If You’re a Woman, Don’t Take This Priest’s Advice…

At Christian Nightmares Too — a Tumblr featuring stories of bad experiences with Christian culture — writer Christina Fitzpatrick shares a horrific story about a priest who told her what she should do if she were ever chased by a rapist:

One spring morning, our teacher decided to address the girls in the class. He wanted us to know that if we were ever pursued by a rapist, we could kill ourselves to preserve our virginity, and God would not punish us. The ticket to hell would essentially be waived.

Believe it or not, there’s a happy ending to this story. It’s good to know that even some children are aware when a priest is talking out of his ass.

(image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Baby_Raptor

    So what about women whose rape circumstances were like mine, where we were drugged and then woke up mid-rape, or women who don’t regain consciousness until afterward? Are we just doomed to hell, according to this man’s theology?

    • C Peterson

      You can certainly hope so. Because what’s the alternative? The rapist lives a long life, repents on his death bed, and goes to heaven himself. So what’s worse: eternity in Hell, or eternity in a “Heaven” alongside your rapist?

    • The Other Weirdo

      Well, if it happened in a field, far from people, then probably you’re safe. If it happened in a city and you didn’t cry out loudly enough, well, it won’t go so well with you. It’s very OT of them to still treat rape this way.

  • Anon

    Here are some helpful tips to stop rape

    http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/campaigns/10-top-tips-to-end-rape/

    What I do find amusing is that it’s this one priest who apparently knows that god wouldn’t punish them for killing themselves.

    • Gus Snarp

      I was not expecting that. Brilliant.

      • Anon

        That’s the point, and that’s why I love it. You start out thinking it’s going to be the same victim blaming shit but then BOOM, it actually deals with the root cause of people getting raped.

        The rapist.
        I admit, it could be a little less gender specific – but then again the normal ‘safety tips’ are all targeted at women anyway.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Also http://www.wrongingrights.com/2013/01/what-if-we-responded-to-sexual-assault-by-limiting-mens-freedom-like-we-limit-womens.html

      It’s still very gender-specific, but it’s deliberately parodying the tips women get to “avoid being raped”, so that’s unfortunately unavoidable.

  • houndies

    wow! so if you’re packing, it’s not for self preservation at all, it’s so u can bust a cap in your own head before you’re violated. That way you can be a perfect little package for the lawerd. there’ll be no whore cooties in heaven!

  • Yevgeni

    It doesn’t seem that the teacher was actually a priest. The only thing that identifies him as such is the title, which does not appear to be part of the original story. Or did I miss something?

    • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

      As this was a Sunday school class, not a regular school, it’s likely the teacher was a priest. Just as sick and uneducated as the rest of them.

      • Randomfactor

        Actually, not. CCD was taught by lay people, primarily. I even subbed for several weeks when the regular teacher I was helping was out sick. (I think I probably turned several of the kids to the Dark Side, so it was time well spent…)

        • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

          So we really don’t know. It may have been a priest but probably was not. If a lay person, he had certainly overstepped his bounds.

    • Gus Snarp

      You’re right, there’s no indication that it’s actually a priest. Sounds like this was not Sunday school in the Protestant sense, but CCD, a class provided for those poor unfortunate Catholic kids who don’t get to go to Catholic schools so they can be taught the convoluted rules of Catholic doctrine so they don’t accidentally send themselves to hell by using birth control or something. CCD classes may be taught by priests or lay persons, so we don’t know if it’s a priest.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    As usual, women are not even second-class citizens to the RCC. Each time we think they can’t become more disgusting, they prove that they can.

  • Gus Snarp

    Do you think there’s even the slightest chance that this priest doesn’t know that the reasoning behind a woman’s “purity” being more important than her life is that she must be property, either of her father or her husband and that if she is no longer a “virgin” she has no sale value for her father and becomes nothing but a burden? Can they possibly not get that telling women and girls these things is telling them that they have no worth outside of that which they bring to their owner? Disgusting.

    • The Other Weirdo

      I don’t get you. I’m pretty sure they get that. I make it a policy to take people at their word, not just the spoken word, but the implied word also. I assume they understand what they’re saying to these girls, they believe it, they accept it and they act toward it. Once you come to realize that Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, is nothing but a blood cult, everything starts to make sense.

  • aaa

    Oh, I was thinking it was going to be somethig like “Don’t resist, submit to your rapist, it’s a gift from god! If you’re lucky, you’ll also be blessed with his child.”

    • Gringa123

      Yeah, then you get to marry him too

    • Deb

      Yes…That was a my thought, too. You know, like the men who sit in Congress tell us.

