Did the Duggars’ Fundamentalism Cause Sexual Abuse? Not So Fast

Now that the sexual abuse allegations against Josh Duggar have resurfaced and made the news, many people are inquiring whether the Duggars’ belief system perpetuates sexual abuse. In light of other high-profile sexual abuse scandals among the Duggars’ associates—most notably Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard—it would be surprising if critics of Christian fundamentalism didn’t look for a theological smoking gun. But I actually want to urge some caution here.

Not “caution” understood as “calm.” Having a placid mood is not the same as telling the truth or understanding it, and sexual abuse of children is worth getting riled up about. Nor do I mean “Let’s be cautious” as code for “Maybe this isn’t an important question.” To the contrary, it’s a vital question. Yet it’s also an easy question to approach in an unhelpful way.

Precisely because sexual abuse is appallingly common, compassionate people look for patterns to explain why it happened in this instance and not that one. And that’s a good thing: abuse prevention means recognizing common patterns and then looking for interventions that are likely to keep abuse from happening. But our pattern-seeking human brains can also steer us wrong here, especially if we’re well-intentioned dabblers (as opposed to statisticians, criminal justice experts, or psychologists, or others who have been trained in methods that help one to recognize bias and account for it responsibly.)

One of my favorite informal fallacies to teach students is called the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy. The story goes that a fellow shot a bunch of times at the side of an old barn, then painted bullseyes around each bullet hole and proclaimed himself a marksman. The marksman’s folly is easy to see in the story, but a bit more difficult to recognize in real life when we come across things that seem to happen more than chance should allow… such as high-profile sex abuse scandals involving leaders from the Quiverfull/fundamentalist subcultures. That can’t happen by chance, can it? It must be that the ideology and the subculture turn non-sex-abusers into sex abusers.

Well, I don’t know that we can say the last bit yet, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. But meanwhile, let me risk stating the obvious and point out that there is plenty in Quiverfull Christianity just crying out for scrutiny and critique, including how it is able to handle sexual abuse. A repressive Christian subculture predictably will—and evidently did, in this case—enable abuse, making it harder for abuse to come to light and be dealt with appropriately.

Many of these factors have been explored by other commentators in depth, but briefly, they include things like: Brutal and unbending notions of authority; submission of women to men, and children to adults; a habit of intellectual dishonesty wherein those in authority won’t own up to the fact that they’re interpreting the Bible rather than just stating “what the Bible teaches us”; “counseling” programs that blame victims, and invite victims to blame themselves; a sense that the church is always qualified to handle its own business, thank you very much, and that public attention somehow damages “the cause of Christ”; and a coercive theology of forgiveness. All of these traits create conditions that abusers can exploit, and they all make it harder for victims to come forward and receive the support necessary to heal. This is not a theology designed to serve the interests of people whom abusers might target.

All of that is more than enough to warrant thorough, impassioned, principled critique. We won’t run out of work if all we ever do is expose those theological problems, and offer more honest and responsible theological possibilities.

But then there’s the question whether fundamentalist theology made an abuser where there was none before, whether it turned someone into a predator who would have been perfectly well-adjusted had they just been an Easter-and-Christmas Presbyterian and member of the Rotary club. And although I’ve seen friends and internet commenters saying as much… well, I just don’t think we can know that.

Remember, too, that even while progressives are looking at sex abuse scandals in conservative Christianity, men’s rights activists are finding patterns in something else: the high-profile news stories of female teachers who have sexually abused their underage male students. People who don’t like feminism—or who may simply harbor a distaste for women in general—look at those stories, see a pattern, and conclude that it’s the fault of the sexual revolution and women working outside the home.

So, too, with critics of the Human Rights Campaign, whose co-founder Terry Bean was arrested in 2014 on charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy. In response, opponents of LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances have started referring to such ordinances as “Terry Bean Laws,” presumably because they see an ideological connection between LGBT equality and the sexual abuse of a child.

