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S/o Josh Duggar......Rachael Denhollander's FB post


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This is very very good.  Here is Rachael's post as copied from her FB page.   For those that don't know her, she was a key witness and the start of the case against Larry Nassau.

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I don’t even know where to begin with what we need to learn from this situation with Josh Duggar. If you haven’t paid attention to updates, you should, because it is a glaring example of the problems we have in our legal system, and especially in conservative Christian culture.

The images and videos Josh downloaded for his own sexual pleasure were of toddlers and babies being sexually assaulted. 18 months to 3 years old. He literally found sexual gratification in watching the sexual torture of babies and toddlers. He was sexually aroused by toddlers and babies being painfully and violently abused. The FBI agent who conducted the investigation said it was some of the worst material he’s ever had to go through. Josh searched for it, and enjoyed it. Sit with that reality.

He was able to view those images even though he had a program like Covenant Eyes on his computer, because he downloaded special software that allowed him to bypass it. And his reports were going to his wife – a homeschooling mom of six with a 7th on the way (let’s simply leave it at, she’s way too busy and exhausted to be expected to also babysit her husband’s porn problem.) Not only did he have software that allowed him to bypass the program, he had partitioned hard drives and browsers to access the dark web. This wasn't an accident. This was planned, premeditated, and probably going on for a long time.

I’m also going to add, out of every woman I’ve ever walked with whose husband had a porn problem, it was NEVER a surprise. NEVER. Meaning, it got discovered at some point in time, and the marriage wasn't healthy. It’s pretty much guaranteed that somewhere along the way Anna found out that Josh still had a porn addiction, but she was left to deal with it and fix it in silence and on her own, because that’s how we counsel couples in Christian circles. And she certainly couldn’t tell anyone, because that would not be submissive. That’s how we counsel wives in these marriages.

When Josh was arrested, his father began calling people in the church asking them to be Josh’s custodian until trial, so that he could be released on bail. He found a man willing to take him in. Except that man’s wife teaches piano lessons to children, and she was not comfortable having Josh home with her all day, because she would be alone with him while her husband was at work.

That didn’t matter to the husband, however. She has to find a new place to teach all those children because her husband wants Josh to live with them until his trial. Every single family who takes piano from her, and the wife herself, has to uproot their routine, livelihood and the child’s music education, because Josh. Everyone is expected to bear the cost, except Josh.

And the wife’s own very reasonable fears about being alone all day with a man who enjoys the sexual torture of toddlers didn’t matter to the husband either. The FBI agent recommended to the judge that Josh be kept in custody, especially since the wife was afraid to have him in the home. But when she was called to the witness stand and asked if she was in agreement with having Josh live with them, she responded that “her husband had made the decision, and she was here to support him”.

Because under that theology he has the authority and her job is to submit. No matter what.

So Josh was released. And not just released, but released with visitation rights to his own children who are, by the way, in the exact age demographics of the children he was watching being sexually tortured. Anna is required to supervise the visits. And she will. Because she can’t protect her children from their father, or push him out of the home. It would be unsubmissive. And God hates divorce. Cherry-picked and twisted theology yes, but it’s much easier than hard exegesis and the long work of helping a wife and children escape a dangerous marriage. And the men make the decisions and tell the theology, so the cost of it – well, that’s on someone else.

Whether or not the children could be abused, or already have been, doesn’t matter. And keeping Josh in their lives pretty much guarantees they will not disclose. But anyway God hates divorce.

Everyone – EVERYONE else, from Josh’s own children, to a woman afraid to have him in the home, to his own wife, are bearing the risks and costs of his behavior. And they are being told it is godly and right to do it. 

Each man in the situation, from Josh’s dad, (who isn’t protecting his own grandkids or caring about the risks to anyone else), to the husband who decided it was fine despite his wife’s very justified fear, make the decisions. The women and children who pay the price, are expected to submit, forgive, and support, no matter how foolish or wicked the decision.

This is the exact same mindset that allowed this to happen in the first place, when so many were warning years ago that the minimization and sin-leveling were signs that this wasn’t in control and wasn’t being taken seriously. The cost and impact is being born by everyone but the perpetrator, and the men given free reign to be “leaders”.

This is abusive culture. This is toxic Christianity. This is not manhood. This is not womanhood. This is depraved.

And the worst part is, I know literally hundreds of women are the receiving end of this garbage. Josh, and this situation, aren’t the anomaly. They are the norm. 

Because we actually don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Not the judge who deemed Josh safe to be around his children, not the Christian men who minimized and downplayed from day one.

We don’t think it’s a big deal in secular culture, because we’re used to the idea that “boys will be boys” and we’ve peddled the lie that porn is harmless, when it’s really the gateway to an abusive mindset and actions.

But we don’t think it’s a big deal in Christian culture because we’ve also peddled the “boys will be boys” mindset. Except we’ve added Scripture to it, and told women they’re responsible for men’s lust and addictions. That if they don’t have sex enough, his needs won’t be met and he’ll stray. We’ve talked about his sexual needs like it’s impossible to go more than a few days without release, but couched her sexuality as existing solely for his benefit. We’ve turned women into dangerous beings who control whether men “fall”, and also into the solution for it. And yes, defining women and sexuality this way is the norm, it’s not the exception. Telling women to be more sexually available to help their husband keep it in his pants is the norm, not the exception. Women are taught as the cause and solution to men’s sexual perversions.

