Just Pray for Him: How the Christian Church Refuses to Hold Abusive Men Accountable

By Lisa Kroulik ©

 

Cross posted with permission from Hub Pages - http://nybride710.hubpages.com/hub/How-the-Christian-Church-is-Failing-Abused-Women

 

One of the more difficult things to recover from during the process of divorce from my narcissistic ex-husband was the treatment I received from other Christians. To be fair, none of it was intentionally mean-spirited and all of these people truly believed they were encouraging me from God’s word. Unfortunately, the “advice” I received kept me trapped in an abusive marriage three years longer than I should have been.

The thing is, all of the responsibility for keeping my marriage together was placed squarely on my shoulders. I was to “forgive as Christ forgave you” and basically have no expectation that my ex-husband should change his dreadful behavior. Outside of Christian circles, the behavior I was encouraged to adopt is called co-dependency.

It all started when my ex put on a performance for the pastor, the way that narcissists do. Here was a man who had just been discovered to have been involved in pornography and transgenderism for all of our marriage and even before. The pastor was appalled when I first confided in him and told me I had every right to leave the marriage; however, it was a different story after he talked to the ex a few days later.

The pastor assured me that my ex, with tears in his eyes, “would do anything to keep his family together”. Anything except being held accountable, that is. It was an oscar -worthy performance, but when it came time to actually go to counseling or make any attempt to change, I was made out to be the one with the problem.

Two golden nuggets of advice from my pastor that I will never forget are “never bring it up again” and “it’s all on you to forgive”. I can hardly describe what those words did to my soul. I was not allowed to feel hurt, angry or insist that my ex seek help. He said he was sorry and that was the end of it. It probably comes as no surprise that I had a mental and physical breakdown 18 months later. Naturally, my faith must have been lacking to “allow” myself to get so sick.

There were also several women in the church who took it upon themselves to save my marriage. No matter how abusive my ex’s behavior got, I was not permitted to even think of divorce, because after all, “God hates divorce”. Oh, how I hate that quote and how it is misused into guilting people to stay in abusive marriages. I had to focus on being attractive to him, forgiving him for everything and having no expectations. We just continued to “pray for him” and he was never held accountable for a single thing.

The Church Needs to Get Real

I love the Christian church, but sometimes I would like to issue it an invitation to join the 21st century. What I mean by this is, Church, please educate yourself about mental illness before offering such simplistic solutions that do more harm than good. My ex-husband was severely mentally ill and his particular issue of narcissism made it extremely unlikely that he would ever change or even seek help. Please do not assume that all marriages can or even should be saved.

Church, you are not God, you are simply his vessel. I believe with all my heart that God loves individual people more than He does their marriages, and if a marriage is causing one person to suffer so much that they can’t serve Him effectively, He is merciful to allow a new start. Of course, it is God’s desire to see marriages healthy and whole; unfortunately, we all have a free will and this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should.

I grew weary of hearing it preached from the pulpit that people give up too easily on marriage and should stay together no matter what. While it’s certainly true that some couples give up when they face the slightest challenges, pastors can not assume that is always the case. What if you are preaching the “stay together at all costs” sermon and an abused wife who was just summoning up the courage to leave her abuser hears it and feels so guilty that she goes home, only to get beaten again?

Instead of heaping guilt on women who are already being abused at home, the church needs to do a better job of confronting the issue of abusive marriages, both physical and emotional. It is the white elephant of Christianity, and it is sitting in the front pew. Counseling and support groups need to be made available to the abused party in a marriage while the abusive spouse needs to be held accountable for his actions. Forgiveness is, of course, the right approach to take, but it should be offered along with accountability, not in place of it.

I’m in a Better Place Now

The abuse I experienced in my marriage was difficult enough without experiencing judgment by those I trusted to help. However, in the end I realized it was my life and leaving my abusive marriage was between me and God and no one else. I knew that people who were trying to be helpful were only trying to bring about reconciliation and healing of my marriage, and honestly did not know the circumstances I lived with. What made it especially difficult was that my narcissistic ex-husband is a brilliant actor, and he could convince anyone that he was actually the victim of my mental illness and not the other way around.

