Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, January 24, 2014

Religion and Victimhood



by Kathy Krajco

Religion, especially Christianity, can be sharply criticized for making us feel that we must put up with abuse. That we must forgive even ongoing and unrepented offenses = that we must dociley submit to abuse. As though there is some virtue in victimhood.

Back when I was a Catholic, I was amazed at the disconnect between the actual theology and what we hear in the preaching, whether from the pulpet or from "religious" people telling us what we should do and how we should feel.

For the most part, the actual theology is enlightening and sensible. But on the lips of preachers it gets warped, almost beyond recognition in places. And it DEFIES common sense.

In my opinion, whenever it is being promulgated for show, watch out. That show is either to sell it or to sell the preacher. In that case, what matters is what seems. Not truth and reality.

I discovered Christian theology upon reading Dante's Divine Comedy. That piqued my interest in this fascinating body of thought, so I made it my business to find out what my relgion actually taught.

It was nothing like what I heard on Sunday. For the most part, what we hear on Sunday from the majority of preachers is half-baked. It betrays an amazing lack of understanding. A childish lack of depth in understanding. The result is a picture of Jesus as some long-suffering wimp who chose to sacrifice himself to abuse and whom we're supposed to emulate.

But show me a parable of his that says so. Those parables are nothing but brilliant studies in practical common sense, so where did all that anti-common-sense stuff come from?

Sell copy is just sell copy. It must never tax the prospective customer with the need to think. And religion put on for show is shallow as a puddle too.

In fact, if you check it out, you'll find much preaching today contradicts established doctrine and what people like St. Augustan, St. Thomas Aquinas, and even Jesus himself said. Unfortunately, few know enough about their religion to notice that these days.

For example, take the Christian teaching that punishing an innocent scapegoat for our sins saves us from them. That's what Christianity on this point has been reduced to - a sound bite, the buzzword that "punishing the innocent scapegoat has saved us from our sins."

But how? How could that be, of all things, God's justice? What kind of god would consider that justice? It's a travesty of justice that dooms those who commit it and saves only those so shamed by it that they stop committing it.

Understanding that would require some explaining and mature thinking, but marketers know better than to try to sell anything that way: so it's easier just to believe the doctrine backwards instead.

Similarly, when did "God forgive them" come to mean "I forgive them"? Likewise, how is God praised and honored by your letting others trash what he has made? Didn't he make you too? Then how is he praised or honored by your letting a narcissist trash you?

Common sense, common sense, common sense has gone out the window and virtually made the ultimate good, justice, an evil thing in the heads of the simple-minded. This HURTS the victims of narcissists.

And recent scholarly research on the oldest extant scriptural documents (including the NT), when they were actually written, how apocryphal they all are, how frequently the passages contradict each other, how many passages have gone through so many translations of translations of ancient language that they now amount to gibberish, how often and by how many hands they have been edited over time - all this should sink in already. Where in the Bible does the Bible claim to be authored by God?

Result? Which blurb do you cherry-pick when trying to sound holy? "An eye for an eye" or "Turn the other cheek"?

As a consequence, many victims of narcissists become embittered at religion because of how it made them feel morally obligated to submit to abuse = to give the narcissist permission to abuse them. So, whose side is religion on? Self-righteous holier-than-thous sound holy by using religion to pile on the victim playing the part of Job's Comforters and denying the victim's right to do anything to make the abuser stop it. Anything. They even make it sound evil for the victim to just abandon or divorce the abuser! In other words, they use religion to commit the Sin of Sodom = making the victim bend over for abuse.

In a way, it's a bad rap, because Christian theology isn't really that ridiculous. In fact, even I will say that there is much truth and wisdom in it. But what preachers and holier-than-thous make of it - THAT is a different matter. THAT is garbage.

Then religious leaders wonder why they lose adherants. The blame is not with "society these days." The blame is with THEM. They should do something about the warping of the message, because it's their own fault people find it unacceptable and turn away.

SOURCE

(Note on this post by my friend, the late Kathy Krajco.

Kathy, like myself, was raised Catholic. Some may think this villianizes Christianity. I don't believe it does. I feel it villanizes any religion that convinces a victim MUST stay with an abuser because of "biblical" reasons. I get email every week from Christians struggling with leaving their abuser because of pressure from their pastors, priests or fellow parishioners. Any Christian who is struggling can click here for some help. Never allow anyone to convince you to stay with someone who abuses you and makes you feel bad. No matter what your religion, I don't believe any God wants their creations to be miserable & abused. Even myself.

By the way, anyone who continues to call me a hypocrite or liar regarding leaving your abuser and my own marital situation should talk to me rather than smear me. - Barbara)


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6 Comments:

I too was raised with the Catholic mindset. My family had fallen away by the time I was old enough to understand but it still affected the way I was raised. It's that intermixing of "just be a GOOD person, and you'll be fine!" and the outward symbols of religion. But this is not Biblical. Either is believing that all are born the same, ie. with a conscience.

