Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We Are Spiritual Abuse Survivors 

Wrote this epic piece for our blog over on the Paradise Recovered website.

Thought you'd might like to come over and take a look.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Better To Marry Than To Burn?

Waking up this morning to something disturbing.  Yeesh.

Proud of the Facebook group Do Right BJU, as well as other IFB whistleblowers that I have networked with overtly and covertly for a number of years.

I am both frustrated by these stories of abuse and also encouraged by those who are standing up and speaking out.  The social and financial consequences for these dear people talking about egregious abuses have proved an incredible price to pay, but they are continuing to use their voices.  

And thank God they are.

To believe that child molesters are somehow okay to marry women with children or okay to be placed in positions of power over children because, well, they got 'saved'?  

The state thinks otherwise.  Science says otherwise.  Common sense says otherwise.  

I believe Jesus himself would have said otherwise.

A pastor counsels a woman to marry a sex offender because "it is better to marry than to burn?"  

Really?  REALLY?!?  Even if that means putting her children in jeopardy of being sexually tortured?  

How many more kids are going to have to suffer LIFETIMES of pain and sorrow because of a scriptural technicality whose interpretation is for people to get hitched regardless of their ability to be a good partner?

Something tells me that the Apostle Paul wasn't talking about a child molester marrying to satisfy passions in marriage instead of with children.  Besides, child molesters are perfectly capable of carrying on relationships with spouses while violating the most innocent among us.

And by burn, I think Paul means burn with passion, not burn in hell.  But that's another topic for another day.

In any event, it doesn't take a lot of searching the scriptures and years of pastoral training to figure this one out. 

Why would a pastor NOT ask simple questions like, "What is your attraction to this person?  Why do you feel that this person is safe to be around your children?  How can your relationship with this person possibly trump the one you have with your children?"

And then why would a pastor NOT say, "I have some reservations about performing this wedding," outline those reservations, and get that potential spouse some counseling for their own boundary issues?

And why doesn't the State insist upon psychological testing and counseling for registered sex offenders and their intended spouses prior to granting a marriage license?  I'm wondering if these women and men really do believe that a state of salvation makes their intended offender spouse immune from molesting children.

Because if a person decides that a sex offender needs access to their kids?  

I'm calling that failure to supervise.  I'm calling that neglect.  I'm calling that child endangerment.

And the State should as well.

I'd tell that woman or man wanting to marry a sex offender (if s/he really does and isn't being manipulated and coerced into doing so) that their picker is broken.  All busted up, in fact.  That they need to select a person to partner with that will benefit them and their children.  

That their children should come first.

And I would absolutely refuse to officiate the ceremony.

I really do hope that even the most depraved individual can make peace with God and make things as right as they can to the people they've hurt.  

But that doesn't mean that we take risks with children.  

It doesn't mean that we negate the consequences of society because s/he claims recovery.  

And it sure as hell doesn't mean that pastoral types should check their common sense at the door in order to create some supposed story of ultimate redemption.  

After all, a sex offender changing and becoming a family man would be a pretty great testimonial to share with other pastor friends.  

And if he slips up and molests kids?  Well, he's "backslidden," and the pastor, of course, bears no responsibility.  

Until now.

Because to teach people otherwise from some sort of self-proclaimed spiritual authority in order to validate the success of their ministry?  Criminal.