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Religious Studies > Bill Gothard and religious abuse (spin off)
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 04:43 AM 12-09-2011

Imacerka, I don't know them personally.  Just like everybody else here (afaik), in reference to them, I'm talking about what I have observed.  And since I have apparently observed different behavior than some others, that is where my disagreement comes in.  I just don't see "fake happy all the time" there.  It's kind of a wierd conundrum for them because often in the same places they're accused of having the fake-happy thing going on, they're also accused of having rude, snarky, ill-tempered, and ill-behaved children, again based on what people see on the show and how they interpret that.

 

But in broader terms, I'm also talking about families that I do know IRL, some ATA/Gothard, others not, who have a similar belief about joy/happiness, and address it in an utterly non-punitive way, not associated with guilt for having feelings.

 

So the combination of those two makes me hesitant to swallow the idea that the Duggar kids are necessarily being slapped around, or emotionally abused into being fake-happy all the time.  It's always possible that the Duggars are in fact evil slime under a nice veneer, but at this point I don't think it's at all probable.

 

 

All that said, I still want to repeat that I understand *why* people interpret what they're seeing in a different way.  We all filter these things through our experiences, and I understand that.



Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:57 AM 12-09-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
But in broader terms, I'm also talking about families that I do know IRL, some ATA/Gothard, others not, who have a similar belief about joy/happiness, and address it in an utterly non-punitive way, not associated with guilt for having feelings.

 

So you see families around you raising kids with the belief that unhappiness is a sin, but doing it in a non-puitive, non-guilty way, so you are fine with it?

 

I don't get that.

 

I think "sin" is a heavy word and should be saved for really big things. One of the bizarre things for me growing up this way is that sooooo many things were all lumped together as "sin," some of which were very minor and some which were really huge. For example, doing cocaine and listening to rock music were both in this same category of sin, and while any reasonable person can  see that listening to rock music or doing cocaine will have very different impacts on one's life, what I was taught is that all sins are equal, and the problem with sin is that it divides you from god.

 

When I got away, I had NO moral compass. Because everything, and I do mean everything because this is a system that micromanages all aspects of life, got thrown out, I had no standard left to figure out what sort of actions and attitudes would help me build a life for myself that worked for me.

 

So I made a train wreck of my life.

 

Nothing that I had been taught about right and wrong and sin and non-sin made any sense to me. It was all such bullshit.

 

Eventually, I figured out my own moral code. I spent some time religion hopping, and I've picked up bits and pieces from different ways of looking at life that work for me. I spent a couple of years practicing and studying Buddhism and most of my moral code formed during that time. I eventually left the ritual aspects of Buddhism. (I can only get so far into any formal religion before I freak out and run the other way.) The core of my moral code, although formed when I was a Buddhist, is found in the bible -- in the verses about loving others as yourself and reaping what you sow.  In focusing on a long, long list of do's and don't's and outward appearances, those got really glossed over in my religious upbringing.

 

************************

 

cappuccinosmom, I'm finding your posts very, very helpful in sorting this out in my head. I appreciate that you are coming at it from a completely different point of view. I hope that you stay in the thread and continue to question what I say against your own experience because it is helpful for me in my process. I hope the dialogue is also helpful to you in some way.

 

peace.


cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 11:42 AM 12-09-2011

No.  I am seeing families who do not interpret the teaching on joy (either Gothard's or generic Christianity's) to mean "experiencing unhappy feelings is a sin".  Starting at the same point (pursue joy, reject self-pity, look for the positive), they are going in a completely different direction than what you were subjected to.  Though my particular experience is a little different in how it played out (different cult), the same thing applies.  Many perfectly loving, reasonable, non-culty people hold beliefs that started at the same point that the cult's did, but took it in a totally different direction.  They might even use the same terminology, or refer to the same Scripture.  But the one direction is fine, and the other is, just, well....culty and abusive.

 

Trying very hard to convey what I'm saying in a way that doesn't discount your experience, I totally acknowledge that yours is valid and have seen similar craziness myself.  hug2.gif


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 05:56 PM 12-11-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

I am seeing families who do not interpret the teaching on joy (either Gothard's or generic Christianity's) to mean "experiencing unhappy feelings is a sin".  Starting at the same point (pursue joy, reject self-pity, look for the positive), they are going in a completely different direction than what you were subjected to.


 

How do you know what is going on in someone else's family, unless you know them very, very well? And there is a limit as to how many people we can know well. What we see as the outward show -- how they behave at church and homeschool group, the face the put on for others see, isn't knowing someone well. Most of the families in your circle of friends you don't know well. It's just how life works.

 

(one of the things I came away from growing up with this nonsense with is a complete inability to assume that others are doing things in a sane way without knowing them very well for a long period of time, partly from my own family, and partly because of stories I heard from my peers from other families.)