I came to see my former church as a dysfunctional family and knew that I had to leave if I was to recover emotionally. It was more painful for me to leave there then it was to leave my 13-year marriage, but ultimately it was the best decision I could have made. God was beside me every step of the way and has lead me to a new church, a new marriage and a way of life that is healthy and where I am not afraid to set boundaries.

It would be easy for me to stay stuck in bitterness and think my spiritual advisors should have done a better job. They could have, but I have also learned a lot in this journey which has allowed me to speak to others in a similar situation. I have learned to listen to a person’s heart, especially my own.

If I had one piece of advice to offer to Christian women who are in the kind of marriage I was in, it would be to listen to God and no one else. The mistake I made was running around getting everyone else’s advice and not taking the time to listen to that still small voice within. I assumed God’s will was for my marriage to be saved, when in fact it was for me to know the freedom that comes from letting go. I thank Him for that mercy every day.

Comments open below

Lisa Kroulik left an emotionally and spiritually abusive marriage in 2008. She enjoys writing about these topics to help people in similar situations at NY Bride 710

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

About Suzanne Calulu
  • Karalyn

    Wait, are you listing “pornography” and “transgenderism” as abuse? I don’t doubt that your ex was narcissistic and abusive and that you went through Hell, but….”transgenderism” is not a real word and if you think trans people are abusive by virtue of existing, that’s pretty transphobic of you.

  • http://larryshallenberger.com Larry Shallenberger

    You’d agree that both are violations of the marriage covenant, right?

  • Minnie

    Christians always ready to sign women and little girls up to be abused and demeaned, men should never have to pay. One thing I am crystal clear on is, wife beating and rape of women and little girls is not a big deal to christians. My pro-girls getting married and having babbies before the age of eighteen grandfather told his daughter who was being beat by her preacher husband that she was to stay married, the only reason one can get a divorce says the misogynist handbook (the bible) is adultery. My aunt never got a divorce, and my pro-suffering of women and little girls bible reading, bible verse quoting, christian grandfather was pleasured that is submissive daughter stayed with her wife beating preacher husband. Christians are very, very comfortable with women and little girls being in chronic physical and emotional pain, men, not so much, men are entitled gods. My aunt eventually died a miserable death, not that her christian husband and christian father could be bothered to care, she was after all just a baby machine, her use was over.

  • Africaturtle

    If you read more of her story, it is clear that he hid/lied about his cross-dressing and spent hundreds of dollars a month inaccessories to feed his addiction ( money they didnt have and she didnt know about) i think this story is rather different than Melissa’s that we just finished reading. I guess ill let the author speak for herself, but at least wanted to add that detail since ive read other articles of hers.

  • Kat

    I had the same reaction Karalyn, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but would very much appreciate further explanation from the author. And Larry, I’m not sure what a “marriage covenant” is, but my husband can look at all of the porn he damn well pleases as long as it’s depicting consenting adults, and if I were to discover that he was a transgender, I would love and support him with every fiber of my being.

  • Kat

    …after reading my comment, I just wanted to clarify and say that I hope I didn’t come across as dismissive of the author or mean to imply that anyone should “stand by their man” in any situation. I am very much “pro-divorce.” :) Homophobia and Transphobia are big triggers for me and I felt the need to respond…also wanted to mention that “God loves individual people more than He does their marriages” is one of my favorite statements ever.

  • Vita

    I think the main problem then is his lying and poor financial management- which have nothing to do with porn or being “transgendered”.

  • Jake

    My family attended a relatively liberal Canadian Anglican church and when my mom asked for a divorce and divulged my dads abuse to the pastor he encouraged her to stay with dad and arranged a meeting in her house with the two together even after he had made death threats. The good reverend basically told my mom it was half her fault and that she had to ask my dad for forgiveness for the sake of the family. That was the last time I ever went to a church for help. No preacher is truly “godly” or has any more right to tell me what to do than the next person.

  • A.C.

    Yeah, if those were the problems, I wish she would have said those. But stating “transgenderism” as a major reason, as if it’s a buzz-shock word that’s supposed to scare us into being on her side–sorry, not buying it. I’m trans*, so reading that is really damn offensive. And honestly, citing those things as her problems with him doesn’t help me believe her. I really hope this is a case of her just for some reason placing blame on the wrong “issues,” because the alternative is too dark and insidious.

