Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prejudice is Ignorance

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:58 PM

Push me Pull Me

Marriage can only have one head.
If it has two heads then it becomes a two-headed monster.

I think I must first warn you that I’m on a soap box today.  I first read Mara’s article, Have you heard this one?  I then moved onto Wartburg Watch, and their article Is Racial Solidary really possible in the SBC?

Prejudice Is Ignorance
I guess I first need to explain.  I will be speaking from the eyes of a small child that watched her parents fight in a southern atmosphere during the civil rights, freedom riders, Martin Luther King, Jr. times.  They both grew up in an atmosphere of bigotry, and they were both lead by the Holy Spirit to stand up for what was right and just on this issue.

From what I have gathered they waited until adulthood, and away from the immediate family pressure to do everything they wished to do.  They did small things prior, but went all out once the restrictions of their family life was removed.  

I remember my own grandfather telling me that he sent his good Christian girl off to Baylor thinking it was a good Christian college – and they ‘ruined her’.  Mom told me later she just felt more free to express their beliefs later in life.  They were always there.

During that time if you did such a thing you were the worse of the worse.  You were the white traitors, and dealt with contempt.  

If you watched any of the Freedom Riders program you would understand how truly UNCOMFORTABLE at the very least this stand would place you in if you were in the South.  Which is where we were. 
My brother and I never saw my parents treat people of color any different than anyone else.  They repeated over and over again, ‘Prejudice is ignorance’.  They showed us what that meant, and I’m truly thankful for that.

My children have friends from just about every background imaginable.  I realize they know history, but their freedom of having those friends with no attitude, comments, and sense of bigotry like I saw in childhood?   That is SO big to me!

Prejudice Is Ignorance
This comment can be applied to so much more than my childhood experiences with seeing direct racism.
Prejudice is about power and authority in the eyes of a bigot.  If you attempt to place the bigot on the same plain with the source of their prejudice?  They see it as taking their power and authority away.  Its almost as if the competition is being handed things that was ‘theirs alone’, and they are being forced to share.

In their own pride, selfish nature they lash back.  The sense of superiority that they had been raised with is seen as being unjustly taken away.

The Prejudice is ignorance comment that I learned from childhood applies here.  Sadly, their response is what is dangerous, damaging and downright hurtful.  They seem to think life would be the Dr. Doolittle's push me pull me animal.

I’m going to ‘pull me’ as hard as I can to keep my authority and superiority, and at times I will violently resist the ‘push me’ source of prejudice to view them any different.  

If you read any of the myths of what would happen to society if blacks were given this position?  You can feel what I’m speaking about.  I remember ONE in particular, black men would rape white women.
Their true fear was/is ignorance.  With ignorance came hate, contempt, name calling, labeling, lies, etc.  Yes, Prejudice is ignorance.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Half The Church

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:00 AM

I was listening to a broadcast on Moody radio today, and they were speaking to the author Carolyn Custis James.  Her book I pictured here today is called, ‘Half the Church’.  She was speaking to the women ministry in the church.  I uploaded the program if you are interested in listening.

Carolyn Custis James starts with Genesis, and how it seems to her that the genders are to work together. (6:15)  I like how she called us God’s A-Team as far as image bearers!

I will summarize some of it for you, but I’m sure I missed TONS!

Half The Church Moody Program upload link!

How decisions and discussions are richer once you use the prospective of both men and women.  When men and women come together, and value what each brings to the table then decisions tend to be better (7:50).   Its not a matter of whom is better or worse.  Its not the competition that we seem to be taught, and yet I realize that isn’t what they would call it.  Women see things differently, and their insights and views can open a whole new prospective.

(9:18) They speak of the lack of women’s opinion at times, because of the doors that shut to women in ministry.  Its not about how high up the ladder the woman goes, and people that use that avenue of opinion tend to miss the point. 

Some of the fears of men and women working together?

(19:45) One pastor raised a question that if we work to closely with women won’t we be tempted?  I suppose one of the realities of living in fallen world is temptation.  We are called to be a body, and to work together.  How there seems to be a fear there.   The bible’s message is not for women to be seen only as a temptress, but to be redemptive.   Why is the church’s message at times is that women are a hazard and they are dangerous.   It seems to be a very small view of women when you have things like your computer or other types of things that don’t get talked about as much as the fear of women.  (think goodness I know plenty of men that don’t fit that description)

Immaturity seems to be key here.  I have had good relationships with Christian Brothers – as the women on the show mentioned as well – I would hate to be not allowed that due to some immature fear of women.   How we are to be models for the world, and them asking themselves, ‘what is it they have and can I get some of that!’  It would be modeled by our respect and love of not only each other, but of God. 

We get so focused on fear of gender, not doing our roles, etc that we miss what we ought to be doing.  We seem to be looking at what we are afraid of.

