A few days ago I received an email containing screen caps from Lori Alexander’s pokey little hidey hole for her fans – her chat room. The subject of discussion was standing firm in your marriage and staying married no matter what your husband says or does. Even no matter if it looks like abuse to everyone else. Stay and pray! According to Lori at least.
I’m not going to post those screen caps here because I have no wish to expose the names and awful stories of those suffering ladies. But make no mistake about it, the things these ladies were putting up with is abuse. Contrary to what Ms. Alexander believes abuse isn’t always about being physically assaulted, it’s much more than that. It can be emotional and verbal as well. Sometimes the belittling comments, the yelling, the refusal to support an ailing spouse can hurt someone just as much as a punch to the face. The difference is that those are hidden scars, not literal black eyes.
Lori states on her site that if you are being physically abused by your husband you can separate to avoid the abuse. Even for that there are no exemptions for divorce. She believes in no divorce ever, not understanding that it is just as easy for the emotional and verbal abuse can easily spin, escalating to physical abuse. I guess at least she does allow for separation, unlike Debi Pearl who states that you must stay married and stay in the home even if you are getting the snot beat out of you every single night.
Here’s what Lori said to all those abuse stories being told in her chat room. A screen cap from her blog on Lori’s post titled “Never Encourage Women to Divorce”:
Why does Lori think divorce is not an option even when Jesus himself talked about it in the Bible? And I mean more than believing this from the Bible. Because it’s seems to be a truism that women in Quiverfull who scream ‘No Divorce!!’ are the very ones stuck in awful abusive marriages.
I remember a clique of ladies at my old church that believed the same as Lori Alexander and Debi Pearl. The thing that they all had in common was highly dysfunctional marriages that were making them miserable. They went so far as to demand the pastor force everyone that had been divorced in our church to leave, not understanding that meant most of the worship team, most of the altar ministry, most of the healing and prayer team and many of the Sunday School teachers. It would have decimated the church population and effectively ended or hampered anything getting done at the church.
Our pastor did the right thing, he told them nicely in pastoral language that they could all just pee up a rope. He told them that of all the divorced people in our church none of them had divorced while a church member and he wasn’t going to hold bad past history against anyone. They moved their campaign into harassment by starting to leave anonymous notes on the windshields of any divorced members. We only had one active divorce in our church by a lady whose husband went to jail for molesting their children and the pastor urged her to take that step. She initially said she would stick by him during his incarceration.
They muttered threats of leaving because the pastor was accepting sin. They did all eventually leave with the parting shot of if they stayed in their marriages through ‘bad times’ then we all were obligated to do the same. It boiled down to simple jealousy.
I think with cultural enforcers like Lori and Debi this contemptuous attitude against divorce is exactly the same thing.
By the way, one of the ladies agitating against divorced members was hiding her own earlier divorce and finally ended up divorcing her second husband for being abusive. She got away. But she was the only one of those roughly twenty ladies that did.
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