The Latest Trend In Christianity: Beating Your Wife For Jesus


The Latest Trend In Christianity: Beating Your Wife For Jesus

The Latest Trend In Christianity: Beating Your Wife For Jesus

Credit: politicsplus.org

 

It’s just because their husbands love them, and want them to be perfect for Jesus!

On a pain scale of one to 10, Chelsea ranks the epidural-free birth of her child as a six. Her husband’s spankings? Those are an eight.

First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.

But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.

Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice “Christian Domestic Discipline,” a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband. Referred to as CDD by its followers, the practice often includes spanking and other types corporal punishments administered by husbands—and ostensibly ordained by God.

While the private nature of the discipline makes it difficult to estimate the number of adherents, activity in several online forums suggests a figure in the low thousands. Devotees call CDD an alternative lifestyle and enthusiastically sing its praises; for critics, it’s nothing but domestic abuse by another name.

Clint was in the room while I talked to Chelsea. They do everything together, including running their blog, Learning DD, which chronicles their exploration of domestic discipline. When Chelsea gets flummoxed by a question, she asks Clint for guidance in a voice so high-pitched that it belies her 28 years: “Honey, how long does the spanking usually last?” (About 5 minutes, Clint says.)

He has left bruises, Chelsea says, but it’s rare, and she attributes them to anemia.

You don’t have to be a Christian to practice domestic discipline, although many of its practitioners say they believe that domestic discipline goes hand in hand with their faith. Specifics of the practice vary by couple, though CDDers all seem to follow a few basic principles. Foremost, that the Bible commands a husband to be the head of the household, and the wife must submit to him, in every way, or face painful chastisement.

When a wife breaks her husband’s rules—rolling her eyes, maybe, or just feeling “meh,” as one blogger put it—that can equal punishments which are often corporal but can also be “corner time”; writing lines (think “I will not disobey my master” 1,000 times); losing a privilege like internet access; or being “humbled” by some sort of nude humiliation. Some practice “maintenance spanking,” wherein good girls are slapped on a schedule to remind them who’s boss; some don’t. Some couples keep the lifestyle from their children; others, like CDD blogger Stormy, don’t. “Not only does he spank me with no questions asked for disrespect or attitude in front of them, but I am also required to make an apology to each of them,” she writes.

Exorcists on trial for kidnapping and ‘crucifying’ teenager


Exorcists on trial for kidnapping and ‘crucifying’ teenager

Anthony Hopkins as the exorcist in "The Rite."

        Four former members of the Seventh Day Adventists, a US-based Protestant church, went on trial in France Monday for the kidnapping and torture of a 19-year-old woman during an exorcism. The incident took place in 2011 in Grigny, a suburb of Paris, when police entered an apartment and found the woman tied to a mattress in the attitude of Jesus Christ on the cross. The woman, identified only as Antoinette, an émigré from the Cameroun, was in shock and showed signs of recent beatings as well as emaciation and dehydration. According to her testimony, she had been bound to the mattress for a week and given only a few sips of oil and water during that time.

Three men and one woman, all of French Caribbean origin, have been charged with kidnapping, acts of torture and barbarism. One of the men, Eric Deron, was the victim’s former boyfriend. The others are his mother, Lise-Michelle Babin, and two men, Philippe Grego and Lionel Fremor. The prosecutors claimed that Deron has delusions of being a prophet on a divine mission. According to testimony by the accused assailants, Deron organized the exorcism after the victim allegedly leapt upon him while shouting incoherently.  All four denied committing any acts of violence and claim the victim consented to the exorcism.

From the AFP:

Their lawyer, Jacques Bourdais, said the four had acted in good faith. “To them, she was possessed, that is why they did not call a doctor. You call a doctor when someone is sick, when someone is possessed you exorcise them,” Bourdais told AFP.

Bourdais also told the court that the victim was very much in love with Deron and that she and all four of the accused shared strong religious convictions and a thorough understanding of biblical texts.

The victim met the accused several years before the alleged assault through the Seventh Day Adventists, which has 13,000 members in France. The Adventists claim that the assailants were expelled from the Church a year before the attack and that their teachings don’t include that kind of exorcism.

Theism In Action | Woman Accused of Witchcraft Tortured, Burned Alive by Mob


Woman accused of witchcraft tortured, burned alive by mob
Accused witch burned alive

ASSOCIATED PRESS | CST in World

A mob stripped, tortured and bound a woman accused of witchcraft, then burned her alive in front of hundreds of horrified witnesses in a Papua New Guinea town, police said. It was the latest sorcery-related killing in this South Pacific island nation.

