The adults who taught and encouraged this are guilty of child abuse

Doktor Zoom says the essential truth in the title of the Wonkette post introducing us to this horrifying video, “Earnest Christian Teen Creates Awful Online ‘Rap’ Artifact That Will Haunt Her Life Forever.”

If anything, that understates the case. Here is the artifact in question:

I don’t want to mock this child and I don’t want you to mock this child either. She deserves more pity than scorn.

Love is hard. Prideful indignation is easy.

She’s parroting what she’s been taught by wretched, hateful adults who have nurtured their hate and their ignorance until it is all they have left, all they treasure, all they need and want and desire. Their precious.

This is what you get when you trade in love for the cheap high of self-righteous indignation. It makes you dumb. It makes you cruel. It makes you proud of being dumb and cruel, and it makes you resent anyone who isn’t.

Adults put this kid up to this. They encouraged her to think like this. They rewarded this, trained and produced this. “If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Those adults are the ones who deserve to have this awful thing haunt their lives forever.

And I suppose it will, in a sense, when this poor kid grows up and encounters reality and the painful spiritual crisis these adults have set for her like a trap. When that happens — when the bubble bursts and she’s confronted with real people and the real Jesus — she’s going to be furious with them.

It will take her a long, long time to forgive them.


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  • misanthropy_jones

    there are too many people who see the genitals rather than the heart as being the seat of romantic love…

  •  One of the things that is wrapped up in there is a heavy helping of magical thinking — if we just deny QUILTBAG folks enough rights, they’ll magically turn heteronormative.

    Magical thinking permeates a lot of the religious right’s thinking: stop the woman from having an abortion and she’ll magically become a happy mother. Stop the woman from terminating a doomed pregnancy and the fetus will magically grow a brain. Force a couple that desperately wants out of this marriage to stay together for the sake of the children and they’ll magically become a happy functional family. Keep women out of the workplace and they’ll magically turn into satisfied housewives.

  • Carstonio

    Those folks usually frame those notions in terms of divine or natural purpose, as if a woman who “denies” motherhood is like a flute being used as a drumstick. Magical thinking is a good term for it.

    Friskies used to publish a book on dog care, and although two or three pages were obviously a printed infomercial, overall its advice was sound. In promoting spaying and neutering, the authors urged dog owners to reject the belief that a female dog needed to become a mother to be fulfilled. And yet we have millions of people who believe that about human women.

  • P J Evans

     Even those of us who didn’t do stuff like that have ‘oy, was that stupid’ moments when we look back.

  •  She may be physically an adult, but emotionally? I think not. When I was
    her age I was a fundie but after a while I had to take a break from
    church to figure out what I believed.  This girl has a pastor for a dad
    and strong ties with the church which means she has very little chance
    to grow up unless she leaves them, which would be a scary move to
    make. She can’t make that “big moral decision” when she is fed
    proproganda morning, noon, and night. She is just as brainwashed as the
    Phelps clan.

    I dated a pastor’s daughter while I was in my critical transition phase from Evangelical to atheist.  She’d gotten the whole nine yards of fundie brainwashing, up to and including private Christian schooling that included Ken Ham’s creationist propoganda.  Her dad was General Association of Regular Baptist, which is kinda between the Southern Baptists and the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists in temperament.

    She was the classic daddy’s little princess pastor’s daughter.  Kinda.  On some level she was like Reverend Lovejoy’s daughter from that old episode of the Simpsons: did and said all the right things but was more interested in looking the  part than actually playing the part.  Her younger brother was the classic rebellious pastor’s kid.

    The relationship was probably destined for failure from the beginning.  I realize that now, even thought I didn’t think so then.  But one of the things that I found constantly fascinating and confounding was the way she would do everything in her power to avoid moving in any direction where she thought her father would stop loving her.  That was also interesting, since I think she did her father a great disservice by thinking of him in that way.  I only met him once, but he seemed like a good man.  And hearing about how her parents handled her younger brother left me baffled that she thought they’d disown her if she ever did anything the didn’t like.

