Wednesday, August 29, 2007

not just for the nfl: even pastors beat their wives


edmontonsun.com - World - Hubby charged in minister's beating

so. bishop thomas w. weeks (the 3rd) put the beat down on his wife, gospel singer/televangelist, juanita bynum in a hotel parking lot. he chokes her, 'stomps' on her, flees the scene, she ends up in the hospital, he's arrested and released on $40,000 bail, and then he goes to church.

his supporters, instead of fleeing from a so-called spiritual leader who has poor impulse control, have instead chosen to circle their wagons around him and say totally sheeplistic, insane things like:
"There are three sides to every story. Nobody has the right to judge anybody. God is in the midst of that and will work it out."
"We all make mistakes. He deserves another opportunity."
"Let's love and pray they stay together! It may be a blessing to us all!"

and then there's this love letter from a commenter on an aol board:
"He might have a short fuse. He was obviously tryna walk away from the situation and SHE followed him. A man can only take so much from a nagging ass wife."

ah, yes. the 'nagging ass wife.'
the mouthy, back-talking, sassy, 'don't know her place' emasculating jezebel that all men must beware.

according to church folk, here's the lesson for all you single church gals out there:
if your man has a 'short fuse,' it's no one's fault but your own nagging ass self for making him stomp you so hard in the face a parking lot attendant has to pull him off you.

i hate ignorance. i really really really do. and ignorance crossed with self-hatred and misogyny?
even worse.

[shudder]
sorry; i'm having a flashback to my old church where attitudes like this grew like rotten fruit on a tree.

ah, geez. and this morning, i came across a piece discussing Christian Domestic Discipline.
i really can't take church people's lame excuses for smacking a woman. (and there is a huge difference between consent and acquiescence. one implies enthusiastic participation, the other implies coercion.)

maybe that's what bishop weeks was practicing - just some good old christian domestic discipline.

11 comments:

Pai said...

The hugest flaw in contemporary Christianity today, at least the 'popular culture' flavor of it, is that hateful, worldly patriarchal customs and mindsets are being confused as Scripture-based words from God. Or else that mindview is the lens through which they're interpreting all scripture in the first place.

And you have religious demigogues (pastors) feeding their sheep these interpretations as gospel truth, and their people just take it at face value, don't study for themselves, or step back and think critically about any of it. It's a real travesty.

ding said...

my dad wrote me an email when i asked him what he thought about it and said the man should be in jail - but then immediately followed that with 'but you have to remember - SHE got on his case.'

so, basically, the dude was wrong but it was really the woman's fault for, you know, talking.

amazing.

Pearl said...

The 'Christian' Domestic Discipline piece about the woman whose husband uses a belt on her when she's slipped up on her diet disturbed me more than anything I've seen today. It just blows my mind. Surely it's her body, and therefore her diet is her business and her responsibilty? And what is he saying to her? 'No darling, your body is not good enough for me, and I'm going to abuse you for being fat, thus increasing the shame and unworthiness you already feel, making your relationship with food and your body even more fraught, and making damn sure that you know that my opinion of your body counts for much more than yours, because it actually isn't your body, it's mine'? Oh, the rage.

Despite the fact that I'm trying to eat sensibly this week (broken feet = very little exercise = no work trousers that will do up), I felt it vital that I have a biscuit, just to celebrate the fact that what I eat is my decision, and mine alone. I'm going to go and rage quietly in a corner.

ding said...

pai: this was a good point - that the already existent sexism influences how scripture is read so that it all reinforces one another. so faith justifies domestic battery and vice versa.

mccormick seminary is hosting a conference on the church and domestic violence in september. there's a section of the conference devoted to the role the contemporary church plays in perpetuating the cycle of violence. (which you can see in the congregants' comments in support of the batterer!)

i'm utterly amazed that the church, and church people, would rather defend a batterer and blame the victim.

ding said...

pearl: but if you take the biblical construct very literally, the christian wife does, indeed, belong to her husband. (of course, he also belongs to her, but strange that her ownership of him does not also convey a right to take a strap to his ass because he can't give her an orgasm.)

the CDD folks step nimbly around abuse issues by saying this is a consensual relationship.

i have questions whether this is truly consensual. i can see a woman acquiescing to this but truly consenting? she'd have to have issues.

which brings me to this: why not just call it a BDSM relationship? i mean, i have more respect for that because at least it's a bit more honest. you get off on domination and the other gets off on submission. it's your kink!

why can't they admit it and don't try and use the bible to justify their fetish?

ding said...

incidentally, there is an online christian BDSM community here.

verrry interesting. they even have a lady domme!

