Evangelical men need to stop lying about women’s health

This is the website for Refuge, a UK agency “For women and children, Against domestic violence.”

Refuge runs a national helpline for women being beaten by men. They also provide shelters, psychological support for victims, legal advocacy and legal services. These are Good Things.

To attack groups like Refuge, spreading lies about them, is to take the side of abusers and wife-beaters and thugs. This is a Bad Thing. Don’t do this.

Refuge also produces PSAs — advertisements urging the victims of domestic violence to seek help and to avail themselves of the assistance Refuge and other groups can provide.

This is a trigger warning regarding domestic violence for the following link and embedded video.

This is a powerful PSA produced by Refuge.

YouTube Preview Image

That video is heartbreaking and stomach-churningly true-to-life. It is a potent, persuasive message to the victims of domestic violence, and it is unambiguously and forcefully opposed to such violence.

This is a trigger warning for the following links regarding hypocrisy, deliberate dishonesty and contempt for women.

This is a LifeNews article lying about that video, about Refuge, and about Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood, like Refuge in the UK, is a vital resource for women who are victims of domestic violence. Planned Parenthood, like Refuge, is unambiguously opposed to domestic violence. And so Planned Parenthood shared the above video from the Refuge, endorsing its message to women suffering such abuse: Don’t cover up, get help.

By attacking Planned Parenthood and Refuge, LifeNews is siding with abusers against the victims of domestic violence. This is a Bad Thing.

This is the Liar Tony Perkins repeating LifeNews’ lie, and embellishing it further to claim that Planned Parenthood and Refuge are promoting domestic violence:

Hello, I’m Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. The abortion industry can cover anything up and their latest video proves it. In the footage, Planned Parenthood coaches girls on looking good after they’ve been physically abused. “I’ve had a bit of a rough time,” says a girl with bruises, “but I’m going to be doing a talk today on how to cover-up.”

This is a deliberate lie. This is a deliberate lie that white evangelicals are eager to believe because it allows them to pretend that Planned Parenthood is utterly wicked and therefore that they, by opposing Planned Parenthood, are utterly righteous.

This is a Bad Thing. This is the sin of pride. This is the sin of bearing false witness. This is the sin of siding with abusers against their victims. Don’t do this.

This is another lie that white evangelicals are telling about Planned Parenthood. This one comes from the right-wing website The Christian Post, which provides this dishonest headline: “Planned Parenthood Received $1,622 in Gov’t Funds for Each Abortion.” This is not true.

Planned Parenthood is a vital and irreplaceable provider of women’s health care in the United States. It provides basic health screening and medical services for millions of American women who otherwise could not afford access to such care. In support of this work, Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in federal funding in 2012.

None of that funding went toward abortion services. The Christian Post knows this, but suggested otherwise anyway. Federal funding is prohibited by law from going toward abortion services. The Christian Post knows this, but suggested otherwise anyway.

This is called lying. This is the sin of bearing false witness. This is a Bad Thing. Don’t do this.

Lest you think that this is “only” the Christian Post, which is a bit of a fringe site and a disreputable corner of the Internet, consider this: This is Ed Stetzer promoting the Christian Post’s lie about Planned Parenthood.

Stetzer is not a fringe character, but a prominent voice in Southern Baptist and white evangelical circles. He’s also a numbers guy who is usually very good at noticing and speaking up when someone is playing dishonest games with numbers.

But not when it comes to Planned Parenthood.

Stetzer knows that repeating the claim “Planned Parenthood Received $1,622 in Gov’t Funds for Each Abortion” makes about as much sense as claiming that “Planned Parenthood received $2.6 million in government funds for every 2012 plate appearance by Wilson Valdez.”

Or saying that Planned Parenthood received $410 in government funds for every copy of Justin Bieber’s Believe sold in 2012.

Or saying that Planned Parenthood received about $12,000 in government funds for every Southern Baptist congregation in the U.S.

Stetzer’s usual standards of honesty and accuracy would not allow him to promote such numerical nonsense about any other subject. But like most white evangelicals, he sets standards of honesty and accuracy aside when it comes to Planned Parenthood.

This is a Bad Thing. Don’t do this.

The Southern Baptists’ interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34 has done men like Ed Stetzer a disservice. “Women should be silent in the churches,” that verse says, “for they are not permitted to speak.” If women in Southern Baptist and other white evangelical churches were not compelled to keep silent, then men like Stetzer might have a better idea of the vital role that Planned Parenthood has played in the health and health care of women in their congregations.