In this Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 photo, bystanders watch as a woman accused of witchcraft is burned alive in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea. The 20-year-old mother of one, Kepari Leniata was stripped naked by several assailants, tortured with a hot iron rod,...
Photo; bystanders watch as a woman accused of witchcraft is burned alive in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea. The 20-year-old…   (Associated Press)

Bystanders, including many children, watched and some took photographs of Wednesday’s brutal slaying. Grisly pictures were published on the front pages of the country’s two largest newspapers, The National and the Post-Courier, while the prime minister, police and diplomats condemned the killing.

In rural Papua New Guinea, witchcraft is often blamed for unexplained misfortunes. Sorcery has traditionally been countered by sorcery, but responses to allegations of witchcraft have become increasingly violent in recent years.

Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother, had been accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in a hospital on Tuesday.

She was tortured with a hot iron rod, bound, doused in gasoline, and then set alight on a pile of car tires and trash in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen, national police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.

Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba on Friday blasted Mount Hagen investigators by phone for failing to make a single arrest, Kakas said.

The public were apparently not cooperating with police, and police carrying out the investigation were not working hard enough, Kakas said.

“He was very, very disappointed that there’s been no arrest made as yet,” Kakas said.

“The incident happened in broad daylight in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses and yet we haven’t picked up any suspects yet,” he added.

Kakas described the victim’s husband as the “prime suspect” and said the man had fled the province. Kakas said he did not know if there was a relationship between the husband and the dead boy’s family.

He said more than 50 people are suspected to have “laid a hand on the victim” and committed crimes in the mob attack. While many children had witnessed the killing, there were no child suspects, he said.

Kakas said onlookers were shocked by the brutality but were powerless to stop the mob. Police officers were also present but were outnumbered and could not save the woman, he said. There is an internal investigation under way into what action police at the scene took.

Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga described the slaying as “shocking and devilish.”

“We are in the 21st century and this is totally unacceptable,” Kulunga said in a statement.

He suggested courts be established to deal with sorcery allegations, as an alternative to villagers dispensing justice.

Prime Minister Pete O’Neill said he had instructed police to use all available manpower to bring the killers to justice.

“It is reprehensible that women, the old and the weak in our society should be targeted for alleged sorcery or wrongs that they actually have nothing to do with,” O’Neill said.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned Leniata’s killing as a “brutal murder.”

“There is no possible justification for this sort of horrific violence. We urge that sufficient resources are devoted to identifying, prosecuting and bringing to justice those responsible,” Nuland said. She added that the U.S. would continue to work with the Papua New Guinean government and civil society to address gender-based violence.

The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the killing “adds to the growing pattern of vigilante attacks and killings of persons accused of sorcery” in Papua New Guinea.

In other recent sorcery-related killings, police arrested 29 people in July last year accused of being part of a cannibal cult in Papua New Guinea’s jungle interior and charged them with the murders of seven suspected witch doctors.

Kakas could not immediately say what had become of the 29 since their first court appearances last year in the north coast province of Madang.

Police alleged the cult members ate their victims’ brains raw and made soup from their penises.

The killers allegedly believed that their victims practiced sorcery and that they had been extorting money as well as demanding sex from poor villagers for their supernatural services.

By eating witch doctors’ organs, the cult members believed they would attain supernatural powers.

Murder in punishable by death in Papua New Guinea, a poor tribal nation of 7 million people who are mostly subsistence farmers. But no one has been hanged since independence.

Pastor Sodomizes Boy


Pastor Sodomizes Boy

Religious Sex Abuse

Clergy Sexual Abuse

Priests Sexual Abuse

Petition US President: Deny Entry to Criminal Christian Sadist


The President of the United States: Deny entry to the USA for Helen Ukpabio

The President of the United States: Deny entry to the USA for Helen Ukpabio

About this PetitionPetition LetterPetition Updates

Why This Is Important

Helen Ukpabio is a “Christian” preacher from Nigeria who has been spreading the fear of child witches in Nigeria. She uses her sermons, teachings and prophetic declarations to incite hatred, intolerance and persecution of alleged witches and wizards, usually children. Thousands of children have been killed, tortured, or maimed by acid, fire, or other acts of senseless violence. The surviving children are usually left homeless and are preyed upon by others.

She has a simple diagnostic tools that can detect a witch:
“A child under two years of age that cries at night or deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.”

These condemned children are regularly subjected to:

Abandonment, isolation, discrimination, and ostracization from the community.

