What the real F***?!? – By Common Consent, a Mormon blog

So Bishop Mor(m)on talked to other bishops, talked to the woman about how to stop the abuse, talked to lawyers about it. It seems the only people he was kept confidential from were law enforcement.

That’s what I don’t understand. Mormon bishops can excommunicate the offender, but do not make them answerable to the victim in any way. He may even be “totally repentant” and never completed the restitution requested by a victim, simply because he paid his church dues. As if the crime was against the church and not against the child. As if actually involving the victim in their “repentance process” and making sure their needs are taken care of is just more than the church can actually handle. Yes, I put words in scary quotes because those words don’t mean a blank thing to the church.

This “the church cares more about the soul of the offender than the physical or emotional well-being of the child” is what killed my testimony. But not when it was me who was neglected by the church. I didn’t really see it until I was a social worker dealing with how the church treated my clients versus how they treated their abusers. The church knows how to pamper Molly sinners, but it has no idea when it comes to those who have sinned.

When I was the victim trying to heal, I just blamed myself as if for some reason I was the one who was totally worthless to God. I couldn’t really get over the victim mentality of blaming myself for the abuse while the church treated my dad like a king and treated me like I was horrible and ‘ruthless’ and had leprosy because, damn, there were emotional scars left from childhood, so that was proof to the church that I was some kind of sinner, if they could only figure out what sin I had to lie about.

But when I started having clients who told me their bishop had just called their abusive husband to be elders quorum president, a week later they went to that same bishop with an arm. broke and tried to ask the bishop for help in dealing with the violence at home. . When I had an adult who was molested as a child who, at age eleven, told her bishop that her father was having sex with her, and after her father denied any abuse, punished her for having lied. Or the girl who complained to her bishop that her dad was French kissing her, groping her and digitally penetrating her, just told the girl it was no problem because it wasn’t sex . Or the girl whose older brother was about to go on a mission and she told her bishop that brother had raped her. The bishop told the young girl not to ruin her brother’s life and he left his mission. Or, let’s see, when I came up after sacrament meeting to mention to the bishop that the “home teacher” who had just blessed a baby for his HT family and then blessed sacrament meeting really shouldn’t use it publicly as a priesthood with his wife. sitting in the congregation covered in bruises and the whole room talking about the blatant domestic abuse that was going on. I gently reminded the man that domestic violence was grounds for exclusion. The bishop excused everything because he did not want to publicly embarrass the man. But what about the congregation partaking of the sacrament blessed by a manifestly unworthy priesthood holder? What about the public embarrassment of the woman sitting in church while her “righteous priesthood-holding husband” scoffed at her wedding vows? I still HOPE the church has changed because all of these stories are decades old. But the church continues to err in putting the male priesthood holding the sinner as more important to “saving his soul” than his victims.

It just seems to me that the priesthood only cares about the priesthood, not women beaten by their husbands, not children abused or raped by family members.

Most of the time, it seems to me, the church just doesn’t understand that being abused makes people feel like there’s something seriously wrong with them, and that when the church takes the side of the abuser, it confirms in the mind of the victim that they are truly the ones whom God hates.

I began to be embarrassed to be a Mormon when I was a social worker, because I saw our untrained and ignorant clergy escalate abuse cases for the victim, while clergy from other faiths supported the victim and stood firmly in the corner of the victim instead of joining the abuser and supporting him. Then I looked closely at my church and admitted that it had damaged my mental health to the point that when I was active I became suicidal. I would go into therapy and as I started to feel better about myself, I would become inactive. Then, stupid me, I missed church and came back and pretty soon found myself in trouble or even killing myself again. I would walk into counseling and talk about my abusive childhood, I felt better about myself, I became inactive and happy for a few years, I missed church… After repeating this cycle several times, I realized that the he church was abusive in so many ways, especially in the way it treated me and my mom, making us feel so useless to God and treating my dad like a junior god, a mini god above from U.S.

No, this article does not surprise me at all.


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