Until our theology changes to actually reflect Scripture, we shouldn’t be surprised at any of this. It’s a story I see every single day. It’s wicked. It’s evil. And it’s long past time that we called it that – not just the abuse, but the twisted theology that fuels it.

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Posted (edited)

She posted the same on her Twitter feed. She is an attorney, a Christian and an advocate for abuse victims of all ages in many different settings. She also speaks widely, including at Harvard, West Point and various conferences. If you’ve never heard her speak, I suggest you start with her victim impact statement at the Larry Nassar trial. It is a powerful statement and includes a clear description of justice. There are many more interviews available online. 

 

Edited by TechWife
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, TechWife said:

She posted the same on her Twitter feed. She is an attorney, a Christian and a man advocate for abuse victims of all ages in many different settings. She also speaks widely, including at Harvard, West Point and various conferences. If you’ve never heard her speak, I suggest you start with her victim impact statement at the Larry Nassar trial. It is a powerful statement and includes a clear description of justice. There are many more interviews available online. 

 

I have heard her speak and was in on the pre-release of her book, What Is A Girl Worth?   I think that book should be standard reading for church leaders and so many more.   The audiobook is even more powerful as she herself reads it.

Edited by Ottakee
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

I’m also going to add, out of every woman I’ve ever walked with whose husband had a porn problem, it was NEVER a surprise. NEVER. Meaning, it got discovered at some point in time, and the marriage wasn't healthy. It’s pretty much guaranteed that somewhere along the way Anna found out that Josh still had a porn addiction, but she was left to deal with it and fix it in silence and on her own, because that’s how we counsel couples in Christian circles. And she certainly couldn’t tell anyone, because that would not be submissive. That’s how we counsel wives in these marriages.

She’s right about a lot, but this part bothers me.   Equating child SA materials to watching “regular” porn to porn addiction is all kinds of wrong.  Not every man who watches regular porn is addicted, not every porn addict is watching Child SA. And more than 1 board members on this forum has said they were surprised by child SA, because child SA is wholly different from porn.   

Edited by HeartString
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1 hour ago, HeartString said:

She’s right about a lot, but this part bothers me.   Equating child SA materials to watching “regular” porn to porn addiction is all kinds of wrong.  Not every man who watches regular porn is addicted, not every porn addict is watching Child SA. And more than 1 board members on this forum has said they were surprised by child SA, because child SA is wholly different from porn.   

She isn’t equating them. 

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6 minutes ago, TechWife said:

She isn’t equating them. 

It seems like she does to me.  She starts off talking about Josh Duggar viewing child SA and then immediately starts talking about wives knowing about  their husband viewing porn, without indicating that she is changing subjects.  It seems to me like she is lumping it all together as one thing.  

You don't have to agree.

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I did comment about that on her post.  I did NOT know of ANY porn use at all....not printed or video or computer or ......nothing.

Some men can hide things super well, especially if they are very computer savy.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HeartString said:

It seems like she does to me.  She starts off talking about Josh Duggar viewing child SA and then immediately starts talking about wives knowing about  their husband viewing porn, without indicating that she is changing subjects.  It seems to me like she is lumping it all together as one thing.  

You don't have to agree.

As a survivor myself, I sympathize with a view that is critical of porn in general or at least one that is quite aware that porn has many significant issues.  I don’t think she is doing anything wrong to see a line between some of the issues with porn and either patriarchy, misogyny and/or rape culture.  

Porn is designed to keep people watching.  Many people who get into it report that after awhile they do find that they want more and more taboo or hard core materials because what they initially enjoyed is no longer arousing to them.  Another factor is that in the internet age, it can be hard to impossible to know if the content one is watching was ethically and consensually produced.  Revenge porn and other materials end up online where the people in the materials have neither been compensated or made aware that their pictures and videos are online.  Rape victims, including some who were minors at the time, have come forward to say that their assaults are available for download on free sites and porn sites have been notoriously slow to address this.  This doesn’t even touch the issue of how many vulnerable girls and women are groomed or coerced into prostitution and pornography and the question of fair compensation.  Pornography can also give boys and young men a very limited and twisted view of sex and women- some are consuming quite a lot of porn before they ever have actual relationships.  This isn’t without consequences.  There was a an interview of a sex educator who teaches about consent and she said that when she asked a group of teen boys about if they would do various things with a partner even if the partner said no, she does get answers in the vein of well, the girls in porn enjoy it so the boy feels he would do it because it’s something girls like, even if they don’t like it at first. It’s not harmless just because it’s not all illegal. I don’t see why it would be a problem to object to some, most or even all of it. 

Edited by LucyStoner
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

As a survivor is sexual abuse, I sympathize with a view that is critical of porn in general or at leave one that is quite aware that porn has many significant issues.  I don’t think she is doing anything wrong to see a line between some of the issues with porn and either patriarchy, misogyny and/or rape culture.  

