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Bill Gothard and religious abuse (spin off) - Page 3

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

Some branches of the church may have needed to decide this but the Bible (and therefore true Christianity) never had any doubts.



I'd like to see your biblical proof for this - when I read the bible {which by the way was written / compiled and heavily edited by the CHURCH in about 300 AD} it pretty much states women are to sit down, be quiet, do what they are told and be glad for the right to live like slaves with no option to ever leave the marriage except by death. Oh and they are property of their father / husbands / other male figure. Sure doesn't sound like theologically they are being considered equal to men in the slightest. 

post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post



The comparison still fails, for multiple reasons, not the least of which being that there is no such thing as an "Arabic culture."  Really, you're talking about complex things, or rather not talking about them but invoking them to make a point that has nothing whatsoever to do with them.  Which almost never works, on any level, beyond that of serving the narrative that huge, broad, autonomous cultures may be easily reduced to readily grasped monoliths.



My point was that many people are far more tolerant and supportive of religious extremist if they are white and Christian than they are if the extremist are non-white and non-christian. The degree to which I see this is a bit bizarre to me. 

 

If the family on 19 and Counting practiced Islam and wore the veil rather than loose fitting dresses, I don't think the general response would be "but the kids seem happy."  If a family openly said that they don't send their children their to school (or college) but base all of their homeschooling materials on Islam, do you really think it would get the same response?

 

I think in the US there is a tendency to view Christianity, however it is being practiced, as the norm and therefore worth defending, and non-Christian religions as being easy targets.

post #43 of 56

 

You are misdefining "extremist" in an Islamic context.

 

Let me put it this way: there has been nothing in your comparison-making thus far that does not quite routinely make gender activists in Islamic cultures roll their eyes.  There is a great deal of historical and contemporary racism surrounding the various people associated with Islam, often premised on that association, often dressed up in terms like "the extremism" of "the veil," etc.  The comparison fails because it accounts for race but not racism and certainly not the racism built into the narrative that the comparison in based upon in the first place: that normative Muslim practices make easy comparisons to certain strands of contemporary American Christianity -- that Muslim cultures and Arab cultures which meet a certain highly superficial standard are therefore both familiar and condemnable, like the Gothards.  

post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

there has been nothing in your comparison-making thus far that does not quite routinely make gender activists in Islamic cultures roll their eyes.  


super -- all I've got out of your comments is that my confusion as to why I routinely see Muslim culture questioned and put down while white Christians can do completely bizarre things and get a pass from society is something I shouldn't mention or ask about because it's offensive to Muslims.

 

Good to know

 

 

post #45 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

there has been nothing in your comparison-making thus far that does not quite routinely make gender activists in Islamic cultures roll their eyes.  


super -- all I've got out of your comments is that my confusion as to why I routinely see Muslim culture questioned and put down while white Christians can do completely bizarre things and get a pass from society is something I shouldn't mention or ask about because it's offensive to Muslims.

 

Good to know

 

 

post #46 of 56

  shrug.gif  I don't understand being confused that a group which faces a great deal of racial and racialized targeting and stereotyping might be questioned and put down by "society" more than a group which does not.

post #47 of 56


I suppose they're the only group... 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

  shrug.gif  I don't understand being confused that a group which faces a great deal of racial and racialized targeting and stereotyping might be questioned and put down by "society" more than a group which does not.



However this isn't about that, another thread should be started.  Though if you do start another thread it would be wise to make it a "dispel myths" thread.  That would be helpful.  And then we can all have a better understanding of that Religion while we work through this one...

post #48 of 56

nm


Edited by genifer - 12/17/11 at 11:08am
post #49 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

As far as the "live and let live" attitude...I think that it can be hard to know when someone's religious beliefs are just "different" and when they are dangerous and unhealthy. I believe strongly in tolerance and religious freedom, but I am also concerned about the kind of abusive situations that are being discussed here. That's why stories such as yours are so important...to break through the isolation and opacity of these religious movements and help expose what's really going on.



Although I haven't posted on this thread in awhile, I've continued to read on this issue and try to sort it out in my own head. The line between just different and dangerous seems an important thing to sort out. As I've continued to read more on Bill Gothard, I've come across many that his teachings do not line up with the Bible, but rather twist the scriptures. This article provides examples on one such issue:

http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/12/the-sexual-rules-of-mr-gothard/

 

(I'm currently very gratefully for those who grew up screwed up by this stuff but stayed Christians and therefore sorted out what was really part of Christianity and what was just made up)

 

As I read up on this stuff, I'm more confused than ever about Christians who feel the need to defend teachings and teachers who are NOT in line with what their faith (the bible) teaches. I think that Christians should be in the one's in the front line point the finger and saying "that's just what some guy made up. It's not a real religion, and most certainly isn't OUR religion."

