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. I’m not going to do the first thing on this post because I don’t think it would be cool. I read about the domestic violence situation in 2007. My questions are the following:

    1. What happened in 2007? Was she struck? Threatened? I wish people could give more information as that would help.
    2. If he was abusing his wife…why was he sent abroad as a missionary? I don’t get that…

  2. This story has been frustrating to me on so many levels. I hope we will finally move on from “did he really abuse her?” to discussing other issues surrounding this case. Regardless, one thing that I am very grateful for is that Naghmeh has been brave enough to be transparent with the world and share the painful story she has hidden for so many years. Through her bravery, other imprisoned wives are finally gaining the courage they need to make safer choices for themselves and their families.

  3. Grooming. Predators not only groom their victims but also the community that backs them up as stand-up citizens.

  4. Thank you TWC for supporting the neglected, the abused, those rejected by the very ones who should be supportive of those who suffer. Naghameh is brave and courageous. We will be in line to get the ” there’s two sides to every story ” bit!, my child will be called a lier, and I dare think other accusations that we have dealt with since it happened, I will be told that I am bitter, angry, and have an axe to grind! These words seem to be the trend in these C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, SGM, John Piper , 9 marks, MacArthur neo calvinist churches!!! The story is like so many others before us but the pain runs deep and as a mother it may get a little better but will carry with those who know this. Naghameh needs the support and I can’t imagine walking a block in her shoes. All I can say is that she is on that same road that those of us who know abuse no matter what form it comes in is a long road. I thank our God in heaven for His grace and the church body who bring comfort. I hope I didn’t detract from Naghameh in this post by sharing. This is her journey and I look forward to seeing those here support and continue to encourage her.

  5. Franklin Graham really does need to stop his constant entitled pontificating about things on which he is very clearly uneducated.

  6. I believe you Naghmeh. I hurt for you. May God bring peace and healing and endless mercy your way. Thank you for your courage. And as always, thank you two amazing ladies for your continued, incredibly important work on this blog and in this kingdom.

  7. Actually she did a similar thing to what Katie Holmes did a few years ago to protect Suri. Katie got a lot of support for her actions.

  8. Reading through last Wednesday’s post I was especially impressed by the comments from Jeff S. His input provided a wider dimension and understanding to someone like me who has not been abused. For those who think they are taking the higher road by doing nothing I was particularly struck by his statement: “Remember, all an abuser asks is that we do nothing.”

  9. Thank you Deebs and all the others who stick up for the people who need you! I so wish Franklin Graham and all of the other rich Christian celebrities would just retire and stop doing so much harm.

  10. Bill M wrote:

    I was especially impressed by the comments from Jeff S. His input provided a wider dimension and understanding to someone like me who has not been abused. For those who think they are taking the higher road by doing nothing I was particularly struck by his statement: “Remember, all an abuser asks is that we do nothing.”

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    ~
    Edmund Burke????

  11. In case this hasn’t been addressed by anyone yet on the other thread concerning:
    “Would Sarah, who called her husband Lord, do what Naghmeh had done?”

    God told Abraham to obey the words of his wife Sarah.
    She wasn’t the type to sit around and let her husband do whatever the heck he wanted to do. She had authority in their relationship no matter what she called him. When she wanted the Egyptian maid and her son driven out, Abraham didn’t dismiss her words. He took it to a higher Authority than either one of them. And that Authority didn’t side with Abraham because he was the patriarch.

    Go read it.
    Genesis 21

    So Q, please get better acquainted with the story of Abraham and Sarah before you you go spouting off things that you are clueless about.

  12. From the Miami Herald:

    Domestic abuse, national spotlight: Ex-Iran prisoner’s wife speaks out

    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.

    Source:
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article57230643.html#storylink=cpy

  13. I am so thankful for this post about Naghmeh. I am glad for her sake that the truth is coming out and that TWW is a part of that. It puzzles me that anyone could say there are “two sides to every story” but especially Franklin Graham who is a public figure. Others listen to what he says and he has influence in the Evangelical world. Since he plead guilty to domestic violence in 2007 in a court of law, it is clear that Naghmeh is not making up a story. Now that this information is out, it will be interesting to see who is supportive of Naghmeh and who still thinks there are “two sides to every story” – as if there can be some defense for domestic violence….NOT! May Naghmeh continue strong through this difficult period in her life and emerge victorious! I completely believe her!

  14. Can’t take credit for find the link. Someone else found that gem. I was actually just re-commenting on that link and making the point that the matter was settled–i.e. the conviction of domestic violence removes all doubt for a reasonable person.

    Still, it is mind-blowing and depressing to see people attack her with such clear evidence supporting her concerns. In fact, I am concerned. This stuff is dangerous. She is wise to take steps to keep herself (and the kids) safe from her husband, IMO.

  15. Franklin Rachel Graham’s comment that there are two sides to every story implies that he believes Saeed’s because after all, Saeed is the man in the relationship and, most importantly, is a (male) celebrity in the evangelical culture. I pray that he will be wise enough to consider Nagmeh’s side too.

  16. I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    Bet that Christendom won’t hear from Franklin Graham on this subject, either, he’ll likely run for cover as well. This seems to be the modus operandi of celeb Christians, no matter how stupid a thing they say, when it blows up in their faces, they just don’t acknowledge it and give thanks that so many people have short memories when it comes to the failings of their idols and will continue to throw their money at people like the very wealthy and privileged Mr. Graham.

  17. Law Prof wrote:

    Abusers absolutely love the “two sides to every story” nonsense.

    As many who comment here have experienced, there is the view of the one who holds power and the view of the one who doesn’t, and, as the old saying goes, “History is always written by the winners.”

    Also, the generic and theological sin-leveling statement of, “Well, we’re *all* sinners” can never negate the specific facts and violations of the actual situation in which abuse was inflicted.

  18. I’ve never heard Franklin Graham admit he’s wrong about anything. I wish he’d take a lesson from his father and stop demonizing people he disagrees with and quit politicizing Christianity. He is very much wrong in this instance.

    I also stand with Naghmeh and will continue to pray for the family.

  19. Quick side note…if you are interested I wrote a post about how celebrity pastors are handicapping people's faith. I tried to use John Piper's recent teaching on should Christians carry guns to make my point. My claim is that the celebrity pastor movement is stunting Christians development, and growth. Especially as people are being told what to think and not how to think. I hope this makes sense.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/john-piper-and-guns-how-the-celebrity-pastor-movement-is-crippling-peoples-faith/

  20. @ Niteowl:

    Well when you are never wrong and always right…what do you have to admit error in? Franklin is an embarrassment. The other issue I wish Christians would get up in arms about in addition to his “devil statement” is his salary and the money he rakes in. The secular media has been all over this..why as the Christian media been lacking?

  21. Eagle wrote:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    ~
    Edmund Burke????

    It’s normally attributed to Edmund Burke, but that may well be an urban myth – I don’t think there’s any hard evidence that he actually said it! Be which as it may: whoever first came up with it was missing a point. People who do nothing in the face of evil are not “good” people. Good people are not those who follow the line of least resistance or the greatest probability of ease and comfort for themselves. As often as not, it is hard to do a good thing.

    Proverbs 25 puts it thus:

    Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

  22. Melody wrote:

    Franklin Graham really does need to stop his constant entitled pontificating about things on which he is very clearly uneducated.

    And that isn’t restricted to abuse!

    Famous “names” are often part of the problem.

  23. Sorry wife beater…( and those women who are husband beaters)
    The lowest form of life there is on earth…..and she needs to leave him…

  24. From the Idaho Statesman link:

    One in three women suffers in an abusive domestic relationship during her lifetime, Black said. One in four is sexually assaulted. For men, it’s one in seven and one in six.

    These statistics should provide doubters with evidence of the prevalence of this crime and should serve to curb their doubts when they hear the pain from those who are/have been abused.

  25. I am a brave soul and have no trouble commenting again. Even though I have my questions labeled assanine. Everything I had read on the media was that saeed was being tortured and beaten and living in the worst possible conditions and unable to hardly contact anyone in the outside world. So when his wife comes out and says he has been talking to me regularly for hours on phone and skype and has been consuming porn because he has regular internet access… This is a much different picture than was being painted to us by the media… I never said she wasn’t abused before he went to prison. I said the picture that was painted for us by the media, was different than what his wife was saying. This caused doubts in her entire story in my mind. I did not say she was lying. I said that her account of what saeed was experiencing was different than everything I had been reading this far about his imprisonment. Thus I felt we needed more clarification. And now we have more clarification. b>@ Law Prof:

  26. We have absolutely got to look at the whole picture, including what I preach all the time: what about the cultural issues need looked at. There are cultural problems here which have, to some extent, also victimized Saeed.

    For one thing Naghmeh has talked about the culture in Iran. It seems clear that both of them were impacted by the ideology of the subjugation of women practiced in that culture.

    Then there is the culture of religion, be it muslim or christian, which also advocates the subjugation of women but only in slightly different degrees.

    Then there is the culture of the diploma mill and the ordination factory which will fix you up fast with the necessary documents.

    Not to forget the public disgrace of the evangelical culture which is quick to create and/or let be created pseudo-heroes because it has caved to the celebrity culture of the world today.

    My personal opinion is that both these people have been victimized by culture/religion. She in being taught submit submit, he in being taught dominate dominate, and he by not having somebody or some system in christianity to step in and require more of him before ordination/missionary status and celebrity status. Christianity as he ran into it in this country let him get himself into this mess.

    And BTW, this story he tells about his conversion is ‘straight out of the book consistent’ with the muslim conversion stories in that book series I keep quoting but cannot remember the name of. The authors believed that this sort of conversion story is genuine and typical of muslim men.

  27. @ Jerry:

    I hope you will stop being so defensive. We are growing weary of argumentative comments like we experienced on the previous post.

    Your cooperation will be much appreciated.

  28. “I can tell one thing for sure — not everything that has been reported in the media is true,” (Graham) asserted.

    This statement bothers me. How can Franklin Graham confidently, surely, with 100% conviction say this? This implies he has obviously spoken with Saeed. What about Naghmeh? Has he reached out to her? How can Franklin Graham say this? Was he physically present in their marriage all of the time?

    Honestly, you know what Graham’s statement sounds identical to (albeit different circumstances)? The exact statement Robert Morris made at Gateway at the pastor’s conference where Mark Driscoll was present. Exact type of statement of “not everything in the media is true.”

    It’s apparent the likes of Graham and the EIC go immediately to the aide and defense of abusers. Shame on them.

    Naghmeh, may the Lord guide you, comfort you, and protect you and your children. May this be swift and not drawn out. May you find support, perhaps even in the most unlikely of places. You are a lighthouse, a beacon of light for women and children who are in similar situations. Keep shining the light in this darkness!!

  29. A word about blaming all this on Satan. Scripture speaks of those things which come against church folks by placing them in three categories: the world, the flesh and the devil. Long before the devil gets involved, the world and the flesh have their way with us; if they can get us off track, no need for the devil to intervene. The 21st century church has brought as much world into it as possible, while still trying to appear Christian (e.g., the “culturally-relevant” message of New Calvinist YRRs). Flesh, not Spirit, rules in far too many places (e.g., New Calvinist authoritarian patriarchy). Flesh alone can destroy lives, without the devil showing up. Perhaps “Pastor” Adedini has been tripped up by his own flesh, not ensnared by Satan. How did this guy end up as a “Pastor” after doing 90 days jail time for domestic violence?! And who gave him that title?! And what really is the rest of the story?

  30. @ okrapod:

    I think you are putting too much emphasis on this. Naghmeh and her family came to the USA when she was nine, so the cultural influence for her has been primarily American and Western.

  31. Max wrote:

    How did this guy end up as a “Pastor” after doing 90 days jail time for domestic violence?! And who gave him that title?! And what really is the rest of the story?

    My question too! After this fact has come out from 2007, how in the WORLD did Saeed gain a platform? Was he not properly vetted by anyone? Somebody? Anybody? I too would like to know the rest of this story, how this all occurred from 2007 on. Because honestly, most jobs in America do a background check. Within Christian circles/platforms/the circuit/seminaries/mission work do background checks get performed? Was one done on Saeed by anybody? If so, what happened?

  32. okrapod wrote:

    My personal opinion is that both these people have been victimized by culture/religion.

    As a “pastor”, hopefully Saeed reads his Bible. In it, he will find that it is not right to beat your wife as a Christian … no matter what culture or religion you find yourself in. He is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. Granted, there are corners of Christendom where the submit/dominate message is out of balance (e.g., New Calvinism), but the new man in Christ is not supposed to act like the old man in the flesh. “The culture made me do it” won’t stand on Judgment Day.

  33. Melissa wrote:

    Within Christian circles/platforms/the circuit/seminaries/mission work do background checks get performed?

    I suppose in these days of increasing scandals in the pulpit, some of that is done. Unfortunately, “trusting” takes the place of “vetting” in church work for the most part. We simply can’t afford to trust just anyone who carries the title of “pastor” these days; TWW and other watchblogs are providing plenty of evidence for the Church not to. Not everyone who has had hands laid on them, has had the Spirit of the living God laid on them. Christians really need to pray for a new measure of discernment.

  34. @ Lowlandseer:

    You bring up a good point but let me say some of the reasons that I think as I do.

    What you have said does not take into account the fact that she is the one who brought it up in the first place in one of the interviews linked by somebody in this discussion. It must therefore be something which she thinks is an important issue to mention.

    What you have said sounds like you think that because she has been in this country for several years, albeit in a first generation family, she has no excuse to have allowed this to happen to her in the first place since she should have known better. This sounds like straight out of the blame the victim textbook.

    What you are saying makes the assumption that cultural adaptation for first generation families occurs rapidly. I think not, since cultural diversity is preached like a religion by our very government and by our secular media. And also, the late Cardinal George (RCC-Chicago) said that for Latinos it takes three generations before all that is left is the name-he addressing the religious aspects of cultural adaptation.

    And I disagree from personal experience. I have lived in this part of the US south for more than 40 years, having lived elsewhere in the US for about 40 years, (not that much difference one might say) and there are things about the local culture to which I have not adapted and to which I have no intention of adapting because I do not believe what they believe on some things. (I am more conservative actually.)

    So no, I personally do not view cultural adaptation as easy, rapid or complete.

  35. Max wrote:

    As a “pastor”, hopefully Saeed reads his Bible. In it, he will find that it is not right to beat your wife as a Christian … no matter what culture or religion you find yourself in.

    Nobody has submitted any statement from her indicating that he beat her. He made demands and threatened divorce is what she has claimed so far, apparently.

    And huge segments of christianity believe in male dominance. Heck, huge segments of our culture believe in male dominance. This is what the egals are up in arms about. Shoot, some have said that the reason for the low percentage of abused men who report abuse is that while the culture accepts the reality that men abuse women we do not accept as readily the idea that women abuse men-it just isn’t manly.

    You seem like a good man, Max, and your wife if you have one is very fortunate. But your ideas are not the dominant ideas of great chunks of the church and/or the secular culture. This is part of what the struggle is all about.

  36. 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.

  37. @ Jerry:

    Did someone label your questions assanine? I don’t recall that.

    We do need to question the stories we have heard about Saeed’s prison time. However, the media may have only need reporting what they were told by Saeed’s family and supporters. I don’t know if there was a way to get proof of the allegations from Iran.

  38. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Can’t take credit for find the link. Someone else found that gem.

    You should take credit. I had been up all night the night before with my mother who was sick. I was quite tired yesterday and not on my *A* game. I saw your comment and immediately hit Twitter. From there it got out to lots of people who are writing about this.

    Naghmeh favorited the tweet in which I said you had found the info. You took the time to comment and put a link in it. I really, really appreciate it.

  39. okrapod wrote:

    But your ideas are not the dominant ideas of great chunks of the church and/or the secular culture.

    Yes, I’m coming to grips with that. I feel like a rare and endangered species most days. If you had told me as a child (I’m an old man now) that I would live to see the things which have come upon the earth (and into the church), I would have said “No way!” Perhaps us men have just been knuckleheads forever, despite the teachings of Christ.

    And, yes, I am married. For nearly 50 years now, I have told my dear wife that she is one of the most godly men I know ;^)

  40. Patriciamc wrote:

    Franklin Rachel Graham’s comment that there are two sides to every story implies that he believes Saeed’s

    I absolutely agree with you. In domestic violence, there are not two sides. Domestic violence is a crime. Period. End of story. No excuses allowed.

  41. …..“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….”

    Thank you for this comment. I wonder if it’s even harder to come forward in a Christian environment because many folks feel it reflects badly on the gospel of Christ. People will distrust Christians/Pastors etc. Along with the abusive side, that by the time women/children speak up, they have been nearly destroyed. So ‘speaking up’ is about as loud as a squeak. Followed by silence, as victims realize the cats out of the bag, and face the barrage of criticism, skepticism, rebukes, horrified silence, and loneliness because all the people who have stood by us till now, silently praying and encouraging us to be silent, now slink away as the poop hits the fan. They don’t want to be guilty by association. Fair weather Christians, who are as shifty as sand. Useless in the real world of sin and suffering. And Christian women are as bad as Christian men in allowing the abuse to continue.

  42. Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    Here is how they will back step. I have seen too much of this in my time blogging. "I didn't say she was lying. I said there needed to be an investigation. Everyone believes violence is wrong. Yada,yada,yada…."

  43. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Also, the generic and theological sin-leveling statement of, “Well, we’re *all* sinners” can never negate the specific facts and violations of the actual situation in which abuse was inflicted.

    Great reminder.

  44. Niteowl wrote:

    I’ve never heard Franklin Graham admit he’s wrong about anything. I wish he’d take a lesson from his father and stop demonizing people he disagrees with and quit politicizing Christianity

    Excellent observation. Billy Graham did step back from endorsing politicians. He said he made a mistake by doing so.

  45. @ okrapod:
    I appreciate what you are saying and agree that ethnic cultural factors play a part in shaping one’s outlook. But it should be borne in mind that prior to the Iranian Revolution, Iran had a decidedly Western feel to it.

    I take exception to your suggestion that what I said is straight out of a “blame the victim” textbook.. It isn’t. And for the record I was the one who disclosed Saeed Abedini’s criminal record. So I think it is fair to say that I support her.

    I also note what you said to Max about there being no suggestion that he beat her. I take it you mean in the current petition?

    Idaho State Legislature has the following definitions for Domestic violence and Assault.
    (a) “Household member” means a person who is a spouse, former spouse, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or a person with whom a person is cohabiting, whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife.
    (b) “Traumatic injury” means a condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by physical force.
    (2) (a) Any household member who in committing a battery, as defined in section 18-903, Idaho Code, inflicts a traumatic injury upon any other household member is guilty of a felony.
    (b) A conviction of felony domestic battery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed ten (10) years or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by both fine and imprisonment.
    (3) (a) A household member who commits an assault, as defined in section 18-901, Idaho Code, against another household member which does not result in traumatic injury is guilty of a misdemeanor domestic assault.

    18-901. ASSAULT DEFINED. An assault is:
    (a) An unlawful attempt, coupled with apparent ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another; or
    (b) An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

  46. Melissa wrote:

    “I can tell one thing for sure — not everything that has been reported in the media is true,” (Graham) asserted.
    This statement bothers me. How can Franklin Graham confidently, surely, with 100% conviction say this?

    Actually here, Franklin sounds like Doug Wilson when talking about the Natalie’s case.

  47. okrapod wrote:

    Nobody has submitted any statement from her indicating that he beat her.

    Whoops, sorry. I read the opening lines to this blog wrong … thinking they quoted Naghmeh’s words. I guess it would be best to use her word “abuse”, without knowing the full details of that.

  48. Jerry wrote:

    I am a brave soul and have no trouble commenting again. Even though I have my questions labeled assanine. Everything I had read on the media was that saeed was being tortured and beaten and living in the worst possible conditions and unable to hardly contact anyone in the outside world. So when his wife comes out and says he has been talking to me regularly for hours on phone and skype and has been consuming porn because he has regular internet access… This is a much different picture than was being painted to us by the media… I never said she wasn’t abused before he went to prison. I said the picture that was painted for us by the media, was different than what his wife was saying. This caused doubts in her entire story in my mind. I did not say she was lying. I said that her account of what saeed was experiencing was different than everything I had been reading this far about his imprisonment. Thus I felt we needed more clarification. And now we have more clarification. b>@ Law Prof:

    Jerry, what you are not acknowledging is that when you say her story did not line up with what was reported in the media, you are siding with the abuser, the one who holds the power, over the abused. Logical or not, you are supporting a long-standing system that denies victims justice. Are there cases of false accusations? Sure. But as statistics quoted here clearly support, the vast majority of allegations of abuse are true. Can you not see how infuriating your default support of the media/abuser is for those of us trying to change the system to favor the powerless?

  49. Sorry, forgot to say most importantly, Naghmeh is a brave woman. I am so sorry for what she and her family have had to endure, and are now enduring. May the peace of God guard her heart and mind, and those of her precious children. I have often wondered why the wives and children suffer because of the sins of the fathers. I am praying her husband truly turns from his wicked ways.

  50. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I also note what you said to Max about there being no suggestion that he beat her. I take it you mean in the current petition?

    I mean that she has not said that, and the information that has been presented so far has been that the details of the original complaint/conviction are not known. Please quote me specifically. I do not deal in ‘suggestion.’

  51. I wonder if God is about to rip the cover off more cases than hers….she is a brave,brave woman. Abuse is complicated, and many people just do not understand the dynamics. I can understand how someone never exposed to it could make statements like Franklin Graham did-but on the other hand it is our responsibility as Christians TO understand and to support victims, bottom line.

  52. Patriciamc wrote:

    Franklin Rachel Graham’s comment that there are two sides to every story implies that he believes Saeed’s because after all, Saeed is the man in the relationship and, most importantly, is a (male) celebrity in the evangelical culture. I pray that he will be wise enough to consider Nagmeh’s side too.

    Speaking of which, according to Naghmeh, Franklin Graham knew about the domestic violence.

    SCCL has a screen cap of a post Neghmeh left on Graham’s Facebook post about it:
    https://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/photos/p.10154663600743782/10154663600743782/?type=3&theater

    Shame on Graham for trying to gloss over the truth. Doing so is more hurtful for the victim, and it can sort of let the abuser off the hook.

    I can imagine women in other abusive marriages see how Graham and other people react negatively to Neghmeh online and in media (or they waffle and try to stay super neutral) and are then afraid to step forward and seek help.
    That should be taken into consideration by Graham and other nay-sayers of Neghmeh and Julie McMahon.

  53. @ Daisy:

    A little off topic, but I keep seeing variations in the spelling of Naghmeh’s name – she spells it “Naghmeh” herself on Facebook (as you can see in the screen cap I linked to in my post above), but I’ve seen some media omit the first letter “h”.