The Bible points out that many are BORN wicked and evil. That we are all sinners but that some are wicked from the womb. I didn't learn this truth till Jesus revealed it to me, through his word and through life changing circumstances. Type "born evil" into your search engine and there's an article that explains it better than I can.

The Jesus of the Bible is not a mealy-mouthed "yes" man. He is compassionate and gracious and loves those who want to know the truth. He knows our hearts and this is where we are judged from. So when we made or make decisions based on lies or bad information, Jesus understands this. He knows that when we make these choices (to marry or date someone who has the brain functioning of a psychopath) thinking that all are capable of feeling love, caring about others etc, we do this based on what the WORLD has told us. Even what is preached at many churches. But when you read through his word, you find out differently. That many will not desire the truth but rather want to be worshipped. Read Numbers 16. Korah is a perfect example of a psychopath. Here Moses has been through HELL for his brothers, the chosen people, and Korah is wanting to usurp him. Why? Because he, Korah, wants to be in charge. Isn't it enough that he was one of the "well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council." vs 16:2? No, this is not enough. He wants to be MORE than this. And as is so typical of psychopaths, he tries to say that they are all the same (but really HE wants to be in charge but he takes away any importance from others by saying "The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” vs. 3.) This is like communism, trying to make everyone "the same" but we AREN'T all the same. No two of us is alike and our DNA proves it! And when you look at communist societes, there are still those who are in charge. Pretending we are all the same doesn't make it true. But remember, psychopaths use whatever they can to manipulate us.

Jesus loves you. YOU. If you've been broken, take it to him. Being broken is what he desires. Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." See, psychopaths can't really be broken. They can be forced to behave, comply, but in their heart they are never broken. But the fact that you can be broken, well, this is amazingly enough, a gift!

There are certain genes that can be tested for to show that one can be born without a conscience. It looks like it may even be at the chromosonal level. So, this is NOT our fault but it is REAL. But guess what? GOD ALREADY KNOWS and he can handle it! Take it to him, let him love and heal you. Let him show you how much he loves you. The book "Finding the God-Dependent Life" by Joanie Yoder is a good place to start. It has helped me learn to look towards God.

11:49 AM  

Barbara I will call you BRAVE and courageous for leaving your abuser. Through Gods grace, I will be leaving mine. I was told by two preachers this week to submit to my emotionally abusive spouse. They have no concern for me whatsoever but that my job is to save him by letting him rape my soul and heart and life. Um, there won't be anything left to rape if I'm dead and since he's a psycho, it has no effect on him at all.

Did I mention that I tired? Soul-deep tired?

1:33 AM  

Abuse

as a narcissist would call it - Teaching a Lesson/ Straightening one Out


not only are narcissists impatient and eager to hurt their victims but they are just so impatient because they want to feel good and whole again by hurting others. if they don't hurt their victims they feel insignificant and are otherwise very unhappy. like sadists, hurting their victims gives narcissists tremendous pleasure as it is their primary source of energy.
they lack introspection and never reflect on their own speech and actions. it's all about them and them getting revenge. they are quick to blame for the smallest possible fault or even no apparent fault but they never question themselves. revenge is big, really big with narcissists. they totally lack empathy, reasoning and introspection. they are manipulative and extremely good liars. they feel it is their right to teach everyone a lesson. if the person does not behave according to their liking they will go to any extent to ruin the person's life. they are control freaks besides being freaks in general.

they are insecure, lack confidence and are basically wimps who go behind their victims backs and cause them harm and not just little harm but the worst kind possible, the kind that could alter the victim's life tremendously. they feed on the hatred they spread. it makes them feel powerful and successful. it gives them a great high.

they hate that their victims are popular and well liked and so they poison people against them using malicious tactics. their self serving authoritarian behavior is difficult to change because they do not know how to behave otherwise.
they can only hurt and blame easily but fail to accept their own short comings. their ego does not permit them to admit any shortcomings.

Their apparent clout enables them to carry on being narcissistic/sadistic without being questioned or held accountable for any of their actions. it is only because of their clout that they thrive and are successful in getting what they desire. they bribe and force their way into getting what they want which is normally the destruction of someone else's life so that they can feel secure and happy.

6:59 AM  

anonymous

My exNH and I share a 2 family home. We don't live together and we only have a separation agreement. Our legal advisors came to this agreement since I am disability and we have minor children together.

It's not optimal but it works well usually. Once the kids are grown, more steps will be taken.

12:51 AM  

There is a name for preachers who tell people to shut up and remain punching bags. Pharisee.

7:02 PM  

Katherine Bushnell wrote a book called God's Word to Women and she was a Greek and Hebrew scholar in the 1920's. The book is scathing in its criticism of translations, particularly about WILFUL mistranslations. She also tackles misinterpretations and the popular Christian stance, that a wife must be subordinate to her husband is nothing more than IDOLATRY, placing man in the position that God should occupy in her life. What an eye opener.

6:57 AM  

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