• ‘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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• Christian Gender Complementarian Analogies Do Not Work

Christian Gender Complementarian Analogies Do Not Work

Christian gender complementarians sure are fond of using analogies to support their views. Never mind that their analogies do not work, some are meaningless to some people, and some are arguably heretical.

One of the most favored analogies complementarians employ – to bolster their claim that they believe “women are equal to men in value or worth, just not in role” is to do something like say, “A private in the Army has as much inherent worth as a General, he just doesn’t have as much authority.”

Sometimes, complementarians will patronizingly compare a wife, a marriage, to a boss and employee relationship, in order to make a point that the husband (the boss) may have the “final say” over the wife (the employee), but they are both equal in value as persons.

The problem with such comparisons is that they are based in temporary situations that can change.

Someone who has joined the U.S. military can attend officer training school and shoot from a lower rank to a higher rank.

Even if starting at the bottom of the pile, whether we are talking a military or civilian occupation, and employee who shows dedication, talent, and skill – and possibly one who receives additional education – can be promoted. Today’s mail room subordinate can theoretically be tomorrow’s  C.E.O.

In the world of complementarianism, however, a woman is forever stuck in the same role, the same level, no matter how talented she is, or how dedicated or educated.

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• Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, Formulas and Over-Promises

Christian Gender Complementarianism, Lists, Rules, and Over-Promises

Evangelical Protestants and some Baptists have a strange habit of giving congregants lists, rules, or principles they imply will guarantee success. Success at life, marriage, work, dating, whatever it may be.

Very often I’ve heard Christian preachers on TV, and sometimes in person, deliver sermons with headings such as, “Fifteen Steps To Raising Godly Children,” or “Six Rules for Keeping the Sizzle in Your Marriage.”

I was never a part of Gothardism, but wasn’t Gothard rather infamous for promoting rule or biblical principle keeping as a recipe for Christian sanctification success?

Here are a few links about Gothardism, ones from other sites that mention some of the rules-defining and rules-based living this group endorsed:

Growing up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult

Wikipedia’s Bill Gothard Page

Mr Gothard’s Sexual Rules: Part One

I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me

Some complementarians also do this very thing.

Authors and complementarians Lori Alexander and Debi Pearl promote these sorts of views that if one just follows a certain set of complementarian- based principles or rules, that one’s marriage will last, thrive, and be successful.

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• If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

If You Act Like A Victim, You Will Likely Be Victimized – And: Complementarians Ask Women and Girls to Be Small To Make Men Feel Big

I could have also headed this post, ‘If you act like prey, you will be treated like prey.’

One theme I have seen in numerous books, articles, television programs, and blog posts I have read on topics ranging from boundaries, people pleasing, workplace abuse, crime prevention, domestic violence, school yard bullying, to Animal Planet channel’s My Cat From Hell television show (seriously!) is that individuals looking to hurt or exploit another individual almost always seek out the most vulnerable-looking target.

Bullies, abusers, con artists, and predators usually do not seek out strong, self-confident, or healthy victims. (There are exceptions, but that is a general rule, based upon much reading I’ve done.)

It’s important to note upfront that my post is not intended to be victim-blaming. I am, rather, a big fan of prevention.

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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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• Housework, Dirty Dishes, Complementarianism and Personal Anecdotes

Housework, Dirty Dishes, Complementarianism and Personal Anecdotes

In most of the relationships and marriages I have personally known, the males are the gold-diggers who sit around all day watching football, going bar-hopping during the day, or playing games on the internet all day, while their wife or girlfriend holds down a full time job, pays all the bills, and also comes home to take care of the house-work because the lazy slobby men won’t clean dishes, fold laundry, or do anything else.

Doing housework is not rooted in gender.

A lot of biblical passages complementarians point to in order to substantiate their claims are not intended to be timeless directives, but were products of their time and meant for their time period or locale only.

There’s nothing in the Bible that teaches that washing dirty dishes or cleaning laundry is “woman’s work” or that says women are better suited for, or designed by God more so than a man, to clean a dirty house ( see “Workers at home” or “keepers at home” in Titus 2:5? and “Busy at Home”: How does Titus 2:4-5 apply today? )

I am a little puzzled, then, by complementarians who keep behaving as though American women in the year 2017 are still living in the same conditions, societal expectations, or value systems as American women of the 1950s, or the ancient Greeks and Romans with whom Paul visited, wrote to, or visited.

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