When is sex abuse a referendum on a worldview, and when is it not? I took some of these questions to my friend Chrysanthi Leon, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on sex crime and how it is punished, and the public policy implications thereof. “[T]here are clearly structural factors that enable sexual abuse, including patriarchal power structures,” she said.

However, “sexual abuse is also so incredibly common but also so sensationalized that we will see it (or not see it ) however we are primed to, by our prior experiences.” Common is right: according to the Department of Justice, in the United States 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of eighteen, and about 18% of adult women have been raped. Social approval for aggression can help to explain why a particular person commits abuse, but there are other factors.

That’s why I’m hesitant to ascribe magical abuse-preventing power to having the right worldview (or avoiding the wrong one). To do so risks obscuring the fact that sexual abuse is far too common across all subcultures and belief systems. It’s appealing to think that all we need to do is get the right worldview and cultural norms sorted out, and then sexual abuse will cease. Unfortunately, it isn’t nearly that simple.

53 Comments

  • eric.thurman@sewanee.edu' Eric says:

    Spot on.

  • memlaw57@aol.com' Memlaw says:

    More like, enables and perpetuates. More accurate perhaps, but just as damning.

  • amie.newman@gmail.com' Amie Newman says:

    This is the best piece I’ve read yet about this story. Thank you.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think we have a current example of a good approach, the Cosby women. They are sticking together as a group, and supporting each other, and claiming strength in numbers. It works, and it is educating the nation and changing things. The Duggars are the family that most has numbers on their side. The girls could try something like that, and show strength in numbers to help and educate the world. They are adults now, so the timing would be perfect. We do need some education on how these social issues play out in the fundamentalist environment. The girls lived through it, and they could help us understand. They are already stars, and if they could be honest with us, we would listen to them.

  • sammishortt@gmail.com' Louise says:

    Precisely! Thank you. This is what I was trying to say to a certain poster, J. Reed, yesterday on the Duggar article. J.Reed was doing this exactly, trying to see things through his anti-religion viewpoint. All that came across to other posters, including myself, was his callous and ignorant understanding of sex abuse.

  • chris@east20thst.net' cmbennett01 says:

    I can’t say I have heard anyone say that Christianity turns people into abusers. The problem is those on the religious right do not feel they should be held accountable by society for the crimes they commit. Just ask Jesus for forgiveness and all your depravity is washed away. After all everyone is a miserable sinner and can only be saved by faith in Jesus. Dugar’s parents were most likely horrified by what he did, and he likely felt genuine remorse. Until the next time. Then he’ll just ask Jesus for forgiveness again.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The world does have more to fear from evangelicals than it does from sexual predators, so it might make sense in that way.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The crimes they commit might not be that bad compared to them trying to jumpstart end times destruction of the world, and demanding war with Iran, and hopefully a few other mideast countries along the way. They see end times as a blessing, and some of us see it as a curse.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The point I was trying to make is we should not just be ignoring the fundamentalist aspects of the situation. The girls are adults now, and we should be able to talk to them and get a better understanding of how fundamentalism works. If these Duggar girls are not yet ready to talk, maybe there would be others who are. There should be. Consider the Mormons. There are some who leave the church, and they are willing to discuss it here with us. The same should be true of the quiverfull movement. There should at least be some who see value in talking about it to show the world how it works.

  • phillinj@slu.edu' NancyP says:

    The absolute hierarchy of the Quiverfull movement family, in which the father and the sons are more important than the women in the family, in which one is not allowed to question authority (father or older male), in which the children have no contact with “outsiders” who aren’t in the cult, and in which women are held primarily responsible for “purity”, is tailor-made for enabling sexual abuse of girls. How is this different from the Taliban?

  • carole645@rocketmail.com' seashell says:

    Jim, just about everybody on here knows how fundamentalism works – or doesn’t work. Many of the women on here, with experience on their side, have tried to explain how little girls react when they’ve been molested, whether by a brother, uncle, grandfather or family friend. While everyone has their own voice and story, whatever you are looking for can be found on reputable sites. Why all this going on and on about what the girls would say when this isn’t new? The only new part is that we know now it happened within the Duggar family, too. Just give all of us a break, please.