 

I can't help but wonder if mainline Christians are so used to feeling defensive about things they feel are anti-christian, that as a group, they are failing to recognize that someone started a cult and called it Christianity.

 

 

 

post #50 of 56

 

Quote:

As I read up on this stuff, I'm more confused than ever about Christians who feel the need to defend teachings and teachers who are NOT in line with what their faith (the bible) teaches. I think that Christians should be in the one's in the front line point the finger and saying "that's just what some guy made up. It's not a real religion, and most certainly isn't OUR religion."

 

I can't help but wonder if mainline Christians are so used to feeling defensive about things they feel are anti-christian, that as a group, they are failing to recognize that someone started a cult and called it Christianity.

I think it is mostly ignorance. I admit I hadnt heard of Bill Gothard, but I did see an episode or two of the show we're discussing here. What I saw didnt concern me, it wasnt anything to be concerned about. I think about the Amish whose teachings are very out there and I equated the two, with what I knew about the Duggars. Also, the last comment I quoted goes a long way to explain why I personally tend to get defensive when christians are accused of being in a cult. Its more to do with the label 'cult' and calling christians child abusers when they are teaching their kids according to their beliefs. Its been said in the media that, for example, its child abuse for christians to teach their kids in a literal, 6 day interpretation of the genesis account. Little things like that have the potential to add up to a population believing that we're abusing our children, a change in mindset can = a change in law, and it spirals out of control that way. It sounds far fetched, but it really isnt. This sort of thing happened in the recent past. I just have a problem with people accusing christians of being cultish.

 

Just to be clear, I dont know anything about Gothard. I never heard of him until this thread and I only saw an episode of the Duggars show, so I didnt know that much about them either. My comments were a knee jerk reaction, I mean, when I became a christian, my own family feared I had joined a cult, so thats where *Im* coming from.

post #51 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

(I'm currently very gratefully for those who grew up screwed up by this stuff but stayed Christians and therefore sorted out what was really part of Christianity and what was just made up)

 

As I read up on this stuff, I'm more confused than ever about Christians who feel the need to defend teachings and teachers who are NOT in line with what their faith (the bible) teaches.

 



Linda I haven't posted in this thread yet but I've read it because I followed it over here after the Duggars thread, and it's all very interesting to me.

 

I'm curious what you define as mainline Christians.

 

(eta- asking because I really don't know how others view this from the inside... I am an atheist, spent time in Catholic high school (stepdad was Catholic) and then Quaker boarding school but I seem to have little awareness of how different Christians perceive each other.)

 


Edited by Buzzer Beater - 12/24/11 at 12:11pm
post #52 of 56

Understanding, honest, forgiving, loving and strong.  A real Christian

 

Backstabbing,  manipulating, tormenting and punishing.  What I grew up with under the guise of Christianity.

post #53 of 56
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzer Beater View Post

 

I'm curious what you define as mainline Christians.

 

 

I've heard the word used and used it myself without really thinking through what it means. I ended up looking it up. orngbiggrin.gif

 

It refers to the major, long standing denominations in the US that are neither super liberal nor super conservative (fundamentalist, for example, are not mainline). The major denominations usually included are

 

  • The United Methodist Church
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • The Presbyterian Church, USA
  • The Episcopal Church, USA
  • The United Church of Christ
  • The American Baptist Churches, USA
  • The Disciples of Christ
  • (many other smaller denomantions)

 

Quote: http://followingjesus.org/seekers/mainline_christianity.html
The hallmark of mainline churches is moderation. Their theologies tend to be moderate and influenced by higher criticism. This term refers to an approach to biblical scholarship in which critical scholars have used the tools of historical research and textual analysis to separate the Bible’s earliest historical elements from later, often mythological, additions and even intentional distortions

 

 

As it relates back to Bill Gothard, these demonstrations emphasis GRACE and LOVE, and value social justice. They are also realist.

