“Dr.” Marc Monte: Satan called. Loves your work.

drmarc4

This is “Dr.” Marc Monte, the lead pastor of Indiana’s Faith Baptist Avon, an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) church. (The quote marks around “Dr.” are because Monte is a doctor like I’m an astrophysicist. He has nothing but one of those “honorific” faux-doctorate degrees that IFB leaders hand out to each other like little boys playing Now you knight me!—except, of course, these pretentious, potato-headed potentates then use their fraudulent titles to bolster the authority they wield over their churches with such impunity. Interesting, isn’t it, how leaders so passionate about remaining “separate from the world” at the same time so avidly co-opt the signifiers of power from that world—such as the title Doctor?)

Mr. Monte is a 1989 graduate of Bob Jones University, where he was awarded his B.A. in “Bible.” (Hint to people running fundamentalist faux-colleges: come up with a better sounding degree program name than just “Bible”—like maybe “Bible Studies” or “Biblical Theology.” At the same time you hand someone a degree in “Bible,” you may as well give them a sweatshirt with WHITE TRASH UNIVERSITY on its front. Another hint is to avoid giving your school a name that might cause it to be known as anything as laughably stupid as … oh, I don’t know, BJU. Just think how grateful the people who run BJU today would be for a chance to travel back in time and teach the founders of their school how to spell Robert.)

Bob Jones University is the criminally insane institution where the young woman whose story I shared in A Christianity to Make Satan Proud learned just how organically evil the IFB is.

Toward the end of last month, the good people at BJU News sent out a few tweets about the investigation of BJU for endemic sexual abuse currently being spearheaded by G.R.A.C.E., which stands for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. (That name sets my teeth on edge, since it suggests a difference between a “Godly” response and the right response to abuse. And then there’s this. Then again, this.)

In reply to BJU’s update about the G.R.A.C.E. investigation, “Dr.” Monte felt compelled to tweet:

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So remember, victims of abuse at BJU: None of you were, in fact, abused. You were all just having fun in a protected place. And the only explanation for your feeling any way otherwise is that you’re all psycho.

Furthermore, Pastor Monte wants victims of abuse to know that persisting in their belief that they’ve been the victim of abuse renders them abject failures, both as people and Christians:

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And should any victims of abuse employ the blessedly democratic Internet to tell their story (such as people did here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), they should know that:

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And, finally, women should never forget God’s intention for them (and their hair):

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So, to recap these fundamental beliefs held by “Dr.” Monte: No sane person is ever abused, victims of abuse should tell their story to no one but the police, and God wants women to wear the proper hairstyle and be submissive.

In a video on his church’s website, Pastor Monte, seeming just as down-home friendly as Gomer Pyle, says that he and his church reach out to the community “in love and caring and compassion,” and that the messages he preaches are “relevant and meets the needs of hearts today.”

If you would care to share with him your thoughts about any discrepancy you might detect between love, caring and compassion and the content of his tweets above, Pastor Monte can be reached at: preacher@faithbaptistavon.com.


UPDATE #1, from this comment below: Monte’s church has invited anyone with questions for him to call Monte on his cell phone, at (317) 201-3429.


UPDATE #2: In what I’ll venture to guess is in response to this post, this morning “Dr.” Monte published the following three tweets:

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But before those ghastly expressions of ignorant banality, arrogant dismissiveness, and purely toxic cruelty, “Dr.” Monte tweeted, as his first response to this post, this:

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To which I, just now, replied:

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(The wp link is to this post.)

“Dr.” Monte’s response to that reply? He immediately deleted the post of his that prompted it.


UPDATE #3: It’s 9:30 a.m. PST on Wednesday, March 13. I just tweeted this:

@drmarcmonte: Stop emailing 1 abuse victim (“ur bitter with no friends,” etc: http://bit.ly/WHEvFC). Answer publicly, coward.

I hardly expect Monte to respond, of course: I’m sure he’s much less interested in publicly engaging me than he is in privately emailing the woman (an exchange she has published here) whom he knows to have been sexually abused by her pastor father. He invited the woman, Linda, to phone him on his cell—the number of which, again, is (317) 201-3429. I’m sure he’d love to talk to anyone who might care enough to call him.


UPDATE #4: And now he’s apparently calling Linda a liar (and me a “self-proclaimed anti-Christian”). Someone along the line here has told me that “Dr.” Monte never responds to men who criticize him, but only to women. It’s starting to look like that really is the case.


UPDATE #5: Monte’s tweets for today (March 14):

monteinternet

But I’m sure he’s not talking about any of us.

Follow up post: The Full Monte!

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com Dani Kelley

    Thank you. I can’t thank you enough for publishing these pieces. I was only a student at BJU for 5 months, just over a semester, and four years later I’m still working through the spiritual, emotional, and mental abuse that happened on a widespread systemic level there. Seeing the light of truth – REAL truth, not their version of it – shined on their beliefs and despicable actions is so incredibly healing. Thank you.

  • Joni Martin

    OMG, This really makes me angry. I almost went to BJU and, boy, am I glad I didnt. I might have turned all psycho with feeling abused. Gotta hate it when you think you were abused and, turns out, you were only psycho.

  • John Gragson

    Makes my hair stand on end to read about this type of stuff. I am so grateful to God for letting me be raised in the Episcopal Church.

  • Lorena J Burkett

    Oh dear. So much to say. But it’s not nice at all so I’ll just keep it to myself this morning.

  • Jill Joiner

    He sure is defensive not to mention legalistic in the extreme. Disgusting jerk.

  • Tina Badger

    Tell Dr. Monte 1950 called and it wants its hair style and outdated ideologies back.

  • Bob Ingle

    So… this is a “Full Monte”

  • Mark Dimon

    Idiot… I’ve emailed him, suggesting he pray real prayers.

  • BJU Parody

    Well, in Monte’s defense . . .

    . . . everyone else down at BJU is doing it, too.

    • Jill

      OMG. Seriously bloodcurdling.

  • n.

    some of my most studious (and most religious) students transfer to BJU. it’s considered a good school, including (surprisingly) an art department that attracts even kids who aren’t into the religious aspect. but pretty sure the academics are also good.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Jones_University#Rankings_and_accreditation

    being an alumna of one of the other top-5 most-conservative colleges in the country (and also an excellent school academically), i’m concerned that you may mix accusations of stupidity with accusations of evil. they don’t always go together, and in fact it’s worse when evil is done by smart people, because they may be more effective and have all kinds of cleverness to back themselves up.

    PS: i’ve just found out on wikipedia that my college was rated the 2nd most LGBT-hostile in the country. which is part of what i resent, since 2 of my friends from college later came out as gay (and that’s only among the ones i have friended on facebook).

    • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com Dani Kelley

      I’m not entirely sure how you can read this post and the one before it and think that BJU is merely stupid, not evil.

      • Rebecca Davis

        I think you misread his comment–he was saying that “white trash” is an accusation of stupidity that probably isn’t accurate for BJU. He implied that they are smart, clever people who are committing evil.

        • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com Dani Kelley

          Ah! Right you are :) My apologies, n.

          • n.

            negotiation of meaning ftw

        • n.

          i’m a she, but yes you read my semi-criticism correctly.

    • Bethulia

      n.,

      You must be a fan of e.e.cummings.

      Any school that boasts of their intentional anti-intellectualism on their website and teaches that neurotransmitters aren’t real and depression is an “unbiblical response” to abuse to their counseling and pastoral students can’t be “academically good.”

      • John (not McCain)

        Do they still refuse to teach William Blake to English majors? That’s enough to label them stupid right there.

      • n.

        well, i was going on the wikipedia information (which i perceive to be true from what little i know of their reputation) that they tried extra-hard to prepare their students since they weren’t accredited by a state accreditation body. also i sort of got the feeling they were similar to my college.

        but i may have been wrong about that… pretty sure my college believed in actual science. we even had evolution taught in the science department. (although not by all the profs)

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      They have accredidation through Transnational Association of Christian

      Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and I am betting that getting credits transfered to a school not in that association is an impossiblity. I’m not sure how good those degress are in the job market either. Its a tough economy, for what they charge for tuition, I’d want my kids to get something of tangible value..which is why they went to schools with much stronger and multiple accredidations.

      They do adverstize a concert series, which I’ve heard is good, but I’ve not been, as there is just as good or not better music 40 minutes closer to my house, or at several other venues in the SC upstate… I’ve visited the art museum a couple of times. Gorgeous art…they need to bring someone in who knows what the hell they are doing about display though, as the layout, the lighting, the placards, the overbearing music, the minders…well it all sucks.

      • Mark

        TRACS is a joke. It was created by BJU so they could tell prospective students that BJU was accreditated. Some other fundies colleges use it, but TRACS credits won’t transfer to a real college.

    • http://frenchizal.blogspot.com Jenni

      N,

      The fact that two of your college friends later came out as gay does not make your alma mater a gay-friendly campus. I graduated from BJU, and I later came out as gay, as did quite a few of my friends, several of whom have received letters from the university informing them that they are no longer allowed to step foot on campus because of their sexuality.

      • n.

        i meant that i resent their LGBT-unfriendliness sort of on behalf of my friends who were gay and weren’t even allowed to realize they were gay when they attended there. i meant it’s personal.

        • n.

          (correction: “friends who ARE gay”, but also who already were gay when they attended there)

          • Gordon

            Uh, they were gay when they were born.

          • n.

            right. that’s why i corrected.

    • Allie

      Your students? Please tell me you don’t teach English, or grammar.

      • n.

        i don’t teach english grammar.

  • Jon R. Heckerman

    If anything can make Jesus weep it must be these people claiming they are acting in his name.

  • http://frenchizal.blogspot.com Jenni

    John,

    Just to add to your comments on Bob Jones University’s unfortunate abbreviation, freshman students were given a button to wear their first week at school, as a way for others to know they were new and to help them learn the rules. The buttons read “1st BJ.” Yes, really. You can probably google a picture of these lovely buttons.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

      As George Takei would say, “Oh, myyyyy …”

    • http://zzapp.com Jon Larimore

      Yes, Jenni … this is a link to that hilarious “1st BJ” button ;-)

      http://www.nerve.com/files/uploads/scanner/2010/10/1stBJPin.png

      • Truth

        Oh my word. Thanks for the link J. Larimore. I can’t believe the leaders of BJ are so culturally unaware. They know what they’re doing with all the “BJ” crap.

  • http://www.bjunews.com BJU News

    John,

    Have you dug into the Chuck Phelps scandal involving BJU? If you find Monte offensive, we are definitely looking forward to your post on Phelps.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yes, I am very familiar with the whole Chuck Phelps/Tina Anderson travesty. (One of the online testimonies linked to in the post, in fact, was written by Tina Anderson.)

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    I’d like to know which verse in the Bible suggests that Jesus would ever take an anti-victim position on any issue whatsoever.

    At which point did Jesus ever take a position supporting those in positions of power and privilege?

    I know I don’t have a “BA in Bible,” and no one has ever handed me an honorary Ph.D., but I have read my Bible and I can’t seem to think of a single place where Jesus is reported to have come down against those who have been abused, called them psychos, or anything of the sort.

    “Dr.” Monte should spend more time looking at what Jesus had to say and less time spouting bunk on Twitter.

    Jesus was kind of into loving people, caring for people, and supporting those in need.

    Bob Jones and his ilk don’t have a clue who Jesus was, and the fruit of their ignorance is a parade of “doctors” who show a lot more hatred for the world and its people (ahem! God’s people, remember) than love.

    Christians should be in favor of aggressively and actively seeking the abusers in our midst, and getting them the help that they need to straighten out. But we must not hide them to protect images of perfection and we must not allow people to be abused in Christ’s name. If anyone deserved to burn in hell for eternity, it would be those who see it more important to look perfect than to protect victims by being honest.

    • vj

      *THIS* is perfect! And I am always reminded, in cases of ‘church’-sanctioned abuse, of the warning in Scripture to those “who cause one of these to stumble” (something about it would have been better for them to jump into the sea with a millstone round their necks…). Jesus is the ultimate victims’ advocate!

      • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

        Oh, yeah … think about Jesus and you think of kindness and gentleness.

        But He did get angry a couple of times. There was when He said, as you note, that it would be better for someone to kill himself than to cause a child to stumble and when He saw people using the Temple to take money from the poor and exploit them. He flipped tables and grabbed a whip for that one.

        I’m thinking that if He heard some jackass using His name to beat down abuse victims, He’d show that He was raised in a carpenter’s shop and had the biceps to prove it …

        • Ben

          HUZZAH!

  • ash

    I read Marc Monte’s comments previously somewhere else. Prior to that, I don’t believe I had every heard his name. When I first read it, I thought it was a joke, that there was no such pastor. It’s not that I haven’t encountered pastors that offensive. I have. After all, I grew up in fundamentalism. After realizing he was really a pastor and this was indeed his comment, I had to think he either mistyped or had been under the influence of something – alcohol, some prescription medicine, something – anything that would explain why he would have typed such words. It’s not that I doubted that he believed them, but I was surprised that he publicly admitted to such beliefs. Most fundamentalist pastors I know would believe these things, but would be more cautious about admitting it.

    All that to say that it took me time to realize that this man is truly a pastor of a BJU church and publicly put himself out there with his radical beliefs. How can parents with children continue attending his church? He is essentially putting out the welcome mat for sexual predators telling them that his congregation is fair game for them to come and prey on them. If anyone at his church is abused, they know that the perpetrators will be protected and that they will be called a psycho if they tell. Does this many have children? a wife? They have my pity as they seem to have no protection at all. Their father/husband has offered them up. They can’t dare complain. This is all horribly sad to me. Where is God?

    It seems that while Monte has a degree in Bible, his Bible must not include the New Testament and must be missing several Old Testament sections.

    • Barbara

      No man or woman of God would EVER refer to abused victims as “psychos” or the houses and institutions of their abuse as “protected, safe places”…Turning a blind eye to the true needs of the abused while protecting the institutions that help to perpetuate it, sounds a lot more like “doing the work of Satan” than shining a light on the darkness where the abuse seems to be flourishing.

  • Jill

    Genuinely, I’m wondering if anyone knows whether GRACE is the fox guarding the hen house or what’s the deal? Why isn’t law enforcement involved at this level? Other religious heads have been prosecuted for abuses– why not these monsters too?

    • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com Dani Kelley

      The impression I’ve gotten from GRACE is that they sincerely want truth to come to light. At this point, the reason law enforcement hasn’t been involved is because BJU habitually counsels students NOT to report to the police, lest “the family be torn apart.” And while it’s easy on the outside to say, “Well that’s OBVIOUSLY ridiculous, they should report anyway!” it’s MUCH harder when you’re brought up in that system. And honestly, the justice system often isn’t much better.

      • Jill

        Thanks Dani, I’m truly not intending to be pushy that the victims should come forward. I understand the dynamics of a fundie home life.

        I am pushy about why one sick bastard doing this would be rightly be hunted down and (should be) prosecuted for these crimes, but an entire organization of sick bastards has some sort of religious freedom cloaking device from the world’s notice? Where’s the world’s outrage? Why isn’t there anti-religious abuse lobbying? Something? That’s my issue.

        • http://danileekelley.wordpress.com Dani Kelley

          What I usually hear is that it’s not widespread enough. Everyone’s a sinner, that’s just how this sort of thing goes. BJU and their ilk are “such a small part of the world,” there are “bigger fish to fry.” It’s the whole thing where they are viewed as a niche, and the people hurt by the system aren’t really viewed as real live humans because BJU is small potatoes. It’s gross. It’s wrong. It should be a big deal.

          • Jill

            Unfortunately that’s exactly it, what you just said the way it’s viewed, and it’s just so not accurate that it is small. These victims believe they have no one because all too often, they don’t. These groups so insulate a young person from outsiders looking in, they control minds unconscionably, attempting to break their spirits. It is a perfect storm.

            Victims may seem small in number in comparison to, I don’t know, the number of the uninsured public, but it is systemic and indicative of the very worst kind of free will expression and the numbers of lonely, scared, ignored victims grow.

            These are crimes against humanity. I don’t know how they could not be.

  • Hannah Grace

    Great article, but isn’t using “white trash” as a slur pretty classist? You can also just say “poor people are trashy and stupid”, but maybe you don’t mean that, since Christ forbade us from making distinctions among ourselves and looking down on the poor.

    I know it’s important to have an education, and I have been lucky enough to have a lot of opportunities that mean I won’t hear someone call me “white trash” despite my Texan roots and accent. But I know a lot of decent, hardworking people who manage to not do any of the evil things in this article, despite living in trailers or being on welfare or not having much education. And I think it’s a slur to associate this kind of horrible, child-abusing, shitty behavior with them, just because they’re poor.

    As I’m sure you know, child abuse happens in every income bracket. So does evil. And as Jesus says, it may actually be harder to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a rich person, rather than a poor one. So I just wanted to say that quickly, because it made me so uncomfortable.