  • Maggy

    I got triggered the same way you did. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

  • Kat

    Oh, geez, and I did not mean to say “a transgenser,” the “a” was a typo sicere appologies for that.

  • Sandy

    I think it is dispicable that some of you are attacking her, as she is trying to get over an abusive situation,. Most people are straight and do not want to be in a marrriage with someone who is other than straight, even if they are accepting of other lifestyles. Others will not agree with your lifestyle but they are here to heal and get things offf their chest.

  • madame

    I hope we can be tolerant of others and the issues that may be painful to them. We are supposed to be a supportive group here, right? Why can’t Lisa Croulik’s story be immediately validated as others have been?
    I read the article and I think Lisa makes some excellent points:
    - The church needs to get real and stop offering simplistic solutions to more complex problems like mental illnesses.
    - the church is NOT GOD!!!! amen!
    - the church has to do a better job confronting abusive marriages. Amen again!
    Isn’t this what we would all like to see happening in the church?
    Her more “conservative” views of sexuality should be respected the same way more liberal and embracing ones that others have shared here have been. Tolerance goes both ways.

  • http://notsosecretsecretblog.blogspot.com/ abeille

    No. No, I don’t consider either a violation of marriage.

  • http://notsosecretsecretblog.blogspot.com/ abeille

    You realize that transgendered people can be either straight or gay, right? It isn’t a sexual orientation.

  • Nancy

    I hope that more churches will begin to realize that loving a woman in an abusive marriage means prioritizing for her and her children’s safety. And I hope that the church will realize that loving an abuser means holding him accountable for his actions — that’s the only way there is any hope of change for him. He needs to feel consequences from his sin and behavior, or there is no motivation to change. I am married to a pastor who serves on a committee at our city’s women’s shelter . . . just wanted to throw a little bit of hope into the situation. There *are* churches and pastors who take this issue seriously and are educated about domestic violence, personality disorders, and mental illness — but obviously not enough yet.

  • A.C.

    I’d like to take back my comments that I didn’t believe her situation, but I stand by the fact that what she’s written is transphobic. I was triggered by this post, and more severely by some of her other articles, and while I’m convinced she was abused by her spouse, I’m also convinced that she’s wrongly blaming the cross-dressing and gender atypical behavior as opposed to his unhealthy addiction to it. Just because she’s healing from abuse doesn’t mean that we should ignore it when she’s making generalizations that are hurtful to others.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    My thoughts exactly, Vita. The wrong done in this case was deceit and spending money that they didn’t have behind her back. Neither of those things has anything to do with transgenderism per se. This article makes some really solid points but the subtext of transphobia makes me uncomfortable too. Glad other people are noticing.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Lots of women look at porn too! We’re just as sexual as men and, just like men, sometimes pornography is part of our sexuality. Just felt the need to point that out.

    Although, I don’t think being anti-porn (as much as I disagree with that position) is tantamount to being transphobic. Being against things is different from being against people. The criticisms in this article are mostly sound but using her spouse’s transgender status as an “ooga booga!” is not a good way to support them. My heart goes out to this woman and I applaud her for speaking up but people should not stand up for one abused group by participating–even obliquely–in the abuse of another group.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    We are not attacking, we are criticizing. I have a lot of sympathy for this woman and I think that it’s great that she is speaking and has a lot of articulate, wise things to say about this issue. But that doesn’t mean that we should condone any kind of prejudice against another group. Has it ever occurred to you that trans people also face rejection and blame and are in need of healing too? Our attempts to support people in need should not include throwing others who are in need under the bus.

    And also, being trans is not a sexual orientation. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing. You are right that a spouse being trans might be a dealbreaker for lots of people who are not transphobic. I’m pretty sure I’d be one of them. I am a woman interested in men and if I found out that the one to whom I was married were not actually a man, I don’t think I’d be able to maintain the attraction, although I would do my best to maintain the love and and support as a friend. The objections here (at least in my mind) are not to the fact that some people may not want to remain married to a trans person, but to the linking of being trans to being abusive and narcissistic. If this woman’s spouse is abusive and narcissistic, it is because ze is abusive and narcissistic, not because ze is trans.