(20:20) God didn’t divide men and women – this is the sphere for men and this is the sphere for women.  We are to be working together as a team to fulfill God’s purpose.    We are God’s A Team, and we need to come together and respect the prospective from each gender. 

(26:20)  They got an email from a man that stated, “Men aren’t afraid of women, but they are more afraid of themselves”.   They were not able to give him a follow up question, but wondered for one: They don’t trust themselves to be alone with a women if they are attracted to her?  This is the type of fear they need to take to God, and have him help with it.

(33:20)  When our voices are heard people just assume we are only talking about women, and not the church as a whole.    A women commented, ‘When I have brought up a concern in our churches small groups, about how we should have a time to be able to share on a more personal level instead of the ‘prescribed’ format?  I was told it was a great idea, and something that needed to be the ‘women’s ministry’ for further exploration.  They seemed to think that was a good idea for women, but didn’t feel look at the fact I was talking about the small groups overall.   Sometimes I feel our brothers only feel we are answering question for our gender. ‘

(34:30) This is where we need to have more communication, because when things are said like that?  Women feel slammed, whether it was meant that way or not.  What would be a better follow up to bring it back to point. 

(38:10) They speak of the curtain between the genders during the biblical days.  It would be seen as similar to what we see today in the middle east.  How the genders did not, and would not work together as we see in other parts of the world today.  It shows how radical Jesus was towards women in that day.  How at times items like dress still today are still laid upon the women, and how they make them responsible just as the men do in the middle east today.  I’m sure they were speaking of attitudes more than extremes.

(39:10)  How women are put to death for being pregnant out of wedlock, because it is dishonoring to the men in their families.  The men are the position of power.  The men are in the position of authority, and yet God is raising women up.  

In the case of Mary and Joseph? Joseph is written about as a ‘righteous man’.   If we think about what Joseph did in that culture?  Heck even before then angel came to tell him to go ahead and wed Mary?  He was full of grace and compassion towards Mary.  She could have been put to death as well.   Joseph was ‘disgraced’ in the eyes of the culture at the time, and yet he was going to choose to ‘divorce’ her privately. No exposure, no punishing of her, no revenge upon her.   Joseph is a true man of the bible.

(48:15) Esther and Mordecai worked together to save their people.   Their goal for the bigger good, and Esther stepped out of her role. 

Men and Women should be able to work together, and to met together, and not have the fear of each other.  When you are involved in a cause that is bigger than yourself..then you are willing to do what needs to be done.  You are not to be worried about if I have enough authority, or am I looked up as equal. 

With both the Mary and Joseph  - Esther and Mordecai stories big things were at stake.  They were bigger than the people within.  When men and women aren’t willing to partner together, unwilling to work together that means that the Kingdom of God suffers.  Its not a light matter, because so do we as the body of Christ. 

(50:00)  Mary’s baby will save the world, and Esther’s King is going to save her people.  The gospel doesn’t call for us to fight for our rights, but asks us to lay our lifes down.  As the body of Christ we should be looking out for each other.   Today we are to ‘us’ focused – biblical roles for one – and yet we are to consider others more important than ourselves.  Mordecai is cheering Esther on, and encouraging her to step out!  Mary is at risk due to her pregnancy, and Joseph is standing behind her and shutting down his carpenter’s shop so that she can do what she was called to do. 

(51:40)  What you see at the end is mutual flourishing.  They are all four flourishing as God’s image bearers.  Real life examples?  When the Elder meetings start the door shuts for the women.  It doesn’t matter if they are equipped to help in that role.  There are many men that feel ‘entitled’ to make all the decisions, without the need to even consult women.  They feel they should serve only in nurturing roles only. 

It definitely was a program that gets you thinking.  Check out the facebook comments on the show.  Here and Here.

Half The Church looks like an interesting book, and I think I will purchase it!  Here is a Google preview for Half The Church for you to check out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women?

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:00 AM

pastor versus feminist
Pastor Versus Feminist
Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.

This one small sentence sure does pack a punch doesn’t it?

Do I buy that 100%?  No.  I do think at times patriarchy can be a contributing factor to abuse towards… WELL anyone!

I have family, and I have known families that tend to live by the ‘father rule’.  If the sentence, ‘patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women’ you would see it in every instance of patriarchy.

You don’t find that to be the case, because not all people view patriarchy as authority and power based.

I’m talking a heart and attitude issue here more than anything.  My uncle for example would NEVER use the trump card, ‘I have the last word’ type of thing.  He respected and loved his wife to much to even condone such a stand.  

I realize some people would think their decision making within their household would come to standstill.  Guess what? It didn’t.  Matter of fact I’m sure he would scratch his head, and wonder why that even needs to be factor.

When you have an abusive person I do believe there are many issues at work.  I don’t believe when we get up close and personal that everyone has the same backgrounds and issues involved.  I have mentioned so many times that people are custom, and I do believe when it comes to abusive people?  Its no different.

