January 24, 2013
An Abusive Apology
Once again, David Hayward, whose “Naked Pastor” blog and cartoons were introduced as a Link of the Day last week, presents a cartoon that packages an important truth in a simple drawing and a few words. His graphic illustration and his additional commentary highlight the pompous, self-righteous attitude of some religious leaders when their spiritually abusive behavior is pointed out to them. The impact of spiritual abuse can be devastating, as any woman can tell you after sitting in a church where she hears sermon after sermon about her supposed lower position in God’s hierarchy and her need to be submissive and put aside her own desires or aspirations Or as countless LGBT persons can tell you after hearing multiple sermons that they are going to hell and that their feelings, their deepest loving relationships—their very being— are sinful in God’s sight. Spiritual abuse can devastate self-esteem and cause feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness. (Professor Ronald Enroth, in his book Churches that Abuse [Zondervan, 1992] has shown various ways that abuse can occur in religious settings—especially through legalism; rigidity; authoritarian leadership; excessive church discipline; and manipulation and control through fear, guilt, and intimidation.)
Glad to see your linkage between spiritual abuse and the ‘women thing’ in the church. Christian women, as a whole, seem to be targeted for spiritual abuse for one reason or another. This is harmful, hurtful, and damaging to women and girls.
You might be interested in my doctoral research on spiritual abuse and recovery.
My website is: http://www.ChurchExiters.com
My book is: Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.
I have another website with is a resource for abuse issues. It is called: http://www.AbuseResourceNetwork.com
Drop by for a visit.
All the best as you continue to raise awareness about these issues!