    At the time we were pretty equally liberal, too.  She was certainly more liberal than her parents.  She got on the Obama train at the beginning of the 2008 election cycle while I was still thinking McCain was a valid option.  We were both pretty much okay with gay people (by which I mean I was on board with equality and I don’t know where she was, but she certainly thought they should be treated as human beings and not hate targets).  I was already pro-choice and she was pro-life.   But the only place where we weren’t really in a negotiable compromise space was the evolution v. creationism area.  Still, she was actually afraid of me because she was worried that I’d end up dragging her into a place where she’d reject religion.  That, in turn, would cause her to lose her father’s love.  It was

    It was interesting all the way through, really.  At the time I still lived with my parents but more or less lived my own life and made my own decision.  She lived two states away from her parents but had to consult them for every single decision she made, no matter how inane.  That, I think, came down to indoctrination.  She wasn’t encouraged to think for herself, but my parents taught me to make my own decisions.  That eventually led to me making decisions they don’t like in regard to religion, which I know bothers them, but they haven’t disowned me for it by any stretch of the imagination.  I don’t think she knew what her parents would do in a similar situation, but feared the absolute worst.

  • Si

    Man, anyone can spout this bullshit abusive brainwashed bigoted party-line bullshit. But not everyone can do so in such excruciatingly horrible rap form. I think this is a bigger crime against hip hop than it is against gay rights.  Which is saying something.

  • The_L1985

     So much this.  When I finished high school, I was 16 going on 12.  I just barely had the emotional maturity of a middle-schooler, and only just.  It wasn’t until several years later that I was actually able to socialize like a normal person.

  • The_L1985

     My parents used to tell me, over and over, that I should never marry a Jew because “they’ll never fully accept you” and “even if you convert, they won’t really see you as a Jew.”

    I’m dating a Jewish man now.  I’m constantly blown away by how much nicer and more welcoming his parents are to me than my own parents are.

  • AnonymousSam

    A World Religions class I attended visited a synagogue once to hear the Jewish perspective directly from a kohen. Most of the questions students asked related to whether people could convert to Judaism, and if so, would they be considered second-class Jews? Would converts be highlighted in the bloodline charts as “not real Jews”? Yes, I know you said they’d be real Jews, but, like, would they still be considered outsiders? Now, when you say “for all intents and purposes”, you do still mean there’s a substantive difference between real Jews and fake Jews, right?

    The poor man. He seemed bewildered as to why it was such a significant point that there be a difference between being Jewish “by birth” or by entering the faith. He could only keep repeating himself with slight variations, obviously hoping that eventually it would sink in.

  • Look, all it means is that you can’t be elected the president of judaism. But your kids totally can, so long as they produce their long-form Bar or Bat Mitzvah certificate.

  • AnonymousSam

    Not if the Rabbilicans pass new naturalization restrictions!

  • Is this even rap? I think this is just (terrible) spoken word. Also, the backing track is about as insipid as the rest of the video.

  • Ben English

     That’s heartbreaking. Any story of people thinking that they must earn their  parents love just tears me up.

  • mcc

    Hi Carstonio, it just makes me happy when I find there are parents that have this attitude. I think WayOfCats had the right of it– “The sad part on a personal level, for her, is that this is the only way she gets love from those around her.”. It seems like if the girl in this video had had parents with an attitude like yours, she most likely would not have gotten to the place of making this video. (Well, even besides the question of how much of this was her idea and who’s holding the camera.)

  • I certainly hope she is still growing and changing, but Fred—this is no child.  This is a young woman.  Yes, the adults in her life should be ashamed of themselves, but she is an adult, too, now, and responsible for what she purposely posts in public view for all to see.

    Honestly, when I saw the title on your front page, I thought you were talking about a six-year-old.

  •  I certainly hope she is still growing and changing, but
    Fred—this is no child.  This is a young woman.  Yes, the adults in her
    life should be ashamed of themselves, but she is an adult, too, now,
    and responsible for what she purposely posts in public view for all to

    I’d say there’s reason for hope.  As a 31 year old I look back at 21 year-old me and am baffled about most of what I was and what I stood for.  The 20s can be a fascinating time of great growth.

    Of course, the woman in question has to find herself in a place where growth and self-reflection are encouraged.  That might simply not happen, which would be sad.

  • I’m sure there is a lot of influence from her parents and others.  But she is no innocent preschooler, and we do her no favors by treating her like one.

    A question: if the person making this video was a male of 20 or 21 years of age, would we be calling him a “child”?

  •  A question: if the person making this video was a male of 20 or 21 years of age, would we be calling him a “child”?

    Probably not.  But that’s not a fair cop, since this looks like a category error.  The original article calls the person who made the video a “teen.”  Fred simply copied the line of thought from the Wonkette piece over here.

    It was then someone who showed up here who informed us that she is, in fact, 21.  I haven’t checked that claim and I don’t see any evidence that anyone else here has, either.  Given that she was originally identified as a teenager I’d say that Fred’s initial use of “child” to reference her isn’t an indication of some sort of misogynist plot.