    Try Love, Joy and Feminism on Patheos, Vyckie Garrison’s No Longer Quivering, also on Patheos or Homeschooling’s Invisible Children.

  • zinealine@gmail.com' cranefly says:

    It isn’t easy to empirically validate hypotheses about sexual abuse, which is probably why it’s such a useful bogeyman for any just or unjust public policy agenda. Maybe fundamentalism doesn’t cause sexual abuse. We can still confront the issue that fundamentalist communities have a clear system in place to establish sexual hierarchies and shield women and children from contact with the rest of the world. The explicit female subjugation they buy and sell is abusive in the best of circumstances.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    This was the most important part of the whole story, but it seemed like on the other thread everyone wanted to just shut up about it, not stir the pot. This seems to be the right time and place to stir the pot. Other reputable sites? This is dispatching a religion, perfect for RD, and has long been the strength of this site.

    The issue is what does fundamentalism do to its kids so that the boy could get by with this for several years, when it was a ROOM FULL of sisters, starting from ages like 3 to 11, and after a few years older than that. How could fundamentalism set the stage for this? In America? The big question comes from having so many girls in the room. It is rediculous to think they slept through this for years. They knew. I don’t think in a more normal family this would have even been possible, for different reasons. The question is what is fundamentalism doing to their kids to shut them up and make them not react? It is a perfect question to ask on RD, and if not here, then where? It might just be a stage of denial that the nation is currently going through, and we will have to keep the pressure up for 5 or 10 years until we reach a point of maturity where we can deal with it.

  • onusprobandi16@hotmail.com' NewAndImprovedCM says:

    Your first comment on the “purity lie” thread was to the effect that the Duggar sisters could have put a stop to Josh’s molestations if they really wanted to, so they must have actually wanted it to continue. That comment has now been deleted from the thread, and you seem to be trying to delete it from everyone’s memory.

    As for the contribution of fundamentalism to the whole abhorrent situation, the point of the Duggars’ self-created mini-cult is to separate themselves from mainstream society and its laws/norms, and to substitute their own “faith-based” standards. They run a “church” that consists of themselves and a handful of like-minded families, overseen by a tiny group of exclusively male “elders,” of whom Jim Bob is one. They home-school their children, using a “curriculum” created by people who think exactly the way they do. And of course they demonize anyone who disagrees with them. The whole point is to isolate themselves and their children from any wider social or support networks, or legal authorities, and close their ears to any voices that might sing a different tune. Fundamentalism may just be an enabling mechanism, but it’s one that seems particularly well-suited to the task.

  • carole645@rocketmail.com' seashell says:

    The question is what is fundamentalism doing to their kids to shut them up and make them not react? It is a perfect question to ask on RD, and if not here, then where?

    The question has been asked and answered – on the sites I mentioned and others. Google the headline: In Faith Communities Like The Duggars, Abuse Victims Are Encouraged To Be Filled With Grace. Even if it’s not on RD, it can still be true.

    The nation is not in denial. You are.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Not too isolated because they have their TV empire, and a huge following now that they are shopping the girls and making big profits on the audiences for the weddings. The more they are exposed, the better for the nation.

    My comment was based on my thinking that normally a boy can’t get away with fondling a room full of his sisters because they would start screaming bloody murder, and he would be in big trouble. He would never even consider doing such a thing. If that is not the case here, then we should be focusing on that issue. There is little or nothing to learn by focusing on Josh here. There is a lot to learn from focusing on the room full of sisters. Hopefully we are starting to at least make a little progress on that side.

    I thought my first few comments there were pretty good, and as always written from a highly humorous point of view. If they get deleted, we just have to deal with that and continue.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think the best account is today’s huffingtonpost article about the trooper who Josh was sent to to receive his lecture. That article seems to confirm every rumor that has been going on about this case, and clears up a lot.