Porn is designed to keep people watching.  Many people who get into it report that after awhile they do find that they want more and more taboo or hard core materials because what they initially enjoyed is no longer arousing to them.  Another factor is that in the internet age, it can be hard to impossible to know if the content one is watching was ethically and consensually produced.  Revenge porn and other materials end up online where the people in the materials have neither been compensated or made aware that their pictures and videos are online.  Rape victims, including some who were minors at the time, have come forward to say that their assaults are available for download on free sites and porn sites have been notoriously slow to address this.  This doesn’t even touch the issue of how many girls and women are groomed into sex work and pornography and the question of fair compensation.  Pornography can also give boys and young men a very limited and twisted view of sex and women.  I don’t see why it would be a problem to object to some, most or even all of it. 

I dont think objecting to it is wrong and agree with the fact that its often made unethically.  I think lumping the guy that watches an occasional professional video into the same category as someone who is viewing babies in that way is not helpful or fair.  It confuses all sorts of issues.  It lessens how terrible child SA material is when it's viewed the same as someone watching adults in a regulated industry.  Josh Duggar isn't going to jail (hopefully) for watching Stormy Daniels do a s*x movie on a set.   Very, very, very few men who view adult on adult porn will ever have an interest in children or in actually harming another human being. I find the false equivalence problematic.

I think a discussion on the possible pitfalls of porn, or unethical sourcing, or feminism and the porn industry or revenge porn or whatever are fully different discussions than watching children being violently abused. 

Edited by HeartString
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19 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

I did comment about that on her post.  I did NOT know of ANY porn use at all....not printed or video or computer or ......nothing.

Some men can hide things super well, especially if they are very computer savy.

Again,  based on my Mom's experience,  I absolutely agree. These men are usually geniuses at deception. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, HeartString said:

I dont think objecting to it is wrong and agree with the fact that its often made unethically.  I think lumping the guy that watches an occasional professional video into the same category as someone who is viewing babies in that way is not helpful or fair.  It confuses all sorts of issues.  It lessens how terrible child SA material is when it's viewed the same as someone watching adults in a regulated industry.  Josh Duggar isn't going to jail (hopefully) for watching Stormy Daniels do a s*x movie on a set.   Very, very, very few men who view adult on adult porn will ever have an interest in children or in actually harming another human being. I find the false equivalence problematic.

I think a discussion on the possible pitfalls of porn, or unethical sourcing, or feminism and the porn industry or revenge porn or whatever are fully different discussions than watching children being violently abused. 

I made this same point on the Duggar thread- in this ATI influenced space they tend to view everything from lingerie catalogs to illegal videos online as pornography and the term porn addiction gets tossed around for everyone from a teenage boy who spends time looking at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to people like Josh Duggar.  This minimizes the latter and wrongfully pathologizes the former.  In her post, Rachel references sin leveling which implies to me that she gets that it’s not all the same thing.  

I don’t agree though that she was saying that porn and the depiction of child rape are equivalent though and regardless of if I agree with her on every point she makes, I don’t think she’s required to say anything to make people feel better about pornography whatsoever at all.  She’s speaking from her own perspective and experience which she came by at a very high cost and through no fault of her own.
 

ETA:  Rereading her words, I think she’s making a valid point about how porn is seen as harmless when much of it is anything but harmless.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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22 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

I made this same point on the Duggar thread- in this ATI influenced space they tend to view everything from lingerie catalogs to illegal videos online as pornography and the term porn addiction gets tossed around for everyone from a teenage boy who spends time looking at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to people like Josh Duggar.  This minimizes the latter and wrongfully pathologizes the former.  

I don’t agree though that she was saying that porn and the depiction of child rape are equivalent though and regardless of if I agree with her on every point she makes, I don’t think she’s required to say anything to make people feel better about pornography whatsoever at all.  She’s speaking from her own perspective and experience which she came by at a very high cost and through no fault of her own.  

She put herself out there with this one.  The fact that she went through something horrific doesn't mean I can't critique her public statement.  And I'm not being rude to her and doing it on her facebook page.  I'm having a thoughtful discussion somewhere else.  Perhaps she was was just being casual in her writing here. That's fine.  It leaves some of her points ambiguous though.  I found 2 parts that she wrote to be problematic. *I* read her as equating Porn with child abuse and I disagree. She also said that the wife always knows.  Now, Anna Duggar knew, or had an inkling that her husband was into something other than monogamous adult relations even if she didnt know what, but there are women who are blindsided and I find it problematic to imply those women aren't being honest.

I didn't see  JAWM on this thread.

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2 minutes ago, HeartString said:

She put herself out there with this one.  The fact that she went through something horrific doesn't mean I can't critique her public statement.  And I'm not being rude to her and doing it on her facebook page.  I'm having a thoughtful discussion somewhere else.  Perhaps she was was just being casual in her writing here. That's fine.  It leaves some of her points ambiguous though.  I found 2 parts that she wrote to be problematic. *I* read her as equating Porn with child abuse and I disagree. She also said that the wife always knows.  Now, Anna Duggar knew, or had an inkling that her husband was into something other than monogamous adult relations even if she didnt know what, but there are women who are blindsided and I find it problematic to imply those women aren't being honest.