    I’m sure it was just a turn of phrase and I don’t mean to be overly critical, but I know you support people expressing their opinions freely as long as they do it respectfully and I felt like it was an important thing to point out.

    • Hannah Grace

      Obviously it’s context and using “white trash” in an affectionate or jokey way is one thing, but I just shivered that me and mine would ever be associated with these evil child-abusing bastards.

    • Allie

      It’s even worse when the perpetrator is wealthy, because the courts are on their side. My foster daughter’s dad was a bank president, which is the primary reason he was treated so leniently. During the trial he was repeatedly referred to as a “pillar of the community,” which makes you wonder what kind of building has child rape as a pillar.

      However, there’s a big difference between poor and trash, and between Southern and trash. If you always feed your six year old boxed mac and cheese for breakfast, you’re probably trash. But a lot of poor Southern people manage not to do that.

      • Hannah Grace

        True – the rich manage to get away with crime the poor could never dream of.

        But if you feed your kid sugar cereal in the morning, that’s just an nutritionally empty but somehow not ‘trashy’. Weird how it scans

      • http://whatisthisicanteven.wordpress.com stonebiscuit

        “Trash” and “white trash” are still classist slurs. I’m with Heather Grace on this one. It’s a turn of phrase most of us don’t really think about using (I know I have serious trouble with it), but that doesn’t make it OK.

    • Mindy

      As a white woman, I don’t have a problem with “white trash,” – here’s why. The less education and life experience one has, the more one tends to fall back on stereotypes. People that I would consider “white trash” (only in my own head, of course) are the ignorant souls who proudly boast of their lack of book learnin’ and yet, based solely on their lack of pigment, believe they are better than anyone who might be of a darker hue. I don’t believe most of us view poverty as that which defines white trash, but rather an attitude toward life and dismissiveness of “others” about which we would be ashamed, and therefore do not want to be lumped together with those who espouse it.

      I don’t know if that makes sense. I realize that yes, it is an insult – but I don’t believe that people use it as a class moniker of the fiscal variety, but more as indicative of ignorance and bigotry.

  • ash

    Out of curiosity, I called his church asking for an explanation of his recent tweets. They didn’t seem to know anything about them and said no one had called asking questions about them. She said that if people would like to contact him directly with questions that we can call his cell number directly if we would like (317) 201-3429.

    • Hannah Grace

      You are a genius.

    • http://chucklestravels.wordpress.com Chuckles Travels

      What should we do with Marc Monte’s phone number?

      Oh I know!!!! There’s always the online personals…

      “Submissive Male. Likes Bondage and Discipline role play. Looking for Female Dominatrix to take control. Call 317-201-3429 and tell me what you are going to do to me. Exert your control and put me in my place no matter how much I protest”

      • Matt

        “Especially into the following: Extreme humiliation, 24/7 D/s (no safeword required), water sports, edgeplay of all kinds.”

        …Er, some of you lovely folks may want to make sure you’re not at work or around children when looking up any unfamiliar terms >.>

        • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

          I’m just going to assume that I don’t want to know what that ad would mean.

  • http://www.heresthejoy.com Rebecca Davis

    About the GRACE investigation: pretty much everyone who was abused or who cared about those who were abused was very thankful that someone at BJU pushed through the hiring of GRACE to do the independent third-party investigation. GRACE has an excellent reputation, and is run by Boz Tchividjian, whose name some might recognize as being the brother of the insightful speaker and writer Tullian. GRACE has a page dedicated to the BJU investigation here: http://netgrace.org/investigation/bob-jones-university/ The March Update is an important article to read, because it gives a testimonial from a victim who reported to GRACE and how she felt after that experience.

    A number of these situations are also being reported to police, but, understandably, the victims don’t want to make those situations public yet.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      I am going to err on the side of being jaded on this “testamonial” posted by GRACE. Was the person urged to press charges, did DSS get involved in helping to ensure there were no other problems? How closely is GRACE working with law enforcement and social services with any of this? How independent are they in the decision making process, and what resources, outside of their own are they offering victims? All that can be revealed and still protect the victims. It happens all the time.

      To me the testamonial says nothing. It sounds great, but it offers no substance, other than an acknowledgement that there are students who attend this school who’ve been victims of domestice and sexual violence. That’s not news. BJU wouldn’t have hired GRACE unless they realized that they couldn’t make it go away on their own.

      Like I said, color me jaded, but the whole thing still seems off to me.

      • Rebecca Davis

        There are others who are more qualified to answer this than I am, but I’ll make a stab at it. Part of the agreement with any organization GRACE investigates is that they will be completely independent. The only option BJU has now, if they don’t like what they’re doing, is to fire them. If you hunt around a little you can see where that recently happened with a mission organization, Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE), who didn’t like what GRACE was doing. Statements by both organizations are available online.

        There is an excellent organization in the Greenville, SC, area (where Bob Jones University is located) called the Julie Valentine Center, a rape crisis and child sexual assault center, here: http://www.julievalentinecenter.org/ I believe that GRACE might be working with them. (Others would know better than I.) I hear only excellent things about the JVC.

        I don’t believe GRACE is a mandated reporter unless they’re working with someone underage. (That may be the case in some of these situations.) Otherwise, victims are told that if they choose to report they’ll be fully supported, but they’re not pressed to report because, for a victim, reporting a crime like this one can be extremely traumatizing, and they have to decide if that’s what they really want to do.

        What the testimonial on the GRACE website offers is far more than what you suggested. It offers hope. It offers fearful victims the possibility that there really are Christians who really care about them and want to help them in the name of Jesus. This is a vital service, and can’t possibly be overestimated.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          GRACE will have to report its findings, not doing so puts them at odds it state law. That they have some partnership with the JulieValentine center is good, as it is one of several agencies in the state that does help a great deal. Sad thing though.

          Our state has yanked a lot of funding for rape crises centers. One in a neighboring county is facing closure because it lost 1/3 of its state funding and federal funding. SC also has a high incident rate of domestic violence and rape, in comparison to the rest of the nation. If nothing else, I am hoping that this brings awareness, but I hope for greater funding and solid solutions to a problem that plagues so many people in my adopted state and everywhere else.

          • Rebecca Davis

            One aspect of the agreement that was very clear was that GRACE would make their findings public while keeping the names of the victims confidential.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      (This is a side note, but for the record, Tullian Tchividjian is not exactly what you’d call a winning personality. See this story for why: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2010/03/08/tullian-tchividjian-forced-to-withdraw-the-right-boot-of-fellowship/ )

      • Brenda in La

        John,

        After visiting the link you posted above, I feel that I wandered into The Twilight Zone. I already felt that way from reading about the IFB, but what is truly horrible is that The Twilight Zone was fiction while these churches and educational institutions are not. How absolutely repulsive that these men use the name of Jesus to validate their behaviors! I hope all of them end up prosecuted by the full extent of the law. Angry doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings right now.

  • ~ Sil in Corea

    “By their fruits, ye shall know them.” We were warned; Jesus spoke harshly to hypocrites. People just don’t want to have the scales removed from their eyes. I can only pray that the people in these churches see the light and come out before they have been fleeced and wounded too badly.

  • vj

    What is it with these objectionable legalists and women’s hair? What exactly is a “feminine” hair style? Women of African ethnicity frequently have naturally short hair – does that make them less feminine? What about medical conditions? My pastor’s wife is a cancer survivor who lost her hair while receiving chemo – did that make her less feminine? Is she more ‘wifely’ now that her hair has regrown, or is she still considered “unfeminine” because she (along with millions of women, many of them faithful followers of Jesus) now chooses a short, easy-care (and very flattering) style?!?!

    Sorry, I know this is not the most egregious aspect of this post, but somehow this insane desire to control women by mandating “feminine” hair really winds me up! Reminds me of the part in Mark Driscoll’s book where he recounts bringing his pregnant wife to tears because she dared to cut her hair. Seriously, WT* is wrong with these control freaks?

    • Bethulia

      Now, vj, you have made the critical error that all intelligent people do in analyzing these circles: you are trying to apply logic where logic has never seen the light of day as the entire Enlightenment is viewed as the work of Satan.

      1) If you watch the video you will see that the likelihood of this congregation spending a hair’s breadth of time considering the difference between African American and white women’s hair is glaringly absent.

      2) “She chooses” is antithetical to fundamentalism. “She” doesn’t choose anything. “She” submits her will to and obeys the male authority of her father, her husband, her pastor and her Heavenly Father – including whatever hairstyle her man sees fit to allow her to wear.

      3) Good point bringing up Mark Driscoll: Fundamentalism in cat-whisker jeans.

      4) Control Freaks is so 2013. Let’s go back to original Latin root of that phrase: Patriarchy

      Any assertion of personhood is verbotten in an Authoritarian society with strict gender roles like this one. There is no equality for women in this society. Thus the reason it is so very easy to dismiss abuse and cover it up.

      Hair is the least of our worries when spousal abuse is counseled thusly: Honey, your husband probably hits you because you don’t have sex with him enough (and you went against his will by cutting your hair short.) Go back and be more submissive and pray to God for strength so that you can be a better wife. And your depression shows that you are not having a biblical response to your situation. Here is a schedule for how often you should read your Bible and some verses to memorize for comfort.

      • vj

        :-( Yeah, I think that’s why the hair thing really bothers me – it’s the tip of the iceberg of the patricarchy/misogyny that permeates these organizations/mindsets/alternate realities…

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

      I was going to respond, but there is nothing that I could possibly add to Bethulia’s brilliant response.

      Indeed, look at the crowd — the reality of African women’s hair hasn’t crossed their minds much at all … and “she” isn’t supposed to choose anything.

    • Allie

      How about if your husband asks you to cut your hair, are you unwifely if you cut it then?

      Now, I happen to have hair I can sit on, and I like it that way, and my husband has expressed politely that he feels it’s my right to do whatever I want with my own hair on my own head but I should be aware he will cry if I cut it. So there’s that. And I have expressed politely that I will cut it when I reach a “certain age” where long hair just makes me look like a hag with a young girl’s hair, and he has said he believes that time is far off yet. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But we’ll cross it together, not as enemies.

      • http://twitter.com/soracia Kagi (@soracia)

        Sorry, as a fairly young woman myself (30) I just had to say here – I don’t think a woman’s age should have any reflection on the length of her hair! :) My own grandmother wore a braid down to her knees all her days, and I always thought that long silver hair would be a wonderful way to age with grace.

        Personally, when I reach that age and begin to go gray, especially if I am lucky enough to have managed to grow it long, I may dye it white and get it over with, as I’d prefer that to salt and pepper LOL. But I don’t think anyone should worry about looking like a hag with a young woman’s hair – for a while there, when short hair began to be a thing, older women were often the only ones who had hair so long!

        I think that long hair is a beauty and a treasure on anyone of any age, male or female to be honest, so make of that what you will, but I don’t think you should feel obligated to cut it merely because of age. I don’t know anyone who would assume that you should, except possibly a few relatives, but I generally think their opinions on such matters are kind of strange, anyway….point being, people should be able to have whatever kind of hair length they enjoy, at any age! You may choose to style it differently, but I don’t think the length should need to be in question. ;)

  • http://chucklestravels.wordpress.com Chuckles Travels

    Monte’s sermon from *yesterday*:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=31013115985

    He talks all about the Christian portrayal of marriage in _Leave it to Beaver_ and how if a man “strays” it’s his wife’s fault for “bruising his ego.”

    • Leslie Marbach

      OMG! I tried to listen to it. The total gist of it for those of you who don’t want to torture yourselves: Women need to boost the ego of their husbands, should wear pearls and high heels to vacuum, and if they don’t do everything in their power to venerate and revere their husbands they have no one to blame but themselves when he runs off with the secretary. Oh, and feed him well before discussing anything important.

      Yes, because men have no self control, no ability to improve themselves emotionally and must depend on the “little woman” to do that for him.

      • Scott Spencer-Wolff

        Leslie – some days even I wear pearls and high heels to vacuum. It just makes you feel special.

        • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

          Bwahahaha! So perfect! :D

        • Susan in NY

          Best response today!!

        • Leslie Marbach

          I’m sure you look lovely in pearls and high heels, Scott!

      • http://zzapp.com Jon Larimore

        I’m sorry, but that is just downright hilarious!

      • http://zzapp.com Jon Larimore

        … and God forbid that “The Man Of The House” should ever learn how to run the vacuum cleaner or dishwasher himself ;-)

        • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

          I’m a stay-at-home dad. I vacuum, cook, and clean. I don’t wear pearls or high heels, though. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not my thing.

          I really feel bad for the wives and daughters of creeps like this. For the record, I’m going to teach my daughters that anyone who demands this kind of thing is abusive and shouldn’t be given another look.

          • Jill

            You’re a good dad. :) And vaccuuming is always heels-optional.

          • Jill

            wow. vacuum is the word my brain chooses to misspell? really?

          • Gordon

            That is one of those words that always stumps me, Jill. The states of MA and MS are a few others. I always have to pop over to WORD and type them to make sure I’m getting it right. I have spelling speed bumps in my brain.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/ Ric Booth

    I remember finding out about the existence of Bob Jones University while watching The Ladykillers. At the time, I thought it must be some fictional place, because no one would name a college BJU. It had to be a parody on a Christian college, right?

    Guess it turns out my initial thoughts were pretty close after all.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

      Sadly, it seems that too many people have lost track of the joke.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

      Of course, I went to 7th and 8th grade at a place called Plattsburgh Middle School. They wisely changed the name at some point …

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        HAR!

      • Ric Booth

        I worked for a company that had a system named Project Management System…with monthly reports no less

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Stop. STOP!!

          Man, if only there was any chance whatsoever that you were making this up.

          • Mindi Fried

            There was a chiropractic practice management software called, you guessed it – PMS. They didn’t even try to hide how much they resembled the other PMS in terms of causing cramping and stress and all around b*tchiness.

          • http://sus4th.wordpress.com Paul Ardoin

            I used to work for a German software company that called all its software “va”-Whatever. (The company’s initials were “va.”) They had a piece of corporate software that was a replacement for the Microsoft login, which is called Graphical Identification aNd Authentication, or “GINA” for short (mostly by system admins, the target for this product). The product, which followed their regular naming convention (yes, “va” followed by “GINA”), made it all the way to beta testing before several English customers strongly suggested they change it. (Apparently, the English-speaking employees tried to convince the German engineering team, but the engineers thought the English were playing a joke on them.)

          • n.

            every year at my work we have to do a professional self evaluation called an FPMS. we have long forgotten what it was supposed to stand for, but we all know what it *should* stand for (~_^)

      • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

        Meh. We still have Pioneer Middle School where I live. Poor buggers!

        • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

          And, of course, it’s middle schoolers. The perfect age for finding that level of humor amusing.

  • http://chucklestravels.wordpress.com Chuckles Travels

    Was Marc Monte given a honorary doctorate in 2005 for posting hate speech on his church sign against all Islam in 2003? According to the following article Marc Monte’s church marque called the Qur’an

    “…a stinking, bloated, dead rat…” http://www.religioustolerance.org/news_03sep.htm

    I don’t imagine Marc Monte won many Islamic people to Christ with that. Just goes to show these IFB colleges give out honorary doctorates for hate.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yes, Monte’s bio on his church’s website says that he was “awarded an honorary doctorate in 2005 for work related to exposing the dangers of radical Islam in America.”

  • Judy Volkar

    When I first learned the GRACE was investigating BJU, I was hopeful. And then I investigated further. The board of GRACE is made up of Justin Holcomb, a pastor at Marc Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church. Marc Driscoll the man who says the reason men cheat on their wives is because the women have gotten fat.

    Then there is Phil Monroe, who is a professor of Psychology at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, and Duncan Rankin professor at Reformed Theological Seminary. Both these seminaries teach that women are not worthy to teach the Bible or theology, because that is not scriptural. And then there is GRACE’s founder, Boz Tchividjian, a professor at a BJU look-alike college, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

    And my hopes for an independent actual investigation were completely crushed. If BJU really wanted to have an investigation, it needs to be by independent organization who are not also patriarchal.

    • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

      To a big extent, it looks to me like GRACE is there to provide damage control.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

        That is my take on it as well. I know its a delicate matter that needs to be handled with respect and compassion, but for the victims first and foremost. I just wonder if that is the case.

        I have only been on campus twice, and both times to the art museum for school related assignments, (one for me one for a daughter.) so I don’t know what type of resources there are for women. Are there posters giving numbers for the different rape crises centers in the area? Are there resources such as advocacy groups like Al-anon, or AA on campus? What is the on center health clinic like? Is there a good working relationship with Greenville police? If those resources are not there, are there any plans to implement them?

