(Susan is out until next week and in her absence we will be posting some interesting articles from around the world wide web. For scheduling an event, workshop or lecture for Susan Murphy Milano please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her radio show will resume at 4: 00 PM EST on October 7, 2009)
From Kentucky.com : following a high profile murder that followed a high profile history of domestic abuse:
The news reports of the recent death of Amanda Ross, allege that she was a victim of domestic violence. Based on statistics, it is likely domestic violence is happening across all faith communities in Kentucky. (According to the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, in 2007, over 4,000 Kentuckians were in shelters, including 2,313 women and 1,760 children.) Are faith communities adequately addressing the problem?
1. It’s an issue where women and children are the victims of men’s sins (primarily), so it’s an uphill battle right there.
2. Scripture deals with “love your wife as Christ loves the church,” and the application is obvious, but none of Paul’s sin lists or our favorite parables or stories contain a guy who slaps around his girlfriend or a man who beats his wife when he’s drunk.
3. What’s the payoff for the average pastor who brings this up? Counseling women and hearing embarrassing secrets. And then….divorces. We all know how evangelicals feel about those….or, at least most of them
4. Never has the church’s need to develop its own counseling resources with women specializing in helping women been more obvious.
5. Deal with this much, and someone in your church is either going to jail, or to a lawyer. Families will point fingers, phones will ring, emails will be sent and it will all be your fault.
6. You can be sure it’s going to hit very close to home. Maybe too close for a lot of church leaders. Lots of people are going to be wrong. Lots of people are going to be guilty and lots of people are going to admit some scary things. Who wants to go there?
7. Plenty of women and men prefer to hear about how submission will get you through any marriage problem, and they need for that to be right. It’s what they have been told and what they are telling other women. If someone says I’m leaving a man who is hitting me, then a whole lot of problems occur for some people’s version of submission. (I do not believe that is necessary, btw. I think that is a wrong emphasis on submission and a right emphasis is what’s needed. Mutual love in Christ.)
8. You have to talk about emotional abuse, and now the circle just got very, very, very wide. Are you sure you want the women talking about that one? Pastor? Pastor? Hello?
9. Sexual abuse? Religious abuse? Financial abuse? A lot of roads, all with similar dynamics. Let’s just say we don’t want feminists and liberals starting trouble. IOWs, Who are we empowering with this discussion? Uh-huh.