  • http://womenforallseasons.blogspot.com/ November

    I really think it depends on the individuals within the marriage. Some people are not ok with their spouse viewing porn. Some even consider it a form of infidelity. If this is clearly communicated in the marriage, breaking this confidence would be quite a betrayal. Obviously if a couple agrees that viewing porn is fine then no trust is broken. I just wanted to point out that boundaries like this vary from marriage to marriage. For instance, for my spouse and I porn is an agreed upon no-go which we have clearly communicated to each other. So just because you are fine with porn in your marriage does not mean that it must be ok for everyone else.

  • Ray

    The idea that even transgenderism is put on the same level as pornography really irked me.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Eh, sorry, not buying the “we should be tolerant of intolerance” line.

  • Ray

    Agreed. Tolerance of intolerance is hurtful to those who are affected by intolerance.

  • vyckiegarrison

    In my view, Lisa’s story really exposes the hypocrisy of fundamentalist patriarchy because on the one hand, these church leaders teach their followers that pornography is a HUGE sin (on level with adultery) and they also teach that any expression of sexuality outside of the “God-approved” confines of marital relations (between one man and one woman) is perverse and anti-God – and on the other hand, when Lisa discovers that she is married to a man who, in the eyes of her church, is the absolute worst sort of sinner, rather than support her and help her to deal with the situation – she is told that there is no “out” – she must remain with and continue to love and support a man whom THEY TAUGHT HER TO HATE!!!

    Ack. What a twisted mess. And then they tell us that there can be no objective morality apart from God and the bible. ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

  • Karalyn

    I was not attacking her. I made sure to note that I absolutely believe that she was abused and that that is WRONG. But transphobia is also wrong and dehumanizing to all trans* people. You can process your own personal abuse without engaging in dehumanization.

  • Karalyn

    At least 816 trans* people have been murdered in the last 4 years. I say “at least” because there is no way to tell if victims are not actually identified as trans*. “Trans panic” has been successfully used as an excuse for murder. Since a lot of states don’t provide employment protections for trans* people, many are forced into illegal sex work or have to live in abject poverty. Trans* women in abusive relationships often cannot leave because they are barred from staying in women’s shelters. Trans* women who are arrested are often put in men’s cells, where they’re subject to constant rape and sexual abuse.

    Considering all of those facts, no, I will absolutely not condone or tolerate intolerance and transphobia. The way to heal from abuse is not to trample on one of the most targeted and abused demographics in society.

  • http://calulu.blogspot.com Calulu

    Interesting how the church always insists you stay with your husband, right up until the point where he leaves that church or Christianity all together. Then all bets are off and it’s been my experience that they will start telling you it’s a-okay to divorce your husband because he’s making no attempt to be a ‘Godly man’. Such hypocrisy!

  • Lisa

    It was traumatic to be to discover I was married to a cross-dresser (probably the word I should have used) because of the level of deceit he used throughout our entire marriage. It was also traumatic to discover that while he was telling me that he “just didn’t have much of a sex drive” that he was instead dressing himself up and “jacking off” on a regular basis. It absolutely did feel like a betrayal. This is my experience and I’m sorry that it appears to have offended so many people. I am a straight woman and I would not have married my first husband if I had known about this. If that makes me a hateful person, there isn’t much I can say to change your minds. If my ex had succeeded in changing his body to a woman, it would have made me a lesbian and that is not who I am. I think it is ridiculous to say that not wanting to be married to someone who I thought was a man and changed into a woman is homophobic. If it works for some people, more power to them. I am attracted to men and I can’t change that about myself any more than people who are attracted to their own gender can.

    It was truly the actions surrounding his cross-dressing (lying, spending us into debt, putting his needs above the family’s, etc,) and not the action itself that hurt me so deeply. I also struggle with the fact that he is *deliberately* withholding this information from his current fiance. That is what I find deplorable. If she is okay with it (but I know for a fact she does not know) then it’s their business and I don’t really care what they do.

    And yeah, the church did a number on me. That is why I am so interested in spiritual abuse blogs in the first place.

