Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The other side of the story

Posted by Hannah at 9:25 AM

I believe it was a couple of months ago I had posted a message from Jimmy Carter.  He had spoke about the abuse of women within the faith realm.  Recently, I had was reading ibelieve.com and someone posted an article regarding a message he recently again stated.  Jimmy Carter: Abuse of Women? Blame the Catholics and Southern Baptists.  It was amazing to me how not one of the people looked to read the transcript, or even listen to the short audio message the man presented.  They just assumed what the article said was so, and when others posted what was actually said?  His politics were the response.  They wouldn't go near the truth.

I noticed that when some were trying to point out the inaccurate information within the article that those posters were accused of NOT living during the man's time being President.  They were told they didn't understand the man's politics. 

I remember those years very clearly myself.  I had parents on both sides of the political realm, and YES that made for some interesting dinner conversations.  I will mention they did keep it respectful.  I wasn't the type of child (or young adult at that point) to engage with the conversations, but my younger brother just thrived on it.  I remember he had a huge world map that took up his entire one wall in his bedroom, and during the time he literally took a black sharpie marker to remove Iran off it.  He also had an American flags in his bedroom window for each Hostage that was being held.  The intensity of the conversations during that time for dinner?  WELL it was on high alert, and I never was like my brother as he got into the discussions.  He did very well defending his views, but I felt intimidated by whole conversation myself.  It was a very intense time in history, and I remember wondering if I asked a question would it be more like jabbing a stick into a beehive. I wasn't ever really comfortable with politics as a child, but as I grew older I tend to discuss it in small portions at a time.  My brother got another world map AFTER this time, and I noticed he left it alone this time! 

It seems once a person is branded  you just can't look at anything else they have to say within that faith board.  I knew that Mr. Carter had issues with the Southern Baptist or the SBC.  I couldn't believe that he would actually SAY the things the author of the article mentioned.  I searched the speech out, and found the transcript and sure enough that wasn't what he said.  The video presentation was what I sought out first.  Mr. Carter's transcript on what he said is what I searched for next. 

The article in question claimed:

Jimmy Carter has once again blamed traditional religion, particularly Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics, for "creating an environment where violations against women are justified".
I did a search of the transcript for the portion that was quoted. This is what was mentioned:

This view that the Almighty considers women to be inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or tradition. Its influence does not stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths, creating an environment in which violations against women are justified.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.
The article quoted:

Their continuing choice provides a foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world," said Carter. Carter goes on to list horrific violations against women such as rape, genital mutilation, abortion of female embryos and spousal battery.
What the transcript and video showed he said was:

Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.

At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo. It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair and equal access to education, health care, employment, and influence within their own communities.

The quotes caught a few people by surprise, and then of course the SBC or those that are 'Baptist' aren't naive and give dangerous advice to those victims of domestic violence.  I mentioned Paige Patterson's quick little remark about domestic violence, and just to add a bit of sugar gave them a link to the audio of him actually 'uttering' the ignorance they claim their church doesn't endorse.  You remember his advice?

He was approached due to this woman's husband beating her. She was told to go to the end of the bed each night, and when he is about asleep you start to pray for him out loud so he can hear. He told her to get ready, because he might get a little more violent. SURE enough she came to church that Sunday with both eyes black. She was angry at me and said, "I HOPE your HAPPY!" I told her, "Yes Maam I am, but I'm sorry about what happen." What she didn't know is her husband came to church, and he was staying in the back - when I gave the invitation to come to Christ - he came. "My wife has been praying for me, and I can't believe what I did to her! Do you think Christ would want someone like me?" NOW they have a great marriage, and it all came about because of she sought God.
I was told then:

let's not jump from a few idiots to an entire denomination. I know some really obnoxious atheists, but I have enough perspective to realize that not all atheists are like that. I am always mildly amused when people who decry stereotypes left and right try to lump a group of Christians into one stereotype. It's like their own hypocrisy escapes their notice.