Millions of poor and working-class American women rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health services. Millions of women in Southern Baptist and other white evangelical congregations are poor and working-class.

Millions of those women are the same women.

White evangelical men do not realize this because women are told to be silent in the churches. And because women in their churches have been listening to the enthusiastic and gleeful lies about Planned Parenthood that the men in their churches tell and embellish and re-tell, and they know that the truth as they know it to be true is not welcome in such congregations. Their congregations are not safe places for this truth.

This is a Bad Thing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Wow. I just don’t even. *throws hands up in despair and astonishment (>_<)/  *

    This is the kind of thing MRAs like to claim is complete bullshit and all those wimminz just lie, like, y'know.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Word.

    I am deep in the heart of rehearsals for my theatre group’s  production of The Vagina Monologues, and am therefore exceptionally harrowed by this sort of evil right now. But it remains equally evil regardless.

  • Fusina

     Before we were married, my then boyfriend and I were visiting his parents. We were joking around and he playfully smacked me on the bum. It stung, and in reflex I spun around, had my finger in his face and announced, “You are not to ever hit me again”. About that time I noticed that his Mum was standing in the doorway and had seen the whole thing. I was mortified (yeah, yeah) but she and I were talking later and she praised me for standing up for myself.

    She has been dead for three years now, and I miss her every damn day.

  • Tdevolve

    it’s not clear to me what lie tony perkins told.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Gee, you mean like where he claimed a woman faked being beaten up?

    That is a pretty bald-faced lie right there.

    Use your head, for God’s sake.

  • Juanjc3d

    I think you should read the article well enough… Not to read it well and make a refuation of it, this a Bad Thing… Tisk tisk…
    The author is NOT against Refuge, and the author is against PP for many good and true reasons – does not mean that the organization only does evil things, but that the evil things it does endorse are enough for us to oppose PP.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    I suppose it’s possible that Tony Perkins is just stupid enough to believe that the point of the video was to teach women how to cover up bruises.

  • Juanjc3d

    P.S. misinformation, which is the middle-name of zealous Christians, is NOT the same as lying. Lying implies that the truth is known and *deliberately* hidden/distorted/etc. To mix up misinformation with lies is a Bad Thing, please don’t do this.

  • AnonymousSam

    Perkins is claiming that Refuge’s video is exactly what it depicts without bothering to even imagine that it could be taken as a deeper message. The video is a kind of dark parody, highlighting how absurd it is for abuse victims to go to such lengths to protect their abusers. Perkins says it’s not a parody at all, and really is a video instructing abuse victims on how to protect their abusers. He’s counting on his followers either having zero tone recognition, or more likely, briefly glancing at the contents of the video and going no further.

    It continues to astound me how a sociopath seems to understand empathic messages better than so-called loving Christian conservatives. At this rate, I may have to see about getting re-diagnosed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Nevermind the last 15 seconds or so of the video, which essentially is a giant neon sign saying “DON’T ACTUALLY DO THIS. THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. GET HELP PLEASE”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    We’ve been through this before. Unless Tony Perkins didn’t actually watch the video he was talking about, he was lying.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    And if he didn’t watch it, he was lying if he implied he had.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Aaaah. *nods head sagely*

    You’re one of those “lying for Jesus is OK” types.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    What, on your view, makes it a Bad Thing to “mix up” deliberately distorting the truth and lying?

  • Lunch Meat

    Seriously. This is like watching a laundry detergent commercial and claiming that it promotes stains.

    Also, the Life News article lies about other things as well.

    In 2011, Planned Parenthood of Upper Hudson required teens as young as 13 applying for its S.T.A.R.S. peer educator program to attend Capital Pride, a gay parade. Children attending the parade were exposed to dangerous, deviant
    behavior, including scantily clad people on parade, engaged in bondage
    and other sado-masochistic behavior—behavior which could easily result
    in the kinds of bruises and marks the young lady in the video suffered.

    a) Scanty clothing is dangerous and deviant now? Better get kids off the beach and out of the locker rooms!

    b) The idea that BDSM is like, leads to or is in any way related to abuse is a disgusting lie. Bondage is harmless fun if you’re doing it right, and it’s the complete opposite of abuse–it’s about consent, communication, and making each other feel good. NOT control and violence.