 

So far in this thread, in discussing bizarre practices such as those taught by Bill Gothard and practiced by the Duggars, which are not biblical, you feel they are OK because the kids look happy. Having been told by a variety of people that for a child being raised this way *looking* happy doesn't mean that the child is actually happy, you stay stuck on the happiness issue.

 

You are convinced that all the families you know, and even a family from a reality TV show that you don't know, are handling the happiness issue in an emotionally healthy way. Even though you have zero evidence of that. Even though Bill Gothard teaches that for a child to act unhappy is a sin. Because it is the only thing you've got to hold on to saying that any of these conservative teachings aren't harmful to children.

 

What if you are wrong? What if some of those kids, who you think you know so well, are miserable? What if some of them are well on their way to being cutters or attempting suicide? What if in your little chats with their moms, you right now have opportunities to point out that legalism and extreme control (such as dress codes, courting, rock music, etc) aren't biblical, may cause conflict with their kids, may drive their kids away from them, and may drive their kids away from god, but you keep you mouth shut because, right now, the kids look happy?

 

What if you have chances to say that you'd rather your kid be visibly unhappy but to be REAL and HONEST about what is going on with them, than to look happy, even though you believe that happiness can come from faith in god? What if you said that your relationship with your child is more important than how well they fall into someone else's ideal of what a well brought up Christian child looks and acts like, and explained that you've heard tell of what happens when parents lose sight of that? What if you used your position within the conservative christian community where you live to be a voice for sanity?

 

May be it would make a difference for some other child or teen.

 

 


Imakcerka 07:50 PM 12-11-2011

Reality T.V. always portrays the truth... That's a little off to me. I've known many families that look so good and happy on the outside. Some truly were and others I've found out later on were not. Incest and abuse... One was a deacon at our church. That was very heartbreaking because his daughter was portrayed as a liar and a drug abuser. Since she was on the same cheer squad as I was I knew it was all lies. We had been close and I was the one who told. Thankfully we remained friends. It all looks good until someone is accused of something. Or someone speaks out. Then the abuser who for years had been a stellar manipulator... continues on manipulating, most of the church believed he was innocent. SICK!


frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 08:11 AM 12-13-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


 

I agree. I do believe in tolerance and freedom, and I'm confused right now as to where the line is. At what point do others have the not only the right, but a responsibility, to say that the way someone else is practicing their religion is socially unacceptable?  That what they are forcing on their children is a form a abuse?

 

I feel like there is a massive double standard in the US. Many traditional Muslim practices to control women are seen as unacceptable, but similar control measures over protestants are seen as acceptable.   I think that the show 19 and Counting as made a level of control that most would find shocking seem socially acceptable by making the mom seem nice.

 

I'm hoping that by writing about my experiences and talking about them with others, I can get more clarity in my own head about where that line is for me. I'm not trying to tell anyone else where that line is for them.

 

Up til now, I've had a really hard time explaining why the transition to adulthood was so difficult for me, how my parents intentionally undermined me. I'm just now starting to see that part of the problem was that their belief system didn't include independent, adult offspring. Gothard teaches that children are children until they marry. So much of what my parents did was subtle, so when I talk about how it messed with my head I think I just sound weak. Unless one understands the level of brain washing that had been going on for years in advance, there's no way to make sense of the way events unfolded.

 

 



I have to disagree with you on the bolded section - as a practicing Muslim, who has also studied theology at a major university prior to reverting to Islam, Islam does not seek to control women. In fact, historically Islam was the first major religion to give rights to women, at a time when Christianity was still trying to decide did women have a soul and were they truely human. 

 

99% of the practices attributed to Islam as controlling women are not religious practices, but are holdover practices from the Arabic culture that are in fact in violation of religious edicts. In fact the ONLY practice mandated was that women cover. And ever that is a personal choice, as there is no compulsion allowed in Islam - no one can make you do anything you don't want to for religious reasons. Now legally in some countries is a whole different story, but religiously they can't. 

 

Please don't attribute the practices to Islam, when in fact they are cultural practices.

 

 

And yes, I'm quite familiar with the Gothard lifestyle {and yes I refer to it as a lifestyle - it is an odd tangent on Christianity that IMHO tosses about half of Jesus's original teachings out the window}, while my family did not practice it we had several families in our local homeschool group when I was a teen who did. I was friends with many of them, and attend church with them for several years. The kids who grew up in those families, from my experience, were always affected by it - most of the girls married the 1st guy they could find as their ticket out or got pregnant on purpose so as to be disowned. The boys joined the military and never came back. Many completely changed their names and identities just to escape their families and their upbringing. 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 06:45 AM 12-14-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post



I have to disagree with you on the bolded section - .....

 

99% of the practices attributed to Islam as controlling women are not religious practices, but are holdover practices from the Arabic culture that are in fact in violation of religious edicts.

.....