    I apologize if I spell her name wrong, I just get confused, or am not sure which spelling she prefers. I don’t mean any insult if I’m spelling it wrong.

    My real first name is not “Daisy,” it’s something else. My real first name has a million possible variations in spelling, and my mother had to choose the most unusual one, so people are always getting it wrong.
    People go through every variation of how my name is spelled but the actual way I spell it. :) So I do try to get people’s names right.

  54. @ Lowlandseer:

    They did indeed have a period of reforms, but we now see what has come of that. The religious leaders are back with ultimate control and the western-friendly progressives are out of power. If we are to believe the secular media, and that is always iffy. But how would I know, being a part of The Great Satan and all. Granted, we were the ones backing the progressives, so I cut them some slack in their opinion about western interference in their nation. Not that I agree, just that I kind of see where they are coming from. But that is politics and not for this blog.

  55. JYJames wrote:

    Grooming. Predators not only groom their victims but also the community that backs them up as stand-up citizens.

    True. And yet communities continue to fall for it time and time again. We have to keep raising awareness.

  56. 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.

    Yes he does. I’m so glad he was here to speak against the ignorance.

  57. Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    I hate to say it, but some of the hard core evangelists of ‘biblical gender roles’ will probably buckle down on this.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the ones with blogs don’t start, in the next couple of weeks, of writing posts about Neghmeh’s situation, about how of course it’s awful if or when a man abuses his wife, but marriage is so darn sacred that the wife should stay and submit no matter what.

    I can see the hard core ones buckling down even more and refusing to see how their very teachings about the roles of women, men, marriage, etc, leave women vulnerable to staying in an abusive marriage, or perhaps attracting an abuser in the start.

    They’ll probably argue the “no true complementarian” view. (The argument being it’s not the problem with their teaching, but with it being imperfectly carried out by some individuals.)

  58. @ Jerry:

    I really want you to understand what I am about to say. There was enough info in the media for me to quickly ascertain that it was highly likely she was telling the truth. I read more media than Christian sources which tend to be a bit on the hyper side….he is being tortured, he is going to be executed, etc. Those reports did not square up with the ability to Skype with his family. Also an understanding of the money that the US was offering would have been a clue that execution of US citizens was not high on the list.

    Be that as it may, here is how your responses would be read by a victim of domestic violence in the church. You called into question her account. That is extremely painful for someone who has been abused and has finally gotten the courage to speak about it. It is responses like yours that cause additional pain to victims and causes the church to be viewed an an unsafe place to discuss such a painful situation. Your words hurt, Jerry. I can assure you they were read by Naghmeh.

    Please educate yourself on how to respond those who finally have the courage to say they are abused. Start with A Cry for Justice.

  59. Melissa wrote:

    The exact statement Robert Morris made at Gateway at the pastor’s conference where Mark Driscoll was present. Exact type of statement of “not everything in the media is true.”
    It’s apparent the likes of Graham and the EIC go immediately to the aide and defense of abusers. Shame on them.

    Well said.

  60. Max wrote:

    Adedini has been tripped up by his own flesh, not ensnared by Satan. How did this guy end up as a “Pastor” after doing 90 days jail time for domestic violence?! And who gave him that title?! And what really is the rest of the story?

    Time for me to do a little research on your question. Good one.

  61. Melissa wrote:

    ter this fact has come out from 2007, how in the WORLD did Saeed gain a platform?

    There was an extremely angry man on Twiiter who kept making comments like “Saeed was preaching the Gospel and was imprisoned. What has his wife done?”

    The Christian culture loves the “persecuted and imprisoned for his faith” stories. We rarely look at the whole story behind such a person since his time in prison makes him a cause celebre.

  62. Max wrote:

    “The culture made me do it” won’t stand on Judgment Day.

    I agree. I wonder how those who believed in selling slaves will fare on that day as well.

  63. Jerry wrote:

    Everything I had read on the media was that saeed was being tortured and beaten and living in the worst possible conditions and unable to hardly contact anyone in the outside world.

    I would like to riff off this.

    You probably did not intend to say this, but, even if Saeed was under incredible stress and pressure, that does not excuse him abusing his wife over the phone (or in person).

    You can certainly be understanding to a point, but still, nothing excuses abuse.

    The abuser makes a choice to abuse. He (or she, if the abuser is a woman) chooses to deal with the pain, anger, and stress in his life by taking it out on another person.

    (There are also other motives for abuse, like entitlement and wanting to be in control of another person).

    Verbal abuse over the phone, especially if it is a regular thing (not a one-time incident), is still abuse and psychologically damaging on the victim.

    I’ve recounted my personal story on the last thread or so as an example.
    There are a handful of verbal abusers in my family, especially an older sister.

    It took me years to even realize her insult- and profanity- laced rants against me in e-mails and the phone (and in person, on occasions when we were face to face) was abuse.

    The few times I have confronted my sister with her abuse in the last two years and tell her to halt it, she defends herself by trying to paint herself as the victim, as in,
    ‘pity me, I have life so difficult. I am under stress. My job is tough. I have health problems. Feel sorry for me if I choose to lash out at you.’

    Nope. I’m sorry if she is hurting and stressed, but that still does not give her a right to take it out on me.

    But some abusers do this: they paint themselves as the victim and as though they should be allowed to mistreat their victim, or let off the hook for it, because they are hurting or going through a tough time.

  64. okrapod wrote:

    What you have said sounds like you think that because she has been in this country for several years, albeit in a first generation family, she has no excuse to have allowed this to happen to her in the first place since she should have known better. This sounds like straight out of the blame the victim textbook.

    I think you read way too much into his (or her, I forget who it was you replied to) comments. That is not how I took his comments on that at all.

  65. Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    Darlene wrote:

    Since he plead guilty to domestic violence in 2007 in a court of law, it is clear that Naghmeh is not making up a story. Now that this information is out, it will be interesting to see who is supportive of Naghmeh and who still thinks there are “two sides to every story” – as if there can be some defense for domestic violence….NOT!

    As Dee mentioned in the post the details of the domestic assault plea is unknown at this time (see below)

    “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.”

    I wonder whether Saeed was represented by an attorney in court and whether his guilty plea was part of a “plea bargin” deal. The deal could have been structured such that if he would plead guilty he would get a suspended sentence, but if he would plead not guilty then there was the risk that he could do some hard time in jail.

    Additionally, the guilty plea was in 2007 which is almost 9 years ago. The tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story, but the judge (in this case TWW) says that he isn’t going to look at the evidence or get the motorist’s side of the story because he got a ticket in 2007 and, therefore, must be guilty.

    So I think the details are important to bring these issues in focus.

  66. okrapod wrote:

    Nobody has submitted any statement from her indicating that he beat her. He made demands and threatened divorce is what she has claimed so far, apparently.

    Here is one:
    https://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/photos/p.10154663600743782/10154663600743782/?type=3&theater

    This very blog post, at the top, says her husband was charged with 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.
    (source idahostatesman .com)

  67. Daisy wrote:

    The abuser makes a choice to abuse. He (or she, if the abuser is a woman) chooses to deal with the pain, anger, and stress in his life by taking it out on another person.
    (There are also other motives for abuse, like entitlement and wanting to be in control of another person).
    Verbal abuse over the phone, especially if it is a regular thing (not a one-time incident), is still abuse and psychologically damaging on the victim.

    Well said.

  68. dee wrote:

    Here is how they will back step. I have seen too much of this in my time blogging. “I didn’t say she was lying. I said there needed to be an investigation. Everyone believes violence is wrong. Yada,yada,yada….”

    Yep. No matter how they weasel word it, they are still effectively or essentially saying they don’t completely believe her.

    They’re communicating in a round-about way that she’s exaggerating things, not remembering correctly, is nuts, over-motional, whatever, so her account should not be believed or given the benefit of the doubt (but the husband magically gets a ton of benefit of the doubt).

    That methoid is just as chilling as saying flat out she lied, for any other domestic violence victims out there watching how the public reacts to Neghmeh’s case, to see if they should go public or go to friends with their abuse.

  69. Daisy wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    A little off topic, but I keep seeing variations in the spelling of Naghmeh’s name – she spells it “Naghmeh” herself on Facebook (as you can see in the screen cap I linked to in my post above), but I’ve seen some media omit the first letter “h”.
    I apologize if I spell her name wrong, I just get confused, or am not sure which spelling she prefers. I don’t mean any insult if I’m spelling it wrong.
    My real first name is not “Daisy,” it’s something else. My real first name has a million possible variations in spelling, and my mother had to choose the most unusual one, so people are always getting it wrong.
    People go through every variation of how my name is spelled but the actual way I spell it. So I do try to get people’s names right.

    Man, do not get started on first names. My name can be male or female, and can also be spelled about a dozen different ways. Mine has the traditional Irish spelling, but there, it’s more associated with females than male.
    That said, teaching school, we went through periods of time in which certain first names became all the rage. Ashley was one. I saw Ashley, Ashly, Ashlee, Ashlie, Ashliy, Ashlei all within the same year. Sorry, but I had a hard time getting them all correct. So, making a mistake on spelling a person’s first name, well, I’ll cut them some slack.

  70. dee wrote:

    There was an extremely angry man on Twiiter who kept making comments like “Saeed was preaching the Gospel and was imprisoned. What has his wife done?”

    That is wrong on different levels, but it’s like military families.

    When one spouse is in the military, the other spouse (who stays behind on deployments), and the kids of that spouse, all are serving and sacrificing, in a manner of speaking.

    I think that is parallel to Neghmeh’s (and her children’s) situation.

    When one spouse is overseas in whatever capacity as part of his or her job, the entire family is effectively also serving.

  71. @ dee:

    For a good long while, I didn’t even realize what my sister was doing to me was abuse, even after some friends told me that was what she was doing.

    When it began dawning on me that it was abuse, my line of thinking then was,
    “It’s excusable, because she can’t help it / she’s stressed over her job, so I’ll just be the sympathetic sister and just put up with it in silence. That poor dear is under so much pressure.”

    Then I began reading up on abuse a lot, and the therapists will all tell you that the abusers choose to deal with their anger (or stress, entitlement, whatever) by being abusive. Being abusive is deliberate with them.

    Abusers could just as easily choose to deal with their issues by stating their complaints and frustration in a civil fashion.

    Bancroft’s book also gets into this. He says physically abusive men do not just “snap” and go into uncontrollable rages (Evans also says this is true of verbal abusers). Abusers choose when, where, and how much to abuse.

    Bancroft has several case studies in his book that demonstrates this. A lot of abusive men will stop beating their wife the moment they hear the cop car pull up outside their house, for example. These abusive men are clearly in control.

    Other books and blogs I’ve read on abuse also clarify this stuff.

  72. Joe2 wrote:

    Additionally, the guilty plea was in 2007 which is almost 9 years ago. The tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story, but the judge (in this case TWW) says that he isn’t going to look at the evidence or get the motorist’s side of the story because he got a ticket in 2007 and, therefore, must be guilty.

    Sheer nonsense! We are waiting with great anticipation for Saeed's response to what is being reporrted.

  73. @ dee:

    Thanks, Dee. I am just glad to add to the chorus supporting this dear sister in the Lord!

    Not one of those pastors that takes credit for what is not his 😉 My hat is off to Lowlandseer for finding the link that settles the matter as far as I am concerned (and ought to for anyone else who really cares about godliness, IMO).

  74. @ Bridget:

    I think the point of lowlandseer's comment is, was Saeed truthful when he responded to the following question under Personal History:

    Have you ever been indicted, arrested, or convicted of a crime? __Yes __No

  75. Eagle wrote:

    2. If he was abusing his wife…why was he sent abroad as a missionary? I don’t get that…

    Why are so many church leaders abusive to spouses or church members? Why do church leaders so often give a pass to leaders, self-proclaimed pastors, evangelists, apostles, missionaries, etc? Why am I now of the mindset that when someone tells me they’re a pastor, I think “Well, I’ll try not to hold that against you”? Why would I as a Christian feel that way? It’s perhaps because wolves have come in among us, exactly like Jesus said they would, and they are quite willing to have the back of fellow wolves(provided they are useful to them).

  76. Joe2 wrote:

    It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story, but the judge (in this case TWW) says that he isn’t going to look at the evidence or get the motorist’s side of the story because he got a ticket in 2007 and, therefore, must be guilty.

    This analogy is beyond ridiculous on many levels. comparing a former domestic abuse conviction with a ticket? Really? Not to mention most tickets recipients don't end up before a judge, although you can contest them. And no one here has convicted Saeed of anything. BTW – a court will look at your past driving record if it is warranted and take it into consideration if need be. So a past conviction for domestic abuse is not a "no big deal."

  77. Deb wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    I think the point of lowlandseer’s comment is, was Saeed truthful when he responded to the following question under Personal History:
    Have you ever been indicted, arrested, or convicted of a crime? __Yes __No

    I totally, get where he/she is coming from. I had those added questions about the application (for whatever it IS for) :)

  78. Bridget wrote:

    What in the world does an AEA credential mean???? The application doesn’t even explain what it is for.

    The applications says:
    “This application is to become a candidate for certification as a : my calling : __an ordained minister. __liscensed minister __christian worker. __ other.

  79. Jerry wrote:

    I am a brave soul and have no trouble commenting again. Even though I have my questions labeled assanine.

    Fair enough, only two comments:

    1). It’s bad form to pontificate about your own qualities, i.e., how brave you are, let other people make those judgments (and in any event, you’re probably not half as brave as Naghmeh Abedini).

    2). If you’re going to use a word, learn how to spell it, otherwise, it makes you look asinine.

  80. @ Bridget:

    Normally the AEA expects candidates to have formal qualifications before being endorsed by them and sent out into ministry but life experience can also count. Mr Abedini joined AEA the year after his conviction.

  81. Joe2 wrote:

    Additionally, the guilty plea was in 2007 which is almost 9 years ago. The tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story,

    First people doubt that there was any abuse at all, or hinting that they think Neghmeh was exaggerating or lying.

    When folks dig up online information that he was in trouble with the law at least once over domestic abuse, you’re now trying to brush that away as being irrelevant because it was several years ago?

    Usually, this stuff is on-going. If a guy is arrested or charged once, or the cops visit the house once, it was going on long before then. From what I’ve read on the topic, abusers rarely change. If the guy was in trouble with the law X years ago for abuse, yes, he is likely still continuing the abuse afterwards to the present.

    Even after a divorce or break-up, a lot of abusive men will continue to stalk their ex and threaten her with violence. Some will shoot the woman as she goes to the courthouse to get a divorce or restraining order.

  82. dee wrote:

    @ There was enough info in the media for me to quickly ascertain that it was highly likely she was telling the truth. I read more media than Christian sources which tend to be a bit on the hyper side….he is being tortured, he is going to be executed, etc. Those reports did not square up with the ability to Skype with his family. Also an understanding of the money that the US was offering would have been a clue that execution of US citizens was not high on the list.

    This bothered me when I was hearing reports of Saeed’s “torture and threats of execution”. I asked myself, how are people able to find out this stuff or know this stuff is true?

    I’m afraid, that with some of the “hyping” that Christian media often does, I’m having a hard time believing some of the stories of Christians being tortured or executed because they are Christians. (I’ve also read so many fake stories–on multiple subjects–on social media that I’ve become skeptical of just about anything posted on the Internet.) And my skepticism probably takes away from the compassion I want to have towards those who really ARE being tortured and executed for their faith.

  83. Daisy wrote:

    Even after a divorce or break-up, a lot of abusive men will continue to stalk their ex and threaten her with violence. Some will shoot the woman as she goes to the courthouse to get a divorce or restraining order.

    “I. WIN.”

  84. Bridget wrote:

    This analogy is beyond ridiculous on many levels. comparing a former domestic abuse conviction with a ticket?

    I was comparing the thought process exhibited here on TWW and was not comparing the severity of domestic abuse to a ticket. You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

  85. Daisy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    There was an extremely angry man on Twiiter who kept making comments like “Saeed was preaching the Gospel and was imprisoned. What has his wife done?”
    That is wrong on different levels, but it’s like military families.
    When one spouse is in the military, the other spouse (who stays behind on deployments), and the kids of that spouse, all are serving and sacrificing, in a manner of speaking.
    I think that is parallel to Neghmeh’s (and her children’s) situation.
    When one spouse is overseas in whatever capacity as part of his or her job, the entire family is effectively also serving.

    Daisy is absolutely right.

  86. Daisy wrote:

    Usually, this stuff is on-going. If a guy is arrested or charged once, or the cops visit the house once, it was going on long before then. From what I’ve read on the topic, abusers rarely change. If the guy was in trouble with the law X years ago for abuse, yes, he is likely still continuing the abuse afterwards to the present.

    From what I know of the law, it would be quite the unusual circumstance if the arrest for abuse was a one-off situation. That would be rare indeed.

  87. Law Prof wrote:

    Why are so many church leaders abusive to spouses or church members?

    Because they can.

    Why do church leaders so often give a pass to leaders, self-proclaimed pastors, evangelists, apostles, missionaries, etc?

    “King unto King o’er the world is Brother…”
    — Chesterton, “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

  88. dee wrote:

    Katie Holmes beat Scientology. Since that time, the stories have been flowing.

    It is my fervent hope that with the aid of Providence, Naghmeh can beat fundagelicalism.

  89. Daisy wrote:

    Bancroft has several case studies in his book that demonstrates this. A lot of abusive men will stop beating their wife the moment they hear the cop car pull up outside their house, for example.

    And don the Upstanding Husband with Crazy Wife/Angel of Light mask.

  90. Joe2 wrote:

    Name *

    Email *

    Joe, the thought process here is first to protect the abused. You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

  91. “Most AEA’s pastors are seminary and Bible School trained. We believe the Lord calls those who have not had the opportunity to study in a traditional theological institutional setting. Candidates do not have to be formally trained in a traditional setting to quality for credentials. We are interested in what you have experienced as a servant in life and ministry. Members may qualify by demonstrating through past experience that they have been exercising gifts needed for ministry, example: understanding the Holy Bible and imparting it to others. Giftings for ministry management, evangelism, teaching, intercession, apostolic calling, church planting, home church fellowship leadership strongly influences the evaluation and conclusion.

    The position to which you aspire may dictate what education is necessary. Military chaplains are required to have a four year college degree and graduation from a three or more year seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, plus a period of service as a minister.

    A candidate aspiring to serve as a home church leader is evaluated differently than one seeking to serve as a Chaplain in a law enforcement setting.

    Seminars that you’ve attended, courses taken whether at the local church level, correspondence or in structured learning setting, should be carefully noted.

    Background checks are made on all candidates therefore thumb prints are required on the application.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Copy/paste from AEA website – emphasis mine. Saeed pled guilty in 2007 and was ordained in 2008. Hmmmmm? (ed.)

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Copy/paste from AEA website – emphasis mine. Saeed pled guilty in 2007 and was ordained in 2008. Hmmmmm?

    Oops. This is mine. All above this is from AEA website.

  93. Joe2 wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    This analagy is beyond ridiculous on many levels. comparing a former domestic abuse conviction with a ticket?

    I was comparing the thought process exhibited here on TWW and was not comparing the severity of domestic abuse to a ticket. You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    Horrible analogy, Joe. Go back to the drawing board and try again.

  94. dee wrote:

    The Christian culture loves the “persecuted and imprisoned for his faith” stories. We rarely look at the whole story behind such a person since his time in prison makes him a cause celebre.

    Note that the first thing Saeed did when he got back to the States was meet with Franklin Graham.

  95. Who remember’s Ergun Caner? He is the man who claimed to have been raised as a Muslim and trained to be a terrorist but then converted to Christianity. Wrote a book about it and toured the country speaking at churches and Christian events. He was solid gold for a while, even becoming the dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Then it all fell apart. Some simple research showed that much of his story was fabricated. Liberty Baptist showed him the door. Amazingly, Arlington Baptist College hired him for an important academic position and later he became President of Brewton-Parker College. These two institutions hired him despite knowing much of his story was fanciful, but his perceived image met the needs of the anti-muslim motif.
    Saeed appears to have been a brave man to return to Iran to promote the gospel. Ergun Caner never did anything like that.
    I bring this up just to illustrate how far some people will go to promote their agenda. I suggest that this will be the case with Saeed as well. Watch for it.

  96. Daisy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    I hate to say it, but some of the hard core evangelists of ‘biblical gender roles’ will probably buckle down on this.

    i.e. “Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER!”

  97. Daisy wrote:

    My real first name is not “Daisy,” it’s something else. My real first name has a million possible variations in spelling, and my mother had to choose the most unusual one, so people are always getting it wrong.

    Like “Jeauxsyff” for “Joseph”, when “build your Indigo Child’s Brand” with a unique name was Trendy not so long ago?

  98. bunny wrote:

    I wonder if God is about to rip the cover off more cases than hers….

    “If you don’t want to call it God, call it Truth.”
    — the “Bill” who founded Alcoholics Anonymous

  99. dee wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder if any of those brave souls such as “Q” and “Jerry” will come back now to comment–or will they take the all-too-predictable path of running and hiding and saying not one word at all, much less an apology?

    Here is how they will back step. I have seen too much of this in my time blogging. “I didn’t say she was lying. I said there needed to be an investigation. Everyone believes violence is wrong. Yada,yada,yada….”

    PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY.

    And a successful Verbal/Emotional Abuser has to be a Grand Master of it.

  100. There were a few things about the original post I wanted to comment on, this being one of them:

    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….?

    “A Cry For Justice” blog had a series of blog posts about something similar.

    It was one abused wife’s story of how her church totally hosed her, rather than support her during her troubled marriage.
    They wanted her to use some kind of Christian arbitration group or whatever they were.

    If I am remembering the story right, there were legal fees charged.
    Her whole situation was dragged out, the group was dishonest or unfair in how they handled billing her. She ended up owing a $1,000 or more that she could not afford to pay.

    It’s been quite a while since I read her 5 part series, but the gist of it is that these Christian arbitration groups serve to protect the side with the most power and money, not the little guy/ victim.

    Here’s one of the posts about her story:
    I Wish I Knew This About Peacemakers Before I Went: Part 5 of Persistent Widow’s story
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2015/02/13/i-wish-i-knew-this-about-peacemakers-before-i-went-part-5-of-persistent-widows-story/

    Snippet by the lady who wrote the post:

    I was financially handicapped by Peacemakers [Christian based arbitration group] and still had a long stretch of financial abuse to endure as the divorce played out.
    Peacemakers is truly a reproach to the church and needs to be scrutinized as a money making racket.

    It’s a sad, sad day when you cannot trust any and every person, church, or group that call itself “Christian.”

  101. Question for any and all in the know:

    Over at the previous thread it was said that it wasn’t Naghmeh who spilled the beans about her husband’s abuse, but some trusted confidant in her ‘prayer circle’.
    Fact? Fiction? What’s the real skivvy on that one?

