Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pence Rule

Well again the insanity of the wingnut religious faction rears its duel heads - the one about the neck and the one below the waist.  It is clear that men who are religious are the most sex obsessed fucks around and again using my experience with Ethan I can safely say, yes, yes they are.  I have never seen a more pussy obsessed boy in my life and I taught High School. The endless chasing of the girls he works with is a MeToo waiting to happen.  But then again he refuses to believe he is the problem. Trust me he is.

A court will decide if a sheriff’s deputy can be fired for refusing to work alone with a woman

By Marisa Iati
The Washington Post
August 22 2019

A former sheriff’s deputy has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired over objections to training a female employee alone, elevating a practice named after the late evangelical pastor Billy Graham from a cultural battle to a legal one.

Manuel Torres, 51, said he told the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina that he could not be alone with the female deputy in his patrol car, because it would violate his religious beliefs.

Torres “holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife,” says the federal lawsuit, which may be the first of its kind. Grant Wacker, a professor at Duke Divinity School and the author of “America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation,” told The Washington Post he was unaware of other court cases related to the “Billy Graham Rule.”

The decision to avoid one-on-one time with a woman is commonly attributed to the influential pastor’s policy of never traveling, eating or meeting alone with a woman other than his wife. Some evangelical pastors and others have emulated Graham’s approach in an effort to avoid the temptation to cheat on their wives and to ensure no one wrongly suspects any untoward behavior.

The Billy Graham Rule has been scrutinized in recent years after Vice President Pence’s policy of not eating alone with women other than his wife came under a spotlight. Pence also avoids attending events that include alcohol without his wife, Karen Pence. A candidate for Mississippi governor, state Rep. Robert Foster (R), drew criticism in July when he said his adherence to the rule prevented him from letting a female reporter shadow him.

To some, the Billy Graham Rule is a noble way for men to protect their marriages from infidelity or even the false suspicion of it. In the eyes of others, the guidelines exclude women from important conversations about work and career advancement.

Torres says in his lawsuit, first reported by the Charlotte Observer, that he joined the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 and serves as a deacon at East Sanford Baptist Church in Sanford, N.C. His superiors at the sheriff’s office at some point ordered him to train a woman, which Torres writes in the lawsuit would create “the appearance of sinful conduct” because it would require him to be alone with her in his patrol car.

Torres alleges that in July 2017 he asked a sergeant for a religious accommodation that was alternately granted and denied. When Torres complained about the decision to two lieutenants, he claims the sergeant retaliated by ignoring Torres’s call for backup while responding to a car crash.

That September, the chief deputy told Torres he was angry about Torres’s request for a religious accommodation, according to the suit. The chief allegedly fired Torres without explanation days later.

Torres also claims the towns of Siler City and Apex passed him over for a job because the sheriff’s office gave them falsely negative referrals. He has filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the sheriff’s office and both towns, according to the lawsuit.

The town manager for Apex, Drew Havens, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Jennifer Gamble, a deputy county attorney for Lee County, said Torres’s allegations are under review. Representatives of Siler City did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The practice that has come to be known as the Billy Graham Rule is one of four rules the influential pastor developed in the late 1940s to maintain the integrity of his ministry, Wacker said. The other rules dealt with money, cooperation and truthfulness in advertising

Graham considered his rule about sexual morality to be a common-sense guideline that acknowledged his vulnerability and that of his associates, Wacker said.

“They were young men in the prime of life, away from home for long stretches of time,” he said. “It was a rule that effectively said it’s a really bad idea to have a candlelight dinner with a woman when your wife is in North Carolina.”

Reporters and Christian organizations, Wacker said, seized on this rule and extended it beyond Graham’s intentions. People talked about refusing to be alone in an elevator with a woman or denying a public conversation with a female employee. Graham’s purpose, Wacker said, had been to follow a common-sense policy governing his behavior in his wife’s absence.

Evangelical Christians still frequently invoke the Billy Graham Rule, Wacker said, although he said most follow it only when it’s convenient. He said controversy over the philosophy has raised two criticisms — that it assumes women are predatory and that it discriminates against women. Wacker said Graham did not think of women as predatory, but it may be true that as applied today, his rule about sexual morality excludes women from power.

The lawsuit by the former sheriff’s officer, Wacker said, pits religious rights against freedom from discrimination in a common type of public battle.

“I would think that this is going to be legally very complicated,” he said.