I didn't see  JAWM on this thread.

I’m willing to not pick on her regarding this because she does say that it is an observation based on her experience walking aside other women; it’s not like she’s quoting statistics or something here. 
 

I see your other points. I don’t necessarily agree, but understand what you are saying. 

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5 minutes ago, HeartString said:

 but there are women who are blindsided and I find it problematic to imply those women aren't being honest.

 

Absolutely!! I said it elsewhere,  but gaslighting has to be acknowledged in these situations.  It's real. They will make you feel you are crazy for suspecting anything.  My dad had my mom go to counseling  "so she could learn to trust him again" WHILE he was visiting prostitutes on a regular basis. Don't underestimate the depths of deception they are capable of. 

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Everyone knows I'm hardline anti porn industry. 

Putting that aside, I do think there is value in not using the word to describe child abuse materials. 

Child abuse material is both more accurate, and stops people getting into a defensive posture about other forms of non child-abuse porn they or their partners consume. 

~

This was a really good statement. It's been very interesting to watch the online animus towards Anna develop - 'she must have known', 'she's allowing JD to abuse the M's' etc - it's like a societal tic - man charged with child abuse, jump to focus on the wife.

I like that this statement puts responsibility on the male perp and his male supporters - it's a man-led cult, that's where the focus should be. 

I disagree that all women know. Posters and other women I trust have most definitely been blindsided by their spouse's crimes. 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, HeartString said:

She put herself out there with this one.  The fact that she went through something horrific doesn't mean I can't critique her public statement.  And I'm not being rude to her and doing it on her facebook page.  I'm having a thoughtful discussion somewhere else.  Perhaps she was was just being casual in her writing here. That's fine.  It leaves some of her points ambiguous though.  I found 2 parts that she wrote to be problematic. *I* read her as equating Porn with child abuse and I disagree. She also said that the wife always knows.  Now, Anna Duggar knew, or had an inkling that her husband was into something other than monogamous adult relations even if she didnt know what, but there are women who are blindsided and I find it problematic to imply those women aren't being honest.

I didn't see  JAWM on this thread.

Where does she equate porn with child abuse?  She says that porn a gateway to abusive mindset and actions. She doesn’t say that porn is equal to hurtcore featuring children. I’ve read and experienced enough on this issue to see that at least in some instances porn most certainly is a gateway to abuse of women and/or children.  
 

I agree with you that sometimes spouses don’t know (case in point, the OP of this thread).  
 

While you certainly don’t have to agree with her because of what she has experienced, I don’t think it’s necessary to police the language of a survivor because she has a negative opinion of porn.  It’s kinda coming across as #notallmen to me.  Sure “#notallporn” contains CSA but no one has to tow the mainstream opinion that porn is something that is harmless or healthy either.  It’s ok to think that porn is anything but harmless.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Posted (edited)

I'm not all anti-porn and even I thought her statements were totally fair and right on here. I see porn as a complex issue, but the context that she's talking about here is not. By which I mean not just the materials that Josh Duggar viewed (which go far beyond even the worst typical porn) but also the context where she's talking about people who have problems with pornography.

Edited by Farrar
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10 hours ago, Ottakee said:

 

We don’t think it’s a big deal in secular culture, because we’re used to the idea that “boys will be boys” and we’ve peddled the lie that porn is harmless, when it’s really the gateway to an abusive mindset and actions.

But we don’t think it’s a big deal in Christian culture because we’ve also peddled the “boys will be boys” mindset. Except we’ve added Scripture to it, and told women they’re responsible for men’s lust and addictions. That if they don’t have sex enough, his needs won’t be met and he’ll stray. We’ve talked about his sexual needs like it’s impossible to go more than a few days without release, but couched her sexuality as existing solely for his benefit. We’ve turned women into dangerous beings who control whether men “fall”, and also into the solution for it. And yes, defining women and sexuality this way is the norm, it’s not the exception. Telling women to be more sexually available to help their husband keep it in his pants is the norm, not the exception. Women are taught as the cause and solution to men’s sexual perversions.

Until our theology changes to actually reflect Scripture, we shouldn’t be surprised at any of this. It’s a story I see every single day. It’s wicked. It’s evil. And it’s long past time that we called it that – not just the abuse, but the twisted theology that fuels it.

I wish she would not blame Christianity for this. I was brought up as a Christian and never ever was taught that a woman is to obey, and especially not to the level of allowing babies to be raped. I doubt most religions would tolerate this. I have, however, seen this behavior in families who are not religious at all. I used to work for a domestic violence center, long ago, and pretty much never saw religion come in to the equation with abuse situations. However, I suspect I never saw religion as an issue because I do not think the religious people resorted to the domestic violence shelters or hotlines or counseling centers. But the point is, the problem is rampant where religion has nothing to do with it. 

