Mark Driscoll – The Misogynist Man From Mars

Mark Driscoll – The Misogynist Man From Mars October 22, 2017

Driscoll Patheosby Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace

Editor’s note: For the record I think Patheos has made a huge mistake and done their credibility no good by adding toxic Mr. Mark ‘I Think Women Are Penis Homes’ Driscoll to their line up. Having Bristol Palin’s incoherent ramblings is bad enough, but she’s done no one (besides her kids) any real harm.

I’m grateful for my relationship with No Longer Quivering (NLQ), a website founded by Vyckie Garrison and now overseen by Suzanne Titkemeyer and their support of Hillary McFarland’s book, Quivering Daughters. A few years ago, NLQ joined the bloggers at Patheos, an interfaith website

that features material that considers all sorts of belief systems including the non-religious. (I’m especially grateful for Richard Wade’s thoughtful and respectful approach to his beliefs on his Patheos blog, the Friendly Atheist. He isn’t what I consider a zealot who wants to make sport of others who disagree with him, and I find that refreshing.)

I’ve been through thick and thin with No Longer Quivering dating back to near it’s inception, and I’m honored to be a part of their Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network. Very much like Patheos itself, it provides a forum for those with many religious perspectives, most of whom have been adversely affected by the Patriarchy/Quiverfull Movement. Though it’s faced many challenges, the participants have worked through them which is often difficult considering that most everyone also grapples with personal recovery from the resulting spiritual abuse. As I’ve once heard someone say, it’s like trying to hug porcupines because of the hypervigilance that follows religious abuse. (Many people just trade up and shift their cult life over into “activism” instead of doing their own hard work of healing.)

I love America and the fact that anyone can hold any belief that they want with the promise that their government will not discriminate against them. You can be a racist, a hater, a conspiracy theorist, and hold to beliefs that most people find repugnant. But like the American melting pot, though there is much tension, there is also liberty and freedom for expression at Patheos. I think that such efforts make us better people when we can engage one another with respect. But that is an ivory tower concept that doesn’t often come to fruition.

Mark Driscoll?

I have mentioned Mark Driscoll on this blog a few times, the former pastor and co-founder of an allegedly Calvinist, postmodern friendly megachurch in Seattle. I didn’t track the details all that closely, but he lost his position run due to his authoritarian/abusive behavior, plagiarism, and using church funds to fund a marketing campaign so that his privately authored books could dominate the market. If I recall correctly, I quoted him saying that he’d break the legs of those in his congregation that didn’t agree with him. That’s the short version of his story, and many media outlets tracked his rise and fall quite well. (And I hate to give egomaniacs like him much attention.) I believe that because of his book sales, the Gospel Coalition folks latched on to him, and both camps were able to broaden their mutual demographic to bring in even more money.

I’ll leave it up to the reader to use their keyboard and google to figure out more about Driscoll so that they can develop their own opinions. I deem him a thinly veiled misogynist who latched on to opportunity when he wrote a very successful book. He speaks openly about sexuality which was a primary focus for him, but many of his gratuitously sexual sermons were R-rated, making them off-limits for minors. I don’t mind the subject of sexuality at all, but I am of the opinion that he used it to indulge his personal proclivities in a manner that was not Christian or edifying. I find him to be quite vulgar on many levels, and I never understood his appeal apart from the marketing of his sexual preferences which I assume that people found to be titillating instead of stereotypically prudish.

Needless to say, after his departure from the Seattle-based church, before long, he resurfaced in Phoenix to found a new church. According to my training, the theology of Christianity which Driscoll professes disqualifies him from the pastorate because of his behavior. This happens quite often with successful but nefarious characters, even those who pastor Christian churches. Just go down the road and set up a new shop under the guise of the American Dream.
Driscoll at Patheos

Well, for all of my lofty ideas about liberty and freedom of expression, I’m awash with unpleasant feelings and thoughts when I learned that Driscoll now has a blog at Patheos. (He well may have had it all along. I don’t know because I don’t follow him that closely.)

He’s not the only patriarchal blogger there, and it is America, right?