  • Carstonio

    I’m confused. I can understand Perkins alleging that women lie about being abused in order to get abortions. But I don’t understand his motive for claiming that PP teaches women to protect their abusers. That sounds more like a charge that a feminist would make against a “crisis pregnancy center.” If Perkins is trying to characterize PP as generically evil, his argument implies that abuse of women is a serious problem, and I would expect him to fret more about men falsely accused of abuse.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    To mix up misinformation with lies is a Bad Thing, please don’t do this.

    To spread misinformation and pretend it’s truth is a Bad Thing. Please don’t do this.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s not even that. It’s the fact that the article is leaning on homophobic buttons to push in their audience and so obviously doing so that renders it completely absurd to anyone with a working brain.

  • P J Evans

     misinformation, which is the middle-name of zealous Christians, is NOT
    the same as lying. Lying implies that the truth is known and
    *deliberately* hidden/distorted/etc. To mix up misinformation with lies
    is a Bad Thing, please don’t do this.

    In other words, it’s LYING, combined with self-justification.

  • AnonymousSam

    Also, the odds of a 13 year old being eligible to sign up for S.T.A.R.S. are pretty remote. Applicants must be full time high school students, which generally means 14-18.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    b) The idea that BDSM is like, leads to or is in any way related to abuse is a disgusting lie. Bondage is harmless fun if you’re doing it right, and it’s the complete opposite of abuse–it’s about consent, communication, and making each other feel good. NOT control and violence.

    I have several friends into BDSM who assert that they find it more sexually liberating precisely because consent and communication are treated as such a serious part of the experience there, which they find lacking otherwise.  

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    We must not make our opponents look worse than they really are.

  • Termudgeon

    I almost hope it’s a deliberate lie. The idea anyone could be so incapable of decoding a message that they read this one as pro-abuse is almost worse than a deliberate lie.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Also, the odds of a 13 year old being eligible to sign up for S.T.A.R.S. are pretty remote. Applicants must be full time high school students, which generally means 14-18.

    Yeah, you need to be either a scientist or ex-military to get into S.T.A.R.S.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Har :P

  • veejayem

    Having glanced at some of Tony Perkins’s earlier pronouncements I would feel justified in being extremely sceptical if he announced that the world was round. At the very least, I would be suspicious of his motives for saying so.

  • Barry_D

    I left a comment on Ed’s site. I’ll bet it never appears, just like with CT.

  • The_L1985

     And stay away from the regular RCPD.  They’re pretty much guaranteed to die when the zombies come to town.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Abortion at Planned Parenthood is out-of-pocket for the patient, as we all know here. And it is nowhere near $1622. Less than a third of that. It is a very simple procedure, and the people who do it are doing a public service, not looking to make a profit.

    Now, the lies: abusers lie. They lie all the time, and they’re good at confusing their victims. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The idea that BDSM is like, leads to or is in any way related to abuse is a disgusting lie.

    This is the same group of people who say women must be sexually controlled by their husbands. And by the state, if their husbands aren’t there or won’t do it.

    I think, unlike a lot of bullshit they spread, they might really think BDSM is abusive. They have literally no concept of consent. Talking about limits? Safe words? Stopping doing something sexual to your wife if you see she’s not absolutely thrilled with it? Having boundaries? Tying someone up like this, but not like that, hitting them exactly that hard there and never harder or elsewhere, playing, mutual pleasure — these are all things that depend on a bedrock of consent. If someone has no idea of consent, what does this stuff look like to them? I can’t get into that mindset, but I’d guess it must be pretty scary. But then, their whole lives must be pretty scary, and particularly their sex lives.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    It continues to astound me how a sociopath seems to understand empathic messages better than so-called loving Christian conservatives

    One thing I’ve always heard about sociopaths is that they’re really excellent at manipulating other people, if they choose, because they’re really good at figuring other people out. Sort of like having perfect pitch but not being a great singer, I thought. 

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     Imagine how badly their brains would break to learn that in some BDSM relationships, it’s the man who is submissive or otherwise bottoms.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’ve heard that of others and it’s basically what the psychiatric model says, but I’m the person who came into this blog protesting that conservatives probably really do want better medical care for women and just don’t ever get around to saying it, so…

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I think they would not be able to understand it. Or they’d scoff at the man for being supposedly like a woman.

    In progressive circles, women being dominant and men being submissive sexually is pretty widely accepted. The converse is not. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > I can’t get into that mindset, but I’d guess it must be pretty scary.