  • Lisa

    “when Lisa discovers that she is married to a man who, in the eyes of her church, is the absolute worst sort of sinner, rather than support her and help her to deal with the situation – she is told that there is no “out” – she must remain with and continue to love and support a man whom THEY TAUGHT HER TO HATE!!!” Bingo. Divorce is not an option and you can’t talk about it either. Believe me, I tried everything in my power not to get divorced to try to “please” my church. When I finally did throw in the towel, it was because I realized I was married to a narcisstic emotional abuser who was never going to change.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    There’s nothing wrong with you not wanting to be married to a person who cannot meet your sexual needs because of hir gender identity, sexual habits, sex drive etc. If you look above, I specifically said that I myself would not be able to stay married to a person if I find out that ze had a female gender identity–because I, like you, am sexually attracted to men and sexual attraction is (for most people) an important part of marriage. (Although I do feel the need to point out that plenty of men who cross-dress do not actually have a female gender identity, although I freely admit I don’t know the details here.) By entering into a marriage with you under false pretenses and then concealing hir true self from you (expensively, to boot!) instead of allowing you to make an informed decision about whether or not you wanted to stay married, your spouse absolutely betrayed you! There is no doubt about that and my heart goes out to you. You had every right to leave and I’m glad you did! And I’m so deeply sorry that the people who were supposed to help and support you instead made that step so painful for you.

    I think what is making people uncomfortable here is the particular way you framed the issue. You kind of made it seem like the very fact of your spouse being transgender was what made hir abusive and narcissistic. People are rightly sensitive about that kind of thing because trans people are often pathologized and viewed as “sick” in some way. You are dealing with a very poorly understood group of people that faces a lot of discrimination and risk in our society and I think that, given those circumstances, we all have to be careful how we choose our words, lest we feed negative and harmful stereotypes about them. Your spouse was an abusive, dishonest individual who happened to be trans. I applaud you for breaking free and speaking up about that hellish process. I would only ask that you be careful to make clear that it was your spouse’s abuse and dishonesty (as well as sexual incompatibility) that was the problem, not the fact that ze was trans. Trans people deal with enough of that crap as it is.

  • Lisa

    Fair enough. I may spend some time rewriting it, although I’m sure there will always be people who take issue with something. That’s part of being a writer.

  • Lisa

    I decided to change the wording on the third paragraph to a more generic “sexual addiction” rather than anything to do with transgenderism or cross-dressing. I also expanded a little bit of what some of the other issues were. I feel that was detracting from the main point of my article, which was that churches give horrible advice to women in abusive marriages most of the time. It wasn’t my intention to have it focus on trans issues. I edited it on my Hub Pages article and asked Vyckie to do the same here. I like to think I am a reasonable person who can make changes when my original intent is misunderstood.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    Very well said, the start of this post was quite triggering.

  • madame

    Well, I’m afraid that those who demand tolerance fail to extend the same respect and acceptance to others. As I said, it goes both ways. Tolerance is simply acceptance that other people have the right to think, even act upon what they believe, as long as they aren’t harming someone else, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.
    Here are some definitions of the word “tolerance” the way I am using it:
    - The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with
    - willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others

    Tolerance is not agreement, support, celebration of or advocacy. I think sometimes people who are asking for “tolerance” are actually demanding support, agreement, advocacy, even the loss of other people’s right to express a different opinion.

  • Lisa

    What an encouragement to hear!

  • Lisa

    That was not the intent. I wrote it a year ago and have changed my thinking on some issues.

  • Lisa

    My own experience did color my perception for a long, long time. It has been six years now and in the last year I have been able to step back and separate his actions from his transgenderism. I was deeply hurt and it hasn’t been an easy process, but these comments do actually help me think. So thank you.

  • Lisa

    Yes. My ex was taking breast enhancement pills, although he claimed he didn’t really want to be female and was still attracted to women.

  • Kat

    Lisa,
    Thank you for clarifying and for your gracious response.

  • Independent Thinker

    That’s very sad what happened to your aunt and furthermore your entire family. I just hope he didn’t find another baby maker/wife to beat on after her passing. Many men with his mindset find another warm body as quickly as possible.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Seconded!

