Challenging church history question?


LadyHanley93

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I do, and it was a beloved Bishop so I was quite shocked. I think the problem was simply that he didn't believe it was "rape". That's the problem, especially in cases of date rape. It can become of case of he said, she said. He says it was consensual, she says it was not.

I've heard of other situations in the church, people I know personally, that left me speechless--in that case, a much beloved Stake Presidency member.

I still love that Bishop and Stake Presidency member; I simply recognize them as human beings who don't have training in dealing with these kinds of situations (I mean they are not therapists). Tragic for the victims, but I just have to put my trust in Heavenly Father that He will make all this right in His due time.

One thing I would note, LP, is that neither the SP nor the bishop you know, are in any position to explain their actions. If I were a bishop and a victim came to me disclosing that she had been assaulted while under the influence of drugs--of course she's not at fault for the assault, but the drug use is something that would have to be resolved and might keep her from taking the sacrament for a while. I would hope to communicate that with clarity, humanity, and sensitivity; but at this point I'm not dealing with an emotionally healthy person and I'm not at all convinced your average trauma victim would understand the nuance of what I was doing. Ditto if (pardon the graphicness here) a victim disclosed that she had been involuntarily penetrated after engaging some other voluntary sexual activity with the perpetrator.

I don't mean to suggest that LDS leadership always handles these things perfectly, but it's remarkably easy to throw a bishop under a bus. I think, from an ecclesiastical standpoint, charity towards all parties (with, of course, such reporting as the law may require) is the safest course of action; letting the civil and eternal justice systems unfold in their due course.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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...If you read the book Miracle of Forgiveness and you somehow got the impression that President Kimball was giving the thumbs up to rapist and the act of rape then you need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

 

Wait.  So, that was what she meant by "rape culture"?  Holy Cow!  

 

I hope I clarified that in my previous post.  But, to have gotten that interpretation out of that passage is mind-boggling.

 

Let me make my position perfectly clear.  I personally would not feel I was in violation of any Celestial law if I were to murder someone whom I KNEW to have raped a loved one.  I might consider torture prior to the murder, but that might be going too far.  However, I would consider the most painful method of death possible.  No, I'm not being figurative, or sarcastic, or comical.

 

I'm sorry if that doesn't make me "charitable".  But I'm just not that good.  There are just a few things that I find it impossible to forgive.  And that is one of them.

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No offense was intended. If my comment offends you then you vastly misunderstood me.

For clarification, I was referring to incidents like the post Lady Handley shared of girls who are raped being asked to go through the "repentance process".

And past incidents many of us have heard of of Bishops not contacting the police 8n molestation cases because they felt they could handle matters better themselves. Fortunately the Leaders put an end to that.

I was also referring to the tendency to blame the victim which is common in our society within the church and without.

 

That is NOT rape culture!!!  To equate that with rape culture is to slander the church and its people with a horrific and vile charge in order to push an different agenda entirely.  Such lies should never ever be the actions of someone that considers themselves a faithful saint.  Nor should it be used by someone that wants to have a serious conversation on where the church does sometimes fall short on how it appears to handle in such cases.  

 

In your example of the young woman all of JAG's points stand... But you totally neglected to tell us what happened to the young man accused of the crime.  Did the bishop High Five the young man and say "Way to Go?"  Because that would be rape culture.  Or did the bishop do everything he could to make sure the young man was also held to account? (He might be really limited on what he can do) Because if he tried to also hold the young man accountable (within the bounds of his stewardship) that is the opposite of rape culture.

 

Holding both people accountable for their actions (whatever they might be) is the job of the bishop.  And it breaks Elder Oak's pattern of righteous judgements for any member to come along with much less facts and much less stewardship, and condemn the bishop/church based on what they felt should have happened.

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I personally would not feel I was in violation of any Celestial law if I were to murder someone whom I KNEW to have raped a loved one.

 

In this case, your personal feeling is wrong. Murder is always wrong, without exception, and it is so by definition.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

That is NOT rape culture!!!  To equate that with rape culture is to slander the church and its people with a horrific and vile charge in order to push an different agenda entirely.  Such lies should never ever be the actions of someone that considers themselves a faithful saint.  Nor should it be used by someone that wants to have a serious conversation on where the church does sometimes fall short on how it appears to handle in such cases.  