They are often disgraced publicly, usually by being chained and tortured in churches in order to extract confessions.

Many are murdered in horribly cruel ways: burned alive, bathed in acid, fatally poisoned (usually with a local toxic berry).

Exploiting local superstitious beliefs, particularly those related to spiritual or demonic possession or witchcraft, Helen Ukpabio’s organization has grown exponentially throughout Nigeria and West Africa since its foundation.

In March 2012, Helen Ukpabio is scheduled to hold a 12 day “revival” in Houston, Texas at the invitation of Glorious Praise Ministries.

The US Department of State needs to be urged to do the right thing and deny Helen Ukpabio’s entry into the United States on grounds of her human rights violations.

Rick Perry Embraces Sadistic Anti-Choice Fanatics


Rick Perry Joins the Heartless Anti-Choice Fanatics

Via Charles Johnson

It’s horrifying to hear almost all the GOP presidential candidates proudly saying that victims of rape or incest should be forced to give birth to an attacker’s child. There’s nothing that makes the utter heartlessness of this fanatical agenda more evident, and now Rick Perry (who previously supported rape/incest exceptions) has announced that he’s a monster like the rest of them: Perry changes stance to oppose all abortions.

CNNTexas Gov. Rick Perry revealed a hardening in his stance on abortion Tuesday, telling a crowd in Iowa that he opposed abortions in all cases, including when a woman had been raped or the victim of incest.

Previously, Perry had not opposed the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was threatened.

Responding to a question about the change in position, Perry said, “You’re seeing a transformation.”

Perry told the crowd at his campaign stop that the decision came after watching a documentary on abortion produced by former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“That transformation was after watching the DVD, ‘The Gift of Life,’” Perry said. “And I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

Sadistic Preacher Assaults Girl in Church


“Nigeria’s Wealthiest Preacher” Bishop David Oyedepo Slaps Girl in Church

Posted on December 23, 2011 by Richard Bartholomew

As is being widely reported, Bishop David Oyedepo has come under fire after a video was posted to YouTube showing him slapping a young girl across the face during a public “deliverance” service at his Faith Tabernacle mega-church in Ota, a suburb in Lagos.

The video shows the young girl telling Oyedepo that she was a “witch for Jesus”, and this – along with the fact that she’s a young girl unlikely to respond in kind – was what provoked Oyedepo to violence. It’s not clear what she meant by her self-identification: perhaps she’s a member of some syncretic religious group (unlikely), or perhaps she’s developed her own ideas based on the cultural mix around her. However, it’s also possible that she’s simply someone who was accused of being a witch and was acting out the role expected of her – I’ve noted other incidents of this. A follow-up video shows Oyedepo boasting that the girl had later come to him to ask for his forgiveness for being a witch.

Oyedepo’s behaviour is particularly troubling given the context of on-going violence against children accused of witchcraft in Nigeria and elsewhere and his status within African Neo-Pentecostalism. Oyedepo is not just another successful evangelist: according to Forbes he is “Nigeria’s wealthiest preacher”, and he enjoys international connections. In particular, he is close to Kenneth Copeland, who is a major player in the US Christian Right; Copeland has spoken at Oyedepo’s church, and Oyedepo has addressed Kenneth Copeland Ministries in the USA. According to Copeland’s newsletter,

In 2008, David Oyedepo was an honored speaker at KCM’s Ministers’ Conference. “I give glory to God for Kenneth and Gloria Copeland,” Oyedepo says. “The revelation through their books taught me how to walk in kingdom prosperity, and now countless thousands are walking in that revelation as well.”

Oyedepo also attends events in London (where his son has a franchise church) – about a year ago, I saw an advert for him on the side of a taxi passing along Aldwych.

 

Sadism and Religion Go Hand in Hand – The Culture of Religious Child Abuse


The culture of Christian child abuse

Since I know you readers are deeply interested in fighting the good fight for social justice in the bedrooms and parlors of this nation, I’m sure you’ve seen this horrible video:

This was posted by Hillary Adams, whose father is Judge William Adams, who is a judge for Aransas County, which is in the Gulf region of Texas. Adams admits that it’s him in the video, and in the style of abusers everywhere, is leaning on the “just a scratch” excuse, as well as skepticism-inducing claims that his behavior here is somehow out of character. (Compare to Cain’s statements this past week for another example of how this works.) No one is buying it, of course, since we all see with our eyes how hard he whipped his daughter with the belt. Additionally, since Hillary set the camera up in her room specifically to capture this, we have to assume a) that this had happened enough before to compel that choice and b) that she was getting really good at predicting when he would go off like this. Research into domestic violence shows that it’s not uncommon for victims to become well-attuned to when their abusers have a desire to whip the shit out of someone, and they do in fact get good at predicting it. This also belies the abusers’ claim that it’s a matter of “losing your temper”, but that they are in control of their emotions.