 

While I was reading up on this, I also found this interesting quote (on a page about mega churches)

 

 

Quote: http://followingjesus.org/seekers/megachurches.html
The Christian churches of America have de-emphasized the central message of the Gospels—social justice and concern for the poor. Today, Christianity has largely become a personal and private religion. Individual (usually sexual) morality has become far more important to church leaders than the immorality of an unjust society...
 
Jesus spent most of his ministry in the company of "sinners," such as prostitutes and tax collectors. While the Pharisees and religious leaders of the day condemned Jesus for his emphasis on forgiveness and his association with these so-called sinners, Jesus in turn condemned the Pharisees and their supporters for their emphasis on judgment, their apparent self-righteousness, and lack of compassion. He told them “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God.” (Luke 11:42)

 

My family of origin is Southern Baptist, which is too conservative to be considered mainline christian.  I think the whole quiverfull movement doesn't have a leg to stand on biblical or historically. I'm not knocking someone's decision to have a bunch of kids *because they want to,*  I'm just saying that I don't believe there is a biblical mandate to "trust god with family size."  I find it appalling that teenage girls in the quiverfull movement are encouraged to make vows to allow god to determine their family size, and then young couples include it in their marriage vows, having been taught that this is "god's best." 

 

It's just made up stuff that that completely looses track of what Jesus taught was important.

 

 

post #54 of 56


I read this whole thread.  Not sure what compelled me but I did read it.  

Going back to the OP.    What can I say?  I went to your link and I agree the 'live and let live' attitude in the face of the practices of Gothard's Teaching is sad.  It sounds like a cult to me and people shrugging their shoulders, 'oh well' is frustrating to say the least.

I remember many, many years ago there was a little girl in NYC that died (Lisa Steinberg).  Her father was abusing the mom and children all the time.  Ulitmately at his hands the daugther died.   People heard the screams and cries for years but did nothing.  "Not our business" approach.  After she died everyone in NYC (and the country) changed to the opposite.  There might have been some misfires but people no longer were hiding behind 'not our business.'   And were calling authorities when they heard what sounded like abuse.

 

Possibly something will come out in a big way on the Gothard's that will shift this 'oh, hum live and let live' attitude.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

The recent thread on TAO on the Duggars has brought up some very strong feelings for me about the teachings of Bill Gothard, a preacher who the Duggars follow who my parents also followed when I was teen.  These are Christian teachings, but twist the bible, and are extremely legalistic and judgmental.

 

I was neglected and abused as a child, and in the hands of my already mentally unhealthy parents, the teachings authority and other issues ultimately made my home life completely untenable, and I left home as a teen.

 

I've been sadden on the TAO that the extremely twisted religious views (including that female offspring are never adults until they are married) have been seen in a "live and let live" way by many posters. I'm starting this thread to sort out my feelings on these teaches -- still trying to sort out what in my own screwed up life came from Gothard's teaching VS from my crazy parents, and to further root out any of this lunacy still floating around in my head.

 

This is a link to a web site where survivors of this upbringing talk about their experiences.

 

http://www.recoveringgrace.org/



 

post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tracy View Post

 

I went to your link and I agree the 'live and let live' attitude in the face of the practices of Gothard's Teaching is sad.  It sounds like a cult to me and people shrugging their shoulders, 'oh well' is frustrating to say the least.

 

 

yeah, but so many say "they look happy" without understanding, even when it is explained to them over and over, that in Bill Gothard land, looking anything other than happy is not acceptable.  Here is a new article up on Recovery Grace that discusses this at length. The comments at the bottom are worth reading as well:

 

http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/12/energy-givers-energy-wasters-and-energy-takers/#more

 

This is an absolutely evil thing to raise a child with. I've spent more time in therapy getting over this one than the sexual abuse.

post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

yeah, but so many say "they look happy" without understanding,

 

I kept reading that in the big Duggar thread, as well as multiple comments about how sweet and nice Michelle Duggar sounded. That's why I checked out part of one episode on youtube. I didn't see it, at all. They kind of creeped me out (and not because of how many children are in the family). Michelle's voice creeped me out. The whole vibe they give off creeps me out. I'd never heard of Gothard, and knew nothing (and still know very little) about their beliefs, but the first word that popped into my head was "cult". It really bothered me, which is the second reason I'm not ever going to regularly watch their show (the first being that I refuse to support reality tv shows involving children).

 

I'm not a Christian. I'm actually not religious at all, and don't even consider myself to be spiritual. But, being genuine is one of my biggest priorities. I hope I have a happy (overall) family, but I hope even more that I have a real one.

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