Professor Says Minors Can “Enthusiastically” Initiate Sex Activities with Adults. Did He Mean It?

This nebula is glowing with hydrogen gas and filled with enormous stars, dust, and … a bubble? NASA

“Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.


I am getting ready to drive home from my vacation in Florida, so that this post will be short but no less provocative.PM quotes American News in Professor says minors can be ‘enthusiastically involved’ in ‘initiating sexual activities with adults’

Professor David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire …When trying to prevent sex crimes against children, it’s key to realize that in some cases, it is the children themselves that are “initiating sexual activities with adults.”

The professor says that sex with children is considered a crime, but…

Wherein a minor “voluntarily” engages in sex with adults is a controversial topic of conversation precisely because “discussions of voluntary relationships to some people, opens the door for ex-offenders to feel like this is something that they can do.”

There is much confusion in the law over the permissible ages for consent.

“In some states, in some jurisdictions, there are restrictions for 16 and 17-year-olds, so their prohibitions are that it’s illegal for a 16 or 17-year-old to have a relationship, say with an adult who is more than five years older than they are. And one of the problems in this area is nobody knows exactly where the law should create these distinctions. There’s not good enough research on issues related to maturity with regard to sexual behavior, that allows a clear demarcation here,” Finkelhor said.

He thinks that we need to help children understand why sexual relationships with adults are not allowed by the law.

 I think they need to understand from their point of view, why these relationships don’t work out, why the age difference turns out to be a problem, why they need to have somebody who is more going through the experiences of life that they’re going through.

For Finkelhor, much of this prevention should be rolled into “comprehensive sex education,” which to his view, mostly teaches children and teens avoidance strategies as to how to know adults are trying to take advantage of them, but do not account for a child or teen’s feelings that they want to engage in this behavior with an adult.

He believes that many older children will believe that such relationships are desirable, which may cause them not to cooperate with the police.

“They oftentimes the ally with the offender, they refuse to cooperate, to do a better job on these investigations. It may be important for advocates and police not to automatically treat the youth as though they’re a victim. They can treat them they can talk with them about the reason why we have these laws and why such people who violate these laws need to be prosecuted, but they don’t need to necessarily treat the victim as the treat the youth as a victim if they that’s not the way they see themselves.

The professor’s lecture on the subject caused some in the media to jump to conclusions. Fox News reported New Hampshire professor clarifies claim that children can initiate sexual predatory behavior in adults.

The professor is the director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, and his lecture caused a bit of an uproar.

A University of New Hampshire professor  recently warned that people should not assume all pedophilic conduct “starts “with a predatory or criminally inclined adult” because sometimes children initiate the sexual acts with adults who are not otherwise “criminally inclined.”

The professor clarified his comments with Fox News.

“Adults are fully culpable of a crime if they have sex with a minor under the age of consent, whether or not the teen initiates it or participates voluntarily,” Finkelhor said. “The adults should be prosecuted.  I do not condone adults having sexual contact with minors.”

He went on to clarify what is meant by pedophilia.

Finkelhor also took issue with journalists reporting that his comments are related to pedophilia.

“This term applies only to people (men) who have a sexual interest in pre-pubescent children. Adult sex with a teen is a serious crime but not pedophilia,” Finkelhor said. “My talk was exclusively about adult sex with teens. Some of that involves adult women and teen age boys. Still a crime. But even people who like to misuse the term pedophile don’t tend to apply it easily to those cases. Police and child protection need to work with those boys, and therefore they need to understand the dynamics.”

Dr. Finklehore is well respected in the area of crimes against children. I think his talk was misunderstood. However, he must be cautious in his presentations since it appears his statements were taken out of context but those who quoted segments of his lecture. Thoughts?


Comments

Professor Says Minors Can “Enthusiastically” Initiate Sex Activities with Adults. Did He Mean It? — 56 Comments

  1. From the aacap.org or American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website:

    “Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex. Research has also shown that exposure to drugs and alcohol during the teen years can change or delay these developments.

    “Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:

    -act on impulse
    -misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
    -get into accidents of all kinds
    -get involved in fights
    -engage in dangerous or risky behavior.

    “Adolescents are less likely to:

    -think before they act
    -pause to consider the consequences of their actions
    -change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors.