When something like this happens, it’s important to put it into context so people realize that behavior like this is not isolated or unusual, sadly. Jill has addressed how common it is for people with disabilities, who are often especially dependent on caregivers, to suffer abuse like this. Hillary has stated that Adams abused all his family members, but it seems he had a special hankering for whipping his only daughter, who happens to suffer from cerebal palsy, so we can see how it fits into this pattern. I want to add to this, and discuss abuse in the context of fundamentalist Christianity.

Now, I couldn’t find any religious information about Judge Adams, but he is a Republican, raising the chances to “high” that he’s an evangelical Christian. More importantly, if you watch the video—which I only recommend you do if you have the stomach for this sort of thing—one thing will really jump out at you if you follow the workings of the Christian right. Adams keeps using somewhat strange terms like “disobedient” and “submission”. For secular people, even those who have witnessed abuse, it’s really rare to see someone spell out their goals of inducing submission and obedience. (Or maybe not. I’m sure commenters have some thoughts.) Other language is employed, in no small part because abusers also have to enact a mindfuck on their victims, and convince them that the abuse isn’t somehow apart from the values of their time, which for secular people and moderate religious people include equality and individuality. But the words “obedience” and “submission” are flung around Christian right circles without any hesitation. When speaking to outsiders, they often try to play that awful-sounding language off as something not as bad as it sounds. Their schtick is to pretend that they’re just using archaic words for the funsies, but when they say something like “submission”, they don’t really mean submission. (Michele Bachmann tried this tactic when asked about her pride in being submissive to her husband.) But they do mean it. It’s impossible to believe otherwise, when you’re reading, say, James Dobson extolling the virtues of whipping your kids into submission, or Christian housewives on blogs discussing how much of a struggle it is to frame their legitimate concerns into a submissive framework where even asking questions can sometimes be seen as an affront to a man’s godly right to have the final say over household manners. They do in fact believe in a strict hierarchy of power in the household, and in fact, I would argue that fighting against feminist progress on the home front is their main organizing principle.

Spanking your children is therefore a big fucking deal to the Christian right. I would honestly say, reading their materials, that being able to whip your children at will is number two in their list of political concerns, right after abortion. Gay marriage was rising on that list for awhile, but it doesn’t seem to have the endurance that fears that the government is going to take their spanking rights away do. In fact, the Christian right has been successful at blocking the United States from ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children. (We are the only nation besides Somalia not to ratify it.) Within Christian right circles, enthusiasm for spanking is really, really high. At Stuff Christian Culture Likes, the blogger describes the general pro-spanking attitudes:

They don’t feel that spanking is the same thing as hitting. They will defend it to their dying breath. Christian culture is very concerned that the government may take away their right to spank.

Pretty much all right wing Christian child-rearing manuals are paens to beating your children. And I mean beating. If confronted about this, fundies tend to backpedal and play off their obsession with spanking as if it’s the same thing as a mild pat on the ass delivered to a toddler who has tried to run out in traffic or something. But they lean on the “rod” talk in the Bible, which means they are big on using weapons to beat your children. James Dobson believes you should beat children with a paddle or a tree branch, which he has somehow managed to rationalize into “loving” behavior. And he’s probably the most mainstream! Other, less popular family “advice” books get even more elaborate when it comes to describing how to select the weapons to use against someone so much smaller than you. Now, that doesn’t mean that all or even most fundamentalist Christians whip the shit out of their kids like this guy did. However, once you’ve created a cultural expectation that abusing your children is not only acceptable but expected, you can expect people to take it to the next level. Outside of the cursing and the threats to hit her in the face, in fact, there’s not much in this video that falls outside of the Christian right prescriptions for “disciplining” a child.

Regardless of Judge Adams’ personal beliefs, Christian right ideas about family hierarchy and paranoia that the government is coming to take away their “spanking” rights (I hate calling it “spanking”, which allows people to equate it with painless bottom pats, which I still think aren’t such a great idea but can’t be meaningfully compared to whippings in any way) are the water that conservatives are swimming in when it comes to the Bible Belt. That context needs to be understood when looking at this video. It’s not enough to be angry with Judge Adams and call for him to leave his job. We need to look at an entire culture that teaches that beating your children is a good thing to do.