 

In your example of the young woman all of JAG's points stand... But you totally neglected to tell us what happened to the young man accused of the crime.  Did the bishop High Five the young man and say "Way to Go?"  Because that would be rape culture.  Or did the bishop do everything he could to make sure the young man was also held to account? (He might be really limited on what he can do) Because if he tried to also hold the young man accountable (within the bounds of his stewardship) that is the opposite of rape culture.

 

Holding both people accountable for their actions (whatever they might be) is the job of the bishop.  And it breaks Elder Oak's pattern of righteous judgements for any member to come along with much less facts and much less stewardship, and condemn the bishop/church based on what they felt should have happened.

 

 

Okay, why don't you tell me what we should call it so we can have a serious discussion about it.  

I can't give you the details of the stories I mentioned for obvious reasons.

 

And I did not condemn my Bishop or the Stake Presidency.  Perhaps you should take a deep breath and read my post again. 

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Spencer Kimball taught this idea in his book the Miracle Of Forgiveness about vicitms of rape. Is this what we are teaching our children about sexual violence? Doesn't this seem like a contradiction?

“Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation when there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, LDS Prophet, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 196

 

No, of course we aren't teaching our children that sexual violence is acceptable - I don't, and I'm sure no-one else on this board does either.

 

While I empathize with anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse and can see how the quote above might make you feel, I do not believe that President Kimball would have ever intended his words to be interpreted as blaming a victim for the sins of their attacker. The key part of the quote for me is this: "There is no condemnation when there is no voluntary participation.".

 

Having read many of his talks and listened to him in various conferences, I know that President Kimball greatly valued and loved women in the church and he had compassion for the struggles that many women face. Yes, some of his comments were reflective of his time (and therefore may seem old-fashioned today), but I do not for one minute believe he would have ever condemned a victim of sexual abuse.

 

As a convert when Pres. Kimball was prophet of the church, I recall reading the "Miracle of Forgiveness" and took from it a powerful message of Christ's atonement and forgiveness for each of us. I too was abused as a child, and did not take from the book that I was somehow unworthy because of what happened to me, I just thought the message was beautiful in that each of us can become clean and pure through Christ's atonement, no matter what we have done.

 

What's most important to remember about the issue of sexual abuse, is that the church today most definitely does not blame victims of abuse or assault. The church website states:"Victims of abuse should be assured that they are not to blame for the harmful behavior of others. They do not need to feel guilt. If they have been a victim of rape or other sexual abuse, whether they have been abused by an acquaintance, a stranger, or even a family member, victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sexual sin."

 

Elder Richard G. Scott reinforced this: "I solemnly testify that when another’s acts of violence, perversion, or incest hurt you terribly, against your will, you are not responsible and you must not feel guilty."

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Okay, why don't you tell me what we should call it so we can have a serious discussion about it.  

I can't give you the details of the stories I mentioned for obvious reasons.

 

And I did not condemn my Bishop or the Stake Presidency.  Perhaps you should take a deep breath and read my post again. 

 

I understand your intentions...   I also understand that when someone else comes to these forums and sees what they think is an active and faithful member of the church saying that the church as a rape culture.. that its going to set certain expectations in that persons mind and most likely drive them away.  They aren't going to sit around and get to know you to realize you are to mean something completely different then rape culture.  But as a member of the church we need to be very careful on what light we are really shining with.

 

What you really seem to want to talk about is the treatment of those that make the accusation of rape, and how we teach young people to respond if they have that happen to them.   

 

In those cases you already acknowledge that the gospel itself is not the problem.  If it is not the gospel that is informing church culture then it is the larger social culture that surrounds the church members that must be doing so.  So you need to focus on changing the larger culture that is bleeding its influence into the church.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

In those cases you already acknowledge that the gospel itself is not the problem.  If it is not the gospel that is informing church culture then it is the larger social culture that surrounds the church members that must be doing so.  So you need to focus on changing the larger culture that is bleeding its influence into the church.

 

That's what I was trying to say all along.  I do think we have some issues in church culture (by this I mean members of the church and their attitudes) that I would like to see change, but yeah, I think it comes from the larger social culture and not the gospel.  That's why I quoted Elder Holland.  

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That's what I was trying to say all along.  I do think we have some issues in church culture (by this I mean members of the church and their attitudes) that I would like to see change, but yeah, I think it comes from the larger social culture and not the gospel.  That's why I quoted Elder Holland.  