    Now if she was specifically identified as a person in her 20s and everyone called her a child that would be a different case entirely.

  • Oh, come on.  You know I didn’t say anything about any “misogynist plot.”  I hate to be the language police on this one (in fact, I hate language policing most of the time), but this is simply not a child.

  •  Oh, come on.  You know I didn’t say anything about any “misogynist
    plot.”  I hate to be the language police on this one (in fact, I hate
    language policing most of the time), but this is simply not a child.

    And yet here you are, acting as the language police while ignoring the key point that she was identified as a teenager by everyone until the mid-point of the first page of the comments on this very post.  It’s salient.

    Perhaps calling a teenager a child is also not necessarily the best idea, either.  It is, however, a defensible choice, since a teenager could be anywhere on a spectrum from an older child to a young adult.  Most of the teenage years also fit under years when older adults can be accused of child abuse for abusing the individual in question.  So it appeared that Fred was operating with a rhetorical device.  The follow-on information that she may actually be in her 20s changes the aptness of said rhetoric.  Given Fred’s lack of the follow-on knowledge there’s nothing inherently wrong with his choice of language.  It might not be the best way to word it.  It might not be your preferred language.  There’s a world of difference between “I don’t like this” and “this is wrong,” though.

  • There’s a world of difference between “I don’t like this” and “this is wrong,” though.

    And yet, sometimes they overlap.

    I just have no patience with this.  Good for Fred that he does, I guess, and that he doesn’t want anyone to do anything mean like mock this poor, innocent childgirlwomanbigot.  Who, sadly, has no free will of her own and was no doubt forced to stand in this lovely setting and tell people they’re going to be tortured forever.

    Poor little woobie.  What’s the age of accountability again?

  • Fanraeth

    I’m conflicted on this one. My knee-jerk impulse is to flame her like crazy, but I also know what it’s like to be raised in a fundamentalist bubble. In my case, I had neither a church or a public school available to me to provide alternative views, so it wasn’t until these last few years that I began to emerge from that programming. It took grappling with my sexual identity and actually being befriended by those godless, baby-killin’ atheists my parents warned me about for me to snap out of it. Now I never did anything as blatantly hateful as this young woman has, but there was certainly a lot of hate simmering inside of me.

    TL;DR version, I don’t know her situation and don’t feel comfortable doing more than condemning the video.

  • Hench

    Boo hoo, someone unwittingly excluded your marginalized people. Get over it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You want to go away for five minutes and rethink that statement?

  • Unwittingly?

    Huh.  Yet another person who thinks that this young woman has no mind of her own.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Hench was responding (or at least Disqus tells me Hench was responding) to my pointing out that the phrasing ‘male and female’ excludes genderqueer people. Not to the video.

  • AnonymousSam

    Speaking as the person who unwittingly did exclude zir marginalized people, I don’t need your help, thanks. I had a minor fuck-up. It was acknowledged to have been unintentional (for which I thank Ellie for giving me the benefit of the doubt, assuming I read zir correctly) and I showed my own acknowledgement of that exclusion and added a little humor because, hey, fuck-ups, c’est la vie. Erase and correct, build a bridge and, as you said, get over it.

    I’m very lackadaisical when it comes to my own gender (I don’t care if people refer to me as male or female; both are correct; neither is correct). Consequentially, I have a narrow perspective for the genders of others; it often doesn’t cross my mind to verbally include everyone in a group when using gender-based pronouns and I’ll wind up throwing out the standard terminology because I haven’t put any further thought into it than that. It’s just like when the term “gentlemen” would be used to address an entire crowd irrespective of the women in the audience, except now we’re dealing with much more than just men and women. Sometimes there’s both, or neither, or something else entirely.

    It’s no skin off my teeth to revise my words to include them all explicitly, rather than relying on my words to be implicit. It just means changing speaking and writing habits. I can do that. Moreover, I’m happy to do that as it means correcting a deficit on my part. Hakuna matata.

  • Hench

    Yes, I was. I don’t think the exclusion of queergender was intentional and you getting passive-aggressively hung up on it is ridiculous

  • EllieMurasaki

    for which I thank Ellie for giving me the benefit of the doubt, assuming I read zir correctly

    You did, and no problem–it’s hardly ever deliberate on anybody’s part, I’ve noticed. People just…forget there’s more than two ways to do gender. Fuck knows I’ve done it. So every so often when somebody’s forgetting, I poke ’em about it to raise general awareness.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So I should quietly sit back while I am having my toes stepped on, is that it? Sam fixed their oops and apologized, which is all I wanted, and further has just posted to the effect of not wanting your help on the subject.