  • wesseldawn@gmail.com' Duck says:

    Among the many Achilles Heels of Christian teaching is that of ‘forgiveness’. The restoration of the ‘perp’ (if he appears sufficiently contrite) often takes precedence over the feelings of the victim (and the victim is often portrayed as the guilty party in somewhat the same way as pedophiliac RCC priests claimed “the devil tempted me through the child”, making the child the wrongdoer). The victim is encouraged to forgive the perp or made to feel they are not sufficiently charitable; it’s a double-edged sword.

    Evangelical Christian Achilles Heel: the leaders are supposedly ‘anointed by God’ (even though ‘the people’ vote them in). How do you reprimand a ‘God’-appointed leader? It’s virtually impossible unless a large body of people come forth, and that only happens after many years of secret whispering about the pastors inappropriate behavior.

    Evangelical Christian Achilles Heel – The Proverbs 31 Virtuous Wife: women attempt time and again to epitomize the ‘perfect’ woman, of which means suppressing any aggression as many become doormats to the patriarchal administration. It’s the ideal setting to perpetuate the god-pastor mentality.

    I could go on and on. Strangely, most Christians appear blind to these very apparent flaws in the system that those on the outside recognize all too clearly.

  • uner1972@einrot.com' Frank says:

    Finally some reason in this story.

  • mattmcauley1@hotmail.com' frrolfe says:

    Like most DECENT people with a functioning moral compass, I am sickened by what happened within the Duggar family.

    But, I am equally sickened by the hot-house environment that the children, including Josh, were raised in. This ticks all the boxes for “CULT”.

    Cutting the children off from nearly all contact with the outside world is de facto child abuse. Who could these children turn to when they were hurt? People approved by the abusers!!

    This extreme, and yes, lunatic, fundamentalism, must own the massive damage its caused to this family. Did it cause the abuse? Simple answer “yes”. More complex answer? “Yes”

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Sarah,
    Could you explain a little about what you and Sarah Posner are doing with your cover pictures on these stories. The other one shows the wife looking lovingly at Josh, and your picture has the wife looking lovingly at Jim Bob. Is there some kind of hidden message or agenda here?

  • PyotrZ@gmail.com' PyotrZ says:

    This kind of molestation can be seen as simply an extension of the group’s fundamental methods of indoctrination. Vulnerable children are groomed with the intention of rendering them compliant. Their agency is systematically occluded. Threats are used, whether it is the threat of hell or of sanction by family and church authority. It is a simple matter for the molester to add sexual victimization to the spiritual victimization of cult doctrine. To raise a child on false promises of spiritual certainty is to molest the child’s soul. Molesting the body as well requires only minor adjustments in technique.

  • karieordway56@msn.com' Karie Ryan Ordway says:

    Fundalmentalism exploits sexual abuse. It teaches total submission and subjugation of women to men. Fundalmentalism teaches women that they are “loved” by God in a back of the bus kind of way. God directs them through their husbands and fathers. Men have direct access to God; women do not. Their eternal souls depend on obedience to that belief. In short, it removes any boundaries that a healthy woman should have in regards to her physical safety and mental health. She quite simply is not allowed to have any. This robs her of any sense of self and self worth and damages the psyche. At that point it is very easy to convince a woman that she brought molestation on herself and that she is the root of the problem. Indeed, it robs her of the victim status and grants it to the abuser; both she, but mostly he, have been damaged by her actions. He apologizes and is received back in to the fold as another successful Prodigal Son story. I guarantee that behind the scenes, the Duggar girls bore all the weight of their brother’s actions, as mama Duggar constantly taught them that girls are responsible for a man’s sexual behavior.

  • oaim50@yahoo.com' Don says:

    Precisely because people like you say “sexual abuse is appallingly common” people believe it’s a common thing to do. This is a kind of encouragement, isn’t it!

