• ‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

The article in question:

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson, via Aussie ABC news

My introductory comments:

Complementarians like to insist that their gender theology has nothing to do with domestic violence, but funny, isn’t it, how so many Christian wives who divorced their abusive Christian husbands remark how their husband would sometimes cite male headship or “wife submit” type Bible verses or complementarian concepts to justify their abuse?

I think it’s very deceitful for complementarians, on the one hand, to prop up this view that says it’s God’s (God’s! – talk about taking God’s name in vein) design for a husband to be in a boss-like or deity-like position of authority over a wife, but then feign ignorance at being able to connect the dots at seeing how such a sexist view could of course be used and misused by a husband to abuse his wife physically, emotionally, financially, or by some other means.

Most of the complementarian husbands who are not abusing their wives are not living out complementarianism proper, or taking to its logical conclusions or abusing its inherent unfairness to women, but are living out egalitarian marriages in practice (their marriages are complementarian in name only, which even complementarian Russell Moore pretty much recognized).

For complementarians who like to proclaim the “no true complementarian” fallacy (“no true complementarian husband would ever abuse his wife”), especially in regards to the correlation between domestic violence and complementarianism, I point you to this page on another blog:

John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy

For those complementarians who like to say complementarianism properly carried out and practiced is acceptable and not violent or sexist, I point you to this post on my blog:

Even Warm and Fuzzy, True, Correctly-Implemented Gender Complementarianism is Harmful to Women, and It’s Still Sexism – Yes All Comps (Refuting “Not All Comps”)

Here again is a link to the Aussie ABC news article, with portions of the article reproduced below (in my view, all of this, or about all of this, is applicable to American complementarianism and American Christianity):

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson

Snippets:

Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.

This is the second instalment of an ABC News and 7.30 investigation into domestic violence and religion. You can read part one in the series — on domestic violence and Islamhere.

….”Your problem is you won’t obey me. The Bible says you must obey me and you refuse,” he [Peter] yelled [at his wife Sally]. “You are a failure as a wife, as a Christian, as a mother. You are an insubordinate piece of s**t.”

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• The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

In my view, this article (see farther below) is applicable to a lot of the spiritual abuse or domestic violence stories we see on spiritual abuse blogs, and how so many churches mishandle them.

I have a few victim-blamers in my own family, including a sister and a brother – my brother’s victim-blaming tendencies seem to start after he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. 

I’d like to say, though, I don’t know if I agree with the author’s view that asking what a victim could’ve possibly done to prevent their victimization is blaming or not. I think it would depend on the tone, motivation, timing, etc, behind why one is asking.

For example, if someone comes up to you who was just mugged minutes before,  I do think that it is not the time to ask the person, “what could you have done differently to have reduced your chances of having been mugged.”

I personally have never been mugged, but I am very interested in reading articles by law enforcement that would give me tips so as to lessen my chances of being mugged. I don’t view such practical advice as always or necessarily being “victim blaming.” I think the timing and context of such advice matters.

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming (on The Atlantic) by K. Roberts

Excerpts:

October 2016

When people want to believe that the world is just, and that bad things won’t happen to them, empathy can suffer.

…Victim-blaming comes in many forms, and is oftentimes more subtle, and unconscious than Metzger’s tirade. It can apply to cases of rape and sexual assault, but also to more mundane crimes, like a person who gets pickpocketed and is then chided for his decision to carry his wallet in his back pocket.

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• Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work

Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work

This is not the post I had planned on writing.

I was briefly discussing in an older post that most American Christians and most churches are utterly terrible at assisting most people who have mental health problems (and I’d also add addiction problems, domestic violence problems, and many other types of problems).

In order to appreciate my position on things, I feel a reader might want to read about my experience with depression and anxiety.

From the age of 11 to the time I was approximately 32 or 33 years old, I saw around four or five different psychiatrists, one psychologist, and one therapist, all for clinical depression and anxiety. (I also saw the therapist to receive grief counseling.)

I know at least one of those several doctors was a Christian, though we never talked about Jesus or faith matters in our sessions.

I have no idea what the religious beliefs were of the other MHPs (Mental Health Professionals) I visited.

From around the age of 15 or 16, up until I was about 33 years old, I was prescribed various anti-depressant medications and about two different anti-anxiety medications.

The medication dosages were modified by the doctors when they didn’t seem to be working for me at their initial dosages.

At some point during my 20s (I do not recall the exact age or for how long, but at least one year), I stopped seeing doctors and stopped taking the pills, because the doctors and the pills were not working.

