I have to respond in defence of my word press friend Beautybeyondbones who put up an article about sexual harassment in the work place and sexual assault of women and girls.
Apparently there is a group of conservatives out there whom will not remain nameless and will draw my wrath if I get hold of their identities but I will save that for a bit later.
I am angry that even today there are still men and I do men the male gender specifically who foster the erroneous belief that women are mostly responsible for men being tempted by them.
I have heard sermons where men literally scream so loud that the microphone they used to record themselves over modulates. If you have ever heard a blood curdling scream that is what I am talking about.
Now imagine the maniac screaming blue murder about how a women should dress, how she should act, and how she should obey her husband. Next they start bellowing how some man fell into sin because a women dressed like a harlot. Mind you his version of harlot is a women wearing a dress below her knee and maybe showing a bit of ankle but she led the man astray.
Forgive me for this next paragraph because this is where it gets sickening. Bill Gothard has blamed young girls,no,… not just young girls toddlers; infants for their older brothers and fathers sexually assaulting them.
It beggars belief that someone could hold to the idea that a child as young as two or three could invite a grown man to have his way with her. Follow the link below to the Recovering Grace website they have reproduced the booklet that The Institute for Basic Living Principles uses as its guide lines for counselling perpetrators of sexual assault and victims of sexual assault. It doesn’t say the male is not guilty but it does explicitly imply that the woman/child is also responsible and needs to ask God’s forgiveness for what they did to tempt the man!
Some of the excuses that the men use also bend the realms of reality and these are real examples: One man used the excuse that his child daughter tempted him because she ran from her bathroom to her bedroom naked. A girl whom Bill Gothard counselled had been sent to his Institute because her parents couldn’t handle her. She reported that her father has molested by her from age of seven until 14. Bill’s method of counselling involved asking her inmate questions about what her father did to her as well is delving into her thought life. Bill then instead of believing the girl rang her father to confirm if it was true. Of course the father denied the allegations. The girl was sent back home in disgrace…. right back into the arms of her abuser. Of course she was guilty of lying and making a false report.
Remember Josh Dugger of 19 kids and counting? He and his siblings are the poster children for…. you guessed it Bill Gothards Advanced Training Institute which is the home schooling branch of IBLP. Josh Dugger was also sent to IBLP for counselling. It turns out that boys and men are treated differently under Bill’s magic system that will cure whatever ails ya! Josh never received any counselling. He went out on the farm putting up buildings for a while and then went home.
Bill’s brother Steve Gothard committed multiple sexual assaults on a number of victims. Steve’s punishment was also being sent to the farm where he wrote the series of wisdom booklets that IBLP adherents hold so dear. Neither Josh nor Steve were ever charged with an offence.
The point of that sickening rant is to show how under the Patriarchal system that Bill Gothard and another man called Micheal Pearl view men and women. Men are victims of circumstance. Women are Jezebel’s that need to be tamed and even humiliated into submission.
Here is the point. Women are objectified as objects of contempt. In this structure it is Eve who caused the fall not Adam. If you’re in disbelief so was I! I had thought this archaic myth was busted; no! This myth’s like one of those tropical ringworm’s you can catch in tropics of northern Australia; they just don’t quit!
We should look at Genesis and how it’s worded. Here is the text:
en 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Gen 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Gen 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Gen 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Gen 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband and he ate.
Some version say he ate it also.
Then it goes on to say their eyes were opened and they became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed. Further on in the text Adam tells the Lord that the woman gave it to him the fruit and he ate it. Then the Lord Scolded Adam and told Eve that because of her sin her pain in child bearing would be increased after which they were expelled from the Garden.
So if you read carefully through the text you can see that Adam was a victim; right? Wrong! The beauty of cutting and pasting is I can do what Gothard has done and sadly do what a preacher I knew in the past did, also it is want a screaming bellowing example did. They left out a few very important details that change the text and shift the blame.
Look very closely again at verse 6 Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Now look at this verse Gen 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
Verse 12 is fairly obvious Adam; tries to shift the blame. Verse 6 is a little more subtle and I did something I shouldn’t have….. I edited verse 6 I removed two words that is often the crime committed from the pulpit by those who perpetuate the woman sinned first myth.
The very first time I preached was on the text above but that time I emphasised the words that I deliberately left out. Did you pick them yet? When someone reads the overall text it is easy to overlook things that seem like minor details that are actually very significant and change the focus and meaning of the text.
If you simply read the longer text and took me at my word the text does seem to show the women as the one who led humanity into sin. If you read verse 6 where I isolated it you can see what I edited out…. with her. Adam was with Eve the whole time she was carrying on her debate with the serpent. She wasn’t to blame because as some translation state it Her Husband who was with her took the fruit and ate it also. Two simple little words make a lot of difference don’t they?
You see if I failed to mention two words from verse 6 then I can negate the implications of verse 12 by not reading it, but by paraphrasing it my way I can put my emphasis on it. It is one of the easiest pulpit crimes to commit and it happens in some congregations more than we would like to admit.
It’s not just that this particular pulpit crime keeps being perpetrated by the church, it seems to be a myth that society repeats as well.
The point is that the responsibility to remain chaste or not have men falling all over women seems always to fall on the womens shoulders. I’ve heard preachers speak about men avoiding temptation but they are never told to dress in a way that would stop women beiing tempted by them.
You never hear a Preacher talk about the man giving the girl the eye or putting his hand on her arm or shoulder talking in low dulcit tones. The women is always painted as the seductress. Think about all the women who have gone to court over rape allegations who then have to relive their own experience as a lawyer rips their reputation apart. The women has to defend her past history she is the one on trial.
It seems that since the fall women have always been on trial men have always tried to shift the blame. This attitude is disgaceful and it needs to stop.
Stop blaming the woman for what men do!