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If women don’t like it then go start your own religion.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I don’t think that religion in this case created the abuser, but I do think that it gave the abuser all kinds of excuses for why it was okay.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    But they can’t. And I mean “can’t”, not “won’t”. It is so deeply ingrained, and it takes a woman who is incredibly strong to kick over the traces and break free. You really need to read some of the blogs by women who managed to do it.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I don’t think we will know for sure until they have been asked hundreds of times.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It may have created temptation in ways that are virtually nonexistent in normal families.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I think that this is probably so. After all, Josh is told that he has headship over his sisters simply because he is male, and his sisters are told to be complacent/obedient.

  • karieordway56@msn.com' Karie Ryan Ordway says:

    Did that strike a cord with you? Did that sting too much?

    All religion is made up, so yes, women could make their own. I’ve said many times that any woman who willingly accepts a man’s religion which denigrates her so completely should have her head examined. But that’s probably not safe for them to do that. If the women left and started their own religion, the men wouldn’t have their scapegoat to blame. And the book that gives them privileges would mean nothing. Bunch of men standing alone in the church with no one to boss around but themselves. But that would make them mad. They’d start to act like the MRA’s.

    The next best thing would be for women to understand that they have the power to shut a church down forever. If all the women in a church decided to not come to church for two Sundays, the men would panic and start issuing dire warnings. Three Sundays and the men would have to prepare and serve communion to each other. And caterwaul through hymns they don’t know. Four Sundays and as cleaning jobs got assigned to each one, they would start to drift away. They didn’t sign on to be a woman, you know. Five Sundays or more, and the money would start to dry up. Paying the bills would get tough. It would only be a matter of time before the minister got a calling from God to go elsewhere and that would be the end.

    But the very best thing a woman SHOULD do, is run as far and as fast as she can away from religion and the men who desperately need it to feel special. She should recognize that she is the king pin (or queen pin) in the machine designed to exalt him and vilify her. She should find a nice non-believer and leave the believer alone with his God. She should never get involved in the first place and let the whole thing come crashing down.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Cool.

  • homesjc@iprimus.com.au' Bungarra says:

    For context have a look at the current – I mean only in the last week of May, proceedings of the Australian Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse. 14 priests named in Ballarat, Victoria, with allot of I do not remember’s in the testimony of one jailed Priest, yet hundreds of victims.

    When one looks at the damage reported by the victims and the numbers of suicides etc, one is taken by the comment, “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it
    would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck
    and he were thrown into the sea. ” seem very appropriate and all too modern.

    I have been seeing the damage caused by childhood abuse by family members in a number of friends. Even though 25-30 years ago, the victims (male and female ) are still damaged, some with PDT, some so much that they cannot work. Long term counseling helps. (PST is a long term problem. It could be argued that it is time to bring home the troops for the same reason. Let the rest of the world got destroy its self. However the Military Industrial Complex may go broke. Good, diplomacy is cheaper.)

    The whole concept of ‘Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed’ present in very hierarchical organizations reduces criticism, From the RC church to the local AOG where ‘Leaders portray themselves as ‘Spirit Lead’; protects abusers. Again have a look at the Royal Commission in Australia and the Irish investigations of this issue of a few years ago.

    Growing up in conservative evangelical circles in the 50’s, we were not taught, nor warned about this, nor alerted to the damage it causes. The Church was and is ‘too nice’ to talk about such things. I think that we were taught to be so ‘spiritually minded that we were and now at times are of no early use(!). This was sex and sex had no place in the Churches.

    Yet the damage which occurs can be worse than murder. At least dead victims are no longer suffering.

    So much for ‘purity’ with out knowledge. So much for the abdication of teaching re anything about sexual abuse as well as very little about human sexuality.

    Another time bomb, is the silence re spousal abuse.

    So we have a problem in a tight knit cult and people are getting worried about the rise of the “Nones”? Time to clean house and institute some accountability to others, not get upset that complaints have been raised.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    This is not a story of sexual abuse as much as it is a story about creating an environment that encourages a cover up. This is encouraging getting things out in the open so that the nation can deal with them.