        • Naomi

          As a former student of Bob Jones University and someone who filled out the GRACE survey, I am extremely wary of the motives of the college in this investigation. I am, however, pretty confident about GRACE’s role, as their past record of investigations speaks for itself. They are professionally trained and seem to be working to provide survivors the validation and healing that other Christian institutions failed so hard at. I am no longer Christian, but I see the value in having someone from that community speak up and offer support, especially to call out others’ failures in that area. Kind of like what John is doing here.

          sdparris, LOL. None of those things. Let’s not be ridiculous. The school had to be shamed into writing their official abuse reporting policy in accordance with state mandatory reporting laws. There are reports that the school allows registered sex offenders on campus where there are minors. That’s not even considering the counseling they give to survivors, which I believe to be much the same as the type of “counsel” described in John’s recent post (highly victim-blaming). There are no posters for rape crisis centers, although the Julie Valentine Center in Greenville is an excellent resource (crisis hotline: 864.467.3633). The on-campus health clinic is a joke, with HIPAA violations and potential malpractice suits all over the place (when I was a student, any woman who checked in for any reason was pregnancy tested without informed consent, and those results were not kept private). I would hope the school does not have a good working relationship with the police, because of how I view the school’s motives, but I believe the Julie Valentine Center does work well with the police and I encourage anyone who is thinking about reporting to talk to them for support in that process. I also would encourage you to report to GRACE, as I trust they are going to be professional and hold the school accountable in their report. Whether the school will make changes based on that remains to be seen. (survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GRACE-survey)

    • http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

      This is basically quibbling… but having graduated from Pensacola Christian College, having been to Bob Jones, and also graduating from Liberty University (not that these were choices I’d make again or that I’m advocating for someone else, but my fundamentalist background didn’t give me a lot of options)… Liberty is not really a look-alike of BJU or PCC. There are some serious problems with Liberty, and I’m more than aware of those, and it is still a conservative evangelical college, but it’s not anywhere close to resembling the hardcore fundamentalism of BJU.

      • http://biblemadness.com Dwayne Walker

        Liberty is definitely not BJU! But I am concerned when Jonathan Falwell throws his hat in the ring to support the Richmond Outreach Center ever since Pastor G was arrested for molestation.

        I’m an sensing protectionism with differing types of fundamentalism who are united in at least one thing: keeping prying eyes, and the legal system, as far from them as possible! In that sense, Calvinists, Free-willers, Evangelicals, Bible Thumpers, you name, will be united. They don’t want anyone abusing their people since they do a pretty good job of it themselves!

    • Bethulia

      For the record, Boz Tchividjian is also the grandson of Billy Graham. Yes, that Billy Graham. THE Billy Graham. If you know anything at all about Billy Graham and Bob Jones Sr. you know that Bob Jones lost no love on Billy Graham. He was openly critical of him, to put it lightly. Do with that what you may.

      Secondly – that the University allowed an outside source of any kind to review their records and procedures is a (insert superlative adverb meaning hugely gigantic here) remarkable thing. That the group allowed in is led by the grandson of Billy Graham – all the more. So, the idea of them allowing a group any less evangelical than this one inside to review their procedures is like asking an Afghani Taliban tribal Lord to host a pig roast.

    • Gordon

      I think a better name than “GRACE” for this group would be “ERASE”. Nothing will come of their so-called investigation.

      • Naomi

        That hasn’t been the case in the past, when they’ve investigated other Christian groups. You can read their report about New Tribes here: http://netgrace.org/investigation/new-tribes/

        Look at what happened with ABWE (particularly GRACE’s letter):

        http://netgrace.org/investigation/associaton-of-baptists-for-world-evangelism-abwe/

        Examine the kind of abuse prevention and counseling advice they offer:

        http://netgrace.org/resources/

        Do you think GRACE will suddenly change? They have experience investigating hostile groups. I know they are Christian, but they seem to be legitimately doing the right thing. Consider what this investigation could mean for survivors, many of whom already have a hard time talking about their experiences because when they got the courage to tell, the school told them to shut up, get over it, then blamed them. This investigation could mean being listened to, being heard, being validated, not just about their abuse but specifically for how they were retraumatized by the school. Please don’t write off GRACE’s work only because of Bob Jones University’s reputation. Of course, if you know something about GRACE that I don’t that makes you not trust them, please tell me!

    • Jill

      Ugh. I so wanted to cling to little scraps of hope here. I searched GRACE’s founder, Boz Tchividjian and was led right over to Mars Hell (I mean Hill) ministry page. Justin Holcomb’s articles are all over there too.

      It’s a place where I learned that “wives will have their hearts exposed in the area of submission to God. A wife who submits cheerfully and graciously to her husband will always have at her core a heart knelt in submission to Christ.”

      I don’t know what else to say. I am sickened and outraged. I am holding every single abuse victim in my prayers tonight. I wish it could be enough.

      • http://biblemadness.com Dwayne Walker

        I’m not that comfortable with GRACE either, but this is the first time I’ve heard of the Marc Driscoll connection. Interesting.

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Before you write off G.R.A.C.E. and Boz Tchividjian, I can attest to the fact that he is man of integrity and impeccable character. Think about it for a minute. If Boz did not have any connections with fundamentals than there would be no way that his organization would be granted access to the schools and missions that need to be investigated the most. Boz is very much his own man and does not follow blindly – he is a lover of truth and justice. He was a Chief Prosecutor in FL handling sex abuse cases and you don’t get there if you are a push over. He knows how to take a stand and he also knows how to establish rapport. He can easily walk the fine line that is needed to be effective. He has only been at Liberty a short while and to saddle him with the Falwell baggage is unfair. I have never seen him fail to stand up for abuse survivors – there are things he does behind the scenes to stand up for survivors that will never get published. One thing I have seen over and over is that he is a man with great personal faith in God but he never wears that on his sleeve. I have seen him show loving concern for a biker chick just as easily as he does a preacher’s kid. Many survivor friends of mine who left their faith because of their abuse say that “he is the hands and feet of Jesus”. I know atheists who adore him and agnostics who respect him. I am very impressed with this man who has been such an example to me.

          • Jill

            Thank you Linda for a balanced response. It’s hard to gauge who is friend and who is foe in this mix. I hope, as I know you do, as so many others here do, that you are right to put trust in the people overseeing the investigation and, ultimately, the prosecution of the cases.

            I reserve my doubts, but nothing would make me happier if I will be proven wrong. If you continue to receive updates, please share them if you would.

  • http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

    This disgusting man preaches at Pensacola Christian College. He is there, right now, preaching several times a day. As a graduate of PCC, I can tell you that “psycho” is one of his favorite words.

    • Brian

      Samantha,

      As someone who spent a long time learning the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Church, I can empathize with your experience. Eventually, Jesus freed me from a lifetime of Zombie Brainwashing.

      I would love to hear how you were separated from the PCC education you might have received and found your way here.

      Brian

      • http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

        It’s been an interesting experience, that’s for sure. I grew up in a deep south IFB church that was a little crazier than most, not anywhere near as crazy some, about 40 minutes away from PCC and Ruckman’s PBI. Going to PCC was really my only option, and having been homeschooled with ABeka, it seemed like an ok choice. I’m blogging about my journey away from fundamentalism here:

        http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com

        No Longer Quivering, which hosts the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network, has an abbreviated (although still long) version of my story here:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2013/02/two-simple-statements/

      • vj

        “Jesus freed me from a lifetime of Zombie Brainwashing”

        This definitely needs to be on a bumper-sticker ;-) – applicable to SO many situations…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I believe Monte’s son attends PCC.

    • Mark

      My niece is at PCC. She went to an “independent” Baptist school that was part of the PCC non-network. PCC is heavily promoted as the only acceptable college to attend. I am sure that the pastor of the church gets brownie points for every student he sends from his school to PCC. I’m sure he wants to ascend up the ladder of the PCC “independent” network.

      I tried to talk my niece, her mother and my mother out of it. I talked about how she would not be able to transfer her credits to another if she wanted to change careers in the future. Also the pay for Christian (Baptist) school teachers is near poverty wages. That pastors of IFB schools can act like dictators, something she knew from experience. I even gave my mother a copy of the PCC employee handbook, with all of the nuttiest stuff highlighted, and she saw no problem with it.

      I even told her about two BJU grads I want to school with who are now stuck in dead end jobs at Wal-Mart. Sadly both of these people are still in love with the cult that sentenced them to a life of poverty.

      • http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

        Not near poverty wages– at or below. PCC’s book “The Successful Christian School” outright *tells* schools to pay teachers no more than $15k a year (published 2009), because Christian school teachers are doing it “for the ministry,” and it’s “not a job.” They also tell Christian schools to hire married women– because they don’t need the money anyway. They really say exactly that.

        Most Christian schools also have outrageous contracts that require the teacher to be engaged with several “service” things at the connected church (my friend, who teaches in NC, is required to type up the pastor’s sermons, work in nursery, and sing in the choir, which is another 15+ hours of work). They also forbid a teacher from seeking any other employment– even though my friend qualifies for food stamps.

    • http://www.defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

      Annnnd I just found out that he has just been hired as permanent seminary faculty at Pensacola Theological Seminary (which is attached to Pensacola Christian).

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Ha, ha, ha! Good one!

  • Brian

    John,

    A couple of things struck me about the “good Dr.”

    1st. When I read the line in his tweet, “Christians are overcomers in Christ.”

    I got the sense that what he was really saying was “Christians [his kind] overcome the gentle spirit of Christ. The gentle, suffering servant image of Jesus seems to suggest the idea of a “pansy” to guys like this. They want their Jesus to be more like the one who drove out the money changers in the temple. Except, this Jesus doesn’t rail against cheaters, he is coming back to severely punish the people he and his buds have judged to be sinners. Guys like this always seem to consider themselves to be good and holy because they keep the “reformulated” rule of Law Jesus “perfectly” fulfilled – though they really have no idea what that means.

    2nd. The first part of the tweet gives evidence of the manner in which he may have dealt with his own personal abuse [we are, all of us, bullied and abused growing up by someone who has to prove what a big shot they are]. He most likely was told by “stern” caregivers who told him, “Stop your crying. If you don’t I’ll give you something to cry about.” Later that message was internalized to the point where he saw his younger self as a “whiny little weakling.” Such guys are to be pittied, but not given much heed. Their message is distorted by the parents who probably repeated the same dysfunctional messages repeated over and over again. “Stop being a little weakling. Nobody wants to hear your problems. Be a man! Suck it up!!!”

  • Allie

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see any reason for places like Bob Jones University to exist. They don’t teach one thing that is actually truthful and useful, they don’t accomplish one thing that actually needs to be accomplished, and it scares me that some of the people here are alumni. As far as I’m able to determine as an outsider, the ONLY thing they do is to provide people who want to avoid reality and doing good works in the real world with a way to continue avoiding reality. Which may feel good for those who strongly dislike reality, but a lot of things feel good which are not in fact good. I’m told meth feels great.

    • Naomi

      Why do we scare you? When it’s all you know, you don’t know better. I know it’s uncomfortable to confront the fact that it does exist, but perhaps it’s better to shine light on it than ignore it.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I don’t think you guys are in disagreement.

      • Allie

        What disturbs me is those who are still fine with it, such as the lady below who went there and then sent her daughter there.

        • Naomi

          I must be missing that comment! I saw one about sdparris visiting the art museum on campus and taking her daughter, but nothing about going to school there. Which is good. I hope all the attention they’re getting means people will be better informed about how dangerous it can be.

    • Gordon

      Trust me, Allie. You don’t have to be a graduate of BJ University to have been a fundamentalist who finds his/her way out of that into the light. There are lots of folks with that story here, including me.

  • DB

    BJU? Hooray for Team Pharisee!

  • Claire P

    As a postgrad student, albeit in the UK system, I am just bemused that someone claiming any academic credentials would follow that up with a link to wikipedia.

    Stunning.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      Hey, don’t knock Wikipedia. They’ve done studies on its accuracy and it’s dang good. Just goes to show (imo) that people prefer to be honest. :)

      • n.

        it gets fixed faster than more official encyclopedias…

  • Dan Keller

    Here is a transcript that has Bob Jones, III, Chancellor of BJU, conversing with a lady and 2 witnesses. The conversation was recorded live, not a phone conversation. Because of possible legal issues, the conversation was transcribed: http://www.scribd.com/doc/74567123/Bob-Jones-III-Discusses-Chuck-Phelps-Nov-2011

    Chuck Phelps is the BJU-trained pastor who sent away a young rape victim from New Hampshire to Colorado to have the baby, a product of the rape. The man was tried and convicted. A lot of this current mess started when people realized, after the young woman’s trial, Chuck Phelps was on the Board of Directors of BJU. The conversation represents of the evil at the top of the BJU food chain.

    • Dan Keller

      The conversation represents of the evil at the top of the BJU food chain.

      That sentence should read “represents the evil.”

  • Rick Riedel

    The article was interesting and informative, however it would have been a lot better had you chose to leave out the name calling and bashing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as liberal as they come and I probably tend to do the same all too often. Just reading it in print made me shudder. I think when we do this, we take ourselves to a new, low standard that we would rally against if it were thrown the other direction.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I hear what you’re saying, and appreciate it. But trust me: I did what I did here as I did it for a very good reason.

      • Betsy

        After reading this, I must say that only an article as dire t as John’s article would work to awake people from the numbing sleep of apathy and denial.

      • Melody

        Hey, John, I’m baaaack! Yes, you wrote the way you did for VERY good reasons. I’m not as angry as I was before (thanks, Abilify!). But I have no problem when people tell the truth with wit and snark. In fact, I love it. Some people can’t handle that. Their problem. Keep doing what you’re doing, John. I’m going to be back here a lot more often than the last few months. I’ve really missed reading your posts. As far as I know, the idiocy of the crazies won’t get under my skin like before. It’s good to be back.

        • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

          Glad you’re back, Melody! :)

          • Matt

            Melody! Welcome back, friend :) .

        • Jill

          Hey!

    • Gordon

      Hmmm. You do the same all too often? And yet you’re right here ready to scold someone’s post on his own blog.

    • http://bonafidemagic.com Kelven

      Although John has “got up in the grill” of the “Doctor” and used a few colorful words, I would not consider it inappropriate at all. Calling someone a potatoe head is no where near as disrespectful as calling abuse victims “psycho.” These people are and continue to hijack the image of Christianity on the world stage, and more of you progressive minded need to start overturning the tables. Every single day people like this fill the airwaves with toxic lies and for the most part they go unchallenged, except in small corners of the Internet like here. People like me would not even know Christians like you existed if I didn’t go looking for them, which tells you a lot right there. I don’t think being a Christian requires you to be a complacent doormat and I don’t think calling bull on something is necessarily mean.

  • Rick

    Honestly, a lot of us traced Jon and Kate Gosselin’s problems back to Kate’s ferocious hair helmet, so the pastor may be on to something.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      Ok. That made me laugh!

      • Chris

        Me, too! HA!

    • Mary

      LOL

  • RedLefty

    Terrible, just terrible.

    If the doc had a true PhD in Bible he would know that the reference about female’s long hair was a cultural belief that it would attract the “seed” upward from her loins when the man ejaculated, and that this upward attraction would help the seed take fruit. It had nothing to do with wifely submission; it was about fertility.

    p.s. — Hi, John. :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Dude! REALLY long time!!

    • Ben

      The term “wifely submission” is so weird. How can anyone say that with a straight face?

    • Gordon

      Ewwww. I’m sure it’s true, but ewwww just the same!

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      Wow. What passed for biological science in those days. Imagine being am ancient gynocologist.

    • http://ecumenicity.tumblr.com Robert

      False. Women were expected to have long hair because only prostitutes cut their hair short at that time in Rome.

      • Citizen Alan

        I assume the two ideas are not mutually exclusive since a prostitute would not want to encourage fertility.

  • Robert Breeze

    Great post, John. I lived within a frog’s spit distance from BJU for several years and they are scary, scary people who actually have snipers atop buildings in case–oh, I don’t know–an uprising of closeted self-loathing gay students suddenly arises. People like Monte who talk of God’s love out of one cheek then turn the other so easily to spew hate are the reason atheism is growing in this country…and I can’t even argue with my friends who no longer believe in God. Those of us who are disgusted by so-called “Christians” have to speak louder than they, or else Jesus’ teachings were for naught.

    • Marlene Lund

      Robert, I have been pondering this very issue for the last several days and praying about how God can use me and others like me to speak to his love in a culture where daily The Church is spreading a message of judgmentalism, legalism, pride, exclusionism, all the things that go so strongly against what Jesus taught. May God give us the wisdom to learn how to spread his message of love, each in our own corner of the world.

  • Chris Wileman

    Go get em John!!!!!

  • Stef

    Why does “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” come to mind when reading about these cretinous people? I’m half tempted to call this “Dr.” Monte and tell him he’s truly evil by blaming the victims of the crimes committed by IFB members “in the name of God”. If the good “doctor” is truly without sin (which no one but Christ is), then he can cast stones.