    “These brain differences don’t mean that young people can’t make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. It also doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. However, an awareness of these differences can help parents, teachers, advocates, and policy makers understand, anticipate, and manage [and mentor and guide for positive long term outcomes] the behavior of adolescents.”

    If the “experts” are expounding on adolescent vs adult behavior, especially with regard to decision-making, then brain research should be included. Duh….

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  2. I think this is going to be an awkward subject for some families because “age of consent” is understood differently now than it was, say, 70 years ago.

    My great-grandma was in her teens (I don’t remember specifically, in the 16-19 range) when she married my great-grandpa, who was in his mid-twenties at the time. They married in the 1920s.

    My husband’s grandma (now in her 90s) got married the day she turned 18. Her oldest child was born the next day. Her husband was 23. They married in the 1940s.

    I used to know a woman who was 17 when she married her husband. He was a recent college graduate at the time of the wedding, so I’m assuming around age 22. They married in the 1990s.

    Now we’re talking about their actions like they’re borderline wrong. And that’s going to make people uncomfortable.

    And that’s just in the United States.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  3. A good friend has worked for 30 years with troubled children.

    These kids do not have good judgment. Issues range from fetal alcohol syndrome to abuse to addiction to mental illness or any combination.

    We’ve seen here that anyone can be manipulated to point that they believe the whole thing is their idea. A mirage of consensuality.

    The onus is always on the adult. Always.

    And we can’t point to grandma or grandpa from 100 years ago any more than you can point to the Bible to justify the fact that Mary was likely a teen bride.

    My wife’s grandfather had two wives and two families. He married her grandmother when she was 17 with the family blessing. He was a Buddhist man marrying into a Muslim family.

    Different times.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  4. I graduated from high school in the mid-70s. A week after the ceremony one of our classmates married one of our teachers. She had just turned 18; he was in his mid-30s. The question on all of our minds was what were they doing prior to the marriage? Obviously something was occurring.

    Most 18 year olds are easily swayed by adults, especially if they have romantic feelings towards them. I think the laws protecting minors are important and I think that teachers who look to their students for emotional or romantic support need to seriously reconsider why they are in the profession.

    I’ve been teaching 40 years, and I hope to be in the classroom several more years. I love my students too much to betray their trust.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  5. Wild Honey,
    Things have changed a lot since our grandparents and parents got married in their mid to late teens. Kids do not grow up as quickly, adolescence has been extended due to changing societal expectations, and the majority of US kids go on to some form of higher education. You just can’t justify an of-age adult having sexual relations with an older teen based on what was occurring 75 or 50 years ago. Plus, if you really are 20 and the object of your affection is 16, better judgment would say to just wait a few years to make sure it’s real. Most 20 year-olds aren’t that mature anyway.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  6. Darlene: What I want to know is how does someone who is a professional, a trained “expert” use such irresponsible language? Whether he meant it or not, the poor wording he used gives cover for sex offenders.

    “David Finkelhor, PROFESSOR
    DIRECTOR, CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN RESEARCH CENTER
    Sociology
    Justice Studies
    Family Research Laboratory
    Crimes Against Children Center”

    With this type of “expert” in charge, no wonder child abuse is not going away.

    Another “expert”, professional, Ivy League academic, good friend of Jeff Epstein:

    “Alan Dershowitz is an American lawyer known for his work in U.S. constitutional law and American criminal law. From 1964 to 2013 he taught at Harvard Law School, where he was appointed the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law in 1993.”

    Dershowitz’ answer to the minors assaulted by Epstein & Dersh is to lower the age of consent (14? 13? Middleschool?).

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  7. Darlene:
    What I want to know is how does someone who is a professional, a trained “expert” use such irresponsible language?Whether he meant it or not, the poor wording he used gives cover for sex offenders.

    I read it differently. This is one of those topics where misunderstanding is almost unavoidable, but I understood him to mean we need to think and talk differently about this so that we can better prevent it, and when it does occur, so that we can better investigate and prosocute the crimes. To me it sounded similar to how one has to take into account Stockholm Syndrom when dealing with hostages.

    Here are two key quotes:

    “Finkelhor’s goal is to steer both children and adults away from engaging in these kinds of relationships, and notes that the current messaging may not be enough to dissuade either young people or adults from doing so.”

