To the Naghmeh Abedini Doubters: Saeed Abedini Pled Guilty to Domestic Violence in 2007

He always apologized, and sometimes he would even cry because of the bruises he'd made on her arms or legs or her back. He would say that he hated what he'd done, but in the next breath tell her she'd deserved it. That if she'd been more careful, it wouldn't have happened. That if she'd been paying attention or hadn't been so stupid, he wouldn't have lost his temper.” ― Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven link

https://www.facebook.com/NaghmehAbedini

I have decided to move my planned post due to an important find by Divorce Pastor. This information is being quickly spread through social media and other bloggers, like Julie Anne Smith, are going to highlight it on their blogs. We feel we must do the same, particularly in light of some commenters here and on Twitter who have done their best to highlight their doubt about Naghmeh's allegations.

I contend, and will expand on this further in the next post, that complementarian, authoritarian Christianity attracts a number of individuals who have a problem with anger and violence. The churches, parachurch organizations and seminaries that adhere to this theology need to carefully evaluate if there are abusers in their midst. They need to teach that when abuse is reported, they should move quickly to support the individual who is being harmed.The question is, "Do the leaders care?"

Since Naghmeh's allegations first became public knowledge, I have had discussions with a number of men (primarily) who have thrown cold water on the reports by Naghmeh. Some claimed that there was no way she could be abused via Skype. Others claimed that this was a well thought out lie that was geared to somehow free Saeed.

I have been warned that there would be need for an *investigation* although by whom was never answered. Perhaps the Ambassadors of Reconciliation which did such a bang up job investigating Sovereign Grace Ministries….? As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can't prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?

Let's take a look at some comments that we saw on this blog. On another post, I will look at comments from other blogs. These comments are the reason that women are afraid to report domestic violence. How could a really cool pastor who was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel be an abuser? Do these people read their Bibles? Look at David and Bathsheba. How about Abraham and Hagar? 

Heartless Critics

Here are some examples.

This is the "She is being unbiblical because Sarah went along with weird stuff."

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Then there is the  "She must have an axe to grind" zinger.

2/1/16 Update: Q said iImisrepresented him. He claims he didn't say Naghmeh has an axe to grind but instead meant the following. It appears that he means that far too many supporters of abusers jump on the bandwagon to grind their axes because they have an agenda. 

I wrote that about the people jumping on the bandwagon of guilty without hearing from the man or any type of investigation because it seemed people were doing it because they have an axe *ax* (an agenda) to grind and they become blinded by that agenda.

Well, isn't that so much better? (End of update)

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And never forget the "That woman wants to lock the king out of his castle." 

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Finally here is the typical "her story does not add up" gambit. (Aside to Jerry-As for wanting to hear from Saeed, well, you are about to get your chance.)

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The guys in the white hat show up.

Thankfully, a couple of guys jumped in and supported Naghmeh's story. 

Jeff S gets marital abuse. .

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WillysJeepMan saw behind the asinine "I am not saying she is lying but…

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Then Franklin Graham pulls the "two sides to every story" canard.

Franklin Graham poured cold water on Naghmeh reports and says there are two sides to every story. No, Mr. Graham, sometimes there is only one correct version and that is called the truth.

"While we rejoice at his (Saeed Abedini's) new freedom, we now lift him and his wife, Naghmeh, to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story," Graham, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.

Graham added that he is trying to be a friend and assist both, and said that there is a great need for prayer for their relationship.

"I can tell one thing for sure — not everything that has been reported in the media is true," he asserted.

Graham appeared to blame this whole thing on Satan. Excuse me, Rev Graham,  but Saeed had a lot to do with this as well unless you are saying that "the devil made him do it."

"God has answered prayer by bringing about Saeed's release from prison, and now, Satan would like nothing more than to continue to destroy their lives. It is my prayer that this will not happen."

The rest of the folks who wore white hats.

I want to commend the many readers here at TWW and elsewhere that believed Naghmeh's account from the start.

  • You are the ones who will eventually force the church to come to the defense of the abused.
  • You get that it is relatively rare for anyone to lie about such abuse. 
  • You are the folks that can read between the lines and see that something is seriously amiss.
  • You all have been given a gift from God to understand and care for those who have been abuse. 

You did all of this before the following report was revealed. I especially thank the intrepid Divorce Minister for reporting this link on our blog. 

Saeed Abedini has pled guilty to domestic violence in the past.

From the Idaho Statesman: Domestic abuse, national spotlight: Pastor’s wife speaks further about problems, we have learned that Saeed Abedini pled guilty to domestic violence in 2007.

In 2007, Saeed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in Ada County Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, and placed on probation for a year, according to online Idaho court records. The case file was not immediately available for review.

BOOM!

Saeed, who could not be reached for comment, was released earlier this month as part of a prisoner swap. He spent five days at a North Carolina retreat center operated by the Rev. Franklin Graham, then flew to Boise on Tuesday, the same day Naghmeh filed a petition for legal separation in Ada County. He has not responded publicly to his wife’s allegations since the email first leaked last fall.

Bea Black of The Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise had something important to share with the Idaho Statesman. Some of Naghmeh's accusers should do some reading on the subject and need to carefully consider the highlighted statement.

“There’s a lot of shame, there’s a lot of guilt, there’s a lot of feelings that ‘it’s my fault,’ that ‘I should have tried harder, I could have been better,’ ” Black said. “Many times in an abusive relationship, whether it’s been due to violence or due to psychological or emotional abuse, they have been stripped of their sense of value and their sense of self.”

t takes a lot of strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship or to try to work through problems, Black said. Religious, family and societal pressures can all work against a woman struggling with abuse.

There have been a number of men (if I missed women supporting Saeed in any significant way, I apologize) who doubted Naghmeh. These folks have demonstrated how those who express abuse can be treated. 

Thank God that Naghmeh is a strong, brave woman who stood her ground. Our love and prayers go out to her. Naghmeh is following some of these posts. If you feel so led, leave a comment of encouragement and I will make sure she is made aware of them.

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I look forward to looking at how the church has contributed to hurting those who have been abused in my next post. I dedicate this song to Naghmeh and all of our wonderful readers who have suffered abuse and have been kicked to the curb by callous churches and church members.

Comments

To the Naghmeh Abedini Doubters: Saeed Abedini Pled Guilty to Domestic Violence in 2007 — 680 Comments

  1. Q, you’re bugging Dee at 2 in the morning. There’s a legal term for serial pest. Your timing is askew. Please go back and read the Prime Directive, or re-read it if necessary. Then apply a cold compress, have a Bex and lie down.

  2. To the Author of this blog:

    Using the Nicholas Sparks’ quote at the beginning of your blog is more than a bit careless. Some people, who are not careful readers, may think this was written about Naghmeh. It wasn’t. Also, it sets up a mental picture of this being what actually happened to Naghmeh when in reality *you do not know* what happened back in 2007. He could have punched a wall or yelled to the point of disturbing the peace. *You do not know.*

    *Whatever happened*, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail but the sentence was immediately suspended to one year probation…in other words, the judge sent him home. Since this is what *actually* happened does it seem realistic that the court/judge thought Saeed was an immediate threat to Naghmeh since they sent him back home? My point is we *don’t* actually know what happened; regardless of the charge and conviction that happened almost a decade ago back in 2007.

    Saeed is being *convicted in the minds* of christian readers as well as the world, of committing specific acts when we *do not know* what he *actually did do*. You really do not know anything other than the charge, you do not know specifics. You simply do not…and yet…

    You are painting a picture in the hearts and minds of readers, a picture that may not be accurate. You are painting this picture with fictional quotes by a fiction author. Careless. VERY careless.

  3. @ Haitch:
    Agreed, very much so.

    Q, you are, imo, trolling like mad, and just trying to stir things up for the hell of it. I don’t see any justification for your behavior. It’s not something i wish to read, either.

  4. Yes, but she was married to tom cruise, a hollywood star. Naghmeh is married to a MISSIONARY so, gasp!, it simply CANT be true! She is very brave.@ Leslie:

  5. Q wrote:

    Maybe Saeed is guilty, I don’t know, (who made me or you judge and jury)

    You did, by you judgments and accusations against Naghmeh.
    You did, by bringing Sarah into the mix to try to silence and shame Naghmeh and the women on this blog.
    You did, by assuming Saeed was innocent or at least not very guilty. And by deciding that Naghmeh was guilty or overreacting or not being a properly submitted wife according to your interpretations of Sarah and the Bible.

  6. ALamb wrote:

    You are painting a picture in the hearts and minds of readers, a picture that may not be accurate. You are painting this picture with fictional quotes by a fiction author. Careless. VERY careless.

    Here is a bit of a challenge for you. I put that quote there for a reason. Naghmeh’s ordeal is shining a spotlight on the church. TWW has been writing about abuse in the church for almost 7 years and things are beginning to become more clear each time something like this happens.

    For a minute, assume that I am not being careless and that I chose this quote for a purpose. What might that purpose be? I will be writing a post on what is concerning me. See if you can figure it out.

  7. Q wrote:

    You misrepresented me.

    Let’s get something straight, Q. You said what you said and, to me, it sure sounded like that was what you were saying. So before you get on your huffy high horse, take a deep breath. I am happy to make a correction by carefully clarifying what you didn’t say but what you meant.

    However, it will sound even worse. You are going after those who stand up for the abused and that is as bad as what I thought you said.

    Finally, you have shown, by your comment, that you are not willing to consider Saeed’s abuse of Naghmeh. He has done it in the past and has pled guilty to it. You are here, attempting to add even more pain to a wounded domestic violence victim and that goes against everything that this blog stands for.

    You are going into permanent moderation and I will make my correction on the post but you will not like my correction.

  8. ALamb wrote:

    You are painting a picture in the hearts and minds of readers, a picture that may not be accurate. You are painting this picture with fictional quotes by a fiction author. Careless. VERY careless.

    Dear Lamb,

    You want to talk about “careless”? Saeed was ordained, by something called the American Evangelistic Association, less than a year after he was sentenced. Did Saeed notify the AEA about this conviction? If not, he was careless with the truth. If he did, they were careless in ordaining him as a pastor or anything else.

  9. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    You want to talk about “careless”? Saeed was ordained, by something called the American Evangelistic Association, less than a year after he was sentenced. Did Saeed notify the AEA about this conviction? If not, he was careless with the truth. If he did, they were careless in ordaining him as a pastor or anything else.

    Amen, and BOOM!

  10. ALamb wrote:

    in other words, the judge sent him home.

    Dod the judge send him home? The judge did not send him to jail and he was free to leave the court. You are putting words in the judges mouth unless you heard the judge with your own ears tell Saeed to go home.

  11. ALamb wrote:

    My point is we *don’t* actually know what happened; regardless of the charge and conviction that happened almost a decade ago back in 2007.

    My point is that I take the court’s word (conviction) and Saeed’s word (guilty plea) that he committed a domestic violence misdemeanor. Whatever he did, it went so far as to break the law. That is more than enough for me to grant credibility to an allegation by the same victim that he has been being abusive both before and during imprisonment.