  • http://conversationswithcarolyn.blogspot.com/ Carolyn M

    I wrote about this very topic tonight and used this blog as an example of a Christian who went through divorce and when I read these notes I was gobsmacked at all of you attacking her because of her reason. So she didn’t use the words that you wish she had used (big deal, get over it, it’s her life and life decisions… you make your own!) This gal is calling out for support because THE CHURCH didn’t do its job. Instead you get “triggered” because of how she phrased something? Time to put on the big reader pants and move on! I hope that none of you ever go through what she did because you obviously have too many triggers to go through the rest of her life experience.

    Well written blog experience and thank you for sharing! I will be back here again.

  • http://conversationswithcarolyn.blogspot.com/ Carolyn M

    You did no wrong. These negative comments are written by people who are ignorant of viewing the POINTS of your blog entry and instead wanted to start some arguments about a lifestyle. Come and visit this gal: http://conversationswithcarolyn.blogspot.com/2012/07/big-d-word-divorce.html I totally get you and what you went through! Thank you for being brave enough to blog about this topic. The big picture!

  • New Creation

    This article was wonderful and truthful. I am surprised that it initially veered off into what the topic was originally about…abuse. It isn’t about judging her about whether she is homophobic or used the correct terms. If that is a trigger, then deal with it, but in some ways those responses were more abusive toward the author. This also isn’t a discussion about tolerance. The article was originally written to help women in the same trap she was in, it’s not our place to judge whether her motives were correct or leaving her marriage was correct. We didn’t live it, she did. I’m sure I will get attacked, but I just felt as if it was important to address the topic, abuse in the church by women who are being abused. Thanks, it was a great article, and you keep on sharing your story, it’s so helpful.

  • Kendall

    Lisa, thank you for sharing. It seems like your ex, beyond being deceitful, was clearly emotionally abusive, manipulative of your shared community and unwilling to face the consequences of his actions or at the very least in a state of denial that the level of dishonesty he displayed was somehow going to be forgivable behavior to a woman he made solemn vow to honor for the rest of his days before almost immediately turning around and breaking his oath.

    What’s worse is that he entered that vow in bad faith, without divulging a crucial aspect of his personality with you and giving you the choice of whether to accept it or not, as should have been your right before marriage. He knew inside that it would have been a deal breaker before you married, or else he wouldn’t have sought to keep it hidden from you. His bad faith has robbed you of years of your life you can’t get back, and that’s heartbreaking and I think borderline criminal.

    I’m a trans woman myself, but one that always strove for honesty, particularly with the person I’ve pledged to share my life with. I told her well before we talked about marriage about my trans state, and in doing so found a partner in life that’s supportive of me, as I am of her in all of her aspirations and struggles. Without big secrets, we’re able to overcome both of our obstacles and challenges together rather than compartmentalizing ourselves and struggling alone and I’m able to connect much more intimately with her. I know that she and I would not be together now had I initially kept this part of me from her. It’s beneficial for no one when a partner with any sort of gender identity issue keeps it hidden from their prospective spouse.

    To hide behind the teachings of the church and to be repeating the same failed behavior with a new fiance just adds to his betrayal and hypocrisy, and again I applaud your bravery in sharing your story and pray for that woman he’s with to not be blinded by his deceit.

  • https://plus.google.com/100177776801127531910/about The Nerd

    The idea that the church should encourage women to remain in abusive relationships, like they did my mother, is a valid issue to fight.
    I do agree with the above that “transgenderism” is not anywhere near the same as using pornography. For example, I am transgender, and I don’t use pornography (my choice), and I don’t cheat on my spouse, and we are open and honest with each other.
    Granted, if your husband turned out to not be a man after all and you only wish to be in relationships with men, it would be within your right to re-evaluate the terms of the relationship. But there is nothing wrong simply with being transgender.

  • todd atkinson

    i have to tell you that i honestly believe, inspite of all the woman and feminist hateing going on at the present moment, that women becomeing empowered and takeing a ever larger role in the powerful leadership positions in this world is the only way our species is going to survive extinction. Most men, not all but most, are not nearly as whole minded in their thinking as men, they are a loveing, calming, empathetic force that the world needs so much right know. I share your disdain for patriarchal christianity and all other forms of same.


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