    I’ve had this conversation with a few “traditionalists” of this stripe. The impression I’ve come away with is that consent or the lack thereof isn’t really their issue at all.

    They were willing to agree, if I’m patient enough, that BDSM sex might be mutually consenting (ditto gay sex, anal het sex, pegging, gender-swapping role-playing, and a host of other practices). They just didn’t care; that wasn’t the important thing.

    What is the important thing was harder to establish, but the center of gravity seemed to be a combination of normative (that is, what everybody else is presumed to do, what is socially approved of, what they wouldn’t get in trouble for if it got out that they were into it, “normal”, “not weird”, etc.) and pure (that is, not evoking feelings of disgust).

    My sense is that “pure” is really the crux, here. If they were somehow convinced that their standards weren’t in fact normative, I expect they would conclude that the society as a whole is disgusting, and reject the practices anyway. Whereas if they were somehow convinced that purity existed outside their standards or didn’t really matter at all, I don’t think normativity would matter so much.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > I can’t get into that mindset, but I’d guess it must be pretty scary.

    I’ve had this conversation with a few “traditionalists” of this stripe. The impression I’ve come away with is that consent or the lack thereof isn’t really their issue at all.

    They were willing to agree, if I’m patient enough, that BDSM sex might be mutually consenting (ditto gay sex, anal het sex, pegging, gender-swapping role-playing, and a host of other practices). They just didn’t care; that wasn’t the important thing.

    What is the important thing was harder to establish, but the center of gravity seemed to be a combination of normative (that is, what everybody else is presumed to do, what is socially approved of, what they wouldn’t get in trouble for if it got out that they were into it, “normal”, “not weird”, etc.) and pure (that is, not evoking feelings of disgust).

    My sense is that “pure” is really the crux, here. If they were somehow convinced that their standards weren’t in fact normative, I expect they would conclude that the society as a whole is disgusting, and reject the practices anyway. Whereas if they were somehow convinced that purity existed outside their standards or didn’t really matter at all, I don’t think normativity would matter so much.

  • Lunch Meat

    “Normal” sex evokes feelings of disgust in some people, even in those who enjoy it.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Fair point. So it’s possible that relaxing “normative” might do some good, I suppose. I’ve never had a serious discussion about sex with such people, so I’m not really sure what factors are in play.

  • Jim Roberts

    Tony Perkins has had the truth explained to him on at least three occasions (An episode of Crossfire, a debate I witnessed in New York State, and a brief, shouted statement at a press conference) that I am personally aware of. No doubt there are more. He knows the truth, or at least has been given the opportunity to separate the truth from the lie, and refuses to do so – he is deliberaly spreading untruth. What would you rather call that?

  • Carstonio

    My own reaction to BDSM is simply that I cannot identify with the desire to put one’s self in a vulnerable position, because I generally feel vulnerable around people to one degree or another. I suspect that this type of sex involves a level of trust far greater than most other types, but I could be wrong.  I don’t think of permutations of sex as objectively abnormal because normality is a concept with no objective meaning. As long as there’s mutual consent, it’s not my concern.

  • Savvy Single Christian

    Why can’t anyone understand that it is a typical advertising “gimmick” to present one story and then juxtapose it with the truth?  Too many women hide the truth.  I have a wonderful man in my life but I bruise very easily.  I actually do bump into things.  A door at Macy’s hit me and left a horrible bruise.  My acupuncturist expressed extreme concern and wanted to know who was hurting me.  A massage therapist bruised me accidentally using a massage technique and extreme concern was expressed about that.  Until I said it was the massage therapist.  LOL, right?

    But it’s not such an LOL.  Women are very good at covering.  They lie about this all the time.  Remember when attached garages were so popular?  Remember when everyone started enclosing their carport or building new garages?  Everyone was afraid of being attacked.  Yes, it may have happened.  But it was more than likely women who were being beaten by their husbands who blamed it on a prowler, making women everywhere frightened.  As a result we all have attached garages and this begets a new lie.  Remember car jackings?  we have a family friend who said she was attacked by someone who wanted to jack her Porsche.  I mean, it’s a Porche, right?  Of course it was a car jacking attempt!  It made everyone afraid and people everywhere were locking their car doors fearful of car jackers.  And then the truth finally came out when she couldn’t cover up any longer.  She landed in the hospital with a cracked skull and severe bruises all over her body.  The husband landed in jail-rightfully so.

