There’s an assumption that sexual abuse is a symptom found in the corrupt Catholic Church, but it extends to other sects and denominations. IFB (Independant Fundamental Baptist) Churches are spotlighted in an ABC News story where child discipline is taken to the extreme and victims of rape are asked to confess their sin when they show signs of pregnancy.
Tina Anderson, at the age of 16, was made to stand up in front of her congregation and confess–this after being raped by a fellow member of the church. She was not allowed to say that her pregnancy was the result of an assault and therefore anyone listening would assume she was just another lustful sinner.
From the article linked to the video covering Tina’s story on ABC News, this is one of the most interesting observations: “She [Tina] says her New Hampshire pastor, Chuck Phelps, told her she was lucky not to have been born during Old Testament times when she would have been stoned to death.” That’s pretty sick on two levels: one that it’s possible that a fundamentalist would stick to the literal word of God concerning that kind of throwback punishiment and two that a more enlightened pastor would recognize Biblical barbarisms that are no longer applicable but still teach the scripture of the same book they’re found in.
We don’t want to say that all Christians are abusers, but fundamentalism seems to create conditions for abuse. Usually this has to do with sexual repression. The same is true of the ridiculously large numbers of Catholic priests who have abused children. When you mess with someone’s sexual drive you’re asking for trouble. It doesn’t mean we can’t be civil in our sexual relations, but it does mean allowing for responsible sex even amongst young people (and at the very least don’t freak out when teenage boys jerk off to porn). The very thing that fundamentalists accuse sexually explicit material of inspiring–violence and rape against women–they seem to foster themselves.
Also, this antiquated idea of child discipline involving violence needs to be replaced with a modern, rational approach to parenting. I don’t want to overreact to a mild spanking but I think spanking is bad idea. There has to be a better way to deal with your child even as I know they can be brats that will drive you insane. Hitting them isn’t the solution and what the hell is an IFB church doing recommending a 2 week-old baby be spanked for crying too much or that a spanking should result in bruising? What the hell is wrong with these people?