‘Never the twain shall meet’

Have you ever heard that term before? Its Defined as: something that you say when two things or people are so different that they can never exist together or agree with each other.

A great example of this would be feminists, and complementarians.  Can you imagine?

One group telling the other they are responsible for the fall of society and are man haters.  

Then you have the other side the coined the phrase: Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.

I mean WHEN have you ever seen them ‘admit’ they agree on anything?!  The extremists in both camps would rather be put to death it seems like.

I guess I seem to get more angry at the complementarians, because of their bull headedness towards being right.  I’m not saying the feminist’s don’t do that, but complementarians should know better.   

Whether or not they like the feminists they are to be Christ like towards them, and they have just as much fun throwing out myths and downright lies about the group overall.

Both groups I have seen use scare tactics, and it personally seems to me Christians are called to be above that.  

Since complementarians love the word ‘worldly’?  Their behavior shows they are projecting it, and please don’t use the excuse ‘we are all sinners’ okay?  Its been going on long enough they should have grasped a clue a while ago and stopped.

There are VOLUMES written on authority and submission – biblical roles for the genders, etc.  When it comes to family violence, or domestic violence very little is mentioned at all.  Have I seen even a small approach to address this?  Yes. 

What is sad is then you see video’s like John Piper and Wife submission, and you sit there wondering if they actually believe what they say.  Why?  It tends to go against the ‘stand on abuse’ that they wrote prior.

Things everyone has to admit

If we look at history, and the treatment of women from the past to the present?  No one can deny the abuse that has gone on, and is still present even today.  The children suffered as well, because they were at the bottom of the totem pole.  I honestly don’t understand why people get defensive about that fact.

We have removed laws that made beating of wives legal, and we have even had past church leaders such as Augustine blame the women if they were being beat.  The extremes of the past?  We all know there were abuses.  

Extreme form today?  Look at the middle east.  The misogynist attitude has always been around, and its amazing that people wish to deny it.

In the Christian context?  How often do we hear if women would do their part properly:  Submission, modesty, roles, etc. they wouldn’t get raped, abused and mistreated.

Too often you hear pastors, and female mouth pieces telling women they are to take it with humility.  On the other hand, excuses about how people can only take it so long before they lash out with justification.

Steven Tracy, author of Mending the Soul reminds us that:
So for many abusive men, in order to maintain their fragile sense of masculinity, they use physical force to keep their wives in their “proper place” and to squelch all threats to their limited male potency. This dynamic of insecure, powerless men using force to control their wives helps to explain why assault and homicide rates are highest when a woman separates or threatens to separate from an abusive husband or boyfriend. In other words, abusive men must be in control, and threats to their control of the relationship must be dealt with by force if necessary. Physical abusers also tend to employ many other forms of control (verbal threats, control of the finances, control of her relationships, etc.) to dominate and subjugate their

The fragile sense of self isn’t just based in gender, because women can be dangerous as well when they feel powerless.

No More Justifications

You often read about how its selfish to proclaim your ‘rights’, etc.  I firmly believe that is a diversion, because everyone needs a healthy sense of self.  Normally, those that are quick to call you selfish are also quick to remind you of others ‘God Ordained’ role, position, etc.  It’s a spiritual pixie dust way of proclaiming their ‘rights’.

There is no doubt in my mind that faith in Jesus Christ has moved men and women to be more kind, compassionate, grace filled, and in short transformed their lifes!  My uncle I mentioned above was a missionary, and it was clear how Jesus was a primary role in how he lived and treated others.

What seems to be lost on the complementarians is that certain men will use their teachings as justification of power and enforcement.  I have seen too many use the excuse that God will transform them, and all will be well with the world!  Sadly, after that they encourage their family members to act in ways that would enable the sinful behavior. 

I was truly taken back when Shirley Taylor quoted Dorothy Patterson:
Dr. Dorothy Patterson said “Whenever my husband tells me to do something, and even though I know it is wrong, I just have to do it, and he stands accountable before God.” (used by permission Christianity Today 1998)

It seems to me that complementarians have a real problem noting the limits of what they see as men’s authority, and headship.  Jesus noted:

Matthew 20:25-28 ISV  But Jesus called the disciples and said, "You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them.  (26)  That's not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,  (27)  and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.  (28)  That's the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people."

The above scripture doesn’t say that no one can have authority, but it does place limits or boundaries upon the role – even a biblical role.

How often do we hear that truly abusive circumstances are few and far between?  Phyllis Schlafly decided since she has never dealt with domestic violence, or know someone involved with domestic violence?  If you run into a friend like that – get new FRIENDS!

John Piper attempted to deal with submission and domestic violence, and his example of it?  Group sex. 
Now how to apply realistic forms of domestic violence in the church when well known pastors aren’t even comfortable talking about it?  Seriously. How.