    “They oftentimes the ally with the offender, they refuse to cooperate, to do a better job on these investigations. It may be important for advocates and police not to automatically treat the youth as though they’re a victim. They can treat them they can talk with them about the reason why we have these laws and why such people who violate these laws need to be prosecuted, but they don’t need to necessarily treat the victim as the treat the youth as a victim if they that’s not the way they see themselves.” (the transcript was poorly edited)

    If I understood him correctly, it sounds like a reasonable approach to reduce these incidents. I did not see anything to lead me to believe he is trying to normalize this behavior or to let the perpetrators off the hook.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  8. Ken F (aka Tweed): If I understood him correctly, it sounds like a reasonable approach to reduce these incidents. I did not see anything to lead me to believe he is trying to normalize this behavior or to let the perpetrators off the hook.

    Agreed. The adult has the responsibility to avoid illegal activity, even if the teen is seeking out their company. “But the teen wanted it” is not an excuse.

    We HAVE to have nuanced discussions. The law might be clear (or not), but humans are complicated, and they need to think things through on the basis of good information.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  9. FYI: Buried in the following post is a report that one of the well known watchbloggers is echoing false information attacking another watchblogger: https://julieroys.com/opinion-former-harvest-volunteer-publishes-falsehoods-people-quick-to-retweet/

    I have seen this as a problem for a long time now. Makes me think of this scripture: “The entire law is fulfilled in a single decree: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. Now I say, walk by the Spirit, and you should not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Gal. 5:14-16

    Running a site entails responsibility and checking your sources first, before going after someone on mere rumor. There is a lot of evil around and much of what is said is true. But for what is not, these site owners need to apologize for sometimes false allegations are made. To not apologize when proven wrong is just pride. The same pride the white-washed septic tank leaders have.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  10. Julie Roys quote from same article:

    “I’m all for holding Christian leaders accountable, but that’s not at all what this is. This is gossip—and I rarely use that word because it’s been so horribly misused to try and silence legitimate whistleblowers and critics.

    But that’s what the spreading of unconfirmed, sensational reports about another person is. This is wrong. It’s ugly. And it certainly isn’t Christian.

    So friends, can we stop? If you hear an allegation about me, or anyone else for that matter, don’t publish it unless you can confirm the information.

    That’s the ethic I and other journalists use every day. But it’s also just following the Golden Rule. And whether you’re a journalist, a blogger, an advocate, or just someone who tweets, it’s a good and decent principle for life.”

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  11. Friend: “But the teen wanted it” is not an excuse.

    I’ll paraphrase Max while he is recovering from eye surgery (Praying for you Max). The problem with deception is those who are deceived don’t know they are deceived. It makes sense to deprogram youth who don’t see a problem with that type of relationhip with adults, rather than assuming they feel like victims. They truly are victims, but they might not know or feel they are. It makes sense to take that into account for youth who don’t yet recognize that reality.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  12. Ken F (aka Tweed): They truly are victims, but they might not know or feel they are. It makes sense to take that into account for youth who don’t yet recognize that reality.

    Yes, and it goes deeper. Vulnerable and naive kids might have no idea that they are sending powerful signals to predators or impulsive adults.

    The saying in my home state was “Seventeen’ll get you twenty.” Many times I saw young adult men pass this along as a warning to their friends. It was a deliberate reminder not to get carried away.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  13. This brought to mind the ODU professor put on leave given comments in an interview with an organization which IIRC reportedly hosted a chat space for “MAPs” with a minimum age of 13:

    https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/education/old-dominion-professor-pedophilia-comments/291-6a3e6436-6c62-4096-85a8-29876534d627

    Walker has reportedly “secured employment with the Johns Hopkins University center working towards preventing child sexual abuse”:

    https://meaww.com/johns-hopkins-child-abuse-center-hires-allyn-walker-who-calls-pedophiles-minor-attracted-persons

    “Walker’s hiring has been criticized by a lot of people including Michael Salter, the Scientia Associate Professor of Criminology at the School of Social Sciences at UNSW and an expert in child sexual exploitation and gendered violence. Salter tweeted: “To retain its ethical foundation, child sexual abuse prevention work has to be victim-centred. What is victim-centric about the claim that there is nothing wrong with being sexually attracted to children?”