  • reason.decrystallized@gmail.com' extremities says:

    Let’s begin by saying that if there’s no context which makes sexual abuse *more* likely, then there’s no context which makes sexual abuse *less* likely, and that’s a terribly depressing thought. So if we allow that harmful expressions of sexuality are more likely in some contexts than others, then there’s no way in hell that the Duggar’s brand of … duggary … isn’t in the “more likely” column.

    Okay, let’s be more considered. It depends if this sort of thing is closer to an orientation, like “gay” or “straight” or “pedophile”, where you’re basically locked in from birth, or if it’s more like a fetish like feet or S&M or exhibitionism, where the shaping of the taste is much more experiential. Rapists are basically getting off on the power, right? Now there’s plenty of power dynamics floating around in a setting like this for pubescing minds to latch on to and fetishize, and there’s no “normal” stimulation which they might latch on to instead.

    But leave aside the source of the deviance. There will always be those whose proclivities lean towards the harmful. Granted. However, they fall into a spectrum. It’s not like everybody is either all-straight or all-gay, and likewise not everyone’s sexual taste will be all consent all the time or rape rape rape. You’ve got your marginal cases. Suppose that the way you were raised has zero effect on where you fall on the spectrum. Even so, surely the way that you were socialized and trained, and the probability of suffering some kind of consequences for your actions, will have some sort of influence on whether or not a person with problematic desires will actually transgress.

    I say all this in the light of having been a rather fucked up 13 yr old myself–without going into too much detail, let us simply say that I transgressed in ways that even my more enlightened present self still regards as transgression. (I didn’t rape, molest, or sexually assault anyone, for the record.) I lay the blame for these fetishistic proclivities squarely at the feet of the denial, guilt, and lies of which my Christian sex education primarily consisted, and there is indeed every indication of a strong causal arrow between the two–hormones don’t stop flowing when denied a normal outlet, they just find an abnormal outlet. Furthermore this loathsome miseducation left me utterly devoid of a meaningful moral contextualization for, and any practical resources for dealing with, said problematic desires. Thus, for me, I find it probable that had I been raised in a healthy context, I might not have been faced with my particular temptations, and, having been tempted, I might not have succumbed. But these are both ‘might’s.

    In Josh’s case he also had the entire context which empowers abusers by silencing the abused, which tells boys that they deserve it, and which lessens the likelihood of being caught and ameliorates the consequences if you are.

    True enough, you’re never going to be able to point to one particular instance and say, ‘That was definitely caused by this context and wouldn’t have happened in another.’ But it’s basically inconceivable to me that all this would have no effect.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    This might be a case where Josh had the room full of girls who were basically under his authority, and one time he was just tempted to go in and take advantage of that. Then he got hooked, and since the temptation was still there he couldn’t stop. It still comes down to the family structure and religion that were providing the temptation. He was probably basically a good kid. We are looking for answers, but I don’t think we will find them looking at Josh. We will find them in the religion and the family. I am sure it will always be an inpenetrable coverup until the girls want to talk about it. The answers that we seek will have to come from them.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    This case has been hard to understand, but if you look at it in a Sherlock Holmes kind of way, the evidence might have been in front of our eyes this whole time. We know Jim Bob’s friend who Josh was sent to is now serving a 56 year child porn sentence. We also know Jim Bob has a deep hatred of incest, and ran for state legislature on a platform of killing anyone guilty. That kind of hatred might be understandable if it was self-hatred. What if Jim Bob had been touching the younger girls as he put them to bed at night? If Josh caught onto this, being the man of the family, he might follow in his father’s footsteps. This would resolve the most incomprehensible thing about this whole case. What about the girls? If they were already conditioned to not react, they would do nothing for Josh, the same as they did for the dad. This might also explain why Jim Bob would be a person who wants this kind of family (19 and counting) in the first place.