I also halted medical treatment of my depression and anxiety because I assumed God was refusing to heal me and help me because I was using non-faith means (i.e. medical science) for a solution.

A small part of this view of mine was due to Christian teaching I saw or heard that cast the use of doctors and medications for psychological problems as being sinful or as showing a lack of faith.

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• Yes, Complementarianism Infantilizes Women – and the Complementarian Tie-Breaking Vote Doctrine

Yes, Complementarianism Infantilizes Women – and the Complementarian Tie-Breaking Vote Doctrine

When discussing parenting, this post is assuming the parents in question are raising a physiologically and psychologically healthy child.

I recognize that some children are born with conditions that make them feeble-minded or mentally disabled in some capacities well into their adult years, so they will need adult supervision all the days of their lives.

Yet other people, as adults, get into car accidents causing lasting brain injury, or develop dementia, or other conditions, that leave them “kid-like” and dependent on other adults. I’m not talking about those types of situations, either.


As I wrote in a much longer post or two, gender complementarianism is codependency with a christianized veneer, and the God of the Bible does not endorse codependency but cautions against it.

Complementarianism encourages women to think like children, act like children, to shirk responsibility for their own lives, and they usually start this conditioning and brain-washing when the women are still children, if they were raised in a complementarian family or church, as I was.

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• Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail

This article focuses on divorce, but I think its advice is applicable to other life problems.

I discussed healing and moving past painful ordeals in a previous post or two. I had depression for many years, and after my mother died a few years ago, I had to find healthy ways to cope with the grief.

One method I used was writing. I used to write by pen in an old notebook. These days, I might blog about something, or write posts on someone else’s blog. I’ve found writing does help.

Why Keeping a Diary Helps You Move On And Even Improves Your Heart Health – Daily Mail by Alexandra Thompson

Here are some snippets from that page:

Struggling to cope with a divorce? Keeping a diary helps you move on and even improves your heart health

  • Expressing feelings by telling a story of your relationship has notable benefits
  • Writing lowers the heart’s rate and increases its beat variability, boosting health
  • Telling a story has advantages over expressing feelings or recording activities

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• Five Signs of An Abusive Relationship Most People Will Dismiss by Harriet Marsden

Five Signs of An Abusive Relationship Most People Will Dismiss by Harriet Marsden

Snippets:

If asked to name signs of abuse in a relationship, many would assume physical violence.

Domestic violence and relationship abuse are often cognitively associated with black eyes, broken bones, sexual assault, rape and even murder.

But what about the non-physical violence? Trauma, manipulation, control, emotional torture? A subtler, more insidious and ultimately easier to hide type of abuse?

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• Codependency Is Real And It Can Leave Women Vulnerable to Being Abused or Taken Advantage Of

Extreme Caution Urged Concerning Domestic Violence Sites that Discount the Role of Codependency in Abuse of Women – Some Abuse Victims are Indeed Codependent

Codependency is Not Victim Blaming and Can and Does Play a Role in Female Marriage (or Dating Violence) or Female Exploitation

(I began composing this post in the summer of 2016 but will publish it in the fall of 2016.)

Summary: 

The topic of Codependency, (which encompasses, but is not limited to, concepts such as assertiveness and boundaries), is NOT a “victim-blaming” one and has a place in helping girls and women make healthier choices for themselves and what they will and will not tolerate in relationships.

A brief critique of the page “Abuse Victims Are Not Codependent, They’re Trauma-Bonded” by S. Arabi – hosted on the Huffington Post – is now located on this other page of my blog.


I touched on this very issue in a previous post here, about half way down the page, under the section entitled “Codependency and Relationship Abuse.”

I am truly alarmed to see the number of sites, some Christian – some not, that wish to deny or discount that codependency can and does play a role in violence towards women, or the exploitation of girls and women, in romantic relationships or other areas of life.

Denying that codependent women can attract abusers or be in abusive relationships, or that being codependent can protract an abusive or exploitative relationship, is doing a very dangerous and huge dis-service to girls and women.

Before I return to that topic in depth, I’d like to fill readers in on some of my  personal background, because I believe it will help you understand where I am coming from.

Using myself as an example will also help you to realize that saying that codependency can play a role in why some women are abused, or why so many remain in exploitative relationships (including toxic friendships or toxic work-place environments), is not (NOT NOT NOT!) a form of “victim-blaming”.

You can also trust me on that because I detest victim-blaming. I have been on the receiving end of victim-blaming by various people over my life, and I know it’s not pleasant, compassionate, or fair.

I myself am a codependent who is in recovery.

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