Okay, everybody: raise your hand if you’re pro-abuse!
Of course no one is pro-abuse.
So what does it mean to be anti-abuse?
Just a few quick thoughts on a Tuesday (I try not to write long posts on Tuesdays to give myself a day to get a lot of work done), but I had something I wanted to share.
i told you last Friday in my round-up about an Instagram post where we were “fixing” Owen Strachan’s tweet after the Ravi Zacharias scandal broke, where Owen claimed that “it could easily be me” who formed a sex trafficking ring and was a serial sexual abuser. I said that it’s not okay to identify with the abuser and engage in sin-levelling.
Owen Strachan ended up interacting in the comments on Instagram (It’s threaded, so it’s hard to find, but it’s there) defending himself, and claiming that we were accusing him of saying things he doesn’t believe.
But I want to take a step back for a moment and ask a bigger question: What does it mean to be against abuse?
Lots of people say, “Obviously I’m against abuse, but….”
But is it obvious they’re against abuse? I mean, what does it mean to be pro-abuse? That you approve of abuse? Well, no one approves of abuse, except some psychopaths and abusers (and even abusers would likely say they’re against abuse, they just don’t think they’re abusers).
It’s like saying, “Is anyone pro-kicking puppies?” Of course not. Everyone is anti-kicking puppies.
So being against abuse must mean more than simply thinking abuse is bad.
Let me suggest that if you’re really against abuse, you should actually want it to stop. And that means that you should be against the things that we know are highly correlated with abuse. People who are against abuse should want the things that lead to abuse to be minimized, and should be actively fighting against those things.
So, for instance, we should:
- Allow divorce for abuse (because we should not keep people trapped in abusive marriages)
- Reject teachings that are highly correlated with abuse, like telling wives to submit in everything; like telling wives to have unconditional respect for their husbands; like telling wives they cannot say no to sex or it’s a sin; like telling husbands that they have authority over their wives and are entitled to respect, deference, sex, and even obedience.
- Treat women as whole people, rather than see them as appendages for men or see them as only good for what they can do for men. We should stop relegating women to serving roles in church, like serving in the kitchen or the nursery, and value women for their ideas and intellectual contributions as well.
- Create an environment where women are not blamed for men’s sins. We should stop calling teenage girls stumbling blocks for boys or even adult men. We should stop asking women what they were wearing.
- Blame men for their own sins, like lust or porn use or even anger outbursts, rather than asking what the wife did to provoke any of those things
- Create church structures where, if a woman needed help with an abusive husband, she wouldn’t have to turn to those husbands’ friends for help. When the board is all men, it’s very hard for women to be believed and heard, and it’s very intimidating.
- Dismiss abusers from leadership positions and work hard to keep them out of any further leadership positions until there is significant, long-term change and repentance as determined by the abuse victims.
- Prioritize the abuse victim’s safety afterwards, rather than the abuser’s reputation
And I could go on and on, these are only a few off the top of my head.
If you say you are against abuse, but you promote ideas that we know lead to higher rates of abuse, and you don’t help abuse victims get out, and you support the abuser?
Then you’re not really against abuse.
Being against abuse is far more than just a generalized feeling that “abuse is bad.” Being against abuse means actively working against the things that we know lead to abuse.
And that’s why we look at a lot of these guys and have no problem saying, “From what I see, he doesn’t look to be against abuse at all.”
The Launch Team for The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex is up and running!
We do our first Facebook Live tonight, and there’s still time to get in on the fun!
Just pre-order the books, and then email your receipt, and you’ll get an invite! Plus an amazing preorder bonus: The Evangelical Sex Report Card! Hope to see you there.
The All New Guides to Great Sex!
Launch March 15!
Imagine building a great sex life–from the ground up!
What would it look like to build a picture of sex that was MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE FOR BOTH–with no harmful messages?
Welcome to the The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and the ALL NEW Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
Pre-Order Now! (Helps us out a ton)
And if you email your receipt, we’ll send you a special pre-order BONUS
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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