ShirleyTaylor alerted me to a recent Washington Post article about Driscoll, protesting the fact that Patheos allows him to blog there. Half of me is glad for that, for he stands diametrically opposed to the principles that I consider vital to an effort like Patheos. The other half of me realizes that censorship is a knife that cuts both ways. If you limit the free exercise of the freedom of speech of someone that you don’t like, they can do the very same thing to you when their belief system becomes all the rage.

And so ensues the tension inherent in a free country where liberty prevails for all people. It applies to each of us, and I love the idea that, in America, you can pray to a potted plant if you like. I just hate to see such a profiteer and spin doctor prosper while he enjoys the benefits of free speech. I am prejudiced and prefer my own beliefs, and I hate spiritual abuse. I’m saddened and sickened that Driscoll has access to a broader audience through the interfaith website and thus gains the benefits of seeming legitimate among other Christian leaders who aren’t guilty of his errors. (And I really don’t want to know if it’s more common than I’d like to think. Maybe it’s really the norm among nationally known ministers? I’ve lost enough bliss in my life and would rather remain ignorant.)

As I once said to a has been leader in the Biblical Patriarchy Movement and affiliate of the now defunct Vision Forum, I hope that he prospers spiritually and becomes a stronger, more mature Christian. As far as Christian ministry and the pastorate, it is my hope that he fails as people become wise to his pattern of abuses. I still can’t fathom his appeal.
American Blues (#TheStruggleIsReal)

So today, he cost of liberty in the United States weighs heavily upon me. I’m called to put into action the principle of tolerance and the inherent tension it brings. I hope that the organizers and administrators of Patheos might reconsider the broader access that they’ve given Driscoll by allowing him to participate as a blogger – primarily because of his unethical behavior. Patheos purports to give millions “access to credible and balanced information about religion,” and in my opinion, Driscoll doesn’t qualify.Sigh. Like a particular body part that we all have, we also all have opinions. This one is not a humble one. And sometimes, this thing called democracy in a constitutional republic really seems like it can suck. And being mature about tolerance really bites.

And people wonder why I’m a Christian? A good part of it has much to do with justice so that the injustices that don’t get resolved in this life will be met with just consequences in the next. And since I see God as a loving, sane, wise being and not an SOB with a hammer who sees everyone as a nail, it provides me with hope that helps me live a meaningful life. It’s more than that, but today, it’s pretty important to me.

In the meanwhile, may the post-Mars Hill bloggers and Facebook groups prosper.
(Check out their blog links to more resources and commentary.)