Anna was not left to be equipped to ever be independent in life, ever. She went from being at home 24/7 to being married to that evil being. The parent Duggars never warned her that their son was a defect, and instead were present and taking pictures at their engagement. Abusers are abusers. And abusers will always find something to blame that is not them...the religion, the culture, the target of abuse ruined dinner, the laundry was done wrong, he didn't earn enough money (men can be abused too), he worked too late, he was tired and she woke him, she was tired and he woke her, etc. And the abused do not want to leave their abusers. We were taught that they do not leave their abusers because they love them, but I think people are also scared to leave abuse situations. And I think the emotions and such with abuse situations are familiar to them and they have a hard time coping with calm situations. So, they say they cannot. The parent Duggars don't want to admit their son is a monster. They want to be in denial. Their friends do not want to say no to helping their friends. All sorts of dynamics come to play. And these exact dynamics come to play in every abuse situation. Heck, we even had a man, not Christian, murder his daughters near by. His wife, their mother, put the girls in the situation to be murdered. It took years to find the guy because his friends and own family, the mother of the children, her son, the brother of the girls, kept him hidden and cared for all those years. They finally arrested him and he was with family. Emotions and humanity are very complicated. When the religion is blamed, it is just an excuse.

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Posted (edited)

@Janeway- She isn’t blaming Christianity for this. She herself is a Christian. She is recognizing and pointing out erroneous beliefs that lead to structural problems, that then result in the protection of an abuser by people within organizations. Specifically, in this case, an organization with adherents who are extreme in their approach to the authority of men and the submission of women to the point that they are not aligned with the Bible. This has created an environment that has allowed for the abuse of people in various manners - emotional, physical and sexual. In no way is she blaming the Christian faith for abuse. 

The fact that you were never taught these peculiarities when you were growing up does not mean that others weren’t taught these beliefs. Many people were taught/are being taught these beliefs and it has been well known for years. 

Due to both her personal experience and her work as a victim advocate,  is well aware that there are non Christians who are abusers.    She is writing to address the situation at hand, as she stated at the beginning of her social media post. 

Take a look at the current Josh Duggar thread and read the personal accounts of those who have been exposed to this teaching. It’s eye opening. 
 

Also, read the book What is a Girl Worth for her own story.

 

Edited by TechWife
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5 hours ago, TechWife said:

@Janeway- She isn’t blaming Christianity for this. She herself is a Christian. She is recognizing and pointing out erroneous beliefs that lead to structural problems, that then result in the protection of an abuser by people within organizations.

Due to both her personal experience and her work as a victim advocate,  is well aware that there are non Christians who are abusers.    She is writing to address the situation at hand, as she stated at the beginning of her social media post. 

Take a look at the current Josh Duggar thread and read the personal accounts of those who have been exposed to this teaching. It’s eye opening. 
 

Also, read the book What is a Girl Worth for her own story.

 

I agree.  I am sure she will not deny that abuse like this occurs outside of Christianity, but here her target audience and focus was Christians.

Her book is very, very good.  Even more powerful if you listen to her read the audio book.

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20 hours ago, Ottakee said:

...it is a glaring example of the problems we have in our legal system, and especially in conservative Christian culture.
Until our theology changes to actually reflect Scripture, we shouldn’t be surprised at any of this. It’s a story I see every single day. It’s wicked. It’s evil. And it’s long past time that we called it that – not just the abuse, but the twisted theology that fuels it.

 

9 hours ago, Janeway said:

I wish she would not blame Christianity for this.

When I posted a copy of her statement I noted that I would change the last phrase in that first paragraph to, "...especially in many conservative Christian subcultures."

Know your audience.  The people who will read it are going to be all over the conservative Christian culture spectrum and all over the general population spectrum. Don't imagine the IFB crowd is going to read this.  A lawyer should know better than to use imprecise language to the audience she's trying to persuade. Never risk distracting the audience from the main point of "this group of people is evil and have evil theology" by using phrasing that indicates a broader category that includes innocent people.  It's too easy for people stop listening and think to themselves, "Well, I'm conservative Christian and I've never heard or seen that kind of theology or its practice in my circles-quite the opposite."

Also, depending on where readers live and their social circles, they may have never interacted with a single conservative Christian, much less enough to have a sense of the wide range of views and practices among them.  Just like homeschoolers, some people have never met one or a variety of them and their only reference point is that weird, insular Duggar family on that reality show.

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14 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Never risk distracting the audience from the main point of "this group of people is evil and have evil theology" by using phrasing that indicates a broader category that includes innocent people.  It's too easy for people stop listening and think to themselves, "Well, I'm conservative Christian and I've never heard or seen that kind of theology or its practice in my circles-quite the opposite."

That isn’t her main point. She’s calling the broader category to consider whether they are really innocent or whether they have, even inadvertently, nurtured, sheltered, or given cover to this evil. And one way that happens is by the reflexive defense “Well, I’m conservative Christian and I’ve never heard or seen . . . “  Those are exactly the people this is addressed to.

 

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20 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

A lawyer should know better than to use imprecise language to the audience she's trying to persuade. Never risk distracting the audience from the main point of "this group of people is evil and have evil theology" by using phrasing that indicates a broader category that includes innocent people.  It's too easy for people stop listening and think to themselves, "Well, I'm conservative Christian and I've never heard or seen that kind of theology or its practice in my circles-quite the opposite."