  102. Daisy wrote:

    It’s a sad, sad day when you cannot trust any and every person, church, or group that call itself “Christian.”

    I have learned from experience that if they’re visibly Christian(TM), RUN.
    RUN AWAY. RUN VERY FAR AWAY.

  103. Muff Potter wrote:

    Over at the previous thread it was said that it wasn’t Naghmeh who spilled the beans about her husband’s abuse, but some trusted confidant in her ‘prayer circle’.

    Julie Anne wrote about this on her blog.

    It’s important to note that the e-mails that were publicized were meant to remain private. Naghmeh Abedini sent the e-mail to a select group of supporters – ones she trusted could keep her confidence and pray for her. Sadly, one person betrayed that confidence and the rest is history.

    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/01/16/saeed-and-naghmeh-abedini-two-kinds-of-violence-both-still-a-prison/

  104. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    i.e. “Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER!”
    The squeakiest wheel gets the anointing oil?

    Look at Trump.
    He didn’t have to make Pilgrimage to Liberty U for the Anointing, JFJ made pilgrimage to him.

  105. Joe2 wrote:

    I was comparing the thought process exhibited here on TWW and was not comparing the severity of domestic abuse to a ticket. You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    If you understood the dynamics of domestic violence, you would never have brought the analogy up to start with.

    Maybe go visit a A Cry For Justice blog (a link to that blog is in the side bar of this blog’s home page), just read there, lurk, and read the resources they recommend to their blog visitors.

    Consider reading the book Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by by Lundy Bancroft.
    You can also find and view, for free, videos of Bancroft (and other people) giving educational lectures about domestic violence on You Tube.

  106. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    It’s a sad, sad day when you cannot trust any and every person, church, or group that call itself “Christian.”
    I have learned from experience that if they’re visibly Christian(TM), RUN.
    RUN AWAY. RUN VERY FAR AWAY.

    Except for me, of course, HUG, hey, I’m a mighty fine feller, regular good guy.

  107. @ bunny:

    “I wonder if God is about to rip the cover off more cases than hers….”
    +++++++++++++

    I sense that change is in the air. (on more than just this issue) we could generalize it under the headline “Christian wilful & simple-minded ignorance gets a kick in the head by its own”.

    those deemed Christian leaders, you are being watched closely to see where your priorities lie.

  108. Joe2 wrote:

    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    I’m quite able to understand what you are saying. Thanks for the insult though.

  109. Daisy wrote:

    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.
    (source idahostatesman .com)

    Countered by the fact that Saeed is now a Christianese CELEBRITY, a Martyr for the Faith (those 22 Copts being unavailable for comment), whose Story fits right into the Jihad Against Islam meme.

    And a CELEBRITY Can Do No Wrong.
    Especially when his CELEBRITY Advances Your Agenda.
    Culture War Without End, Hay-Men.

  110. Law Prof wrote:

    From what I know of the law, it would be quite the unusual circumstance if the arrest for abuse was a one-off situation. That would be rare indeed.

    In light of the fact that the media have been reporting the last day or so that Neghmeh is seeking some kind of separation from Saeed at this point (or some kind of legal measure to keep her kids with her?) would indicate that all is not well in the marriage, either. I don’t think Joe2 considered that.

    If things were hunky dory in their marriage, I doubt we’d be seeing news reports such as:

    Iranian pastor’s wife files court papers against recently freed husband (published January 27, 2016)
    http://www.religionnews.com/2016/01/27/iranian-pastors-wife-files-court-papers-recently-freed-husband/

  111. elastigirl wrote:

    those deemed Christian leaders, you are being watched closely to see where your priorities lie.

    So long as their coffers are still ka-chinging they don't give (ed.) a rat's-you-know-what.

  112. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And don the Upstanding Husband with Crazy Wife/Angel of Light mask.

    What’s even creepier to me is reading the anecdotes in the book where Bancroft discusses how abusive men he’s counseled justify the abuse of their wives. Especially in group sessions.

    Bancroft discusses how, in group therapy, these abusive men will sit and call out another man in the group for abusing his wife – for giving her a black eye, for example – but then defend themselves as being justified in giving their own wife a bloody nose.

    They can see and identify abuse against women by other men and see why/how it is bad and wrong, but defend spousal abuse when they are doing it to their own wife – they have a million defenses and rationalizations for their abusive behavior. It is so warped.

  113. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    My first real name is actually fairly pedestrian and kind of old-fashioned (though not old fashioned as in super dowdy), but not one of the trendier names that has weird spellings like “Snowflayyke” or “Brantleigh”.

    My first name is a normal name but never the less has several variations in spelling.

  114. Eagle wrote:

    Franklin is an embarrassment. The other issue I wish Christians would get up in arms about in addition to his “devil statement” is his salary and the money he rakes in.

    Christians are amazingly good at dismissing obvious problems with their favorites and prone to hero-worship. I have heard the excuse given that other similar heads of charities make even more than he does.

    The problem when a person has position, fame and wealth is that they become surrounded by yes-men and admirers and rarely, if ever, are directly challenged on statements they make. They get an inflated and unrealistic view of themselves.

  115. @ Muff Potter:

    Welx back atchyuh.

    This seems to be unfolding as the type of multi-layered story that needs a page that captures the timeline of news reports and other posts, to help with keeping up in the current moment plus for future research. I’d do that myself if I could, but I’m preoccupied with other obligations.

    I am trying to keep up with the story as best as I can, though, as my gut sense is that our communities can gain crucial insights about the influences of culture of origin, Christendom celebrity culture, certification and accountability systems, and the like on how systems of abuse get maintained.

  116. okrapod wrote:

    We have absolutely got to look at the whole picture, including what I preach all the time: what about the cultural issues need looked at. There are cultural problems here which have, to some extent, also victimized Saeed.

    Bancroft discusses differences in cultures and its impact on domestic violence in his book.
    He also gets into it in this video:

    Lundy Bancroft Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmbrAWDft0s

    His discussion about culture and domestic abuse starts around 26:38 in that video.

    In that video, he gets into a long story about a stage play called “Johnny and Frankie” as an illustration before getting directly into, again, how different cultures deal with or contribute to domestic violence.
    Then he gets back to discussing American culture specifically.

  117. I believe and support Nahmeh and admire her strength, courage and wisdom. I pray that God will bring support, excellent counsel, comfort and provide for all her needs.

    I also pray that God will open Saeed’s heart and mind and enable him to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and walk in a manner worthy of his calling. I pray that he will escape the lure of fame and power and walk humbly with his God instead.

  118. @ Muff Potter:

    one of the changes in the air is the concept of pursuing ekklesia minus salaries/careers/the acquisition of money.

    I brought this up a few posts ago as a “wouldn’t it be great if” — but I think it’s been stirring for a while.

  119. @ K.D.:
    @ Daisy:
    Eeeyeah. Try being a teacher with 130 students in a public school who has to get the names and pronunciations straight! I have had to apologize so many times ………. In the margins of my roll books, I would write – not the correct spelling – but the way the names were pronounced!

  120. Daisy wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    Franklin Rachel Graham’s comment that there are two sides to every story implies that he believes Saeed’s because after all, Saeed is the man in the relationship and, most importantly, is a (male) celebrity in the evangelical culture. I pray that he will be wise enough to consider Nagmeh’s side too.
    Speaking of which, according to Naghmeh, Franklin Graham knew about the domestic violence.
    SCCL has a screen cap of a post Neghmeh left on Graham’s Facebook post about it:
    https://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/photos/p.10154663600743782/10154663600743782/?type=3&theater
    Shame on Graham for trying to gloss over the truth. Doing so is more hurtful for the victim, and it can sort of let the abuser off the hook.
    I can imagine women in other abusive marriages see how Graham and other people react negatively to Neghmeh online and in media (or they waffle and try to stay super neutral) and are then afraid to step forward and seek help.
    That should be taken into consideration by Graham and other nay-sayers of Neghmeh and Julie McMahon.

    I’ve wondered what the family relationships are like between Franklin and Boz…

  121. @ Muff Potter:

    “So long as their coffers are still ka-chinging they don’t give (ed.) a rat’s-you-know-what.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    I have to think that the consciences of at least a few are still reachable.

  122. Joe2 wrote:

    I was comparing the thought process exhibited here on TWW and was not comparing the severity of domestic abuse to a ticket. You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    I am truly mystified how to break through to you. If you have a tragedy in your family and someone tries to relate to you by saying they also had a bad day on the golf course you might start to relate. A large part of this thread is understanding how insensitive comments demean and silence victims. Using a trivial analogy in the context of domestic abuse is just bad judgement. So step up and own it and don’t insult someone who calls you on it.

  123. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Abusers absolutely love the “two sides to every story” nonsense.
    As many who comment here have experienced, there is the view of the one who holds power and the view of the one who doesn’t, and, as the old saying goes, “History is always written by the winners.”
    Also, the generic and theological sin-leveling statement of, “Well, we’re *all* sinners” can never negate the specific facts and violations of the actual situation in which abuse was inflicted.

    Also “There are things you don’t know,” or “There is more to the story.”

    Both Law Prof and Brad have nailed the strategies of those who abuse and those who enable the abuser, even if ignorantly.

    Actually, it’s a brilliant strategy for the simple reason that most conflict is, in fact, two-sided, with two relatively equal sinners involved and for most conflict, it is wise for outsiders to take a neutral stance. Abusers are shielded by these realities. When there is abuse, there is one side of the story, but people who have not been in abuse situations themselves or who have not known and believed an abused person will assume there *is* another side. Where there is abuse, to be ‘neutral’ is to side with the abuser, empowering him with your belief. It adds to the abuse of the victim in a way that can even overshadow the abuser’s abuse when a victim finds her community essentially standing with her abuser. It is secondary abuse in the fact that it comes subsequent to the original abuse, but it can do as much or more damage.

  124. Max wrote:

    A word about blaming all this on Satan. Scripture speaks of those things which come against church folks by placing them in three categories: the world, the flesh and the devil. Long before the devil gets involved, the world and the flesh have their way with us; if they can get us off track, no need for the devil to intervene. The 21st century church has brought as much world into it as possible, while still trying to appear Christian (e.g., the “culturally-relevant” message of New Calvinist YRRs). Flesh, not Spirit, rules in far too many places (e.g., New Calvinist authoritarian patriarchy). Flesh alone can destroy lives, without the devil showing up. Perhaps “Pastor” Adedini has been tripped up by his own flesh, not ensnared by Satan. How did this guy end up as a “Pastor” after doing 90 days jail time for domestic violence?! And who gave him that title?! And what really is the rest of the story?

    Right on, Max. I think part of this comes from a faulty understanding of the flesh and the Christian’s ongoing struggle with it.

    And secondly, if there is a literal devil, he is one entity. He is not omnipresent and omnipotent like God. I.e., he can only be in one place doing one thing at one time. Yet he is given credit for being involved with anyone and everyone, everything, at all times.

    I expect the devil would be spending his time at the state dept of various countries, myself.

  125. Melissa wrote:

    My question too! After this fact has come out from 2007, how in the WORLD did Saeed gain a platform? Was he not properly vetted by anyone?

    Because the Christian culture cares more about the person’s charisma than their proven spiritual qualities. Much like how Israel clamored for Saul as their leader.

  126. siteseer wrote:

    I expect the devil would be spending his time at the state dept of various countries, myself.

    That would explain a few things.

  127. Joe2 wrote:

    Additionally, the guilty plea was in 2007 which is almost 9 years ago. The tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story, but the judge (in this case TWW) says that he isn’t going to look at the evidence or get the motorist’s side of the story because he got a ticket in 2007 and, therefore, must be guilty.

    Obviously, if you have a driving problem, the first thing authorities do is look up your record, because your behavior in the past is so often a good indicator of your behavior in the present. To ignore this would be to ignore reality. Your insurance company will also be going by the statistical evidence of this reality.

  128. Jerry wrote:

    Thus I felt we needed more clarification. And now we have more clarification.

    I would hope you larned more such as when to ask questions, what questions can be asked and how to ask them. As it is your comments became an object lesson on how not to do it. They had the same attributes of those meant to silence and dismiss. Not that it isn’t important to go against the flow when necessary but it is important to do the homework first and then proceed thoughtfully.

    There have been numerous posts in just this last year where the readers and commenters hashed though the subject of someone who has been abused, Julie McMahon and Karen Hinkley come to mind. In both those cases a number of first time commenters came out of the woodwork to cast aspersions not only on Julie and Karen but also those who expressed concern here. So if you get blow back from ill-considered comments you will have lots of company with commenters from before and it isn’t good company to be in.

  129. siteseer wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    My question too! After this fact has come out from 2007, how in the WORLD did Saeed gain a platform? Was he not properly vetted by anyone?

    Because the Christian culture cares more about the person’s charisma than their proven spiritual qualities. Much like how Israel clamored for Saul as their leader.

    Because he’s now a Christianese CELEBRITY, and the rules of CELEBRITY are in effect. Think of all the MenaGAWD covered here at WWW who are abusers yet still command Megachurches and myriads of groupies/followers. The Driscolls, the Furticks, the Mahaneys, the ToJos. And One Hand Washes the Other, as in the Reformed Industrial Complex and the Conference/Best-Seller circuit.

    And Saeed has two big things that will kick him into the Christianese Celebrity Big Time — a Persecution/Martyrdom story and done my Muslims. (Remember Ergun Caner? And Saeed’s was a lot more for real.) No wonder he first met with Franklin Graham — setting up his Christianese Celebrity Career? Too bad his faithful wife won’t Get With The Program and Must Be Dealt With…

  130. Bill M wrote:

    There have been numerous posts in just this last year where the readers and commenters hashed though the subject of someone who has been abused, Julie McMahon and Karen Hinkley come to mind. In both those cases a number of first time commenters came out of the woodwork to cast aspersions not only on Julie and Karen but also those who expressed concern here.

    All of them coming out of nowhere (no prior commenting on this or any other blog), some even sock-puppeting the same list of talking points over and over and over.

  131. Jeff S wrote:

    Those that you quoted from me I only passed on from someone else who made the same impression on me

    I may do the same some day. There are things I know in passing, others I have come to understand after much trial. Thanks for bringing that latter type of understanding to the discussion.

  132. If you watch this video (“Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men”):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmbrAWDft0s

    Around the 1:05:40 mark:
    Bancroft says he had a client (a wife abuser) who said he assaulted his wife because she asked him if he had an affair.

    Bancroft said he asked the guy, “Well, did you in fact have an affair? Was your wife correct about this?”

    And the guy said, “Why yes, I did. But she had no proof of it, so she should not have brought it up.”

    So, even if the victim is correct about the accusations, the abuser will still feel entitled to beat her or hurt her in some other fashion.

    Even if the victim is right about the accusation but lacks proof of it, that still doesn’t wash with the abuser.

  133. Daisy wrote:

    Shame on Graham for trying to gloss over the truth. Doing so is more hurtful for the victim, and it can sort of let the abuser off the hook.

    It may be more hurtful for the victim, but it Helps The Cause and The Cause is Righteous.
    Culture War Without End, Amen.

    “You can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs.”
    — Josef Stalin, dictator of Russia and direct inspiration for Orwell’s 1984

  134. bunny wrote:

    I wonder if God is about to rip the cover off more cases than hers…

    Isn’t there a verse somewhere about “What you tried to keep secret shall be shouted from the housetops”?

  135. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    some even sock-puppeting the same list of talking points over and over and over.

    There is a local car body repair shop that uses sock puppets in their commercials to represent bad drivers that cause accidents. They usually end their commercial with “nasty sock puppets”.

  136. dee wrote:

    I really want you to understand what I am about to say. There was enough info in the media for me to quickly ascertain that it was highly likely she was telling the truth. I read more media than Christian sources which tend to be a bit on the hyper side….he is being tortured, he is going to be executed, etc. Those reports did not square up with the ability to Skype with his family. Also an understanding of the money that the US was offering would have been a clue that execution of US citizens was not high on the list.

    Say, maybe this is what Franklin Graham meant when he said, “not everything that has been reported in the media is true” 😉
    (sorry for the sarcasm)

    ***

    When an abuser claims he did not commit abuse, do these bystanders ever pull out the “well, there are 2 sides to every story” canard? or is that response saved only for the victim?

  137. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It may be more hurtful for the victim, but it Helps The Cause and The Cause is Righteous.
    Culture War Without End, Amen.

    Dominionist teaching has crept into the church to the point where the average Christian sees the church not as an expression of the body of sincere believers but as a competitor in the battle over control of the world system. “We” must win control over the non-believing world at any cost. The ends justify the means.

  138. If you haven’t seen abuse first hand, it is very difficult to fully grasp and the abused may not even understand the extent. How do I know? I was married to an abusive woman…..not physical but manipulative, vindictive and controlling. This does not imply that I was a good husband, I was selfish and cocky. Here is a bit

    Married young, and from the beginning,but I was so guilted by the divorce is not an option – borderline complementarianism mindset that I blamed myself.

    What was done? Not just baiting but getting in my face and daring me to hit her “go ahead I know you want to”, lying to our children – “dad pounded my head against the outside wall of the house” – FYI – I was a collegiate athlete, still in shape and 200 pounds….if true we are talking serious injury, lying to my children about things I said (using them to punish me and I am still estranged from my 27 year old son and it has been 15 years) stalking me – breaking into my car, and apartment – and more things…but still the mother of my children. So I gave a pass (again the guilt factor because I left)

    At the time my parents were closer to her (and she badmouthed me even to them), it finally came to a head when my mom made a comment about me not supporting them….I went WTF? Then explained that I paid the mortgage (California – 15 years ago on a $500,000 1300 square foot house) and paid the boys tuition at a Christian High School. My mom said, well that’s not what xxxx said.

    She also knew what buttons and how to push them….and did regularly…. Sorry to admit that the last time it happened I did lay hands on her – I grabbed her and held her against the wall at her house (was dropping off a check)…. What prompted that? An hour phone conversation – heated – berating me, telling me the lies she told my son – a very warped twisting of discussing money, and berating my parents (who had always been very good to her) and I did maintain control….. Was not then nor since making excuses…..regardless, I was wrong and am ashamed if it. But I learned and decided that she was no longer allowed to push my buttons – so no physical contact and I did not answer calls – I would call her back when I was prepared mentally and emotionally.

    Of course with that incident she told my family (highly embellished) – my dad said we know Mike is not a violent person – did you do something to provoke him, which got twisted to – it was her fault….my parents are also esteanged from their grandson over this

    I did not share a lot if this as I felt it was our business, not so much because of shame, just private.

    The point of sharing this….1) church teaching regarding marriage and divorce can be just toxic – staying longer than I should have was damaging to all parties. 2) Abuse is not a 1 time thing, it stems from charactor/personality issues usually if not always about control and like pedophelia, you don’t just say sorry and it is all better – change takes serious work by the abuser (they are great at shifting blame – and then of course there are 2 sides – 3) Absolutely abuse can be done over the phone 4) Verbal abuse in the Christian world can even include twisting scripture – which because it is such an emotionally volital situation have impact on faith 5) abuse comes in all different manners

    I think this was not only somewhat unique it was also extreme (she had workplace issues too) so no I don’t believe there are a lot of abuse cases where women bait men into abusing them, mine was years and there was a lot of yelling, gritting teeth, bowing the neck but only 1 time where I got physical (and again, changed the dynamic immediately, do that it would never hsppen again)

    Hopefully adding a little more perspective

  139. @ Mara:

    You’re clueless. God wanted her removed because his promise was for Isaac. Sarah created the problem, and Abraham should not have obeyed her and slept with her slave. When he slept with her she became one with him, he should not have given her to Sarah to abuse. She was forced, betrayed, and abused. All sin, all Sarah’s idea, and all submitted to by Abraham. Who was accountable for all the abuse and sin, the husband. Spare us your political striving, disgusting.

  140. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ K.D.:
    @ Daisy:
    Eeeyeah. Try being a teacher with 130 students in a public school who has to get the names and pronunciations straight! I have had to apologize so many times ………. In the margins of my roll books, I would write – not the correct spelling – but the way the names were pronounced!

    Quick story. Had a principal almost get assaulted during a 12th grade awards ceremony because within the the top honor grads, there were 3 girls who all had the same name, spelled the same, but all 3 pronounced differently. A father became so mad that the principal he literally charged the stage. The principal had made the mistake of mispronouncing a name. ( and he corrected himself as soon as he realized what he had done.) Luckily, the constable was in attendance at the ceremony and was to stop the dad has he went around to the back towards the steps leading to the stage. He was going to come on the platform….and do what? We were not sure.

  141. Joe2 wrote:

    he tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later.

    Oh good night! Violence and anger are personality traits. Many abusers go on to abuse even after counseling and apologies. To compare abuse and violence to someone going through a red light is so off base.

    It is comments like this which make me realize why my are afraid to talk about their abuse within the church.

  142. @ Law Prof:
    Frankly, Joe2 doesn’t even think the original plea is important. It is comments like that that give a bad name to the church.

  143. @ Loren Haas:
    I am sitting on a story about Ergun Caner until the people involved feel comfortable going public with it. It will blow the lid of Ergun’s self portrayal.

  144. Muff Potter wrote:

    Fact? Fiction? What’s the real skivvy on that one?

    That is what I heard as well. However, this was bound to come out anyway since she has filed for custody of the kids.

  145. @ Mike:

    I am sorry to hear that, Mike. There are a couple places in Proverbs where they talk about it being better to live alone on the roof of the house rather than with a contentious/quarrelsome wife. And your story sounds a whole lot worse than even that. Hope you are doing well.

  146. dee wrote:

    @ Loren Haas:
    I am sitting on a story about Ergun Caner until the people involved feel comfortable going public with it. It will blow the lid of Ergun’s self portrayal.

    Sort of Fact vs Legend?

    Personally, I always figured Ergun as a guy who SERIOUSLY padded his resume.

    Either that or he’s Y2K’s version of Psalmanazar the Formosan Cannibal, an impostor with a JUICY backstory.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Psalmanazar

  147. God wanted her removed because his promise was for Isaac, it was not Sarah’s call. Sarah created the problem, and Abraham should not have obeyed her and slept with her slave. When he slept with her she became one with him, he should not have given her to Sarah to abuse. She was forced, betrayed, and abused. All sin, all Sarah’s idea, and all submitted to by Abraham. Who was accountable for all the abuse and sin, the husband. Political striving in marriage is destructive and takes the place of love.

  148. okrapod wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    I also note what you said to Max about there being no suggestion that he beat her. I take it you mean in the current petition?

    I mean that she has not said that, and the information that has been presented so far has been that the details of the original complaint/conviction are not known. Please quote me specifically. I do not deal in ‘suggestion.’

    Saeed plead guilty to domestic violence (aka physical abuse) in 2007. There can be no argument here. It has been established.