moreRead more by Cindy Kunsman

Love’s Labors Lamented

~~~~~~~

Cindy is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network.

Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.

She blogs at Under Much Grace and Redeeming Dinah.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    I just wish that Patheos had a policy that required the comments section to be turned on. Mark turns his off and so do some others around the site, mostly religious ones I have yet to check out an atheist page without the comments. If they want to spout their ideas in a public forum and not be challenged on the points they make they need to stick to their pulpits and books. If their ideas are good then they can survive the light that a comments section would shine on them.

  • Jennny

    Well, lucky lucky Phoenix, it now has Driscoll AND Stevie Anderson there! You say …the cost of liberty weighs heavily on me in the US..’ Here in the UK, free speech exists to a large extent but we got Stevie banned from visiting on the grounds he’s a hate preacher and I’ve just contacted my MP to get Franklin Graham banned from the UK on the same grounds. As Tawreos says, Driscoll might have a tiny modicum of respect if he allowed comments. I know bombarding Lori/Nancy/Debi with sane rarional comments has probably achieved nothing other than getting us banned…but one can but hope that challenging his odious views might just make him think….! Or am I in cloud-cuckoo land this lovely autumn morning?

  • Freodin

    Censorship. What is it? Who does it?

    I think there are too many Americans who have an almost religious reverence for the concept of “free speech”, and confuse the right to speak your mind with the right to be given a platform.

  • Freodin

    I can understand why someone like Driscoll would turn off comments. Given his backstory and his notoriety, he would constantly be confronted with people pointing out his shady past and the unpleasant comments he had made. It would distract from his lofty claims of being a respected and respectable teacher.

    And of course, it fits within this his self-image. He is a teacher, a preacher. He isn’t here to talk to us. He is here to talk AT us, and share with us his vast treasures of wisdom and love.

    I wish Patheos would have thought twice before giving a platform to this guy. This has nothing to do with censorship, this is just having standards.

  • Oh, fudge! I put a comma in a possesion “its”!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Comments are one of the most hotly discussed issues in the Patheos authors Facebook groups. Having comments on is very time consuming because you have to actively monitor them four or five times a day. Some authors turn them off for that reason, others hire other people to handle comments moderation. Others come up with effective ways to keep the trolls away. btw in the Patheos Non-Religious FB group almost everyone was upset by the appearance of Driscoll.

  • Cat Wisdom

    The Flying Grammar Monster offers you absolution. Go forth and fail to punctuate no more.

  • Think Light Blue

    As Warren Throckmorton points out on his blog, Mark continues to plagiarize. I would think that would be a violation of the rules by Mark.

  • persephone

    The First Amendment only guarantees that the government won’t prosecute you for most of the things you say. That’s why we can protest against people who say things we don’t like. That’s why people face consequences for the things they say in public, including social media.

    Lodging complaints with Patheos about Driscoll being given a platform here is not interfering with free speech. It’s denying a seat at the table to someone who would deny the right to exist of the majority of humans. We protest against him for the same reason we protest against Nazis.

  • Etranger

    I am completely confused by the outrage of this one blogger when practically the entire evangelical, Catholic, Mormon and Politics Red sites are chock full of Driscoll-esque bloggers. I think the name recognition must be making people read right wing, nutty religious blogs for the first time. I have been reading the other ones on those channels for quite some time. Driscoll is nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Tawreos

    I get that comments can be time consuming, but I would think that someone that is in charge of a church can find a person or two that can monitor them as opposed to a regular person that doesn’t have a cult… er congregation that follows them.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    He could easily assign comment modding to a church member. Yes, but we all know evangelicals cannot stand any resistance or pushback. I think that’s the reason comments aren’t allowed.

  • Jennny

    Yeah, I used to read p/Ev before deconverting and was surprised by the rudeness of bloggers to commenters who were anything less than sycophantic. One of their top bloggers got a sad few sentences – on topic – from a guy describing how he’d been shunned by his church for no good reason and was deeply hurt. The blogger responded ‘So…your point is? Hope you feel better for getting it off your chest but don’t comment again’. Mega inflated ego much. P/non-religious is much more friendly – and courteous – to be part of.

  • Saraquill

    Are the Driscoll links filtered through Do Not Link? I hate the idea of him getting more hits.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I don’t think so, but most are anti Driscoll links

  • Almost a chimp

