangerous for a female, IMHO, as putting herself at risk physically.

    (For anyone who is dying to know – Bella keeps putting herself into danger because every time she does, her vampire BF, Ed, appears to her in visions. She’s trying to get him to return to her.)

  186. Jeff S wrote:

    As far as this whole “what kind of guy wants a girl like that?”

    Being the knight in shining armor for a damsel in distress is a very powerful draw. In fact, I think it is for both sexes (look at how many Disney movies have a heroine change an abuser with her love). We want to save people. We want to be Jesus.
    But we aren’t.

    In my opinion, that is what God meant when he told Eve (after the fall), ‘your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’

    God was saying that females- as a consequence of sin, not that this was God’s punishment or design for marriage- will look to a man in their lives to be their “everything,” their savior, and lots of men, the abusive or selfish ones (like I said in a post above), will intentionally look for women like that because they want a woman they can control and abuse.

    Sadly, a lot of biblical gender complementarians teach that “he shall rule over you” part as though it’s a good thing, or as though God willed it on purpose, or as though God wants wholescale, unquestioning female subservience to men, all the time, in all situations, when God was saying it was a bad thing – but we have Christians teaching this sin as though it’s a virtue to aspire to.

    On another level, though, I don’t think it’s altogether wrong for a man to play “a” hero (not “the” but “a”) to his wife, as the New Testament says that ‘husbands ought to love their wives the way Christ loved the church.’

    Which means, if you’re a married guy, you should be willing to put your life at risk to stand between your wife and any fire-breathing dragons.

    And that is what a lot of women are seeking in a guy, but so few men are willing to go there.

    Which is why you see a lot of women, even some Christian ones, get hooked on the romance novels – because the male characters are willing to die for their lady. Women can at least get this via fiction, if not in real life.

  187. Daisy, comps actually teach that “desire” means she seeks to rule over him and he in turn rules over her. Tge word Teshuga means “turning” and in context God is saying she will turn to Adam (instead of God) and because she does that, Adam will rule over her. Eve had a choice. God was describing not proscribing.

    Basically, comps are teaching sin as a virtue. It is a real wake up call when you come to see that.

    All women should turn to God FIRST and foremost. We should not be like Eve. She chose Adam over her relationship with God. And she could have had both.

  188. Daisy,
    Do you think a wife can desire to stand between a fire breathing dragon and her husband? Wild it be wrong for him to allow her to? Would it be wrong for a wife to allow her husband to sacrifice himself for her?

    In the end, I think of at least some of what I lived through were tests to see if I would sacrifice myself for her. And I did, until I realized that doing so wasn’t saving her.

  189. “Which is why you see a lot of women, even some Christian ones, get hooked on the romance novels – because the male characters are willing to die for their lady. Women can at least get this via fiction, if not in real life.”

    It is both, Daisy. What I saw my mom do while my dad was dying still blows me away today. You don’t see it in many marriages. I call it mercy living. And it is a beautiful picture of Christ in action in a marriage. It goes both ways my friend. Women are basically taught to want the knight in shining armor. And one reason is because they do not understand what that entire passage means in it’s 1st Century context. When the dying to self is there, both want to save the other.

  190. anon 1 wrote:

    Daisy, comps actually teach that “desire” means she seeks to rule over him and he in turn rules over her. Tge word Teshuga means “turning” and in context God is saying she will turn to Adam (instead of God) and because she does that, Adam will rule over her. Eve had a choice. God was describing not proscribing.
    Basically, comps are teaching sin as a virtue. It is a real wake up call when you come to see that.
    All women should turn to God FIRST and foremost. We should not be like Eve. She chose Adam over her relationship with God. And she could have had both.

    Yes, I agree.

    Part of codependency is being too dependent on someone else to meet all your needs and wants, so you turn over control to them (but codependents may try to get some control by being passive aggressive).

    So women who are like this want to be ruled over by their husband (in that they are looking for a man to take care of them).

    (So, IMO, the comps are wrong to teach that this passage means the woman desires to rule over the husband and ‘take his authority’ from him – it’s the opposite, it’s saying many, or most, women will voluntarily give up all their rights and personhood to be ruled by a man, to get safety and security in return).

    This is dangerous, especially if the man is not benevolent, but most who want a women to “need” them in this manner are usually abusive or selfish.

    To Jeff, yes I guess a woman can play a hero to her husband, and it’s not wrong for her to play this role, but the Bible talks specifically about the husband being to the wife as Christ to the church, and Christ loved the church to the point of dying for the church (literally, not just in the “serving the church” sense). That’s how it reads to me, anyway.

    anon1, yes, I agree, a woman can step up to the plate for a man and really be there for him.

    On the flip side, I was in a relationship with a guy for years, and he seemed to usually expect me to be his knight in shining armor (or his savior).

    It got mentally and physically exhausting trying to play that role for him all the time, and I got tired of doing all the giving and he rarely gave to me. He was getting almost all his needs met and didn’t even try to meet mine.

  191. Pingback: The Books: On the Pleasure of Hating, ‘On Reason and Imagination’, by William Hazlitt | The Sheila Variations UNITED STATES

  192. I’d like to know more about Nathaniel Morales. From the sound of it he was involved in corrupting the minds and the behavior of quite a few children in Covenant Life Church and elsewhere. Naturally any parent like me whose children were involved in the church and to a limited extent (thank God!) the school, and had many friends within the church, Im wondering if this corruption extended into the lives of my children to any degree and who the victims were. And who the victims were who then turned into predators. Has anymore information been released about this guy? Or who the Pastor involved might be? If you know anything I’d like to talk to you.

  193. @ Evie:

    Evie, There was discussion about Nathaniel Morales at the SGMSurvivors.com site. I think it was 3 posts ago, but I think they have a search field on the site.