  149. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    His story will eventually fall apart, particularly when/if people start scratching at the claims to have been recruited at school and that, after conversion, he founded 100 house churches in 30 cities with 2000 converts!

    Just like Ergun Caner; he’s not the first to pad his resume/Testimony and he won’t be the last.

  150. siteseer wrote:

    Dominionist teaching has crept into the church to the point where the average Christian sees the church not as an expression of the body of sincere believers but as a competitor in the battle over control of the world system. “We” must win control over the non-believing world at any cost. The ends justify the means.

    The rules of Power Struggle are now in effect.
    Win or Lose, Top or Bottom, Kill or be Killed, Eat or be Eaten.

    “A cold Iron Throne
    Holds a boy barely grown;
    His crown based on lies —
    YOU WIN OR YOU DIE;
    Game of Thrones…”

  151. @ Daisy:

    What does ‘was giving by’ mean? Who had the letters and who gave them to whom? Did Franklin get or give the letters?

    But any way you look at it the information was out there and FG knew it according to what she said.

    I am so past having patience with these repeated evidences of Graham family people with public problems.

  152. @ Abi Miah:

    When it comes to “two sides to every story,” several things make the call to apparent “neutrality” problematic.

    One of them is our American criminal justice system. Here, the standard of evidence to convict is, “beyond the shadow of a doubt.” As members of the jury, we are supposed to be “fair and impartial.” We’re instructed to base our conclusions only on the factual evidence presented, and to exclude any information that was wrongly presented (for example, opinions, speculations, conclusions on the part of the witness, etc.). Being fair/impartial implies giving people the benefit of the doubt while we’re sorting things out to see if the case is clear enough to be beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    In the courtroom, that’s a tall order, indeed. It’s also one that I don’t think many of us willing take into our everyday lives to apply there, or into extraordinary situations like the one being discussed here.

    The second problem I see is using a lesser-emphasized biblical command or pattern to trump one that is much more emphasized. One example of that mentioned earlier is “sin leveling.” Yes, it is true that we are all sinners, but that does not trump the reality of a specific instance of sin, its perpetrator, its damaging impacts. And it doesn’t mean that the responsibility is automatically 50/50 because “everyone in the situation is a sinner.” And “he/she made me do it” is an excuse to escape consequences of actions.

    Another example is the “two sides to every story” adage — which people often take as a command to be neutral. But doesn’t the Bible overall and overwhelmingly tell us to take up the cause of those who are poor, downtrodden, widowed, orphaned, etc., and, specially, NOT to be “respecters of persons” and favor the rich/powerful and discount the testimony of the poor (or powerless) simply because they are poor (or powerless)?

    One way we can positively and concrete do that is through believing the account of those who have been victimized, instead of letting personal or social prejudices be our automatic response. (I will see if I can find the links I had to research studies that were done to ascertain the percentage of false allegations in sexual assault cases. As best I recall, it was a very small percentage.)

    I believe the passage Proverbs 18:17 that is paraphrased as “two sides to every story” is actually admonishing us to exercise critical thinking. Hear out both, discern carefully, act accordingly.

    In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
    until someone comes forward and cross-examines. (NIV, from Biblegateway)

    That isn’t being neutral, it’s being an activist! But instead, it seem most often misused as justification to cast doubt — less often as motivation to hear people out. And, historically, those with allegations of someone victimizing them are the ones who are go doubted, accused, unheard.

    So, ultimately, I wonder if a false concept of neutrality becomes for many an excuse for passivity: “Let somebody else figure it out for me.” Which is precisely what perpetuates a system that causes harm to others. “Being a Berean” who searches things out for ourselves (Acts 17:11) requires active engagement, not passive trust.

    Meanwhile, automatically taking the side of the person who has power in a relationship often blocks critical thinking about the situation as a whole and ends up with us just manifesting a critical spirit.

    Third problem, nobody’s neutral. We all come into analyzing these situations with differing combinations of constructive tools and destructive baggage. The thing is, those of us who’ve endured spiritual abuse and spent time processing the experiences, often build up the ability to discern parallel patterns of abuse elsewhere. We learn to apply that knowledge and wisdom whether the core actions in those situations involve physical violence, emotional manipulation, verbal abuse, misuse of position of power or prestige, etc. As best I understand, at the beginning we have to choose to invest a lot of effort into analyzing an abuse situation. But, with experience, that high level of intentionality often translates into higher levels of intuition. We process things more quickly, see the patterns more readily, and come to well-reasoned conclusions.

    This means we typically have a build a better, more comprehensive set questions to ask as we engage our critical thinking processes.

    So there’s what I’m taking out of this situation so far, for what it’s worth.

  153. okrapod wrote:

    I am so past having patience with these repeated evidences of Graham family people with public problems.

    Khristian Kardashians?
    (What a legacy for Billy… But then, Oral Roberts’ succession reads like something out of Game of Thrones…)

  154. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Also, the generic and theological sin-leveling statement of, “Well, we’re *all* sinners” can never negate the specific facts and violations of the actual situation in which abuse was inflicted.

    And this kind of sin-leveling will not hold up in a court of law.

  155. dee wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Frankly, Joe2 doesn’t even think the original plea is important. It is comments like that that give a bad name to the church.

    Church Celebrity Sycophant:

    Pastor Niveface would never abuse his wife. How dare you gossip and slander!

    – But Pastor Niceface was arrested for spousal abuse some years back.

    So are you saying once guilty always guilty? Don’t you believe people can repent? Do you even believe in the Scriptures?

    – But Pastor Niceface was caught on camera just last week abusing his wife.

    Well there are two sides to every story, why I’m sure that’s in the Scriptures somewhere.

    – But when caught red-handed, Pastor Niceface said it was all his fault.

    Isn’t Pastor Niceface a godly man, now there’s real repentance–we could learn a lot from Pastor Niceface!

    – But Pastor Niceface admitted he was a terrible example, the worst hypocrite in the world, I’m just taking him at his word.

    So who are YOU to judge–do you think you have no sin? How dare you gossip and slander!

  156. 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.

  157. okrapod wrote:

    What does ‘was giving by’ mean? Who had the letters and who gave them to whom? Did Franklin get or give the letters?

    I think in the screenshot, “Franklin was giving” is a typo for “Franklin was given.”

  158. Mike wrote:

    I was married to an abusive woman…..not physical but manipulative, vindictive and controlling.

    Mike, 2 men who I am very close to married similar women, one still married, and I understand what you are saying. The one man, a very gentle, peaceloving soul, lives his life in a little box, she controls who he can talk to, what he can do, where he can go, he lives in continual fear of her vicious, cruel temper, while her outside persona is the sweet Christian grandma…

    The other man’s experience included being jailed on false charges before he recognized the situation as irremediable and filed for divorce.

    Every marriage is different. I think one with experience can usually see who is the power broker in the relationship.

  159. Law Prof wrote:

    So who are YOU to judge–do you think you have no sin? How dare you gossip and slander!

    Your is a good hypothetical narrative. It would be interesting to line up a few more of the tactics, its not our business or we don’t have all the facts, give them each a number, and then post them at the beginning of one of these posts regarding abuse. Readers can then recognize “Oh, this guy is using gambit #9”.

  160. @ Mike:
    Mike, I’m sorry to hear of your abuse in the form of manipulative, vindictive and controlling behavior. I have seen first hand some of these behaviors in women so I’m aware of how destructive and hurtful they can be.

    I especially agree with what you said that “church teaching regarding marriage and divorce can be just toxic….” I’m a believer that some marriages and/or relationships are toxic as well and it’s near impossible for them to be repaired. I left my marriage not so much because of his abusive behavior, although that was the primary reason, but what I was becoming as a result. Abuse changed my own behavior and I was beginning to hate what I saw.

    Thanks for sharing your story and I while I agree that change takes a lot of work, even then some things are beyond repair imo. There are no guarantees that situations can be resolved with both finding harmony again. Some forms of PTSD are accumulative and we would be naïve to think some don’t suffer this following years of abuse.

  161. @ Sharon:

    So there were multiple religious leaders who knew this. And they apparently thought Franklin G ought to know, and may have assumed that he did not know since they notified him. Or assumed that he did know, figured that they did not want to get into trouble when it all blew up, and made sure to have paper evidence that they had told somebody about it.

  162. Mike wrote:

    I was married to an abusive woman

    I am sorry you experienced that. It’s not as common for the wife to be the abuser, but it does happen.

    My mother is the physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive one in my family. She would slap us to the ground. Once she sat on me and beat my head into the floor. She chased my sister around the bedroom beating her with a camel whip. My parents divorced 20 years ago. When my sister asked my dad recently why he never protected us from her my dad responded that he was afraid my mother would leave him.

    This weekend she and her husband are part of the Lone Star Santas’ Convoy of Toys for children who lost much in the Rowlett tornadoes. She posts “pray for the children. God bless the children,” yet doesn’t bother to send as much as a Christmas or birthday card to her own grandchildren.

    Sometimes “no contact” is the only way to deal with people like this.

  163. Darlene wrote:

    And this kind of sin-leveling will not hold up in a court of law.

    Isn’t that why they like to “settle things in-house”????

  164. Dan wrote:

    @ Mara:
    You’re clueless. God wanted her removed because his promise was for Isaac. Sarah created the problem, and Abraham should not have obeyed her and slept with her slave. When he slept with her she became one with him, he should not have given her to Sarah to abuse. She was forced, betrayed, and abused. All sin, all Sarah’s idea, and all submitted to by Abraham. Who was accountable for all the abuse and sin, the husband. Spare us your political striving, disgusting.

    Dan
    This comment is inappropriate on this blog which allows people to share their point of view without telling them they are stupid. Mara is a wonderful person. I only hope that one day you can be as kind as she is. I am sure you *know* how to interpret every tidbit of Scripture properly. However, you just might be wrong.

    If this sort of comment shows up again, you will be banned.

  165. Naghmeh,

    My heart aches for you & your children, I am praying for you. May our tender Lord grace you with the strength and wisdom you need in your circumstances. I dearly hope your voice will be a bridge for all the other Christian women who are married to men who hurt them, perhaps a few will realize that they don’t deserve abuse. Please if anyone asks you what you did to provoke him, tell them it was not your fault, you didn’t do anything that deserved to be verbally, emotionally or if it is the case, physically abused.

    My scars remain today at 61 years old, though invisible, from the years my father beat my mother. It was terrifying to hear her pleas for him to stop, he wouldn’t, I would lay in my bed crying when I would hear the sickening thud of his fists. Verbal & emotional abuse leaves its marks also on a family when dad dishes it out.

  166. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Sometimes “no contact” is the only way to deal with people like this.

    Oh my…that brought tears to my eyes. I don’t understand abuse at all, but when children are abused, it’s beyond comprehension.

    I’m so sorry about what you endured. :(

  167. Talking about the Hebrew patriarchs and their wives, didn’t Moses’ wife save his life by obeying God instead of Moses when Moses had refused the circumcision mandate? I do believe she did that.

  168. Abi Miah wrote:

    I’ve wondered what the family relationships are like between Franklin and Boz…

    I think Franklin is Boz’s uncle.

  169. If a company had a ceo and an employee instructed the ceo to do something in appropriate, could the ceo say,” the employee told me to”? And further, if an employee was engaged in inapropriate behavior and the ceo passively or actively affirmed it, could he tell an inspector, ” I didn’t do anything”? Authority is not difficult to understand.

  170. Dan wrote:

    Who was accountable for all the abuse and sin, the husband. Political striving in marriage is destructive and takes the place of love.

    Many evangelicals say that God holds the husband ultimately responsible for the marriage and family, but I don’t see that in the Bible. Both parents/spouses are accountable, and a better theologian than I wll have to discuss how this relates to our salvation and forgiveness of sins through Christ.

  171. Victorious wrote:

    I’m so sorry about what you endured.

    Thank you. My siblings and I didn’t know any better back then. It was our “normal.” It almost hurts more now the way she treats our children with such callous disregard. Abusers are the gift that keeps on giving.

  172. okrapod wrote:

    Talking about the Hebrew patriarchs and their wives, didn’t Moses’ wife save his life by obeying God instead of Moses when Moses had refused the circumcision mandate? I do believe she did that.

    I agree.

  173. siteseer wrote:

    Melissa wrote:
    My question too! After this fact has come out from 2007, how in the WORLD did Saeed gain a platform? Was he not properly vetted by anyone?
    Because the Christian culture cares more about the person’s charisma than their proven spiritual qualities. Much like how Israel clamored for Saul as their leader.

    I also think the Christian culture is prone to easy forgiveness – he/she said they were sorry, now let’s move on. God forgives and so should you is a license to sweep over and ignore wrongdoing. Look at what happened in Jamin Wight’s case – a known sexual predator and abuser. He was given permission by the Kirk – Doug Wilson’s church – to be a missionary. To question the wisdom of such a decision (in their eyes) is to doubt God’s forgiveness of sinners. And this sort of easy believism and easy forgiveness is what makes churches breeding grounds for abusers of all kinds.

  174. Dan wrote:

    Abraham should not have obeyed her and slept with her slave

    And in your subsequent comment at 5:04 pm you said “Authority is not difficult to understand.”

    So why did you use the word ‘obey’ in saying that Abraham obeyed Sarah when he got Hagar pregnant. Sarah had no authority to order Abraham to do anything. She offered Abraham her slave, just like Jacob’s two wives offered him their two slaves for reproductive purposes. Apparently that was done in that day and in that tribal culture.

    At this point I would not say that multiple tribes of Israel are the spawn of Jacob’s sin. There is nothing in scripture that I know of that says that.

  175. Thought-chunk ahead on research studies into “false allegations.”

    I found the link I was given to a major U.S. research article from 2010, on false allegations of sexual assault. I got it from a Facebook connection of mine, Christy Sim. She’s gotten her PhD, works in a center for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and her areas of expertise are in healing after violence, trauma, and victim behavior.

    I referenced this in my earlier comment on “two sides to every story,” suggesting reasons why we aren’t exactly supposed to be “neutral.” I think it’s relevant as input on the whole issue of false allegations and the presumption of caustic doubt in other kinds of abuse. That often gets put on us as spiritual abuse survivors: Are you sure they did that? I can’t imagine them doing that – they’re so nice! Can’t you just obey authority? You’re just bitter. You trying to spiritual blackmail them?

    I find this article important for its definitions of “false allegation,” and descriptions on related issues. Also, because it reviews the professional literature of similar studies conducted in Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S., and comes up with a composite estimate of false allegations. (I haven’t taken the time yet to track down all the other articles referenced, but found at least one of the major ones from the U.K. is also online in case you’re interested.) So, here’s the article abstract and link to the PDF.

    False Allegations of Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Cases, by David Lisak, Lori Gardinier, Sarah C. Nicksa, and Ashley M. Cote (Violence Against Women, 16(12) 1318-1334; 2010).

    Abstract: One of the most controversial disputes affecting the discourse related to violence against women is the dispute about the frequency of false allegations of sexual assault. In an effort to add clarity to the discourse, published research on false allegations is critiqued, and the results of a new study described. All cases (N=136) of sexual assault reported to a major Northeastern university over a 10-year period are analyzed to determine the percentage of false allegations. Of the 136 cases of sexual assault reported over the 10-year period, 8 (5.9%) are coded as false allegations. These results, taken in the context of an examination of previous research, indicate that the prevalence of false allegations is between 2% and 10%.

    http://www.icdv.idaho.gov/conference/handouts/False-Allegations.pdf

    The article contains some important details about the difference between a false allegation and an unsubstantiated one:

    The determination that a report of sexual assault is false can be made only if the evidence establishes that no crime was committed or attempted. This determination can be made only after a thorough investigation. This should not be confused with an investigation that fails to prove a sexual assault occurred. In that case the investigation would be labeled unsubstantiated. The determination that a report is false must be supported by evidence that the assault did not happen. (IACP, 2005b, pp. 12-13; italics in original)

    The above quote is found on page 1319 in the PDF file of this research paper.

    Here are some of the kinds of questions and statements we often see in spiritual abuse survivor communities when other people assume our account of what happened is false, instead of starting out by believing our story to be true and then investigating to substantiate the claims:

    * Refusal to hear the account of one party to the events, especially the person who is not in a position of power in the relationship/situation.

    * Questioning the person’s motives for stating the allegation, implying he/she is an opportunist who is using this for self-benefit, revenge, media attention, etc.

    * Negating the validity of the allegation based on any other action by the person who states the complaint. For instance, “You’re a sinner so you don’t deserve to get upset by this.”

    * Acknowledging the possible/probable validity of the allegation, but asking questions or making statements that in essence suggest, “You deserved what happened to you.”

    There’s a difference between investigating the story versus shooting the victim. When “assume the worst and shoot the victim first” has been the pattern for survivors and whistleblowers, is it any surprise when people clam up when they get shut down — or stay silent in the first place, and so abuse often gets perpetuated and/or escalated?

    In light of the Bible’s imperative on standing with the marginalized, plus this research, and — given the immense stigma attached to reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, spiritual abuse, etc. — to me it makes sense to start with belief in the person’s account, instead of disbelief or doubt. Also, from what I understand out of personal experiences and from research on post traumatic stress disorder, it also makes sense to me to expect a survivor to have gaps and inconsistencies in his/her recollections. That’s the nature of severe trauma and processing what happened. Meanwhile, shining the light to find more truth doesn’t negative sharing its warmth to have compassion for those who’ve been shoved into the dark.

  176. siteseer wrote:

    Joe2 wrote:
    Additionally, the guilty plea was in 2007 which is almost 9 years ago. The tenor of the comments here seem to suggest that “once guilty always guilty.” It’s kind of like a motorist going through a red light in 2007 and getting a ticket. The motorist gets another ticket for going through a red light 9 years later. The motorist hasn’t given his side of the story, but the judge (in this case TWW) says that he isn’t going to look at the evidence or get the motorist’s side of the story because he got a ticket in 2007 and, therefore, must be guilty.
    Obviously, if you have a driving problem, the first thing authorities do is look up your record, because your behavior in the past is so often a good indicator of your behavior in the present. To ignore this would be to ignore reality. Your insurance company will also be going by the statistical evidence of this reality.

    Excellent reply, siteseer.

  177. We are to submit one to another. Abraham submitted his body and will to Sarah’s plan to fulfill God’s promise.

    We should never submit to each other in a way that violates our integrity before God. Abraham did and he was forgiven.

  178. If a husband has headship and husbandry duties, he will give an accounting for his care and his stewardship. If he stewards well but is scorned, it is not held against him. The watchman has a duty. If he sees danger but does not warn, he is guilty.

  179. Was Abraham ‘forgiven’ for having a bunch of children with Keturah? He had been promised that he would be the father of many nations. Looks like he did his best to get with the program.

  180. dee wrote:

    I wonder how those who believed in selling slaves will fare on that day as well.

    Or the first Southern Baptists (primarily Calvinists) who formed the denomination so that slave-holding members (including some pastors and deacons) could enjoy that aspect of Southern culture and still remain Christian. Of course, they changed their tune when early victories by the Confederacy turned to defeat and they stopped singing that Sovereign God was on their side! It took the denominational leadership 150 years to finally get around to repenting of that sin.

  181. okrapod wrote:

    Apparently that was done in that day and in that tribal culture

    Agree. We sometimes run into big problems when we try to take the 21st century understanding back 6-7,000 yrs. and apply it to these types of customs.

  182. dee wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Frankly, Joe2 doesn’t even think the original plea is important. It is comments like that that give a bad name to the church.

    Well, you know how it is. Forgiveness comes easy – all is forgiven and those who question the person’s character are bitter or unforgiving themselves. Murder…who cares. God forgives and you should too – let him be an elder in the church. Wife abuser…who cares. God forgives and you should too – let him be a counselor in the church. Rapist….who cares. God forgives and you should too – let him be a missionary, i.e. Jamin Wight. God forgives and you should too is the Christian mantra to accept all kinds of unethical and unwise decisions.

  183. @ okrapod:
    After Sarah died, he took a wife. The sin was trying to make God’s word happen, aka doubt. Multiple wives are not listed as a sin. But polygamy is not a witness of God’s love or intentions. God made one wife for Adam. God chose one nation. Jesus is the Bridegroom of one Bride.

  184. Dan wrote:

    Abraham should not have obeyed her and slept with her slave.

    Who was Judah obeying when he thought Tamar was a prostitute and paid to sleep with her?

  185. @ brad/futuristguy:

    Oops. Two corrections to my above comment:

    In light of the Bible’s imperative on standing with the marginalized, plus this research, and — given the immense stigma and probable harsh reactions and consequences attached to reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, spiritual abuse, etc. — to me it makes sense to start with belief in the person’s account, instead of disbelief or doubt.

    Meanwhile, shining the light to find more truth doesn’t negate sharing its warmth to have compassion for those who’ve been shoved into the dark.

  186. @ Dan:

    You do know that some say that she had been his concubine and that he then married her after Sarah’s death. The idea being that the fact that he got Sarah pregnant at all at his age is viewed as a miracle, much less starting all over after Sarah’s death. Starting all over from scratch after Sarah’s death rather trashes the idea that he was infertile due to old age when Isaac was conceived.

    But either way, getting people pregnant be they wives or concubines or slaves was acceptable practice. Now if Abraham had some distrust that God was indeed going to give him a special heir, that was between Abraham and God. Sarah did not order Abraham to do anything. And of course islam tells the story of Ishmael somewhat differently, or so I hear, but that is a whole different topic.

  187. Dan wrote:

    Actually, Abraham had one wife at a time with the exception of Hagar. Kings were forbidden multiple wives for a reason.

    So what was up with David and Solomon?

  188. @ Nancy2:
    They disobeyed the law and they didn’t just sneak past the one wife requirement. The blew past it… Thousands… Poor women.

  189. Dan wrote:

    Actually, Abraham had one wife at a time with the exception of Hagar. Kings were forbidden multiple wives for a reason.

    One wife and one concubine. Then another wife.

    Kings didn’t abide by the multiple wives rule. In fact, I don’t know of any OT men who only had one wife other than Uriah and David ruined that marriage. Kings who went to war with pagan nations brought back women as spoils of war and incorporated them into the tribes.

  190. Dan wrote:

    God set Judah up because he and his sons were behaving wickedly. So Judah’s sin happened only within himself.

    And yet, Judah, Tamar, and one of their illegitamate sons are part of the lineage of the Prince of Peace and King of kings.

  191. okrapod wrote:

    Talking about the Hebrew patriarchs and their wives, didn’t Moses’ wife save his life by obeying God instead of Moses when Moses had refused the circumcision mandate? I do believe she did that.

    Yes, after Ziporah circumcised their son, she said to Moses: “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!.”