Pearl said...

She would indeed have to have issues. I also have a serious problem with a man who would go along with his wife's desire to be punished and use it to assert his dominance in the household, as the husband of one of the bloggers mentioned did. He'd grown up in an abusive house, and seems to have found an excellent justification for perpetuating that cycle and feeling smug and Christian about it.

My understanding of BDSM is that the submissive always holds the power to stop whatever is happening. I don't see that this is the case in these relationships, which in my book tips it from fetish to abuse. I particularly liked the quote in the article that said 'we will do not condone nonconsensual CDD as a rule.' That's a nice little get out clause, if every I saw one.

Re wives belonging to their husbands (argh!) I had a very heartening conversation with my Dad the other day, in which I told him (gently) that if I ever get married, he isn't 'giving me away' because I'm not his possession. He said, 'No, you're absolutely not! You are, however, marvellous and I'm very proud to have a daughter who thinks like that.' He also said that being in absolute charge of his household would turn him into a megolomaniac, and he's always valued having a wife who doesn't take any crap. I love my Dad.

Pearl said...

I just found this: http://www.ecstagony.com/eng/info/artdd/ssp.htm>

It's a plan for couples to draw up agreements whereby the husband can spank the wife, and the wife can whip the husband if they break certian rules. Not Christian, fairly equitable, but good grief! Since when did we have to smack each other to get our point across?

Anonymous said...

Well said everyone, i couldn't agree more with what you wrote. Now, what she should do is call her posse on his weak, could not possibly be a man, although probably feels like one by beating down a woman. He needs to get that testoserone working properly by getting his butt kicked real good. He'll then know how to walk away like a "man" instead doing a throw down on his wife.
Can you believe that? Obviously she ticked him off about something, but to kick and beat her?
What a punk! Who cares if she nagged him, so what! If I was
her, call your posse, It's time for a fight between REAL MEN,the ones who would never need to belittle a woman,let alone beat her! Wimp, that is what he is.

I wish some man would try to silence me for voicing my opinion and raised a hand at me, what a backward, no good...oh, here I go judging, don't want to upset the churchy crowd who ignore and overlook crucial behavior, like CHARACTER.(i'm sure it was a misunderstanding)yeah, right!

Maybe he forgot that section in the bible that says "husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church..." or husband's live with your wives in a UNDERSTANDING way...

He is a bishop? heh!

thanks for sharing got to pass this one on.

ding said...

pearl: yeah, i don't get why adults have to relate to each other through fisticuffs. smacking one another signals a failure in achieving adulthood, you know?

having known people in bdsm relationships, i think the distiction you draw is a good one: the bottom can always say stop. there is a mutuality that recognizes limits. CDD doesn't seem to recognize limits - it's just supposed to be blind obedience no matter what.

their emphasis on the non-erotic nature of CDD is also strange. what's wrong with admitting that someone's a big domme and he wants to see his wife's bare butt waiting to be spanked? i'm sure there's erotic pleasure to be had in that. i just think it's weird not to acknowledge someone's getting their load off via spanking.

ding said...

anonymous: the fact they were already separated tells me their relationship already had issues. at the time of the parking lot beat down, they were supposed to be reconciling but something obviously went awry.

you bring up a good point; the question of 'manliness' is at the heart of what drives men to batter, i think. manliness is supposed to command obedience, be authoritative, exude control; womanliness is to recognize manliness and cater to it. when womanliness doesn't recognize manliness, then it's manliness that's thrown into doubt and control/authority/obedience must be re-exerted. slap!

(i recognize that domestic violence is an intricate web of different acts and motivations, but i think that where there is a respect for the opposite gender, and an openness to non-traditional gender roles, domestic violence is less likely. of course, that's just my opinion.)

so, to me, domestic assault has nothing to do with what the woman has done 'wrong.' it's about how the man sees himself; his view of himself is based on something so shaky (i must be the MAN) that he has to control other people in order to feel manly.