Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Abusive parent, abusive god

And here's the second letter Billy Graham answered in my Sunday paper...

Christ can take away the poisons of the past

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I always vowed I wouldn’t be like my parents, who were very angry and abusive toward my brother and me. But now I sometimes find myself losing control with my own children. I hate myself afterward, but why do I act this way? — D.F.

DEAR D.F.: This is a serious problem, and I’m thankful you realize it and want to do something about it. You love your family, and it would be tragic to see you repeat the same mistakes your parents made. God certainly doesn’t want you to do that.

I’m not a psychologist, of course (and it may be good for you to find a trained counselor who can help you sort through your problems). But I suspect one reason you act this way is because you grew up with a lot of anger and frustration over the way you were treated. But you never learned how to deal with it; in fact, you probably just tried to push it aside.

But now when things don’t go your way, that hidden anger erupts — even against people you love. Until you learn to deal with your past, you’ll always be in danger of letting these things burst forth. The Bible warns, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28).

What can you do? First — hard as it may seem — ask God to help you forgive your parents, and to let go of your hurts and resentments. Then turn your life over to Jesus Christ, confessing your sins and trusting him to forgive you and help you and fill you with his love. Christ can take away the poisons of the past and replace them with his love and strength. The Bible says, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (Proverbs 10:12).

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/09/27/4512756/christ-can-take-away-the-poisons.html#storylink=cpy
 One thing Billy Graham gets correct, is that this is a very serious problem. One that likely requires professional help. But the good thing is that DF is aware of his problem. This is an important first step that will hopefully lead to him getting help, and hopefully rid his life of the cycle of abuse that he first experienced, and is now continuing. But this is about all that Graham gets right. No real surprise there.

Graham states early on that God doesn't want DF to repeat that pattern of abuse that DF himself experienced at the hand of his own father. But does the Bible really support that claim. Yes, there are verses that sound as if they are against abuse. But then it also contains verses like Deuteronomy 21:18-21...
Sadly yes, it still happens today...
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
 Maybe it's just me, but I don't end to regard a verse that commands stoning disobedient  to death as very 'anti abuse'. Actually, many have used this verse and others to justify their abusive actions.

True to form, Billy is being presumptuous as usual... He says that DF needs to pray to God to help and that he needs to turn his life over to Christ. Hey, here's an idea you apparently never considered... Maybe he already has. 78% of Americans are Christians after all. Plus, if he's writing Billy Graham of all people for advice, it's pretty damn likely that he's already pretty damn religious. I can tell you that the only reason I'd personally write for advice from a religious advice column was if I was already quite religious in the first place.

Graham also says that Christ can remove the poisons of the past and make you a better person. I know I've said it before, but did he make the majority of prison inmates (which are Christians, by the way) better people? The prison statistics would suggest otherwise. What about the pedophile priests and the previous Pope, who personally tried cover the scandal up. These are people that devoted their lives to the church, yet they are actually trying to hide abuse rather than eliminate it.

Finally, God is actually more abusive than DF could ever be. Well, he would be if he was real, anyway... Remember, not all abuse is physical. The Christian God starts off telling every single person alive that they are terrible, dirty, deprived, despicable people from the moment they are born. That each and every one of us are deserving of eternal torture just for being born. And we are reminded of this regularly. This is obvious emotional abuse from a sick and sadistic God.

Oh, and if you don't believe (or haven't even heard of him)? Let's just say you're going to have a bad time. In the Old Testament he demanded genocides on whole cities and peoples. Demanding the killing of all of the men, women, children and livestock in those towns... Oh, but there was one exception. If you found and virgins they could keep them as a war prize and do with them what you please. Yea... A god that commands genocide and is cool with the rape of virgins sounds SO anti-abuse. Lets also not forget that the crime of raping a virgin. The penalty for this horrible crime. The rapist has to marry the woman he raped and pay her father 50 silver pieces. Meanwhile, this
woman is forced to live the rest of her life with her abuser.

When he's not busy drowning the world, committing genocide and other horrors, he'll make your life hell to win a bet as well. Satan made a bet with God that he could make Job lose faith. He claims that he is only faithful because he's been blessed with a good life. So he bets that he can make Job curse God if he allows him to do whatever he wants to Job and his family. God agrees and allows Satan to have his flocks and property stolen, be stuck with sickness and have his children and family killed. (Interestingly, these 10 (or so) people) are the only ones that Satan actually kills in the Bible.) In the end, God wins the bet, but is raises a disturbing point. God was complicit in the allowing of abuse just to make a point.

Finally, there is Hell... The greatest example of abuse there is. Don't believe in God, never here of God, eat lobster, trim your beard the wrong way, wear mixed fabrics, etc. No matter how minor your supposed transaction, it's weighed as equal to murder. The penalty? Endless torture and torment in a lake of fire. An endless punishment for a finite 'crime'. Not only is that physical abuse, it is also abuse of power. So DF, no matter what you have done to your children, you're already doing better that the very low bar set by God. And remember that you know that you have a problem, whereas God blames those that he is abusing. You are more moral than your god, and as long as you don't try to live by his example, I think you'll be able to become the father you always intended to be.

-Brain Hulk

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Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/09/27/4512756/christ-can-take-away-the-poisons.html#storylink=cpy

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