  192. Victorious wrote:

    Kings didn’t abide by the multiple wives rule. In fact, I don’t know of any OT men who only had one wife other than Uriah and David ruined that marriage. Kings who went to war with pagan nations brought back women as spoils of war and incorporated them into the tribes.

    In fact, David had several wives before he became king!

  193. @ okrapod:
    She didn’t order, she told him what to do. Wives have been telling husbands what to do for a long time… Many men can impregnate until the day they die. Yes, and the word God gave about Ishmael was accurate. The Quran retells much of the Old Testament according to the twelve angels speaking to Muhammad.

  194. Dan wrote:

    The blew past it… Thousands… Poor women.

    I believe the women were spared when nations were destroyed and they lived quite well and were permitted a time of grieving during their captivity. David and Solomon were wealthy and provided for them rather than leaving them in the wake of devastation caused by war. They would have had no resources with all the men gone.

  195. Dan wrote:

    God set Judah up

    God ordered a forsaken and betrayed widow to play the role of a prostitute and get pregnant by her father-in-law? God did that? If God did that then Judah had no choice in that drama and was in error to call anybody less righteous than anybody else.

    That scenario-that God set that up-is consistent with the idea that it is right to do wrong to accomplish some worthy goal. That is not what christianity teaches.

  196. @ Nancy2:
    Without sin, none of us would be here. God uses what hummans intended for evil for good. Slavery, rape, etc is in all of our lineages. It would be better if we had never sinned, but we wouldn’t be here. God loved the world that was and is not the one that could have been.

  197. Dan wrote:

    If a husband has headship and husbandry duties, he will give an accounting for his care and his stewardship. If he stewards well but is scorned, it is not held against him. The watchman has a duty. If he sees danger but does not warn, he is guilty.

    Dan, are you a proponent of Patriarchy?

  198. okrapod wrote:

    God ordered a forsaken and betrayed widow to play the role of a prostitute and get pregnant by her father-in-law? God did that? If God did that then Judah had no choice in that drama and was in error to call anybody less righteous than anybody else.

    Not only that, but God would have had to trick Judah into asking a “prostitute” for her services.
    Really???? God does things like that???

  199. @ Nancy2:
    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Tamar wanted a child from her husband lineage. She was denied this right. She made a plan and God made it work perfectly. Saying God made Judah sin is like saying the owner of a store made a child steal because he put candy on his shelfs.

  200. Nancy2 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    God ordered a forsaken and betrayed widow to play the role of a prostitute and get pregnant by her father-in-law? God did that? If God did that then Judah had no choice in that drama and was in error to call anybody less righteous than anybody else.
    Not only that, but God would have had to trick Judah into asking a “prostitute” for her services.
    Really???? God does things like that???

    I think many Calvinists would agree with this kind of thinking. But I’m not a Calvinist and I don’t think you are either, Nancy.

  201. Dan wrote:

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Tamar wanted a child from her husband lineage. She was denied this right. She made a plan and God made it work perfectly. Saying God made Judah sin is like saying the owner of a store made a child steal because he put candy on his shelfs.

    “God set Judah up because he and his sons were behaving wickedly. ”
    okrapod pointed out this statement, which is your words.

  202. Dan wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I am a proponent of obeying the Lord. Your concept of patriarchy is something I do not support.

    Dan, I didn’t state what my concept of Patriarchy is. Further, many here on this site are proponents of “obeying the Lord” but have differing views when it comes to marriage roles. It’s rather an easy question. I’ll ask it differently. What are your views concerning marriage and the roles/responsibilities of wives and husbands? Do you think men and women are equal? There’s two questions to start the conversation.

  203. siteseer wrote:

    Mike wrote:
    I was married to an abusive woman…..not physical but manipulative, vindictive and controlling.
    Mike, 2 men who I am very close to married similar women, one still married, and I understand what you are saying. The one man, a very gentle, peaceloving soul, lives his life in a little box, she controls who he can talk to, what he can do, where he can go, he lives in continual fear of her vicious, cruel temper, while her outside persona is the sweet Christian grandma…
    The other man’s experience included being jailed on false charges before he recognized the situation as irremediable and filed for divorce.
    Every marriage is different. I think one with experience can usually see who is the power broker in the relationship.

    While most abuse in my experience comes at the hands of men, women can be every bit the vicious, sociopathic liars that men can be. I’ve been a member of three churches that were horrifically abusive, and one of those was led by a pentecostal woman pastor.

  204. @ Darlene:

    I don’t know what strain of thought Dan is representing here, but it is waaaay off center so to speak. Do you think this is a variant of calvinism?

  205. @ Nancy2:
    Once again, when a sting is set up; the law breakers are responsible not the police. We should not judge from appearances.

  206. okrapod wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I don’t know what strain of thought Dan is representing here, but it is waaaay off center so to speak. Do you think this is a variant of calvinism?

    Okrapod, I’m not certain what Christian view Dan espouses. That’s why I asked him some questions regarding his beliefs about marriage.

  207. Darlene wrote:

    I think many Calvinists would agree with this kind of thinking. But I’m not a Calvinist and I don’t think you are either, Nancy.

    I am definitely NOT a Calvinist.
    I’m trying to figure out if Dan is a Calvinist, Muslim, or a Reconstructionist. Whatever he is, he seems to believe women are chattel.

  208. @ Darlene:
    As soon as someone starts talking about patriarchy in order to define another person, the definitions use is known. You are trying to define me. The actual definition is a lot more convuled depending on who you talk to, for or against.

  209. Bill M wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    So who are YOU to judge–do you think you have no sin? How dare you gossip and slander!
    Your is a good hypothetical narrative. It would be interesting to line up a few more of the tactics, its not our business or we don’t have all the facts, give them each a number, and then post them at the beginning of one of these posts regarding abuse. Readers can then recognize “Oh, this guy is using gambit #9”.

    Bill M – Some people with whom you try to reason are simply not playing the same game you’re playing–provided you’re playing fair. They’re doing whatever they can to thwart you and frustrate you, gaslight you, the truth be d—–. They hate the truth because perhaps they hate the One who is the truth. They just don’t care. Perhaps the best way to deal with pone using this or that gambit is to give them over to their folly, so that hopefully they might learn how profoundly stupid they are.

  210. Dan wrote:

    Once again, when a sting is set up; the law breakers are responsible not the police. We should not judge from appearances.

    Oh! So God sets up sting operations! Like the FBI and the DEA?
    Enlighten me: was the serpent in the Garden one of God’s sting operations?

  211. @ Nancy2:
    Hardly, I view my responsibility towards my wife to give up my life serving her and helping her as the Lord leads. She is my possession and I am hers. God gave us to each other. Possession is not demeaning unless you view all possession as use and waste.

  212. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’m trying to figure out if Dan is a Calvinist, Muslim, or a Reconstructionist. Whatever he is, he seems to believe women are chattel.

    It is his bizarre ideas about God and sin that I find the most disturbing. I may be hearing incorrectly but he seems to think that God sets it up so people sin in order to accomplish God’s own purposes through somebody’s sin and then forgives the person for the sin which God himself set up the circumstances for in the first place.

    Who preaches that sort of thing?

  213. @ okrapod:
    Nancy, why talk about me like I am a strange specimen…? He who knew no sin became all sin that we might be saved. Strange? I agree.

  214. Darlene wrote:

    I also think the Christian culture is prone to easy forgiveness – he/she said they were sorry, now let’s move on. God forgives and so should you is a license to sweep over and ignore wrongdoing. Look at what happened in Jamin Wight’s case – a known sexual predator and abuser. He was given permission by the Kirk – Doug Wilson’s church – to be a missionary. To question the wisdom of such a decision (in their eyes) is to doubt God’s forgiveness of sinners. And this sort of easy believism and easy forgiveness is what makes churches breeding grounds for abusers of all kinds.

    BOOM !

  215. Dan wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    As soon as someone starts talking about patriarchy in order to define another person, the definitions use is known. You are trying to define me. The actual definition is a lot more convuled depending on who you talk to, for or against.

    Dan, one thing I can tell you from having been a reader on this blog for a couple of years now. It is best to be forthcoming rather than cryptic. In other words, readers and those who comment here prefer to have our dialogue be honest and out in the open: clear where we stand on various issues that pertain to the Christian faith. Ambiguous statements will not be very productive toward beneficial dialogue. The choice is yours as to how you want to proceed, of course. To note, no one bites here. Maybe just a few harmless nibbles. 😉

  216. Dan wrote:

    Tests and trials come from the Lord.

    King James Bible
    Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

  217. @ Darlene:
    I have been honest. I believe husbands have a God given responsibility towards their wives. Eternally, we are brother and sister, and a wife has responsibility as a sister in areas where her husband needs correction. A marriage is for this life but meant to show the eternal bond of Christ and His Church.

  218. Haitch wrote:

    Dan wrote:
    Tests and trials come from the Lord.
    Ha itch said: oh my

    Yeah, me to, Apparently, we have a benevolent Satan just sitting back and observing!

    BTW, has Dan made any comments pertaining to the topic of this thread?

  219. Just would like to mention . . .

    What the Divorce Minister says on his blog about the “Shared Responsibility Lie,” (a virulent form of “sin leveling” and “blame-shifting”) fully relates to abuse situations as well as to divorce.

    DM’s adroit exposure of this insidious lie totally blows away the flawed (but too-often-applied) assumption that an abused person is at least partially responsible for his or her own abuse.

  220. Dan wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I have been honest. I believe husbands have a God given responsibility towards their wives. Eternally, we are brother and sister, and a wife has responsibility as a sister in areas where her husband needs correction. A marriage is for this life but meant to show the eternal bond of Christ and His Church.

    Personally, I think marriages operate best when both husband and wife use the gifts God has given them for each other’s encouragement and for the prosperity and success of the marriage itself. I don’t believe in one spouse having the final say or final authority, but that both husband and wife, who are made in the image of God, are equals in a loving, committed partnership. So both are responsible for the welfare of the other. No role-playing but both submitting to Christ and both being servants of one another.

  221. Nancy2 wrote:

    BTW, has Dan made any comments pertaining to the topic of this thread?

    Not to my knowledge. I think we need to halt this fruitless interchange and move on.

  222. Nancy2 wrote:

    Haitch wrote:
    Dan wrote:
    BTW, has Dan made any comments pertaining to the topic of this thread?

    Thanks Nancy. I think that is a signal to get back on topic. Dan, what are your opinions about the topic of this thread regarding Naghmeh and Saeed’s abuse toward her – and those who doubt that she is telling the truth or are unwilling to support her?

  223. Dan wrote:

    Tamar wanted a child from her husband lineage. She was denied this right. She made a plan and God made it work perfectly. Saying God made Judah sin is like saying the owner of a store made a child steal because he put candy on his shelfs.

    So, was this a test, a trial, or a temptation?

  224. Darlene wrote:

    Thanks Nancy. I think that is a signal to get back on topic. Dan, what are your opinions about the topic of this thread regarding Naghmeh and Saeed’s abuse toward her – and those who doubt that she is telling the truth or are unwilling to support her?

    Ditto.

  225. @ Darlene:
    This sounds like a great brother and sister relationship! More power to you. I would certainly rather have that than a marriage based on the worship of power (authoritarianism). I don’t think we have to choose between authoritarianism or brother and sister. This is a false either/or. Authoritarianism is idolatry and its fruit is death. I think we can have both a marriage that has the revelation of Christ’s eternal love for his people and a relationship as brother and sister which we will have for eternity. The fact of the matter is you don’t know one of them, and if you did it would be good. Jesus said to the pharisees, “Because you say you see, your sin remains.” For us, where we boast before the Lord our bondage or lack of freedom remains.

  226. Dan wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Tests and trials come from the Lord.

    “Al’lah Wills whatever Al’lah Wills and who are we to call it ‘evil’? IN’SHAL’LAH…”

  227. Darlene wrote:

    Look at what happened in Jamin Wight’s case – a known sexual predator and abuser. He was given permission by the Kirk – Doug Wilson’s church – to be a missionary. To question the wisdom of such a decision (in their eyes) is to doubt God’s forgiveness of sinners

    “If you question anything I do
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  228. Dan wrote:

    @ Darlene:The fact of the matter is you don’t know one of them, and if you did it would be good. Jesus said to the pharisees, “Because you say you see, your sin remains.” For us, where we boast before the Lord our bondage or lack of freedom remains.

    Dan, I understood everything you said until these last three sentences. What are you referring to here?

  229. @ Daisy (2:43)

    What you say reminds me of a former (adulterous) pastor who brought a multi-million dollar lawsuit against his (former) congregation basically for calling him out on actions he’d already admitted that he’d done.

    Same kind of twisted thinking. Like, “I’m not the one to blame, here. You have no right to hold me accountable.”

    The guy kept on doling out the damage . . .

  230. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    1 Peter 6 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

  231. James 1 “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

  232. My original point was that a husband cannot lay down his life for his wife while he is lording over her through force and beating her. They are mutually exclusive. The reason abusers don’t change is because they continue to believe a lie about where worth comes from.

  233. siteseer wrote:

    The one man, a very gentle, peaceloving soul, lives his life in a little box, she controls who he can talk to, what he can do, where he can go, he lives in continual fear of her vicious, cruel temper, while her outside persona is the sweet Christian grandma…

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    My mother is the physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive one in my family. She would slap us to the ground. Once she sat on me and beat my head into the floor. She chased my sister around the bedroom beating her with a camel whip. My parents divorced 20 years ago. When my sister asked my dad recently why he never protected us from her my dad responded that he was afraid my mother would leave him.

    This weekend she and her husband are part of the Lone Star Santas’ Convoy of Toys for children who lost much in the Rowlett tornadoes. She posts “pray for the children. God bless the children,” yet doesn’t bother to send as much as a Christmas or birthday card to her own grandchildren.

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

    Think he was speaking about how successful abusers are masters of camouflage?

  234. Loren Haas wrote:

    Saeed appears to have been a brave man to return to Iran to promote the gospel.

    This is all just my personal opinion.

    I seriously question the wisdom of preaching the Gospel in a country where the government is very, very clear and has been since 1979, that anything outside of their brand of Shi’ite Islam will get you in great trouble. The Baha’is are indigenous to Iran, but their members are regularly persecuted and killed because they are seen as Shi’ite apostates. Saeed had to know this.

    That said, I appreciate and applaud Naghmeh’s bravery in standing up for herself at this time. It had to be very difficult. No doubt great pressure was brought to bear on her, by Franklin Graham and others, to shut up about the abuse and be the pretty arm candy and submissive wife and mother they believe she should be. As for why Graham takes such a great interest–well, it’s all part of the great Evangelicla money-go-round. Presenting a guy like Saeed, with an amazing back story and very widely noticed release in a deal between the US and Iran, that will attract the faithful, who will give, give and give. Naghmeh is messing up the master plan.

    I cannot even imagine how Naghmeh has made it through the last few weeks, especially as it became even more and more likely that Saeed was going to be freed. On the one hand, she would be glad, as a human being, that his ordeal was over (and yes, I do believe the Iranian government probably abused Saeed at times in prison). On the other hand, she had to have great fear for the first time they were alone. Would he yell at her for airing dirty laundry? Hit her? Even worse? I don’t know that I would have dealt well with it at all.

    I hope all goes well for Naghmeh, Saeed and their children, but I hope they are careful as they put their marriage and family back together. If Saeed starts up with the abusing again, I would hope Naghmeh would stay away from him, at least for the benefit of their children, who should not observe their parents fighting like that.

  235. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    P.S. Quote from the article:

    ORU’s Board of Regents agreed: Larry King was a terrible idea. John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar -— ORU’s board was a who’s who of televangelists.

    Don’t know about “who’s who”, but I recognize three of those four names as known CROOKED televangelists.

  236. mirele wrote:

    I seriously question the wisdom of preaching the Gospel in a country where the government is very, very clear and has been since 1979, that anything outside of their brand of Shi’ite Islam will get you in great trouble. The Baha’is are indigenous to Iran, but their members are regularly persecuted and killed because they are seen as Shi’ite apostates. Saeed had to know this.

    And Saeed voluntarily and intentionally walked into that situation, leaving a wife and two small children behind.

  237. @ Dan:

    None of what you have quoted indicates that God causes trials. It is saying that when trials happen there can be a spiritual benefit to it if one perseveres. ‘Fall into’ is not the same as ‘led into by God.’

    I think this is what we are looking at. I think you read something and think it says one thing, and some of us read the same thing and think it says something quite different. We need to stop now because once we come to the place where we do not even read the same things the same way there is no solving that. It becomes tis too and tis not, and that is a dead end.

    I am not going to talk to you any more on this thread. Any further conversation would be frustrating to both of us. I wish you well, and goodbye.

  238. mirele wrote:

    . As for why Graham takes such a great interest–well, it’s all part of the great Evangelicla money-go-round. Presenting a guy like Saeed, with an amazing back story and very widely noticed release in a deal between the US and Iran, that will attract the faithful, who will give, give and give

    Samaritans Purse fundraiser for Iranian children???

  239. @ Darlene:
    The headship of a husband is unique to the marriage relationship. If we label it as authoritarianism (sin), we will not experience or understand it. I wonder what church history would look like if the church had cared about what her bridegroom had said. She has used what she has selected for her own ends. Christ is enough. We don’t need more revelation but more revelation is good.

    Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,
    “We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel;
    Only let us be called by your name,
    To take away our reproach.”

  240. Nancy2 wrote:

    And Saeed voluntarily and intentionally walked into that situation, leaving a wife and two small children behind.

    I can’t help but think that there is more to the story, because doing what he did makes no sense as the story is told.

  241. I find it very perplexing how many people are trying to pull our examples for living from the old testament! We are not under the old testament law and way of life, we live by grace! If you want a rule to follow, follow this:

    “love one another; for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law”
    Romans 13:8

    If you are looking for an example to follow, follow this:

    “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love”
    Ephesians 5:1

    “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as HE walked.”
    1 John 2:6

    I don’t understand the point of all of this Abraham/Sarah talk- no matter what they did or the reasons for it, why seek direction there when you can look to Jesus?

  242. @ okrapod:
    Zech 13: 7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
    Against the Man who is My Companion,”
    Says the Lord of hosts.
    “Strike the Shepherd,
    And the sheep will be scattered;
    Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
    8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
    Says the Lord,
    “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
    But one–third shall be left in it:
    9 I will bring the one–third through the fire,
    Will refine them as silver is refined,
    And test them as gold is tested.
    They will call on My name,
    And I will answer them.
    I will say, ‘This is My people’;
    And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

  243. @siteseer

    Christ and who He is was revealed in both the Old and New Testament. We can learn from both. Trying to outgrow eternal truth will just make us reap a crop of thorns.

    I will stop now.

  244. mirele wrote:

    As for why Graham takes such a great interest–well, it’s all part of the great Evangelicla money-go-round. Presenting a guy like Saeed, with an amazing back story and very widely noticed release in a deal between the US and Iran, that will attract the faithful, who will give, give and give. Naghmeh is messing up the master plan.

    This is what I have thought as well.

  245. And so Dan turns on the SCRIPTURE(TM) MP3 player.

    “If you question what I say to you
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO!”

    Under such circumstances, shouldn’t “LOOORD” be pronounced with Caps Lock and 2 or 3 “O”s?

  246. Nancy2 wrote:

    And Saeed voluntarily and intentionally walked into that situation, leaving a wife and two small children behind.

    From this article http://www.religionnews.com/2016/01/23/wife-of-u-s-pastor-imprisoned-in-iran-hopes-to-rebuild-marriage-saeed-naghmeh-abedini/?utm_content=buffere1af2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    “Saeed Abedini, who became a Christian in 2000, came to the
    attention of Iranian authorities because of his work encouraging
    home-based Christian churches, his wife said . After he was
    taken in for questioning in late 2005, the couple left the
    country rather than risk arrest.

    …When the Abedinis and their children returned to visit his
    family in 2009, Naghmeh Abedini said, Saeed was under house
    arrest for three months, during which time he was questioned
    repeatedly for up to 14 hours at a time.

    Another family visit to Iran in 2011 was cut short by fears
    of another arrest, Naghmeh Abedini said, causing her to decide
    never to return. Her husband went back in 2012, however, with
    plans to establish an orphanage. He was placed under house
    arrest in June of that year and imprisoned in late September.

    ‘It was probably not the smartest idea to go back, with all
    the history,’ Naghmeh Abedini said, ‘but he did it, and as a
    wife, I just let him.'”

  247. @law professor. You basically labeled me a coward and doubted whether I would come back to comment. The only bad form was your personal attack. Law Prof wrote:

    Jerry wrote:
    I am a brave soul and have no trouble commenting again. Even though I have my questions labeled assanine.
    Fair enough, only two comments:
    1). It’s bad form to pontificate about your own qualities, i.e., how brave you are, let other people make those judgments (and in any event, you’re probably not half as brave as Naghmeh Abedini).
    2). If you’re going to use a word, learn how to spell it, otherwise, it makes you look asinine.

  248. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “If you question what I say to you
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO!”

    I was hoping you would drop in again and say:
    “If … is a covert op trying to push the thread into irrelevant Theological minutiae, he succeeded big time.”

  249. Jerry wrote:

    @law professor. You basically labeled me a coward and doubted whether I would come back to comment. The only bad form was your personal attack. Law Prof wrote:
    Jerry wrote:
    I am a brave soul and have no trouble commenting again. Even though I have my questions labeled assanine.
    Fair enough, only two comments:
    1). It’s bad form to pontificate about your own qualities, i.e., how brave you are, let other people make those judgments (and in any event, you’re probably not half as brave as Naghmeh Abedini).
    2). If you’re going to use a word, learn how to spell it, otherwise, it makes you look asinine.

    Yep, you’re a coward, you take potshots at a woman who’s alleging abuse, then, when proven wrong, when it appears for all the world that what she was alleging was substantively true, you don’t say “Well, sorry, folks, I guess it looks like you were right”, instead you keep a stiff upper lip and double down.

    So, not only are you now demonstrably a coward, you have added to it the quality of being a buffoon. At least you got something out of the exchange, you learned how to spell “asinine” and gained a more commanding grasp of the English language.

  250. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Wow. I never said that and would never do that. I love it when people passive aggressively tell someone to shut up. I provided an example from scripture on a subject where I was told I was mistaking the devil for God. I get the modus operandi here.

  251. So different points of view are not welcome, and the personal attack rule only applies to those with whom this site agrees. Very interesting

  252. Dan wrote:

    Wow. I never said that and would never do that. I love it when people passive aggressively tell someone to shut up. I provided an example from scripture on a subject where I was told I was mistaking the devil for God. I get the modus operandi here.

    You still have ‘t made any comments relevant to the subject of this thread, namely the Abedinis.