  • christopher.stewart@mail.wvu.edu' Christopher Stewart says:

    The fundamentalist concept of love militates against and damages real love and is intrinsically abusive to children. But I don’t hesitate to say that fundamentalism is demonically inspired perversion of Truth.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    This is a dangerous attempt at deflecting questions that will continue to be asked. From my work as a chaplain, I’ve seen plenty of religion-based sexual abuse and incest.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    Jim, you are off base. Say something helpful or STFU.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    too often they are one and the same

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It seems like a good approach. Men aren’t going to give them what they want. Instead of just joining whatever religion the men make, why not start their own?

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    If you commit soul murder on (even) one girl, it’s as if you destroy the whole world. Her world is destroyed. What we have is hundreds of thousands, millions of children whose souls and bodies have been violated repeatedly. They grow up just hoping to survive, nothing more. They live diminished lives, even the more courageous.

    What would the world be like without the human caused, too often religion-based scourge of abuse holding generation after generation back from fully living up to their potentials? Without the massive weight of collective trauma on each rising generation, the human race would thrive and flourish as never before.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If you eliminate everything that seems impossible, what is left should be the truth. Since you are an expert on religion based sexual abuse and incest, what about my new theory I made up a day ago.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    Jim, I”m going to say this once and not get caught up in wasting my time discussing with you. When a child is abused, physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, their emotional develop stops from that point. They repress and don’t deal with the ‘soul wound’ or trauma. They feel shamed and want to hide out in life. It takes until their late 20s and 30s before they can ‘remember’ and give full credence to their memories. They need to be in a safe and stable place before they can address the trauma. The 30s and 40s are for healing, often. But the healing is never complete. You never regain your trust in life and in other human beings that you had “before”.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    this ignores the effects of indoctrination, the abuse, social conditioning, and isolation. But I will give you this, the response by Karie Ryan Ordway is excellent. So your awkward, off-putting (to me, at least) prompted a good reply. But please don’t try to be the gadfly here. It hurts people in recovery too much.
    It’s your responsibility to learn about child sexual abuse on your own, not have the walking wounded teach you.

  • whistling.girl2910@gmail.com' pennyroyal says:

    what is your theory? start their own religion?
    Study Mary Baker Eddy, Margaret Fuller, Hildegarde of Bingen, etc. etc. In the Catholic Church it’s not allowed. In fundamentalist churches, it’s impossible unless one toes the theological line. (And the theology is misogynist).

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    No, my theory was from looking at the evidence, and especially the part about the girls not reacting when normally you would think they would. It is a couple posts down starting with “This case has been hard to understand, but if you look at it in a Sherlock Holmes kind of way,” It seems to tie everything up and explain the loose ends, at least from my basic understanding of how these things work.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I guess we got all worked up about nothing. He just touched the girls clothes while they were asleep, and they didn’t even know. You can also kind of see why Jim Bob was successful at politics.

  • emcneir@gmail.com' Eric McNeir says:

    Does a totalitarian system cause systematic abuse, incl. but not limited to sexual abuse? Perpetrated even by otherwise ‘decent’ people? The Stanford experiment may give a clue to the answer. Treehugging, pot-smoking hippie do-gooders dressed in wardens’ uniforms and given absolute power over their ‘prisoners’ – both groups isolated from the outside world. It was a complete transformation: ‘wardens’ turned into torturers. Took them less than ten days. Nuff said.

  • aikido7@aol.com' james warren says:

    Their brand of Christianity, like fundamentalist Islam, is based on authoritarian, belief-based faith, hypocrisy, other-worldliness, homophobia, bigotry, patriarchy and misogyny.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Correction from Jim Bob, it was touching outside the clothes, and also inside the clothes. Also Jim Bob gave a small update on his Christian counselor police friend. He has issues of his own. No comment yet on when Jim Bob knew his issues involved child porn that got him the prison term. It seems to be important to listen carefully to the details in the interview because it is easy to miss certain key words.

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