Also, depending on where readers live and their social circles, they may have never interacted with a single conservative Christian, much less enough to have a sense of the wide range of views and practices among them.  Just like homeschoolers, some people have never met one or a variety of them and their only reference point is that weird, insular Duggar family on that reality show.

Considering all the SBC predators that are showing up, it's not restricted to the IFB crowd. That's part of the problem. Ordinarily, I would agree with the sentiment behind your statement, but predators and coverups are coming out of the woodwork in the last few years. It's not as systematically baked into the theology in all instances, but it's all over. My $0.02 with the SBC is that they are getting more and more into "biblical (nouthetic) counseling" which teaches that sin is sin, psychology makes artificial divisions (so, pedophilia or voyeurism are just like sex outside of marriage), and people can be forgiven/rehabilitated, so they recycle their predators because they are sorry and repentant. See the scandal at Cedarville University for a high-profile example of trying to rehabilitate a voyeur, getting caught out on it, and lying about it. 

We're at an "everybody's doing it" stage within conservative Christianity, but the teachings and methods of covering vary. 

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Abuse & it’s coverup is a problem in many different areas of the Christian Faith. In addition to the Goddard/IFB types, there are problems within the Catholic and Southern Baptist denominations, Ravi Zacharias/RZIM, Kanakuk Kamps just to name the ones that have been publicized in recent weeks, months and years. Some of these are large enough that they are past the point of being subcultures. The commonalities between them are authority over victims, misuse of  power in the organization and evil. It is not wrong to consider abuse to be a significant problem in conservative Christian circles. There have been thousands of documented cases. 

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35 minutes ago, kbutton said:

 "biblical (nouthetic) counseling" which teaches that sin is sin, psychology makes artificial divisions (so, pedophilia or voyeurism are just like sex outside of marriage), and people can be forgiven/rehabilitated, so they recycle their predators because they are sorry and repentant.

I think this behavior (in-house counseling/dealing with it internally as long as the predator asks for forgiveness) also attracts predators, across many denominations and groups. In some cases, you have people who are not really into the religious belief part, but know they have easy access and low/no accountability if they get caught. In those cases, it is easy for them to go through counseling like that, ask for forgiveness/confess to being a sinner/pretend to be contrite, and continue being a predator.

Basically, the processes for "accountability" make these groups safe havens/attractive places for predators.

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12 hours ago, Janeway said:

 The parent Duggars never warned her that their son was a defect, and instead were present and taking pictures at their engagement. 

Actually Anna has said that before they were married she did know about Josh molesting his sisters. She’s been quoted as saying that they were very open about his past and she admired that.  I don’t point that out to blame Anna for anything, merely to say that they told her he’d humbled himself before God and she felt he was done with that kind of behavior. 
Now, did she know about the first time, when he said he’d done it 4-5 times, or the second time with Joy, or the time in the laundry room putting his hands up a sister’s skirt, or a year later from the first time he confessed, when his victim was a family friend sleeping over? Who knows how much she knew...but it’s definitely a pattern that Josh offends and is forgiven.  Ugh. Just ugh. 

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1 hour ago, Danae said:

That isn’t her main point. She’s calling the broader category to consider whether they are really innocent or whether they have, even inadvertently, nurtured, sheltered, or given cover to this evil. And one way that happens is by the reflexive defense “Well, I’m conservative Christian and I’ve never heard or seen . . . “  Those are exactly the people this is addressed to.

 

But that's not how many people are reacting to it, which was completely predictable. I think a little forethought about human nature and simple changes to the phrasing could've avoided the problem almost entirely and made it harder to dismiss by the very people she wants to engage.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

Considering all the SBC predators that are showing up, it's not restricted to the IFB crowd. That's part of the problem. Ordinarily, I would agree with the sentiment behind your statement, but predators and coverups are coming out of the woodwork in the last few years. It's not as systematically baked into the theology in all instances, but it's all over. My $0.02 with the SBC is that they are getting more and more into "biblical (nouthetic) counseling" which teaches that sin is sin, psychology makes artificial divisions (so, pedophilia or voyeurism are just like sex outside of marriage), and people can be forgiven/rehabilitated, so they recycle their predators because they are sorry and repentant. See the scandal at Cedarville University for a high-profile example of trying to rehabilitate a voyeur, getting caught out on it, and lying about it. 

We're at an "everybody's doing it" stage within conservative Christianity, but the teachings and methods of covering vary. 

If you're counting the SBC and IBF as the total of conservative Christianity, then I think you're unaware of how much and how varied conservative Christianity is.  Yes, obviously there's more abuse going on, yet to be discovered, but I'm talking strategy here.

By specifying subsets who are the problem, she would've been more effective in rallying those that aren't the problem. Currently, in American culture, there is a temptation for conservative Christians to imagine themselves martyred by unfair characterizations by the secular culture, including the media. That's real whether we like it or not, and to be effective, we have to operate within reality. We can naively ignore it and repeat to ourselves that we know we're right and the truth is what really matters blah blah blah, but we need to convince other conservative Christians who do right by women and children that they're the ones who have to take up the cause and be vigilant against this evil.  You aren't going to do that if you aren't meticulous  to avoid offending them by using words that they and other people in the country can't possibly misunderstand. 