  253. Dan wrote:

    If a company had a ceo and an employee instructed the ceo to do something in appropriate, could the ceo say,” the employee told me to”? And further, if an employee was engaged in inapropriate behavior and the ceo passively or actively affirmed it, could he tell an inspector, ” I didn’t do anything”? Authority is not difficult to understand.

    Dan, what exactly does any of your blather have to do with Naghmeh, and the fact that her husband pled guilty to domestic violence? Do you just need a hobby, or what?

  254. Jerry and Dan, the new victims. Good grief, this is pathetic.
    When you forget the prime directive you get blow back.

  255. @ Nancy2:
    I did. Power worship on the part of a husband causes abuse. Because it is idolatry, it will not go away until he repents for the worship and submits that area to the Lord. Yes, I was abused from the time I was 4 until I was old enough to fight the abuse. And I’ve seen abusers completely change, including my own abusers.

  256. Dan wrote:

    @siteseer
    Christ and who He is was revealed in both the Old and New Testament. We can learn from both. Trying to outgrow eternal truth will just make us reap a crop of thorns.
    I will stop now.

    I thought you were going to “stop now”, Dan, and yet you came back, for more exchanges. Let me quote some scripture for you: “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’ or you will be condemned.” So are you condemned now because you didn’t follow this?

  257. @ Law Prof:
    Oh, got me. I answered people’s statements. Should I stop probably… Now if I said I am not going to eat another Snickers but then I do, am I condemned? I don’t take you or myself that seriously.

  258. @ Dan:
    To repeat what SKIJ said: “Dan, what exactly does any of your blather have to do with Naghmeh, and the fact that her husband pled guilty to domestic violence? ”

    Do you believe Naghmed, and do you believe that she took appropriate measures to protect the children?

  259. Bill M wrote:

    Jerry and Dan, the new victims. Good grief, this is pathetic.
    When you forget the prime directive you get blow back.

    Well said,

  260. Naghmeh Abedini and Saeed Abedini. A challenging story of a pastor held by a repressive regime that abused his wife and allegations that the abuse has continued. It is a story of abuse that contains elements of betrayal by a supposed friend of Naghmeh by making all this public, a pastor that has obtained celebrity status and made a sympathetic figure by his imprisonment, all set against cultural differences with Islam that become more relevant each day.

    There is much in Naghmeh’s story that should bring a reader to a greater understanding of the plight of those abused. Unfortunately, given the history of those who have gone before her, I fear she will have neither the power nor the credibility given to her by so much of the evangelical world as that of her alleged abuser, alleged only in the question of its continuance.

    It is in this light that I read the comments and am exasperated by those ratting off biblical passages with little concern and then complain of how they are received.

  261. @ Nancy2:
    A man who hits his wife has crossed a line that sorry doesn’t fix. He is either concealing his desire to control her or he is hiding from the public, both are really bad indicators. Naghmeh, can do whatever she feels is necessary to protect her and her children. I would like to see their marriage healed, and repentance from idolatry is the only way this can change. Power worship is bad news.

  262. Jerry and Dan

    I do not give two hoots about what either of you think about the moderation of this site. In fact, GBTC will not allow any comments that discuss moderation on the site. Our blog, our rules. If you don’t like them, start your own blog.

    In the meantime, stick to the subject. You both are starting to annoy me and I don’t care whether or not you think this is fair or isn’t fair.

  263. Dan wrote:

    A man who hits his wife has crossed a line that sorry doesn’t fix. ……… . Naghmeh, can do whatever she feels is necessary to protect her and her children. …I would like to see their marriage healed,.

    Thank you for finally making your position clear. And I can say that I agree with you, at least on this!

  264. dee wrote:

    Jerry and Dan
    I do not give two hoots about what either of you think about the moderation of this site. In fact, GBTC will not allow any comments that discuss moderation on the site. Our blog, our rules. If you don’t like them, start your own blog.
    In the meantime, stick to the subject. You both are starting to annoy me and I don’t care whether or not you think this is fair or isn’t fair.

    Of this, I have no doubt. Fairness is overrated.

  265. Bill M wrote:

    Reading through last Wednesday’s post I was especially impressed by the comments from Jeff S. His input provided a wider dimension and understanding to someone like me who has not been abused. For those who think they are taking the higher road by doing nothing I was particularly struck by his statement: “Remember, all an abuser asks is that we do nothing.”

    These situations are also hard to articulate but Jeff nailed it when he explained: I was trying to support her and protect myself from her.

    That sums it that life. Victims do or don’t do things that make no sense to people. That is another reason we must simply listen first and offer support.

  266. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Even after a divorce or break-up, a lot of abusive men will continue to stalk their ex and threaten her with violence. Some will shoot the woman as she goes to the courthouse to get a divorce or restraining order.
    “I. WIN.”

    Here are two examples of people I knew and families who were affected by what Daisy describes. A friend of my parent’s daughter had a restraining order against her ex-husand. One day she was picking up her children from school. Her husband traveled three hundred miles and gunned my patient’s friend’s daughter and grand children down, then killed himself.

    In another example a person I knew was gunned down by her ex husband when she went to visit him and then he turned the gun on himself.

    Both women had abused by their ex husband previous to the divorce.

    Incidentally I saw the maple leaf on one of my previous entries. I am a Southerner.

  267. Dan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Oh, got me. I answered people’s statements. Should I stop probably… Now if I said I am not going to eat another Snickers but then I do, am I condemned? I don’t take you or myself that seriously.

    Gosh you look foolish when you make yourself out to be the victim here. Dan, it’s not all about you. Just sayin.

  268. @ Nancy2:
    I’ve seen people recover from being serial abusers. And I was blessed to share in their recovery. The only reason, I bother commenting is for this reason. It cannot be changed through traditional means (wisdom, training, agreement, promises, etc), because it is an effect not a cause.

  269. @ Law Prof:
    You are playing gotcha… and, yes, you actually want me to be quiet… It’s cool. I could careless about you ascribing a victim status to my intentions.

  270. To the person who is being abused.
    Your abuser likely has done a good job of separating you from family and friends.. often even physically moving and so you feel very isolated. You feel shame and keep the secret to yourself for fear of what people will think. The abuse is tears you down and often the abuser will blame you for the evil that is done to you. Stop making excuses for the abuser.

    Call an abuse Hotline. There are people who can help you. You do not have to prove anything to get a restraining order. Many women’s resource centers have access to safe houses for you to stay in. Take your children with you. Do not confide in or try to explain yourself to his family or friends. Blood is thicker than water.

    Having left or thought about it you probably will have second thoughts. You’re self worth has been lowered because of the abuse and you doubt your judgements but stay strong. Do not call the abuser or go back. If you are in a safe house do not let the abuser know where you are at.

    Recall the times when you were horribly abused and the abuser was all apologetic and even giving you gifts or promising to change but when you gave in the abuser quickly returned to the old pattern and often worse.

    Hold firm and ask for the Lord’s guidance and strength. If there are children involved you need to be strong and firm for their sake. Not doing so will often subject them to the same abuse, sexual abuse, and manipulation.

    None of this is easy but it is easier than remaining in the same situation which is not magically going to change. You may be running for your life and certainly your self worth.

    In Isaiah the scripture says… “He (Jesus our good Shepherd) will gently lead those who are with young” .. it does not say we should stay and be abused.

  271. @ BC:
    The covering for the abuser is the weirdest thing. I was one of multiple children who a man tried to abuse. I went and told my parents and then they went and talk with him. They came back and asked me if I was lying. I was so ashamed and confused. I never came back to them when he would keep trying to abuse me (thank God I resisted his manipulation…others didn’t). One day I saw him getting ready to try and abuse my younger brother. The moment he isolated my brother I brought my father to witness what he was doing. He should have gone to jail but he didn’t. He was never left unattended again. But still, he would come around. How creepy and evil… I had to actually trap him in the act to get him dealt with…

  272. Lydia wrote:

    Victims do or don’t do things that make no sense to people.

    I recently re-read the stories on Mars Hill posted before the break up, http://www.marshillwas.us

    I was struck again how people were unable to think or react clearly in that abusive environment. While I don’t consider myself abused I can certainly and clearly see what escaped me earlier when I was still in the midst of an authoritarian church.

    I wish Naghmeh the best, hopefully she can find real friends, not of the type that betrayed her.

  273. elastigirl wrote:

    I have to think that the consciences of at least a few are still reachable.

    I want to believe that too. But religion (and secular ideologies too) have a long history of spraying Jiminy Cricket (conscience) with DDT. In my opinion, fundagelicalism is one of the most toxic conscience killers there is.

  274. Dan wrote:

    The headship of a husband is unique to the marriage relationship.

    Dan, I’m not going to take this line of comments off-topic, but most of the people here are egalitarian and believe the Bible calls for mutual submission between the husband and the wife and not that the husband is the boss. If you want to know more about our perspective, then do some reading from egalitarian sources (and not from complementarians explaining egalitarianism). Like I said, I’m just here to point this out and not to explain further or debate the issue.

    Now, a question for you: are you Q?

  275. Dan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    You are playing gotcha… and, yes, you actually want me to be quiet… It’s cool. I could careless about you ascribing a victim status to my intentions.

    What type of church do you attend?

  276. dee wrote:

    In the meantime, stick to the subject. You both are starting to annoy me and I don’t care whether or not you think this is fair or isn’t fair.

    Thank you!

  277. @ Lydia:
    The fact that you lump Jerry and I together show how you judge people, in groups. I am glad that I don’t go around treating someone like they are someone else.

  278. @ Bill M:

    Speaking of spiritual abuse, You can’t see it when you are in it. And most won’t see it unless it personally affects them. Which is why people often end up losing their ‘church” friends. I honestly believe Christ wants us to be more observant, understanding and wise. What is the advice? Be as wise as serpents but innocent as doves?

    There are many “Christian” deceivers out there.

  279. Dan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Why do you care to know?

    Because I suspect you’ve had significant experience with a pseudo christian cult.

  280. Patriciamc wrote:

    Dan wrote:
    The headship of a husband is unique to the marriage relationship.
    Dan, I’m not going to take this line of comments off-topic, but most of the people here are egalitarian and believe the Bible calls for mutual submission between the husband and the wife and not that the husband is the boss. If you want to know more about our perspective, then do some reading from egalitarian sources (and not from complementarians explaining egalitarianism). Like I said, I’m just here to point this out and not to explain further or debate the issue.
    Now, a question for you: are you Q?

    I have as much respect for egalitarianism as I do for authoritarianism, none. As an ideology, it is pernicious and destructive. It leads to many failures to property distinguish between cause and effect. It mashes rational categories in its pursuit of sameness. It has some good in it because it has some truth. God humbled himself and came to serve us. It eternalizes an act God freely did out of His love for us, and takes His love by legal demand. It will lose on both accounts. It will fail to be equal to God and it will lose everything in itself. The knowledge of good and evil has so much possibility all leading to the same end.

  281. @ Law Prof:
    Thanks for answering honestly. I have a degree in philosophy and have read way to many complete works. No reason to blame a church for something I did to myself :)

  282. BC wrote:

    Call an abuse Hotline. There are people who can help you. You do not have to prove anything to get a restraining order. Many women’s resource centers have access to safe houses for you to stay in. Take your children with you. Do not confide in or try to explain yourself to his family or friends. Blood is thicker than water.

    Excellent advice imo. It provides a down time to recuperate emotionally. The staff at safe houses are expert in the area of abuse and will provide support as well as interaction with others who are experiencing the same things you are.

    Recall the times when you were horribly abused and the abuser was all apologetic and even giving you gifts or promising to change but when you gave in the abuser quickly returned to the old pattern and often worse.

    More excellent advice. It’s a pattern called “Cycle of Violence.” Abuse; apology; honeymoon period; stress build up; abuse begins again.

    As an employee of a agency that assisted victims of DV and sexual assault, we were required to attend a court-ordered batterer’s intervention program to get a feel for how many view their current situation having been arrested for abuse. I was amazed at the excuses and blame directed toward their parents, culture, upbringing, wife, example set by friends, etc. Etched in my memory was one young man who simply said that no one (parents, teachers, pastor, friends) ever told him it was wrong to hit a woman. It was never talked about.

    Thanks to the Deebs and commenters here for talking!

  283. Lydia wrote:

    Victims do or don’t do things that make no sense to people. That is another reason we must simply listen first and offer support.

    I need to circle around again and emphasize the second part of your statement. I later found the frustrating part in an abusive environment was the unwillingness of leaders to actively listen. I and others voiced criticisms but were never given the care or concern to understand what what the person was bringing. Objections HAD to be perfectly formulated with unquestioned motives lest they be immediately dismissed.

    The enforcers and abusers appeared only interested in silence and obedience, they took any misstatement or confusion as an off ramp to the interaction. That was what I learned in Julie’s story, how she had to be perfect. Granted even if she was perfect the outcome would be the same, but they would have needed to find a different excuse to dismiss her.

    So the moral to me is that when someone who is hurting doesn’t make sense, I’ll try to remember my own thinking is messy much of the time as is life.

  284. Dan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Thanks for answering honestly. I have a degree in philosophy and have read way to many complete works. No reason to blame a church for something I did to myself

    Just a gut feeling. One tends to learn from those with whom they associate. So it’s true, isn’t it?

  285. @ mot:
    Not intentionally, I am just responding to people. I get your point though. My perspective and person are not welcome here, hence the barbs I keep replying to (including this one).

  286. Bill M wrote:

    “If … is a covert op trying to push the thread into irrelevant Theological minutiae, he succeeded big time.”

    A one-man hasbara, with lots of Old Testament on tap to boot?

  287. @ Law Prof:
    No, I didn’t attend church regularly until I was 21. I attend one now, but it is gospel and relationship based. Your desire to sort me is sinister. Do you know that?

  288. Bill M wrote:

    Objections HAD to be perfectly formulated with unquestioned motives lest they be immediately dismissed.

    I was on the other side of the fence for a while so I am VERY familiar with this one and the playbook used. It is one reason I literally beg folks not to bother. Just leave. But people are convinced it is the “Christian” way to handle it. (here we go again) At that point, I beg them to take an outside witness to every single meeting.

    They do not realize what they are getting into. There is NO good way to voice objections. They want passive lemmings who go along and give them money. I know that sounds harsh but lets face it, the REAL thing is going to be messy. It is supposed to be.

    People will even leave meetings thinking they were heard and have no idea the whisper campaign that is about to be unleashed upon them.

    There is a reason I have the utmost respect for Karen Hinckley. She worked outside the system and told her story. As young as she was to be so very wise blows my mind. They can’t touch her now.

    Going to the very people who are causing the problems in an authoritarian organization and expecting them to fix them is pure folly. They want it that way or it would not be happening.

  289. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    Now, a question for you: are you Q?
    Does his voice sound like John DeLancie?

    Q could do almost anything, but he had no wisdom… I think nothing of myself, and I clearly lack discipline. (You are killing me. I am seriously trying not to respond.)

  290. Bill M wrote:

    Jerry and Dan, the new victims. Good grief, this is pathetic.

    Isn’t the number-one characteristic of a sociopath the ability to turn the tables and play the REAL victim?

    (But then, successful sociopaths come with a built-in reality distortion field/stupid ray that they shine on everyone around them.)

  291. Haitch wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    “If … is a covert op trying to push the thread into irrelevant Theological minutiae, he succeeded big time.”
    A one-man hasbara, with lots of Old Testament on tap to boot?

    Hasbara?

  292. Jeff S wrote:

    Those that you quoted from me I only passed on from someone else who made the same impression on me

    I remember when we both praised the quotes from Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman in a post some time last year. It’s an excellent book that has been helpful to abuse survivors.

    It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering. . .

    In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. (pp.7-8)

  293. Dan wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    No, I didn’t attend church regularly until I was 21. I attend one now, but it is gospel and relationship based. Your desire to sort me is sinister. Do you know that?

    Oh boy oh boy “gospel and relationship based”. No, I’m not at all suggesting anything sinister about YOU, just suggesting that your “gospel and relationship based” church might not be serving you particularly well. Again, not something I know, just a gut feeling. To which denomination or network of churches does this church belong?

  294. Law Prof wrote:

    Dan wrote:
    @ Law Prof:
    No, I didn’t attend church regularly until I was 21. I attend one now, but it is gospel and relationship based. Your desire to sort me is sinister. Do you know that?
    Oh boy oh boy “gospel and relationship based”. No, I’m not at all suggesting anything sinister about YOU, just suggesting that your “gospel and relationship based” church might not be serving you particularly well. Again, not something I know, just a gut feeling. To which denomination or network of churches does this church belong?

    How you seek me out as an object to be defined says everything about your care. I know when someone is talking right past me because I am not a person to him/her.

  295. Abusers often justify their actions. My Dad was a master at it, and still is, although he has been divorced from my mom for 40 years, and she has been dead for 5. Abusers are terribly self-centerd people. The world revolves around them and their needs. When it doesn’t, they attack. I admire Nagmeh’s willingness to stand up to her husband.

    I have also seen abusers change through the power of Christ, so I don’t consider any situation hopeless. But hiding the abuse usually only makes it worse. People were shocked when my parents divorced after 20 years of marriage. They had no idea what occurred in our home, and I was forbidden to talk about it. Children won’t if they are punished at home for talking about what daddy does to mommy when he’s angry.

  296. @ LInn:
    Sorry, this was a reply to a comment farther up on how abusers defend themselves, but it somehow ended up on the bottom of the thread.

  297. Darlene wrote:

    It puzzles me that anyone could say there are “two sides to every story” but especially Franklin Graham who is a public figure. Others listen to what he says and he has influence in the Evangelical world.

    IMO, Franklin Graham is all about publicity and making money these days. He takes in a base salary of $622,000/yr from his father’s charity Samaritan’s Purse, plus another $258,000/yr from Billy Graham Association. Instead of doing work for these two non-profits he is spending this entire year trumpeting politics on the steps of every capital in the U.S. via his “Decision America Tour”. Graham is basically trying to establish himself as a major gatekeeper for the Evangelical vote. He will turn that into political power and personal gain.
    .
    Guess who Graham has partnered with for this Decision America (self)promotion? Gateway Church. The head of all Media at Gateway, Lawrence Swicegood, who ran the media advance teams for George H.W. Bush as President, is now working side by side with Franklin running Graham’s Decision America Tour advance teams between New Year’s and the general election. Gateway is providing any support necessary and is encouraging their U.S. wide audience to support this. Gateway added (and paid) Graham as a last minute guest to their October 2015 GW Pastor’s Conference just so Graham could stump this voting program to the 4,000 pastors in attendance.
    .
    Franklin Graham has sadly become a blatant opportunist. His father’s $25M fortune isn’t enough for him. He wants more – both power and money. Saeed’s triumphant return can be exploited by Graham as proof of abusive intolerance towards Christianity. Tyrant’s abused Saeed because of his faith and they are coming after you and Kim Davis next unless you vote for what “we” define as “biblical principles”.
    .
    Lawrence must be licking his chops like a wolf at a slaughterhouse. You can’t BUY publicity like this! Saeed is the great American martyr and hero! And he chooses to stand with Franklin Graham, hands raised together, fighting religious oppression in the voting booth instead of returning to the pulpit and preaching the redemptive power of God’s sovereign grace. Boy, that Romans 13 and John 19 must be awfully inconvenient to all these men of God spending millions in tithes to influence the outcome of this election.
    .
    Why else would Saeed go to stay with Franklin for FIVE full days before finally returning home to hold his beloved children? Imagine yourselves making that decision? You haven’t seen your very small children for 3.5 years. And you want to hang out with Graham for five days first in North Carolina?
    .
    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? IF the man abused by the tyrants turns out to BE an abusive tyrant.
    .
    What must Swicegood and Franklin do and say to ensure that this doesn’t happen? “You can’t believe what you read in the media.” “There are two sides to every abuse story.” If Swicegood and Graham did not have an agenda, they would have stayed silent about Naghmeh’s veracity out of shear decency and compassion for what that woman has been through and for the good of those children who have really only known one parent at this point. But they didn’t. They are protecting their asset/brand.
    .
    Any time Gateway gets involved folks, depend on it being all about the power and money. This is no different. Wherever Swicegood is involved, his partner and BFF The Church Law Group Partner David Middlebrook is as well. That means Saeed will have a 14 lawyer law firm at his disposal. Although many would assume Naghmeh’s nightmare has finally ended, in reality, she needs our prayers now more than ever. These men will not tolerate her raining on their victory lap. The Deebs officially have their work cut out for them on this one. Go Deebs!!!

  298. Bill M wrote:

    I wish Naghmeh the best, hopefully she can find real friends, not of the type that betrayed her.

    So do I. It’s a hard lesson to learn – not everyone at church is your friend, even if they act like they are. I haven’t commented directly on this as I believed it was meant to stay in private circles, and there was regret that it had become public. I don’t think this was ever meant to play out in the public sphere. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a private facebook post, or private church email etc. If it’s on the web, consider it public. I also wanted to be careful about voyeurism, and I don’t need to know the fine detail to believe someone. That being said, I wish Naghmeh and her children healing and wholeness. And I wish the same for Saeed, and more, as he’ll probably need it if he’s under Franklin Graham’s shoulder. It was possibly Franklin’s political lobbying that got Saeed released so he may be tied there for a while. Unfortunately I believe that a lot of the ‘Christian advice'(TM) being offered to them will not be of much value in their situation. But that is only my opinion from the post-Christian wilderness.

  299. Lydia wrote:

    They do not realize what they are getting into. There is NO good way to voice objections.

    Sigh, I’m now trying to convince someone on this very same thing. They are determined that they should do the right thing. So would I, and for some time I kept thinking there is more I could have done. Now I see I should just shake the dust off, even when I’d been there for decades.

    So often abusers/authoritarians use our best intentions against us.

  300. 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? IF the man abused by the tyrants turns out to BE an abusive tyrant.

    Just – wow. Cue Jeff Sharlet’s 2008 book, The Family. Due for an urgent update. **I know Dee doesn’t like political discussions, but it can be very difficult to tread the line – I don’t think you can separate this**

  301. 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.

  302. Dan wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Dan wrote:
    @ Law Prof:
    No, I didn’t attend church regularly until I was 21. I attend one now, but it is gospel and relationship based. Your desire to sort me is sinister. Do you know that?
    Oh boy oh boy “gospel and relationship based”. No, I’m not at all suggesting anything sinister about YOU, just suggesting that your “gospel and relationship based” church might not be serving you particularly well. Again, not something I know, just a gut feeling. To which denomination or network of churches does this church belong?
    How you seek me out as an object to be defined says everything about your care. I know when someone is talking right past me because I am not a person to him/her.

    OK, you’ve answered my question. It’s SGM, or perhaps A29, maybe a 9Marks, or a neocal SBC. Thanks, all I needed to know.