    Cynthia, that wasn’t your only typo* (the most glaring being “…he lost his position run due to his.., unless a ‘position run’ is actually a ‘thing’ in America, in which case I apologise) but considering the subject matter I think even a dyed-in-the -wool grammar-pedant such as me can over-look them.
    It must be bad enough writing about Driscoll in the first place; who can blame you for not going over your own article again to proof-read it?

    *I wasn’t even going to mention them until you brought the subject up.

  • paganheart

    You would think plagarism would violate some Patheos rule or standard, but either the site administrators don’t know that Driscoll is a serial plagiarist (despite Warren’s blog in particular pointing out numerous examples of Driscoll’s plagiarism) or they just don’t care as long as the money keeps rolling in. Or maybe they would care if the person(s) being plagiarized were to lodge a complaint…then again, last I read, Driscoll’s awful books are still on the shelves, despite his plagiarism, so maybe no one cares…because white, male and Christian, I guess? At least Driscoll is a lazy blogger (so far) and isn’t propogating any new, toxic theology; according to Warren’s blog, he’s pretty much just regurgitating material from his awful, plagiarized books. (And I’m taking Warren’s word for it because there is no way I’m giving Driscoll page views!)

  • Actually, I don’t see Driscoll much differently than I do Doug Wilson, and perhaps I’m spouting pent up angst? I really don’t like to give any of these types much attention because they see it as validating righteous persecution, so protest feeds the fire. I don’t blog about others because of any lack of outrage and disgust. But I was pretty shocked to hear that Patheois welcomed him as a blogger.

    Owen Strachen of CBMW has a blog here as well and is also an affiliate of the same network as Driscoll, but by comparison, he’s not been questioned for unethical behavior or vulgarity. Neither Starchan nor Wilson have garnered attention from outside of what I’d call Calvinist Christian culture. In contrast, Driscoll has enjoyed broad exposure including attention from secular media outlets because he is such a controversial figure. Initially, the hype was over his stance on sexuality but then turned to the discussion of leg breaking, etc.For me, that’s what sets him apart from other people.

  • I did link to the pathos blog. It didn’t occur to me because I haven’t been doing this kind of blogging regularly. Didn’t think to do it.

    Suzanne, how hard is i t to change them? The single link follows the subheading of Driscoll on Pathos and is just prior to the singled out rhetorical statements and the sentence that mentions Shirley Taylor.

  • I make more of those mistakes when I’m emotional about a post, and I find this character repugnant. That’s always a good tell. You should see anything that I write about Voddie Baucham. He was so narcissistic in his correspondence with me, the hair on the back of my neck stood up quite literally when I read his emails. Writing about the lot of them gives me quite a bit of difficulty.

  • Thank you Flying Grammar Monster! In this case, I do need to fail to punctuate. Maybe if I felt that I typed more, I could vent more of my spleen?

  • It’s not a thing. Must have changed something. I didn’t type any vulgarities, but whatever I first typed may have been a bit too colorful to publish. I may have been channeling my inner John Cleese saying “Bastard!” If I could only switch over to Wodehouse to say “son of unwed parents,” but it just isn’t the same. Old Bertie Wooster was too nice of a guy.

  • Almost a chimp

    I thought that might be the case. I’m no Poirot but even my ‘leetle grey cells’ picked up on the subtle (!) clues.

  • Almost a chimp

    I love the Jeeves and Wooster books. Not many books translate well to television without major changes but they were just perfect. I doubt anybody could have brought the characters to life as well as Fry and Laurie.

  • Excellent response, Persephone,

    We are guaranteed a platform in the public sphere, and I want to practice what I preach. Everyone deserves a place at the table in my mind which has been shaped by the principles set forth in our Constitution. It hurts when payday comes, and I have to sit at the table, rubbing elbows with someone whose ideas I find repugnant. It’s worse with Driscoll because the claims the same general title as I do, so there is some degree of identification with him — though I don’t agree with him on many topics.

    I think of Niemöller’s poem from the Holocaust, “First They Came.” I might be all fine and dandy to see Driscoll censored by the US government, but if he can be silenced, tomorrow, a new leader and a new trend may prevail that finds my views repugnant. Then, there is precedent to censor and silence me. We are bound to the rule of law, and we have the right to spout as much ignorance as we want. (It’s my right to set up my own soapbox in the marketplace of ideas and voice my dissent and opposition to Driscoll as much as it is his right to be a misogynous pig — and I’ve encountered few to whom the dated term applies better. I’m willing to fight and die for Driscoll to have the freedom to say horrible things, but that doesn’t mean that I must like it.

    I’m sure Patheos likes the business, and controversy creates demand and traffic. It’s a business, and they’re trying to make bank like the rest of us. As a private organization that requires minimum standards of their affiliate bloggers, I do find it sad that giving him a platform and a wider audience didn’t give them some pause. Mel Brooks said that “It’s good to be the king.” I’m not the king here, but Patheos could assert themselves as such.