 

And yes, I'm quite familiar with the Gothard lifestyle {and yes I refer to it as a lifestyle - it is an odd tangent on Christianity that IMHO tosses about half of Jesus's original teachings out the window}, while my family did not practice it we had several families in our local homeschool group when I was a teen who did. I was friends with many of them, and attend church with them for several years. The kids who grew up in those families, from my experience, were always affected by it - most of the girls married the 1st guy they could find as their ticket out or got pregnant on purpose so as to be disowned. The boys joined the military and never came back. Many completely changed their names and identities just to escape their families and their upbringing. 


OK -- I understand what you are saying about the difference between the Islam religion and culture, and I'm not quite sure how to phrase things to respect that difference, but I will work on it. thumb.gif

 

With this added in, I see even more parallels between the two situations: women in Arabic  culture and women being raised in a Gothard lifestyle. The role of women is limited and controlled, but not because of the true religious teachings. The difference lies in that the Arabic culture, the practices are long standing traditions, but in the Gothard lifestyle, they are very recently added (the last 25 years or so).

 

One of my confusions over how socially acceptable the Gothard stuff is revolves around how recently all this stuff got made up. It's not like we are talking about Hasidic (sp?) Jews or the Amish who've been living an alternative lifestyle for generations. The parents in Gothard families had normal culture growing up, and are practicing a massive social experiment with their kids. I'm baffled as to why the "respecting other people religious views" comes into play when the practicing are not based in the religion and have so little track record.
 

I'm still sorting out the difference between what I was taught Christianity is and what it actually is. I'm finding articles on the ways in which these teachings are not biblical very helpful right now. I'm not a christian and no desire to ever be, or to go to church at all, but I like the idea of softening my understanding of Christianity.

 

The more I read, the more  confused I am as to why any Christian would defend this nonsense it. I think they should be fighting it.


Imakcerka 07:16 AM 12-14-2011

You bring up a very good point Linda.  I've been trying to figure all this out for so long.  Through studying I have found the true Christian religion is rather beautiful.  It's the people that make it ugly.  Twisting words from the bible to fit their agendas.  I've read the bible more times than I can count and I've always enjoyed reading it.  I just didn't enjoy "church" and the things I was taught to believe that in a whole destroyed my self esteem as a young adult.  I wish I could introduce my children to a religion free from the ugliness.  I just don't know how to do it.  That being said, I do believe there is some sort of creator.  I just don't know who he/she really is.  And because I think that way my family feels I'm hurting my children and my marriage. 

 

Christians defend the nonsense because they feel it's an attack on them when it's not.  They act as if their way of life is constantly being destroyed.  Complaining that Christ is being taken out of Christmas when they themselves buy into the commercialism and celebrate pagan holidays.  They worry that Christ is being taken away in the schools and expect that their prayers be allowed while all others are not.  I found Christians to be less tolerant.  Last year I wasn't given Christmas off to be with family of three all alone because I was told the other guy I work with was Christian and it wouldn't be fair for me to celebrate the holidays while he was at work.  I no longer work for that company and I did make a complaint.  The manager that made the decision was and is still angry with me because I had no right to the pagan traditions/christian holiday while the other guy somehow did.  That is fine, the manager is no longer a manager there since he sexually harassed another employee.  Hypocrisy is a beautiful thing.


Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 12:04 AM 12-15-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

With this added in, I see even more parallels between the two situations: women in Arabic  culture and women being raised in a Gothard lifestyle. The role of women is limited and controlled, but not because of the true religious teachings. The difference lies in that the Arabic culture, the practices are long standing traditions, but in the Gothard lifestyle, they are very recently added (the last 25 years or so).



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.


katelove's Avatar katelove 12:49 AM 12-15-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post



 In fact, historically Islam was the first major religion to give rights to women, at a time when Christianity was still trying to decide did women have a soul and were they truely human. 

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


frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 03:04 AM 12-15-2011


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. 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:14 AM 12-15-2011


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.


Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 01:25 PM 12-15-2011

 

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.  


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:37 PM 12-15-2011


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

 

 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:38 PM 12-15-2011


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

 

 


Liquesce's Avatar Liquesce 04:03 PM 12-15-2011

  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.


Imakcerka 04:48 PM 12-15-2011


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...


genifer's Avatar genifer 10:15 AM 12-17-2011

nm


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:56 AM 12-24-2011


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.

 

 

 


genifer's Avatar genifer 11:16 AM 12-24-2011

 

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.


Buzzer Beater's Avatar Buzzer Beater 12:59 PM 12-24-2011


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.)

 


Imakcerka 01:37 PM 12-25-2011

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

 

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


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 06:59 PM 12-25-2011


 

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.

 

 


Tracy's Avatar Tracy 11:31 AM 12-29-2011


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/



 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 07:55 PM 12-31-2011


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.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 09:14 PM 12-31-2011


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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