Learn to deal properly with the least of these

It is much more realistic that a wife will face the dilemma of how to respond to a husband’s verbal abuse, harsh punishment of the children, or demeaning treatment.  Its all well and good to say you should NOT submit to sin, but at what point does biblical submission allow a wife to go against her husband’s decisions?

John Piper encourages you to come to the church for help, but his ‘example’ using group sex to show how he understands domestic violence in the church?  It shows he doesn’t, and people will be afraid to come to the church.

Bruce Ware got into a lot of hot water with his comment:
and their husbands on their part, because they are sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is, of course, one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged,
Now if you look at the above quote?  Does it show the boundaries of authority, headship, or his biblical role?  No.  It puts men in a box as well.  Bruce Ware decided that if you don’t treat men in the fashion he sees as biblical he will either get abusive or act feminine (laid back).

Keep in mind some complementarians are softer in their beliefs.  There are men that truly understand the serving of others. 

When you look at history that shows the domination, control, and abuse towards women and children JUST due to gender or position?  Then you have silly examples of how the church claims they understand domestic violence in the church by using things like:  Group Sex, men get aggressive when a threat to their authority is present, get new friends if know victims, etc?

Why they can’t grasp that the impression that their form of patriarchy can encourage abusive men to take their teachings and run with it?  Back off the hatred of feminists, and think about it.

While I don’t agree with, ‘Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.’ I can certainly understand WHY they get that impression.

They need to point out the boundaries clearly, and speak against those with a low sense of self – that take the teachings and use them as competition.  It doesn’t mean I’m on top and you are below me.  I’m in control and you are to follow me.  You are to do as I say, when I say and how I say – or else I have the biblical justification as HEAD to make you remember WHO is in charge!

If complementarians can’t admit that happens?  Which sadly, they seem to think NOT so much – the fear will remain towards them as NOT being safe.

Formulating lies and scare tactics towards feminism is just going to cement that fear even more firmly.

The bible does state how to deal with the ‘least of these’, and so far?  They have completely missed the target.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Splitting: A book recommendation

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:46 AM

  I was reminded of this book today, and I wanted to do a quick blog post about it.

Its titled, SPLITTING: Protecting yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or a Narcissist.

Its not a faith based book first of all, but I have heard so many GOOD things about it I wanted to mention it.  

It not only can help those that feel their spouse is borderline or narcissist, but also those of you with abusive and difficult ones.  In other words, don't get caught off guard by the labels.

Its a good tool for counselors, lawyers, and individuals in high conflict separations and divorces.

Barbara over at Sanctuary for the Abused quoted from the author:

I wrote SPLITTING after ten years as a divorce attorney representing many fathers (and mothers) whose spouses appeared to have Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders or traits. Since I had been a therapist for the previous decade, I recognized these personality problems -- but I did not realize at first how successful they can be at manipulating and confusing legal professionals.

It reminded me of all the people I know that just raved about this book, and how helpful it was to them. 

It doesn't even matter if you’re already somewhere “down the path” with your high-conflict ex, you will find that Splitting:  Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or a Narcissist will be a tremendous help in understanding with whom you’re dealing with.  It is also helpful to show others such as your support system or professionals you are working with.

It will prepare you to better handle what is to come both personally and legally.  It will be instrumental in helping you to understand the motivations of your ex-partner and the expectations of what will surely continue to take place both inside and outside of the court room.

As the saying goes, More tools is your toolbox the more prepared you are! Protection from abuse in regards to yourself and your children often times depend on being prepared. 

I know it was extremely helpful for a friend of mine that was involved in a very ugly custody batter with an convicted abuser.

Domestic violence lawyers or attorneys have also found this book helpful, and I have heard them use this book as a reference point.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chuck Phelps Enables Woody Allen type of relationship

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:00 AM

 Chuck Phelps is now trying to explain the new ‘forgive and forget’ sexual abuse accusation that he blew off.

You remember the scandal that happened to Woody Allen?  He thought it was an awesome idea to shack up with his stepdaughter!

Well I guess we have another Chuck Phelps approved and not concerned about another 'Woody Allen’ saga.  Why do I say that?  Because Chuck Phelp’s story is a comedy of errors of sorts.  I mean Cheryl’s stepfather attempted to do the same thing as Woody Allen did. 

He also said he had no legal obligation to call the police because she was an adult when he learned of the allegations.

The sad part is?  She had younger siblings in the home as well, and Phelps decided to take the family’s word that THEY reported Cheryl’s claims to the police.  Can you imagine? 

In the world of one of Woody Allen’s comedies that could happen.   The fact we don’t live in the land of comedy – where people don’t get hurt?  Chuck Phelps failed his moral obligation to protect those children in the house UNDER the age of 18.

He didn't just blow off Cheryl, but failed her siblings as well.