    Some things in life are inherently difficult. Tolerance comes at a price in this case, and I don’t have to like it.

  • Reading this again, as another commenter noted, not all jerk ministers were banned from entering their country. Was it just Scotland, or was it all of Great Britain that banned him from visiting because of his aggressive authoritarianism? I don’t think that any other bloggers at Patheos have suffered the same.

  • Etranger

    I guess I am not really seeing the problem. I guess we are singling him out as just a bit worse than the other bloggers? That is fine; I get that. But his theology is not much different form the others.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Patheos does not like dirty words….. I don’t always agree but I try to abide by the rule.

  • I get it. I think Owen Strachan is awful. A huge part of the problem. But the guy has never threatened anyone with breaking their legs if they disagree with him. (He may have, but not formally like Driscoll. I don’t think that he’s said that it’s a woman’s duty to get on her knees to give her hubby a BJ, claiming that it’s written that way in Song of Solomon.)

  • persephone

    Let’s be clear on the rule of law in regard to Nazis. Nazis advocate the overthrow of our government and constitution. That is treason. They advocate genocide of our citizens. More treason. They advocate slavery. Treason. They advocate disenfranchisement of voters. Treason.

    They advocate murder, genocide, abuse, rape, violence, destruction, and on and on.

    There is no place at any table for anyone who advocates these beliefs.

    The rule of law simply means that everyone is subject to the same laws. If someone advocates treason, they do not get to avoid the legal consequences based on a claim of freedom of speech.

    If you are willing to allow convicted murderers into your home, that’s on you, but to expect others to do so is completely ridiculous.

    You say one of the reasons you believe in Christianity is that payback may come in the next life, if not in this one. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to allow murderers to roam about freely, because they MAY suffer after they die.

    I’m afraid your naivete regarding history and sociology is showing in your response.

  • Thinking/believing in something horrible, in terms of the US government, differs dramatically from acting on it deliberately. Nazis are a hard case and hard cases make for bad law. Lets take Rushdoony who laid the groundwork for the cultic quadrant of the homeschooling movement through Theonomy (Doug Phillips, Doug genocide Wilson, Nancy Campbell, Mary Pride, Kevin Swanson and the like). They believe that Christ won’t return to earth until nearly everyone is Christian so that every government on earth freely chooses to adopt Old Testament Law as the civil laws of government. To that end, Chalcedon, Rushdoony’s organization and Theonimists like Gary North who left it publish articles about how desirable stoning is as a form of capital punishment for things like adultery, a rebellious teenager, etc. Good friend to them, Jim Leininger, bankrolled many of them like Phillips along with other homeschooling advocates, and used his money to put George W Bush in the White House. They also believe slavery to be God’s ideal for fiscal solvency because, in their view, it is “Biblical.” Discipline of wives is also advocated in some of these versions of Theonomy — that God’s law be everyone’s law.

    If what you’ve said here is true, how is it that all of these men are welcomed to the table? How is it that they haven’t been arrested for their beliefs (advocacy of murder, denial of spousal rape, capital punishment by stoning for anyone who breaks one of the 300 or so moral laws of old Judaism, Wilson who says that it honors God when the heathens commit suicide or kill their children, etc.) have eluded law enforcement for 50 years (Rushdoony, Otto Scott, Chilton, etc.)? Those men have not broken the law, and plenty of them talk about civil disobedience — being more accountable to God than country. Some of them may be going to their John Birch Society meetings and their churches may have a basement full of guns and ammo (a church in Illinois that former members have told me of), but they haven’t broken the law. They may fulling intend to be at the ready to commit acts of civil disobedience, but to date, none of them has done anything to warrant arrest.

    I have acquaintances who contacted every government agency that they possibly could to tell them about Vision Forum and the things that they were teaching. This was before they fell apart. An FBI representative visited these people and said that it wasn’t illegal to lie. It wasn’t illegal to be a slimy businessman. They had nothing that would warrant them taking any action against them. The only agency that did show a tiny bit of interest was the IRS, though I have no idea what resulted from the many others who contacted the IRS about these “ministries” (including myself who reported them in 2007). I’ve even written to immigration in New Zealand four times to apprise them of the small hoard of Theonomist homeschoolers that were planning a mass immigration to their country as some sparkling haven. I figured that they deserved informed consent.