I know abuse is an emotional topic, and many people can't separate out their justified intense feelings and want them validated, but we need to focus on what will most likely get the most effective results.  Results are what will protect people in the future.  I think she fumbled a here by not keeping a razor sharp focus on tactics will be the most likely to engage, unite,  and motivate the conservative Christians who aren't the problem. 

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1 hour ago, TechWife said:

Abuse & it’s coverup is a problem in many different areas of the Christian Faith. In addition to the Goddard/IFB types, there are problems within the Catholic and Southern Baptist denominations, Ravi Zacharias/RZIM, Kanakuk Kamps just to name the ones that have been publicized in recent weeks, months and years. Some of these are large enough that they are past the point of being subcultures. The commonalities between them are authority over victims, misuse of  power in the organization and evil. It is not wrong to consider abuse to be a significant problem in conservative Christian circles. There have been thousands of documented cases. 

See my above reply to Kbutton about strategy, tactics, and effectiveness.

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1 hour ago, Stacia said:

I think this behavior (in-house counseling/dealing with it internally as long as the predator asks for forgiveness) also attracts predators, across many denominations and groups. In some cases, you have people who are not really into the religious belief part, but know they have easy access and low/no accountability if they get caught. In those cases, it is easy for them to go through counseling like that, ask for forgiveness/confess to being a sinner/pretend to be contrite, and continue being a predator.

Basically, the processes for "accountability" make these groups safe havens/attractive places for predators.

And I want to clarify that while there are those who will operate because they are predators, it is the church/group leadership (often patriarchal) that help perpetuate the abuses by continuing to keep things "in house" and based on the sin/repentance model. They are aware there are ongoing problems, yet they continue on the same path for "fixing" things. So, the leadership and the processes they keep in place are aiding and abetting predators.

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10 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

If you're counting the SBC and IBF as the total of conservative Christianity, then I think you're unaware of how much and how varied conservative Christianity is.  Yes, obviously there's more abuse going on, yet to be discovered, but I'm talking strategy here.

By specifying subsets who are the problem, she would've been more effective in rallying those that aren't the problem. Currently, in American culture, there is a temptation for conservative Christians to imagine themselves martyred by unfair characterizations by the secular culture, including the media. That's real whether we like it or not, and to be effective, we have to operate within reality. We can naively ignore it and repeat to ourselves that we know we're right and the truth is what really matters blah blah blah, but we need to convince other conservative Christians who do right by women and children that they're the ones who have to take up the cause and be vigilant against this evil.  You aren't going to do that if you aren't meticulous  to avoid offending them by using words that they and other people in the country can't possibly misunderstand. 

I know abuse is an emotional topic, and many people can't separate out their justified intense feelings and want them validated, but we need to focus on what will most likely get the most effective results.  Results are what will protect people in the future.  I think she fumbled a here by not keeping a razor sharp focus on tactics will be the most likely to engage, unite,  and motivate the conservative Christians who aren't the problem. 

I had the same thought when I read this on Twitter yesterday. I suspected that Rachel Denhollander is just not aware of the different subcultures within conservative Christianity. I come from a conservative Christian subculture that has had a lot of issues but I don't think Denhollander has any understanding of where I come from. There's no need to her to know that much outside of her own circle but I think she makes the mistake of assuming that every group is the same. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

If you're counting the SBC and IBF as the total of conservative Christianity, then I think you're unaware of how much and how varied conservative Christianity is.  Yes, obviously there's more abuse going on, yet to be discovered, but I'm talking strategy here.

I'm not. I singled out the SBC as an example of a non-IBF problem to broaden the discussion beyond the IBF, but I have zero interest in tagging every possible problematic corner of Christendom. Do you want to list out a bunch of conservative Christian groups that are and are not a problem? If not, why not? Could it be that it's a thankless task? Perhaps she's not wanting to split those hairs because she feels that all of the traditions need to be aware and do some soul-searching in case they are next. 

I don't mean to be flippant, but Jesus at the Last Supper gave broad hints about who would betray him, but all the disciples asked if they were the one who would do it. https://biblehub.com/matthew/26-22.htm

22 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

By specifying subsets who are the problem, she would've been more effective in rallying those that aren't the problem. Currently, in American culture, there is a temptation for conservative Christians to imagine themselves martyred by unfair characterizations by the secular culture, including the media. That's real whether we like it or not, and to be effective, we have to operate within reality. We can naively ignore it and repeat to ourselves that we know we're right and the truth is what really matters blah blah blah, but we need to convince other conservative Christians who do right by women and children that they're the ones who have to take up the cause and be vigilant against this evil.  You aren't going to do that if you aren't meticulous  to avoid offending them by using words that they and other people in the country can't possibly misunderstand. 

I know abuse is an emotional topic, and many people can't separate out their justified intense feelings and want them validated, but we need to focus on what will most likely get the most effective results.  Results are what will protect people in the future.  I think she fumbled a here by not keeping a razor sharp focus on tactics will be the most likely to engage, unite,  and motivate the conservative Christians who aren't the problem. 