I have to wonder if we tell people that rob houses if they went to Chuck Phelps house, and they get caught?  Tell Pastor Phelps you called the police before they made the decision to rob him.  I mean if the man is gullible enough to think the family is going to going to report their own molester?  Why wouldn’t he fall for it!

Here is a girl that has gone to his church, and his school.  She tells him about unwanted touching from her stepdad Woody.  Then Pastor Phelps decided since Chuck Phelps himself told him to STOP that Woody the stepdad did!  This is a man that helped raise this young woman, and unlike Ernie Willis he wasn’t brought before the church for (ahem) a compassion plea.  I mean he was unfaithful as well no?

It wasn’t until Cheryl was on vacation with her family, and told her Aunt and Uncle about what was happening at home did ANYONE do anything.  They – thankfully – took her in their home since it seems her church, and AGAIN her own mother wouldn’t protect her.

In the portion of the letter posted on the website, Sheffield said Cheryl told him her stepfather had been touching her at night, starting when she turned 18 and continuing for a year. He said Cheryl's mother was told of the abuse in January 1996, shortly before Cheryl turned 19, and that her mother went to Phelps for help.
Phelps said the letter went on to say that an officer with the Warner police was investigating the case.

Sheffield said yesterday that he had read what Phelps posted on his website and said he remembered writing everything except the part about the police investigating the case.

"That's news to me today," Sheffield said. "That's completely foreign to me."
Sheffield said he wanted to call the police in 1996, but Cheryl was scared and refused to talk to an officer. Instead, Sheffield said, he called DCYF, since he was concerned about Cheryl's younger sister living in the Warner home.

Now, if we read the above?  Phelps is hinting at the fact that Sheffield (the uncle) was going to report what happened to Cheryl, because she had younger siblings in the home. 

You notice that Chuck Phelps himself – knowing about this even before Cheryl’s Uncle  - didn’t think to do that.  Once again Chuck Phelps is trying to say that it’s the police’s fault.  It’s not Chuck Phelps that should have called, because according to him he had no legal obligation to do so. 

The letter that Phelps posted on his website?  It wasn’t even sent to Chuck Phelps to begin with.  Another thing he attempts to take credit for receiving:
Sheffield also said he didn't send that letter to Phelps, but wrote it in response to letters he said Cheryl had been receiving from friends at Trinity Baptist. After Cheryl moved to California, letters began arriving at Sheffield's house, "questioning why she was leaving God, leaving the church," Sheffield said. "It was all being blamed on her by them."
He said the person to whom he sent the letter must have given it to Phelps.

This tends to line up with what Tina Anderson was saying from the beginning as well.  How they were the one and true church – how everyone else is not doing it right, etc.  Ahem.  I'm sure Chuck Phelps will also state that he had no idea about the letters - which would be a lie.

Sheffield said he also had a phone conversation with Phelps either shortly before or after he mailed the letter. He said he asked Phelps why he didn't report the allegations to the police, and "what I remember him saying is he did not have any obligation, Sheffield being told That does no good to destroy that familyany legal standing to report this," citing confidentiality rules protecting a pastor's conversations with church members, Sheffield said.

While Phelps said yesterday that he never instructed Cheryl to forgive and forget, "I'll never forget that," Sheffield said, recalling his conversation with the pastor. "He used the words 'forgive and forget.' That it did no good to destroy that family."

Tina was thrown under the bus for the sake of Ernie Willis’s family as well.  There was no reason his family needed to be destroyed, and so they sent Tina away to have her baby among strangers.

Now.  Seriously.  Can you imagine any pastor ‘condoning’ a Woody Allen type of relationship within their church?  I guess in Chuck Phelps eyes he didn’t.  I mean he told him to stop, and according to Chuck Phelps he did.  According to Cheryl?  Well, I guess that doesn’t matter.  We must not destroy that family.

We also don’t need to make sure that stepdad Woody doesn’t go on to ‘touch’ anyone else in that family – well besides his lovely enabling wife.

Church’s like the ones that Phelps ministers to?  They are ones that hold family above the people within it. 

They are ones that use rose colored glasses to see the ‘best’ only.  They refuse to deal with the dirty that happens in this world. 

They are part of the reason that people leave the church, give up on God, try to drown their pain with drugs and booze.  Why?  They need to deal with the dirty parts, and find a way of living with them in order to heal. 

Forgive and Forget?  Phelps says:

"That is language that is being suggested by a special-interest group that publicly criticizes independent Baptist churches to generate media attention," Phelps, now a pastor at a Baptist church in Indianapolis, said in a statement. "That allegation is a bald-faced lie."

Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

Your play on words does NOT make your actions better.  I’m not part of a ‘special interest group’, and it doesn’t take brain surgeon to realize you once again have shown your proven track record of betrayal.

Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
Malachi2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them”
or “Where is the God of justice?"