    “He also mentioned, “Too much prevention work is being driven by researchers and practitioners who work solely with offenders or people sexually attracted to children. What these individuals say in a research encounter or forensic interview does not line up with victim report. We need to integrate the evidence base to develop a comprehensive approach to CSA prevention – one that recognises and respects CSA victims and survivors as witnesses and a critical source of information.”“

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  14. Darlene,

    People are careless about language all the time. Look at this thread: people have thrown the word “pedophile” around like candy, even when it is not the correct term.

    “Enthusiastically” in this case is not careless language. Peopl are enthusiastic about potentially negative activities all the time. The problem with “enthusiastic” is the same as the problem with “sincere”: we tend to interpret it positively, and when it is used in a neutral or negative way we simply blank out instead of analyzing the statement.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  15. I have been thinking about the difference between gifting and actual relationship with God built up over a long period of time. In my case, I have averaged an hour a day with prayer walks for over 40 years now. This does not count all of the time in churches hearing sermons, or bible studies, fellowship, reading the Bible and meditating on it or anything else related to practicing the Christian faith. So what is this kind of investment in time worth? I have spent less time playing guitar and yet I am an advanced guitar player. What is a personal relationship with God worth and what comes out of it that is different to those who never invest? This leads me to what happened last night:

    Last night, at dusk, I went for my daily prayer walk after it cooled down enough. My routine takes me down the Rim Road, which has houses on both sides and then the reservation with open forest to the south behind the one row of houses. I walk past the paved area with the homes on small lots and to where it turns to dirt and the homes are on 1 acre lots. Just past that there is an area of multi acre lots for sale, which have not been broken down to 1 acre lots, or prepared sufficiently to sell like the other developed lots. I was walking there last night when I ran into something I was not expecting.

    There was this large black bear, the largest that they get in this state off to my side that appeared suddenly about 100 feet away. I stopped and looked at it and it stopped and did the same. Ironically someone had dropped off a bear sculpture that had had its legs rot out and fell down just a week before. It causes me now to look in that direction and this real bear was walking right past it. I thought to myself “this is not good!” There was nowhere to go as I was in the forest here. So I started to walk sideways back the way I had came while I faced the bear attempting to slowly put some more distance between me and the bear. I did not get far before the bear started walking again right towards me.

    So I shot up a quick prayer as I was already praying. In my mind I said, “God I could really use an Angel for some help right now!” I had no sooner thought those words when the bear stopped, got spooked, and ran off very fast in the opposite direction. All I saw was the bear, but I have no doubt that that bear saw an Angel there with me. It was only the second time in my life that I recall having an instant answer to prayer.

    This is the most cynical place that I regularly frequent. Makes me wonder that if God were to show up for a little person who is no celebrity and do something that shows that his hand is not too short to save, that He is not deaf to our prayers, that He is not blind to real potential peril of his own children, would anyone here give Him praise in return? Or in calling ourselves Christians we trust no one and believe in nothing at all? This makes me wonder…

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  16. Mr. Jesperson: This is the most cynical place that I regularly frequent.

    How would you tell this story to a praying Christian who was mauled by a bear, or to the praying Christian parents of a child killed by a wild animal?

    I do not ask cynically. I ask as someone who prayed through three life-threatening illnesses. During my treatment and recovery, Christians I knew died of a similar condition. We all went to the same church, and visited one another’s homes.

    To drag this back to the topic, young praying Christians are sometimes victimized by sexual predators. Unfortunately, victims are often blamed because they did not pray hard enough.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  17. JDV: “develop a comprehensive approach to CSA prevention – one that recognises and respects CSA victims and survivors as witnesses and a critical source of information.”… attributed to Michael Salter

    Victim/survivor Jules Woodson was enthusiastic about going for ice cream with her youth pastor Andy Savage.

    Youth Pastor Andy Savage was enthusiastic about driving the girl down an isolated dirt road into the woods to demand a blow job from the girl for her pastor, since this girl was so enthusiastic to be with him and “loved” him in that “organic moment”, claims the pastor.

    It was “Enthusiastically initiating” what in the end turned out to be a “sexual activity” (correction: violent sexual assault) done by pastor to girl.

    Savage still claims the girl wanted it, enthusiastically. “Organic”, consensual.

    How often do we hear the predators claim that the minor victim wanted it, asked for it, initiated it… enthusiastically … “it” being the sexual assault of a minor by an adult?