  12. A very helpful book, Mending the Soul, sheds much light on how men in the church have been so reluctant to believe girls and women who have tried to report abuse. Men let abusive men off too easily.

  13. dee wrote:

    I am about to call AEA.

    If they’ve been paying attention to the blogosphere at all, I bet they’re quaking in their little booties. 😉 Not because you’re scary, Dee, but because they’ve got a lotta ‘splainin’ to do.

    And Dee, please take care of yourself. I so admire the hard work you do, and all the care you’ve given to your family the past few months. Please take whatever time you need to relax and refresh yourself. Praying for you, sister!

  14. dee wrote:

    Naghmeh’s ordeal is shining a spotlight on the church.

    But Dee. These guys don’t want a spotlight shining on their misdeeds, sins, secret dealings, and the like. They want to be able to keep their attitudes and deeds of the flesh under the cover of darkness so that their sins won’t be revealed. They want to look like heroes and these pesky blogs just won’t let them. It’s all about keeping up appearances. And they are doing it to a degree that Hyacinth Bucket would be proud of.

  15. okrapod wrote:

    Whatever he did, it went so far as to break the law. That is more than enough for me to grant credibility to an allegation by the same victim that he has been being abusive both before and during imprisonment

    Is there some talking at cross purposes going on here?

    Under British law as it stands, previous prosecutions cannot be brought up in a subsequent trial for a new offence. The reason is this might prejudice the jury against the defendant. If they did it before, they might well do it again. (There was an horrific case in the UK in 2000 where this was the case, and a previous conviction could not be brought up at the trial.)

    The prosecution has to prove guilt for the current charges only; the evidence must be sufficient to convict that crime. This arrangement also prevents a defendant successfully prosecuted from claiming an unfair trial due to the jury being prejudiced against him from the start.

    That Saeed was guilty last time round is not being disputed. Not even by him. But that in and of itself is not relevant to the allegations about subsesquent abuse.

  16. Sorry, meant tot add the last sentence – the US system of law may be different from the UK on this, but surely it pays to ensure defendants cannot get off on a legal technicality claiming a conviction is unsafe due to prejudicial publicity.

  17. Ken wrote:

    That Saeed was guilty last time round is not being disputed. Not even by him. But that in and of itself is not relevant to the allegations about subsesquent abuse.

    Yes it is relevant-be it in a court of law or outside the court of law. Most domestic abusers abuse again and again. A history of domestic violence is enough to give Naghmeh’s claim teeth.

    Just like a history of whacking a child around and being arrested for doing so is a reason to believe that it has happened again. Or a history of being a serial rapist, etc.

    This is US law, BTW.

  18. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    And Dee, please take care of yourself. I so admire the hard work you do, and all the care you’ve given to your family the past few months. P

    You are so kind. I do watch a TV show each evening and read a book for a little while each day. Both bring me rest. I am loving the new PBS series Mercy Street and highly recommend it to everyone interested n a period piece that takes place in a Union Hospital in Alexandria,VA during the Civil War.

  19. Mara wrote:

    hey want to be able to keep their attitudes and deeds of the flesh under the cover of darkness so that their sins won’t be revealed. They want to look like heroes and these pesky blogs just won’t let them. It’s all about keeping up appearances. And they are doing it to a degree that Hyacinth Bucket would be proud of.

    I love Keeping Up Appearances. i am particularly fond of Daisy! Blogs are here to stay and are changing how the church deals with abuse.

    PS-loving the new PBS series Mercy Street.

  20. @ Bridget:
    Yes- that is why I decided to call them. Also, I think I understand why Franklin Graham is now involved. The AEA is supported by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    If they do not answer my call, I think I may do a post with all sorts of questions that I have. Hopefully, that will cause them to respond to all of us. BTW, the message I left said that our readers have been digging into AEA and are raising questions!!!

  21. @ Ken:

    Read my statement again. I said that a previous conviction, especially when accompanied by an admission of guilt at the time (plea of guilty) is more than enough for me (I am not the court system) to assume credibility (that would be credibility) to further allegations by the same victim.

    The person to whom I replied was thinking differently, apparently.

  22. Mara wrote:

    They want to look like heroes and these pesky blogs just won’t let them. It’s all about keeping up appearances. And they are doing it to a degree that Hyacinth Bucket would be proud of.

    “THAT’S PRONOUNCED ‘BOUQUET’!!!!!?

  23. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    LT wrote:

    There is an agenda here folks. A multi-million dollar agenda. Power, cigars,Cisco Ranch private meetings, speaking fees and book royalties you cannot imagine. What’s the only thing that could possibly derail this for Swicegood, Franklin and Saeed?

    NAGHMEH.

    LT wrote:

    What must Swicegood and Franklin do and say to ensure that this doesn’t happen?

    Disappear Naghmeh?

    That was a snark, but I really do wonder if Naghmeh’s life might be in danger.

    After all, she (a mere WOMAN) stands in the way of The Cause. (Power, cigars, Power, Cisco Ranch private meetings, Power, speaking fees and book royalties you cannot imagine, and POWER. Christian America, God’s Holy People (after Cleansing), By Any Means Necessary, God Wills It. She is a problem to The Cause (i.e. to God Himself), and as Comrade Stalin put it, “No more person, No More Problem.”)

  24. @ okrapod:

    And, I might add, nobody (Saeed or Franklin G) has denied that there is truth in the current allegations. The only thing that has been said is that the current allegations are not all true-totally true-some if it is not true. Where is the blanket denial?

    Help me here, folks. Have I missed some current comprehensive denial of the accusations?

  25. okrapod wrote:

    Help me here, folks. Have I missed some current comprehensive denial of the accusations?

    If you’ve missed it, I have, too!

    Saeed said much of what she says is not true. How much is “much”……. 30% …….80% …… 99.9%??????
    Also, claiming that “much of what she said is not true” is just a tactical way of saying she LIED! So, if he claims that she lied, simply making that statement is not enough! The “lies” have been made public, so when he publicly claims that she has made a false statement, it behooves him to give at least one specific falsehood. He is an ordained minister and a public figure.

    If false statements about any one of us were made public, how many of us would not defend ourselves and at least try to disprove the statements???

  26. Ken wrote:

    That Saeed was guilty last time round is not being disputed. Not even by him. But that in and of itself is not relevant to the allegations about subsesquent abuse.

    It’s very relevant.

    That he abused her before is an indication to the court of public opinion that her current claims of being abused are true.

  27. dee wrote:

    I love Keeping Up Appearances.

    I used to watch that show a lot. I really liked it. I haven’t seen it in awhile.

    It’s always funny to see the brother of the neighbor next door peek out of the curtains before he steps out of the house, to make sure he doesn’t run into Hyacinth.
    The mail man tip toes up to her front porch before dropping off her mail. The one sister is always flirting with the preacher, and his wife always walks in and gets the wrong idea.

    I’m sympathetic to the husband. It has to be true love, I cannot imagine why else a guy would stay married to someone like that for as long as he has.

  28. ALamb wrote:

    Saeed is being *convicted in the minds* of christian readers as well as the world, of committing specific acts when we *do not know* what he *actually did do*. You really do not know anything other than the charge, you do not know specifics. You simply do not…and yet…

    This is exactly how abusers want people to react, to doubt the victim, to feel sorry for the abuser.

    Refusing to take a side actually ends up defaulting to the side of the abuser, which can harm the victim.

  29. Nancy2 wrote:

    If you’ve missed it, I have, too!

    Yeah. Let me tell you what I think, based on no stats but only on years of listening to people talk, and years of imaging various body parts when the med history indicated trauma. I think that there are just a whole lot of people out there smacking each other around.

    BTW, the current computer programs at every one my doctors’ offices includes a question of ‘are you in danger at home; is anybody hurting you’/ words to that effect. This question is also on the yearly physical which medicare provides for us oldies, so even the gov is asking this.

    Isn’t that just amazing that the health care industry knows about it, and even the federal gov knows about it, but the churches are oblivious to it? Oblivious my kabooskie, they condone it. Enough already with kidding ourselves. IMO, some of them condone it because they are doing it themselves-abuse that is.

  30. dee wrote:

    I have added Q to permanent moderation status.

    Bet Captain Pickard wished he could do the same.

  31. dee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Yes- that is why I decided to call them. Also, I think I understand why Franklin Graham is now involved. The AEA is supported by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    The thread on Spiritual Sounding Board included a comment with a link to Franklin Graham posing with his private jet. (With a comment about “Does being born the son of a famous Evangelist get you a private jet?”)

    Have to keep up with the Creflo Dollars, you know…

  32. okrapod wrote:

    Isn’t that just amazing that the health care industry knows about it, and even the federal gov knows about it, but the churches are oblivious to it? Oblivious my kabooskie, they condone it. Enough already with kidding ourselves. IMO, some of them condone it because they are doing it themselves-abuse that is.

    ……… If only she would be more submissive …………

  33. okrapod wrote:

    Isn’t that just amazing that the health care industry knows about it, and even the federal gov knows about it, but the churches are oblivious to it? Oblivious my kabooskie, they condone it.

    “Honor dies where self-interest lies.”
    — Kwai Chang Caine, Kung Fu

  34. Q wrote:

    Maybe Saeed is guilty, I don’t know, (who made me or you judge and jury) but sometimes there are two sides to a story, even the bible says so,

    I don’t have an axe to grind. I’m just an average joe commenting on a blog with my opinions about what I’m reading.
    (I do care that victims of abuse get justice and a fair hearing – if you want to count that as an “axe to grind.” ?)

    This whole “there are two sides to every story” line (and similar rhetoric) I keep seeing over and over plays into the hands of child abusers and domestic violence abusers.

    That sort of thinking is also off in that there is nothing that justifies domestic violence.

    A lot of these abusers may say the reason they hit their wife, or verbally berated her for two hours, is because she forgot to, say, pick up his suit at the dry cleaner’s earlier that day. (The abused wife may even buy into this excuse and feel as though she deserved the abuse.)

    If you study domestic violence (or verbal abuse) at all, you’ll discover that the reasons the abuser give are irrelevant.

    Even if it is true that the wife did in fact forget to pick up the husband’s suit from the dry cleaner’s, that does not justify or excuse the husband physically or verbally abusing the wife.

    I don’t think the vast majority of women just la-dee-da claim to their friends, “hey, my husband’s been abusing me” for nefarious purposes, or for kicks and giggles.

  35. Daisy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    I love Keeping Up Appearances.
    I used to watch that show a lot. I really liked it. I haven’t seen it in awhile.

    I never have, but I’ve run into a Hyacinth or two in real life.

  36. “Many churches appropriately stress the importance of marriage and family, but some churches wrongly teach that a wife’s primary role in life is to protect their husband’s or family’s reputation,” said Holcomb, the Episcopal priest. “Because of this emphasis, those experiencing abuse in their relationship may feel ashamed because they believe they failed in their relationship,” Holcomb said.
    Copy and paste from: http://www.christianheadlines.com/news/why-imprisoned-pastor-s-wife-kept-her-marital-abuse-a-secret-until-now.html

  37. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The thread on Spiritual Sounding Board included a comment with a link to Franklin Graham posing with his private jet. (With a comment about “Does being born the son of a famous Evangelist get you a private jet?”)
    Have to keep up with the Creflo Dollars, you know…

    This triggered thoughts of a story I saw a fe months back:
    Televangelists Need Private Jets Because ‘Demons’ Fly Commercial (January 2016)
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/01/televangelists-need-private-jets-because-demons-fly-commercial/

    This was in reference to Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis explaining (defending) on some Christian TV show why preachers need or should have their own private jets.