  • You gotta think it’s like those nasty teens at Little Rock High School, particularly the ones caught on film.

  • AnonymousSam

    *Nods* It’s appreciated. As I said, I should know better. Heck, I did a huge term paper for my Psychology of Sex and Gender class on other cultures having more than two gender classifications because the concept was fascinating and I was hoping to find something which sounded akin to my own situation.

  • mcc

    So, Sam excludes GQ, Ellie thinks GQ should be included, Sam then agrees GQ should be included. So everyone here is fine except you are now offended on Sam’s behalf that Ellie wanted GQ included… even though Sam agrees with Ellie..? Why do you care about this? At that point it comes across like you are actively bothered that Ellie and Sam are trying to use nonbinary-inclusive language.

  • Ah.  My mistake.

  • Tricksterson

    Satan loves me this I know because the right-wing Bible nuts tell me so.

  • Eamon Knight

     I was wondering about that. Not that I’m in any way a culture vulture, but I’m almost sure rap is supposed to have backup music that’s a little more….rappy (in the literal sense).

    (Aside from everything else that’s wrong with it, of course).

  • Where did the word rap come from?

    In the 1960s, “to rap” meant “to talk” or “to converse”. This is probably the usage intended in the video.

  • other lori

    She looks old enough to be responsible for her own behavior to me. At some point, we have to own up to our own prejudices and hatreds, and I think teens are at that point. A few generations ago, she would have been ready to marry and start her own family (if she hadn’t already); I don’t think we’re doing teens a service by imagining them as helpless children.

  • Question: How does “male & female” exclude the genderqueer? Do you mean transexuals? They tend to be moving from one to the other, so one or the other should still apply. If it means something else I apologize. 
    A man in women’s clothing still has a XY body, and vice versa, that’s about what it should mean.If you ask me, most people tend to be male, female, or some combination of the two. We once had a cat who was a true neuter (no sexual parts at all), but how common is that in people?Didn’t watch the video, don’t want to.

  • “Rabbilicians”– Orthodox Jewish Republicans? 
    Couldn’t resist.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Bigender people exist (though the phrasing “male and female” does not necessarily exclude them). Agender people exist; one is speaking to you. Third-gender people exist. Genderfluid people exist and encompass any combination of those three and the familiar two. I may well be forgetting some; genderqueerness is complicated.

  • AnonymousSam

    It presumes that gender is binary, which isn’t always the case. Sometimes there isn’t even a word for how a person perceives themselves.

  • Ann — it helps to be clear about whether you’re talking about bodies or people. People are gendered in far more complex ways than bodies are.

  • AnonymousSam

    Amen to “complicated.” I read this and thought “Sometimes I think I’m genderfluid, but then other times I’m not.” … I don’t think I was being factitious.

  • Also @AnonymousSam, @EllieMurasaki:disqus I originally meant someone’s physical body, something everyone has, and most of those seem to be drawn from one of two original basic plans, with a few variations. What a person thinks of oneself is definitely another matter.

    That said, there’s “bi-gender” and “big-ender”, I’ve watched too much Benny Hill to be able to ignore the second variation of the word.

  • AnonymousSam

    Even those physical variations can be something, though. We have XX chromosome males and XY chromosome females, hermaphrodites, neuters (natural and otherwise), transsexuals…

    We’ll be really screwed the day we genetically alter a male to be able to give birth, but only when impregnated by a female. ^_^ (It’s almost already possible!)

  •  > What a person thinks of oneself is definitely another matter.

    Some of us consider what a person thinks of themselves to be the matter, and their physical body to be another matter. I mean, corpses have the same physical gender-determining attributes as living beings, but they’re nevertheless missing many of the important bits.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I originally meant someone’s physical body, something everyone has, and most of those seem to be drawn from one of two original basic plans, with a few variations.

    That’s not gender. Fuck if I know what the word is, since ‘sex’ ain’t it even though it’s the most common word in use for that quality–I’ve been told off for saying someone female-assigned-at-birth, pronoun ‘they’, is of the female sex; I’m pretty sure I was clear that by that I only meant that this individual has a uterus–but that’s definitely not gender.

  • I think that’s what I was saying. Certainly it’s the person’s own opinion that is essential, I’m just trying to compare that to the physical attributes, weight, mass, eye color, etc. A dead body may have gender, but you can hardly call it an  active, thinking person.
    Unless it’s a zombie.

  • Like seahorses? That would definitely be worth seeing.