Partiality in matters of law God sees.  It was so plain others see it as well.  You don’t enable a Woody Allen type of stepfather to stay in the home with other children.  Their safety and wellbeing is more important than the marriage.  It was evil and even children can point it out to you.

Reference Article, “Pastor fires back in new abuse case

9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chasm of Forgive and Forget!

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:39 AM

Chuck Phelps at Tina Anderson's Trial attempting to get
sympathy for being thrown under the bus.
Sadly, it has been brought out that a second victim of Chuck Phelps, and his time at Trinity Baptist Church in Concord NH has been brought forward.

Once again Chuck Phelps is working with his lawyer to make sure his response to this second accusation is not seen as pure damage control.

Watch the chasm again of Forgive and Forget.

ChucklesTravels has the victim's uncle response.  The Concord Monitor wrote a story about, but they tend not to allow non subscribers read it.  I placed a copy in my documents section online if you would like to read it. 

Chuck Phelps of course has his response online once again.  You can click to enlarge.
Phelps Excuse for new victim page 1
Phelps Excuse for new victim page 2

I'm sure as with the Tina Anderson story more things will surface as time goes along.

The one thing that is similar between the two stories is that Dr. Chuck Phelps is more concerned about defending himself, and calls this a 'second sad story'.  He makes a point - once again - of the age of the victim.  He then claims the abuses stopped after he was informed of this.

This victim - unlike Tina - moved in with her Aunt and Uncle after informing them during a family vacation what had been happening at home.  The victim's mother told her brother (the uncle) that it had been dealt with - within the church.  The uncle contacted the police in the area, because she had two younger siblings still living them.  He also contacted Chuck Phelps who basically told him it was confidential, and the victim needed to forgive and forget.

Brian Fuller, current pastor of Trinity Baptist Church has removed the stepfather from worship, and other activities since learning about this second case.  Something of course that never entered the mind of Chuck Phelps during Tina's nor the new victim allegations at the time.  It seems that Chuck Phelps likes to forgive and forget.

Chuck Phelps also stated he contacted child services and the police once he was informed of the abuses, due to there being two other minors in the home.  The police claim no such record was filed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Danni Moss Because it Matters

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:42 AM

Remembering Danni Moss

Today I wanted to remember my friend Danni Moss.  Some may have read a number of her wonderful, and very moving articles on BECAUSE IT MATTERS.

I have to admit I was praying to be able to write that our friend had conquered her battle with cancer, but sadly that was not to be.  She went to be with our Lord on June 13, 2010.

Today is my one year remembrance.

Here are some quote from her series, "Stick and Stones: Why Verbal Abuse Kills"
Because we identify people by their external appearance, we are confusing physical injuries with the substance of the abuse. OK, that sounded a little disconnected. Bear with me a minute here.

Remember, who you are is not your body. You are the person who is wearing that body suit during this earthly lifetime. Who you are is independent of your body, though the two are connected.

What makes physical abuse so horrific is the same thing that makes verbal abuse so horrific. What makes either one unbearably bad is the attack on the person — the real person, not the body being worn by the person. Physical abuse generally comes with verbal abuse. The physical abuse communicates assault, hatred, even murder, against the person within the body. The physical abuse is a vehicle for the heart of the abuse – the attack on the person inside the skin.

Abuse is an assault on the person. It can and will kill the person. Physical abuse is just one manifestation of abuse – it is not the worst; it is the most visible and it can certainly kill the fastest. All forms of abuse can and will kill because they are attacking who the victim really is. The heart of all types of abuse is the assault on the person — sometimes through the person’s emotions, sometimes through the person’s self worth, sometimes through the person’s body, sometimes through the person’s spirit — but always against the person.

and another quote:

Words can also “call names” through strong implication without saying the actual name. When an abuser has a pattern of the calm diatribes, carefully and constantly describing, in detail, why you are a failure, wrong, have poor judgment, etc. he is describing you – your worth, value, acceptability, etc.

For instance, Gary frequently launched into long diatribes about all manner of things about me. One was about me liking white rice with butter/salt/pepper as a side dish with a meal. He wondered how I could possibly eat white rice and described in detail all the reasons why it is worthless, bad for you, tastes bad, etc., etc. He did this everytime rice came into his sphere of reference — could be in a restaurant, could be if I fixed rice, if he fixed rice, if someone else fixed rice, if the rice came up in a casual conversation with strangers — he launched into the “how can my wife/you like white rice because…” Yes, he did this — about me — to other people in casual conversation if rice was mentioned. What he was communicating was that I was so stupid I couldn’t make a rational decision about my taste for rice. I ended up being unable to eat rice for several years and I still struggle with it. The strong negative emotional connection to rice is very powerful. There were dozens of things like this that warranted long diatribes toward or about me. Water temperature in the shower, the direction of washing dishes (left to right sinks vs right to left), theological or political sub-points, favorite colors, styles of clothes, preferred recreation, types of books I liked to read, types of TV programs I enjoyed — the list is practically endless. There was always something to rant about – literally daily.

