The Fundamentalist Fallacy of Respect for Women
“The times is right, to ALWAYS do what is right” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Getting fed up with hearing about the Duggar family and their whining about how abused they have been in the media? Well you’re not alone. It’s great that someone has finally exposed the cult type affiliations with the fundamentalist movement that enthrones their world, and the hypocrisy that lines their faith. It isn’t any different than the other cults out there. This type of belief system has been around for decades, and people, including law enforcement, social service agencies and the court systems still turn a blind eye to it. If you think this is something new, you’re diluted. Some of our politicians and state representatives have been entangled into the mix of people who help keep their secrets, due to the campaign contributions they receive.
Almost every cult proclaims some form of discrimination by mainstream media, and jump on the “separation of church and state” bandwagon, demanding that their “secrets” remain the property of the church, or their sect, especially when it violates one’s human rights. Now I am not saying that ALL Fundamentalist groups are deviants, but I have yet to find one that hasn’t violated the basic human rights of someone. We need to wake up and take notice.
Separation of Church and State was an amendment to the constitution in 1789 via The Bill of Rights. The first amendment forbids government to establish a religion. Now, if they had wanted a Christian nation, surely they would have required it, and required religious tests for public servants. If they had wanted a theocracy, surely they would have said so. If they had wanted the Fundamentalists to be allowed to practice their religion in a manner to allow for human rights to be violated in the process, it would have stated an exclusion of practices deemed inhuman as an allowable acceptance.
Since so many of our schools don’t bother to teach the Constitution properly, within its full context, and religious groups hide behind it to protect the members of its congregation and their dirty little secrets, we need to look at the truth in context. A broad view of its true limitations and not assume it covers the acceptance of any type of religious practices one sees fit, here is the text of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I am not sure that Amendment includes, “we shall allow you to force children to be exposed to child rape, physical abuse, brainwashing, and torture”. However, multiple Fundamentalist Baptists believe that they are Exempt from man’s law, because they fall under God’s law in the Bible and use this Amendment to their advantage to continue this practice.
When I read this Amendment, I see it as stating that I as a Citizen can be free to practice or not practice the religion of my choosing. I am free to pray or not to pray, but cannot have it forced on me. I am free to display religious symbols on your jewelry, clothing, car, home, and private property. However we are not free to be victims or victimize by are not free to forcing others to do any of those things.
Yes it is true that our parents can establish a religious base of structure in their homes and a means of discipline, since they are the adults and entrusted with their care, but when it is called into question and involves the safety, health and well being of a child involved, why does the state turn its back, and let the Fundamentalist Baptists and other religions hide behind this “Separation of Church and State”, instead of protecting the child, who is a citizen and afforded the same protection under the law?
What is a human rights violation exactly? Well lets again look at the Constitution and see. It proclaims that all citizens are to be guaranteed the rights of “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.” It argues that the need for law derives from the fact that “…the exercise of the natural rights of each man (woman, child etc) has only those borders which assure other members of the society the enjoyment of these same rights.” Thus, the Declaration sees law as an “expression of the general will, “intended to promote this equality of rights and to forbid “only actions harmful to the society.”
Just what is a human right, and where does it come from? Let’s look at it from an educational perspective.
Human: (noun) A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.
Rights: (noun) Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.
Human Rights: (noun) The rights you have simply because you are human.
A right is a power or privilege that is recognized by tradition or law. Natural or human rights are inherent to human nature; they are not given by government, but neither does government always protect them. Human Rights are the not limited to, but include the basic rights to life and liberty, freedom of thought and speech or expression, the right to food, and the right to education and protection from exclusion of these rights.
In short, human rights are freedoms established by custom or international agreement that protect the interests of humans. Human rights are distinct from civil liberties, which are freedoms established by the law of a particular state and applied by that state in its own jurisdiction.
Human rights laws have been defined by international conventions, by treaties, and by organizations, particularly the United Nations. These laws prohibit practices such as torture, slavery, and arbitrary detention.
Now, take a look at the Duggar family once again. Since they have been plastered all over just about every form of media these days and the stories floating around as to how they handled the situation of Josh Duggar fondling his sisters and other young girls is easy to relate in current times. They first prayed about it, secondly, they took it to their church, then lastly, to law enforcement. HMM. This method of “keeping it in the church” isn’t anything new, in the confines of the Fundamentalist Baptists Scene, or among several Independent Baptist Churches for decades. Speaking from first-hand experience, when there is sexual assaults by siblings, men of the church, or any of the liking, it is to be kept hush. Of course it is also ALWAYS the fault of the female. Where was their human rights protection?
I have spent the majority of my life before adulthood, in the Fundamentalist movement by duress, and saw just how abusive it is when it came to my human rights. I also spent decades researching multitudes of victims of the same movement, who went through some of the most volatile experiences one could picture in a third-world country, yet exists right here in the United States.