    The girl wanted ice cream. The man wanted a blow job – a violent assault – man sticking his junk down a girl’s throat. Quite different enthusiasms, eh?

    God bless Jules Woodson for sharing her story (outs this predatory “pastor”), for having faith, and for moving onward and upward.

    When a child or minor tells what happened, they are courageously speaking truth to power. There’s no level ground, with the age difference. If the adult(s) are “experts” (academic, theology, psychology, research, celebrity, business, $$$, lawyers, etc.), then the difference is even greater.

    In the case of the boy – a minor- who admittedly assaulted and ended the life of the girl Lily Peters, he actually wholly admitted what he did, to adults. The experts will now try to explain the boy’s motive.

    As we listen to experts, we can note, however, the motives of the adult “experts”.

    Andy Savage was an entitled professional with an evil motive of using youth in his charge for vice, then blaming the youth. Ugh.

    Alan Dershowitz’ motive of his legal expertise of lowering the age of consent involves his accusations by Virginia Guiffres of him assaulting minors.

    Some “expertise” reveals evil motive.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  18. Friend: How would you tell this story

    Stephen was martyred, Acts 6-7.

    Peter was miraculously delivered by an angel, Acts 12.

    In both cases, numbers were added to the church for the glory of God.

    These facts pointed out by a person chronically ill, eventually fatally.

    The prayer ladies were praying for healing, which did not happen.

    The sick person pointed out these facts as the prayer ladies ran around the church looking to put the blame on someone’s faith, lack of. They didn’t get their miracle, having targeted the sick person for their miracle.

    The sick person testified of God’s faithfulness until the day of passing.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  19. Mr. Jesperson: This is the most cynical place that I regularly frequent.

    Why do you keep coming back?

    Cynical
    /ˈsinək(ə)l/
    adjective
    1) believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
    “her cynical attitude”
    2) concerned only with one’s own interests and typically disregarding accepted or appropriate standards in order to achieve them.
    “a cynical manipulation of public opinion”

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  20. Ava Aaronson,

    Thanks. That is how it plays out, and good for the ailing person who drew the threads together.

    I’m in a very slightly different place about this type of story. Healing did take place: the patient was at peace. Miraculous physical healing or medical cure did not occur.

    In my own view, prayer does not turn God into an action figure who cures one person while others die. God is with us always, and prayer uplifts us in the most hopeless and joyous circumstances. I do give God thanks that I survived, but do not believe that means I’m better or more deserving than those who did not make it. My survival is partly a mystery and partly due to access to effective treatment. God is with me all the time, regardless of what I want or even need.

    The understanding of suffering both sees us through and compels us to make the world a better place.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  21. Linn,

    Sorry, I’m not trying to say that I agree with a late-teen being romantically involved with someone significantly older than them. Just that there needs to be nuance in the conversation, given that it’s still happening, particularly when the age gap is narrower. If I can think of a half-dozen families I know in this situation (who purportedly went on to have happy marriages where at least one or both of the spouses is still alive), then surely there’s a bunch out there. That condemnation is going to hit awkwardly, to say the least.

    Yes, adults need to be encouraged to wait if their prospective interest is significantly younger, even if they’re “legally” of age. But when the deed has already been done, what then? And I’m not trying to participate in xenophobia, but at least two separate immigrant communities I’ve been connected to have pre-20s marriages as not uncommon. How do you treat this kind of situation with grace and understanding, while saying “no more” for the future, when our own culture did the same thing not all that long ago (relatively speaking)?

    I think that’s what I’m trying to say.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  22. Wild Honey: late-teen being romantically involved with someone significantly older than them

    If the couple are the same age, that’s one thing.

    If there’s a significant difference in age, the elder can wait until the minor is of age, and therefore fully more able to make the significant decision of a long term relationship that includes commitment and intimacy.

    The elder can show their regard and respect for the younger, and wait. Love, respect, responsibility, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control. Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  23. Ava Aaronson: If the couple are the same age, that’s one thing.

    Laws vary by state. One state has a Romeo-and-Juliet law that allows kids 15, 16, and 17 years old to be sexually involved with each other. However, if one of them turns 18 before the other, the law that applies is age of consent, which is 18. If a teen couple has been involved for a while, their relations turn into statutory rape as soon as one of them has an 18th birthday. As soon as the other one turns 18, the relationship is magically legal again.