  38. Ya know, if I were in Naghmeh’s position, would would be possible for me to make a minor misstatement, given the state of mind In which I would probably be. If Nafhmeh did mis-speak, I believe it was something very minor. That being said, I believe Naghmeh. If her church family and the so-called “Christian” big wigs abandon her, we will still be here for her, and we will call out those who fail her.

  39. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I never have, but I’ve run into a Hyacinth or two in real life.

    Oh, it’s a funny show, HUG. Try to watch it if you ever get a chance. It was shown on PBS before. You may be able to watch clips of it on You Tube. “Mr. Bean” was also a funny British show that was on PBS for awhile.

    one other reason I like the Keeping Up Apperances show is that I relate. So many of the characters deal with the up-tight main character by steering clear of her altogether.

    Because my mother was this very codependent person who brought me up to be codependent, I was taught not to confront people directly.

    The only method of self defense my mom allowed me to have was avoidance. She was fine with me hiding or sneaking away from people who bugged me.

    So every time I see that show of the neighbors or mail man hiding behind trees or tip toeing up her front walk, I laugh in part because that was how I was taught to deal with “problematic” people. I became pretty good at it, too, if I do say so.

  40. Daisy wrote:

    Ken wrote:

    That Saeed was guilty last time round is not being disputed. Not even by him. But that in and of itself is not relevant to the allegations about subsesquent abuse.

    It’s very relevant.

    That he abused her before is an indication to the court of public opinion that her current claims of being abused are true.

    Like specimens in paleontology, MORE THAN ONCE ESTABLISHES A PATTERN.

  41. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Like specimens in paleontology, MORE THAN ONCE ESTABLISHES A PATTERN.

    I exchanged several tweets over 2, days with some guy who could not be bothered to understand this, though I tried explaining it.

    He kept saying stuff like, “So, if a husband tells his wife she’s fat, is that abuse? You would tell her to consider that abuse?”

    I was like, well, not necessarily. Abuse is understood to be a repetitive situation. If the husband is telling his wife she’s fat every day, or once every few weeks/ months, yes, that could be construed as (emotional/ verbal) abuse by her and by a lot of people who study this stuff.

    Then this guy was saying to me, “So abuse is whatever the wife says it is”.

    I was like, well, yeah, the victim gets to define her boundaries. If a spouse thinks being insulted by being called “fat” (or stupid or whatever) by her spouse is abuse, I guess so.
    Repeatedly calling someone fat or stupid is not exactly morale-boosting.

    I told him, in American workplaces, it’s up to the employee as to what she considers sexual harassment.

    That means male boors and jerks in the workplace can’t defend themselves to H.R. as, “Aw, I didn’t mean anything sexist about my smutty joke to the lady co-worker this morning, I was just kidding around. What I did was not sexual harassment.”

    Most HRs won’t buy that reasoning. The victim gets to define what comments/ behavior makes her feel uncomfortable.

    I also tried explaining this concept to my verbally abusive sister about a year ago.

    I told her I was no longer putting up with her incessant put downs, tirades, etc. She then snapped at me in an e-mail, “You’re making me angry, telling me how to behave. Don’t tell me how to act. I can do what I want.”

    I tried telling her, “Look, you can act however you want, but I get to determine how I want to be treated by you and others, you don’t get to define that for me, and every time you call me names or run me down, I don’t like it, so cut it out.”

    This guy on twitter was being obtuse. I think I gave him a link or two to sites that explain how verbal and domestic abuse works.

    Some of these guys seem almost to be clinging to ignorance on purpose.

    One similar guy on another blog (it was one you visited at the same time I did a couple days ago) flat out refused to even consider looking a link I gave him about domestic abuse.

    These guys who want to doubt Naghmeh (or abused women in general) want to stay uneducated and in the dark about the whole subject. They don’t care to learn about domestic violence, even when you give them links about it.

  42. Daisy wrote:

    Some of these guys seem almost to be clinging to ignorance on purpose.

    No. They’re just afraid to look in the mirror.

  43. Nancy2 wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Some of these guys seem almost to be clinging to ignorance on purpose.

    No. They’re just afraid to look in the mirror.

    Like end-time preachers who tunnel-vision on the “Fanatic Persecutor” archetype of Antichrist (The Beast) and completely sidestep the “Slick Deceiver” archetype (The False Prophet).

  44. dee wrote:

    Most domestic abusers abuse again and again

    Most often increases both in intensity and frequency. When victims were in denial about the abuse and blaming themselves, I suggested making an indistinguishable small mark on a calendar each time the abuse occurred and they could see the number of times and hopefully take some action.

  45. Daisy wrote:

    , I was taught not to confront people directly.

    I’ve always been a confronter, but sadly pay a price for that regardless of how diplomatically it’s done. People just prefer avoidance I’m afraid. Sucking it up is applauded unfortunately since nothing is ever resolved that way. In fact, the point of contention festers until it explodes rather than arriving at a resolution and understanding.

  46. Nancy2 wrote:

    No. They’re just afraid to look in the mirror.

    I do suspect that is what motivates a lot of them. I think they are either guilty of abusing women in some fashion, or they harbor deeply sexist attitudes towards women.

    They are afraid to have their own biases against women called out or examined vis a vis other people criticizing Saeed in public.

    I wonder, too, if some of them are angry that people such as myself sit around on blogs “advertising” to other women (educating them about) the red flags and tricks to look for, so they can either avoid these jerks to start with, or identify it in their own relationships and make plans to vamos the marriage or whatever.

  47. Victorious wrote:

    When victims were in denial about the abuse and blaming themselves, I suggested making an indistinguishable small mark on a calendar each time the abuse occurred and they could see the number of times and hopefully take some action.

    Another eye opening thing for some victims I heard Lundy Bancroft mention in his book and on a video.

    He asked one abused wife, ‘every time your husband breaks material possessions around your house, does he ever break your MUTUAL possessions, his own stuff, or your stuff?”

    He said the wife paused then said to him, “You know, now that I think about it, every time my husband goes into a rage, he only breaks MY stuff. He’s never broken HIS stuff or mutually owned stuff.”

  48. Daisy wrote:

    Another eye opening thing for some victims I heard Lundy Bancroft mention in his book and on a video

    Yep…a tactic designed to instill fear that leads to more violent/physical abuse. Animal abuse is a red flag as well.

  49. Victorious wrote:

    I’ve always been a confronter, but sadly pay a price for that regardless of how diplomatically it’s done.

    Very true. I was taught by my mother that all conflict is bad, and confronting issues is bad, so I learned at a very early age to avoid problems and problematic people best I could.

    When I have tried confronting with a few angry verbal abusers in my family, no matter how polite and delicate I am about speaking up to them about disagreements, they still get annoyed or enraged (my sister especially).

    That book you advised me to get, which I did a few weeks ago, the author mentions several characteristics of people who have been shamed, and I fit most of them.

    In one category, the author says, “You have great ‘radar’ and are a great people reader. You can walk into any room and instantly figure out who is in charge, and what the unspoken group norms are to get by, get along, etc.”

    Yes, that described me perfectly. I had to become an excellent people reader at a young age to figure out quickly who the bullies and mean people were in any group I was in, because the quicker I could spot them, the quicker I could stay away from them, as avoidance was the only self defense mechanism my mother allowed me to have.

    I had to develop that people reading “radar” out of necessity.

    I have to tell you, though, that bullies get intimidated or creeped out by people like me. The radar was sometimes a liability.

    A lot of bullies and abusers wear a “mask” where they fool other people into thinking they are nice, upstanding types.

    However, folks like me can see right through the pretense, and sometimes, the bullies know that we know that they’re really jerks under the Nice Guy mask.

    That happened to me on that job I had – the boss was a bully (she was also incompetent). I was among the first to figure it out, and she could tell I could tell (I never intentionally let on or told her, but she just knew I knew). I became her number one target at that point.

  50. Daisy wrote:

    This is exactly how abusers want people to react, to doubt the victim, to feel sorry for the abuser.
    Refusing to take a side actually ends up defaulting to the side of the abuser, which can harm the victim.

    Well said.

  51. @ Nancy2:
    Victims make horrible witnesses. They are held to a higher standard and they are usually emotional wrecks caused by the abuser on purpose to control. I got to the point I think they need a spokesperson who stays on message no matter what is thrown their way.

  52. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of bullies and abusers wear a “mask” where they fool other people into thinking they are nice, upstanding types

    Remember the Platter’s song, “The Great Pretender?” That’s why I’m not sure all the red flags in the world will help detect a great pretender. They are very skilled at hiding any words or actions that might be perceived as a red flag.

    …. but she just knew I knew

    So that ability you had worked for you and sometimes against you? Interesting.

  53. @ Victorious:

    I guess it depends on the abuser. I do think learning about red flags can weed out the abusers who are not as skilled at hiding their tendencies as others, or too dumb to know they should.

    Yes, sometimes that ability worked against me. Not all bullies have it.

    I do remember over my life coming across a percentage of abusers/ bullies who could tell that I could tell what they were really all about, and it made them angry at me and/or kind of afraid of me.

    Some bullies / abusers never figured out I could see through their mask, but there were some who did notice, and I think it un-nerves them.

    I think they are so accustomed to ‘flying under the radar’ it’s very unsettling when they look across the table at me and get the vibe off me that I know what they are REALLY like under the facade.

  54. Ken wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Whatever he did, it went so far as to break the law. That is more than enough for me to grant credibility to an allegation by the same victim that he has been being abusive both before and during imprisonment

    Is there some talking at cross purposes going on here?

    Under British law as it stands, previous prosecutions cannot be brought up in a subsequent trial for a new offence. The reason is this might prejudice the jury against the defendant. If they did it before, they might well do it again. (There was an horrific case in the UK in 2000 where this was the case, and a previous conviction could not be brought up at the trial.)

    The prosecution has to prove guilt for the current charges only; the evidence must be sufficient to convict that crime. This arrangement also prevents a defendant successfully prosecuted from claiming an unfair trial due to the jury being prejudiced against him from the start.

    That Saeed was guilty last time round is not being disputed. Not even by him. But that in and of itself is not relevant to the allegations about subsesquent abuse.

    In US courts previous prosecutions are generally excluded in trials but there are exceptions. Any time a defendant asserts that he would never commit such a crime (whatever he is charged with), the prosecution can then show that he already has.

    In addition, where the crimes establish a pattern and shed light on motive, relationship with the victim, or identity, previous prosecutions or past unprosecuted incidents will often be allowed. Generally this involves battered child or battered spouse syndromes. Children do fall and injure themselves but a pattern of suspicious injuries points to child abuse. In the case of domestic violence, a defense attorney will try to cast doubt on the victim’s credibility but evidence of past incidents can be used to counteract this. Battered spouse syndrome can also explain why a spouse has stayed in the relationship.