    Persecution complex: check

    Dishes out/can’t take it: check

    Projection: check

  303. @ Dan:

    Funny thing is, Dan, I was actually trying to cut through the veil and reach you there, but you think you’re just a number to me. Fella, you have way too thin a skin for your own good, might toughen it up a bit.

  304. LT wrote:

    IMO, Franklin Graham is all about publicity and making money these days. He takes in a base salary of $622,000/yr from his father’s charity Samaritan’s Purse, plus another $258,000/yr from Billy Graham Association. Instead of doing work for these two non-profits he is spending this entire year trumpeting politics on the steps of every capital in the U.S. via his “Decision America Tour”. Graham is basically trying to establish himself as a major gatekeeper for the Evangelical vote. He will turn that into political power and personal gain.

    Franklin has turned into Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson combined. Those two badly damaged Christianity’s credibility with the public, and Franklin Graham is continuing their work. His followers, cousins of mine included, need to stop and actually think about the nutty things he says.

  305. I don’t know what Franklin Graham’s motives are in this but I hope he’s not foolish enough to co-sign or endorse Saeed.

    They may tell “You better not do …………..” and he may be seemingly repentant or try to be good for a time to woo her back. Hopefully it will be more than that but also remember
    “When a snake sheds it’s skin that is not a conversion experience”

  306. @ Dan:

    Look what that Q guy started from the last thread. We now have a second guy veering off from Neghmeh’s story specifically and domestic violence in general to post after post about Sarah.

    I’m fine with some off topic banter here and there over friendly stuff or whatever on blogs, but I am not understanding this fascination with Sarah under the Neghmeh threads, especially since it’s started (usually) by Neghmeh doubters?

  307. @ LT:

    “Franklin Graham has sadly become a blatant opportunist. His father’s $25M fortune isn’t enough for him”
    +++++++++++++++++

    wait a minute…. billy graham’s estate is/was worth $25 million? did I understand that right?

  308. Dan wrote:

    I am a proponent of obeying the Lord. Your concept of patriarchy is something I do not support.

    What is your concept of patriarchy? How would you define or describe patriarchy?

  309. Daisy wrote:

    @ Dan:
    Look what that Q guy started from the last thread. We now have a second guy veering off from Neghmeh’s story specifically and domestic violence in general to post after post about Sarah.
    I’m fine with some off topic banter here and there over friendly stuff or whatever on blogs, but I am not understanding this fascination with Sarah under the Neghmeh threads, especially since it’s started (usually) by Neghmeh doubters?

    Yep, I wonder if Dan is Q. If someone on the next post starts this nonsense, we’d all be better off just to ignore him and not engage.

  310. Nancy2 wrote:

    Dan wrote:
    Once again, when a sting is set up; the law breakers are responsible not the police. We should not judge from appearances.
    ————-
    Oh! So God sets up sting operations! Like the FBI and the DEA?
    Enlighten me: was the serpent in the Garden one of God’s sting operations?

    I thought God does not tempt anyone with evil? Is that what he’s saying in his posts?
    I thought Satan was the tempter and God provided a way out of temptation for people?

  311. mot wrote:

    Dan:

    You do realize you hijacked this post don’t you??

    I wonder if this is intentional hijacking..

  312. mirele wrote:

    No doubt great pressure was brought to bear on her, by Franklin Graham and others, to shut up about the abuse and be the pretty arm candy and submissive wife and mother they believe she should be. As for why Graham takes such a great interest–well, it’s all part of the great Evangelicla money-go-round.

    That is my suspicion as well.

  313. LT wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Any time Gateway gets involved folks, depend on it being all about the power and money. This is no different. Wherever Swicegood is involved, his partner and BFF The Church Law Group Partner David Middlebrook is as well. That means Saeed will have a 14 lawyer law firm at his disposal. Although many would assume Naghmeh’s nightmare has finally ended, in reality, she needs our prayers now more than ever. These men will not tolerate her raining on their victory lap. The Deebs officially have their work cut out for them on this one. Go Deebs!!!

    This is exactly what I was thinking, albeit not this detail, in what I posted well above. Franklin Graham’s comment about not believing media sounded so much similar to what Robert Morris said regarding the Mark Driscoll fiasco..

  314. Daisy wrote:

    thought God does not tempt anyone with evil? Is that what he’s saying in his posts?
    I thought Satan was the tempter and God provided a way out of temptation for people?

    Dan made this statement in reference to Judah and Tamar. He also said “God set Judah up …. “

  315. This companion article from the Idaho Statesman gives some important timeline information and also identifies “Three North Carolina friends pushed for Boise pastor’s release” — the Rev. Franklin Graham, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger and the Rev. David Chadwick”

    Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article57487718.html#storylink=cpy

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article57487718.html

  316. @ Dan:
    LT wrote:

    Saeed’s triumphant return can be exploited by Graham as proof of abusive intolerance towards Christianity. Tyrant’s abused Saeed because of his faith and they are coming after you and Kim Davis next unless you vote for what “we” define as “biblical principles”.

    I agree.
    Don’t forget Franklin’s crusade against Target stores removing “boy” and “girl” signs a few months ago.

  317. @ Daisy:

    I don’t know why a “@Dan” showed up in my post above (I didn’t put it there on purpose). My post above was a reply to LT about Franklin Graham. Sorry for any confusion.

  318. What is striking to me in Saeed’s statement is that he didn’t explicitly deny the abuse allegations. Instead he said the much more vague “much . . . is not true.”

  319. @ Daisy:

    mirele wrote:

    “No doubt great pressure was brought to bear on her, by Franklin Graham and others, to shut up about the abuse and be the pretty arm candy and submissive wife and mother they believe she should be. As for why Graham takes such a great interest–well, it’s all part of the great Evangelicla money-go-round.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I hope there is transparency. I hope Nagmeh or representative will confront directly whatever manipulative-&-corrupt-but-dressed-in-gospel-sweetness hijinks may have occurred.

    if it was wrong, any of it, it needs to be articulated clearly person to person in plain terms, and made right. no Christian cause or individual is above confrontation, a full confession, apologizing, restitution, consequences.

    I feel there is a public component here, but i’m not certain to what extent. certainly the degree to which the good will of people to pray and lobby was manipulated with exaggerated claims, partial truths or untruths.

    also, the degree to which Christian leaders have influenced the public in how to respond to allegations of abuse: specifically by dismissing an abuse victim, & minimizing domestic abuse for the sake of ideology and personal gain. if this happened, it was appallingly wrong, and a public confrontation and reckoning is required here.

    Nagmeh, I am so sorry for your circumstances. I am sorry for discussing your situation, so deeply personal, in such a clinical way.

  320. Hi, I was just wondering if someone could link me to the domestic violence charge from 2007? When I search I only see the recent filings from Naghmeh and traffic violations.

  321. Daisy wrote:

    Don’t forget Franklin’s crusade against Target stores removing “boy” and “girl” signs a few months ago.

    You mean the most recent (grand)stand(ing) Against those HOMOSEXUALS(TM)?

  322. Sharon wrote:

    What is striking to me in Saeed’s statement is that he didn’t explicitly deny the abuse allegations. Instead he said the much more vague “much . . . is not true.”

    Sounds a lot like “Mistakes were made(TM)”.

    Or maybe that meeting with REVEREND Franklin Graham included how to run everything you say past your lawyers first.

  323. Bill M wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Victims do or don’t do things that make no sense to people.
    I recently re-read the stories on Mars Hill posted before the break up, http://www.marshillwas.us
    I was struck again how people were unable to think or react clearly in that abusive environment. While I don’t consider myself abused I can certainly and clearly see what escaped me earlier when I was still in the midst of an authoritarian church.
    I wish Naghmeh the best, hopefully she can find real friends, not of the type that betrayed her.

    I just started reading those stories. There is a sorrow, in some cases in an overwhelming sense, of great loss and being mistreated in the name of God.

  324. 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?

  325. Patriciamc wrote:

    Yep, I wonder if Dan is Q. If someone on the next post starts this nonsense, we’d all be better off just to ignore him and not engage.

    I’ve seen this pattern on Wartburg Watch comment threads before. With Ceej, with Bee Jay, with ToJo.

    When the subject goes to a Gospelly(TM) abuser, suddenly these guys who have never commented before flock to the blog to discredit the accuser/victim, throwing around accusations of Jezebel(TM) and Bitterness(TM) and False Witness and Satan and Theological Minutiae and lots of Scripture Scripture Scripture. Sometimes in tag teams of two or three until they not only hijack but take over the thread. Funny how they always show up out of nowhere when TWW Bitterly(TM) exposes a Gospelly(TM) Abuser…

  326. dee wrote:

    Jerry and Dan

    In fact, GBTC will not allow any comments that discuss moderation on the site. Our blog, our rules. If you don’t like them, start your own blog.

    In the meantime, stick to the subject. You both are starting to annoy me and I don’t care whether or not you think this is fair or isn’t fair.

    Just so everyone knows, the ONLY comment not allowed through was tossed for asking about why a comment was moderated. The ONLY one. All the rest have been approved.

    Now if Jerry and Dan don’t like this, well that’s too bad. The system we have traps between 10 and 30 comments in moderation a day. Some days 50. We free them up as soon as we can. (Well except for the ones that really go over the edge.) As Dee said, if you, (Jerry and Dan), don’t like it then start your own blog. Then I’ll add don’t moderate anything and let all comments through without any filtering. I give it a week if you’re lucky. Maybe only a day before you realize the world will not work this way.

    So Jerry and Dan.

    We moderate. We have reasons. It’s not all about you. Get over it.

  327. Pingback: Injustice: an Open Letter to The Gospel Coalition – Sparking Conversation UNITED STATES

  328. Dan wrote:

    The fact that you lump Jerry and I together show how you judge people, in groups. I am glad that I don’t go around treating someone like they are someone else.

    Dan, it’s really hard to figure out what you mean in most of your posts, so don’t blame people if they misunderstand you. Try explaining more clearly what you are trying to say. You use very few words and people can’t read your mind.

  329. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’ve seen this pattern on Wartburg Watch comment threads before. With Ceej, with Bee Jay, with ToJo.
    When the subject goes to a Gospelly(TM) abuser, suddenly these guys who have never commented before flock to the blog to discredit the accuser/victim, throwing around accusations of Jezebel(TM) and Bitterness(TM) and False Witness and Satan and Theological Minutiae and lots of Scripture Scripture Scripture. Sometimes in tag teams of two or three until they not only hijack but take over the thread. Funny how they always show up out of nowhere when TWW Bitterly(TM) exposes a Gospelly(TM) Abuser…

    You know, it’s kind of a strange complement. They don’t realize they’re acknowledging the power of this blog and are showing that they care what people here think. Why bother if WW didn’t have some influence? Go WW! Go other blogs like it too!

    I might just change my name to Ms. Jezebel Bitterness.

  330. LT wrote:

    he is spending this entire year trumpeting politics on the steps of every capital in the U.S. via his “Decision America Tour”. Graham is basically trying to establish himself as a major gatekeeper for the Evangelical vote. He will turn that into political power and personal gain.

    Well, I hope the whole thing flops in their faces.

  331. Bill M wrote:

    Naghmeh Abedini and Saeed Abedini. A challenging story of a pastor held by a repressive regime that abused his wife and allegations that the abuse has continued. It is a story of abuse that contains elements of betrayal by a supposed friend of Naghmeh by making all this public, a pastor that has obtained celebrity status and made a sympathetic figure by his imprisonment, all set against cultural differences with Islam that become more relevant each day.

    There is much in Naghmeh’s story that should bring a reader to a greater understanding of the plight of those abused. Unfortunately, given the history of those who have gone before her, I fear she will have neither the power nor the credibility given to her by so much of the evangelical world as that of her alleged abuser, alleged only in the question of its continuance.

    It is in this light that I read the comments and am exasperated by those ratting off biblical passages with little concern and then complain of how they are received.

    Well said, Bill.

  332. Haitch 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? IF the man abused by the tyrants turns out to BE an abusive tyrant.

    Just – wow. Cue Jeff Sharlet’s 2008 book, The Family. Due for an urgent update. **I know Dee doesn’t like political discussions, but it can be very difficult to tread the line – I don’t think you can separate this**

    I agree. Graham’s politics are a huge part of the problem here. He puts his politics ahead of the truth. This results in the victim being revictimised. It’s called spiritual abuse.

  333. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    when TWW Bitterly(TM) exposes a Gospelly(TM) Abuser…

    And I promised a TWW chap last year that I’d update this list and place on “Öpen” – it has been bugging me that I haven’t done it. Might be an appropriate time about now…

  334. Sharon wrote:

    What is striking to me in Saeed’s statement is that he didn’t explicitly deny the abuse allegations. Instead he said the much more vague “much . . . is not true.”

    Yes! He is trying to level the playing field. Another classic tactic.

  335. For anybody who still idolizes Saeed his behavior and comments since release should shut that right down. He does not deny abusive behavior but still tries to look more righteous than Naghmeh by saying that it is not all true (she is lying, Saeed?) and by keeping silent and private as the better way to solve the matter, which also protects his reputation. This man’s behavior is manipulative and cowardly and he has shown no signs of repentance.

    Is christianity so hard up for heroes that we have to line up behind this man? Are we so hard up for leadership-quality men that we have to tolerate Franklin G’s shenanigans? Are we willing to excuse these people because hidden in our heart of hearts we too admire power and money and celebrity above all else?

  336. Patriciamc wrote:

    Abi Miah wrote:
    I’ve wondered what the family relationships are like between Franklin and Boz…
    I think Franklin is Boz’s uncle.

    My wondering was not about how they are related but about how they relate as relations. :) It was really an observation about how different the two postures are in the same family and musing about how that would affect the dynamics at say, Thanksgiving dinner.

  337. okrapod wrote:

    He does not deny abusive behavior but still tries to look more righteous than Naghmeh by saying that it is not all true (she is lying, Saeed?) and by keeping silent and private as the better way to solve the matter, which also protects his reputation. This man’s behavior is manipulative and cowardly and he has shown no signs of repentance.

    I thought the same thing, except I would not have worded the statement so gracefully.

  338. Dan wrote:

    am glad that I don’t go around treating someone like they are someone else.

    Yes, Dan, you are a saint. Cut out the baloney.

  339. @ Dan:

    I am going to put you into moderation. What this means for you is this. ALL of your comments will go into moderation.

    I will probably approve your comments after I get done caring for all the elderly folks in my family today and in the coming week. I am leaving the house shortly to take my handicapped mother to visit my stepfather who just had an operation. My mother in law has another round of chemotherapy this week. All three of these folks are 87 and I am their caretaker. That means approving your comments will not be my Number 1 priority.

    Please note that I responded to you separately from Jerry who will get his own note from me.

    PS I don’t give a royal patootie what you think. Have a nice Sunday.

  340. @ Jerry:
    I am going to put you into moderation. What this means for you is this. ALL of your comments will go into moderation.

    I will probably approve your comment after I get done caring for all the elderly folks in my family today and in the coming week.mI am leaving the house shortly to take my handicapped mother to visit my stepfather who just had an operation. My mother in law has another round of chemotherapy this week. All three of these folks are 87 and I am their caretaker. That means approving your comments will not be my Number 1 priority.

    Please note that I responded to you separately from Dan who got his own note from me.

    PS I don’t give a royal patootie what you think. Have a nice Sunday.

  341. I’ve been stewing over the idea that Saeed’s first priority, upon his release, was not to get home to see his wife and children, but to meet with and spend a few days with FG. Oh, but the wifey can pack up, load up the kids (whom he hasn’t seen in 3.5 years) and haul it to the other side of the continent if they want to see him! How low and self- centered is that? In some ways, it makes me more angry than the abuse and the denial.

    My husband is retired military. Upon completing a mission or a deployment, his first priority was always to get home. If he had chosen to make a voluntary detour and spend a few days visiting with a 4-star general on the other side of the continent before coming home …… and, oh, I could hop on a plane and meet him there …… oh, buddy would I have ever been both hurt and irate. If my husband had behaved that way, I probably would have made arrangements to take the dog or the vet, or something that trivial, about 10 minutes after he arrived home. Making him feel welcome, safe, and loved certainly would not have been on my to-do list. He would have certainly made it clear where I rank in his eyes.

  342. @ Jonathan:
    It has something to d with the filing of the older pleas. The local newspapers have requested the records and as soon as they are published I will link to them here.

  343. @ dee:

    I don’t know what all the court records show, but I do know that often? sometimes? people take a plea because they are allowed to plead down to a lesser offense. I want to know also what he was accused of. I am not on some witch hunt for Saeed. My concern is what it is that the evangelical big wigs thought was innocent enough that they declared him on the road to sainthood in spite of it.

    Oh, well, we get what we get for information.

  344. @ Nancy2:
    I have a different take. I think the plan was for all of them to be at the retreat center with photo ops and then another big photo op at home. We cannot know how much of this reflects her decision. After all, she just filed a claim about taking the kids out of the state. Since this all now looks like a plan to kick off the eventual grand tour, my guess is they were concerned about his welcome at home and how that would look. They probably spent those 5 days writing the statement and doing damage control planning. Now, it looks like his parents and her sister joined him?

    I am not convinced Naghmeh wanted to meet on that turf, anyway. I don’t blame her.

  345. Lydia wrote:

    I think the plan was for all of them to be at the retreat center with photo ops and then another big photo op at home. We cannot know how much of this reflects her decision. After all, she just filed a claim about taking the kids out of the state. Since this all now looks like a plan to kick off the eventual grand tour, my guess is they were concerned about his welcome at home and how that would look.

    Publicity is more important than family.

  346. Law Prof wrote:

    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    You have plagiarized my sentence and used it as your own. You should know better, but apparently you don’t. You couldn’t even think of something original. That probably explains why you didn’t survive in the real world as a lawyer and have to hide behind an academic desk. The old saying, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach” fits you to a tee. You are a big time loser, pal.

  347. okrapod wrote:

    Are we willing to excuse these people because hidden in our heart of hearts we too admire power and money and celebrity above all else?

    You’ve got it, Okrapod.

  348. dee wrote:

    I will probably approve your comments after I get done caring for all the elderly folks in my family today and in the coming week. I am leaving the house shortly to take my handicapped mother to visit my stepfather who just had an operation. My mother in law has another round of chemotherapy this week. All three of these folks are 87 and I am their caretaker. That means approving your comments will not be my Number 1 priority.

    Hugs to you, Dee, and prayers going up on your behalf here.

  349. @ Nancy2:
    Brand management. Of course. Evangelicalism has been on this track for many years. So has most everything else. It is who we chose to become as a nation. We cannot discuss issues so we shape our thinking through events and the subsequent spin. It makes me weep

  350. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’ve been stewing over the idea that Saeed’s first priority, upon his release, was not to get home to see his wife and children, but to meet with and spend a few days with FG. Oh, but the wifey can pack up, load up the kids (whom he hasn’t seen in 3.5 years) and haul it to the other side of the continent if they want to see him! How low and self- centered is that? In some ways, it makes me more angry than the abuse and the denial.

    It seems like the ultimate insult- and after all she has done for him.

    I temper this with the idea that she probably drew back from meeting with him because of everything that is going down, but still, you would think he would ditch the FG baloney and seek reconciliation with his wife first and foremost.

    I do not like the statement he put out one bit. He seeks to take control of the narrative and firmly shut down and silence it. He minimizes and denies, does not take ownership of his failure or apologize. I do not see grace in his statement, either giving it or asking for it.

  351. Joe2 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.
    You have plagiarized my sentence and used it as your own. You should know better, but apparently you don’t. You couldn’t even think of something original. That probably explains why you didn’t survive in the real world as a lawyer and have to hide behind an academic desk. The old saying, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach” fits you to a tee. You are a big time loser, pal.

    You better be careful going after teachers “buddy…..”

  352. siteseer wrote:

    It seems like the ultimate insult- and after all she has done for him.
    I temper this with the idea that she probably drew back from meeting with him because of everything that is going down, but still, you would think he would ditch the FG baloney and seek reconciliation with his wife first and foremost.
    I do not like the statement he put out one bit. He seeks to take control of the narrative and firmly shut down and silence it. He minimizes and denies, does not take ownership of his failure or apologize. I do not see grace in his statement, either giving it or asking for it.

    As I understand it, Naghmed did not get the court order until after Saeed arrived in the U.S. And, FYI, Saeed was transported from Germany to Carolina, and then to Idaho, on a private Samaritans Purse jet.
    ?????

  353. Jonathan wrote:

    I put in Saeed’s name and DOB, it shows current court case and a speeding offence in 2010. No 2007 assault that I can see.

    Where I live, domestic cases are not posted online. Most other types of cases are. I believe the basic story about the 2007 assault, but there could be a local reason for the absence of an online record.

  354. Joe2 wrote:

    those who can’t teach

    (Sarcasm alert)
    Uh huh. Jesus wasn’t a teacher, was he?
    We don’t need anyone to teach us anything, not even Jesus. We are born know-it-alls.

  355. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m wondering if Dan is a (or former) Calvary Chapel pastor?

    Or just a sheep? I’ll leave out the adjectives that come to mind here.

  356. Bill M wrote:

    Objections HAD to be perfectly formulated with unquestioned motives lest they be immediately dismissed.

    The enforcers and abusers appeared only interested in silence and obedience, they took any misstatement or confusion as an off ramp to the interaction. That was what I learned in Julie’s story, how she had to be perfect. Granted even if she was perfect the outcome would be the same, but they would have needed to find a different excuse to dismiss her.

    Adding to this Jeff’s words from the earlier post, “I was trying to support her and protect myself from her.”

    This to me is the marrow of abuse. The specifics are important (the culture and type of relationship), but abuse happens in all societies, and everybody knows it.

    The victim–whether spouse, child, or sibling, whether American Christian or something else–is called to sing along with the chorus of praise for the abuser. The whole choral ensemble is complicit, and all are harmed, although in different ways and to varying degrees.

    And woe betide the choral singer who strikes up a halting little solo. The abusive conductor doesn’t like that, and the other singers find it all quite jarring. They came to sing, not to listen.

  357. Joe2 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.
    You have plagiarized my sentence and used it as your own. You should know better, but apparently you don’t. You couldn’t even think of something original. That probably explains why you didn’t survive in the real world as a lawyer and have to hide behind an academic desk. The old saying, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach” fits you to a tee. You are a big time loser, pal.

    What is wrong with you? I guess you have a very low view of teachers since you just insulted the teaching profession.

  358. @ Nancy2: I wonder if you can only get one if they are proven to be in the country at the time of filing?

    I have an extended family member who has worked for SP for quite a while. I am well aware of the jets, the money and elitism. Frankie has done an excellent job milking the name for all he can. Ever notice his wife? Her name is Jane Austin.

  359. Joe2 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.
    You have plagiarized my sentence and used it as your own. You should know better, but apparently you don’t. You couldn’t even think of something original. That probably explains why you didn’t survive in the real world as a lawyer and have to hide behind an academic desk. The old saying, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach” fits you to a tee. You are a big time loser, pal.

