Some people use Biblical reference as an excuse for violence
It is not a secret that I was “raised in the church.” There are a lot of good things that can come from such an upbringing, and in no way am I saying that I was robbed in any way of at least knowing that we are not alone in the Universe. Yet, there are people who know that I am telling you the truth that there are a whole lot of ways that the Bible has been wrongly accused, so to speak, of leading men into the idea, and now, sometimes, even women, that somehow and in order to “keep it Biblical,” one of the two partners in a marriage has to be assigned as the bully.
While I will not say that there are not people within a religious belief who do not look to those Holy Texts and take them totally and fundamentally as the literal truth, because there are, I will sit here and say that indeed, the dirtiest secret that too many believers have within them is that since it is that the man is the God-Willed person to be called “The Head of the Household,” and since it is that the woman was reduced in said such a man’s eyes to being nothing more than a rib-bone, that somehow, God…Spirit…Whomever it is Who they or anyone else bows to…somehow that entity condones the beating into submission of other human beings.
I will not sit here and tell anyone that what they believe in is wrong, but I will sit here and tell anyone who has eyes to read and ears to hear that this is not right. To place the perceived wrongness of being female on a woman to begin with is wrong – it is not like we chose to be the gender we were born as. To make it seem as though we are not okay to be equal humans is just as wrong, because that entails that somehow, God screwed up. To think for one minute that anyone else on the planet is somehow not as great as we ourselves are is as wrong – if not more wrong – than it is to believe the lie that God condones the absoluteness of abuse as discipline upon people who are old enough for their abuser to have sex with, to bear children with, to fight like screaming and yelling adults do but who, according an unenlightened person, are not mentally or Spiritually capable of making up their own minds about anything. When that happens – the making up of their own minds, that is – is when the abuse begins, and it is an abuse that is many-fold, because it already started with the idea that anyone else has complete control over the life and the abilities and more than anything else, the choices and also the idea of who we are as people. It starts simply – and with Bible in hand, they go on with the idea that since it is in the Word of God, and since that book is thousands of years older than the victim, that it must be true. From there, the abuse happens in the manner that we are told that if we do not submit to our husbands, that God will surely send us straight to hell.
The fun part about that is that once it is that we are told that much, suddenly this book of many truths disappears from our awareness, and it is so that we cannot go and find out that there is more to that verse that tells the story of so many abuse survivors…that even as God expects the wives to submit to their husbands, it is also stated that the husband must respect their wives, and that is the sin in all of this. That is the devil that sits in the house of the Lord, and that is the thing that no one in a whole lot of churches are willing to admit to – that their congregants might have taken the prose in that book just a little too literally and that now there is an entire population of women who are being abused in the name of the Lord.
The Devil that Lives in The House of The Lord
I am not sure if it is correct or even okay to call it this way, to see it as being the thing that is silently there, the thing that can be called the one cardinal sin that a woman commits, sometimes a man, that is simply being a person who does not want to be controlled by someone else. This is what abuse is really all about – control. The control of another person’s life. The control of another person’s thoughts, and in this case, at least as the excuse that the abuser uses, the abuse is not abuse and the abuse is sanctioned by God.
I have a problem with this because my father never put a violent hand on my mother. In fact, to this day my father, and for as far back as I can recall, never has and still does not. This is a person who is now retired as a minister, whose passion back in the day was NOT saving lost souls but teaching the ones in his congregation about the things that God wanted us to know. It was up to the congregants to interpret for themselves what it was that God was particularly saying to them through my father. When the abuse began in my life, I was told that I needed to try again, no, not by my parents, but by a Christian therapist whose name escapes me. To bolster the idea that it was ME who had to make things right, my caretaker was part of my father’s congregation, and it was she who told me that I needed to heed the advice of what I am sure, at this time in my life, was what she, the therapist, thought was right.
This is the problem with a lot of religions – there is too much that can be taken literally and there are too many abusers sitting in the pews at church and there are too many things that these people think about in the manner that is thinking that their “ignorant” spouse needs to have the Lord tell them what is right and wrong, that they are not privy to the luxury of thinking original thoughts because those original thoughts lead to the victim knowing for sure, even as they already know for sure, that somehow, God does not want us to be hurt. If we are created in His image, it makes no sense to anyone that we would be subjected to sanctioned abusive behavior and acts put upon us because “the lord said so.”
The Lord said and says no such thing. The Lord Loves us all – yes, even weirdos like me, and the Lord does not want for us to suffer. The suffering mentioned a whole lot in the Bible is NOT actual suffering but the “suffering” we go through when we are learning the most important lessons in life – lessons in Spiritual growth, and lessons in Sacrifice that is needed, and lessons, most of all, in Aloha, in Love, in Unity and in the knowing that we are all meant for a particular purpose in this lifetime, and that we are here to carry out a mission.