 

Then I have to ask...  What do you think rape culture is????   Because the words you chose when you used that term do not come even remotely close to what you now say you meant

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Okay, why don't you tell me what we should call it so we can have a serious discussion about it.

If we're talking about clinical problems, it's probably best to use clinical terminology. So far as I know, "rape culture" is a socio-political term, not a clinical one.

I was recently at a conference where we talked about the correlation between trauma (including sexual trauma) and addiction, and the need to be a "trauma-competent" or at least "trauma-informed" drug court team. I like those phrases, and discussion on those terms could also prepare bishops to more effectively counsel other trauma victims (refugees or combat veterans, for example) who present similar challenges.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Guest LiterateParakeet

Then I have to ask...  What do you think rape culture is????   Because the words you chose when you used that term do not come even remotely close to what you now say you meant

 

I concede that perhaps I used the term incorrectly.  I've already stated what I was referring to.

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If we're talking about clinical problems, it's probably best to use clinical terminology. So far as I know, "rape culture" is a socio-political term, not a clinical one.

 

I agree, but the problem I'm talking about is cultural not clinical.  I'm talking about the way people respond to victims.  If I were a sociologist I could probably figure out a more correct terminology.   :)   I realize I mentioned that Bishops are not therapists, but I was thinking not clinically, but in the way of how to support victims.  

 

Generally speaking, i don't feel there is a lot of support or understanding.  For example, we have 12 Step Programs for addiction, we have a website for people with same-sex attraction, we have Genesis for black members, and singles wards for singles.  What is there to help survivors?  Not a single book on the shelf at Desert directed to the topic, no support groups, there's one talk by Sis. Okazaki that is phenomenal but you can't find it on church sites any more....it's only available on youtube, and on someone's blog where they copied it.  

 

Some might say it's a psychological issue, but there are a lot of spiritual questions involved and the answers to THOSE questions are hard to find.  

Edited by LiterateParakeet
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I agree, but the problem I'm talking about is cultural not clinical.  I'm talking about the way people respond to victims.  If I were a sociologist I could probably figure out a more correct terminology.   :)   I realize I mentioned that Bishops are not therapists, but I was thinking not clinically, but in the way of how to support victims.  

 

Funny...  It seems that went ever an accusation of rape or abuse is made that if we don't instantly accept it a gospel truth, and vilify the one who is accused.  We are accused of not doing enough to support the victims, that we have a "rape culture."   Frankly such a reaction is just as contrary to gospel principles as the one you say you are against.

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I personally would not feel I was in violation of any Celestial law if I were to murder someone whom I KNEW to have raped a loved one.

In this case, your personal feeling is wrong. Murder is always wrong, without exception, and it is so by definition.

No one condones murder. I can't speak for him, but I believe Carborendum was not speaking, strictly, about murdering the offender. He was using the word incorrectly to mean “punishing”.

25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

Yes, we are not under the Law of Moses. But the Law of Moses was according to the celestial, God having revealed it.

In the old days, there were no police force, no prisons, and no executioners. Punishment was meted out by the victim (or his relatives). Thus, when he said he would “murder” someone known to be guilty of raping his loved one, he would have been following the Law.

Lehi

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No, I was talking about murder.  

 

And, yes, in a cooler mindset, I acknowledge what both you and Vort said as true.  I was railing against what Vort said as true, yet I confess it as true.  And I was thinking of that very provision of the Mosaic Law.

 

Lay aside both.  I know my weaknesses and I know how much I love my wife and children.  And I also know how much contempt I have for those who would harm anyone with such a base, accursed, and damnable act.

 

In real life, if I were to come across such a situation, I honestly don't know if I could contain myself.

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Posted · Hidden by pam, December 20, 2015 - Mentions political candidate.
Hidden by pam, December 20, 2015 - Mentions political candidate.

Funny...  It seems that [whenever] an accusation of rape or abuse is made, that if we don't instantly accept it as gospel truth, and vilify the one who is accused, we are accused of not doing enough to support the victims, that we have a "rape culture."   Frankly such a reaction is just as contrary to gospel principles as the one you say you are against.

There's nothing "funny" about it.

It kinda depends on who you are.

Hilary Clinton, the champion of women's "rights" had her "Bimbo Eruption" unit to protect her "husband" form accusations of rape. The all-white Duke Lacrosse team were guilty until proven innocent. Several other high profile cases have also shown that it's not the accusation, nor even the reality of the event that counts, it's how you cast your vote (or the way you are perceived to be likely to cast it).

No, it's not funny.

Lehi

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There's nothing "funny" about it.

It kinda depends on who you are.

<Mod edit for political candidates>

No, it's not funny.

Lehi

 

I was being sarcastic.  I hate it when people try to push me into a corner where I am darned it I do, and darned if I don't.

Edited by estradling75
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No, I was talking about murder.

Murder is the unwarranted taking of a life.

In places with governments claiming the monopoly on the use of lethal force, your private retribution and punishment would be legally murder, but not morally so. At least as I see it.

Lehi

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Guest LiterateParakeet

Funny... It seems that went ever an accusation of rape or abuse is made that if we don't instantly accept it a gospel truth, and vilify the one who is accused. We are accused of not doing enough to support the victims, that we have a "rape culture." Frankly such a reaction is just as contrary to gospel principles as the one you say you are against.

Where is your concern and outrage for those who are violated body and soul, and then not even consoled or helped afterwards because they are not believed?

There are no easy answers here. I wish there were. But as Lehi said it definitely not funny. (I know you were being sarcastic...I just think your sarcasm is misdirected.)

ETA: This story is a great example of the difficulty victims face with not being believed...this girl said she was raped, a couple people close to her didn't believe her, the police didn't believe her

And yet later evidence proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that she had been one of the victims of a serial rapist.

The story is long but if you have the patience to get through it, it's quite thought provoking.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/12/16/an-unbelievable-story-of-rape?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20151216-341#.SjC9kjlOh

Edited by LiterateParakeet
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Where is your concern and outrage for those who are violated body and soul, and then not even consoled or helped afterwards because they are not believed?

There are no easy answers here. I wish there were. But as Lehi said it definitely not funny. (I know you were being sarcastic...I just think your sarcasm is misdirected.)

 

Some one who makes an accusation is entitled to a competent and independent investigation of the charge..  I will so be outraged if they do not get that.  The person accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence... I will be outraged if they do not get that.  

 

In the gospel we are commanded to comfort, bare another's burden, and succor in times of trial.  There is no limit any where to "only those we believe" or "only those that make an accusation."  

 

While it is understandable to be outraged when you hear the stories of the mistreatment of others, it is very easy to ride that outrage to violate the commands God as given us.  Therefore the correct answer to outrage is to hand it over to the legal system and (when that fails) to God.

 

Any other action driven by outrage risk making us a sinner as well.

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No current politicians mentioned herein. Hope it's acceptable in this iteration.

Funny...  It seems that went ever an accusation of rape or abuse is made that if we don't instantly accept it a gospel truth, and vilify the one who is accused.  We are accused of not doing enough to support the victims, that we have a "rape culture."

There's nothing "funny" about it.

It kinda depends on who you are.

Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr., each had or have multiple women who've accused them of inappropriate sexual conduct. The all-white Duke Lacrosse team were guilty until proven innocent. Bill Cosby, Jr., was called "America's Dad", his shows promoted traditional values. When he was accused of rape (even when the women acknowledged that he had told them in advance he'd be giving them drugs so they'd be more "cooperative"), his crimes were not swept under the rug as were those of others in even more egregious cases. Several other high profile, progressive elites have also shown that it's not the accusation, nor even the reality of the event that counts, it's how you cast your vote (or the way you are perceived to be likely to cast it).

No, it's not funny.

Lehi

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Guest LiterateParakeet

Some one who makes an accusation is entitled to a competent and independent investigation of the charge.. I will so be outraged if they do not get that. The person accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence... I will be outraged if they do not get that.

In the gospel we are commanded to comfort, bare another's burden, and succor in times of trial. There is no limit any where to "only those we believe" or "only those that make an accusation."

While it is understandable to be outraged when you hear the stories of the mistreatment of others, it is very easy to ride that outrage to violate the commands God as given us. Therefore the correct answer to outrage is to hand it over to the legal system and (when that fails) to God.

Any other action driven by outrage risk making us a sinner as well.

I agree with you in principle. The difficulty comes in when we have no proof either way. Take Bill Cosby for example, 50 women have accused him of rape, but some people still want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Rapists rarely confess, but many people seem to hold out for that confession if the accused is a beloved comedian or any sort of athlete.

My peace comes from my faith that the Lord will make everything right in His due time.

BTW,I added a link to my previous comment that I think is a valuable addition to this discussion.

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