    I think it’s a great commercial.  DON’T COVER UP!

  • Hexep

    Having thought about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply cannot understand BDSM. I don’t need to, and I’m prepared to file it under the general category of ‘stuff that people do that they like, and that thus isn’t my problem,’ but that’s as far as I can go. I hope that’s enough, but I honestly have nothing else to give.

    But if I was involved with a woman and I found out that she was into that stuff, there would not be another date.

  • Anton_Mates

    One thing I’ve always heard about sociopaths is that they’re really excellent at manipulating other people, if they choose, because they’re really good at figuring other people out.

    That’s more of a filtering thing than an inherent advantage to sociopathy, I think.  Adolescents who show sociopathic behavior are certainly much more likely to end up in trouble with the law; their risk/reward calculus seems to be a bit defective.  (There’s an interesting study using gambling games to test this.)  If that’s so, then sociopaths who end up living successful lives kind of have to be exceptionally talented at figuring people out, because otherwise they wouldn’t make it that far.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > I hope that’s enough, but I honestly have nothing else to give.

    (shrug) It’s certainly enough for me. You get to choose who you date on whatever basis you wish to. As long as you’re not shaming other people who do like it, I’m cool.

  • SisterCoyote

    Misinformation is not, technically speaking, lying.

    But misinformation and lying ARE both bearing false witness, so I’m not sure what ground a zealous Christian has to stand on defending either one.

  • SisterCoyote

    What evil things, exactly, does Planned Parenthood endorse?

    Aside from which, saying one is “not against refuge” and then attacking refuges – is being against refuge.

  • GDwarf

    I have to second Dave in that I think the problem some have with BDSM isn’t about not understanding consent, it’s all, or at least mostly, about how it’s “weird”. They don’t like weird things in general, and anything “weird” that’s in any way related to sex is even worse.

    It’s all about keeping things “normal” and the same and how they were brought up to be, which interacts with their hangups about sex in some odd ways.

  • Jenny Islander

    From what I’ve read about sociopathy, a sociopath’s main way to interact with other people is what one writer calls “making people jump.”  The payoff for making people jump is so satisfying that one sociopath used to go steal large amounts of stamps from a post office and hide nearby to watch the fracas.  He was inevitably caught and jailed, but  in his mind, he had gotten what he wanted.  Of course, he was not particularly bright.  The bright sociopaths can figure out how to subtly make people jump in more complex and satisfying ways.

    Apparently it’s possible for a sociopath to get lonely.  What a hellish way to live.

  • Dan Audy

    “Normal” sex evokes feelings of disgust in some people, even in those who enjoy it.

    Apparently sexual arousal in women overcomes feelings of disgust.  As a man I can’t quite decide whether I should find these results insulting or not.

  • Hexep

    That’s… actually very refreshing.

    I won’t lie, I was expecting to come back and see something on the lines of, “hey, fuck you, it’s not enough for you to just look down your nose at people and say ‘do what you want, you’re beneath me anyway,’ you have to accept us and understand us!” So… congratulations for giving me better treatment than I thought I deserved?

    But seriously, there’s no real reason why anyone likes anything, is there? Unless it reminds them of something else that they like – you like hot chocolate because you used to drink it with your mama when you were little, or something – but that’s just turtles all the way down. Other than that, it’s just… it is what it is. Why do I dislike raw tomatoes? I could say it’s because I don’t like the texture of the seeds, but then what? Why don’t I like the texture of the seeds? If you know why, drop me a line. Anyway, I’m a smoker, so I’ve got no business discussing taste.

    I suppose part of it comes down to the fact that I’ve always found the orgasm somewhat shameful, on the order of picking a scab or tugging on my facial hair. I’ve always considered masturbation to be essentially medicinal – to aid in sleep, to relieve pressure on the prostate, etc. – and while sex is a totally important and wholesome activity to do with your partner, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always seen it as another part of just the activity of being in love with another person. You have sex with them, you keep house with them, you talk to them about your deep and important feelings, but what you’re doing, per se, is not as important as the fact that you’re sharing it with someone important. Getting too into sex would be like getting too into beating them at Mario Kart, or outsmarting them in clever conversation. The important thing is the life of the mind, which, in the end, is the only thing that matters – how we order our own thoughts and regard the world around us.

    But this is how I live my life; I think I prefer others do their own thing. Helps me keep my personal singularity.


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