    We are not supposed to be a country of thought police, and these men live freely in the US, publishing their hate and insanity. They may think about and plan for defending their families against what they believe is an unjust tyrannical government, but they haven’t broken the law. Granted, if they do or did openly act on some of the beliefs that they claim to espouse, they will become “convicted murderers.” And well they should. I don’t think that their beliefs should go unmarked and have gone to great pains to tell the Christian Evangelical community all about their beliefs and practices. At risk of being sued off the planet by Phillips in his hay day while he had his hands in Jim Leininger’s deep, deep pockets, I told the ugly details of many of their beliefs to that community. The Southern Baptist Convention took offense and had me blackballed from the Christian counter-cult movement.

    That said, I don’t think, nor have I ever supported that anyone should be exempt from punishment for a crime, breaking any civil law, or even a moral wrong. I’ve got about twenty posts alone distinguishing forgiveness (to choose to release one’s legal right to seek justice and reparation for loss) from reconciliation (forgive, forget, seek nothing to stop abuse, submit to abuse, and state that there is no longer any history of debt or wrong between parties with past moral grievances between them). Christians are obligated to forgive (to release their right to collect justice from their debtor). That doesn’t mean that they must remain in relationship to them or that they shouldn’t seek government intervention when someone has wronged them.

    It’s legal to be a bigot in the US. It’s legal to lie. It’s legal to teach all of the virtues of slavery like Doug Wilson and even George Grant (who was in some sense an intellectual heir of D. James Kennedy). It’s legal to join and participate in a militia. It’s legal to say, as Wilson has, that God is glorified when the heathen’s skulls are dashed on the rocks if those persons are not part of the covenant community. It’s legal for them to say that heathens should abort their non-Christian babies. It’s even legal to terrorize women/families by telling them that if they had surgery for a tubal pregnancy induced hemorrhage, they have committed murder and sent their baby to hell. And you can publish whatever kind of screed you like — as we see with the Ezzos Baby Wise and Michael Pearl’s prescription for killing your child and inducing irreparable renal damage. I have paid a heavy price, figuratively and literally, to seek earthly justice for those who have suffered under these ideas. I’ve been run out of so many Christian venues because I’ve shouted about those that I think were aspiring murderers via ideology, begging them to hold “their own” accountable.

    I don’t consider my position regarding history or sociology or social psychology naive at all.

  • persephone

    Here is the problem. Those slimy ministers are operating on a small scale. Nazis and RWNJs are now joining coalitions because they have come to believe they have to right to believe this way. They are growing. They are demanding a place at the table. This is not affecting a few thousand, or even a few tens of thousands. This is literally affecting millions of people.

    You can claim I’m being the thought police, but genocide has no place anywhere. All those fundamentalist would love to see a white America, overrun with white fundamentalist babies, but they’ve been under a certain control because of their size and small influence. While you suffered as a result, the actual number of victims is fairly small. The FBI is just not interested in this kind of thing, and, going after any religion is a problem, thanks to that same first amendment. Unless you can produce corpses, obviously murdered corpses, they’re not going to touch a church with a ten-foot pole. The FBI and the IRS were burned hard by Scientology, and they won’t forget it.

    The number of victims of Nazis run into the millions. And the police often support them. Look at Charlottesville. The fascists were marching with loaded automatic weapons. Did the police do anything? No. The police have often been spotted at these rallies helping out the fascists and arresting protestors, protestors who did nothing but show up to say they were wrong. Where is the protestors first amendment right?

    The comments you’ve made indicate that you aren’t seeing the big picture. You’re focusing on what is important to you. I understand that. I’m looking at how these movements have risen over the centuries and how they ended. Allowing them any breathing room causes exponential growth. And it won’t be long until all those fundamentalists are openly joining up with the fascists, because we haven’t shut them down.

    Now, if you’d like to discuss how fascism affects people, I’ll be happy to give you my mother-in-law’s phone number, as she’s very knowledgeable, but, before you call, you should know a few things about her:
    1. She’s a lawyer. She’ll be happy to explain all the ins and outs of the law, and why the government works the way it does, and how the constitution is applied.
    2. She’s Ashkenaz, her grandparents have emigrated from Poland and Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.
    3. She doesn’t have any relatives anymore in Europe, because of the last time people made nice with the fascists, and allowed them a place at the table.