So, it's not okay to have intense feelings about abuse, but it is okay to validate other people taking on a persecution complex because someone didn't make a disclaimer about their specific church culture not being implicated in abuse? I really think those are different things.

The persecution complex is a different problem. I would argue that it's created its own brand of trouble without even bothering to bring abuse into the equation. It's very much a situation of crying wolf in some circles at this point. 

2 hours ago, Danae said:

That isn’t her main point. She’s calling the broader category to consider whether they are really innocent or whether they have, even inadvertently, nurtured, sheltered, or given cover to this evil. And one way that happens is by the reflexive defense “Well, I’m conservative Christian and I’ve never heard or seen . . . “  Those are exactly the people this is addressed to.

QFT

14 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I had the same thought when I read this on Twitter yesterday. I suspected that Rachel Denhollander is just not aware of the different subcultures within conservative Christianity. I come from a conservative Christian subculture that has had a lot of issues but I don't think Denhollander has any understanding of where I come from. There's no need to her to know that much outside of her own circle but I think she makes the mistake of assuming that every group is the same. 

I think this can be true without it being necessary for her to qualify everything. Unless I am mistaken about her background, I would assume she's specifically calling for the broader evangelical world to police the fringe groups that they've tolerated or turned a blind eye to. I would think anyone outside that group would realize it's a parallel but different conversation that needs to happen in their circles. 

If she were Catholic and speaking to Catholics, I would assume that the structures that exist in her circles would be different from mine but that my circles should take note to see what could be applied and how we could change the concerns to fit the need vs. being upset she didn't specify that she was only talking about Catholic culture. 

I think some of the talking past each other on this is a result of religious groups becoming more ecumenical and accepting. It's not all that long ago that each group would want to be distinct from the others and would take pains to separate themselves. I think not all that long ago, groups outside Dellhollander's experience probably wouldn't be watching what she has to say at all. If religiously conservative people aren't going to maintain strict theological boundaries anymore outside of Sunday AM, maybe we still need to keep cultural differences in the backs of our minds when reading someone outside our specific tradition and realize they aren't going to have a matching set of "what abouts." I think that should be on the reader, not the messenger. 

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

See my above reply to Kbutton about strategy, tactics, and effectiveness.

She’s a respected, informed advocate. I will defer to her on how she wants to address any situation. I can tell you she is more concerned about representing the victim’s interests than anything else. She knows what she is talking about. 
Anyone who would respond with “ not all conservative Christians “ and simultaneously dismiss the reality because of her word choices is just looking for an excuse to avoid grappling with the problem of abuse and its broader implications, IMO. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I had the same thought when I read this on Twitter yesterday. I suspected that Rachel Denhollander is just not aware of the different subcultures within conservative Christianity. I come from a conservative Christian subculture that has had a lot of issues but I don't think Denhollander has any understanding of where I come from. There's no need to her to know that much outside of her own circle but I think she makes the mistake of assuming that every group is the same. 

 

She is very aware of the subcultures. Read her book, listen to her speak - there is plenty on YouTube and plenty of podcasts. Follow her on Twitter and read through all of her posts. She is very informed and experienced. 

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5 hours ago, Stacia said:

And I want to clarify that while there are those who will operate because they are predators, it is the church/group leadership (often patriarchal) that help perpetuate the abuses by continuing to keep things "in house" and based on the sin/repentance model. They are aware there are ongoing problems, yet they continue on the same path for "fixing" things. So, the leadership and the processes they keep in place are aiding and abetting predators.

My church is a conservative church but when we had a youth pastor sexting with a teen, we did not keep it in house.  Our pastor gave him the choice of going to the police himself or having them called.  And, no, we are not SBC.  We are Presbyterians but we have the largest and most conservative and definitely evangelical congregation in our area.  But we do not believe in keeping abuse 'in house" or anything like that.

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55 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

My church is a conservative church but when we had a youth pastor sexting with a teen, we did not keep it in house.  Our pastor gave him the choice of going to the police himself or having them called.  And, no, we are not SBC.  We are Presbyterians but we have the largest and most conservative and definitely evangelical congregation in our area.  But we do not believe in keeping abuse 'in house" or anything like that.

That is great to hear.  Not all churches operate like this.

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1 hour ago, TravelingChris said:

My church is a conservative church but when we had a youth pastor sexting with a teen, we did not keep it in house.  Our pastor gave him the choice of going to the police himself or having them called.  And, no, we are not SBC.  We are Presbyterians but we have the largest and most conservative and definitely evangelical congregation in our area.  But we do not believe in keeping abuse 'in house" or anything like that.

I should make the disclaimer that we've had people dismissed for less than this in my SBC church. It's just not a given in all churches. I am glad to hear your church takes it seriously. 

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On 5/8/2021 at 7:13 PM, kbutton said:

I should make the disclaimer that we've had people dismissed for less than this in my SBC church. It's just not a given in all churches. I am glad to hear your church takes it seriously. 

Yes, a long time ago in another Presbysterian Church, the associate pastor who did counseling too, had admitted to having an adultorous  relationship with one of the ladies he counseled.  He was dismissed.  Obviously, that was not a crime but certainly inappropriate.

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