The reason these take a toll is because they “call names” even non-specifically. These rants quantified who I was as stupid, illogical, unreasonable, unsubmissive, rebellious, un-spiritual, non-Christian (literally), etc., etc. They communicated that I was not worth respect, and they communicated that he did not respect me because I was not worthy of respect. While he said he respected me if he was directly asked, his constant way of life said otherwise.

Name-calling, in any form that describes value, is powerful because it assaults who the person is at the most fundamental level. When the person calling names is in a position of authority or in the position of protector/provider his words hold that much more power.
Danni was badly hurt by no true support or understanding of abuse like so many of us. 

The church didn't listen. 

Her family had a hard time hearing as well. 

Her youngest child didn't have to deal with living with it full-time as she did get divorced. 

I know she had regrets about not doing it earlier, not only for herself but for her other children.  Its hard when everyone is telling you its wrong, and you in a place that you can't communicate to them WHY they are not understanding.  The pressure was overwhelming.

Her youngest had to go back and live with the man that abused them all after her death.  I often pray for her, along with the rest of her children.  Her family.  Her friends.

The hole you left will never be made whole again here on this earth Danni.  We miss you, but I'm thankful you are no longer in pain.

Thank you Lord for allowing Danni Moss to be a part of our lives - even for a short time.

She wrote about abuse....because it matters!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chuck Phelps now taking credit for conviction

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:48 AM

Below is a letter that Chuck Phelps has on his website now.  He is basically attempting to take credit for the conviction that he fought very hard not to help happen in the first place.  The quoted portions are my notes.  His entitlement and diversions is amazing to me.  No humbleness is shown.  Its sad.

A Verdict Reached – Ernie Willis Guilty

The trail of Ernie Willis took place in Concord, NH, from May 23 to 28, 2011.  After a week of hearing witnesses, a jury found Ernie Willis Guilt on all counts placed before them.  There are those who may be curious about my reactions.

I am relieved.  Tina Anderson had a right to seek justice, and she is no doubt thankful that Ernie Willis has been convicted.  Ernie Willis broke the law.  No one has ever denied this.  When Tina made allegations concerning Ernie Willis in 1997, her mother and I reported the matter as a crime to the Concord police department (a fact now affirmed under oath by me, her mother, and the Concord police investigator assigned to the case).  Unfortunately, the Concord police were not diligent to follow-up on the reports given to them.  Further, it was affirmed under oath by me and a Concord police officer that I called the New Hampshire Division of Youth and Family Services and reported Tina’s situation as was required by the law.  Sadly, this report did not bring the immediate follow-up that is expected norm today.

If you note from the trial? 

Chuck Phelps and Christine Leaf both made it clear that Tina made no ‘allegations’ of rape to themthe purpose of the trial.  They both repeatedly reminded everyone she never said she was ‘raped’.  It was a ‘convert dating relationship’, and Phelps even noted on camera that he didn’t consider it rape.  By calling this a ‘covert dating relationship’ does infer that he felt it was ‘consensual’, and not a crime at least in his eyes. 

What Chuck Phelps is leaving out is they do not have record of him contacting the police, but do have a record of him contacting New Hampshire's child services.  The police officer he mentions above contacted him – after children’s services reported to the officer, and Phelps never returned the calls.  Chuck Phelps also needs to realize that he had a ethic and moral obligation – besides his duty lawfully – to follow up if he KNEW for sure Ernie Willis broke the law – as he claims no one denied.  He needs to apologize for his lack of ‘diligent follow-up’ as well, that should have been expected to be ‘norm’ now and at the time. 

At my recommendation Mrs. Leaf took Tina to see a licensed medical professional who examined her in private and never called the police (a fact also established by the medical professional’s testimony in court).

The facts posted on this website since the April 8th 20/20 program aired have now been stated under oath.  On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the court determined that I could share what had previously been confidential information which I received from Mr. Willis many years ago.  The release of this information no doubt played a very important part in bringing these matters to justice.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Broad Brushing? Seriously?!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:14 AM

broad brush
I'm not broad brushing, I'm NOT broad brushing....
This is a perfect example of the results of being inconsiderate and broad-brushing and passing judgment on an entire group of people because of the actions of a few.

I can see the objection to having all IFB churches painted with the same broad brush. What I find interesting, though, is that IFB churches are simultaneously claiming “We’re independent of each other; we have nothing to do with *them!*” and “Don’t malign all IFBs.” If we truly are independent of one another, then it shouldn’t be a “black eye” so to speak on all IFB churches when several are caught in this web of abuse and deceit. Those IFB churches who are truly God-fearing should be rejoicing that these things are being brought out into the open and justice is finally being served.
I guess I had a bit of an epiphany last night.  The term, ‘broad-brushing’ came coming to my mind.