    Parents have been known to get rid of a daughter’s boyfriend by calling the police as soon as the boyfriend turns 18.

    Of course kids should wait, but the law as written does not establish an age gap of say five years. But the law will not be changed, because the public and lawmakers cannot talk rationally about sex.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  24. Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    TRIGGER WARNING

    CGC, you if anyone will know what I mean. We were all groomed. I have written about 1969 a lot in the last few weeks.

    Am I supposed to wage some sort of campaign against “authority”?

    The world was always going to be like that, on and off. BUT WHERE was the church? Abolishing the good liturgy it had only just brought in and then lying to pretend it hasn’t.

    Liturgies and flip flops and pincer movements, designer outlets and DNA, don’t protect me. I am dirty because perves “made me dirty” together with all the other children, and other perves are approving with their head swivelling and finger wagging.

    WE GOT GROOMED.

    I want to hear from men about this.

    Am I supposed to wage some sort of war against “authority”?

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  25. Friend: If a teen couple has been involved for a while, their relations turn into statutory rape as soon as one of them has an 18th birthday. As soon as the other one turns 18, the relationship is magically legal again

    Because Law is a profession of exact definitions and details.

    Parents have been known to get rid of a daughter’s boyfriend by calling the police as soon as the boyfriend turns 18.

    Let Bubba Do It loophole of the above.

    Of course kids should wait, but the law as written does not establish an age gap of say five years. But the law will not be changed, because the public and lawmakers cannot talk rationally about sex.

    And Christian Authorities (who are hell-bent on becoming The Authorities in my country) are just as screwed-up about sex as everyone else.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  26. Friend: How would you tell this story to a praying Christian who was mauled by a bear, or to the praying Christian parents of a child killed by a wild animal?

    Quote 2 Kings 23:25? With or without a self-insert for Elisha?
    Or go with the faith-healer fallback of “they had some Secret SIN in their life” or “not Really Saved”?
    Christianese One-Upmanship is so common these days I am completely sick of it.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  27. Friend: Vulnerable and naive kids might have no idea that they are sending powerful signals to predators or impulsive adults.

    Here’s Ragehound’s video on an online hashtag version of this exact subject.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtaACZs0yfk

    Warning: Enough cussing to offend Christians. Outside the Bubble, cusswords are used to show strong emotion.
    Note: Ragehound does not reveal her identity or face in public, always wearing a fursuit full-head mask in all her videos

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  28. Mr. Jesperson</strong

    Wow. Of course you could just ask people here.

    I've seen God answer some very real prayers in very real ways over the last 3 years – I've been given an incredibly cheap tenancy at a local almshouse (beautiful historic home) which will basically last the rest of my lifetime, a Christian Consultant Clinical Psychologist has been treating me for free after too many big life events happened in too short a period of time, & too many other small answers to prayers to list. I'm still praying for some other big stuff, but the idea that no-one here would know God if he showed up is…quite a claim, & one I'm happy to disabuse you of.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  29. Friend,

    Prayer got halted, figureheads / personalities / gestures / dramas were promoted as substitute. Thus the world was no longer invisibly upheld, and we the young were not invisibly upheld, as the churches had usually been doing somewhat. This damage was complete in Europe, well before the 1970s.

    It was not in the 1970s that I and my peers were groomed (authority told us to consider “having” sex before marriage), it was in the 1960s. Whilst the world can get like that, the churches were not there for us. The conventional head wagging among christians exonerates the churches and you have all got the timing wrong. I was actually there. I suppose Mr Jesperson is too young and the churches were not honest to give their own testimony.

    Friend, i want to thank you for reacting because as I’m sure I explained before & I’ll explain again.

    I myself requested one full day permanent pug sniffing every time, because the things I’ve witnessed are so serious I wanted to give Dee & Todd discretion. It has been publicly stated (elsewhere) that additional harm will come to some, should I find myself referring to those matters.

    I know what material dialectic is because I was in a specific pincer movement for almost half my life which is similar to a host of other phenomena I’ve seen and heard of, culminating in the subjects of Dee’s blog, also.

    I think Mr Jesperson & H.U.G should make a more thorough and less brief effort to sort out their mutual annoyance because they seem to think they have served each other right and then Ken F joins in (perhaps thinking he means no harm) and Muslin gets distressed understandably.