    Evidence of OJ Simpson’s past abuse of his wife was admitted in his trial.

  55. Victorious wrote:

    Remember the Platter’s song, “The Great Pretender?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwfmbXJEBtY

    That’s why I’m not sure all the red flags in the world will help detect a great pretender. They are very skilled at hiding any words or actions that might be perceived as a red flag.

    When speculating about demon possession in his book People of the Lie: the Hope for Healing Human Evil, M.Scott Peck speculated about “Perfect Possession”, where the demon possesses the host so completely they are undetectable. Like how successful sociopaths are such masters of camouflage, we only hear about the dumb ones who slipped up.

    “For Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light.”
    — some Rabbi from Nazareth

  56. Daisy wrote:

    In one category, the author says, “You have great ‘radar’ and are a great people reader. You can walk into any room and instantly figure out who is in charge, and what the unspoken group norms are to get by, get along, etc.”

    Yes, that described me perfectly. I had to become an excellent people reader at a young age to figure out quickly who the bullies and mean people were in any group I was in….

    I had a lesser version of that in my younger days (my old college roomie told me once “You’re good at spotting psychos”), but it had a high rate of false positives and got worse as I got older.

    I also suspect after all the times I DID “spot the psycho” only to be discredited by everyone else around me, I learned I was just The Crazy One and who listens to The Crazy?

    A lot of bullies and abusers wear a “mask” where they fool other people into thinking they are nice, upstanding types.
    However, folks like me can see right through the pretense, and sometimes, the bullies know that we know that they’re really jerks under the Nice Guy mask.
    That happened to me on that job I had – the boss was a bully (she was also incompetent). I was among the first to figure it out, and she could tell I could tell (I never intentionally let on or told her, but she just knew I knew). I became her number one target at that point.

    i.e. You Knew Too Much and had to be Silenced.

  57. Marsha wrote:

    In US courts previous prosecutions are generally excluded in trials but there are exceptions. Any time a defendant asserts that he would never commit such a crime (whatever he is charged with), the prosecution can then show that he already has.

    For example, drunk driving – three strikes, you’re out!

  58. In my state some repeat offenders who have previously been tried in state courts repeatedly are now tried in federal courts because whoever set up this system thought that the sentencing in the state courts was too lenient and was not convincing the perp to quit. I have no idea of the details of how they got this done but they did set up the system, and in such a case the accused’s past history works against him in that he is now in federal court.

  59. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    i.e. You Knew Too Much and had to be Silenced.

    That could be part of it.

    In the last couple years, ever since I learned that my mother’s parenting was incorrect, and that I realize now it’s okay for me to have boundaries and to speak up and tell someone if they hurt my feelings or made me angry, I feel a lot less afraid of people.

    Although I’m very introverted by nature and try to stay away from social events, if I do find myself in a group now, I find I am able to relax much more and just enjoy the company, because I’m not as preoccupied with ‘sizing people up’ to see if they are a potential threat that needs to be avoided.

    My mother really raised me to be outward-focused, for several reasons, one of which was so I could meet other people’s needs (I was taught to ignore my own), but I was also outward-focused as a means or self protection, so I could avoid the jerks and bullies.

    I was pretty good at spotting the jerks quickly.

    It’s exhausting being a human radar. You’re always “on” and studying people and the environment. You do notice a bunch of stuff others overlook, but it is mentally *and a little physically) draining. You can’t just sit back and relax.

  60. @ ALamb

    “in other words, the judge sent him home. Since this is what *actually* happened does it seem realistic that the court/judge thought Saeed was an immediate threat to Naghmeh since they sent him back home?

    Imo, the assessment by a judge/court for abuse risk is not necessarily realistic at all. Depends upon the decision-makers involved.

    Even cursory research turns up tragic examples of people failed by the
    court system. That people in power fail to detect the threat by no means alleviates the reality of the threat to the person(s) involved with the abuser.

    When a person decides to self-educate about abuse and “abuse blindness,”
    an avalanche of accounts are easily available.

    Personally, I believe the court system fails to protect the abused, especially children, most of the time.

    I am thankful for brave souls who continue to inform my own “abuse blindness.”

  61. Ach! Left off the end-quote for ALamb’s comment.

    Make that: “an avalanche of accounts *is* easily available.

  62. Well, the judge did not ‘send him home’ but he did not send him to jail. As somebody else said we don’t know if he went home or what. Either way, ‘the judge sent him home’ is about like ‘the emergency room sent him home’, just before he died. Judges and ERs do the best they can, but sometimes it is not always the best.

  63. @ okrapod

    Yep. The more info out there about abuse, the better the decisions that are made. I’m grateful for the tireless investment of professionals who “get it.”

  64. Daisy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I never have, but I’ve run into a Hyacinth or two in real life.
    Oh, it’s a funny show, HUG. Try to watch it if you ever get a chance. It was shown on PBS before. You may be able to watch clips of it on You Tube. “Mr. Bean” was also a funny British show that was on PBS for awhile.
    one other reason I like the Keeping Up Apperances show is that I relate. So many of the characters deal with the up-tight main character by steering clear of her altogether.
    Because my mother was this very codependent person who brought me up to be codependent, I was taught not to confront people directly.
    The only method of self defense my mom allowed me to have was avoidance. She was fine with me hiding or sneaking away from people who bugged me.
    So every time I see that show of the neighbors or mail man hiding behind trees or tip toeing up her front walk, I laugh in part because that was how I was taught to deal with “problematic” people. I became pretty good at it, too, if I do say so.

    Hyacinth, to Richard, who’s driving: Mind the cow, dear.

    Richard: Cow? What cow? (peers wildly all around)

    (the cow is something like three fields away…)

    I don’t know why, but we quote that particular line a lot when we’re driving.

    Hyacinth is not only pretentious, but a complete control freak. While I found the show painfully funny, it was also painful to watch. More than laughing, I felt myself feeling sorry for all the characters, including Hyacinth herself. Don’t know quite why it hit such a nerve, but it did.

  65. Q wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to commen
    Lookup ^^^

    Oh yes, you came back, Q. But you have added nothing of value to the discussion. And, truth be told, I think that one taking gratuitous pot shots at a bona fide domestic abuse victim (as evidenced by court records) is certainly no great ball of courage.

  66. Law Prof wrote:

    taking gratuitous pot shots

    Interesting that Q took a series of 5 pot shots in a row, just before the thread jumped to another page and then he stopped. Someone commenting here for a while likely knows the thread tops out at 500 comments and then starts a new page.

    Speculation here, but it indicates the comments were held back and the timing planned. The pot shots at 2AM were made but they escape most readers attention unless they go back and read the the “Older Comments”. I am unsure what this indicates but I’m aware passive aggressive people like to throw in a last verbal punch. Okay too much speculation. (that last sentence was me being agressive/passive)

  67. okrapod wrote:

    an admission of guilt at the time (plea of guilty) is more than enough for me (I am not the court system) to assume credibility (that would be credibility) to further allegations by the same victim.
    The person to whom I replied was thinking differently, apparently.

    I was not being critical of you. I agree the previous conviction does lend credibility to claims abuse has not stopped. The husband in this instance can’t try saying ‘I’m a pastor and I would never do anything like that’.

    The fact it happened before does not automatically mean it has happened again, and a court of law has to uphold this distinction in order to give a defendant in these circumstances a fair trial.

    Now I appreciate that this site supports victims of abuse where insult has been added to injury – quite literally – by the victim not being believed. But some of Q’s and Jerry’s questions didn’t seem to me at any rate that unreasonable, and it set off a train of thought that it is necessary to separate legimate support for a victim from assumptions about guilt and innocence from a legal point of view.

    The former pastor of my church in England was sent to prison for child abuse. He may actually have been guilty. But amongst other reasons for wondering about how safe the conviction was, I wonder if the jury were a bit more predisposed to find him guilty because at the time of the trial scandal after scandal was coming to light amongst Catholic clergy.

    In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.

  68. @ Ken:

    Do you understand the word, concept and idea of credibility? Nobody is making a current case court determination of this but you. We are / I am saying whether or not her allegations are credible. Whole different matter, and no amount of trying to redefine the issue is going to change that.

    Nobody has said there is no need for investigation and nobody has said that when and if the current allegations do go to court the court should decide anything without the evidence. Ken, don’t try this with me because I know that you are not that opaque, having read some of your stuff. And I have zip patience with this sort of attempt to divert the issue to something which neither I nor anybody else said.

  69. Ken wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    an admission of guilt at the time (plea of guilty) is more than enough for me (I am not the court system) to assume credibility (that would be credibility) to further allegations by the same victim.
    The person to whom I replied was thinking differently, apparently.

    I was not being critical of you. I agree the previous conviction does lend credibility to claims abuse has not stopped. The husband in this instance can’t try saying ‘I’m a pastor and I would never do anything like that’.

    The fact it happened before does not automatically mean it has happened again, and a court of law has to uphold this distinction in order to give a defendant in these circumstances a fair trial.

    Now I appreciate that this site supports victims of abuse where insult has been added to injury – quite literally – by the victim not being believed. But some of Q’s and Jerry’s questions didn’t seem to me at any rate that unreasonable, and it set off a train of thought that it is necessary to separate legimate support for a victim from assumptions about guilt and innocence from a legal point of view.

    The former pastor of my church in England was sent to prison for child abuse. He may actually have been guilty. But amongst other reasons for wondering about how safe the conviction was, I wonder if the jury were a bit more predisposed to find him guilty because at the time of the trial scandal after scandal was coming to light amongst Catholic clergy.

    In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.

    You dont get it. “What has happened”? Name the “what”. Abuse is not just a one time event. It is not always about just hitting. Victims are often like soldiers home from war who hit the ground when a car backfires.

    Please do some serious homework on the effects of living in such a life. It is like luving in a black OP. It is kept hidden a d the tactics are hard to explain. By the time a victim screws up enough courage to call for help, patterns of damage are almost always present. And being in a comp world does not help to break free. I think three years separation did it.

  70. Ken wrote:

    and a court of law has to uphold this distinction in order to give a defendant in these circumstances a fair trial.

    Most domestic abuse cases never go to trial Ken. They are most often determined by a judge or a plea. You are describing a completely different situation above.

    If we all wait until a verdict is determined by a jury or a judge in domestic abuse cases, many people would be injured or dead. We can and must support abuse victims before legal determinations or we risk great loss.

    Q seemed to be advocating that Saeed’s wife obey him and call him lord in order to be like Sarah.

  71. Ken wrote:

    Now I appreciate that this site supports victims of abuse where insult has been added to injury – quite literally – by the victim not being believed. But some of Q’s and Jerry’s questions didn’t seem to me at any rate that unreasonable, and it set off a train of thought that it is necessary to separate legimate support for a victim from assumptions about guilt and innocence from a legal point of view.

    Why is this a legal issue? Why isn’t it a character and integrity issue for you?

    If Jerry had read over at SSB, he would have seen some research on phones and devices in Iranian prisons. There is even a black market for porn on flash drives. So, it is not impossible. There was an opportunity for verbal threats and psychological abuse which might have been just all too familiar for her.

    As for Q, he/she seems to be stuck on a Gospel of Sara. So not sure what you see as far as credible there.

  72. Bridget wrote:

    Q seemed to be advocating that Saeed’s wife obey him and call him lord in order to be like Sarah.

    Idolize Saeed??? Which Naghmeh herself has stated she has done in the past and has realized is wrong.

  73. Pingback: Vetting, Accountability, Licensing, and Promoting for Pastor Saeed Abedini: Exploring What Went Wrong and How | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  74. @ okrapod:
    I think I must have been opaque, because there is no real disagreement going on here, and I’m certainly not trying to divert attention away from the main issue.

    When I said it set off a train of thought that it is necessary to separate legimate support for a victim from assumptions about guilt and innocence from a legal point of view the assumptions cut both ways, and the Jerry’s of this world – and Franklin Graham’s and sundry blog commenters – should avoid making assumptions of innocence as far as the pastor is concerned.

  75. Lydia wrote:

    As for Q, he/she seems to be stuck on a Gospel of Sara. So not sure what you see as far as credible there.

    Q was using ‘The Gospel of Sarah’ to further abuse an abuse victim.
    It’s bad enough to not support an abuse victim.
    But to use the Bible to further abuse is awful close, and may actually be, taking God’s Name in vain. Possibly breaking one of the Ten in order to further oppress the oppressed – This is not just unreasonable. It is outrageous and rushing in where angels fear to tread.

  76. Ken wrote:

    In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.

    So, in the meantime, nobody should stand up for victims, and/or victims should not try to rectify their situation or seek justice?

    I don’t think that is what the Bible says (eg, Luke 18:1-8). There are numerous biblical passages that indicate that people are to help victims in the ‘here and now,’ and not wait until the great here-after, where God judges all.

    Maybe that is not what you were meaning to say, but it comes across as such.

  77. Lydia wrote:

    In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.

    That is cold comfort for those living in the here and now. I dearly wish that more Christians would more actively pursue a social justice agenda in this life, instead of thinking that “God will take care of it in the next”. I say this as I hear it often, I think of it as the Christian view of karma – said through gritted teeth, “well they’ll have to account to God for that” when it looks like there won’t be any justice to be doled out in this life. Ken, something I strongly feel about is how we (Australia) treat our asylum seekers – we call call them ‘ïllegals’ when it’s not illegal to seek asylum, many of them come from countries where we have participated militarily, we offshore some of our detention centres in the Pacific (out of sight, out of mind), we pay lots of $ to a large multinational security group to keep them there, and then some are kept there indefinitely. We then turn a blind eye to the conditions under which they are kept, and villify any critics. We then make laws that silence critics – doctors etc who speak out may now be sent to jail. They have been politicised at a time when we have one of the most “Christian cabinets” leading government. My own brother, former Promise Keeper, who I’m sure prides himself on adherence to his fundamental Christian beliefs and walking an upright life, derides them, and has not a scratch of compassion. He trots out the same lines so often heard in the media. So, I think it’s cold comfort to think “ëveryone meets their eternal Judge” when there’s suffering and misery now, and much that we could do to alleviate it. I’m really trying to understand and challenge those elements of what I think of as Christian complacency and pursuing a comfortable life.
    Ken I hope you don’t think I went wildly off tangent there, or that I have misperceived your comment.

  78. Ken wrote:

    In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.

    Apologies Lydia, somehow I attributed Ken’s comment to you.

  79. @ Haitch:

    No problem. I agree with you but don’t call it social justice. Part of being the kingdom is loving justice and seeking truth. A lot of Christians try to convince me we must wait. I say that attitude negates the meaning of the Resurrection.

  80. Lydia wrote:

    A lot of Christians try to convince me we must wait.

    This is what perplexes me – I am trying to understand what is propelling this argument.

    Lydia wrote:

    I say that attitude negates the meaning of the Resurrection

    Haven’t heard that one before, interesting.

  81. @ Daisy:
    ALamb wrote:

    “Saeed is being *convicted in the minds* of christian readers as well as the world, of committing specific acts when we *do not know* what he *actually did do*. You really do not know anything other than the charge, you do not know specifics. You simply do not…and yet…”

    “This is exactly how abusers want people to react, to doubt the victim, to feel sorry for the abuser.
    Refusing to take a side actually ends up defaulting to the side of the abuser, which can harm the victim.”

    Daisy, there is no doubt that Saeed pleaded guilty and was convicted of a misdemeanor nine years ago. What happened since then is not known. If you want to take sides it is your choice but you do not know the facts unless you were there. You are accusing and convicting someone based on your own assumptions. Job’s friends did the same thing and it did not bode well for them with God. Again, you can pre-judge Saeed if you want. You can also condone the fictional quotes written at the beginning of this blog, left in such a manner that it makes it appear as if they were written about Saeed when they were only fiction quotes from a fiction book written by Nicholas Sparks that have nothing to do with Saeed. As a sibling in Christ I am saying that I do not believe it to be wise.

    My statements have nothing to do with supporting or condoning abuse and I have never said whether I do or do not believe Naghmeh. I don’t know what has taken place after 2007. My comments have nothing to do my opinion about the guilt or innocence of Saeed. I am stating a fact, the blog author is using quotes from a fictional book in order to paint a specific picture about Saeed physically abusing Naghmeh *that may or may not be true*. People are eager to eat it up as if it is true when they do not know the facts.

    I hope the readers of this blog have never committed a truly horrible sin because if they have they are admitting that they are going to continue to commit that sin for the rest of their life. They are unable to repent and will continue to commit that sin…forever. If anyone ever accuses them of that sin, they are already guilty, regardless of the facts, regardless of whether they have actually repeated the sin or not. They are guilty.

  82. @ Ardiak:

    Yes, the system has failed many, that is true.

    I don’t know whether Saeed has continued his sin…I do not know. Neither does anyone else who is commenting on this blog. The blog author is painting a picture of abuse by quoting a fictional account by Nicholas Sparks in such a way that it appears as if it was written about Naghmeh when it was not. No one is even considering that Saeed may be falsely accused. We don’t know. So quick to judge are many. So quick to say that Saeed could not possibly have repented…to say that he is indeed a repeat offender. We don’t know. We don’t know…which is why painting a picture of physical abuse with a fictional quote is not honorable. Why not stick to the facts? Because it’s not as exciting to the readers of this blog who are eager for Saeed’s blood.

  83. @ okrapod:

    No one is arguing what happened in 2007. There was a charge, an admission of guilt and a conviction….kind of like each of us when we sin.

    According to your own words, you are whatever your worst sin was…you are still whatever you have done in your own past and we should never consider you anything more than that sin, you are not repentant…you will always be committing that sin.

    I believe it’s possible for a person to repent and not be a repeat offender through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

    As far as Saeed is concerned, I have no idea whether or not he has truly repented. I have no idea whether Naghmeh is a victim or is embellishing. I don’t know because I wasn’t there.

    I do know that using fictional accounts as if they are quotes about Naghmeh is not a good idea. The truth is always enough and eventually it will come out. There is no need to slander.

  84. ALamb wrote:

    We don’t know. We don’t know…which is why painting a picture of physical abuse with a fictional quote is not honorable.

    Nothing like willfully missing the entire point that has been explained to you quite well.
    Nothing like painting a picture and accusing the motives of others when YOU don’t know, YOU don’t know, YOU don’t know.
    It’s okay for YOU to accuse whom you will of whatever motive you want. But you are above the rules you place on others. You ascribe and dis-ascibe ‘honor’ based on your personal definition and limited perspective.

    What is being done here is both honorable and biblical.
    This blog is siding with the oppressed and disempowered against those who misuse their authority. Try as you might to paint a horrible picture of the people here and their motives, you try in vain. And I strongly suspect that your motives are less than honorable in trying to sweep this issue and victims under the rug.

  85. @ dee:

    There is no doubt that abuse takes place within the church which includes two groups according to Psalms: ‘the righteous’ and ‘the sinners *in* the congregation of the righteous’. There will be wheat and tares all the way up until the harvest. Sin is rampant within the church and it is especially egregious when it is carried out by the pastors because they are held to a higher standard. Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser.

    1 Timothy 5:19
    “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.”

    This does not mean the pastor is not guilty (which seems to be what everyone is hoping for), but we shouldn’t be quick to accept this charge…there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses. Perhaps there are witnesses but we haven’t heard from them at this point.

    Regardless of guilt or innocence *we* shouldn’t try to make the accused look guilty of a new accusation (in this case by placing quotes in such a manner as to look as if they are about Naghmeh). It’s like producing a false witness. He is either guilty or he is innocent. We don’t need to help the outcome, it will come out on it’s own…and God forbid that we should help convict any brother of a false accusation which could also happen. God knows what happened.

  86. @ Mara:

    It sounds like you were there to know who is telling the truth. My apologies. Please tell us all exactly what happened from 2007 to 2016 since you were there and witnessed it first hand.

  87. ALamb wrote:

    This does not mean the pastor is not guilty (which seems to be what everyone is hoping for), but we shouldn’t be quick to accept this charge…there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses. Perhaps there are witnesses but we haven’t heard from them at this point.

    Wow. So how many witnesses do you think we in court to testify when Seead pled guilty??? But, I guess the domestic violence would have been Godly and blessed if there hadn’t been any witnesses.
    How many witnesses do you need to prove that Naghmeh is lying, now???

  88. ALamb wrote:

    I do know that using fictional accounts as if they are quotes about Naghmeh is not a good idea.

    Not a good idea to you, perhaps. But that is you.
    Often fiction, fairy tales, myth, legend, parables etc are used as a tool to teach the hearer deep truths that are missed if the person only uses, ‘just the facts ma’am, just the facts.’ It is a common and acceptable practice.

    Using that quote from the Sparks novel was an excellent and acceptable way to give an overview of how abuse works. Just because you don’t want to see how it works and because you want to hide your head in the sand, this does not mean that what dee did was not a good idea. Just because you don’t get abuse or willfully don’t want to get it doesn’t mean that dee did it wrong. She did things just fine. You simply don’t want people to bump you out of a complacent, comfort zone. You’d rather accuse the people here of being wolves rather than seeing that they are drawing attention to the wolves in leadership in the church.

  89. ALamb wrote:

    It sounds like you were there to know who is telling the truth. My apologies. Please tell us all exactly what happened from 2007 to 2016 since you were there and witnessed it first hand.

    Nice try, Roscoe. I’ll tell you how I know when you tell me how you know the motives of the readers here since you said, “it’s not as exciting to the readers of this blog who are eager for Saeed’s blood.”

    You don’t know this. You are not inside their heads.
    Oh, wait. I should talk to you the way you talk to me.

    Ahem… Well, ALamb, I guess you must be all-knowing of the motives of the people on this blog and have come across some great power that makes you see the very hearts and souls of all. Please, since you are witnessing the insides of these peoples’ heads, let us know how you have come to this great power and enlighten us so that we too can be mind readers and thought police just like you.

    Snark button off.

    No, Roscoe, I was not there. But I have dealt enough with human nature and the nature of abuse to know the signs and see the evidence and fall out from it. I have also seen how miserable the church has handled abuse and how much the leadership just wants to sweep it all under the rug, like you are trying to do now. And this is wrong. Changes need to be made and they aren’t made by ignoring the evidence and trying to silence those working to get to the truth.

    Bottom-line. Your silencing tactics won’t work here. We see through it. Insult, judge, shame, accuse all you like. Snark your way to kingdom come and back. It doesn’t matter. This isn’t going away. I’m sorry for how uncomfortable it is making you. But you best get over it, open your eyes, and think twice about who you want to accuse and who you want to defend.

  90. Lydia wrote:

    Part of being the kingdom is loving justice and seeking truth. A lot of Christians try to convince me we must wait. I say that attitude negates the meaning of the Resurrection.

    Preach it Lyds. Nonetheless, the prime impetus of fundagelicalism is to save souls from the fires of hell, not to build a better world in the here and now.
    In my opinion the differences between Medieval Catholicism and the Protestantism of the Reformation are only cosmetic.

  91. ALamb wrote:

    Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser.

    There is usually never more than the victim as a witness in domestic abuse. I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person. In a court of law a man (pastor or not) can be convicted on the testimony of one or simply evidence. No one here has convicted him, but you seem to keep saying it is so with no proof.

    As far as Saeed being a pastor, if you call acquiring a certificate on line being a pastor then you can have him as your pastor.

  92. @ Nancy2:
    I’m quoting scripture. It’s scripture you have the problem with, not me. No Christian condones physical abuse, nor do we condone false accusations. Professing Christians are out for blood without knowing all the facts, they are taking one side over another without hearing both sides.

    My point was about the quotes used to paint a picture that might not be accurate.

  93. @ Nancy2:
    Also, I never said Naghmeh is lying. Please re-read my comments. I have consistently said we, none of us, knows what is going on for sure.

  94. @ Mara:
    I never called anyone here a wolf, you are falsely accusing me. It’s not a good idea to make a fictional quote look like a first hand account in any situation. The Sparks quote does look like it was written about Naghmeh. That’s how rumors get started. I’m sorry you don’t see understand why it’s a bad idea. I hope it never happens to you.

  95. @ Mara:
    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing (which is by the way how you know what someone is thinking…when they write it down and you read what they wrote). They have said outright that he is abusing Naghmeh, that Naghmeh is a victim, etc. I.e., Saeed is being judged as guilty by those on this page…they are out for blood…meaning they have judged and convicted this man before hearing his side.

    You however have judged me on several counts. I won’t repeat them, as anyone can already see what you have written.

    Also, I have seen abuse first hand so you do not know what you are talking about. I am one of the last people who would sweep abuse under a rug. You made several false accusations against me.

  96. @ Bridget:

    “Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser”.-ALamb

    “I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person.”

    Not at all, I’m referencing a scriptural command given to us by Paul.

    “In a court of law a man (pastor or not) can be convicted on the testimony of one or simply evidence.”

    I’m not sure but the evidence in a court case might be considered ‘a witness’. Scripturally, we are told that in the case of a pastor 2-3 witnesses are needed before accepting an accusation. It’s not my rule.

    “No one here has convicted him, but you seem to keep saying it is so with no proof.”
    Ummm, re-read all the comments where people are considering him guilty. That’s what I’m referring to.

    “As far as Saeed being a pastor, if you call acquiring a certificate on line being a pastor then you can have him as your pastor.”

    This is not about Saeed being my pastor, your pastor, etc. We are told not use partiality in James. When I left my original comment it struck a nerve with what sound like regular readers on this site. My comment said it is careless to use a fictional quote by Nicholas Sparks at the beginning of this blog as it makes it sound like the quote is specifically referring to Naghmeh when it is not. It paints a picture of physical abuse, as if it is something that has been ongoing since 2007 and we do not know that there has been physical abuse at all. I said that we do not know what has happened. We don’t. To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for. People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story. So be it. I will not be a part of this.

    Saeed is either guilty or he is not…I have never claimed to know nor have I given my opinion on his guilt or innocence. I do know I will not accuse him as I also will not accuse Naghmeh.

  97. Daisy wrote:

    Ken: “In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.”
    So, in the meantime, nobody should stand up for victims, and/or victims should not try to rectify their situation or seek justice?

    I wasn’t implying that at all, Daisy. Historically in the UK, evangelicals have been active in bringing about reform to curb the exploitation of the modern industrial economy, and there still are ongoing ministries to the poor and dispossessed. My old UK church is involved with this, for example.

    Haitch – the context of my comment I have put in quotes above was the pastor of my church in the UK (after I had left it though) who was sent to prison for child abuse of his own children.

    As an old man, it did for his health at 80 years of age. He is of course now totally estranged from his children. He must live the rest of his life labelled a child molester in the eyes of those around him, and is on a register.

    Now I have to say he might have been guilty and the verdict just. It was a court of law. Nevertheless there are reasons to doubt this, and if he had had the health left to appeal, he might well have had the conviction subsequently quashed – the means of obtaining evidence has since been discredited.

    Only God knows the truth of the matter, and despite the potential for a miscarriage of justice in this life, he will one day stand before God and either be found to have been innocent, or guilty as the case may be.

    Similarly for pastors who abuse – and anyone else for that matter – what is hidden will one day come to light. It will be unavoidable. If they had any inkling of what is coming, perhaps they might think twice. They as pastors will be judged more strictly. I’m starting to wonder if ‘once saved always saved’ is a pernicious piece of deception in this connection.

    I think the truth of coming judgment is something perpetrators need to be confronted with, it’s not much of an immediate comfort to victims.

    It’s very easy to live as though this life is all there is, and the rank tolerance of sin amongst modern evangelicals is evidence of this.

    It seems to me (Haitch) you might have experienced the opposite, with a ‘don’t bother to address problems in this life, it will all one day be sorted out’ attitude. If you took that attitude to its logical conclusion, why bother to have courts and trials or battered wives refuges at all, but rather leave to the end of the age? Too heavenly minded to be any earthly use.

    Part of the ministry of the church is simply to do good to those around us, to care for those Jesus died to save, and some will have particular gifts and calling to do this.

  98. @ ALamb:
    This is easy peasy. Just get a Christian title and you have the three witness covering for evils done in secret.

    This was the defense Paige Patterson used for the pervert Pastor Darrell Gilyard who still ended up in prison despite trying to use Paul to cover over perversion.

    You know, it is ok to include logic and reason when you read scripture along with historical context.

  99. @ Nancy2:

    According to alambs reasoning, Naghmeh isn’t entitled to the three witness covering. She did not buy pastor certification. :o)

  100. @ ALamb:

    Perhaps the bloggers think more highly of their readers to tell the difference. Why not start a blog and do it differently? What I know is Saeed had a DV conviction and not long after he is certified for ministry. Now some folks believe in instantaneous repentance or “I am sorry” as repentance, but I don’t.

    Since you like the wooden literal and non contextual interpretation of scripture, what about those pesky qualifications?

  101. ALamb wrote:

    there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses

    Many sins are committed behind closed doors. Surely you know that it’s highly unlikely that there would be 2-3 witnesses to child molestation, adultery, porn use, domestic violence, etc.

  102. ALamb wrote:

    Scripturally, we are told that in the case of a pastor 2-3 witnesses are needed before accepting an accusation. It’s not my rule.

    ALamb wrote:

    This is not about Saeed being my pastor, your pastor, etc.

    You keep insinuating that Saeed is a pastor and therefore there is a need for 2-3 accusers (witnesses?). I don’t consider Saeed a pastor based on the qualifications.

    Based on your original concern, you have a low view of reader’s ability to understand a quote and you are accusing Dee of trying to mislead the readers. Not very charitable of you.

    Now you are claiming that you have been attacked by some of the commenters.ALamb wrote:

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for.

    Attacked??

    ALamb wrote:

    To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    You make a huge assumption here based on your personal opinion.

    ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    And you know what people here want to believe?

    Does Saeed need to have 2-3 witnesses as well, or do we need take him at his word because he paid for a piece of paper that made him a pastor?

  103. ALamb wrote:

    What happened since then is not known. If you want to take sides it is your choice but you do not know the facts unless you were there.

    That kind of thinking that harms victims.

    By not “choosing sides,” you are actually choosing sides yourself- defaulting to choosing the side of the abuser.

  104. ALamb wrote:

    No one is arguing what happened in 2007. There was a charge, an admission of guilt and a conviction….kind of like each of us when we sin.
    According to your own words, you are whatever your worst sin was…you are still whatever you have done

    Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior, not a one-time event.

    Most experts on domestic violence (such as Lundy Bancroft) will tell you that while abusive men can change they often do not because they benefit from abusing their spouse.

  105. ALamb wrote:

    “Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser”.-ALamb
    “I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person.”
    Not at all, I’m referencing a scriptural command given to us by Paul.

    Well, then, every single pastor who abuses children gets a pass since, as you know, it is done behind closed doors. It is statements like this that allow serious abuse of children and spouses to continue.

    Good night! I cannot believe you are actually applying this verse to sex abuse and domestic violence.
    Be very careful of proof texting the Bible with one verse. Paul was most likely referencing problems in church governance. Paul would never condone keeping on a pedophile pastor who cleverly rapes little children because he can do it behind closed doors.

    People would never be safe in a church in which this sort of thing is taught. You name may be “A Lamb” but you are releasing the wolves who will take full advantage or your proof texting of Scripture.

    To show you how ridiculous this is, I refer you to the infamous Darryl Gilyard case in which Paige patterson told teen girls who came to him about this pastor that they needed 2-3 witnesses. This man continue to molest, time and time again. Look it up on this blog or in the news.

  106. ALamb wrote:

    To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    I asked you to put your thinking cap on and figure out a positive reason why I left that quote. You didn’t. Since you refuse to engage me, I suggest you start your own blog and preach your message your way.

  107. ALamb wrote:

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for.

    Attacked? This is a blog in which we challenge one another to think. People disagree with me all the time and I do not consider it an attack. It is health disagreement. You may be too sensitive to handle commenting on a blog that allows for open discussion. This blog attracts all sorts of folks and to lump us all into one category is silly.

  108. ALamb wrote:

    but we shouldn’t be quick to accept this charge…there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses.

    Er, no. Abuse is usually done in private, and it’s not captured on video or film. The abuser makes sure there are little to no witnesses.

    Your approach to this would mean that victims would never be able to receive justice, and the abusers would not be held accountable, because your standard of “proof,” or whatever you wish to call it, is too narrow.

  109. okrapod wrote:

    In my state some repeat offenders who have previously been tried in state courts repeatedly are now tried in federal courts because whoever set up this system thought that the sentencing in the state courts was too lenient and was not convincing the perp to quit. I have no idea of the details of how they got this done but they did set up the system, and in such a case the accused’s past history works against him in that he is now in federal court.