    When these “Godly” people get to the gates of Heaven, they will be turned away with a curt “I never knew you”. Won’t they be SHOCKED then!

    I’m no saint, and I know I’m no saint. The problem with these IFB folks is that they didn’t learn that lesson. Women are told to submit to their husbands. Period. No questions asked. And their daughters end up like the young woman who originally wrote of her experiences of abuse, coverups, and no one being held accountable for their crimes.

    I hope that whatever the GRACE people find out about these abuses, that it puts people like the young woman’s parents and grandparents, all the people who wouldn’t believe her story of abuse, and those who continue to cover it up, in prison for a good, long time.

    • vj

      “Women are told to submit to their husbands” – it always astonishes me that these kinds of ‘teachers’ NEVER seem to follow that up with the SUBSEQUENT verses, about “husbands LOVE your wives as Christ loved the Church and laid down His life for it”… They never seem to exhort husbands to lay down their own lives (hopes/dreams/desires/wants/preferences/etc) for the sake of their wives (to give her what she hopes/dreams/desires/wants/prefers/etc). No, they just expect the women to bear ALL the responsibility. Sheesh, talk about cherry-picking Scripture!

      • Annie

        vj – YES! Very well said!

      • maria

        I have always been amazed at this. It sure is convenient how they manage to leave that part out. The first time I heard a pastor preach about this role of this husband, in this way, it was one of the things that pushed me to continue questioning the conservative beliefs that I was raised in.

      • Valerie

        EXACTLY!

  • Matt

    I am honestly…baffled by people like this “doctor.” Doesn’t doing any of this bother him? Doesn’t it bother him that his credentials are fake, that he’s hurting people? Doesn’t he know what he’s saying? I guess it’s my youth talking, but I just don’t understand it.

    Regardless, I feel blessed to be several states away from BJU, at the very least. I have enough worrying for my life to do in my own neighborhood. I hope that at some point the police get enough reasonable suspicion material to do their own investigation. GRACE just sounds like it could go either way–benefiting or harming. But there’s no room for such ambiguity–these survivors deserve the best of care.

    • Jill

      Exactly. It makes me wonder where this man’s conscience ran off to.

      • http://zzapp.com Jon Larimore

        Jill … IMO people like this have no conscience … at least none normal folks might recognize. They are self-delusional to the point where they justify any and all things they might say or do as direct orders from God. They are arrogantly convinced that they are uniquely blessed to know God’s will, thus anything which might pop into their minds is instantly good, proper, correct, and blessed, because “The Will Of God” most certainly supersedes any mere human social norms. In their twisted and firmly closed minds, they can do no wrong, so any attempts to convince them otherwise will always be utterly futile. They are snake-oil salesmen of the very worst sort who prey on humanity’s most vulnerable, so letters or phone calls addressed to them will most certainly fall upon blind eyes and deaf ears. They should be jailed, but failing that, at the very least exposed and socially ostracized.

        • Jill

          Agreed. Wishing I could comprehend how these empty, compassionless people get any power to inflict such damage and destruction they create. A topic for another day perhaps.

          • Matt

            Well, he may not have a conscience. Or (and I don’t know if this is comforting or not) he’s just been so incredibly insultated, so wrapped up in comfort and safety and viewpoints exactly like his that he simply can’t step into another’s shoes. It’s beyond him to view the world any other way.

            I usually don’t like defining people strictly according to their demographics, but he’s a straight, white, cisgender man. From what little I can glean from the short biography on Faith Baptists Church’s website, he’s been surrounded by Christianity (a majority religion in a first-world country) his entire life. He’s been in a position of power since the age of 21. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep, everyone is speaking to him and his experience. Every action he takes, every word he speaks is not just taken seriously, but often put down as infallible truth. There is no dissent allowed–I noticed that Faith Baptist Church has, surprise suprise, all men for pastors, and one secretary who is a woman.

            This kind of isolation would warp and stunt the growth of any human being. He appears to thrive in the environment he’s been wrapped in, but push him out even slightly–and he’s not just inadequate, he’s hopelessly so, lacking even the ability to adapt humans are so good at.

            Simply another aspect of the fundamentalist toxicity–because this kind keeps on giving, as Monte eloquently demonstrates above.

  • EsAyBe

    I love his twitter log from that time frame… refers to being hacked. So the question is… which one of these are the hacked tweets? The ones about losing fat?

    https://twitter.com/drmarcmonte/status/298546986284625921

    Or the ones where he tries to converse with people that disagree with him?

    https://twitter.com/drmarcmonte/status/298634876960260098

    Like a suave twitter user, I’m sure he deleted the unwanted tweets. He just really cares about our well-being.

  • Mark Glubke

    Thank you, John, for all you do to raise awareness of the dangers of fundamentalism. The theology espoused by this guy is truly horrific.

  • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

    This is the letter I wrote Marc Monte:

    Hi Pastor Monte,

    Remember me? I am the abuse survivor who challenged you when you tweeted about abuse survivors being psychos. I want to draw your attention to a blog written by John Shore about you. Here is the link http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2013/03/11/pastor-marc-monte-satan-called-loves-your-work/

    I am disgusted that you still have not issued an apology for your cruel and disparaging remarks towards abuse victims. You are clearly in the wrong and don’t have a leg to stand on. Your words are not becoming a man of the cloth who professes to be a follower of Jesus. I don’t understand why you would kick people who are already down. Are you that desperate to puff yourself up that you have to prey on the most vulnerable? You are a coward and arrogant fool if you think this is going over big with God. He takes major offense against those who prey on the weak.

    Many abuse survivors told you how much your words wounded them and your response has not been to apologize but to become more defiant. This is just despicable. How dare you say you speak for God when you act like the devil. Your attitude and words have been so anti-Jesus and so anti-Bible. You are precisely the reason why abuse victims have left the church and turned their backs on God. You mark my word, there will be hell to pay for what you are continuing to do to the brokenhearted. God will hold you responsible for your shameful behavior.

    Until every voice is heard,

    Linda M. Fossen

    • EsAyBe

      As a pastor, Marc Monte should hold himself to a much higher standard than to use the word “psychos” when addressing ANYONE.

      Matthew 25:40

      And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    • vj

      “Until every voice is heard”

      AMEN

    • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

      Linda, I noticed in the responses Marc Monte gave to your communications (posted on your blog), he claims the “psychos” he was referring to were those who raised false accusations of molestation and abuse, not true victims. He also spent a great deal of time explaining how he used quotation marks around the word “victims” in an ironic fashion to make this intent clear. What puzzles me is that if he really feels that way, why hasn’t he issued a heartfelt apology to those he offended with his admittedly poorly chosen language?

      The only conclusion I can come to is that he doesn’t feel he’s done anything wrong. He doesn’t think hurting those who’ve already been hurt with his words is wrong. He doesn’t think casting aspersions on allegations of abuse — even inadvertently — is wrong. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong, even when faced with countless voices letting him know the repercussions of his actions.

      I don’t think there’s any hope for a man like this. None so blind but those who will not see… it’s a travesty. I’m so sad for those he “ministers” to.

      Oh, and for the record, those are indeed irony quotes. Just in case anyone was confused.

      • Allie

        His explanation is not valid in any case, because there have been no people raising false accusations.

        • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

          That’s a given, Allie. My point was that even in a best-case scenario, given every benefit of the doubt, he still falls so short.

    • Leslie Marbach

      Well said, Linda! Thank you for sharing what you wrote.

    • Sara

      Thank you for sharing, Linda. I’m sorry for what you’ve endured, but thank God you’re using your voice to help others.

    • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

      I got a response from Marc Monte. He said:

      “Linda, you seem to believe everything you read on the Internet and that is not wise. As explained earlier my troubling tweet was not directed at you–I don’t even know you. It was directed at folks who claim something that didn’t happen. (That’s why I used the quite marks in the tweet). You are not satisfied with that, and that’s your right. Add my tweet to your list of unforgiven offenses if you like; but it wasn’t directed toward you.

      Just so you’re clear, I fully forgive you for your attitude and words toward me. Christ died for ALL sin and on that basis I can freely forgive. And forgiveness sets us all free. Calvary is God’s object lesson in radical forgiveness. Meditate on the cross and your life will be changed.

      Know that if I can be of any help to you, I will be glad to talk with you.

      Pastor Monte”

      I replied:

      “Oh Plaaaaeeeze, will you cut out all the religious crap and talk like a normal person! I am not a moron and I get what you said to me that you were not directing your comment to me. However, what you don’t get and I have repeatedly told you this is that I am an advocate for victims of abuse. What you say about them, you say about me. It makes no difference who you directed your comments to – they are still cruel, crass and repulsive. You have no right to call anyone a psycho – least of all an abuse victim. Can’t you see get that?

      This has nothing to do with forgiveness, it has to do with right and wrong and you are wrong! Your sappy comments about the cross made my blood boil. How dare you insinuate that you are right and the brunt of unfair criticism and rebuke. You hurt people – you hurt them very badly and this is wrong, wrong, wrong. You are a disgrace to the kingdom of God and a disgusting excuse for a pastor. What kind of pastor goes around calling abuse victims psychos? That would be like going to the hospital and finding a terminal cancer patient and spitting in their face. No one would do this! It would be horrible. And yet, you continue to get on your high horse and refuse to apologize for saying something as distasteful as what you have said to abuse victims.

      It is you who needs to mediate on a few things, not me. I am not the one being a complete ass to people and then slapping on the “Jesus loves you” crap at the end. That is just despicable and makes me want to gag. Your arrogance is mind-boggling. It is apparent that you think you can see people’s hearts and know who is telling the truth and who isn’t . I am pretty sure you are not God and therefore you have no idea what is inside the hearts of people. Be sure you know that false allegations are extremely rare. You are not the judge, jury and executioner – God never appointed you to that position and certainly people never did.

      I have met some real church jerks in my day but never one as arrogant and asinine as you! You need to seriously think about removing yourself from the pulpit and going someplace where you can be all alone and ask God to show you what a fool you have become. Seriously dude, you are that messed up. As for helping me – you can save your breath – you are the very last person on the planet I would ever consult for help. If you continue the way you are going you need not wonder about the future. You are going to be shoveling coal with the worst of them. You can take that to the bank. There is not a single speck of anything Jesus-like in you. God couldn’t allow you into heaven because you would stink up the place with your arrogance and self-righteous attitude. Remember the verse about cleaning the outside of the cup and being full of dead man’s bones. Well you don’t even bother to clean up the outside anymore – the rottenness on the inside of you has spilled over onto the outside and you don’t even bother to clean it anymore. And what difference does it make – what is in your heart comes out anyway.

      Thanks for absolutely nothing but grief.

      Until every voice is heard,

      Linda M. Fossen”

      I am going to continue to engage in conversation with him for the time being. Monte serves as a example of how religious perps will try to confuse victims. Although I am not aware that Monte has abused children, he is abusing victims right now and talks in classic religious perp speak. I will use him as an example to show you how these church jerks operate. It was something I had to learn the hard way and possibly something I share with you will help you survivors on your journey.

      You will notice that he never acknowledges the issues I have raised. He will not even acknowledge that I have repeatedly told him that he owes an apology for his cruel and despicable words that hurt many people. He completely avoids that. He refers to a anonymous group of survivors that he thinks are making false accusations as justification for his lashing out at everyone. It is the old “painting everyone with the same brush” trick and because he won’t name these survivors we don’t even know they exist so there is no verifying his story. This is very typical- these religious perps hide behind pseudonyms and hypothetical situations. There is no validity to Monte’s claims of false accusations and given the flack that those coming forward are enduring there is not a chance in the world anyone is falsely reporting. Who in their right mind would want to go through this kind of scrutiny?

      Beware of the tactic that these religious perps use of spiritualizing everything. You notice that Monte goes into this sappy routine about how he is forgiving me (even though I did not ask for his forgiveness). This is another trick they use to over-spiritualize themselves. They piously think they are following Jesus who asked his Father God to forgive them “for they know not what they do.” This always comes on the heels of the person acting like the devil and then throwing in this “father forgive them” kind of prayer as a means of sounding good when they really know they are being jack-assess. Monte can now tell everyone that the problem is is not him but me. He will point out his “righteous response” to as many people as will listen and they are all going to buy into it. It is just another ploy to look good at everyone else’s expense.

      • Jill

        Linda, I’m giving you a standing ovation right now. Wishing you could hear it.

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Thanks Jill – I have suffered in silence for a very long time and once I found my voice I am trying to make up for lost time. These religious jerks really make me angry!

      • Valerie

        OMG How f*&king magnanimous of him to forgive you for being angry with him instead of apologizing. He has made your anger your fault not his! Give him Hell Linda!!

    • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

      Here we go again for round #3

      Monte wrote:

      “Dear Linda,

      I perceive you to be very bitter and you likely have not forgiven your father for his wrongs. You can’t, however, help anyone as long as such bitterness lurks in your soul. The best thing for you to do will be to forgive as Christ forgave and move on. You won’t ever forget–God doesn’t command that; but you must forgive.

      We don’t know each other. You have judged me based on a misinterpretation of a tweet. The word “abuse” I quotes means something that isn’t abuse or didn’t happen. That’s the grammatical purpose for the quotes. I know you won’t take my explanation at face value because you are bitter and lashing out.

      I also suspect that you’re a very deeply troubled, hurting, and lonely person. Your anger level precludes the possibility of your having many friends, I suspect.

      Until you see yourself as a sinner in need of God’s live and grace, you will never be healed. Once you’ve found salvation in Christ, God’s grace will enable you to forgive everyone–even your father. The choice is yours–allow bitterness to define your life, or find and extend forgiveness through Christ.

      I’m thankful for this opportunity to tell you about Jesus. And I am sincerely praying for you.

      Pastor Monte”

      I replied:

      “Pastor Monte,

      You know nothing that is in my heart and have no right to bring my father into this. This is not about him but about you. My forgiveness walk with my father is between God and me and certainly not something I would ever share with you.

      If you think I am bitter, you are a fool. I am not bitter but I am mad as hell at you for daring to cover your abhorrent behavior by slapping on a few verses and supposing to speak for God. You are not speaking for God. My God doesn’t call anyone a psycho. My God doesn’t lash out at victims. Can’t you see what a stumbling block you are to so many broken people who look at you and say “if that is what Christianity is all about, I want nothing to do with it”. The reason I have to be harsh and speak plainly to people like you is that you are very dense and don’t listen very well. You are used to your sheeple sitting in the pew swallowing every thing you dish out to them. You aren’t used to people standing up to you and challenging you. God forbid that a woman should do so! But alas, here I am – in your face calling you out and telling you you need to apologize.

      You can quit psycho-analyzing me. The correspondence course you took on psychology and your cheesy certificate does not render you qualified to analyze me and decide what kind of a person I am. You have no clue what you are talking about. I have many friends who love and care about me. I am certainly not lonely and the only thing that troubles me is jerks like you who put up road blocks in front of brokenhearted people. Contrary to your assessment, I am a very caring and kind person who has an immense capacity to love broken people. I have zero tolerance for religious mercenaries like you who fight for the sake of fighting. But as long as you fight me, you have less time to fight the other survivors. Go ahead and waste my time. I am using you as a example of how religious perps operate. I don’t know if you have abused children or not but you certainly are abusing abuse survivors and that makes you a religious perp in my book.

      I want to thank you for your outrageous behavior and comments because you are bringing more survivors out of the woodwork who are getting mad and ready to talk. That is good – I hope we have hundreds of BJU survivors who come forward.

      Until every voice is heard,

      Linda M. Fossen”

      Okay the moral of the story…look at what there is to learn from this church jerk. He is getting really aggravated at me and now makes his whole response about my need to “get right with God”. There is not a single response to anything I have have challenged him with – in his mind he is perfect. This is just another way he can lash out at me and do so in a manner that his religious cronies will look at and think he is being so spiritual. They will read how he is praying for me, wants me to forgive my father, etc. and say “that Pastor Monte is really ministering to that poor woman”. The truth is he is using religious words to stab me. It is that passive-agressive behavior that perps love to engage in.

      He also is cherry picking which verses in the Bible he is wanting to use. You will notice that even after he has been repeatedly told that he has offended and hurt many people that he will not apologize. The Bible is full of examples of how we are to go to those we have offended and make peace. But apparently Monte has not read these.

      The babble about how he has psycho-analyzed me and has me figured out is just more of his arrogance and pride. It is laughable.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Linda: is this stuff Monte is writing to you now? As in, in the last day or two?

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Yes it is John. I woke up this morning to another email from Monte…will post that later after I have had a chance to respond back. This message left me speechless. He said that he thinks all of this (the outrage over his tweets) happened so that God could use HIM to set me free! Yep, that is what he said. I am fired up to respond to that one, let me tell you!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            So lemme get this straight: rather than talk to me/us, here, in this public forum, he’s decided to privately email you, a woman whom he knows was for years sexually abused by her father, also a pastor. And he accuses you of being bitter because you haven’t forgiven what your father did to you. And then he calls you bitter, deeply troubled, hurting, and someone unlikely to have friends. I have this right, right?

          • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

            That’s right. Here is the email I woke up to this morning…read it and weep!

            “As I was praying for you this morning, I thought that at some point it might help our conversation if we could talk on the phone. People tend to get a little worked up behind their keyboards and voice adds a much needed human element. If you would like to call me for further discussion, my cell number is 317.201.3429. I will be on flights all morning but later will be fine. I have become convinced in my soul that The Lord wants me to help you through this. In fact I think he allowed this all to happen in order for you to be set free in Christ.

            I am praying for you and would look forward to a conversation. That will aid in mutual understanding. You’ve misjudged me but the bigger issue is your need to find real freedom, love, and joy in Jesus! Know that I’m praying for you and that I’m concerned. You are not alone in your hurt.

            Pastor Monte”

            Now why in the hell would I want this monster to “minister” to me? Give me a break!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Tell him if he wants to help my readers understand what he meant and where he’s coming from, I invite him to guest post on my blog. He can write whatever he wants, and I’ll present it as is.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Wow. He has so convinced himself that he is the answer, that he has the solutions, poor delusional fellow. Never mind repeated statements made by this individual that have failed to enamour people to such a conclusion.

            And I gotta wonder if he’s doing the same thing to others who have contacted him, angry at statements that don’t at all appear to display love, but rather disdain.

            And lastly I gotta wonder, why the circuitous route being taken by this guy…Why not own up to their statements? Why couch things in ambiguity, attempted deflection, and over-worn pious language?

          • Christy

            Because he’s not self-aware. And because he is not self-aware he is unable to take ownership of his behavior and how it hurts people. His ego takes over and protects him from feelings of guilt and personal responsibility so that he can avoid the discomfort of admitting a wrong or a failure and instead it uses well-known psychological defensive techniques of defending, denying, deflecting, rationalizing, blaming, and minimizing. These are classic symptoms of the person who lacks self-awareness and emotional literacy.

            The religious dogma and theology and anti-intellectualism of fundamentalism perpetuates this condition by framing the source of our actions as existing outside of the individual in a supernatural context. If we do bad things, they say, we are under the influence of Satan. If we do good things then we are being guided by God or the Holy Spirit. This placement of influence anywhere other than with the individual themselves minimizes the role and the ownership of the individual in their actions.

            Real ownership of something means making deliberate “I statements.”

            I hurt abuse victims when I said they were psychos.

            I hurt women when I say their husbands cheat on them because they don’t take care of their appearance.

            I have said things that I am not proud of and that are not in keeping with the role of a clergy person or the teachings of Jesus.

            I was wrong.

            I made a mistake.

            I have learned a valuable lesson.

            I will not do this again.

            I will take responsibility for my actions.

            I am sorry for saying hurtful things.

            I will learn how to see how my actions are viewed and interpreted by others.

            I will think before I speak.

            I will learn how to show compassion.

            This is what maturity is: taking responsibility for our actions, being able to see beyond ourself and our own point of view…and admitting when we are wrong.

            This is what compassion is: putting yourself in the place of another and feeling with them. It is a deep understanding of their point of view and their experience.

            They are both signs of emotional and spiritual maturity.

          • Andrea Claassen

            Christy, something you said struck a chord with me, but it’s off-topic and I don’t want to burden this thread by veering off course. Is there a way I can ask you a question outside of this forum? Maybe send a message to your facebook inbox?

          • Christy

            Andrea, if you send a private message on the Unfundamentalist Christians facebook page I will get it. Would that be alright?

          • Christy

            If not, you can send an email or private message to John and he can put us in touch with one another.

          • Bob

            *Copy* *Paste*

            I’m stealing this comment Christy, because it’s so freaking awesome.

          • Christy

            Thanks, Bob.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Ah. I see you emailed him here first. I wonder if he responded to anyone else who emailed him?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            I just tweeted this:

            @drmarcmonte: Stop emailing 1 abuse victim (“ur bitter with no friends,” etc: http://bit.ly/WHEvFC). Answer publicly, coward.

            which I’ll go tag onto the bottom of the post in case anyone’s new to it. I hardly expect him to respond, of course: I’m sure he’s much less interested in engaging me than he is, say, a female whom he knows to have been sexually abused by her pastor father.

          • Melanie D.

            He responded to me. He seems to think Linda set him up and is not sure she was ever really abused. (?!!!!!) Oy. And he still doesn’t get the point about how pretending that people who report abuse are liars and that the accused are innocent victims hurts people who were abused. Ugh.

          • DR

            My god. How far does this paranoia go, does he really believe that someone would “set him up”? What kind of conspiracy theory world do these people live in?

          • Jill

            Perhaps if he’s got something to hide. Maybe paranoia is masking guilt.

          • mike moore

            While we certainly can’t speculate on whether or not Monte is an abuser, his behaviour is one of an abuser or hypocrite.

          • Jill

            I’m merely referring to the guilt of promoting submission culture, where women and girls are viewed as minimal importance and their needs viewed as optional. Where wifely submission is a phrase easily thrown around.

            Of this Mr. Monte is guilty and were he to submit to his own Leader, he would disengage from such downgrading theology. His own words accuse him of that.

          • Leslie Marbach

            I’m stunned. Truly! He has a huge plank in his eye and wants to help you get what he thinks is a speck out of your eye. He’s mistaking the twinkle of righteous indignation as a speck.

            If anybody is in a position to minister to someone it’s you, Linda. For all the victims that have suffered because of this cult I thank you for speaking up and standing your ground. You have my admiration and my prayers.

          • DR

            Of course he wants to talk on the phone. There’s no record of the conversation. That’s how people like this operate, they start realizing that people are watching, wondering and questioning – even challenging – and they panic and want to bring everything “in house” under the loving tone of wanting to get more personal.

            I’m sick at heart that this man would bring your father into this. It’s such a shocking violation of privacy, of boundary. I’m speechless.

          • Isabel

            This pastor guy makes me very angry. I know for a fact that no one can gain anything but irritating and disrespectful rants from correspondence with people like Montes. Sincerely, I believe that the only solution is to gather evidence of their crimes, cover-ups and incompetence and one day secular justice will deal with them.

            Also, he looks like a pedophile.

      • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

        Linda,

        Interesting that he feels free to tell you that you don’t see yourself as a sinner, but doesn’t seem to consider that he might have the same problem.

        Because he’s in charge.

        This is not godly. It is not Christian. It is evil. I do not use that word casually, either. He is trying to bully an abuse victim, and hiding behind word games. Evil.

        I am so sorry that you are going through this. I’m sorry that demons posing as pastors are trying to bully you further. But, you know, they’re probably badly damaged and don’t have a lot of friends. And they need to see that they are sinners in need of forgiveness. Or whatever the heck else this pig is saying.

        I am so sorry. Please, know that there are a lot of people on your side and praying for you. Your responses are amazing.

        By the way, just to clarify, when I’m praying for you, I’m praying for your strength to hold up and for healing, and for justice for what was done to you. Not that you would shut up and admit that men should be allowed to push you around.

        “Dr.” Monte is acting without love. I feel bad for anyone who would be deceived into taking his counsel. I’m sorry that he’s set his sights on you.

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Thanks for your care and concern Ken. I actually live for this kind of stuff. I am one of the advocates for the Prairie Bible Institute survivors and we have been through a living hell with PBI. You talk about godless people – the alumni are just vicious. For the past two years that is pretty much all I do is run interference with these rabid jerks to take the brunt of the attacks so that the survivors behind me who are still fragile and trying to find their voice can be spared the pain. God just gives me the grace to do this. I really like confronting these jerks. Thanks for good prayers!

          • Valerie

            Bless you Linda for your work with victims! Please accept my prayers and blessings on their behalf as well.

      • James

        Linda I am so sorry for what these people put you through! Also, who says internet friends aren’t real friends??? It’s a whole community of people that encourage you, pray for you, laugh with you, share their stories and their lives with you. Many people that consider themselves brothers and sisters in Christ never meet a single time in this life, yet does that mean they are any less our spiritual family? I would be proud to consider such a strong, courageous person such as yourself as a friend, and a sister in Christ. God bless you Linda, I’ll keep you in my prayers!

      • James

        I posted this on the wrong comment thread:

        Linda I am so sorry for what these people put you through! Also, who says internet friends aren’t real friends??? It’s a whole community of people that encourage you, pray for you, laugh with you, share their stories and their lives with you. Many people that consider themselves brothers and sisters in Christ never meet a single time in this life, yet does that mean they are any less our spiritual family? I would be proud to consider such a strong, courageous person such as yourself as a friend, and a sister in Christ. God bless you Linda, I’ll keep you in my prayers!

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Thank you James. You are so right that about real friends. I have found so many of them online. Thank you for your prayers, I certainly can use them. And yes, it would be an honor to consider you a friend and brother in Christ. God bless.

    • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

      Round #4

      My reply:

      “Now why in the hell would I want to talk to you? What do you have to offer me? Are you that delusional that you think you can bash abuse survivors and then turn around and “minister” to them?

      I laughed out loud when you told me you were convinced that the Lord wants YOU to minister to me. Now that is a new one. I never had the Lord tell an arrogant, self-righteous church jerk to “minister” to me before. Are you serious? I am supposed to find “real freedom, love and joy from YOU??? I must be missing something. Where is the freedom, love and joy in your own life? When you were calling abuse victims psychos was that your love being demonstrated? Your babbling about the length of a woman’s hair being a sign of “wifely submission” must have been your freedom showing. And you must have had real joy knowing you offended so many people and still have not apologized.

      I am not interested in talking to you on the phone, not now, not ever. My job with you is to get in your face and show you what a lousy pastor you are and how godless you are treating broken people. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. Your continued treatment of us survivors is shameful. It is not how Jesus would treat people. I wouldn’t let you “minister” to me if you were the last pastor on the planet. You have nothing to offer anyone – you are in need of help yourself. Your biggest problem is that you are full of yourself.

      You treat me like I am not even a Christian – that I need to be saved. How do you know what my walk with God is like? You say I am bitter. Well Jesus must have been bitter too then because he regularly chewed out people like you. He called you snakes and wolves. He got so mad at you Pharisees that he kicked you out of church and trashed your “product tables”. He told you you were a stench and rotten to the core. I haven’t even come close to being that hard on you. I can truly understand how Jesus felt about you Pharisees. I can appreciate his anger.

      If you want to “minister” to someone why don’t you go on John Shore’s blog. He told me to invite you to come and guest blog. You can say anything you want and he will post it. Why don’t you let us all know how you think you have been misjudged? Why don’t you tell us all how you don’t need to apologize to us? Enlighten us all. Or don’t you have the guts to do that?

      Until every voice is heard,

      Linda M. Fossen”

      • Jill

        I’m in complete awe of you, Linda. You are blowing my mind away.

        • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

          Jill, I have had alot of experience dealing with guys like this. My abusive father was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He used to take me out of my bedroom at night while I was sleeping and carry me to his office where he was studying for his PBI classes. The Bible was always open – and I knew what was in there because they hammered it into my every day at school…”children obey your parents…honor your father”. My father told me it was my duty to obey him, no matter what he asked me to do. I was 8 years old going to grade school at Prairie Bible Institute and getting raped by my father at night. And all the time I thought this is what God expected of me. I would go to the Tabernacle and listen to LE Maxwell scream and holler his sermons, preaching about a vengeful God who sat in the heavens waiting to see you sin so he could squash you. LE preached how God demanded holiness of us. I knew I could not be holy, I was damaged. By the time I was 10 years old, I wanted to die. I had nothing to live for. I used to cry myself to sleep asking Jesus to come and rescue me. But he never came. Finally at age 12 1/2 I told my father if he ever touched me again, I would kill him. If I would have had a gun, I know I would have shot him right between the eyes. I hated him with every fiber of my being. My father took me to the furnace room where we had an old coal furnace. He open the door and it was like looking at hell. He grabbed me by the hair and told me if I told anyone God would send me to hell. Then he pushed my face closer to the fire and hollered “promise me you won’t tell…promise me you won’t tell.” I screamed “no, I will not promise” over and over again. It felt like the skin on my face was melting. I thought he was going to kill me right there. Finally I relented and said “I promise”. He jerked my head back and stared me in the eyes and said “if you ever tell anyone, God will let you burn in hell. If you tell anyone, no one will believe you because I am the preacher and you are the dirty little whore.” I believed him and didn’t tell for 40 some years. I watched my father have a “ministry” where hundreds of people got “saved”. When he preaches everyone loves him, and thinks he is the greatest guy in the world. My father never apologizes either. He thinks he is above everyone else. He is perfect and everyone else is wrong.

          One thing I have learned over the years is that these kind of religious perps don’t get it – you have to tell them over and over again and you have to speak bluntly to them. You can’t be subtle because they are dense and won’t get what you are trying to say. You have to hit them with the truth right between the eyes. Most of the time, these kind of guys will never change. The only thing you can do is to continue to maintain boundaries and don’t let them get to you. I don’t allow my father to have any contact with me. He has failed as a father and doesn’t deserve to have a daughter like me. Wow that took me a long time to believe that about myself. I used to believe what he said about me – that I was worthless. Monte will probably never change. He doesn’t have the ability to have empathy for people. He is like a leech that sucks the life out of people and never gives anything back. He is so full of himself that he couldn’t possibly care about anyone else. He doesn’t apologize because he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.

          Thanks for your kind words Jill. After finding my voice, I am just this way – I used to be such a people pleaser. Now I just speak the truth.

          • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com Erika

            you are a hero.

          • Rebecca Davis

            Linda, where is your father still a pastor? I’m curious to look up his church. If you don’t mind telling, that is.

          • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

            I would love to tell you who my father is. It is another thing I love to do. I was already contacted by law enforcement and informed of another victim of my father. I did not know her – she is half my age. She was a 10 year old MK at the time that my father repeatedly abused her. Sadly he was not prosecuted for that crime because the statue of limitations had expired on me and without my testimony, they did not feel they could win what was sure to be a high-profile case.

            Here is a link to information on my father http://lindafossen.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41:who-is-your-father&catid=7:faqs&Itemid=25

          • Rebecca Davis

            Thank you. That statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases is another thing that has GOT to GO. Thankfully, SC doesn’t have one.

          • Rebecca Davis
          • Cherie

            What Jill said. :)

          • Tim

            Three things, Linda,

            First, even having been abused I can’t imagine the pain that comes with your father being the one abusing or the religious bent that was involved. I’m so sorry, but not an ounce surprised it took you so long to open up. I’m glad you have here.

            Second, religious perps of this kind don’t ever learn. I think the calling out has two broad effects in that it informs the public and thus isolates them from any other potential victims while making the perp even more self-assured. In this case, i can go with the “makes everyone happy” diagnosis as acceptable as long as it has to go on, because someone (the perp) will eventually have a rude awakening. Even if it is just seeing how open and loving God is at the gates of heaven, that would be shame enough for someone who spent their life calling out victims.

            Third, a note of personal satisfaction. The gut instinct (and why I haven’t responded to this post yet) is to want to do verbal violence back to the person who is being so vile and violent with his words. Your response has all the grace in the world while still setting boundaries. I commend you.

          • http://missmusicnerd.com Linda K.

            You are absolutely amazing.

          • Jen Henley

            Can I say you are amazing one more time? Your mission is not an enviable one but I must say it is in excellent hands.

          • DR

            She is a lioness. I want to start a fan club.

          • vj

            Sign me up!

          • vj

            Linda, my heart just breaks for the trauma you went through as a child! Of course it took a long time for you to come out the other end stronger, wiser, more compassionate – but how wonderful that you are now able to advocate and stand in the gap for other survivors. You are doing an awesome job, keep it up :-)

          • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

            Thanks everyone for your kind words. I am just in awe of you. Think about it – BJU alumnus who are challenging the system and speaking their truth! Who would have dreamed this was possible…you all are blazing a trail and I am honored to stand with you. I am 55 now and have lived more of my life than I have left to live. I have so many regrets for wasting so much time hiding my father’s dirty secret. I can’t waste any more time. I am a woman that is driven to see more victims come forward. Nothing blesses me more than to see you younger men and women coming forward. I am so thankful that you are dealing with your abuse sooner than I did. You will not have the regrets that I have and that makes this all worthwhile. I am used to people lashing out at me – but it is the joy of seeing you all finding your voice that makes it all a joy. Nothing is ever going to shut me up. Satan is going to rue the day he ever messed with me. He picked the wrong child and I am never going to stop exposing the child molesters who work for him.

          • mike moore

            YOU ROCK. much much love.

      • DR

        You are so fabulous.

        • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

          Go, Linda! yea!

  • James Bow

    In the same graduating class (Shhhh… don’t tell anyone). I’m glad I didn’t know the creep.

  • Mark Schnitzer

    Thanks for sharing this…it is both frustrating and saddening. I did send him an email.

  • Michael Jordan

    I taught at a Bible College in the 70′s. Of course it wasn’t one of those “IFB” type places-it was in Canada. The faculty were pretty-much well-credentialed: degrees from the Univ of Toronto in theology, etc. One of them had even studied in Amsterdam under some theological “heavy hitters.” Ironically, the Bible College underlined socially progressive causes, mainly because they took the Bible seriously. They were not all that impressed with social conservatism, especially the kind of conservatism that resulted in Jim Crow and racial discrimination in the US. I have come to appreciate the bravery of the faculty in that small college, because they were under a lot of pressure from conservatives to alter their beliefs, and that pressure was tied to money-they were totally dependent on private donations to keep the doors open, and it was pretty tough. Wish there were more places like it today.

  • John Suarez

    Thank you for sharing this, John. It is just so sad that people like this pastor are positioned as “leaders” in the church; rather than looking into the matter with a genuine desire to discover the truth, what he does is ridicule and insult people who come forward and bring to light what is going on in the dark…

  • Mary Bullock Mullins

    Wifely submission? yikes!

  • Silvia Wilson

    He’s just another con man taking his herd of sheep to be fleeced. This happens all the time in those cultian churches.

  • Megan England

    Hilarious, disturbing…. But absolutely hilarious

  • Jim RS Bachii

    I liked it. Well written.

  • Natalie Jones

    I wonder where these people get these ideas.

  • NatalScott Amundsen ie Jones

    Great article. Really, these Fundies need to STFU; they’re stinking the place up and making the rest of us look bad and I, for one, am sick of them.

    • Fritz Keppler

      STFU must be a school a ways up the road from BJU. Maybe in Pickens. ;-)

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood

    So horrified for the commenter who was abused, growing up in that horrific fundamentalist lifestyle. I hope she finds healing and strength and uses her experience to stand up for others–and also to bring these ass hats down!

  • Stephanie Pera

    The more I read about these cretins, the more disgusted I get. It just boggles my mind that these people say these things publicly and expect the sane among us to just keep quiet. Sick people… won’t they be SHOCKED when they don’t go to heaven! My late former stepmother in law once said of people like that: “They’ll get to the gates of Heaven claiming to have been working in God’s name, and God will look at them and say, ‘I never knew you’, and send them to Hell.”

  • JD Lester

    I emailed. Said that there isn’t enough institutional shame nor blame (nor name-calling, for that matter) to stop victimized people from speaking their harrowing truths, via the internet, to an international audience. The only thing that is “psycho” here is a purported man of God ridiculing and marginalizing victims of such abuse, people who’ve already suffered quite enough trauma. How about offering hope, and understanding, and emotional and spiritual healing instead? Where’s the grace?

  • Jonathan Shriver

    Attended said university studying said major and graduated 1986. What you say is spot on. Although I was not abused in my “protected place,” I know of others who were, and it continues outside of the school by those who embrace Monte’s excuse for theology.

  • Scott Spencer-Wolff

    Only sorry you can’t “like” some of these AWESOME comments…

  • Valerie Schultheiss Lawrence

    Stunning.

  • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

    Brilliant blog John! You did an excellent job.

    I am not aware of who is on the board of GRACE but I am confident that Boz Tchividjian will not let anyone with an agenda harm survivors. He has a pure heart and truly cares for victims. I don’t think there is anything nefarious about who is on the board, think about this for a minute. It is a well-known fact that child abuse flourishes in very closed, religiously conservative environments. The more conservative, the more prevalent. Let’s use BJU as an example. This organization wants help to deal with their abuse scandal. They contact GRACE and want to know more about the organization. One of the things to question is “who is on your board”? They are looking for some reassurance about the integrity of the organization. Imagine if BJU approached GRACE and found out that on their board were a bunch of radical free-thinkers who were controversial to the evangelical community. It would be a big turn off for BJU – right? I think it is a stroke of genius that GRACE has people on its board who put these fundamentalists at ease. This is all supposition on my part but I think there is some validity to it. Boz is a former prosecutor of child sex crimes and not easily intimidated. I don’t think there is reason for concern.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Thank you for this, Linda. (Oh, here is who is on the board of GRACE.)

    • Rebecca Davis

      Thank you for this encouragement, Linda. I’ve followed GRACE’s Facebook page for some time (you have to search “Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment” to find it), and they *always* have words of hope and healing for survivors, never accusation or veiled condemnation. They help me stay informed about what churches are doing in a positive way as well as negative. When I’ve written with questions, both on the FB page and by email through their site, Boz himself has answered surprisingly quickly, at length, and always very graciously. I didn’t and don’t know about all the connections (and I didn’t know about the goings-on at Coral Ridge with Tullian), but I know that Boz personally has made nothing but a good impression on me.

      • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

        I agree Rebecca, everything I have seen about GRACE has been very above board, professional and with integrity. I am impressed with their humility and graciousness, even in the face of unfair criticism and attack. They are on the front lines in this battle and are blazing a trail for others to follow. What they do for survivors is immensely important.

  • David Shaffer

    While some might be critical of John’s harsh tone, I’ve found that in order to get a fundy to understand something it has to be written in a language that they understand, simplistic and in most cases just plain brutally honest. Any attempt at a grace filled dialogue is dismissed as compromise.

    • John (not McCain)

      Short. Declarative. Statements. If you can shake your fist at the ceiling and sound like the pain of all that you must say is tearing out your throat, so much the better.

  • teresa

    so anyone that is abused is crazy…so no sane woman or child is every hurt?….or maybe its being hurt and abused that cause the mental issues of feeling inferior and feeling rejected.

  • Christy

    Epic. Compassion. Fail.

    But his ego is so big, where would compassion even have any room to breathe.

    • Susan in NY

      Could someone please repost Monte’s email addy?

      Thank you.

      Susan in NY

  • http://www.hurricanes-and-trainwrecks.blogspot.com Amy

    Beautifully stated. And I love your final response.

  • http://www.transparently.ca Lisa Salazar

    John, after reading this post, Monte’s banal comments and some of the links you’ve shared, I want to go gargle with my eyes.

    • Brenda in La

      Exactly! I want to wash out my eyes, and you said it so effectively. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t wash all this disgusting info out of our heads or hearts.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        “Gargle with my eyes.” How great a phrase is that?

      • Melanie D.
  • Lane

    Even his comment about taking a pain reliever is wrong. It didn’t “cure” his “pain”, it simply masked the symptom of pain for some other underlying issue. How appropriate. If you cover it up, it must not exist.

    • Shawna W

      I was thinking this exact thing when I read his headache tweet!

  • Leslie Marbach

    John, best tweet ever in response to his whining!

  • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

    I have been watching this story. I am at work and can no longer be quiet. BJU, thier spokes people and their cronies should be held up to the same glaring spotlight we use on cults and FDLS Mormon compounds.

    Why is it that the default is automatically no one here has been abused? Sexual abuse is pervasive. There are sick people everywhere and somehow your “godly institution” is exempt? People of faith DO NOT blame the victim. Thats counter intuitive. Even athiest know better than that and they have no relationship with any God.

    This is why Christian get such a bad rap. That kind of narrowminded hate filled idiocy is the reason people look at Christians like we are crazy.

    Thank for showing the world some Christians believe in science, counseling, and common sense!

    • Karen

      Wow, Ingrid. That comment about “even Atheists know better” was kind of nasty. As a Humanist (Atheist) I kind of take offense. That feels to me like, “even dumb animals know better.”

      • Christy

        I have to disagree, Karen, though I understand how one might take offense. My atheist friends explain it this way. They know there is an assumption among some religious people that for some odd reason, lacking a religion or a belief in God, they (atheists) are automatically amoral hedonists. It is difficult for particularly dogmatic Christians (and perhaps other people of faith) to understand that ethics and morals do in fact exist outside Religion. So – my atheist friend’s explanation: He’s not good because he has to be or in order to earn a reward or to avoid punishment or to please someone or to have someone love him.

        He is good because it’s the right thing to do.

        So, in this sense, perhaps her comment is really a slap in the face of the religious people like Monte, who despite having all the “necessary” trappings that they themselves say one needs in order to be a moral and ethical person, still manage somehow not to know what is the right thing to do.

      • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

        @Karen… I apologize if I offended you or anyone else. That was not my intent. My intent was to point out that Athiest do not use religion, scripture or faith to justify anything intheir lives because they do not believe in God in any form. However, even without that faith based compass you still see right and wrong for what they are are… Right and wrong.

        By comparison this idiot is claiming his brand of Christianity to justify obvious wrongs. It’s not a “dumb animals” comment, but a correlation between his ignorance abusing faith vs your enlightenment for knowing wrong when you see it without the use or aid of religion.

        In a nutshell your common sense versus his stupidity. Again no nastiness was meant and I’m sorry.

    • Mindy

      Ingrid, I know several people who self-identify as atheists. They are all kind, compassionate, generous people. Every one of them, without exception, expends their energy and time doing good for others. They volunteer constantly – tutoring, mentoring at-risk youth, bringing gardening to blighted urban areas, manning suicide hotlines, being activists on behalf of all kinds of folks who don’t have a public voice.

      I agree with the sentiment of your post, but as a non-religious spiritual person with a lot of agnostic and atheist friends, I ask you to please not lump “athiests” together as a group whose grasp of ethics and morality is questionable – because it simply isn’t true.

      • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

        Again, not the intention of my comment. I have friends who are both Atheist and Agnostic as well. Most of them have a strong moral compass and use common sense to judge right and wrong. That was my point. That right and wrong are NOT religious questions. They are human. Marc Monte and his BJU cronies for all of their religious trappings are doing more damage by using religion to justify abuse, but those whose beliefs lay on the stark opposite of the spectrum are having more compassion.

        I don’t judge how people believe. Many Christians would cringe if they were to have a religious conversation with me because while I identify as Christian I am probably even more UNfundamental than John.

        I do however judge actions and Marc Monte’s actions scream hellfire and brimstone.

  • Mark

    The sad thing is, he is so convinced of his rightness that he can’t be budged. If you talk about compassion, he’ll say that you just aren’t spiritual enough to understand him. If you quote the Bible, he’ll say you’re misinterpreting or misquoting it.

    • Christy

      I hear you, Mark. The Ego works in mysterious ways, so adept at self-protection from reality. But as Jung said, “Neurosis is avoidance of legitimate suffering.”

      Chances are, he’s operating from his own place of shame and unworthiness and inadequateness.

      Guilt = I did something bad.

      Shame = I am bad.

      Fundamentalism clearly teaches “I am bad.” Evil, corrupt, debase, amoral, fallen, craven, fleshly, “as filthy rags.”

      Brene’ Brown says about that:

      “When we apologize for something we’ve done, make amends, or change a behavior that doesn’t align with our values, guilt – not shame – is most often the driving force… Guilt is just as powerful as shame, but its influence is positive while shame is destructive…

      We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous…In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.

      …[I]t is human nature to want to feel worthy of love and belonging. When we experience shame, we feel disconnected and desperate for worthiness…

      If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive… Empathy is connection; it’s the ladder out of the shame hole.” From her latest book, Daring Greatly

      Empathy is the antidote for shame.

      Ego blocks compassion.

      His ego is protecting him from all that which makes him feel shameful and inadequate, his own childhood baggage, et al. It’s quite a thing growing up being told you are a disappointment to every person in authority over you whom you seek approval from, who is supposed to love and nurture you – especially when one of those someones is God. So many folks in this system will weep with great heaving sobs when they admit that the only thing they long for in all of eternity is to be pleasing to God such that when they come before God in God’s glory they can look forward to hearing what they have likely never heard their entire lives: Well done thou good and faithful servant.

      Until he deals with the avoidance of his own suffering and awakens, becoming self-aware, he won’t be able to learn to be self-critical or show empathy to others. That he teaches others to perpetuate this shame cycle is what is both toxic and tragic. Without healthy psychology it is no wonder such bad theology propagates so readily in the dark.

      May the unconditional love of God break through these chains that bind them.

      • Jill

        Christy, this is all so good. I love Brene.

        • Christy

          Isn’t she wonderful, Jill. I am hopeful that Brene’s research will help set free a generation of people trapped in a cycle of despair and confusion. She makes it all so clear. We are wired for connection. We long for belonging. We too often feel disconnected and that we don’t belong because we have learned shame and unworthiness instead of a healthy sense of love and belonging. This causes suffering.

          As our minister reminds us: None of us have ever been loved in all the ways we want and need to be. We all need to figure out how to do this loving thing better. Lord knows the world has never suffered from an abundance of love.

          • Jill

            It’s so true. She has been teaching me how to be vulnerable. That there is empowerment in vulnerability. Wow, game changer. I’m starting to fall in love with a church because I’m letting myself be vulnerable. In turn, this is bringing me some levels of peace I didn’t think would open up, in part because I’ve worried exactly what you’ve said: that I don’t belong.

            “We all need to figure out how to do this loving thing better.”

            I’d go for my PhD in love if such a program existed. What would it look like in the world if we could collectively say, there is way too much love in this place?

          • Matt

            I’ve found that there are such programs; they are simply ad-hoc, have extremely rigorous coursework, and can’t be actively sought out :) .

            Just about everything this author says speaks to me. It’s suprising and gratifying that we are bringing this kind of research into academia.

      • MG

        Christy, how insightful. I’m not a Christian which is in the end neither here nor there, but for someone that seems to me to be Christian I applaud your wisdom. I find myself surrounded by “Christians” such as this “dr.” monte fellow and I’m always left wondering how are they able to confuse hate w/ love and/or use them interchangeably on so many topics. I end up having to walk away because talking to them or understanding them is like wrestling jello. yet you seem to have helped me today by allowing me to remember that they come mostly from a place of shame and haven’t had the chance to allow themselves to grow thru self-awareness and a coming in from the dark that their shaming has created. Thank you.

        • Christy

          Thank you, MG.

    • Gordon

      He can’t be budged, but he can be judged. And I judge him to be an idiot.

  • Jennifer

    Epically insightful – I think I am going to print up an honorary Doctorate for you John and you can call yourself Dr. John Shore. I will also send you an honorary degree showing that you have a Ph.D. in sarcasm & wit with a minor in irony. I will even emboss it with gold leaf – although BJU has already been taken, perhaps this degree will come from the Faithful University of Christian Knowledge. I will get started immediately on getting my new college accredited. Let me know where I can send your honorary degree.

    <3

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Ha! I love it. If you actually do this, first, thanks very much; I’ll definitely cherish it. Either email it to me at john@johnshore.com, or mail it to: John Shore, P.O. Box 131374, Carlsbad, CA 92013. How awesome.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sunshynajc Angela

      Hahaha! Nice.

    • boy jesse

      HELL yeah!!! That would be completely awesome!

  • José Molina

    John, your response to his tweet was epic!! I loved it!!

    • DR

      It was perfection.

      • vj

        Agree!

        • boy jesse

          Totally in agreement here!

  • DR

    I’m so confused, I thought the good doctor encouraged “victims” to not use the internet for whining? Apparently his rules don’t apply to himself – color me shocked. Not that he cares, he’ll just come up with some reason he said this in the name of “humility”. You’ve got to wonder what these guys think and feel in the quiet of their own car or home, etc. What goes through their mind when they get caught in these kinds of things? Do they even allow themselves to process it?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      i’m gonna vote no.

  • FishFinger

    Why do some Twitter users insist on using vague hashtags in every tweet? Who the hell is going to search for #life? #whatsthepoint

  • QK
  • usingmyvoicewell

    okay, so the guy is a numnut (or any other of many choice words). He is childish and rude; he lacks love and compassion, especially for victims; he’s a bully, chauvinistic, and he looks like a goon. Maybe he had a rough childhood. Maybe he’s into verbal, emotional and mental abuse. He’s definitely narcissistic. But whatever. Turn him off and tune him out. And pray that all people with sound minds and bodies will do the same. He’s making a power play. And I don’t like focusing my attention and good energy on someone who speaks with such evil intent. I don’t think Christ would either. So long, Marc Monte. May God have mercy on your soul.

    • Erin_D

      I think the point is that families with children go to this man’s church and are influenced by the teachings of it. It’s easy for us to turn away and ignore the numnuts, but we need to expose them and get them run out of town for the sake of those poor children.

      • MG Wallin

        Amen to that

  • Monte Abbott

    Right and on target though you are I sometime think that engaging these mental midgets is like jousting with a catfish. It accomplishes nothing and it doesn’t even exercise your jousting muscles. On the other hand, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to such events. Thank you John for your posts.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Yeah, as you say (and thank you). The fish-in-a-barrel thing is why I rarely do this sort of thing. And when I do (as was the case here), it’s almost always for a reason that’s off-screen. It’s me saying something for someone, basically.