The Fundamentalist teachings that I recall, since it still is embedded like concrete in my brain, was that, if a male touched a female it was because she was acting as a harlot. “Females are tools of the devil that tempt men, and they cannot resist the temptation of you harlots and whores”, was what Bro. Mack Ford would preach to us from his pulpit often as I sat petrified in a pew in 1980, along with many other adolescent girls, victims of his presence at New Bethany Baptist Church and Girls home in Arcadia, Louisiana. Such Hypocrisy, since just within hours of that sermon, he would broker some of us girls out to visiting ministers who supported his church and girls home, for a luxurious night in a shitty hotel, with them to be raped, demoralized and victimized, all in the name of God.
The purpose of raising girls among the Fundamentalist belief system for decades has been that a girl is to be raised into womanhood with one sole purpose. Subservience to the man “God” chooses for them. Now God doesn’t directly speak to individuals where it can be physically heard, that is a decision based upon them praying, consulting with their parents and the church usually helping to persuade the decision. Each different congregational organization within a group has their own process of how “God” chooses to inform them what is approved.
The fundamentalists I was exposed to, limited who you intended to become wed to or obligated to as a spouse was one that either “you chose who they felt was best and in good standing with the church, and your parents and pastor approved or you were doomed to hell”. Women didn’t have much say in anything. If a man wanted you, you considered it a privilege. If a man lusted you and wanted to touch you, outside of marriage it was either because you were a harlot who tempted them, or it was for the purpose of meeting the needs of a man of God. Conflicting as it seems, when I was stripped of my virtue by a “man of God” I was told that; “it was God’s will that I be taught how to be submissive and lose my free spirited nature of not letting anyone control my will”. They failed!
Just this week, while overhearing a conversation on the topic of Josh Duggar and his being busted on the Ashley Madison site, I was appalled at all the negative rhetoric in reference to his wife, Ann Duggar. People tend to judge circumstances they seem before the fully comprehend the extent. Every fundamentalist organization or group have their own set of guideline or expectations when it comes to marriage, infidelity and conduct between married couples.
Fundamentalist Mormons practice polygamy among their men. The men are allowed to have many wives, yet the women are to be forever bound to their husband and dedicated to emotional support for his choice of many wives. Some Fundamentalist Christians believe that once you’re married, you stuck for life, like the Mennonite and Amish belief systems. Then there are some of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists that believe marriage is sacred, unless the man cheated and he was to be forgiven, and the wife was to tolerate it, keep her mouth shut, and let the church pray and counsel them because obviously if the husband broke the marital vow of monogamy, it was the woman’s fault. If the man was not willing to confess the sin and work out the marriage, sometimes a divorce could be granted, and the woman was to never marry again.
I am more familiar with a different Fundamentalist Independent Baptist as well. The one where they preach and dictate monogamy after marriage, celibacy before marriage, and swear they are keeping to this belief, but behind closed doors it is a different tale. A tale almost unbelievable, and denied by thousands, yet exists more that people would care to admit. That is the belief that it is acceptable to preach one thing and do another. It is acceptable for the men to rape, broker, sell, violate and torture young girls, teens and women, then hide it from the public. It can be compared to the underground sex slave and sex trade Industry. I became familiar with this type of Fundamentalist Baptist Belief system at New Bethany Baptist Church and New Bethany Girls Home in Arcadia, Louisiana decades ago.
Anna Duggar is a prime example of typical Fundamentalist practices. Girls are raised and educated to be subservient wives. Their discipline and instruction comes from their mothers from toddler days to adulthood. Their schooling is usually done within the home, through specialized curriculum enforcing that men are the superior species and women must be servants and bear their children and followers of their husband as if he were a cattle herder and she were the chattel for which blindly followed him in submission. There is little true education as to human rights that are equal to a man or boy. That is not considered “God’s Teachings. They base this on the Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible. However, they forget the New Testament, and things changing with the times.
So what is a woman to do? Turn it over to the church and God? Well that’s what the church will decide. I hear people saying “she needs to divorce him, and move on”. Well when a woman has spent her whole life in a “cult-like” environment, where the only things she is taught is the way of their religion, and the beliefs, that have been drilled into her head as if she were a prisoner with Stockholm syndrome, doesn’t realize her options. Most likely, which Fundamentalists tend to believe, is that “God can fix anything, or she must learn to accept the mistake, and move on. If she divorces, she might run the risk of being ostracized and shunned by family, friends and her whole community. When distressed, she will turn to the only thing she knows, her beliefs, because she doesn’t know anything else. SO perhaps we should lay off judging her, and instead have some sympathy to her plight and the emotional abuse she is now being re-victimized with in the form of judgment from people who do not understand the brain-washing of the fundamentalist movement on women as inferior species to be kept as chattel.
I think it is time we wake up across this country. It is time to start thinking and researching before we open our big mouths. Start realizing there are many victims of Fundamentalist abuse or any other cult-like groups than we care to accept. We need to teach our girls to be strong-willed and equal to their counterparts. They don’t have to be submissive and subservient to be loved and cherished. We also need to take a hard look into the “Separation of Church and State Laws and see how they’re being abused to hide all kinds of abuse and sex slave type actions and trafficking. The principle behind that law should be ratified, when the allowance of freedom to practice religion is entangled with so many human rights violations.
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