  • C Peterson

    If you kill the guy raping you, are you also automatically off the hook for that? Or do you need to depend on some priest have to absolve you of a “sin”? And what about women who aren’t virgins? If they kill themselves to avoid being raped, do they go to hell?

    Man, trying to make sense of the way these people think makes my head hurt!

    • stojadinovicp

      No, no, not allowed to kill him, THAT is a sin….

    • Gus Snarp

      The linked story says the teacher covered that: killing in self defense is still a one way ticket to the eternal barbecue.

      • eric

        Which is wierd, given it was RCC priests that came up with ‘just war’ theory.

        • Michael

          Yes, but if it’s a choice between a woman killing a MAN, and a woman killing HERSELF, do you expect anything else from the catholic church?

  • Blessed Jim

    This reminds me of something I read in a Catholic magazine about 40 years ago (when I was still officially a Catholic). The article was about whether a woman should be able to get an abortion if she was raped. The argument was that a woman should fight to the death to preserve her virtue. But, if she weakened and submitted to the rape then it was her fault for being weak, and it was God’s will if she got pregnant. So no abortion was permissible because she was thwarting God’s plan.
    That argument seemed sick to me then, and even worse now.

  • Martha

    This goes back to a woman who was made a virgin/martyr saint because she said that she would rather be killed (and was) than submit to a rape. That’s St. Maria Goretti. I remember being told that in my Catholic grade school. I grew up in the 60′s. What an example I also remember my mother telling me that some lawyer or (priest?) someone proved a woman couldn’t be raped using a thread and needle. If you move the needle around the thread would not be able to go through the eye of the needle,

    Also, these days it’s unlikely a priest would be teaching a catechism (CCD) given the dearth of parish priests. Perhaps occasionally but not as a general rule.!

    • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

      There’s an old story about a lawyer who attempted to prove the innocence of his client, a man accused of rape, by setting a glass Coke bottle spinning on the floor of the courtroom and then attempting to “penetrate it” with a pencil.

      The ADA picked up a heavy law book (it’s an old story) and dropped it on the bottle, shattering it, after which he was easily able to insert the pencil through the mouth of the bottle, lift the broken neck up off the floor like a police officer trying to preserve fingerprint evidence, and drop it on the attorney’s table.

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com/ Kacy

    This isn’t surprising in the least. The Catholic church has canonized girls for dieing to avoid rape.
    __________________

    “How would you kill yourself,” one of us asked, “if you’re already being chased by a rapist?”

    He suggested we jump out a window.”
    ____________________

    There is literally a Catholic saint who did this, and I wonder if this was the priest’s horrifically distasteful attempt at a joke. Her name was Alexandrina Maria da Costa, and there is a little bit written about the attempted rape here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mcnamarasblog/2009/10/blessed-alexandrina-maria-da-costa-1904-1955.html

    Luckily she survived the defenestration. Another saint, Maria Goretti, asked for her rapist to murder her rather than defy her virginal purity. Needless to say, this priest was simply asserting a rather disturbing element of church tradition.

    http://exconvert.blogspot.com/2012/08/maria-goretti-disturbing-saint.html

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I’m going to guess that he’d be *horrified*, just *horrified*, by the girl in Peru (I think, might have been Chile) who was raped when she was 13 and got pregnant. She was denied an abortion so she jumped out a window to try to kill herself. She was severely injured but did not die- her spine was injured in such a way that is treatable if done fast enough. The longer you wait, the less effective it will be. That treatment would’ve required an abortion though. So her doctors waited until she gave birth then tried the treatment, with predictable results. The girl will never walk again and has only limited use of her arms.

      But then, she wasn’t committing suicide to “protect her virtue”, she was doing so because of “God’s blessing”. So she’s still damned to Hell, I guess. Fucking RCC.

  • Reisel

    Man, the things you miss being raised Catholic-lite and going to catechism in a hippy-dippy, liberal Catholic diocese. They never even brought up all the garbage with birth control let alone this kind of vileness.

  • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

    Oh yes, suicide is the recommended course of action for virginal girls in danger of beig raped. I mean, ALL the trendy female saints did it. And Catholics def have to strive to live like the saints.
    Even as a 10 year old believing catholic, I though that was crazy talk. I would much rather live a long life than die young & “virtuous.”

  • Carmelita Spats

    The out-of-their-ass talk is not surprising. What can you expect from a creepy cult that asks you to spend time kneeling in a dark, tiny closet (a confessional the size of a
    three-square-foot airplane bathroom) with a 60-year-old maladjusted virgin (priest), who can question you about anything without a RESPONSIBLE ADULT present? SEE ATTACHED.

  • kaydenpat

    Sickening.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X