      • Jill

        Which we understand and very much appreciate that you keep bringing a beautifully strong voice for those that rarely, if ever, get heard. You are a generous soul, Mr. Shore.

        • Jill

          Pardon me, Rev. Shore.

  • Amazed

    Thank God I had a place to go ‘whine’ right here ..when I felt I had nowhere else to turn and share my burden and shame. And now I am going to whine some more because one of my precious family members goes to a church I was once a member of and shared this post that was on the church FB page: “On March 26th and 27th The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two landmark cases involving the normalization of homosexuality. The Prop.8 case out of California and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. Both are important cases but the Prop 8 case is the most significant. If the supreme court upholds the 9th circuit it would set a national rule and overturn every state constitutional amendment and law banning same sex marriages. I for one have no faith in the Supreme Court to do the right thing and will predict that this is exactly what will happen. The question is this, Is your Pastor and church ready for this ruling? If your church does not have in its constitution and bylaws provisions for discipline and a statement on Marriage and Sexuality then the answer is no! I am praying that we will not have to face this in our nation but where there is no outrage there is conformity.” Why would I even associate myself with such nonsense…well…it could be why many of us trying to break free from the narrow hateful thinking…family ties, family tradition…maybe we are even afraid we can ‘never go home again’. I know that when I even slightly question that homosexuality might not be the greatest of all sins like we were taught…I see the distrust and the pity and then eventually, the gently..”you gotta go and not come back to this church again’ look. It hurts and it hurts even more because this particular pastor blocked me from his FB page for disagreeing and standing up to him and then told my husband he didn’t think he could be the music minister of the church because of his “wife’s rebellion’…that he thought it would be hard for me to ‘sit under his preaching’ (the only thing he got right). I would fill in for the wonderful pianist there many times and even taught Sunday School there for awhile until I was told because of my political beliefs and our ‘careers’…(we have a band that plays where alcohol is served) we should not hold any position in the church. We are pretty much “churchless” now..but that is okay. Nothing they can say or do will ever change the love of God or the price Jesus paid for me. But at times…I still feel sad and left out. The looks from some family and friends breaks my heart. It is hard to break away from a theocracy you were born into…I don’t think I was ever comfortable with it but was taught that was just the devil trying to pull me away..then I would say..but you said we are the ‘elect’ so…can Satan even try to deceive me? Once saved always saved right? I had a lot of questions and questions are considered treason and going straight to hell. So Sunday night they called for a vote on this ‘bylaws for the constitution of the church’ and the pastor demanded the vote be by raising your hand so he could see who disagreed and if you disagreed…you can still be a member of the church but cannot participate in any church activities…how sweet and generous. Yes..I am whining and complaining and frustrated..thank you for listening.

    • Jill

      Amazed, sounds like you need a hearty dose of some kind, inclusive, and intelligent people and you definitely need a new church! (If church is something you still want in your life.)

      I was genuinely afraid when I went churchless, when I walked away. I turned my back on my entire life, such that it was, truly in order to save my life. Too many years taught this was the love of Christ! Judgment, heartache, backstabbing, phonyness, empty relationships–this was agape. Blech.

      Had no idea the love and decency of the people I found ‘on the other side’. I believe with all my heart, if you want to find somewhere to belong, you will find it. I haven’t been able to negotiate all the terms I want, but regardless you will find somewhere you can be loved. Don’t settle for less. Peace.

      • Amazed

        Thank you Jill…I fully intend to never settle for less again!!!

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      I agree with Jill 100%. For a pastor to attempt to control every aspect of a parishioner’s life, from their jobs, to how they vote, to personal views on society is not being a shepherd, its being a moat.

      For those of us who have resided in theocracies, we understand the struggle, the questions, and the “oh crap, now what do I do?” Ask those questions, give yourself permission to step back and decompress, (and anyone who says asking questions about God/faith/life is doubting God has never really considered the questions of the Psalmists, of Moses, of Job, or of Jesus’s mother.) Remember that God loves you more than you can ever measure, define, comprehend, always has, always will.

      And as Jill said, don’t settle.

      • Amazed

        Thank you , until I found this website I was beginning to think I was pretty much alone. Coming from a very small town it is hard to find many who will stand up and say the emperor has no clothes, fortunately once I opened my own heart and mind I have found fellow brothers and sisters in Christ dealing with the same frustrations.

        • Joy

          If you are interested in finding a church family that is ALL inclusive, liberal, accepting, caring, and has the added benefit that you don’t have to leave your brain at the door, try the Episcopal church. There are numerous other ones though…look around. I loathed every church I ever tried until I found this one. Proud Episcopalian!!

          • Lane

            I couldn’t agree with Joy more! I have found a wonderful, wholesome, welcoming and affirming home in the Episcopalian denomination. This is even in the midst of a most IBF rich territory not generally known for their tolerance, let alone acceptance. Small town America with an IBF college in town and faculty and students attending church there on Sunday. How refreshing it has been for me. It is well worth the effort and the risk! Signed, former IBF faithful

          • Amazed

            I have a good friend that is Episcopalian now and I think I will check it out!!

          • http://slugcrossings.blogspot.com/ Liutgard

            I walked away from the church (Pentecostal) in ’92, and 18 years later came back- to the Episcopal church. I don’t think I could have returned anywhere but here.

  • Gene

    God bless you John Shore!

  • Jill

    I’m crying with laughter John Shore! Just saw the Alex Karras picture, which was the very first thought I had seeing this guy! So crazy!

    (sort of an update… !)

  • DR

    I’m even more confused because his wife has short hair (she seems very lovely and his son very sweet. I’m just confused about the hair, it’s short and he says long hair is important).

    https://twitter.com/kelliannmonte

    • DR

      I’m assuming he is referencing length, I might be wrong!

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

      Arrrrgggghhhh. I just clicked on that link. I hope I don’t start getting emails from those creeps.

  • Don Rappe

    Fundamentalism is an evil tree. It cannot bear good fruit.

    • Jill

      Agreed. And yet it goes on and on.

      In part because some of us, of which I include myself, take quite a while to find their own voice, their own power, their own value and worth, their own unique relationship with the Creator.

      I would say not only can it not bear good fruit, but that it feeds on good fruit like a parasite.

    • http://T otter

      And why does it have to fall on such fertile soil????

  • http://kathy@canyonwalkerconnections.com Kathy Baldock

    I would love to say that arrogance from religious leaders and pulpits shock and stun me, but it no longer does.

    Linda’s story is horrible. The Bad Doctor completely lacks empathy. Gender bias is alive and well in the fundamentalist church.

    (hey, hey John.)

  • Dennis Gilbert

    Johm Shore, you are one of the voices in my head. Thanks for all you do, over and over again, helping people that have been damaged by church pastors and communities. One look no farther than Westboro Baptist Church to see the worst in “faith” communities. I am grateful that you offer a forum for folks to speak out, and have you help us to a much richer and full universal sense of faith, where ALL are welcome.

  • Christine McQueen

    I have to say that this guy’s crap is exactly the kind of crap that led me to walk away from my last church 30 years ago! I don’t tweet, but maybe he needs to know this?

  • Hannah Grace

    Oh my fucking God. I can’t believe this asshole. Well done you, John, keep poking.

    We should picket his house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.steffenhagen?sk=wall Soulmentor

    This whole continuing story is …..what? Is there even an adequate word to describe it. Shocking? Unfortunately, it’s NOT shocking. Mind bending? Preposterously evil? I really can’t think of anything adequate despite my Speech degree. Such creatures (cannot be called respectable humans, let alone religious leaders) exist and truly do give one pause to believe in demonic possession.

    So I’ll just suggest this: Look at that “creature’s” picture. Have you EVER seen a more buttoned-down closet case?!

  • Mike Stonehouse

    Bravo Linda!Thank you for what you’re doing.

  • Allison

    In my humble opinion, this man smacks of being an abuser himself. That’s some extreme narcissism right there.

    Linda, keep on keeping on. Surviving abuse with strength, wisdom, and love on the other end is no easy thing. You have a voice that is like water in the desert.

    • Allie

      Not sure why I should hesitate to accuse him, since he doesn’t hesitate to accuse others of being liars, psychopaths, and bitter people with no friends, but I will stop short of accusing him of being an abuser himself. However, I find it necessary to point out that any time you see a man defending sexual abusers, it’s statistically likely that man is himself an abuser. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in (I think current number is 7) boys is sexually abused, the overwhelming majority by men. Even if each abuser has hundreds of victims in his lifetime, there are still a bunch of abusers out there. A large enough percentage that many must be judges and legislators, as well as pastors, teachers, and everything else you can think of.

      • Allison

        I keep looking for the “like” button…

  • mike moore

    I called. It went to voicemail. I left a message. I’ll let you know if I hear back. Not holding my breath.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      love it. thanks, mike.

    • Anne

      I called yesterday, too. Just hearing his voice mail greeting raised my blood pressure. I left a message and told him how much I would LOVE to talk with him, along with my cell phone number.

      Something tells me he won’t be calling me back.

  • Brenda in La

    Well, I am so stunned by the good -NOT – emails that I tweeted him, but I don’t see that mine made it through cyberspace. Linda, you have plenty of friends. I hope he can see that now, and I’m sure you had many before you had us. I applaud your strength! I so hope that Marc’s own words have awakened a sleeping giant. Thanks, John, for continuing to expose this man and his network of evil psychos.

    • Brenda in La

      Just tweeted his church. That one made it!

  • Melanie D.

    I emailed and got a response back. This guy refuses to accept that disparaging accusers is a problem. He thinks we misunderstand him. He also seems to think Linda is a liar and John is a self-proclaimed anti-Christian. I told him that I hope the holy spirit will work in his heart to show him how his actions hurt other Christians. I doubt he’ll “get it” any time soon.

    • Melanie D.

      And now he’s claiming the original tweet back in January was not in reference to any sort of sexual abuse but to a specific situation in which a memo was sent asking someone to hold a hymnal during worship…anyone know this story? I’m going to respond back to him sometime tomorrow when I’ve had the chance to do a little research to see if there is any truth to it. Either way he should still apologize for the insensitivity of that tweet and his behavior afterward.

      • Brenda in La

        I’m sorry, but his saying the tweet was because of someone needing to hold a hymnal is sick, too. Why should he care? Do you think my minister notices or cares if I am holding a hymnal? Does my minister stare us all down for transgressions such as failing to hold a hymnal? For any transgression? Ludicrous! He is lying (1), and his lie is also evidence of a warped and ultra-controlling ministry (2). Sicko, but a danger to others, and as such, someone who must be stopped. I hope that someone investigates him. I’m shaking my head over all of this story, and yes, even what he used as a cover-up excuse for the first tweet. Surely someone will shine a bright light on these roaches and have them running for cover. I am so glad John has exposed him and started the ball rolling!

        • Melanie D.

          Not failing to hold a hymnal, but apparently for dudes making the ladies hold it for them. Man up and hold that hymnal! It’s heavy and her little lady wrists can’t take it! Bwahaha. Ridiculous sexism.

      • Melanie D.

        Found it. God bless Google. 3rd result under “bju abuse hymnal”, haha. http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2013/01/hymn-book-holding/

        So. Sexist, yes. Patronizing? Absolutely. Abusive? Ehhhh. I’m not so sure. Definitely a part of the patriarchal structure that allows abuse to flourish, but yeah. He should have freaking clarified and apologized for the way that tweet read. Not defended it as though people knew who he was talking about. And he should have clarified that he didn’t mean abuse didn’t happen; just that he didn’t find that situation something worth complaining about. Instead he started acting like he was the victim and everyone should just lighten up and stop picking on him. Real mature. Exactly what you want from a church leader. (Eyeroll)

  • Susan in NY

    Could someone repost Monte’s email addy?

    Susan in NY

    • Brenda in La

      Susan, did you find it in the article? I had to read it again to look. preacher@faithbaptistavon.com

      I hope you get a response. I may email him as well. Good luck!

      • Susan in NY

        Thank you!

  • Lee Walker

    I haven’t read all the posts on this topic, so forgive me if I’m repeating someone. Am I correct that one of his emails suggested she needed to learn forgiveness, and that she needs freedom in Christ? Perhaps I’m paraphrasing too much, but if this is the gist of his message, perhaps he should pop in on her website (as I just did) and get edumacated (sic, and yes, on purpose). Her latest book is on forgiveness, and how the Holy Spirit opened her heart to a new level on that topic. True to form like all others of his ilk, I’m sure he wouldn’t condescend to actually take an interest in learning about her story and her life in Christ. It’s easier to “discern” from his lofty perch. Oh, here I go. Anyway, I highly recommend stopping by our advocate’s website and taking a look at her books! :)

    • Lee Walker

      oops… forgot to include Linda’s link, for the late-comers who don’t want to scroll through trying to find it. http://www.LindaFossen.com

      (hope that’s right?)

  • Richard Lubbers

    This whole thing seems so surreal. It simply staggers the imagination. I just sent the “Dr” a text message. Let’s light up his cell phone!

    The sad thing is, it’s not surreal, it’s real.

  • David Shelton

    My Grandfather graduated from BJU, so I promised I’d go there after high school. I attended BJU for ONE year only. After being punished because I caught a young woman on crutches who was falling (apparently I touched her breasts) and seeing two young men expelled because one found out his mother had passed away and his roommate hugged him in support (apparently they were engaging in homosexual behavior) I had had ENOUGH! This is only two examples of the extreme beliefs of this college. After my first year, I told my grandfather everything that had happened and that I would NOT be returning to BJU ever again.

    • http://slugcrossings.blogspot.com/ Liutgard

      David, many years ago (25+) I was a student midwife. My mentor had one client whose husband had gone to BJU. When he announced in birthing classes that we would be doing not perineal massage (used to stretch the mother’s tissue and guide the baby’s head out slowly, to minimize tears) because it was lesbian sex (!) and was an offense against God. We had to release the poor woman (who cried but she couldn’t defy her husband) to the local OB, who ended up doing a c-section.

      I was appalled.

      • Christy

        That is appalling. That poor woman. The same excuse has been used in the same circles to preach against women seeking routine care from female gynecologists, demonizing female doctors, accusing them of having a latent lesbian proclivity. This is what Patriarchy leads to: the sexualization of everything…and a need to control everyone else’s life and experiences because of their own fear, limitedness and insecurities.

        Women have been helping other women bring babies into this world for far longer than men have had any idea of how reproduction actually works and definitely for far longer than even modern day men have figured out the inner workings and sexual nuances of women and their bodies. Get over yourselves.

        People do and say ignorant things when they are afraid.

        Knowledge is the antidote to fear.

        For the sake of women and children everywhere – fundamentalism needs to stop fighting against modernity and reality.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      WHAT? Those two stories are insane. Just … wow.

      • Christy

        John, it’s the same thing that drives men in certain segments of society to not allow women to breastfeed because they are “grossed out by it” or “it’s sexual.” NOTE: I’m not saying this is widespread within fundamentalism; it’s not that I know of. BUT, it’s the same mentality: My woman is mine. Her sexy stuff is mine. I don’t share my woman and her sexy stuff with anyone else – not even my offspring.

        Male gynecologists are tolerated (sometimes) in the delivering of babies – but often this same mentality leads to inadequate routine gynecological care of women – because it is deeply rooted in ignorance, sexualized myth, and fear.

    • Paul Franklin

      Everybody knows that BJU sucks, but I was there at the same time as David Shelton, and the things he has written simply did not happen. I believe this to be an incredibly important point, because when we start to exaggerate an already horrible place, those who defend such a place will wear our exaggerations as a badge of honor (“oh, look how the haters make up stuff about of wonderfully perfect university”). Come on people, no need to invent things that didn’t happen, the truth of the most “Unique” place is awful enough.

      “This is only two examples” — are you sure you didn’t get kicked out because of bad grammar?

      • Mindy

        Seriously, Paul? You are calling David S. a liar? Why – because you didn’t personally know about these incidents? Did you work there during that time, in some position that would allow you to know everything that happened at BJU? I’m sorry, but the gall of someone to reply to a blog post and accuse someone of lying without providing any proof or documentation or even an anecdote that would lead readers to understand how those things couldn’t possibly have happened – well, I can’t imagine reading anything else you’d post here and take it seriously.

        If you are absolutely certain that what he said is false, how’s about sharing how you know such a thing? (How’s that for bad grammar?)

      • SquirrelyGirl

        I am with Mindy on this one. How can you prove that what one person experienced at a college did not happen? Do you know him personally? Were you with him every single day? I know for a fact things happened even in my small high school that not every student was not aware of because maybe I did not share those things with even my best friend….before you call someone a liar…do you have some sort of documentation that these things did NOT happen? I agree we don’t have to make up much about this school, but calling someone a liar is pretty serious stuff.