By the way, I want to quickly address the people who are all over internet defending Adams by saying, “I was whipped and I turned out okay.” Using the surival skills of victims to condone abuse is not okay. That’s like saying it’s okay to throw yourself downstairs because two years from now, that broken leg will be completely healed. The here and now counts as much as the later. A child is more than the adult they will become. They are a human being now, and their pain and suffering now matters.

via pandagon.net – it’s the eye of the panda, it’s the thrill of the bite.

Christian Child-Rearing Manual Leads to Child Abuse, Even Deaths


Christian Child-Rearing Manual Is A Frequent Factor In Child Abuse, Even Deaths
                By Susie Madrak

So many people were shocked by the video of that Texas judge hitting his child, but I wasn’t. I’ve been reading for a long time about the abusive child-rearing practices of extreme Christian fundamentalists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that girl’s father thought he was merely doing his duty and “raising a godly child.”

The books of Michael and Debi Pearl are frequently implicated in that kind of abuse. Here’s a heart-wrenching post from a reader over at the No Longer Quivering blog, started by a woman who left the fundamentalist Quiverfull movement:

When the Pearls’ methods failed, I got stuck on method a. Blame yourself.  I re-read To Train Up a Child. When I knew I had it right, I hit harder. Prayed harder. Did the whole disciplinary routine smiling from ear to ear and cooing like a dove. My babies acted freaked out by my grin (it was a lot like Debi Pearl’s vacuous, huge grin in the Tuchman interview) and were enraged by my efforts to “lovingly reconcile” with them after spankings. They kept up the fight. At this point, I think I would have admitted to myself that something was wrong with this whole child-training method and stopped torturing the toddlers all day to no avail. If you have to be cruel to get the Pearl method to work on some kids, it’s wrong. I had a husband, however, who was firmly convinced that Pearl was right. He went right for the b. and c. options: hit harder and blame the kid.

Options b. and c. are hard to do without getting angry. They are hard to do without leaving bruises, especially since Pearl discipline is cumulative: faced with entrenched rebellion, you are supposed to hit repeatedly and in the same areas. My ex-husband got angry with the kids for thwarting the Pearl method, but he remained coldly self-controlled. He also left bruises. A lot of bruises.

Why didn’t I stop him? I finally did, but early in my marriage I was paralyzed by fear and brainwashed by bad teaching. We both feared raising ungodly kids. We were looking for confirmation that some part of this system worked, and my ex-husband began to get results. The children flinched when he even moved. Cowered when he reached for a spanking implement. Had semi-seizures on the carpet following “biblical correction.” We got compliance with our wishes. Eventually, there wasimmediate and unquestioning compliance. My ex-husband had quelled the rebellion in three kids. He had created unfocused, freaked-out little robots who obeyed. The joy and the peace that was supposed to suffuse our home according to Pearl, we thought we could dispense with. Maybe it would come later; the Pearls are a little vague on where the peace and love should come into the process, just as they are a little vague on how you can keep “chastising” repeatedly with progressively increased force in the same places without leaving bruises.

To Train Up a Child is a manual of progressive violence against children. Not only are there no stopgaps to prevent child abuse, the book is a mandate to use implements to inflict increasingly intense pain in the face of continued disobedience. The part about not causing injury is vague and open to interpretation, but the part about never backing down or shirking your parental duty to spank harder and harder is crystal clear. The Pearls’ teachings will lead, inescapably, to extremely strong-willed kids being abused and sometimes murdered by fundamentalist parents who are determined to “break” those children.  The Pearls’ defenders will say, “Oh, they took it to an extreme and should have known better.” If anyone knows better than to keep inflicting more severe discipline on an intractable child, they can only apply that knowledge by scuttling the Pearls’ sadistic teaching and being more reasonable.

Whenever I read stories like this, I think of a lovely young woman I once interviewed, someone who grew up on the streets with her schizophrenic mother. By the time she was 16, she was pregnant. Fortunately, by the time she was 18, she’d been taken into a new program for young mothers that essentially re-parented them: Taught them to budget, balance a checkbook, plan meals, discipline children. She told me she was deeply haunted by guilt over having hit her toddler: “It wasn’t that I didn’t care about her – I did. I hit her to make her behave. I thought that’s what good parents did, and I wanted to be a good parent.”

That’s the sad part of all this violence. For whatever twisted reason, religious or psychological, many parents still believe they’re only doing what good parents do.