    No Joe2, I was throwing it back at you on purpose like that, in an attempt to “get your goat”, as my Midwestern grandma would’ve said. The primary reason I was doing this is because I don’t particularly like your persona round here, whether you’re a fine fella in person or a great humanitarian in general, you come across like a jerk here, to put it crisply. I can see that I did in fact get your goat, and indeed, you are correct, I was not a particularly distinguished attorney–but I’m a heck of a good teacher.

    Now, as for being a “big time loser”, I really don’t think you have enough information on me to make that all-encompassing judgment. Joe2, you sound a bit over-the-top angry, there’s a backstory there, no?

  360. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nancy2: I am well aware of the jets, the money and elitism. Frankie has done an excellent job milking the name for all he can. Ever notice his wife? Her name is Jane Austin.

    I have wondered about the other Americans who were released with Saeed. Where are their publicity reps? Were they also transported on private jets provide by wealthy elites?

    Jane Austin: subject matter- landed gentry; women subject to and entirely dependant upon men. How appropriate.

  361. Bridget wrote:

    It would be nice if all of the personal insults toward all commentors would stop.

    I second the motion. TWW has a reputation for being like Al Andalus of old, tolerant and civil, let’s not wreck it…

  362. In praise of and respect for teachers:

    I will reverence my master who taught me the art. Equally with my parents, will I allow him things necessary for his support, and will consider his sons as brothers. I will teach them my art without reward or agreement; and I will impart all my acquirement, instructions, and whatever I know, to my master’s children, as to my own; and likewise to all my pupils, who shall bind and tie themselves by a professional oath, but to none else. (Hippocratic oath, original version)

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. (Hippocratic Oath, modern version)

    ” Go ye therefore into all the world……teaching them… (Jesus)

  363. As far as Saeed not going first to his wife upon his arrival in the US: my thought was that SHE did not want that. Everyone would of course be expecting the photo op of their reunion, and if that didn’t happen, it gave more strength to her claims. If it did happen, things would be right back to (bad) business as usual.

  364. @ Nancy2:

    “Publicity is more important than family.”
    ++++++++++

    certainly more important than what is right, honest and true.

  365. Sharon wrote:

    As far as Saeed not going first to his wife upon his arrival in the US: my thought was that SHE did not want that.

    The original plan was for her to load up the children and meet him at the Graham compound.

  366. It maybe just me, but men like Saeed give me the creeps. I have seen way too many of them. Something about the way they speak and the way they look that sets me on edge.

  367. Lydia wrote:

    Read her ministry mission. It could be tough to advocate for women with Graham donor money if Dad is doing the opposite on such a well known example.

    Let’s make sure we keep those children’s toys categorized by GENDER!

  368. okrapod wrote:

    My concern is what it is that the evangelical big wigs thought was innocent enough that they declared him on the road to sainthood in spite of it.

    They did the same thing with CJ Mahaney.

  369. “Naghmed Abedini has taken legal action against her husband Saeed Abedini to make sure their children remain in Idaho while the couple works to save their marriage, “

    Just a passing thought, and I may be way off the mark, but ………..
    If Naghmed had met Saeed, with the children, at the Graham compound, how hard would it have been for Saeed to spirit the children away on a readily available Samaritans Purse jet?

  370. I am really becoming very upset with some new commenters who are telling us that we are wrong. Saeed did nothing and we are being *tricked.* From this point on, there will not be any comments allowed that say that Saeed did not *do it.* Here is the quote from the post.

    “In 2007, Saeed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in Ada County Magistrate Court. ”

    Those who are participating in this sort of historical revision are causing more pain from Naghmeh.

    2 comments not approved!!!!!

  371. Naghmeh’s situation has revealed why women do not feel safe in reporting domestic abuse. I have never had to put 3 people in moderation in one day along with trashing another new commenter.

    What is wrong with the church??? This experience will be the subject of a post. There are a number of despicable men in this world who do a good job pretending they are Christians.

  372. dee wrote:

    I am leaving the house shortly to take my handicapped mother to visit my stepfather who just had an operation. My mother in law has another round of chemotherapy this week. All three of these folks are 87 and I am their caretaker.

    Thank you for hosting all of us, you have created a special and informative place. Some knuckleheads can’t grasp that, or that real people exists here. They seem driven to score points in what ever strange game they are playing.

    Thanks for what you and Deb do. With so many of my peers going through the same time of life with their aging parents, I have included them and you in my meager prayers.

  373. Law Prof wrote:

    I was not a particularly distinguished attorney–but I’m a heck of a good teacher.

    I’m reading the book “The man who made lists” about the creation of Roget’s Thesaurus at the moment. Incredibly tragic background, his family had much suicide and depression. Roget wasn’t much chop as a medical doctor, but when he went back to lecturing he hit his forte. He wrote lists as a coping mechanism, which is what worked for him. Anyhow, a sideways story to say keep at it in academia LawProf, we need good teachers who love what they do and are respected for it.

  374. I have always had a like/dislike relationship with TWW. But one thing I have learned from this site and one way in which I have changed my mind is in this area of believing the victims. This site has helped me see how hard it is for victims to come forward and how we owe them the opportunity to make their concerns known in a safe environment. I have changed in this. It’s not that I was against victims before it’s just that I took more of the “there’s two sides to every story” approach because I didn’t see how hard it was for victims to come forward. I was against victims through ignorance more than anything. Anyway, thank you TWW for helping me see more clearly. I stand with Nagmeh, and if I get burned for that stand, so be it.

  375. Dan wrote:

    Spare us your political striving, disgusting.

    Political striving? Really? Did you think I was unaware of the things done against Hagar? My parents are part of a board for a home for pregnant women with no resources. This home is called “Beerlahai roi” which comes from this story. Do you know what that means without looking it up?

    Political striving? Really? I’m thinking you either have no understanding of what I was saying and why. Or you have no idea of what you are saying.

    I agree, there should be no political striving in marriage. However, this is exactly what Q was trying to bring into it with his stupid comment about Sarah and how he wanted to apply it to Naghmeh. I was simply giving back to Q what he was dishing out.
    In your world, is it’s okay for Q to politically strive against Naghmeh and this blog using Sarah as a bludgeoning weapon but no one can turn the tables on him using the same Bible character to point out his error.

    Both Abraham and Sarah were flawed people. They both did things for the other because of a deep love and loyalty that they had for one another.
    The reason Sarah agree to pretend they weren’t married was to protect Abraham who has only been completely devoted to her in spite of her inability to produce an heir.
    The reason she handed over her maid was for the same reason.

    They both screwed up. They both sinned even though they did it out of love, devotion, and loyalty to each other, and sometimes to the hurt of other people. But it wasn’t a big power struggle or political striving between the two. Making their relationship all about who is the boss over whom misses the entire point of their lives as heroes of faith.
    This is why Q’s comment sickened me and I responded in kind.

    I’m sorry that this was completely lost on you.
    But as Dee pointed out. You don’t know me or why I say the things I do.
    Have you never heard of “Demonstrating absurdity by being absurd?”
    This is what I was trying to do. Probably poorly. But it was my point.

  376. @ Dan</
    Dan I'm really sorry you & your sibling(s) had this experience. Awful stuff. Many people here have had terrible experiences of abuse & it has cost them dear. Please also be aware that many people here are extremely well educated & experienced in the dynamics & tactics of abusers, & won't hesitate to push back at things that are not well explained or are reminiscent of some form of game playing. That is why this site is so helpful to those who've suffered the pain of the curse of silence over abuse, it does not keep to a form of 'Christian nice ness' that has more to do with Victorian propriety than true Christian character, which just hides evil rather than confronting it. It can seem very different, but is far closer to genuine love & integrity. As a philosopher you may even get to enjoy it.l

  377. Joe2 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    You seem to be unable or unwilling to grasp that concept.

    You have plagiarized my sentence and used it as your own. You should know better, but apparently you don’t. You couldn’t even think of something original. That probably explains why you didn’t survive in the real world as a lawyer and have to hide behind an academic desk. The old saying, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach” fits you to a tee. You are a big time loser, pal.

    LawProf I hope you heard my snort of laughter from England :) I bet you have ‘never’ heard anything remotely similar from any cheeky over confident undergrads 😉

  378. Lydia wrote:

    I have a different take. I think the plan was for all of them to be at the retreat center with photo ops and then another big photo op at home. We cannot know how much of this reflects her decision. After all, she just filed a claim about taking the kids out of the state. Since this all now looks like a plan to kick off the eventual grand tour, my guess is they were concerned about his welcome at home and how that would look. They probably spent those 5 days writing the statement and doing damage control planning. Now, it looks like his parents and her sister joined him?

    I am not convinced Naghmeh wanted to meet on that turf, anyway. I don’t blame her.

    To be frank, until the custody situation is sorted out via court order, Naghmeh should stay in Idaho with the children. My fear would have been that had she gone to North Carolina, he would have taken the children from her and forced her to leave. I don’t KNOW if that would have happened, but it could have happened, and I’ve seen it happen. Without a court order protecting her rights as the children’s mother, Naghmeh could have been duking it out in a court 3,000 miles away from her home.

    Sorry, I’m just very suspicious. I’ve seen some really bad things happen in Adventures in Child Custody.

  379. Friend wrote:

    Where I live, domestic cases are not posted online. Most other types of cases are. I believe the basic story about the 2007 assault, but there could be a local reason for the absence of an online record.

    It’s entirely possible, having completed the terms of any requirements for his sentence (e.g., anger management classes, that sort of thing), and staying out of trouble for a set amount of time (like three or five years), the conviction was expunged.

  380. Law Prof wrote:

    I was not a particularly distinguished attorney–but I’m a heck of a good teacher.

    I wasn’t a great lawyer, but I’ve come into my own as a systems analyst investigating software and hardware environment failures. I never expected I’d be doing this for a job.

  381. js wrote:

    . I was against victims through ignorance more than anything.

    Thank you for your comment and especially the above.

    The total irony of victims of abuse is that they are usually the ones with who are the easy mark. They are often the ones who want to be fair so they are constantly asking themselves what am I doing wrong.

    Add in the Christianese with its cheap grace of saying sorry as repentance and excuses of, oh well, sinners sin and the victim is often cornered with little support.

    Yeah, it is grueling to come forward. The person with the power or great personality is most often believed.

    And this just makes it worse because the victim is usually mentally exhausted and a wreck. They tend not to look so credible.

    That is another reason they need us!

  382. mirele wrote:

    To be frank, until the custody situation is sorted out via court order, Naghmeh should stay in Idaho with the children.

    I was thinking the same. I know it sounds like an accusation but filing that then taking them out of state to that person seems like a wrong move.

  383. @ Melody:

    I agree. Franklin Graham continues to be an embarrassment to Evangelicalism.

    Last week I had an opportunity to direct a large donation to his organization or another. I chose the other.

  384. Haitch wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I was not a particularly distinguished attorney–but I’m a heck of a good teacher.
    I’m reading the book “The man who made lists” about the creation of Roget’s Thesaurus at the moment. Incredibly tragic background, his family had much suicide and depression. Roget wasn’t much chop as a medical doctor, but when he went back to lecturing he hit his forte. He wrote lists as a coping mechanism, which is what worked for him. Anyhow, a sideways story to say keep at it in academia LawProf, we need good teachers who love what they do and are respected for it.

    Not sure how respected, but it’s the only thing in my life I’m genuinely good at. Giving exams next week, and soon the talk amongst the students would make Joe2’s snark look like a soft stroke from a velvet glove. My oldest daughter, who matriculates at the same school, will tell me from time to time, people who don’t know she’s my kid will say all sorts of foul stuff behind my back after tests are passed back–“That bleeping bleeper”–remarkable stuff! (course, it’s invariably the students who aren’t willing to do the hard, brain-twisting work–which I absolutely demand at the point of a failing grade).

  385. Mara wrote:

    Dan wrote:
    Spare us your political striving, disgusting.
    Political striving? Really?

    Mara – Dan says some really odd things, some of them are full-blooded non sequiturs. I have no clue what he meant by “disgusting” “political striving”. nor much clue what he’s getting at about 50% of the time. Again, my best bet, for what it’s worth, is that the guy’s in some bad situation, a cultic church, as another mentioned, maybe a CC, or perhaps a neocal cult, because it just seems like there’s something not quite lining up with reality there.

  386. mirele wrote:

    It’s entirely possible, having completed the terms of any requirements for his sentence (e.g., anger management classes, that sort of thing), and staying out of trouble for a set amount of time (like three or five years), the conviction was expunged.

    Concur. Very possible, did one of those myself for a client back in the day.

  387. Beakerj wrote:

    LawProf I hope you heard my snort of laughter from England I bet you have ‘never’ heard anything remotely similar from any cheeky over confident undergrads

    Only behind my back.

  388. Pingback: Articles on Naghmeh Abedini, who is bravely exposing the abusive behaviour of her husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini | A Cry For Justice UNITED STATES

  389. Nancy2 wrote:

    Sharon wrote:

    As far as Saeed not going first to his wife upon his arrival in the US: my thought was that SHE did not want that.

    The original plan was for her to load up the children and meet him at the Graham compound.

    Yes, I had heard that was the plan (though since Saeed said it in his statement, perhaps we should take it with a grain of salt).

    A few commenters earlier in this thread were operating under the assumption that it was Saeed who chose not to have an immediate reconciliation with Naghmeh. My point is that I suspect it was not his choice at all–rather, I suspect it was Naghmeh’s choice. If she had been there to meet him first thing (whether at North Carolina or if he had gone straight to Idaho), it would have given the doubters room to say, “See, if he had been abusing her, she wouldn’t have rushed straight to him.” The fact that she stayed away from NC made it obvious that there were issues in their marriage. It was a wise choice for her to make it public, because there is safety for the victim when things are public. It would have been in Saeed’s interest to play happy family. Naghmeh prevented that.

  390. siteseer wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    It seems like the ultimate insult- and after all she has done for him.
    I temper this with the idea that she probably drew back from meeting with him because of everything that is going down, but still, you would think he would ditch the FG baloney and seek reconciliation with his wife first and foremost.
    I do not like the statement he put out one bit. He seeks to take control of the narrative and firmly shut down and silence it. He minimizes and denies, does not take ownership of his failure or apologize. I do not see grace in his statement, either giving it or asking for it.

    I think Saeed’s actions are to meant to let Naghmeh know that he is in control of the entire situation. Therefore, he wouldn’t humble himself and visit his wife first and foremost upon arriving in the U.S.A. That would show weakness and capitulation to a woman. How would that play out in the Complementarian scheme of things? Not very well.

  391. @ Nancy2:
    I remember reading that snippet from her Facebook. It is one thing to know about the Christian Industrial Complex and quite another to be one of the foot soldiers in the midst of it with the weight of it coming down on you to conform to the strategies and embrace its cognitive dissonance when you are really beginning to see it for what it is on the inside.

    She rather amazes me. But another irony here is that she is “teaching/pastoring” in the way it was meant. I hope that does not add to her burden but to just know that she is an inspiration. She has a lot to lose going this route. Even financially.

  392. dee wrote:

    What is wrong with the church??? This experience will be the subject of a post. There are a number of despicable men in this world who do a good job pretending they are Christians.

    There is a cancer in the evangelical church, and there is certainly rot at the core of the SBC. I’m going to go out on a limb (or maybe not) and say that this cancer is the Calvinistic takeover and all the nonsense that comes with it. It’s worse than nonsense; I just can’t think of another polite word to describe it.

  393. Law Prof wrote:

    Mara – Dan says some really odd things, some of them are full-blooded non sequiturs. I have no clue what he meant by “disgusting” “political striving”. nor much clue what he’s getting at about 50% of the time

    His response to me about egalitarianism and complementarianism was a real head-scratcher. I wondered what he was smoking.

  394. @ Nancy2:
    That last article is a great argument against comp doctrines. It might take her some time to see that. In her circles at CC, etc, they are stepped in it. What do you make of it? She is in a major paradigm change and seems to be choosing her words carefully.

  395. @ Patriciamc:
    I thought that one extremely strange. He said “authoritarian” and Egal. In my experience that usually means comp is right. I have yet to meet a comp that admits the doctrine has an authoritarian bent.

    But I get weary trying to interpret vague.

  396. Lydia wrote:

    That last article is a great argument against comp doctrines. It might take her some time to see that. In her circles at CC, etc, they are stepped in it. What do you make of it? She is in a major paradigm change and seems to be choosing her words carefully.

    I completely agree with you about the comp doc.
    I am wondering what happened to make her change her original plans. Did someone say or do something that either scared her or encouraged her? CC ….. don’t they teach that, basically – maybe not word for word, that the husband is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the family?
    From what I have read, she changed plans after speaking with Saeed. I’m not slinging any accusations here, but it does make me wonder if something said in a conversation between the two of them after he was freed may have triggered her decisions.

  397. Law Prof wrote:

    Dan says some really odd things, some of them are full-blooded non sequiturs. I have no clue what he meant by “disgusting” “political striving”.

    Okay, so it’s not just me.
    If he disagreed with what I said he would have made more sense and had a better argument if he left out terms that he defines differently than the standard, accepted definitions.

  398. Patriciamc wrote:

    His response to me about egalitarianism and complementarianism was a real head-scratcher. I wondered what he was smoking.

    When I read his response, it seemed to me like he wasn’t talking about marriage, as most people here are when they use “comp” and “egal”. He seemed to be speaking more broadly.

  399. Nancy2 wrote:

    don’t they teach that, basically – maybe not word for word, that the husband is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the family?

    That’s exactly what they teach. Dictated solely by plumbing received at birth.

  400. Law Prof wrote:
    <blockquote
    OK, you’ve answered my question. It’s SGM, or perhaps A29, maybe a 9Marks, or a neocal SBC. Thanks, all I needed to know.
    Persecution complex: check
    Dishes out/can’t take it: check
    Projection: check

    yep, and still that way–if you get a chance, head to the Christians for Biblical Equality facebook page, & you’ll see a nice looooong discussion about membership involving covenants, and horridly naive thinking. :(

  401. Sarah wrote:

    Hi, I was just wondering if someone could link me to the domestic violence charge from 2007? When I search I only see the recent filings from Naghmeh and traffic violations.

    the Idaho newspaper has specific links in the comments–apparently, it’s listed under a transliteration of his Arabic name, which is much longer, and the court files are sealed.

  402. Nancy2 wrote:

    From what I have read, she changed plans after speaking with Saeed. I’m not slinging any accusations here, but it does make me wonder if something said in a conversation between the two of them after he was freed may have triggered her decisions.

    I think you could be right. I think he was pressuring her to come pose as a happy family, and she didn’t want to. She realized that would just undermine her claims that he had been abusing her.

  403. Sharon wrote:

    I think you could be right. I think he was pressuring her to come pose as a happy family, and she didn’t want to. She realized that would just undermine her claims that he had been abus

    He might have even pressured her to recant the statements she made about abuse, porn, etc.

  404. @ XianJaneway:
    I know I’m going to sound like a pedant, but here goes anyway: Iranians do not speak Arabic, but they use the Arabic alphabet. And Iran has many ethic minorities – Armenians, even. From a glance at his full surname, i have a hunch that he is from one of the minority groups. It is not a typical Iranian surname.

    None of this matters, really; just though I’d thow it out there. Fwiw, some ziranians identify their language as Farsi, while others insist that it be called Persian. I don’t really have a clue what that’s about, though.

  405. I concur about Franklin Graham. I still love the Operation Christmas Child projects, but every time he opens his mouth lately, I cringe, and wonder how long I want to support his organization. Sad that so many Christian leaders end up as celebrities.

  406. Sharon wrote:

    I suspect it was Naghmeh’s choice. If she had been there to meet him first thing (whether at North Carolina or if he had gone straight to Idaho), it would have given the doubters room to say, “See, if he had been abusing her, she wouldn’t have rushed straight to him.”

    Plus, you know his lawyers would have certainly used that. By not meeting him, Nagmeh might have just saved herself from a lot of future grief.

  407. @ dee:

    You have misquoted me and gave incorrect meanings to what I said: an example –

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

    I did not write that about Naghmeh! You have that in quotation marks, who wrote it? Not me.

    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. I have seen many people with a personal agenda/s gain many followers, especially for personal gain.

    I haven’t been on this blog since I said I would “take a break”, hoping I would no longer be the issue or irritate anyone any longer nor have I had time to read this thread (and then I come back and see this “zinger”). This is an example of misrepresenting someone, which seems to be easily done on social media. Perhaps I could have been clearer or perhaps I could have been asked for clarification of what I meant before it was assumed and put out there as true, if I was asked?, I missed it.

    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, and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty and then the penalty should fit the crime (unless there is a loophole like in the CJ case, I don’t see that here). And the man could not say anything from his Iranian cell. I’m all for an investigation and everything that that entails , but I’m not willing to throw anyone, man or women, under the bus on a mere accusation, I have lived long enough to know better.

    You misrepresented me.

    Will you correct that I said or implied that about Naghmeh?

    Will you correct the others?

  408. 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.

  409. 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.

  410. @ 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.

  411. 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:

  412. 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.

  413. 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.

  414. 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.

  415. 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.

  416. 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!

  417. 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.

  418. 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.

  419. 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.

  420. 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!

  421. 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.

  422. 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.

  423. 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.

  424. 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.

  425. 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.

  426. 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.

  427. @ 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!!!

  428. @ 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.

  429. 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’!!!!!?

  430. 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.”)

  431. @ 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?

  432. 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???

  433. 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.

  434. 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.

  435. 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.

  436. 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.

  437. dee wrote:

    I have added Q to permanent moderation status.

    Bet Captain Pickard wished he could do the same.

  438. 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…

  439. 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 …………

  440. 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

  441. 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.

  442. 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.

  443. “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

  444. 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.

  445. 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.

  446. 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.

  447. 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.

  448. 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.

  449. 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.

  450. 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).

  451. 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.

  452. 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.

  453. 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.

  454. 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.”

  455. 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.

  456. 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.

  457. 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.

  458. @ 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.

  459. 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.

  460. @ 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.

  461. 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.

  462. 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

  463. 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.

  464. 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!

  465. 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.

  466. 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.

  467. @ 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.”

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

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

  469. 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.

  470. @ 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.”

  471. 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.

  472. 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.

  473. 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)

  474. 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.

  475. @ 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.

  476. 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.

  477. 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.

  478. 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.

  479. 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.

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

  481. @ 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.

  482. 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.

  483. 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.

  484. 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.

  485. 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.

  486. @ 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.

  487. 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.

  488. @ 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.

  489. @ 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.

  490. @ 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.

  491. 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.

  492. @ 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.

  493. @ 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.

  494. 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???

  495. 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.

  496. 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