They were actually shocked to find out that Paige Patterson isn't just any pastor; he's the president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.   I mentioned what John Piper said about taking verbal abuse for a season, and maybe a smack for the night - then you could come to the church for help.  Once again they stated they had never heard a pastor condone domestic violence from the pulpit.  Then of course the typical comment came:

The last I heard God hates divorce. Why would any christian pastor support it? Maybe, just maybe, these pastors were trying to keep the marriage together. Maybe, just maybe, we don't know all the facts in those supposed situations where pastors counciled women to be "abused" by their husbands.
 Maybe just maybe the church just plain doesn't wish to face that their actions don't line up with their message.

Its like they are taking it as attack due to pride of a denomination, and not looking at the whole picture.  The Christian church ISN'T the only doing this!  You see other faiths such as Jewish or Muslim do the same thing, and justify it in their very own unique flavor of oppression just as the Christians do. 

I realize that men, women and children that are dealing with abuse tend to doubt their reality.  Its not US that are struggling with the reality of domestic violence, but the ones that don't have to when it comes acknowledging it exists and is happening!  When someone mentions that some misbehavior on your behave may have caused another person to abuse you?  Don't listen to the lies!  They are just not strong enough to handle the truth, and find the strength within you to find others that maybe scared as well - but are willing to place their faith towards what they know is right.  When it comes down to it?  We have alot of cowards within our houses of faith.  They may do awesome things in other areas, but when it comes to families NOT so much!  Their cowardly ways of not placing their faith in action towards hurting people show they may not be capable of acknowledging reality.  Don't spend the energy trying to get them to see, but spend your energy finding those that are willing to acknowledge it.  They are like abusers that refuse to hear, and all you do is bang your head against a wall.  Your first priority is your safety and well being.  If the house of faith isn't willing to step up and do what they say they will do - allow the secular world to help instead.  You see their faith can't be all that strong, and their truth can't be truth if they have to manipulate you with guilt.  They can acknowledge that spiritual leaders give rotten advice, but can't acknowledge that some may take that ignorance to heart?  Its not US - its THEM!  If they truly wished to help broken people did we not hand them that opportunity, and did they NOT take it?  They claim they don't know all the facts, and yet:

No, we don't know all the facts, but we do know what they said publicly. According to the descriptions given by the pastors themselves: one said women should be willing to take a smack. Another told her to antagonize a man who was physically violent.

and they claim their churches don't condone violence? Their leaders do, but they don't?  Those leaders are not dealt with, but ignored so is that WHY it doesn't happen to them?

If you place Mr. Carter's personal politics aside, and people bothered to listen to what the man said about faith and domestic violence?  They should be ashamed of themselves, but they aren't it seems.  Its easier to shame abuse victims, and ignore perpetrators of abuse just like their leaders do.  Maybe they can't acknowledge us because then they would have to acknowledge those leaders dangerous advice.  They call those that flee 'worldly', and yet their 'do as I say and not as I do' isn't for some reason.

The Christian faith states we are to be different from those of the world.  How are they different in this case?  Their acts of denial are different, and yet if you think about it - its not so different is it?  If you need help please run if someone is trying to guilt you into staying within a dangerous household.  If you have the church telling you that you can't be right with God if you flee?  Stop and ask yourself if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is!  Chances are they won't.  Those that find you a safe place are those that are safe themselves.  The rest just like spiritual pixie dust, and condone their spiritual leaders and their ignorant advice by NOT SPEAKING OUT AGAINST IT!  They aren't so right with God are they?  To me?  They are the ones that should repent, and yet their denial, pride and arrogance won't allow it.

They say there are two sides to every story!  Take a GOOD LOOK at their side, and let that marinate really well.  Do they stand for faith, truth and love?  To me it looks like cowardly.  They can't stand in faith knowing that truth, and showing love towards the victims as the bible calls them to do.  That's your other side the story!

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