Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not in my CHURCH!

Posted by Hannah at 8:45 AM

I was doing a little reading the other night, and I came across the blog called Duh Daily Scoop. The author reprinted an article by By Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post. The article was called, "A Call for Clergy to Spotlight Domestic Abuse".

Glenn F. Ivey is a State's Attorney for Maryland, and he wanted to get out the word about domestic violence. As we know October is Domestic Violence Month in the United States, and he made a couple of calls to the churches so they could take the lead. He figured it would be a 'slam dunk' as they call it. It will be an easy sell! HOW hard could this be right?

"But no, I heard things like: 'Brother, it's a little hot to talk about that one.' Or, 'Well, I'll take it up, and we'll form a task force and get back to you.' . . . And then there are churches where the response to the victim is, 'You have to stick it out.' "

Glenn Ivey is a man that wishes to help the 'weaker vessel' within churches, and the church basically turned their backs on the State of Maryland, Glenn Ivey, and women that he wishes to help. What a 'holy' slap in the face huh? We aren't talking about a few little small towns, or neighbors here after all! We are talking about an entire STATE within the USA, and their churches decided that domestic violence really wasn't a topic they wanted to deal with right now.

The article goes on to say:

On Sunday, gatherings will be held at churches -- including Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington -- and community-based organizations across the region for "Project Safe Sunday," an initiative aimed at getting people to talk about the sometimes-taboo subject of domestic violence. President Obama has designated October "National Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

The goal is to help people understand the serious and complicated problem and to spur them to learn how to help themselves and others get out of an abusive relationship.

Mr. Ivey speaks about one of his revelations about how people just can't seem to approach this subject when news came out about Chris Brown and Rihanna. We all know they talked about it, but how they wrap their minds around the reality of domestic abuse? It seems that took him by surprise.

In another Washington Post article Glenn Ivey was quoted with saying:

At least initially, a large contingent of people thought that Rihanna was guilty until proven innocent. Not only were they willing to defend Brown, but they also seemed convinced that she must have done something to "deserve" being beaten. Even after a tabloid released photographs of Rihanna showing extensive bruises and swelling, some persisted in defending Brown. Her decision to reunite with him after the photos were published was seen in some quarters as confirmation that she had somehow wronged him from the beginning.

RIHANNA DONE! Pictures, Images and Photos

He was speaking to a many of middle school students about this crime, and he was surprised at the reaction of the children. It was the same, and the stats, stories and whatever else he could show them was basically lost to his audience of children.

The surprising comment that he made finally got these children to stop and think for a moment!

Finally, exasperated, I blurted out, "Do you think Barack would ever hit Michelle like that?"

Everyone in the room froze. One student weakly suggested that "Michelle is big enough to fight back," but I knew I had them then.

"Even if she were a foot shorter, can you ever imagine Barack hitting Michelle?" I pressed on: "Is there anything she could possibly do that would lead you to think she deserves to get beaten?"

At that point, the debate was over. Putting hands on Michelle Obama was somehow unthinkable.

Mr. Ivey commented about how the domestic violence issue needed someone like Michelle Obama to step up and support it. He also mentioned that maybe this was to much of a hot topic even for her. No matter what your political party lines are can you imagine the impact that would have? The fact that domestic violence rips people's lives apart, and that isn't falling along gender lines either! Generations of families dealing with this, and for some? Domestic violence is far too controversial to make that commitment.

He closes:

But this sort of campaign is clearly needed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 1,200 deaths occur each year as the result of domestic violence. Nearly 2 million attacks annually don't result in death but can be nearly as devastating -- such as what happened to Yvette Cade of Clinton in October 2005, when her estranged husband set her on fire. The Chris Brown/Rihanna case is the sort of domestic violence that I see nearly every day in my job as a prosecutor.

On top of all this, the ripple effects of violence continue to rip apart families and distort young minds. Many of the killers that come through my courthouse have a history of domestic violence in their homes. It will take powerful forces to break that generational curse.

For years groups have sought to reduce domestic violence nationwide. We would all benefit from the credibility and charisma that the first lady would bring to these efforts. Perhaps with her help, we could reverse recent trends and reduce domestic violence in America.

I have to wonder if it will take someone like Michelle Obama for people to truly stop and listen. It seems to me that the church is afraid to use our most powerful source GOD as the motivator!

I see people searching for the grey area so they really don't have to deal with the meat of the issue. Recently I wrote about one of the red herrings that stop them, and that would be the 'authority' within the home.

I truly feel people are afraid of opening this can of worms.

Its a can of worms that God would wish to be dealt with, but we humans use scripture as reasons we don't.

You also see this in history all the time.

From Bitter waters to Sweet mentions how Christians used scripture to justify slavery for example! We can't even imagine that today, but it was accepted and believed!

A Wife's Submission talks about Nate Phelps, and how his well known father Fred Phelps uses 1 Corinthians 11 as a tool of terror towards the women in his family. How he can use this power to take away their salvation. Nate Phelps has now completely turned his back on his faith.

Its just like the stories you find about the sexual abuse within the church that Because It Matters brings to our attention. People are so taken back and hurt by the stories they accuse others of 'judging' and remind them that they are a NICE person. They are a man of God. They just can't face they are a fallen man of God. The accusers are normally placed on the hot seat at that point as people search for flaws in their character to use as the excuse. They just can't place the fact that this person can do this using their own freewill. You can't heal broken people if you can't face the fact they are broken to begin with! IT doesn't happen in MY church...afterall!

We have all heard the sermons and read the articles about commitment. How we have covenants that we are fulfill. Men and Women that are abused are asked to fulfill a commitment and covenant by themselves, because their abusers aren't capable of that. What makes it harder is that society it seems can't seem to OWN that fact that they are not capable either. I will admit society is further along in loads of aspects when it comes to the 'world' versus domestic violence within the church!

Sadly, I think Glenn F. Ivey does have a point. It will take someone like Michelle Obama to start the push for the world to see the reality of this sin.

Its not due to being 'provoked' as people love to say.

Its due to two broken people that have separate issues they need to face and deal with.

Sadly, in alot of cases? They may never see it, because the world refuses to. The 'healthy' ones can't point it out, and help because its just to controversial. I guess its easier to blame the broken people. It would be to UN-politically correct to truly look deeper. The next time I hear, "That would never happen in MY church!" I hope they aren't Maryland! If they are I wonder if they will go as far as to ask about the invitation from Glenn Ivey! You know! Check to see if the denial is NOT in YOUR church! I can't believe Maryland is the one and only!

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Mara Reid on 9:50 AM said...

You and I are Christians.
We love God and know that His heart is broken over both the abuse AND the deniel and victim blaming.
We know it.
But it's crazy how clueless others are over it.
And it's crazy how certain segments of society use 'Thus saith the Lord' to condone sin.
I just watched some youtube videos last night about FLDS, that mormon group that promotes polygamy.
The men, over and over, kept saying, "I'm just obeying God. God told me to do this."
Crazy, crazy.
These men aren't hearing from God.
They are hearing from the darkness in their own hearts (and loins). They may even be hearing from a false angel of light and mistaking it for real Light.

Crazy how people can claim to love God but yet love the darkness so much.

'nother good post, btw.

Hannah on 10:18 AM said...

I agree. They ignore the darkness that is happening, and grab onto scripture as their lifeboat.

In the chapter in Malachi with the famous, "God hates Divorce"? God speaks of the character of the men in question. He speaks of how they treat their family, and use their 'appearance' of faith as their lifeboat thinking they are okay.

Yet another point loss to alot of people. Sigh.

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