    I know the reason behind everybody’s viewpoint, because you have kept me awake at nights penetrating it. I also was born with pragmatic language difficulty (a pretty common specific learning difference) and I’m also a methodical not a naive realist. And I believe that meanings come from intersecting of allusions and the word is not the thing.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  30. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    TRIGGER WARNING

    Well I’ve traced through background information as well as assessing my recollections, what the damage was and where it is.

    1 – it not only masqueraded as “fundagelicalism”
    2 – whatever the style, and however “plausible” or however well it went down in public, it was worldly and fleshly. Modernising whilst hollowing out personal belief. Assuming stadiums full on TV will fix all the problems. The William James “pragmatic” fallacies. Praying less. Praying less still.
    3 – anything you see was always a counterreaction to the counterreaction to the counterreaction.

    Snakes who took over religion promised secular authority that they would deliver them support, Carter / Vance / Jim Jones / Burnham, Cheney / Bush.

    A man who had studied for a while at Fordham and was actually NOT a communicator, they tricked him, and they don’t take the flak, he does, they are changing their line in favour of an apparently sleepier one while leading you to be less critical than ever of policies.

    I repeat: we were all groomed and the churches weren’t there for us.

    All comment that’s not using critical sense and background information will fail to benefit blog readers and will reflect badly on Dee & Todd. Blog readers and commenters who want to replace superficial religion with superficial religion aren’t helping the world.

    I think there are a small minority of semi-regulars and occasionals who are so deeply triggered, and so deeply cut up (literally) in awareness of reality, who are hoping for wider support from other regulars continuing to delve and explore.

    A comment has been offered which may or may not be accepted and it was in reply to Friend and deals with this also.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  31. Michael in UK: the things I’ve witnessed are so serious

    Thank you for both of your responses. I always appreciate the sincerity and complexity you bring. If I understand, you think we pivoted from supportive congregations to church shows in the 1960s. Congregations were more normal then, if only because they held a broad collection of people instead of a shrinking, panicking population with extreme demands. I would say, though, that some fakery and showmanship have always been there, along with periods of menace.

    Regarding support versus disagreement on TWW, and the role of sin: dehumanizing language can and does lead to shunning and worse. It is a widely approved reflex—to say, “That’s SIN!” and point to a verse. But 1) the verse is not always that clear, and 2) people don’t stop there.

    In a prayer group at my church, a woman said an outbreak of colds in Sunday school was evidence of “Satanic attack” and demons. I fought back. It is not safe or right to nod along while somebody says the devil is right there attacking our babies. Tragically, we have all read stories about “exorcisms” that cause death.

    As a Christian, I lean strongly toward living in the world I can see. Jesus gave us plenty to do here. These days, when someone talks about people being demons, or about a group deserving hell, I consider that to be dangerous talk.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  32. Michael in UK: I repeat: we were all groomed and the churches weren’t there for us.

    I made the mistake of diving into church history to find the time when the church had it right. Instead, I discovered Christianity has always been a mess, starting with churches in the NT. There has always been controversy and strife of one kind or another. And I also discovered the early church did not look nearly as protestant as I had assumed and hoped. But I also found many precious gems along the way. However, I have not yet been able to find a way to coherently arrange them.

    One little gem from The Didache is a warning about preachers who are described as”trafficking in Christ.” I cannot avoid thinking about that whenever gifted talkers rake in cash in the name of Christ.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

  33. Ken F (aka Tweed): Christianity has always been a mess

    Sad agreement from here, although you know far more about church history than I.

    One problem, in my opinion, is over-reliance on Ephesians 6, which discusses “powers and principalities.” Verse 12 says, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

    Evil might originate outside the human body, but this chapter gets misused, deliberately or otherwise. Instead of calling the police when a crime occurs, people are told that the real enemy is not the human attacker but some invisible force.

    I’ve never heard a prayer for child molesters to be identified, charged, tried, and justly convicted. I have heard more than my fill of prayers for children’s safety that say “hedge them in with thorns,” and go on and on about armor and swords.

    Then folks are told that the devil singles out Christians for the worst attacks.

    No wonder the churches are emptying out.

      (Reply & quote selected text)  (Reply to this comment)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *