Category Archives: Religion’s Cell Articles

1 Cor. 14 – Shall Women Keep Silence?

Shall Women Keep Silence?

silence“Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. And if they would learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church”

There have been countless attempts by church leaders to reconcile Paul’s directions about women “praying and prophesying” in Chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians, and the seeming command, “Let the [not your] women keep silence in the churches,” of Chapter 14. And sadly, no one wants to look at this corruption for what it is – a corruption (See my article “Corruption in 1 Cor. 14”). Yes, this is a corruption. However, because many Christians refuse to see if for what it is, let’s look at it from a merely logical perspective.

This lesson is my simple summarization of a chapter written by Katharine C. Bushnell (1856-1946). Bushnell was a brilliant Hebrew and Greek scholar and passionate advocate for the oppressed. Her career included serving as a medical doctor in the U.S. and China, working for social reform, and founding a mission for homeless women in Chicago. She also battled against prostitution in Wisconsin lumber camps and India, and investigated the opium trade between India and China. She received international recognition for her courageous reform work. Also a missionary and scholar, she studied the Bible in its original languages in order to determine the biblical status of women, publishing her findings in the book, God’s Word to Women.

The Theological Arguments

Argument #1: Paul is meeting a purely local difficulty of some sort that is of no importance outside of Corinth or to us in our day.

The Objection: We cannot assume that any point made in Scripture has only a local application even though this is sometimes the case. Otherwise, we can weaken the authority of the Bible.

Argument #2: Paul changed his mind and decided to forbid women to speak at all. (This is the usual claim by clergy.)

Objection #1: He changed it quickly, then, without any consideration or thought into the damages his words would cause later on. As we all know, this statement has affected millions of women for centuries in a bad way.

Objection #2: Was Paul really this fickle? If his words are supposed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit who prompted them, how could the Holy Spirit be so fickle?

Argument #3: He forbids women from ‘babbling’ and ‘chattering’ in church, but does not forbid them from prophesying.

Objection #1: Those who hold this view generally refer to the disorderly way women in Eastern churches, recently out of heathenism, conducted themselves. But there is no proof that Corinthian women misbehaved after this manner.

Objection #2: The Greek word here “to talk” (laleo), may be employed in the sense of “to babble”, but the Apostle never uses it in this sense elsewhere, and he uses the word 23 times in this very chapter for solemn utterance under Divine inspiration.

Argument #4: He only forbids women to speak and ask questions; they must ask their questions at home.

Objection #1: It is not known that even men asked questions in church, as the Jewish men did in the synagogue. There is an “assumption” that men asked questions. We cannot assume anything here. “Let all the earth keep silence before Him (Hab. 2:20),” could be construed as closing the mouths of the entire church, but we do not interpret it that way.

Objection #2: As to women asking their husbands at home, some of these Corinthian women would be widows, some divorced on account of their Christian faith, some with Jewish husbands, some with heathen husbands, some not married at all. This would be true of all the churches throughout history. I don’t think Paul would send these women “to their husbands” to ask questions. This would be foolish.

If Paul did such a foolish thing, then he is responsible for driving these women back to Judaism and heathenism for spiritual help; many others he deprived of all opportunity to get their questions answered since they had no husbands! In fact, a majority of the Christian women would have been left ignorant of very important spiritual truths by such a ruling. We cannot possibly believe that Paul went about giving the Bread of Life to all men and a stone for bread to women?

Argument #5: Paul uses the phrase, “it is not permitted,” clearly implying that others besides him knew this thing was forbidden even before he stated it.

Objection: Not one trace of any such prohibition can be found anywhere in the Bible until these very words of Paul appear. This raises the question about where these words came from. Who did not permit it? Where was it not permitted? The O.T. says absolutely nothing to forbid women to speak.

Argument #6: Most religious men believe that Paul’s command closed the mouth of every Christian woman.

Objection #1: We must remember to read the account of Miriam (Ex. 15:20); of Deborah (Judges chs. 4 and 5); of the immense assembly of important people addressed by the daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1-7, where it is expressly said the Lord approved their message); the references to Huldah the prophetess (2Kings 22); the references to women who prophesied in song (1 Chron. 25); and to women who “prophesy out of their own heart,” where the rebuke is as to what is prophesied, not as to the prophesying itself (Ezek. 13:17).

Objection #2: There is a considerable body of women prophets and it implies that there were many other women prophets who were not false. Then, we must read of Anna, (Luke 2:36-38); of the women Christ caused to speak in public (Luke 8:47, Luke 13:13); the utterance of Peter as to women prophesying (Acts 2:16-18); and the reference to Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9).

As we can see from these arguments and objections, there is so much more to consider than just believing this ‘known corruption’ to be fact. Just looking at it logically, we find many flaws. So, all this said, let’s ask ourselves this question: If this one only utterance of Paul is to be used and set up as a Scriptural “law” to silence women, then what is to be done with the hundred and one other “laws” in the O.T. opening the mouths of women, — such as:

  • “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so”
  • “Praise ye the Lord” (repeated about 100 times in Psalms alone)
  • “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
  • “Declare His doings among the people”
  • “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord,”
  • “Tell of all His wondrous works”

It is simply impossible for men to claim that all these admonitions and exhortations were meant for men only. As a matter of fact, it was not understood that way for thousands of years, and for religious leaders to teach such an interpretation of one SINGLE sentence of Scripture now, sets at defiance more than a hundred other scriptures.

Many scholars understand Paul’s words, “it is not permitted” as referring to some rule outside, not inside Scripture; possibly the oral tradition of the Jews. However, it is not likely that Paul would quote the oral tradition of the Jews and refer to them as “the law.” Paul spent a large amount of time battling against these very traditions just as Jesus did. Paul even warns against “giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” (Tit. 1:14) Even if we did not know this was a corruption placed in Scripture, one would still find problems with it. The Apostle Paul was probably quoting what the Judaizers in the Corinthian Church were teaching – who themselves said women must “keep silence” because Jewish law taught it. Scholars already know that many of the scribal marginal notes have been inserted into scripture as scripture, so this occurring here would not be out of the ordinary.

We could believe then that Paul was responding to the teachings of these Judaizers: “What! Came the word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only?”

One can gather from this Epistle several things:

  1. The Corinthian Christians had written Paul a letter (7:1) and he is answering it.
  2. There were divisions among them (1:11).
  3. Paul had enemies at Corinth, who disputed his right to be called an Apostle (9:1).
  4. They criticized him and his companions for leading about women with them (9:5). He declares that “we” have as much right to do it as “the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas.” Who was this woman? No doubt it was Priscilla along with her husband Aquila. Also notice Paul mentions Priscilla first instead of her “head.” This alone would cause a scandal in that day. She was a very well known person to all “the churches of the Gentiles” (Rom. 16:4). How could that be if she were silenced by Paul?

Women, Religion, Violence and Power

Women, Religion, Violence and Power

TRANSCRIPT

BOB FAW, correspondent: The abuse of women is a worldwide epidemic. Every year, according to the United Nations, nearly 700,000 women and girls are traded across international borders and sold into sexual slavery. Tens of thousands more are beaten, raped, and murdered. One quarter of all American women, by some estimates, will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Melanne Verveer was the first United States ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues and is now with the Institute for Women, Peace, and Security at Georgetown University.

AMBASSADOR MELANNE VERVEER (Executive Director, Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, Georgetown University): It is a global scourge. It incurs a great set of limitations on individuals—much of half of the population of the world. Women have enormous agency that is being kept back, and so they are not only being shortchanged, but our world is being shortchanged.

Justice-for-Women-post01FAW: Full-time female workers earn, on average, 23 percent less than men, while women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, says the United Nations, and women make up the largest block of the world’s poor. Jalwat Ali from Pakistan:

JALWAT ALI (Labour Education Foundation): Of course they are working, but they do not have recognition as a separate entity. No woman’s name is ever recorded in the registers. Whatever work she does is noted down with her man.

FAW: Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn have traveled the world championing human rights and charitable causes, and from what Carter has seen and studied, he says the abuse and exploitation of women is the world’s gravest issue. He recently wrote a book about it.

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER (Author, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power”): The worst human rights abuse on earth right now is by far the abuse of women and girls, and this takes place not only in every foreign country but also in the United States quite severely.

FAW: In much of developing world boys are prized so much more than girls that newborn females are killed, and female fetuses are destroyed.

VERVEER: You abort a female fetus because you have this great desire that somehow she is not of the same level, the same worth as the son is.

FAW: Some policies like one child per family and extreme poverty, President Carter says, causes parents to choose boys over girls because boys are more able to support the family.

Justice-for-Women-post02CARTER: We believe about 40 million people were killed in the Second World War. Four times as many little baby girls have been killed in this generation by their own parents, who strangle the little girls at birth. Sonograms have become available to remote villages, and they can detect the sex of the developing fetus, and now after about 12 weeks or so if they discern it is going to be a girl baby, they abort the fetus.

FAW: in some countries like India and China, with so many females being aborted, there are not enough women available to marry, so girls are stolen from their parents and shipped off to be child brides.

SALEHA BIBI: I prayed for my daughter in the mosque, and I gave sacrificial offerings, and I keep praying so I can find her.

FAW: Carter says the World Health Organization estimates that 122 million women and girls have been subjected to female genital mutilation.

ASLI AHMED: What could I do as a child? The adults make the decision for me. It was not your choice.

CARTER: There are about 25 countries in Africa almost half of the females have their genitals mutilated. It is a custom that is perpetuated by women only. Husbands don’t insist on it, mullahs don’t insist on it, the government doesn’t insist on it. In fact, there is a law against it, but women when they were circumcised as children, and they feel it is proper for them to circumcise their little baby daughters.

Justice-for-Women-post03FAW: Carter and others say one root cause of this abuse of women is the misreading of scripture or sacred texts, legitimizing male dominance over females.

CARTER: The great religions misinterpret their scripture. The men leaders of the great religions select verses from the Holy Bible or from the Qur’an that show that women should be given, relegated to a secondary position in the eyes of God, and this gives a potential abusive husband or an employer who wants to pay less to women employees than men an excuse: If women aren’t equal in the eyes of God, why should I treat her equal in my business or in my home?

FAW: While Carter says he has great respect for many denominations, he is uncomfortable that Catholic women can’t be priests and deacons. That kind of restriction hit a personal note for Carter and his wife in the year 2000 when a conservative group took over the Southern Baptist Convention, of which the Carters are members.

CARTER: They mandated that women could no longer be pastors, deacons, or chaplains. Those kinds of things disturbed me, so we now belong to a Baptist church in Plains, Georgia, and we have female pastors and men pastors.

FAW: The term “gendercide” or “missing millions” refers to females eliminated by abortion, neglect, and murder, and Ambassador Verveer says if the culture which permits those practices does not change, neither will the abuses.

VERVEER: Women who birth daughters are being made to feel in many places that somehow they failed, they have failed miserably, and often these girls are the last fed, if they’re fed at all, and they are denied any prospect of the kind of life they deserve.

Justice-for-Women-post04FAW: Both Verveer and Carter agree that too many religious leaders have remained silent about these issues and that until that changes, progress will be slow.

VERVEER: There needs to be a stronger collective voice that says enough, already. We should not be treating half of our world’s population in the way they are being treated, and yet there isn’t that kind of reaction that says there is no place in our faith communities for any of this. And it’s not just religious leaders. We need political leaders across the board to be recognizing these issues for the serious issues that they are.

FAW: The problems are systemic, but progress is being made. In Senegal, for example, one individual, Molly Melching has rallied villagers and stemmed the practice of female genital mutilation. President Carter’s book proposes 23 other remedies, like prosecuting not just prostitutes but also their male customers, and on university campuses where almost one in four women say they have been raped, withholding federal funds if the universities don’t vigorously prosecute the campus rapists.

CARTER: The college presidents and deans don’t want it to be known that rape takes place on college campuses, so they discourage the girls from reporting the rapes, and we have the same problem within the military.

FAW: Carter and others agree very little real progress or change is likely without a change of mindset.

. . . . to finish reading transcript, click HERE.

 

Warning Letter in 1993 to Jack Schaap and First Baptist Church of Hammond Indiana

From the Author: I am re-blogging this warning letter so that people can see how religious leaders stealthily and deceptively cover up crimes and hide criminals in their midst.  I also want readers to see how religious leaders attack and malign those who come forward to report abuses witnessed. Church leaders set out to “discredit” the witness and the victim.

I would like to point out some POSSIBILITIES here based on my experiences with other abuse victims who have reported. Here they are:

  • It is possible that in setting out to discredit the witness and the child, the church leaders created new abuse victims (the witness and the child’s parents) and perpetrated secondary abuse onto the small child.
  • It may have possibly created enemies out of long-time friends in this church who this family or witness may have had as leaders rallied church members to the defense of the pedophile they were trying to protect. Not only this, but this letter shows that the church was more concerned about their reputation than the trauma this child endured and the needs of this family.
  • It is also very possible the witness and the child’s parents may have lost any paid positions they may have held in the church as a result of reporting.
  • It is possible the church leaders may have used scripture and God to inflict emotional harm to this poor family and witness in order to try and shame them and silence them.
  • The witness and the child’s parents possibly suffered great emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the church’s treatment of them.

This is only my thoughts on the possibilities. All of this possible abuse, is aimed at silencing the truth and the truth tellers. Truly, only Voyle Glover and those that knew this family can validate if any of this took place. But I just want people to “think” about the affects their words and behaviors have in situations like this when they try to victim blame and hide criminal behaviors. It causes good people to do and say bad things to other good people.

Sadly, this is the pattern that religious institutions and religious leaders are following all across America. They not only secondarily abuse victims, they leave a trail of new victims in their wake as a result of the slander and lies they put out to their congregations regarding victims and witnesses. They have no problem dividing families and destroying lives in order to hide the abuser and the abuse. Reputation trumps truth.  What is even more sad, is that this letter was ignored and today, Jack Schaap, is in federal prison for taking a minor across state lines for sex.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Warning Letter in 1993 to Jack Schaap and First
Baptist Church of Hammond Indiana
By Voyle Glover

THE DEACON CHILD MOLESTER
Years ago, a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, molested a child in the Sunday School class at the church. The deacon, A.V.
Ballenger, was a long time respected member of the church. Upon the arrest of Ballenger, Hyles came out in support of Ballenger from the pulpit, preaching an entire sermon that can be summarized as mostly a defense of himself for not investigating the case when he was told about it by an eye-witness, and it was a defense of Ballenger.

Example: “A.V. Ballenger should not be judged in the courts of Hammond. He should be judged by wise people in the First Baptist Church of Hammond, if he’s judged at all. And I’ll explain to you after awhile whether or not he should be judged at all….” -sermon by Jack Hyles 10-23-91

Jack Schaap, the son-in-law of Hyles, also spoke out publicly on the matter, saying that the little girl “was one of the most affectionate children I’ve ever known…” and then relates how she was on his bus route and was always hugging on him. One had to come away from that sermon stunned because the clear implication there was that somehow, due to the affectionate nature of the child, she was to be blamed, and that somehow her affection was the cause of this injustice (Ballenger being charged with child molesting).

Now in the past, I have represented Jack Schaap on some minor things, mostly giving advice on various things and I believe a contract here and there. I genuinely liked Jack Schaap. So, when I heard Hyles’ sermon, followed by Schaap’s position, and the church’s horrific treatment of the witness to the molestation, a Sunday School teacher who was a loyal-to-all-things-Jack, I could not resist writing a letter to Schaap, and even sent him a copy of my book, though I am sure he’d already read it by then. What follows is the letter (sans my letterhead) I sent to Jack Schaap. I never got a response. Subsequently, in July 2012, Jack Schaap was fired for having sex with a minor and was indicted. His sentencing is scheduled for January 2013. He has entered a plea agreement with the United States (see links at the end of this piece to download the plea agreement).

April 1, 1993

Jack Schaap
*************

Dyer, IN 46311

Dear Jack:

I found Mr. Ballenger’s case so extremely ironic and sad, indeed, pitiful. Your pastor advanced the “one witness” doctrine (called “Justice,” I believe) and in my book (p. 240-42), I took issue with his teachings on that and even advanced a hypothetical where a young girl is molested. I proved, based on your pastor’s own words, how a molestation was likely to be covered up with his rationale, rather than exposed and dealt with. Little did I know that the Ballenger case would prove my hypothetical to be exactly true. I predicted how an alleged molestation would be covered and not dealt with properly using your pastor’s rationale. And it was so.

Dunno if you’re still interested in truth anymore, Jack. I know you used to be. If you are, read the hypothetical I posed in the book (enclosed). And then think about it. And ask yourself what possible gain Tamara Wenger could have had in coming forward with her story. And wonder, with me, at the terrible things being said about her. How much Christian love is being shown to her? Is she not a sister in Christ? And even if you can somehow conjure up a rationale to advance the notion that she is not, are you not commanded to love your enemy? Even those who “despitefully use” you? God has said: “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15. I would greatly fear, Jack, of
being as an abomination unto my Lord. But, what you and others have done is to condemn a woman who was just, who reported something she saw. Even your pastor says: “I do not say it is not true. I said I do not believe it.” Thus, to call Mrs. Wenger a liar, is to condemn the just. I’ve never spoken with the woman, but from all reports, she is a good woman, although I think she had absolutely no idea of the storm that would swirl around her. But I thank God she stood firm in spite of the ugly treatment accorded to her by Christians who purport to love but in fact, love only those who love them. And Jesus said that was easy and not really commendable, didn’t He? Thus, even if she was an “enemy” (and she could hardly be characterized as that), the terrible things said about her are unchristian and contrary to Scripture.

. . . to read the rest of the Letter click HERE.

The Evil – How to Identify Them – Cont’d

goodorevilDeciding to write about this topic was one I thought would interest survivors of abuse. Many survivors are currently dealing with evil in their lives – whether it be evil perpetrated against them to silence them or, just plain evil people – either way, evil will leave a person afraid, hurting, confused and a whole host of other emotions. Surrounded by evil behaviors from good people and evil behaviors and words from evil people, we must understand how dangerous the evil are and how they affect us. This information is so much more involved than just the little I share with readers here. I recommend everyone purchase and read a copy of M. Scott Peck’s, People of the Lie. He covers this topic so well and identifies so much of what we deal with as survivors from the people in the religious cults we came out of. It is a must read for every survivor. I am sure when he wrote this book, he never dreamed it would be applicable to the church and its followers!  Sadly, it is.  Knowing how to identify and avoid evil and those who are evil will save us so much trauma. All this said, let me take up where I left off in the first part of this topic and discuss the next characteristics of “the evil” that will help us to identify who they are.

People of the Lie

Peopleofthelie

Another characteristic of the evil is Narcissism, or self-absorption. According to Dr. Peck, some forms of it are normal in childhood, but not in adulthood. Some are more distinctly pathological than others. He talks about a particular pathologic variant called “malignant narcissism,” a term given by Erich Fromm.

“Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal. They do what God wants them to do rather than what they would desire. “Thy will, not mine, be done,” the God-submitted person says. They believe in what is true rather than what they would like to be true. . . what their beloved needs becomes more important to them than their own gratification. In summary, to a greater or lesser degree, all mentally healthy individuals submit themselves to the demands of their own conscience. Not so the evil, however. In the conflict between their guilt and their will, it is the guilt that must go and the will that must win.”—M. Scott Peck, M.D.

He goes on to say the evil are extraordinary in their willfulness. They have a strong will and are determined to have their own way. There is remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others (Peck).

This said, a strong will does not determine that a person is evil.

“It is a characteristic of all “great” people that they are extremely strong-willed—whether their greatness be for good or for evil. The strong will—the power and authority—of Jesus radiates from the Gospels, just as Hitler’s did from Mein Kempf. But Jesus’ will was that of his Father, and Hitler’s that of his own. The crucial distinction is between “willingness and willfulness.”

This willful failure to submission that characterizes malignant narcissism is depicted in both the stories of Satan and of Cain and Abel. Satan refused to submit to God’s judgment that Christ was superior to him. For Christ to be preferred meant that Satan was not. Satan was less than Christ in God’s eyes. For Satan to have accepted God’s judgment, he would have had to accept his own imperfection. This he could not or would not do. It was unthinkable that he was imperfect. Consequently submission was impossible and both the rebellion and fall inevitable. So also God’s acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice implied a criticism of Cain: Cain was less than Abel in God’s eyes. Since he refused to acknowledge his imperfection, it was inevitable that Cain, like Satan, should take the law into his own hands and commit murder. In some similar, although usually more subtle fashion, all who are evil also take the law into their own hands, to destroy life or liveliness in defense of their narcissistic self-image.”—M. Scott Peck, M.D.

What is the cause of this malignant narcissism, this arrogant self-image of perfection? How come it doesn’t afflict everyone? No one knows why. They have not even succeeded in distinguishing between all the different types of self-absorbtion yet. At the time Dr. Peck wrote his book, People of the Lie, there was no definitive answer. Some people can be grossly narcissistic and other not at all.

Another characteristic of the evil is that they are masters of disguise. As mentioned in the first part of this article, because the evil are masters of deception and disguise, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil. Their disguise is impenetrable (Peck). The evil hate the truth that exposes their flaws, their crimes, their manipulations, their deceptions. No cost is too high to pay in order to maintain the disguise of righteousness and respectability. Everyone becomes expendable in order to maintain the façade.

And the last characteristic of the evil that I will cover is this: The evil always hide their motives with lies. The lies are not necessarily blatant or gross lies. “Naturally, since it is designed to hide its opposite, the pretense chosen by the evil is most commonly the pretense of love (M. Scott Peck, M.D.). “Because we are good, loving parents, we are deeply concerned about Timothy.” “Because I am her pastor and I love Susie, I am only looking out for her best interests.” “Because we are your parents and we love you, we are doing this to you.” And yet, not everyone is operating under this disguise. So, then, according to Dr. Peck, it must be a matter of degree and it is difficult to know where to draw the line between those that are “falling” into evil and the “fallen.”

First there is a matter of the degree to which they are willing to sacrifice their victim for the preservation of their narcissisitic self-image (Peck). There seems to be no length to which they won’t go. It will not bother them at all to label their victim and use him as a scapegoat. Then there is also the degree — the depth and distortion — of their lying (Peck). The lies are so many that it is a web of deceit so vast that it is nauseating and overwhelming to those affected by it.

Evil is contagious. It affects those surrounded by it in harmful and destructive ways. It leads to many abuses and crimes. So, it is imperative we are able to identify those that are perpetrating evil AND those who have “crossed the line” and are Evil. Let’s review what we’ve covered thus far:

  • Evil begins when one denies his lies and abusive actions.
  • The consistency of the sins is what separates evil and good. The destruction is consistent.
  • Those who have “crossed the line” are characterized by their absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness.
  • Another predominant characteristic of the behavior of evil people is scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, the evil must lash out at anyone who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection.
  • The most typical victim of evil is a child because parents wield absolute power over them. I will add to this that religious leaders can also wield this same power over children.
  • The evil love raw power in order to control and manipulate others.
  • The evil project their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil: on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others.
  • Evil, then, is most often committed in order to scapegoat, and the people labeled as such are chronic scapegoaters and blamers. They are consistently placing blame on others for their inadequacies, short falls and wrong doing.
  • The evil are completely dedicated to preserving their self-image. They are continually engaged in an effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity and righteousness.
  • The evil are masters of deception and disguise, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil. Their disguise is impenetrable.
  • Another characteristic of the evil is Narcissism, or self-absorption.
  • The evil hate the truth that exposes their flaws, their crimes, their manipulations, their deceptions. No cost is too high to pay in order to maintain the disguise of righteousness and respectability.
  • The evil always hide their motives with lies. The lies are not necessarily blatant or gross lies. “Naturally, since it is designed to hide its opposite, the pretense chosen by the evil is most commonly the pretense of love (M. Scott Peck, M.D.).

In conclusion, because of the church’s attempts to defend the evil they hide underneath their façade of righteousness, I have endeavored to help readers understand how to identify the evil no matter where one may be. For the last several years, survivors of religious abuses have been doing their best to tell the world the evil they have endured at the hands of those they should have been able to trust.  The evil are in the church and outside of the church, they are family members, they are neighbors, co-works, employers, politicians – everyday people.

Identifying the evil that surround us will enable us to avoid the contamination to the best of our ability. It will allow us an OPPORTUNITY to avoid it, if at all possible, and not be blind-sided by it. Usually, evil is so subtle that by the time we do realize what is happening, it is too late and the harm has been done. Since there is so much evil lurking underneath the mantle of righteousness that many people wear, we must be all the more wiser and our radar needs to be on the highest possible alert level in order to avoid becoming victimized by it, or worse, fall into it. It’s that serious. Identifying evil and “the evil” can mean the difference between happiness or destruction, life or death. What I have come to realize is there is evil in the church system. The Evil have also made their home there. Yet, there are good people in the church system and they too have made their home there. It behooves us to know who our enemies are and avoid them. We also must be aware that because the evil and the good operate alongside each other, good people can be contaminated and influenced by the evil to do evil things to other good people. Those contaminated by evil can recover and be recovered. They are not lost to it. Only those that have “crossed the line” and ARE evil cannot be recovered. This said, one thing rings true where evil is concerned – its primary agenda is to protect self-image. Any organization where you see a complete focus on preserving a righteous and respectable facade; where the focus is to hide all the dirty laundry and corruption – you will find evil lurking. Be Aware.

**M. Scott Peck, M.D.,  is the author of, The People of the Lie, and The Road Less Traveled.

 . . . . . . click here for part one of this topic

The Evil – How to Identify Them

goodorevilOne of the problems religious abuse survivors have voiced over and over again is that the “Church” is full of pedophiles, rapists, misogynists, narcissists and physical and emotional abusers. Repeatedly the roar of the voices of the multitude of the victims of these crimes against humanity, drown out the church’s attempts to defend the evil they hide underneath their façade of righteousness. It’s very hard for those who have been victims of evil to understand they are indeed “victims not just of abuse, but of the Evil.” However, once we have a diagnoses and a name to what has been projected onto us, we can then take the necessary steps to escape the evil.

Let me say the Evil are not those who fill jail cells across the world; howbeit, there are evil people in prison. Evil people surround us. They are professionals, politicians, business owners, parents, employers, religious leaders, friends and neighbors. How can this be? All these people have the ability to gain dominion over us. While some of them may have perpetrated crimes of murder, rape, incest and physical abuses, still others may not be designated as “criminals” because their “crimes” are more subtle. They are criminals in that they commit “crimes” against life and liveliness. They attack the soul by destroying growth, self-worth, self-esteem, autonomy and individuality. They are not always direct with their evil. Their “crimes” are so subtle and covert they cannot clearly be designated as crimes. Those who stay in the presence of evil people will be contaminated and destroyed. The Evil are dangerous. The best thing one can do when faced with evil is to run the other way; get away from it as quickly as you can. But in order to IDENTIFY those who are evil, we need some way of being able to do so.

First, we must put a distinction between evil and ordinary sin. “It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people, rather it is the subtlety and persistence and consistency of their sins. This is because the central defect of the evil is not the sin but the REFUSAL to acknowledge it (M. Scott Peck, M.D.). According to Dr. Peck, there is a kind of randomness to their destructiveness. Evil people deny responsibility for their evil deeds. However, evil deeds do not an evil person make. Otherwise, we should all be evil, because we all do evil things.

Sinning is defined as “missing the mark.” This means we sin every time we fall short of perfection. Because we can’t be perfect, we are all sinners. We will “routinely fail to do the very best of which we are capable, and with each failure we commit a crime of sorts – against God, our neighbors, or ourselves, if not frankly against the law (M. Scott Peck, M.D.). Everyone sins.

Evil, on the other hand, is different. Evil begins when we deny our lies and abusive actions. The consistency of the sins is what separates evil and sin. While usually subtle, the DESTRUCTIVENESS of evil people is remarkably consistent. This is because those who have “crossed the line” are characterized by their ABSOLUTE refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness. This is why they deny, deny and deny they have done any wrong or harm to others. Instead they place blame.

The poor in spirit do not commit evil. Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness, who question their own motives, who worry about betraying themselves. The evil in this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisees of our own day, the self-righteous who think they are without sin because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination. . . And it is out of their failure to put themselves on trial that their evil arises. – M. Scott Peck, M.D.

“Another predominant characteristic of the behavior of evil people is scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, the evil must lash out at anyone who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection (M. Scott Peck, M.D.).” Not only this, but evil people will use their influence to rally others to their cause of protecting their self-image. We see this consistently throughout the country across all denominations where sexual crimes and abuse are exposed against church leaders. As a result, countless “good” people perpetrate evil on other “good” people even though they have not crossed the line to becoming evil. Or have they? When we see consistency in evil actions being perpetrated, then we can say they have “crossed the line.” Many have crossed the line.

Take a simple example of a six-year old boy who asks his father, “Daddy, why did you call Grandmommy a bitch?” “I told you to stop bothering me,” the father roars. “Now you’re going to get it. I’m going to teach you not to use such filthy language. I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap. Maybe that will teach to clean up what you say and keep your mouth shut when you’re told.” Dragging the boy upstairs to the soap dish, the father inflicts this punishment on him. In the name of “proper discipline” evil has been committed. – M. Scott Peck, M.D.

This example is very common in religious circles. Many religious leaders teach that washing a child’s mouth out with soap is perfectly permissible in order to teach the child not to say certain words or, voice their displeasure, or for questioning authority, rules and doctrine. Without even realizing it, good people are taught to do evil things to the vulnerable who have no voice in anything that happens to them. Not only this, the evil teach good people how to become evil and, even believe the evil they perpetrate, is right.  In the Independent Fundamental Baptist cult I came out of, we were taught to “break the child’s will.” We were instructed to spank them for every infraction, CONSISTENTLY! This “breaking of the child’s will” could start as an infant!  This is evil and it is perpetrated consistently in this sect by seemingly good people.

Parents have complete dominion over children. This puts children as the number one targets of evil. As a result, “when a child is grossly confronted by significant evil in its parents, it will most likely misinterpret the situation and believe that the evil resides in itself. Add to this fact that evil people, refusing to acknowledge their own failures, actually desire to project their evil onto others, and it is no wonder that children will misinterpret the process by hating themselves. (Peck)” This is why children suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. This is why they attempt suicide, run away from home, or lean toward alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms.

To children – even adolescents—their parents are like gods. The way their parents do things seems the way they SHOULD be done. Children are seldom able to objectively compare their parents to other parents. They are not able to make realistic assessments of their parents’ behavior. Treated badly by its parents, a child will usually assume that it is bad. If treated as an ugly, stupid second-class citizen, it will grow up with an image of itself as ugly, stupid and second-class. Raised without love, children come to believe themselves unlovable. We may express this as a general law of child development: Whenever there is a major deficit in parental love, the child will, in all likelihood, respond to that deficit by assuming itself to be the cause of the deficit, thereby developing an unrealistically negative self-image.—M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Another indication of the evil is the way they are influenced by raw power. When an evil person has power or dominion over others, they are only interested in controlling them. This control causes the evil to neglect the needs, desires and wants of others. It also causes them to treat others disrespectfully; not allowing for their opinions, thoughts and desires to be voiced. The evil will sacrifice good people to protect their self-image AND in order to maintain CONTROL. This is why questioning rules and dogmas is taboo in churches with evil leadership. The evil want blind obedience and unquestionable loyalty. Those who do not meet these criteria are sacrificed in the most vicious and humiliating ways. Many do not recover from the evil projected onto them when they are scapegoated and cast off.

Since the evil, deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad. They PROJECT their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil: on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others. The father (in the example above) perceived the profanity and uncleanliness as existing in his son and took action to cleanse his son’s “filthiness.” Yet we know it was the father who was profane and unclean. The father projected his own filth onto his son and then assaulted his son in the name of good parenting (M. Scott Peck, M.D.).

Evil, then, is most often committed in order to scapegoat, and the people labeled as such are chronic scapegoaters and blamers. They are consistently placing blame for their evil behavior and words.

Strangely though, evil people also attempt to destroy evil in others. But instead of trying to do this, they should be trying to destroy the sickness and evil within themselves. The evil are quick to judge sin and sinners and condemn them to hell. They are quick to isolate themselves and their families from others so they can have complete control over their families. They are quick to take action against those that speak out about their abusers and abuses within the church. They are quick to inflict physical punishment or harm to those that disagree with their beliefs, lifestyles and/or do not follow the rules. The EVIL also kill in God’s name.

“The evil are completely dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfect holiness. They are continually engaged in an effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity and righteousness. The evil dress well, go to work on time, pay their taxes, and outwardly look like good people. “The words “image,” “appearance,” and “outwardly” are crucial to understanding the morality of the evil. They intensely desire to appear good. Their “goodness” is all on a level of pretense. It is a lie (Peck).” They cannot and will not look within themselves at the evil they commit and project onto others. They only see themselves as “righteous” and others as “sinners.”

Because the evil are masters of deception and disguise, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil. Their disguise is impenetrable. The evil hate the truth that exposes their flaws, their crimes, their manipulations, their deceptions. No cost is too high to pay in order to maintain the disguise of righteousness and respectability.

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Are You Good or Evil?

zombieSometimes it is easy for people to commit Evil and not even be aware of it. There are countless people that harass, character assassinate, stalk and verbally abuse people who step forward to report their abuses at the hands of clergy. There are countless Christians who do the same to those who expose lies in doctrine or teaching. What they do not realize is that they are committing Evil in God’s name. These two things should never go together! God and Evil are opposites. Let me explain.

What many do not understand is the working definition of EVIL. “Evil is in opposition to life. It is that which opposes the life force. It has, in short, to do with killing (M.Scott Peck).” When I say this, I am not necessarily talking about murder as we understand murder. Evil can also kill the SPIRIT. Some attributes of human life are growth, autonomy, will, self-respect, dignity, self-worth. It is possible to kill or try to kill one or all of these attributes in a person without physically hurting them. This is done through psychological, emotional and spiritual abuses; or, religious indoctrination through mind control, information control and behavior modification techniques. Let me say emphatically this: Any belief or teaching that causes a person to perpetrate Evil is, itself Evil. It’s fruit will be Evil. The end result will be “soul murder” for the victim.

Religious indoctrination can employ this “soul murder” in order to make others controllable. Soul murder fosters dependency on leadership and the religious system and discourages a person’s capacity to think for himself. This prevents questioning, originality, autonomy and unpredictability in people. It produces “zombies” that are easily managed and told what to do and what to believe. The victims of “soul murder” are innumerable and God will hold religious leaders accountable for each “zombie” they create. Then, these “dead” people are used as pawns to further EVIL by attacking and killing others “in His name.” Yet these “dead” individuals do not know they are dead! They do not realize that their life force has been sucked out of them and replaced with Evil. They don’t know they are Evil because they are zombies. They are only interested in creating other zombies!

Evil then, can be said to be a force that resides inside of us that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness promotes life and liveliness. Some think that because they go to church, live a good life, are separated unto God or, know scripture that they cannot perpetrate Evil. This is so far from reality and truth! These “Zombies for God” go about killing the souls of those trying to escape the EVIL who are already broken, abused and wounded. The cycle never ends.

Evil is in opposition to God. God wants us to not just have life. He wants us to live life ABUNDANTLY. Satan, however, is a murderer. Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning.” “Evil has nothing to do with natural death; it is concerned only with unnatural death, with the murder of the body or spirit (M. Scott Peck, M.D.).”

God is love. UNCONDITIONAL love promotes healing. Wherever there is this kind of love one can find healing.  Wherever one finds unconditional love there will be peace, joy, liveliness and contentment. Evil is deadly. Wherever there is Evil one will find brokenness, pain, depression, anxieties and fear. There will be a loss of dignity, autonomy and self-worth. It leads to death.

By hurling insults at victims, by harassing them, by stalking them, by calling them all manner of names, Satan has just effectively used you to do his will – to KILL. To kill the life force in a person is the worst possible crime against a human being. It is the greatest sin of all. Physical death at least puts an end to suffering. Soul murder does no such thing. It is either done to manipulate and control others or, it is done with the specific intent to cause more suffering and pain far into the future. Life, then, has no joy. Life is painful to get through. Physical death then becomes preferable to life.

Evil is a “choice.” One can CHOOSE to love others and lift them up in order to promote healing and autonomy as human beings. Or, one can CHOOSE to degrade, accuse and hurl insults in order to KILL their soul. If you truly want victims of abuse to HEAL, then stop the verbal abuse, the accusations, the name-calling, the harassment, the stalking. By showering them with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and support, you will then enable them to heal. Anything less than this is EVIL.

Suffering as a part of Salvation?

inquisition picOne of the areas of interest for me, as a student of early church history, is the Emperor Constantine. What this emperor did by merging pagan and Christian concepts, was to create a man-made religious “system” that would take the world by storm. This new brand of Christianity was able to give Constantine a position that allowed complete domination and control of the populace through secular strength and power. The corruptions that ensued as a result of his leadership, helped to bring his agenda for control of the masses to fruition. The religious system developed, for the first time in human history, merged secular strength with religious control. This one man was responsible for the mutilation and murder of hundreds of millions of people “in the name of God” for the salvation of the world through Christ. Most of those mutilated and murdered were women and children. Because of his new brand of Christianity, the world and its view of women, was forever changed. Inequality and oppression toward women proliferated and emerged victorious through force.

Throughout Christendom today, countless multitudes have no idea that the brand of Christianity they serve is a by-product of this merger. Through the process of time, corruptions and mutations have occurred within this system that have set up mere men with the ability to sway governments, incite people to violence, and affect secular laws. The power and control wielded through “religion” is a phenomenon that very few talk about. I talk about this merger in my book, Religion’s Cell: Doctrines of the Church that Lead to Bondage and Abuse.

“The cross signifies the problem: When suffering is seen to serve a universal plan of salvation, its particular character as tragic and evil is always diminished.” – Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll, pg 6

Because of this merger between government and religion, those in control throughout the religious system had the power to confiscate wealth, the power to put anyone to death, the power to rape and torture – all in God’s name for the salvation of the soul of the victim. From the time of Constantine till now, this religious system that was created has reached its tentacles into every era throughout history with its evil. What is the evil? The mindset and/or belief that all this suffering, meant to bring about the salvation of others, was necessary and good. Does the end justify the means? What is it’s fruit? Let’s look at one example and see.

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(Excerpt from my book, Religion’s Cell: Doctrines of the Church that Lead to Bondage and Abuse.)

The Inquisition of 1320

During the Inquisition in 1320, when Pope John XXII formalized the persecution of witchcraft, women were the first target to be persecuted. In order to rid Europe of sorcery, millions of women were accused of being witches and were sent to torture chambers, burnt at the stake, mutilated, sexually abused or drowned. Since celibacy for priests was put into law by the church over 360 years earlier, this opened a huge door to sexually deviant or perverse priests. Countless numbers of priests used their confessional, to threaten female penitents with the “Holy Inquisition” if they refused to have sex with them (News1675).

In the Inquisition, pain inflicted on sexual organs was very prevalent, another clear sign of the sexual obsession brought on by the perversions of celibacy. This sexual obsession quickly grew to the point where a woman lived in fear that, out of the blue, she would be accused by some nameless wretch of being a witch; since accusation equaled guilt, that woman could expect a slow, torturous death at the hands of sexually deviant celibate priests.

 

This statement is historic fact, found in the official document of the Roman Catholic “Holy” Inquisition, “The Malleus Maleficarum”. (News1675)

The Inquisitors who wrote the Malleus Maleficarum, “The Hammer of the Witches,” explained that women are more likely to become witches than men:

 Because the female sex is more concerned with things of the flesh than men; because being formed from a man’s rib, they are ‘only imperfect animals’ and ‘crooked’ whereas man belongs to a privileged sex from whose midst Christ emerged. (Ellerbe)

 Over the period that the Inquisition lasted, over 75 million Protestants lost their lives. King James I estimated that the ratio of women to men who “succumbed” to witchcraft was twenty to one. Of those formally persecuted for witchcraft, between 80 to 90 percent were women (Ellerbe, 1995).

Many styles of torture were invented during the inquisition so as to inflict the most horrific pain on the victims without killing them. The worst of these were used on those accused of witchcraft. Millions of innocent people were tortured and killed during this time. The Inquisitors followed the procedures set forth by the Dominican Monks of Pope Innocent VIII. During the early stages of the Inquisition those accused were simply urged to confess. The women were usually stripped naked, shaved, pricked with needles and knives for insensitive spots and then examined for marks of the Devil up close and personal. Before the torture started the victim was informed of what was about to happen. This gave them an opportunity to confess to whatever the inquisitors wanted them to. If anyone refused to talk even under the torture, they were accused of being aided by the Devil. While being tortured, another person was on hand to record anything that was said by the victim. Each round of torture became worse and worse (News1675).

Some women, says a person who was present, having been surprised in the church, were stripped of their garments, and the barbarians, making them join hands as for a dance, compelled them, by severely pricking them with their daggers and pikes, to march round the castle, amidst shouts of laughter and outrages, of which they were the objects. After this they took them, already covered with blood, and flung them, one after another, from the top of the rock upon which the castle was built. Many others were taken elsewhere and sold . . . A young mother, who was fleeing across the corn-fields with her infant in her arms, was seized and violated by these soldiers, or rather brutes, whilst she still continued to hold her babe pressed to her breast. An old woman, whose age secured her from similar outrage, was treated by them in a way which insulted both humanity and their own religion. They shaved her in the form of a cross, and having decked her with some worthless ornaments, dragged her through the streets, chanting in derision, after the manner of priests. This took place at Lauris, on the way between Cabrieres and Avignon. The procession arrived where there was an oven ready for baking bread, and the soldiers, pushing their victim forward with their weapons, said to her, “Go in there, you old damned wretch!” The poor woman was going in without resistance, so much had she been tormented, when those who had heated the oven objected, and prevented her from being thrown into it . . . Amidst such brutalities, a thousand times repeated, under different and more revolting forms, the army came to Cabrieres. (Muston, 1875 pp. 66-67)

 The exact methods of torture varied from place to place. The rack was used. Horsewhipping was used. A sharp iron fork was used to mangle breasts. Red hot pincers were used to tear off flesh. Red hot irons were inserted up vaginas and rectums. A device was used to tear out fingernails and then needles were shoved into the quicks of the nail bed. Special instruments were used to lacerate flesh and crush bones. They crushed fingers and toes. Acid was poured on victims. Limbs were immersed into pots of boiling oil or water. Eyes were gouged out with irons. Victims were set on fire. Water was poured down the throat of some victims with a knotted cloth and then jerked out, tearing up the bowels. There was no limit to the types of cruelty and torture used. Anything was allowed during the Inquisition. The inquisitors were sadistic and merciless. Even if a victim confessed, they were still subjected to more torture. Victims were sent to the gallows or burned at the stake. They were flogged, flayed alive, burned, branded or had their tongues cut out. Many were buried alive. By the seventeenth century, millions had died including men, women, children and babies (Inq11).

But how shall I describe the scene which took place in the church? It was the most horrible and sacrilegious scene of all; for it was there that a great number of the women and young girls of the place had taken refuge. The soldiers rushed upon them, stripped them, committed the most shocking outrages upon them, and then some were thrown down from the steeple; others were taken away to be still further abused. Pregnant women might be seen with their bellies ripped up, and the bloody fruit of their womb fallen from them. Mutilated bodies, still breathing, lay scattered before the porch. The advocate Guerin, who was present there, said in his deposition, “I think I saw four or five hundred poor souls of women and children killed in that church.” (Muston, 1875 p. 68)

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Because of the power and control that the church gained from Constantine’s merger of government with religion, the outrages upon humanity defied conscience and flew in the face of the God they claimed to serve. For centuries into the future, all this EVIL was perpetrated in the name of God for the salvation of the world. Millions suffered. Millions died. Millions were mutilated, burned, buried alive, and sexually abused. Inequality was ushered into the world on a level that was so massive that it has affected the mindsets of men everywhere for centuries; thus, paving the way for a worldwide culture of domestic abuse, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, rape, incest, emotional abuse and pedophilia of women and young girls across the world from then until now.

As a further result of what Constantine implemented, the religious leaders of his brand of Christianity began to change religious texts to point women into positions of servitude to men. The culmination of these changes was the production of a Bible translation that gave control of “religion” to men and men alone. It was the first translation to take all the corruptions of the manuscripts by men and use them to dominate and control women and point them into positions of servitude to men. All the while, this translation also gave these men the permission to oppress and abuse women, in the name of God. Once again, EVIL and suffering perpetrated as corrupt and base religious leaders used their influence and power to gain greater control. The difference this time was that now they had it in writing! Because King James I decided to give the world HIS translation of the Bible, which is specifically designed to POINT women into positions of servitude to men, as well as instill fear into the minds and hearts of the people through the concept of Hell, century after century it has been the root cause of the attitudes in men and young boys that lead to abuse of women. Century after century it has been the root cause of antisemitism, hate crimes and terrorism throughout the world.

It is time for “religion” to be wiped clean and for the abuses against women and children to stop. The fruit of male dominance and leadership has been war, murder, violence and hate throughout history. Equality is key in breaking through the evils and stopping the suffering and abuses. Equality in religion is key in setting right what man has corrupted that affects half the human race abusively – women. The time for this change to come, is now.

Honor Killings – Worldwide Index of Religious Abuse

RELIGIOUS ABUSE encompasses many religions  and religiously run systems across the world. It is not a problem that is just happening within U.S. borders.  Within each religion the abuses vary but, one facet of religious abuse crosses all denominational and systemic barriers; that facet is that the majority of the abused are women and children. Women and children have no protections from these religious abuses because RELIGIOUS LEADERS have been allowed to have free reign in establishing the rules and guidelines that followers must adhere to for their respective religions and/or religiously run systems. They use man-made religious writings of the early centuries to enforce their dogmas and rules on the present culture and times. What many do not realize is that these writings were written for the culture and times of their day, not for today’s time and culture.  God is a God of TODAY, not yesterday.  And, most religious writings have been tampered with and changed by religious leaders and scribes throughout history to point people in the direction of their preconceived opinions and ideals. These changes have been made in order to bring women and children under complete and total domination of men for sexual exploitation.

For centuries, religious leaders have used BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION, THOUGHT REFORM and INFORMATION CONTROL to bring about conformity to man-made rules. Those that do not conform have been murdered and/or mutilated.  As a result of this free reign across the world for centuries, inequality exists in the world whereby women and children are the primary targets of the abuses meted out. To escape the abuses can mean any or all of the following for an abuse victim: shaming, shunning, financial destruction, labeling, mutilation and/or death.

HONOR KILLINGS are a very strategic part of certain religions and religious systems; strategic, because it has one goal – to CONTROL by FORCE and FEAR women and children in order to prevent them from exercising personal liberty and autonomy as human beings.  Because religious beliefs are interwoven into civil laws in many Muslim countries, women and children are left unprotected. The abuses are rampant and allow men and women free reign to murder, mutilate and maim in the name of “honor” and “God.” Any “perceived” wrongdoing for a woman or child could be a cause for death, burning or mutilation. It is time for people to see the reality of the horrible RELIGIOUS ABUSES hidden within a system that is designed to proliferate a male-dominated society where the value of women and children are worthless. Before we dive into this extensive list of murders, mutilations and attempted murders, let’s learn a little about how Islam operates and what it is. The following video will help the reader to understand how an abusive religion or religiously controlled system can infiltrate, spread and take over whole nations.

WHAT ISLAM IS NOT!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxdoztoBEuc&w=420&h=315]

For more articles and videos on how Islam is affecting America and the reality of what is taking place, click HERE.

The following indexes need to be viewed by EVERY AMERICAN. These reflect a TRUE picture of the FRUIT of this system. After these indexes, will be some pictures of Islamic Religious Abuses perpetrated upon women and children. WARNING: These pictures are graphic!!!

This index is provided by WikiIslam and can be accessed HERE . This Index is not updated weekly on this BLOG like the Clergy Abuse Archive is. You MUST access WikiIslam to see new updates added to this list.

linedividerThis is by no means a comprehensive list as many honor killings are covered up just as U.S. religious sects cover up their abuses.  The reality is that RELIGIOUS zealots and fundamentalists can be dangerous. Those religions and/or systems that harbor these abusive zealots and fundamentalists, need to be identified and the populous made aware of them. It doesn’t matter what people say about their religion, if women and children are being abused, suppressed, oppressed, strictly controlled and harmed, then we will know them by their fruit, not their words.  Any silence on this issue from those within the religion or system, makes them complicit in the crimes committed. Anything less than 100% support in stopping these crimes and changing laws to protect women and children, makes them complicit in the crimes.

Please share these indexes with everyone you know so they can see how abusive this religiously controlled system can be. Share the pictures as well. It’s time for our eyes, as well as the eyes of peace-loving Muslim people, to be opened to the truth about the dangers of this religious system’s dark side. Let me say that EVERY religion has a dark side. The dark side of this one just happens to be the LEGAL right to burn, mutilate and murder women and children. These indexes are provided for reference purposes only.

Honor Killings in Muslim Majority Nations

Honor Killings and Violence in Non-Muslim Nations

Honor Related Violence or Danger to life in Muslim Majority Nations

 linedividerThe following photos are only 30 of the countless photos of mutilation and murder of women and children that I have found on the internet. Many of the photos could not be put here because of the graphic nature of the sexual mutilation done to the women by Muslim men because they were non-Muslim women.  It is time for American Citizens to open their eyes to Sharia and the cruelty and murder it condones in the name of “Honor.” There have been many honor killings here in the U.S. As Americans, it is time for us to take the blinders off and see the danger that ALL religions can pose when there is no escape from them and their abuses. When a religion is completely male dominated and it influences laws toward male dominance and control, women and children will become the targets of the worst crimes against humanity; especially sexual crimes and pedophilia.

WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!

GRAPHIC PICTURES!!!     GRAPHIC PICTURES!!!

WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!     WARNING!!!

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Picking Up the Pieces and Moving On

Picking Up the Pieces and Moving On

By John Woods, Survivor of Religious Abuse

This week marked the third anniversary of my exodus from Christianity.  There has been much healing during this year, especially over the past three months.  I am now free to explore all of my beliefs in greater depth, without fear, and without a need for confirmation of their validity.  As Robert Plant so eloquently put it, “there are two paths you can go by,” and I chose the one that emphasizes the good and concentrates on now.

About the only thing that I have retained from the past is my belief in a Higher Power, a Divine Source that guides and provides, that watches over all of us with nothing but pure love.  Out of habit, I still call this presence God, but find myself addressing it more and more as Divine Spirit.  I have indulged in a life long interest in Angels and have been learning more about each of them, as well as the Archangels, and how each of them play a role in my life.  I have long believed that there are “angels on this earth, masquerading as humans” who are in just the right place and right time in my life.  I have even started acknowledging and learning about the “realms of the faeries.”

I have also found that interacting with others who have been through the same journey as I have emerged from, is helpful to both me and to those who are just beginning their way out.  I have met some awesome people, and their stories and support have been invaluable.

I will continue to share stories about those who cause hurt and pain by invoking their beliefs upon others.  While I try to respect the paths of all, that doesn’t mean I will sit back and not protect those who are persecuted.

I will also continue to share items that I feel are uplifting, inspirational and thought provoking.  We all need encouragement along the way, and as Rumi said “we are just walking each other home!”

To Read John’s Story of Abuse: John Wood’s Story

RELIGION – Satan’s Biggest Weapon

Religious BondageI originally wrote this as an outline on August 20, 2006 to teach in the nursing home. To me, it is a testament to the fact that God had already started opening my eyes to how dangerous man-made religion can be in the lives of its followers. Little did I know at that time, when I was teaching this in the nursing home, that God would extract me from the grips of religious bondage to a fundamentalist baptist sect that was abusive toward women and children and set me on a course to do His will in warning others about the dangers that lurk underneath religion’s mantle. Looking back, I am amazed at how much God allowed me to see of the truth and, I am severely disappointed that I ignored it and continued in my bondage. What a sad reality it is to comprehend that I was being shown truth but could not fully understand the seriousness of it due to religious indoctrination and religiously instilled fear.  I have made a few changes and additions to this outline for better clarity and understanding. I sincerely hope that what I am about to cover falls on an open mind and heart that is not blinded by man-made doctrines, rules and religious precepts (the doctrines and commandments of men).

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RELIGION – SATAN’S BIGGEST WEAPON

John 3:1-21 – There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

(3)Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (You mean you cannot CONTROL the Spirit of TRUTH in God’s people just like you cannot control the wind?)

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

(10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (It does NOT say, “That whosoever believeth in the Pope, Pastor, Priest, Rabbi,or any other religious leader, or the Church, should not perish, but have eternal life.”)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (You mean believing in religion, the “man of God” or the “church” won’t save you?)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Say it isn’t so! Men’s deeds EVIL?). For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (It doesn’t say that his deeds are perfect, because mankind is sinful. It says that his deeds are wrought in God. There will be many sinners coming to the knowledge of the truth that desire to warn others about the “greatest deception of all.”)

Verse 3 (highlighted above) tells us that we cannot get to heaven unless we are born again of the Spirit of God. Most people do not understand what being born again means. Some people actually think that means going to a man-made church and serving men who call themselves by religious titles.  Verse 10 tells us that Nicodemus, although a religious leader, had no understanding of spiritual things. His RELIGION was keeping him blind to the truth that had the power to save is very soul and set him free from religions bondage. However, he did recognize that Jesus was a ‘teacher come from God’. (verse 2) He was confusing works with faith.  Notice how he addresses Jesus as “Rabbi” and “teacher.”  He understood that the miracles meant that God was with him. However, he was not willing to let go of a LIFETIME of man-made religious dogma, precepts and rules, coupled with religious tradition, and acknowledge Jesus as “Lord.”

The same is true today. Religious people from all walks of life refuse to let go of a lifetime of religion and tradition to embrace the truth. God has given us his spirit to guide and teach us so that “we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.”  Instead, religion has replaced His Spirit with a Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or other religious designation, so that these religious leaders are now leading and guiding God’s people. The Holy Spirit has been SUBSTITUTED. The people have erred and do not even realize it. Because of this, they foster hatred toward those that oppose a wicked religious leader. They persecute, malign and shun those that find the courage to speak the truth and expose the lies and crimes. And, they themselves become secondary abusers complicit in the crimes perpetrated – all because of blindness and refusal to listen when truth is spoken.

(1Co 2:12)  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.

(1Co 2:13)  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

(1Co 2:14)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

— RELIGION BLINDS ITS FOLLOWERS TO THE TRUTH —

It causes people to turn a blind eye to truth instead seeing and understanding it. The reason for this is clear as we shall see from the up coming passages. The Pastors (religious leaders) have caused their flocks to go astray. God holds religious leaders accountable just as he did the Pharisees. Just as the Pharisees instituted their rules aimed at controlling the people, so Pastors of all denominations have done today. As pastors have built unto themselves financial empires off the backs of the poor, they have fallen to corruption. Power, prestige and money are the root of this corruption. The abuses abound and are well hidden by the church and its leaders. Those confronted with the abuses, turn a blind eye to them and support the abusers. Religious followers cannot see past the titles and labels that religious leaders wear that affect clear thought processes. Therefore they both fall into the ditch and it causes followers to become abusers themselves of those that step forward to speak truth. They have rested their lives, their money, their families and their time in religious leaders and church institutions instead of Christ. They have forgotten their true resting place.

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Jer 50:6  My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds (PASTORS) have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.

— IT TEACHES AS TRUTH, MAN-MADE ORDINANCES AND RULES —

Man-made ordinances and rules fill the churches of all religions. It is not isolated to any particular sect. Countless multitudes believe every word that proceeds from religious leaders within their respective institutions. As a result, they are led astray through corruption and false teaching.

Just for the sake of an example, I would like to take a look at what the Roman Catholic Church teaches it’s priests about the Pope and compare it to what the Word of God says.  What you will notice is that their many rules are based on what MEN SAY Peter is “perceived” to have said or done and not what “Christ” has commanded, said or done. It is also based on man-made religious precepts. This is where corruption rears its head – listening to men and not God. Men can make their own rules in God’s name and force implementation of them. This is exactly what has transpired from the beginning.

In considering this doctrine of the papacy, I will only use the teaching of the church as contained in the dogmatic definitions, the official documents of the ecumenical councils, and the teachings of the Popes. These represent the actual teaching of the church, regardless of what some Catholics believe, what certain priests teach  today, or even what some bishops may have written. The following statements are duly documented.

The acceptance of the authority of the Pope and submission to him is necessary for salvation!

“Furthermore, WE (mere MEN, not God) declare, state and define that it is absolutely necessary for the SALVATION of all men that they submit to the Roman Pontif. [Bull Unam Sanctum of Pope Boniface VIII,1302. The Teaching of the Catholic Church by Neuner and Roos, S.J. p. 204, No.342.] (SUBMIT to a MAN and not GOD?)

The Primacy of the Pope

WE (mere MEN, not God) decree that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff have primacy in the whole world, and that this Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and true “Vicar of Christ” head of the whole church and father and teacher of all Christians; that to him in blessed Peter was given by our Lord Jesus Christ the full power of feeding, ruling and governing the universal church as it is contained in the acts of the ecumenical councils and in the sacred canons. [Council of Florence, 1439. Ibid., p. 206, No. 349.] (This is not in scripture anywhere. As a matter of fact, Peter states the opposite about himself in 1 Pet 5:1, 5:3, Acts 10:25)

“If any one, therefore, shall say that blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of all the Apostles and the visable head of the whole church; or that he directly and immediately received a primacy of honor only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction [right of power] – – let him be anathema [excommunicated and condemned] [Vatican Council I, 1870. Ibid., p. 223, No. 374.]” (God does not imply or command this anywhere in scripture. This is a THREAT aimed at silencing those that speak the TRUTH. See 1 Pet 5:1, 5:3, Acts 10:25)

“Hence WE (mere MEN, not God) teach and declare that by the appointment of our Lord the Roman Church possesses a superiority of ordinary POWER (Yes, it IS all about POWER, not about God.) over all other churches, and that this POWER of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly Episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite or dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters that pertain to faith and morals, but also in those that pertain to discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.” [Ibid., p. 224-225, No. 379] (Well, well…it IS about POWER and CONTROL through SUBMISSION.)

“If then anyone shall say that the Roman Pontiff has merely the office of inspection and direction, but not full and supreme POWER of jurisdiction over the universal church, not only in things pertaining to faith and morals, but also in those things that relate to the discipline and government of the church spread throughout the world; or that he possesses only the principal part, and not all the fullness of this supreme power. . . Let him be excommunicated and condemned!” [Vatican Council I. Ibid., p. 226, No. 382] (MORE FEAR tactics through THREATENINGS.)

Many more quotations could be given from papal decrees, councils and dogmatic statements; but, let’s hear how the dogma of papal infallibility is defined by Pope Pius IX in 1870 at the first Vatican Ecumenical Council:

“Therefore, faithfully adhering to the TRADITION (Not from God. God has no tradition.) received from the beginning of the Christian faith (Says, Who? MEN?), for the glory of God our Saviour, the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and the salvation of Christian peoples, the sacred Council approving (MEN), We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed (Really? DIVINELY REVEALED? – Not by God, Jesus or the Prophets – so this is a lie.):  that the Roman Pontiff, when He speaks ex-cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of His supreme apostolic authority He defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, is possessed with that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that His church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the church.  But if any one which God avert – presume to contradict this our definition – let him be excommunicated and condemned!” [Ibid., p. 229, No. 388] (God says no such things in scripture; so this is a man-made religious dogma aimed at CONTROLLING people through threats and fear.)

Catholic Statements About the Pope

The Pope is usually and formally addressed as: “Most Holy Father.” [See encyclical by Leo XIII as introduction to the Douay version of the Bible.] (Mat 23:9 – And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.)

In the Cardinal’s Oath, Pope Pius X is addressed as: “Our Most Holy Lord.” [From the Article “Scriptures for Roman Catholics,” by Dr. Bartholomew Brewer.] (Now they are placing a mere MAN in the place of Christ and making him Lord. In case you didn’t know this, this is deception. 1Co 8:6 – But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.)

The famous historian Moreri writes: “To make war against the Pope is to make war against God.” [Ibid.] (This is a good way to PROTECT a DECEIVER; through fear of God.)

WHAT POPES SAY OF THEMSELVES [Ibid] 

Leo XIII (mere MAN, not God) (1902) said:

“The supreme teacher in the church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete SUBMISSION and OBEDIENCE of will to the CHURCH (Not God) and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.” [Ibid.] (Interesting. Another RULE instituted by MEN to bring about UNQUESTIONING obedience and control to the church and a MAN.)

Pope Pius X (mere MAN, not God) stated:

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but He IS Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of flesh. ‘Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks.” [Ibid] (In this statement, we are told that the POPE is CHRIST. This is DECEIT. He is a mere MAN, not God, placing himself in the place of CHRIST – a SUBSTITUTION – a fake in place of the real.)

Pope Pius XI (mere MAN, not God) once declared:

“You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means that I am God on the earth.” [Ibid.] (Well, well…another SUBSTITUTION aimed at POWER and CONTROL of People.)

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As stated earlier, there are other religious sects that can be used as examples where man-made doctrines are being taught that go against the Word of God…. and countless multitudes blindly believe they are necessary in order to please God. So, let’s look at the scriptures and see what they really declare.

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— WHAT THE SCRIPTURES DECLARE–

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder . .” 1 Peter 5:1 (You mean he wasn’t a “CHRIST and head of God’s People?”)

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3 (Not LORDS over God’s People?)

“Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you . .” Acts 14: 14-15. (Even Paul and Barnabas KNEW that no mere MAN should be worshipped nor placed in the position of Christ.)

“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.  But Peter took him up, saying, Stand Up; I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:25. (What! Peter did not demand WORSHIP? You mean he was just a mere MAN and not a God?)

Acts10:25-26 “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” Mathew 23:9 (This is self-explanatory.)

In the light of the Holy Scriptures, certain dogmatic definitions and statements on the Pope sound blasphemous!  This his how Religion keeps people blinded to the truth of God’s Word.  Religion keeps people in bondage. Religion makes up its own rules and institutes punishments for going against them. Salvation frees us from this bondage so that we can worship in “Spirit and in truth”. Religion seeks to control people through their many religious rules backed by threats. Those that do not conform, are killed and/or silenced through threats, coercion, harassment, etc. Remember the Reformation and Inquisition – Over 90 million men, women and children were  tortured, mutilated and killed by CHRISTIANS of the Church of Rome under the direction of religious leaders.

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

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Religion usually teaches a works salvation. If you live a good enough life (works), you might make it to heaven.  If you serve in the ministry of the church (works), God will be pleased with you.  If you follow all the church’s rules and precepts, God will bless you abundantly (works).  If you give of your MONEY (works) to the church, God will bless you.

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Here’s what God says:

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, . .

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.

(You mean all these works are considered DEAD WORKS?)

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Religion DEMANDS obedience to the MAN-MADE ordinances, dogmas and precepts instead of obedience to God’s Word.  It demands obedience to a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” in order to please God. It demands obedience and loyalty to “the MAN of God” or, the “Religious Institution,”

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God’s Word says:

Mat 15:3 – But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Mar 7:9 – And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Mar 7:13 – Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye (Who are Ye? MEN, usually religious leaders.) have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Col 2:8 – Beware lest any MAN spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

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— RELIGION CREATES CONFUSION IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN —

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The masses would prefer to follow anything but the truth. Why?  John 3:20 – “ lest his deeds should be reproved.”

God did not invent religion, man did. Man uses religion to keep people in bondage to an institution instead of setting them free to worship God and obey his will in their lives.  Religion is the biggest weapon used by Satan to keep people blind to the truth and in bondage to men, religious institutions, and religious leaders. Religion propagates HATE toward those that disagree or question the lies being taught. Religion harasses those that expose those lies and/or any abuses. Religion tries to silence the voices of TRUTH that God has placed in the world to WARN others about the biggest DECEPTION of all time – that deception is man-made religions owned and operated by MEN who have corrupted the scriptures and would have all POWER, CONTROL, MONEY and PRESTIGE for themselves. Religion has been murdering and abusing for centuries. Please remember that more than 90 million people lost their lives “in the name of God” during the Reformation and Inquisition. Right now, women and children are suffering at the hands of religion and its leaders across the world.  This is serious. It’s time to wake up and realize the deception. Religion starts wars, murders its own and others, oppresses and abuses women and children setting them up for sexual exploitation, and incites hatred and violence toward those that disagree or expose the lies and abuses. RELIGION IS SATAN’S BIGGEST WEAPON.