    I remember the reasoning behind the law was, that since the primary rights we possess as Americans, are life& liberty,that a person’s constitutional rights are broken when that person is killed, injured, or imprisoned.
    Someday (come quickly, Lord) I hope to see abusers get slapped into prison for denying their victims their constitutional rights. (Say what you will about Mr. Jefferson, he was a h#*!!uva lawyer).

  110. ALamb wrote:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing (which is by the way how you know what someone is thinking…when they write it down and you read what they wrote). T

    If it is so easy for you, then why is there disagreement over many verses n Scripture, including your 2-3 witnesses one. It is called context.@ ALamb:

    I know it is hard to see the effect your words have on people. I would suggest that you move along since you are attempting to make this all about “A Lamb” and that is not what we are writing about. Please stick to the topic and stop whining about how you are being treated.

    We allow comments from everyone, including those who strongly disagree with us. That is not allowed on many blogs. If you can;t handle it, then this is not the place for you.

    So, if you do not like the fact that many of us support Naghmeh, go find a support Saeed blog.

    At this point, I am placing you into permanent moderation so that I can see if you are capable of sticking to the discussion at hand as opposed to worrying about how you are being treated.

  111. ALamb wrote:

    I’m quoting scripture. It’s scripture you have the problem with, not me.

    Maybe you’re misapplying Scripture or taking it out of context. Christians do that all the time.

    I am more interested in helping abuse victims (doing unto others) than following jot and tittles of biblical law.

    “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

  112. ALamb wrote:

    Also, I never said Naghmeh is lying.

    Yes, yes we know. Just about everyone I’ve seen cast doubt on Naghmeh and who “tut tuts” people for suggesting Saeed is a domestic abuser and/or not fit to be a clergy person is told, “Oh, but I’m not saying she’s lying.”

    You’re just implying it or so siding with the husband you’re leaving a domestic violence victim out in the cold. It’s a difference without much of a distinction.

  113. Lydia wrote:

    This is easy peasy. Just get a Christian title and you have the three witness covering for evils done in secret.
    This was the defense Paige Patterson used for the pervert Pastor Darrell Gilyard who still ended up in prison despite trying to use Paul to cover over perversion.

    The Watchdog blog has some posts about that, if anyone would like to see:
    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/search?q=Gilyard

  114. ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    It’s not a matter of “wanting” to believe anything. The way domestic violence works is that it’s an on-going problem.

    If the guy hit her once, it is more than likely he did it more than once.

    Verbal abuse probably preceded physical abuse.

    It’s like if we had a story of a kid who said his church pastor sexually molested him.

    First of all, people who step forward about this stuff usually do not lie or make it up.

    Secondly, you can rest assured, given how child fondlers operate, that this kid is not the first victim, nor was the fondling that kid reported likely the first time he was touched inappropriate by the pastor, there was probably a history of grooming and/or touching.

  115. ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    P.S. We already heard Saeed’s side of the story. He claimed in a public statement that some of Naghmeh’s story is untrue.

    Here is Saeed’s story:
    “Pastor Saeed Abedini denies wife’s sexual abuse claims but admits their marriage is in ‘great stress'”
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.saeed.abedini.denies.wifes.sexual.abuse.claims.but.admits.their.marriage.is.in.great.stress/78399.htm

    However, Abedini said “much of what I have read in Naghmeh’s posts and subsequent media reports is not true.”

    —————
    Knowing what I know about domestic abuse, I am more inclined to “side with” the person claiming victim status (in this case, the wife).

  116. Ummm, there are three testimonies (witnesses) as to the credibility of the allegations: (1) Naghmeh, (2) Franklin G who has said that not ‘everything’ is true, and (3) Saeed himself who has also said that not ‘everything’ is true.

    So, two people who are saying that they agree that at least some of what she has said is true, plus the accuser herself; and 1+1+1 = 3.

    Not that I think that the “2 or 3” biblical statement applies in this instance, not at all, but just to mention the three statements. That biblical sentence is so misunderstood and misapplied, IMO. But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological courts. We do not need theological courts like the inquisition or Sharia instead of our secular court system, even with all it’s faults.

  117. Daisy wrote:

    From college campuses to the world of celebrity to religious communities, there seems to always be a backlash against those who come forward. Whether it be about rape, abuse, or any other trauma.

    And let’s not forget the military….

  118. @ okrapod:
    I’m wondering ……… If ALamb were being abused by a pastor/elder, would s/he just lie back and take it unless or until s/he could produce 2 or more witnesses?

  119. Victorious wrote:

    And let’s not forget the military….

    “But he is risking life and limb to serve our country. If we follow through with these accusations ………”
    A friend of mine had her shoulder dislocated by her military husband. Instead of taking her to the hospital, they went to the team medic, who covered for them. They told people that she just got clumsy and fell down the stairs. Only the men on the team and their wives (myself and my husband included) knew the truth.

  120. Victorious wrote:

    And let’s not forget the military….

    Some of my family were/ are career military (and they’re okay guys), but sexism and/or sexual assault against women is a problem in the U.S. military for sure.

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    Or, like in the Tony Jones case, he was buddies with the local police, so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

  121. @ ALamb:
    I disagree.

    It should be clear to eve a casual or careless reader of the this blog that the quotation at the top of the article is simply that – a quotation – and that the link to the context immediately follows. As an introduction to the topic of “abuse” it is effective and normal journalistic practice.

    I take it you would describe yourself as a careful reader,. You are certainly a clever one because having alleged or implied that there was or could be an ulterior motive in using the quotation, you then go on to construct your own narrative of what happened. The problem is that you don’t know what happened. Judges are bound by the law and the verdict of guilty and the penalty imposed are defined by that law. So your speculation that it wasn’t much of an offence that didn’t merit much of a punishment leads you to conclude that there is nothing to see here.

    Fortunately the court decided that there was something to see and passed sentence.

  122. Daisy wrote:

    so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

    …ahh..the Code of Silence?

  123. @ Lowlandseer:
    I should also say that I’ve come late to your remarks ALamb and I’d like to respond to a couple of your other points.
    You referred to 1Timothy 5:19 and the need for several witnesses before an allegation against an elder is entertained. That is true but if you take the time to read the next verse (v20) you will see that those elders who have sinned have to be reproved “before everyone”. It is clear from the court conviction that Mr Saeed had sinned and he should have been reproved “before everyone”. This clearly did not happen at CC Boise; the matter was known to the pastor and it appears that a private arrangement regarding discipline was put in place. Why was that? It didn’t happen a few months later either when he registered with the AEA who rather quickly sent him out under their auspices as an ordained pastor. Why was that? Don’t you think it speaks of double standards? Or neglect? Or carelessness on the part of the church? Or did they not read the injunction in v21 to “keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favouritism”? Did they fail to see the exhortation in v22 not to be ” hasty in the laying on of hands and not share in the sins of others”? As Paul goes on to say, “the sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them” and it is in blogs like this one that the leaders of the church are reminded of their solemn responsibility before God to defend the sheep.

  124. Victorious wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

    …ahh..the Code of Silence?

    “Code of Blue”, according to ToJo of the Wife Abuse Hall of Fame.

    Cop will ALWAYS side with Cop against Not-Cop. Why do you think ToJo and Bob Greiner both became Police Chaplains? That makes them Cop.

  125. okrapod wrote:

    But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological courts. We do not need theological courts like the inquisition or Sharia instead of our secular court system, even with all it’s faults.

    That’s what Taking Back America and Restoring Our CHRISTIAN Nation is for.

  126. dee wrote:

    Good night! I cannot believe you are actually applying this verse to sex abuse and domestic violence.

    Be very careful of proof texting the Bible with one verse.

    But that interpretation is to ALamb’s personal advantage, so that’s What God Hath Said.

    To show you how ridiculous this is, I refer you to the infamous Darryl Gilyard case in which Paige patterson told teen girls who came to him about this pastor that they needed 2-3 witnesses.

    How Shari’a…

  127. Daisy wrote:

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    You might wanna check out Stephen King’s novel Rose Madder
    It’s about a woman who escapes a vile beast of a man who happens to be cop.

  128. ALamb wrote:

    It’s not a good idea to make a fictional quote look like a first hand account in any situation.

    Again.
    Dee did not do that. She clearly labeled things. Everything she did is legit and acceptable. You attacking her over it is just you grasping for straws and trying to undermine the serious topic at hand.

  129. ALamb wrote:

    The Sparks quote does look like it was written about Naghmeh.

    So far, only to you.
    The rest of the people around here are intelligent and savvy enough to understand what is going on. Not that you are not intelligent. I’m sure you are in many areas. But in this particular one you are not.

  130. ALamb wrote:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing

    You used terms like dishonest and dishonorable. You said they were out for blood. Yes, you were accusing people.

    The reason you were ‘attacked’ is because you came in here swinging. You came here with an attitude of moral superiority and as one who was going to set people straight. If you feel you were attacked, you must come to terms that you did, indeed, start it.

    You can dish it out. But you can’t take it.
    If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out then whine about what comes back at you.

  131. @ okrapod:
    The Inquistions were convened to find and severely punish heresy, although the Spanish Inquisition was a tool of the state. It was not ended until the 1840s.

  132. okrapod wrote:

    But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological court

    Yes! It would be a horror as we know from history.

  133. First, I want to say after reading the comments that many of the people commenting here are shockingly rude and cutting to one another. I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    ALamb is right. Using that quote was careless and more; it was outright slander. Placement of that quote at the beginning of the article implies that you have knowledge that what Saeed did was in the same category of abuse as what is quoted, when none of us know any such thing. It also reads like a second-hand testimony by someone speaking for Naghmeh. Some will notice that you are citing an author (if they are even aware that “Nicholas Sparks” is an author and not an acquaintance who is speaking for Naghmeh); some may not (you are lacking quotation marks in the beginning of your quote, or even indentation, one of which is a grammatical necessity to let the readers know when they begin reading that it is a quote set apart from the rest of the article). It definitely plants something precise and awful in the mind of the reader, when the nature of abuse that occurred is flatly unknown. I would say, in fact, that ALamb was being generous by calling it a “careless” mistake; it is as possible that this was quite intentional and, on the contrary, done with considerable care and forethought taken by the blogger. The blogger is either young, inexperienced in how to write an article, both, or quite savvy indeed and purposely misleading readers by using a quote – without any indication as you begin reading that it IS a quote – that ascribes a precise sin to someone they do not know precisely sinned that way.

    One way or the other, it needs to be edited.

    Based on the tone of the comments, I doubt very much it will be.

    This is a BIG deal to a HOLY God.

    I wonder if you would all be okay with this being done to you. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind if, after your spouse made a VERY vague statement about you, the masses rushed to the worst assumptions, slapped a detailed fictional account in front of it, and published it online…for atheists and enemies of Christ to feed upon.

    My reaction to Naghmeh’s recent posts and Saeed’s only following statement was great sadness – sadness for her and sadness for Saeed. It left me with questions, not answers. The statements conflict; the husband and wife know the details. I do not know either of them. So I pray.

    I see a lot of people here condemning this man (along with anyone who dares to caution them against it) with overt enthusiasm, seizing excitedly, readily, and blindly on thoughts of the worst…concerning a scenario about which we all, as of this writing, possess zero details. It makes me feel ill.