      • Matt

        I am going to ask you a slightly different question, Paul.

        What would it cost you to believe David?

        Maybe there is some remote possibility that he is lying. Maybe looking silly is something you’re afraid of.

        But in the end, what does it really cost you personally? He’s far away, and he’s the one who is lying (if he is).

        I would personally rather look a little foolish and gullible, than deny others the ability to speak their truths and pull back my hand when it could be helping someone up.

      • Gordon

        Hmmm. Based on the snarky tone of Paul’s post, methinks there might be some history between Mr. Franklin and Mr. Shelton. Regardless, it’s no excuse for calling somebody a liar unless you have proof.

  • CHris McKesson

    Just had a very short and polite email exchange with Monte and can report that he _does_ respond to men, not only to women.

    Chris

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’m glad to hear it’s not only the criticism of women to which Monte responds! Perhaps you could share with us the substance of your exchange with him, Chris, or how it was you came to engage with him?

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        Maybe he thot “Chris” was short for “Christine”?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          HAR!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            (Chris was kind enough to share with me his exchange with Monte. The theory that Monte does not respond directly to his male critics, but only to his female, has not been disproven: he appears to have mistaken what Chris wrote to him.)

  • Dave Bowling

    John: My goodness … when you decide to help someone for some off-screen reason, you sure do stir up a hornets’ nest. Kudos, my friend! Keep up the good work that you do …

    (from an internet friend that appreciates the fact that the internet often connects people with others who feel/think as they do.)

    PS: Such an interesting read of the many, many posts to this blog item. Kudos to you all!

  • Mindy

    Well, I’ve taken my proverbial stab at engaging the good pastor.

    I had to wait a couple of days, because my blood was boiling and I couldn’t possibly have written to him without many swear words. We will see if he replies – I’m guessing not and I really don’t care. I just had to lend my voice to the chorus, off-key as it might be! I’m no Linda – of whom I am in utter awe – but here’s what I sent:

    Dear Mr. Monte:

    I am sorry that you have been attacked by Rev. John Shore and his minions. As the mother of two teen daughters, I understand how quick teen girls can be to blame, how unwilling they can sometimes be to take responsibility for their own actions. That a girl would strive to take down a family because of an unsubstantiated accusation is just . . . wait a minute.

    If I read all of the posts and tweets correctly, the victim with whom you have been verbally sparring substantiated her claims – more than once. She was raped – by the one man in her life whom every girl *should* be able to love and trust without question – her father.

    She went to authorities who continuously ignored her or made her out to be the villain. No part of me, as the mother of teen girls, can fathom how hurt she was, or how strong and noble she’s been for speaking out – both to find her own healing and to protect more children from being abused by the worst kind of pedophile – the one wrapped so carefully in sheep’s clothing. The one who is protected by the shepherds, as the lambs are eaten alive.

    You call yourself a pastor. I have no idea what kind of life you’ve led – if you are also an abuser and thus feel for this man through a kinship of guilt, if you were also abused and the only way you can keep your own hurt stuffed deep, deep down is by insisting it is simply not a big deal and forgiveness fixes everything, or if you are simply so ignorant of how the human brain works, the brain God gave each of us, that you can’t see how impossible moving forward is without help. And no, Christ alone can’t make the hurt all go away. It just isn’t that simplistic.

    I understand that you are unlikely to change. You are so steeped in a world of patriarchal authoritarian denial that admitting your ways are wrong is probably not a possibility for you. You will tell me how lost I must be, you will treat me as a dim-witted girl or an angry, unGodly woman, and by doing so will have no trouble dismissing my email (if you’ve bothered to read this far) as being written by someone you don’t need to care about. That’s fine.

    But I had to add my voice to those telling you how hurtful you’ve been to the thousands of victims of sexual abuse who are all trying to be strong and move forward. You are blaming them for getting hurt, as if their very existence somehow put them in harm’s way. You’ve insinuated that victims lie, that they are crazy – and you’ve never once pointed out that the perpetrators, usually men these young people trusted, are the ones who must ASK for forgiveness. They must acknowledge the pain they’ve caused. They must face justice. Jesus did not offer blanket forgiveness to those who hurt others. I find it ironic that you and your IFB/BJU ilk cannot see that you have become exactly what Jesus despised most – men who used religion to gain power, achieve wealth, and justify the subjugation and victimization of others. You’ve all become Pharisees.

    Please don’t lord any of your “doctorates” over me – I know they mean next to nothing. As one writer so astutely put it, you guys are like little boys playing hero – “I’ll knight you, if you knight me!” Here’s a doctorate in fighting radical Islam for putting hate speech on your church’s sign – and so forth. You are quite obviously not a Biblical expert, or you’d not behave like a petulant teenager who didn’t get his way.

    When you come forth and apologize for the pain your words caused abuse victims, and when you call for the end to sexual abuse within fundamental Christianity by shining a light on it so that it can be purged, I will believe you have studied the Bible. Until then, you will remain what you’ve been – and that is not a legacy anyone should want to leave for their children or their church.

    • http://slugcrossings.blogspot.com/ Liutgard

      THAT WAS AWESOME!!!

      • Mindy

        thanks. No idea if it made a whit of difference, but I had to speak up.

    • Mindy

      He did write back. Surprise, surprise. It even included an “I’m sorry.” Of course it didn’t address anything real, and, as well, deflected responsibility to the “others” who have manufactured this whole thing.

      <>

    • Mindy

      OK, obviously I cannot use those any more. HERE is the text of his response.

      [Dear Mindy, my original tweet had no specific reference. That has been manufactured by others. My original tweet concerned those who claim "abuse" (note the quote marks) but were not really abused. I had never heard of the case of that girl until I read it in Shores blog. Shore is aware of all of this but is for some reason predisposed to not accept my explanation.

      At any rate I should have been more careful in my wording and am sorry for the confusion that has resulted.

      I appreciate your contacting me directly.

      Kind regards,

      Pastor Monte]

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I have no idea what he thinks I’m aware of, or why; unsurprisingly, Monte’s not deigned to contact me. I know his claim that his original misuse of quotation marks renders everything he said mean the OPPOSITE of what it manifestly meant is bullshit so strong I can smell it all the way here in California. Of all the things Monte has recently said (and so far as I know, said only to females; the observation that he will only ignore male criticizers holds), I actually think nothing more shameful–because nothing is more transparent, and is credibly open to less interpretation–than his lie about what he REALLY meant by using the quote marks. The moment he said that was the moment that, to me, he really and truly ceased to be interesting.

        • Mindy

          Not remotely interesting, just dangerous.

          And yes – I assumed from the very beginning that those ill-placed quotation marks did not mean people who had not actually been abused. I assumed they meant that people who have been abused and thus consider themselves victims are weak and pitiful and lacking the good religion that would have allowed them to already forgive – and thus the “victims” don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

          I find his refusal to engage with male critics rather fascinating, actually. I’d really like to know why. I believe he is likely an abuse victim.

          • Allie

            As I mentioned in another place, even if it’s true that that’s what he originally meant, what he said is hateful and evil, because no one had on any level mentioned any fake claims of abuse. That was all him. Implying that the claims are fake isn’t an improvement. Even if you believe his stupid excuse, he still said something evil.

      • Jill

        I was continuing to have difficulty wrapping my mind around the notion that a *pastor* would casually *tweet* about such powerfully charged and important subjects as *child abuse*.

        I want my teachers of God’s word to have real, even-handed discussions about abuse and spiritual violations that give me *no doubt* as to his/her compassion and decency. How is this so challenging? And, more importantly, how does someone like this guy stay in business?

    • http://www.LindaFossen.com Linda M. Fossen

      Bravo Mindy – you rock my friend…

      • Mindy

        Wow, Linda, thank you. Your work is mighty powerful – I truly am in awe of your work. Hugs to you, friend!

    • Susan in NY

      Oh Min, what a great letter. You are such a great writer. And such a wonderful person.

      xoxo

      • Mindy

        If I’m wonderful, it’s because I am surrounded by my rockin’ friends. Of which, dear Susan, you are one of the best!

    • DR

      That was amazing. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Thank you.

      • Matt

        “I find his refusal to engage with male critics rather fascinating, actually.”

        Wouldn’t it be amusing (and enormously confusing for him) if I e-mailed him and explained my, ah…status? I wonder what kind of response I’d get, or if I’d just implode his brain and save us all a bunch of trouble.

        But anyway, awesome letter Mindy! I believe you’re the first to actually wring a sorry out of him.

        • Jill

          Matt, you’ve really got my vote now!

    • Allie

      This rocks hard.

      I do think, though, that Christ can set this right. It is that simplistic (or almost.) See, the deal is, we are the body of Christ. No one else. So when you say Christ will fix things, what you are really saying, if you are a Christian, is “I’m going to fix this to the best of my abilities with all the powers at my disposal.”

      • Mindy

        I agree with what you are saying, Allie, but I don’t agree that what *you* said is what “Dr.” Marc is saying. Because fixing something to the best of your ability is not just saying that you forgive someone who feels absolutely no remorse and who has not ASKED for forgiveness – as in, doesn’t believe he needs to be forgiven – and then shutting up about it. Which is the good pastor’s version. And then, of course, if you are “right with God,” you will feel all better, and if you don’t feel better – well, it’s obvious that you are NOT “right with God.”

        Fixing something to the best of your Christian ability includes believing that YOU are worthy of an apology, worthy of seeing justice meted out to one who violated you so completely – finding that sense of worth and the strength to demand justice can take years and years of therapy, soul-searching and life changes that include escaping the systems that protect such predators. Until you find that sense of self-worth and strength, you aren’t capable of truly forgiving because you haven’t yet acknowledged the damage that was done to an innocent you.

        In Monte’s system, you are programmed to believe you are somehow responsible for the harm done to you – so in his cracked version of reality, the one you are supposed to have to forgive is yourself! The abuser is above reproach, so obviously *he* didn’t do anything wrong, which means, then, that there is nothing to forgive.

        All of that horrific, disastrous distortion of reality has to be corrected, straightened out and put in a true Godly perspective before the victim can possibly find peace and truth in Christ. And as that is happening, all kinds of justifiable anger and hate are likely to rise up to be expressed and purged before anything close to forgiveness can be found. And even then – forgiving someone who refuses to admit they’ve harmed you is a tall order. Yes, it’s necessary. But as others have said, it is necessary only for the peace of mind of the victim, only so that the victim can let go and move forward. And for that, Christ will have to hold her up, guide her and keep her close, because abuse is one of the hardest possible acts to forgive.

        • Allie

          Completely agree with you.

  • Anne

    A friend of mine has significant hearing loss. So for years, whenever the kids called someone a “douche-bag” she thought they were saying “juice bag” and was picturing a little Capri Sun juice drink. She used the term in the car one day in reference to another driver and her husband about fell over laughing. It’s been my favorite term ever since.

    Let’s start pelting his Twitter account, calling him a Juice Bag (i.e. a person who is clueless).

    • Gina Powers

      LOVE it! I should have gone with that…..urgh, next time, then..;)

  • Gina Powers

    I just added my own two cents to his Twitter, including the mandatory (for me, and yes I know, rather childish) insult toward his, um, “manhood”–’cause that’s just how I roll (it was a VERY thinly veiled insult!). I expect to get an equally obnoxious result. My first Tweet simply said that (since he was overjoyed at having attained 800 followers) I couldn’t believe there were THAT many idiots in the world–or something to that effect. I’m sure that I will be rewarded accordingly, since my tone was definitely NOT submissive

  • Kaitlyn Murray

    I’m new to this page, as in, just found it a couple of hours ago, but once I started reading, especially Linda’s story, I couldn’t stop. I just wanted to say what everyone else here is already saying, that Linda is a true heroine, and I would feel blessed if one day I managed to have half the strength and self love she has. Linda you are truly someone to look up to, by everyone, not just survivors of abuse. Inner strength is something not only to be admired, but respected. You are a beacon, and I know this who thing sounds cheesy, but it’s really how I feel.

    And to John, thank you, thank you, thank you. This website is a breath of fresh air. I’m honestly only beginning my path with God. He’s been giving me strength to live my life better, and to get through the difficulties in my life and not feel like I am drowning. At the same time, trying to find a place in Christianity where I fit has been very difficult. I’m a very open minded person and have been struggling to find like-minded Christians who truly believe, like I do, that God loves EVERYONE, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. He is all forgiving. Yet almost every group of “Christians” I encounter are close-minded, condemning, hypocritical people. So your page is truly a God send for me. It shows me that there are TRUE Christians out there, who are truly accepting, forgiving, and loving people. I have happily subscribed to your newsletters, and can’t wait to read more! God bless you!

  • Marilee Ruebsamen

    Poor BJU. For sure, there’s no need to exaggerate. More than the ludicrous rules, in the mid sixties, a series of perspective beyond nuts. I thought the Civil War was still going on, for one. You would have thought there was no actual outside world, the one I poor my life into now — let me think, I sat dumbfounded in required-seating-’Chapel’, or was it a ‘Bible Conference’, yep, as they gave a ‘doctorate’ toe Ian Paisley, folks, and then to George Wallace, yes, THAT George Wallace. Give me strength. My Pastor-Dad liked to think he was a fundamentalist because he believed in ‘fundamental truths’, but he was pretty evangelical, a real lifelong scholar, who loved the Lord like no one I’ve ever met. He was horrified by my experience there. It was a short one . . us California kids were out of there as soon as we could find a school that took our Bible credits as history or Literature — SFSU for me. Oh, and, I only wish I’d gotten a diploma so I could have returned it as some of my friends did, proud to say. There’s danger, and real serious paranoia, in fundamentalism of any kind. Now as a Ph.D. and lifelong curious, questioning, grateful follow of Jesus, I’m so thankful that my experience there was brief, and that my heart is open to lovingkindness and care, and accurate respectful discourse with all my brothers and sisters of any and all, or no faith tradition. While we all have hilarious as well as terribly hurtful and horrid stories of the experience there, bear in mind that the danger lies partly in the degree of support and degree of emotional and psychological fragility an individual brings to that situation — hence all of our differing takes on it. We need to be gentle with each other’s realities, and let them be — each is unique, as well as on a differing developmental trajectory . . . just my two cents . . .

  • Marilee Ruebsamen

    my posts are appearing on the internet — can you undo that???please??? thx!!

    • Mindy

      Marilee, to what are you referring?? This *is* the Internet – and anything posted here becomes part of a public conversation. Theoretically, anyone with a computer can happen upon John’s blog, read it, share it – whatever.

      Where else are you seeing your posts?

  • jtheory

    Heh, so I was talking about this earlier since
    when I read some of this guy’s tweets and stuff that got mentioned
    earlier today, i said “this guy makes me feel nostalgic”. It’s true I
    went to two Fundamentalist Baptist Schools in my youth, the first from 5-8th grade, and the second from 10th to 12th grade.

    I didn’t have horrible experiences or anything. But I also had a home
    to go to and a father and mother who helped me deconstruct the harmful
    teaching from the good. And I guess I never really did delve too deep
    into certain things they believed because I didn’t go to a
    Fundamentalist church.

    In fact I guess I didn’t get indoctrinated or anything that much at all.

    And I have no desire to go to BJU, or PCC, or anything.

    so it’s odd seeing this from the other side. I can certainly agree with Shore’s strong dislike of this man’s thoughts.

    But there’s also a part of me that remembers people like my most
    favorite teacher of all time Mr. Johnson, who believed all those same
    things but was a kind guy, and taught me what it means to stick by your
    beliefs with conviction. He treated men and women with equal respect. As
    did pretty much all my other teachers. I never saw them abuse (except
    for spankings and I know that’s a question mark for some), or say an
    unkind word, and they always treated the nerdy/few friends me with a
    great kindness and respect and friendship.

    In fact I wouldn’t trade those days.

    I don’t mean to devalue experiences, or the fact that how this man
    talks and believes is harmful and wrong to true spiritual growth, but I
    find it hard to demonize nearly as much as this post does because I
    remember some really good people who changed my life for the better that
    probably believed these things too. And I’m thankful for them. I do
    hope they come to not believe what they do believe. And I pray for the
    people who were and are truly hurt by stuff they teach. That is never
    okay.

  • Sheila Blackman

    Dear Dr. Monte –

    I’m a 37-year-old, 13-year married, mother of two who struggles with pride. I work outside the home, so the public schools educate my children. I came to Christ in college and I believe in full rights for same-sex couples. My question is this… what business is it of yours what my personal relationship and faith in God is?

    I know you frequent John’s writings, and thus the comment section, so I eagerly await your response here in this open forum.

    Thanks!

  • Melissa

    This guy is a fruit loop….and he uses too much hair product too.

  • lehock

    Can I get a B.A. in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?

    Also, where can I read this guy’s dissertation on radical Islam in the U.S.? Sounds like groundbreaking statistical research.