    I’m not trying to be a bitch here, but I suffered, and continue to suffer, because of spiritual abuse, but I recognize that reality of the size of the number of people who are victims, compared to the victims of actual fascists. I’m alive. My children, though, are 1/4 Jewish. That amount of Jewish blood would have landed them in camps to be abused and murdered by the Nazis. I would also probably have ended up in a camp, as having had a relationship with a Jew, defiling my pure, Aryan blood.

    So, I’m sorry. I really am sorry that you suffered because of religion. But I’m going to be very cold and tell you that equating the size of that problem with what is currently happening here and in Europe is unreasonable. Every woman, every person of color, will suffer under fascism.

  • Persephone, I’m glad that you responded. It’s interesting because I have this discussion with cult education folks and activists in Europe all the time. They don’t understand us — and if you think I’m bad. Holy heck! The International Cultic Studies Association started courting Eileen Barker who is a cult apologist. Whenever anyone in Europe goes to court over a cult matter, they call Eileen. She testifies for the cults, not for the exploited people or the governments who have an entirely different approach to religion than we do. This matter accounts for about a third of all of the work that I’ve done.

    I recommend Hannah Arendt’s book (The Origins of Totalism) to Americans, most of whom have never heard of her which disturbs me deeply. Berlet and Lyons’ book, Too Close for Comfort is another that is essential for understanding the problem. Europeans often don’t understand our system, and I hate to say it, but most Americans don’t understand it — and worse yet, they don’t know any history.

    I have a PhD Sociologist friend in Poland, Piotr Nowakowski, who is very concerned about what is happening in Germany and France with Islam. (He lives about five miles down the road from Auschwitz and is a wonderful teacher. And he’s especially patient with my Pennsylvania/Philadelphia-esque accent. — He says that he can’t tell when one sentence ends and the next begins.)Sweden has a problem with both Scientology and the White Male Supremacy business that extends throughout the Netherlands. It’s terrifying to me, and I’m astonished at how much this patriarchy and quiver full stuff shares with that White Power movement there. And I’ve spent much time talking with Robert Orell about this matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNIgKsb1QbA I sit at their feet and learn.

    I don’t understand what the disconnect is between us, because I’ve always been deeply affected by and studied the Holocaust. When I was a child, Corrie ten Boom who endured at Ravensbruck, Holland’s death camp for women. I cannot tell you of the hours I’ve spent contemplating doing what Corrie did — hiding Jews or whomever belongs to whatever marginalized and demonized group of people. I thought it as a child and I consider it now that I will likely be at the top of the lists of several factions in the US, identifying me as a problem.

    And we don’t just limit our fascism to the US. We export it by meddling in nearly every conflict that was none of our blooming business. We’re trying to Americanize the world? It’s ridiculous. The genocide in African nations that have been terrorized by the anti-homosexual agenda which is claimed to be Christian through what is called “spiritual mapping.” You basically exorcize a whole country instead of an individual, and it sent people on killing sprees.

    I used to read the paper every day, looking for references to Zjirinofsky who sounds like he’s another version of Stalin and HATES Jews. When I did missions work in Russia about 25 years ago, I saw too much. Our interpreters, young college students, complained and said that under the USSR, they at least had free college. Before perestroika, no one had much food or money, and life was difficult. Post perestroika, they had to pay for college. Many spoke to me longingly about communism and what they believed that they lost. Many told me that they would gladly go back to the way things were. Their birth certificates were wrong because Stalingrad and Leningrad no longer existed. And how many people did Stalin butcher? Some say 30 million, and some say it was far more than that.

    To add insult to injury, we now have Archie Bunker in charge — and whether he applies the rule of law well as opposed to following his own agenda, God only knows. I spoke to a friend of mine today who confided in me that she was so ill affected by the election that she stopped getting out of bed for about six months. If she didn’t have to work or be anywhere that was imperative, she stayed in bed — terrified and depressed.

    I’m really sorry that your family has suffered. But you state that I’m equating the size of my understanding of Christian Reconstruction and just one of its logical conclusions (Driscoll being given a wide platform with a broad audience to the whole of my understanding of life, the universe and everything. I hate fascism. It destroys our ability to transcend and find meaning in life by reducing humans to nothing.

    I think that we’ve got far more in common regarding our concerns and beliefs, and I am not pleased with how the American system is working — nor has worked. Mark Driscoll has a blog where he can spew nonsense all that he likes. Chalcedon can publish hate mongering and discuss how they are a higher life form while they ponder how great it would be to stone people again. I don’t like the fact that they have so much influence and use their freedom in the manner that they do. It’s wrong and I don’t think that it should be. But it is.

  • What is it that I’m missing? Why are we not connecting?