    Some here confess outright that they do not even believe in the changing power of Christ for certain sins.

    I wonder what Jesus thinks of this rush to judgment by the hearts and minds of professing believers against a fellow professing believer who – this much we do know – nearly died speaking on behalf of our Savior.

    Whatever the details of the event from nine years ago were, no matter how awful, I will remain in the minority of believers who actually pray for both Naghmeh AND Saeed – and beyond that, know enough to keep my mouth shut.

    “But concerning ***brotherly love*** you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to ***love one another;*** 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also ***aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business,*** and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” – 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11.

    “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for ***every idle word*** men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” – Matthew 12:35-36.

    I hope you repent. This is my first and last visit to this blog, but I felt compelled to warn you. I pray none of my lost loved ones ever come here and think the tone and actions here represent my sweet, loving, life-altering, forgiving Jesus.

    -A Concerned Woman Who Lives For Jesus

  134. Sissy wrote:

    First, I want to say after reading the comments that many of the people commenting here are shockingly rude and cutting to one another. I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    It depends on how you define or understand the phrase “Christian blog.”

    I think our hosts would go by the ‘Christian’ label, but the visitors you see here may be ex-Christians, atheists, or agnostics.

    That some of the participants claiming the Christian label here and do not agree with your position does not mean they are Non-Christians or awful people.

    You said:

    I wonder what Jesus thinks of this rush to judgment by the hearts and minds of professing believers against a fellow professing believer who – this much we do know – nearly died speaking on behalf of our Savior.

    You apparently don’t understand the dynamics of marital abuse. By refusing to “rush to judgement,” or make any judgement calls, you are by default choosing Saeed’s side (the abuser) – Which harms the victim (Naghmeh).

    Why are you more concerned with Saeed’s reputation than with Naghmeh’s emotional or physical safety? Have you thought of it in those terms?

    You may want to read this page:
    You Are The Second Abuser – Victims Face Backlash When Coming Forward
    http://popchassid.com/you-are-the-second-abuser/

  135. Sissy wrote:

    ALamb is right. Using that quote was careless and more; it was outright slander.

    No it’s not. You are jumping to outrageous conclusions.

  136. Sissy wrote:

    I hope you repent. This is my first and last visit to this blog, but I felt compelled to warn you.

    Do you really think you speak for God? Really?
    Slapping down a couple Bible verses and trying to force them to apply here doesn’t count. Satan did that to Jesus and we all know he wasn’t speaking for God.

    You don’t like the issues we are dealing with here? Fine. You are entitled to your opinion concerning those issues and concerning those Bible verses you are throwing around.
    But you should probably back off on thinking that you speak for God. Again, that’s one of those ‘rushing in where angels fear to tread’ things that people need to be careful with.

  137. Sissy wrote:

    Whatever the details of the event from nine years ago were, no matter how awful, I will remain in the minority of believers who actually pray for both Naghmeh AND Saeed – and beyond that, know enough to keep my mouth shut.

    I agree with you about praying for Naghmeh AND Saeed. However, if I were ever a victim of spousal abouse, I would pray that someone would believe me and stand up for me.
    I assume that if you are ever abused, your hearts desire will be for everyone to stay out of your business! Make sure you broadcast that so that everyone will know, just in case.

  138. Sissy wrote:

    I pray none of my lost loved ones ever come here and think the tone and actions here represent my sweet, loving, life-altering, forgiving Jesus.

    Don’t read Matthew 23 then.

  139. @ Sissy:
    You make a number of points, most of which have been dealt with by other contributors.
    However, like ALamb, you make unfounded assertions about the the intention and purpose of the author. The quotation you object to actually has a quotation mark! It also has a link to the article it came from so it should be quite clear to even the most casual reader that it relates to something else and is being used as an illustration of the wider subject of spousal abuse. In my opinion, only someone who has an agenda to pursue would miss these points. And you seem to have such an agenda. You immediately press beyond ALamb’s assessment of this being “careless” and insinuate that it was a deliberate act of deception in order to mislead the reader into thinking that the abuse in this case was physical. No one has said it, written it or thought it for the good reason that the pertinent facts of the case have been sealed. So neither you nor I nor anyone else can be so prescriptive. This fact should also have given you a clue that no one was pursuing a definite line of abuse here and that the article is shining a light on abuse generally. But no, you insert your own narrative in order to malign the author and contributors.

    You are right when you say this is a big deal to a holy God. It is a big deal to Him that a pastor of His flock has been convicted of a crime committed within one of His most precious gifts to us -the family. It is a big deal to Him that other shepherds either didn’t know or overlooked this fact when ordaining him and sending him out in God’s name. True brotherly love insists that we act impartially, fairly and to the highest of God’s standards in all our relationships not just the ones we like and feel comfortable with. It is not love to fail to exercise discipline of a pastor who has transgressed. Too often such discipline is viewed as being only for the sheep and not the temporal shepherd.

    Similarly God deals with us on the basis of our heart. Is it truly His? Do our actions match our words in showing how much we love Him? Again you seem to think that this is only for us silly sheep. But it isn’t. It is for all God’s people and those who have been entrusted with our care will be judged by a higher standard. So apply that to the pastor in this case. If you find you can forgive him so easily and pray for him so tritely, then you should be able to do the same for those whose hearts have been broken by abuse and who try to take a stand against it in order to help and heal others.

    I’m glad the Good Samaritan passed our way.

  140. Sissy wrote:

    I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    I think this is called a “hit and run” – doesn’t bother to find out about even a skerrick of the purpose or ethos or contributors to the blog, but has a deep need to post a TL:DR. Opprobrium + disengagement from others you don’t agree with = an unattractive belief set to me.

  141. @ Sissy:
    I get this feeling you are “compelled” to “warn” a lot of people –all the time –about many things. :o)

  142. ALamb wrote:

    God knows what happened.

    As well as the legal system in Idaho, which processed charges against him. As well as his conscience that caused him to admit guilt to the charges.

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  144. @ Q:

    I disallowed another one of your comments. Had you actually answered Bill M in a thoughtful manner, your comment would have been approved. However, you took the opportunity to decry our moderation decisions. That is not allowed.

    So, stop playing games and discuss the issue at hand or your comments will be disallowed.

  145. dee wrote:

    Another Concerned Woman Who Lives for Jesus.

    This is perfect.
    I get tired of people deciding that their own opinion is also God’s opinion and the opinion of Jesus.
    I get tired of people who assume that those who don’t agree with them somehow don’t love Jesus and aren’t motivated Him.
    And I get tired of people who think they have some sort of monopoly on morality or spiritual insight. I get tired of them looking down their noses as what they don’t understand.

  146. dee wrote:

    Had you actually answered Bill M

    Sorry Q, I didn’t set you up very well for a reasoned reply. The series of comments the other night struck me as odd and not typical, either in the time of day or the quick succession. Should you return on a different topic I would hope for a better interaction.

  147. Mara wrote:

    I get tired of people deciding that their own opinion is also God’s opinion…

    Tell Me about it.

    Best regards,
    God

  148. We do not allow comments about how we moderate. We have our reasons for doing what we do. We do not care if you think we are fair or not fair.

    2 comments not approved. One for discussing moderation. Another for not fully presenting the actual report.

  149. @ Bill M:
    Q is in permanent moderation. Due to the illnesses in my family, some of those comments take a long time to be approved or not approved.

  150. dee wrote:

    Sissy wrote:
    A Concerned Woman Who Lives For Jesus

    Now that sounds like a Church Lady backhand signoff.

    I’ve found through experience that Oozing Concern(TM) and always reminding others of your Concern(TM) is a sign of a sociopath.

  151. dee wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    Q is in permanent moderation.

    Dee has succeeded where Captain Picard could not.

    Incidentally, John DeLancie is on the Brony con circuit these days. Last year at EQLA he fielded questions in a “John DeLancie Q&A”. One audience question left him speechless for about half a minute:
    “This is a Q & A?”
    “Yes.”
    “Where’s ‘A’?”

  152. Lydia wrote:

    @ Sissy:
    A drive by rebuke. Isn’t that rude? :o)

    Alamb must have called for back up.

    Assuming Sissy isn’t Alamb with a new handle.

  153. Muff Potter wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    You might wanna check out Stephen King’s novel Rose Madder
    It’s about a woman who escapes a vile beast of a man who happens to be cop.

    Remember Bob Greiner, ToJo, and “Code of Blue”:

    Cop will always side with Cop against Not-Cop.

    And Bob & ToJo made sure they got on the “Cop” side of the divide first.

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  155. Thanks for your article. Much appreciate it. I’m responding to your statement, “As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can’t prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?”

    Do you think John Piper / Bethlehem Baptist has changed position based upon the sermon here..? http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/fooled-false-leadership
    Excert / quote: “If you are being abused, the bulletin gives information on next steps. Please let us help. God hates abuse, and so do we. We are committed to help. If you have come to us for help before and have been disappointed, please give us another chance. We believe that the tide of awareness has risen on all three campuses and that positive changes are happening.”

  156. @ Becca:

    That is the new church leadership’s statement. I have not heard Piper apologize for nor refute his harmful teachings.

  157. Becca wrote:

    Thanks for your article. Much appreciate it. I’m responding to your statement, “As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can’t prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?”
    Do you think John Piper / Bethlehem Baptist has changed position based upon the sermon here..? http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/fooled-false-leadership
    Excert / quote: “If you are being abused, the bulletin gives information on next steps. Please let us help. God hates abuse, and so do we. We are committed to help. If you have come to us for help before and have been disappointed, please give us another chance. We believe that the tide of awareness has risen on all three campuses and that positive changes are happening.”

    Wow. That is a surprise considering the context from which it sprang. It’s a very good article and names several key aspects that the Christian church often gets wrong with regard to abuse: 1) Normative sin vs. abusive sin (to equate the two is what others have labeled “sin leveling.” 2) Neutrality is a choice to side with the abuser. 3) The victim needs care/treatment and protection. This is different from what resolving typical conflicts requires: both sides to look at their own contribution. 4) You cannot tell from appearances who is an abuser. e.g. “He teaches the Bible so well.” I didn’t really like the charts and they could have defined mind games so as to clue people in better as to abusive tactics, but this is a really commendable start.

  158. Lydia wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Debbie Kaufman wrote:
    The most telling thing, if anyone had any doubt, was the fact that after 3 1/2 years in prison, he totally ignored his wife at his homecoming. It was as if she was not there.
    If he was innocent and if he loved her as a man should love a woman, he would have embraced her and smothered her with kisses. Instead he was cold and ignored her completely. That should have told everyone the truth right there.
    Debbie, can you provide a link that points to what you are saying? Not doubting you…just would like to read an article that states this. Thanks.

    Yeah, I think both Saaed and Franklin would have liked nothing more than such a photo op. The pattern I am seeing since she filed the issue of not taking the kids out of the state, says it all to me. It is more likely she is just being extremely careful. I think this just might have been Naghmeh protecting herself. The media reported that her parents went to meet him.

    The woman in the video, when Saeed got off the plane in North Carolina, wasn’t Naghmeh. It was Saeed’s sister, Zeebandeh.