I am sure that the mission is not to be the pariah of another person’s life, and I am positive that the Lord does not want any one of us to cry over the maddening idea that we were sent to be cleaved to a person who would be bad to us to the point where we need to be institutionalized. The Lord did not want for us to be in pain that was forever, and it is the pain which can be referred as being the Fires of Life. We are meant to go through things but only to learn – NOT to become the sacrificial lamb to an controlling person. We are meant to have experiences that will teach us both what we like and what we do not want in our lives, and I know that ALL of us wants to be Loved, and all of us wants to know that we are special to one other person, and that all of us each is safe in the knowledge that we were chosen by God to be here in this consciousness so that we could reach that point in our learning that we will finally know all of this.
Yet this truth…these truths…are lost on anyone who is an abuser. These thoughts never ever cross the minds of abusers, and they never will cross them, because that is not what they are about. They are about absolute control, and they are about the idea that they have to compete with everything and everyone and it is for nothing other than to feel superior to another person. Other people are not who make us and are not who have control over us, no matter what we want to think or believe. No matter what, no one is allowed to have that control, and no one can have it without the systematic putting down of the Spirit of the person they do this to. This is how this all happens – the abuser already takes the initiative to do what he or she will, and thus ensues the madness that is the never-ending cycle of abuse that begins, usually, as verbal put downs, “constructive criticism,” judgment of the abuse victim’s personal self, loved ones – including family and especially their friends, then comes the problems at work caused by the abuser (which ultimately leads, most of the time, to the victim losing his or her job), and the moment comes when, if they are not able to control their own feelings of self worthlessness and insecurity, the abuse victim becomes another statistic for violence, and it is a violence that begins at home, where we are meant to and are promised that we will be safe.
The thing is, when it is “sanctioned” by God, all bets are off, and it becomes even uglier, because the abuser takes it upon themselves, after they have already used everything else in the life of their victim, they now will choose to take said victim’s Higher Power and use it against them. This is the worst kind of abuse, and I know this one personally, because this non-believer, while he never attended services with me on a regular basis, he knew how much I believed in God, and he knew what it was that was in my heart in regards to my beliefs. While it might not be that my beliefs are what they used to be, they are there, and it took me a whole lot of time to get to a place where I could trust in a Higher Power again. Once I did, I started to know that it was never me who was wrong, that I was not the Devil in the House of the Lord, but that there were indeed those who could be akin to just that.
The Devil in the House of the Lord is the stain of abuse that too many clergy members still refuse to take as anything other than a phase which all married couples go through. This is wrong. This is a lie.
Clergy…my call is out to you…my fellow purveyors of all things “Spirit.” We need to do more to protect the people who hang on not only our every word, but every word presented to them through the texts which your people deem as “The Word of God.” It is an aberration that we have to think of things in this manner, and it is a sad day when someone who is also clergy, who has seen the ugliness of abuse within the church, and when it is that that same someone is not also someone whose beliefs can be called “mainstream,” feels like she has to sit here and tell you all that you are not telling your people the whole story, and the whole story is that you need to step up and start saying things to your congregants about the reality that is Domestic Abuse that happens within what is no longer only able to be thought of as the confines of a marriage, but more like the confines of abuse and the prison that is without the bars but is the energy that is control of a person by another human being.
We are not in a third world country anymore, and we are not tilling the fields with slaves, and we are not here and all subject at the same time to what could be deemed as our own personal trials of Job. We were meant for this life and it is with purpose – the purpose of Spirit, and in your language, The Purpose of The Lord God Almighty.
I am sure that God’s purpose for anyone who suffers from abuse was never to be controlled by someone else to the point where the victim can no longer think straight, can no longer not cry, can no longer feel like they want to take their own lives, and yes, of course, I know ALL of these, yes even the one which says “want to take their own lives,” and yes, I know how difficult it is to come back and to redeem one’s own self, not in the eyes of the Lord that sanctioned the abuse, but our very selves. It is time, Reverend, to please, Auhea wale ana ‘oe – pay attention – and do right by your congregants and address that this happens, yes, in your church and right underneath your nose.
You don’t have to believe me about this, Reverend, but I will tell you that it happens, and that it happens a whole lot. You don’t have to believe me, husbands of the church, that your church buddies…some of them hit their wives and belittle their kids, but it is the truth. You don’t have to believe me, abused wives, that you are not now and neither were you ever meant as the target of one small person’s ideals and one small person’s own thoughts of self-worhtlessness and insecurity belong to you. You were never meant to take on that energy and it was never your Kuleana, never your Soul’s responsibility to shoulder the burden that was not ever yours at all.
We were not ever meant to fear the one who we give our trust to willingly, and we were never meant to have to feel like we must choose between their waning ego and our waning ability to have the motivation to wake up in the morning, period.
We were not meant to be kept like unruly pets who cannot be tamed. We were never meant to be beaten like animals, and we were never ever meant to be less than anyone else.
I Love You All