I think we may have all seen the defensiveness, and outright anger some are showing over the broad brushing as they claim is happening because a news program pointed out some of the ‘independent’ churches can act cultish.

The two quotes I have shown above are both IFB members, and they have a completely different approaches and views of what is happening to their world’s once the Tina Anderson trial started.

How often have you seen me write about the ‘generalizations’ that are seen in the church?  The boxes that they want people to live in?  The biblical roles that should not be stepped out of?   SOMEONE has to be in charge! type of statements?

You will follow the party line they have in mind for women or you will be labeled that flying purple people eater – the dreaded feminist!

If you can’t grasp that there are firm roles for men and women?  If you believe in equality between the sexes – you buy into the genderless blobs of ‘sameness’.

They have been broad brushing for like what? FOREVER?!

They broad brush what men should be – otherwise they are ‘feminized’.

They broad brush what women should be like – otherwise they are worldly feminists!

If you can’t handle being a follower of complementarism, and rather be egalitarian?  WELL you buy into the men and women being the ‘same’ with no differences.

You can’t appreciate God’s purpose for us, and your emotional response shows how you brought into the worldly view of things……

WHAT no one has seen the ‘broad-brushing’?  (giggles) 

It’s strange how they feel attacked, and broad brushed when this 20/20 program started to speak about Chuck Phelps, Christine Leaf, and of course what happened to Tina Anderson.  How Chuck had a letter sent to 20/20 instead of being interviewed, and it was used – but he wasn’t allowed to give HIS side of things!  How we don’t like to be labeled as a ‘cult’, or ‘cultish’!  How those things don’t happen in MY church!

Its strange how people within certain faith circles make their claim to fame for broad brushing others all the time, and yet get defensive when it is turned around the other way! 

WELL as they see it turned around anyway.  I believe most people have enough common sense to realize not all churches are like the ones you see on the 20/20 program.  Heck it was even noted during the program, but I think their agitation level was to high to see it or hear it.

broad brush

The churches shown on the 20/20 program broad brush all the time.  Organizations like CBMW broad brush all the time.  People that have very rigid ideas on how your faith life needs to be lived at times broad brush if you don’t live up to their expectations.  It honestly reminds me of dirty politics.

I wonder if they will see how they broad brush people all the time, and remember what that feels like in order to learn from that experience!

They are upset over the word, ‘cult’.  Hmm.  Do you ever think they will see the broad strokes they use towards others on a regular basis?  I sure hope so, but unfortunately I doubt I will see it in my lifetime.

Broad Brushing?  Seriously?!  I wonder if they have ever heard the term, 'projection bias'?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Playing with words, and their meanings…

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:47 AM

abuse of tina anderson 2
Since the dust has begun to settle around the Tina Anderson Rape trial we have all been able to look at things more closely.

I had mentioned on my blog talk radio interview with Jocelyn Andersen, and Cindy Kunsman that I questioned what Chuck Phelps had actually told the police when he claimed he reported the rape.  In most cases in life presentation is key to getting your message across.

Let’s take a portion of his online website for his defense (Chuck Phelps):
I immediately complied with the statutes of the State of New Hampshire by reporting the situation to Officer Jim Cross of the Concord Police Department.  I also reported to Erin Dickson of the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth, and Families.

It was at my recommendation thirteen years ago, that Tina's mother, Mrs. Christine Leaf, also reported this relationship to law enforcement.  Even though Tina begged her mother not to report, Mrs. Leaf did report this sexual relationship with Mr. Willis to Lieutenant Gagnon of the Concord Police Department.

The Concord Police never contacted me further about the reports or about the welfare or the whereabouts of Tina Dooley Anderson.  They also never contacted Mrs. Leaf for any investigation or additional information.  There was certainly no intent to cover up the allegations, or hide this 16 year-old girl.  I have always been committed to a police of compliance and partnership with official investigations of any kind.

Unfortunately, what Pastor Chuck Phelps DOESN’T say was he was informed that he must make a report in writing at the time of his phone call.

He called the police and ‘reported’ the rape as a consensual sexual relationship.  Basically, he didn’t follow through on all compliance needs to file a report.   So his ‘numerous’ reports is not factual.  It was more like phone calls to say this happened, and didn’t follow through with the rest of the obligations he was told about.

I was trying to find a word that matches how he seems to be approaching things.  He will say things that would seem obvious to most regarding what he means, and yet what he means is something else completely.  The best term I could come up with was ‘double entendre’.  It ‘is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more obvious) meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic.’

Phelps knew he had to do the ‘report’ in writing, but he never did.  That is the type of report he knew the police and investigators had in mind, but figured the layman would never figure that out.

I believe at trial he made the excuse that he never received the paperwork, and yet again we see he never followed up either.  Now tell me does that show, ‘committed to a policy of compliance and partnership with official investigations’?

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