Bible Belter

I had serious PTSD yesterday as I was not planning nor expected to see the zealot who works at my coffee shop. Last time he was on deliveries and I missed him entirely and thought I would be so fortunate, I would be wrong.   When he stood in the door to the roasting room and looked at me I felt as if the fire of hell was burning on me.  He saw me did not speak or acknowledge my presence but I knew I was the focus of his rage.  And This coupled on the heels of the Trump statement: "I am the chosen one" I really felt the whole Anti-Christ thing was coming to fruition.

What both idiots share is a denial of self. Neither know shit about anything, they are arrogant, they are white men/boys, spoiled, have a sense of pre-destination, and use any religious jargon to cover their ignorance in replace for logic.  Ethan certain is excusable as he is 22 from Alabama and I believe has reading comprehension issues but even that I can only take so far as for Trump is there an excuse?  White Privilege is clearly the definitive on that one.

I truly feel like the squirrel sitting on the wall and rejecting some of the nuts as they are religious in origin.  I have never rejected faith so vehemently as I have here and yet I like to remind myself of some of the greatest minds and thinkers of this life have been religious minds.  Martin Luther King, Thomas Merton, the Dalai Lama and from them we have to accept that faith was their driving factor and in turn enabled us to grow as a result.  That said I believe they would accept that faith is not mine but we have room at the table for all minds who wish to work for the betterment and good of society. 

But with that do any of these current crop of Evangelical zealots do?  I think not and the oddness and bizarre acceptance of Trump which seems to focus on a single issue - abortion - is not only disturbing it is of course a reflection of their own ignorance and hypocrisy. These are the same people that don't want the Government infringing on their rights or lives but hey they can when its about shit they care about and apparently they care about other women's personal freedoms and rights and especially their vaginas.  And if there is one person obsessed with Vaginas it is Trump and my "friend" Ethan.    There is no wall, no Bible, no Church to hold their egos in check and as a result we have this.  I can't wait to leave and in 45 days or so I do.  My return visits will be without the knowledge of this idiot child and in turn I can have the freedom to do with what I want and how I want not in the shadows but in the light. I wish all of us could find said light as it doesn't have to come attached to the hand of Jesus.

Beyond Today / Religious Nuts
Posted on Mar 25, 2011 by Robert H Berendt

The terms may vary from place to place, but it seems every society and every generation has had some experience with those who are deviant thinkers.

We live in an incredible society and world. There are many and varied thought patterns around us, and we strive to categorize a “norm” from them with which to judge human behavior. We realize there are some at the far ends of the spectrum from this norm, but we are puzzled and amazed (sometimes beyond belief) at the really peculiar behavior and thought patterns of some. As many would say: they are “nuts” (nuts meaning crazy or fouled up in their thinking).

The nuttiest of all

When I try to develop a pattern for “nuts,” I find that there is no nut as nuts as a religious nut. Religion has done more to push the behavior of people over the edge of all that is considered allowable and acceptable than any other form of thinking. Leaders have even declared themselves to be “gods” here on Earth.

As late as 1945, many Japanese considered their emperor to be divine. The early pharaohs of Egypt and Caesars of Rome declared themselves divine. Myriads of kings and other leaders proclaimed themselves to be led and directed by a Supreme Being. In Europe, the royal crowns carried a symbol on the top of the crown that indicated that the king or queen was in their position by divine appointment. The crown of Hungary has a golden cross on top, and Britain has a great jewel as this symbol of divine blessing. The Pope in Rome is said to be appointed by divine guidance. The imams of Islam feel the same about their calling.

Almost all spiritual leaders claim divine guidance and appointment of some sort. Some have sacrificed a great deal to follow what they believed was their destiny and calling from a deity. Most are leaders who are balanced, but some are obvious extremists.

I have seen individuals who do not seem to be seeking personal glory but who wander about proclaiming that they have a message from God. Some are dressed in rags; some wear robes that make them stand out in a crowd. A man in Vienna, Austria, was well known on the main shopping district since he dressed in a white sheet, carried a shepherd’s rod, wore green leaves on his head, and loudly proclaimed doom and gloom for the city and nation. I have no doubt that men like these are reasonably sane and take as their role models the stories of people like Jonah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and others who actually did serve God.

The danger of extremes

But some religious nuts that proclaim divine guidance have sent countless people to their early deaths in the name of their belief. The Kamikaze of Japan died for their divine emperor. The Incas of old were among the many pagan religions that designated the most handsome, beautiful, flawless, and young among them to become the sacrifice to the gods. It is usually the youngest and best that die at the whim and order of a religious person who has designed a reason for their sacrifice and proclaimed that reason to be given directly by divine inspiration.

Many Christian leaders of old proclaimed, “letters coming down from heaven” to be the mainstay of their beliefs and statements when they wanted to exert control over people. I do not mean to poke fun at sincere people who believe that what they are doing is pleasing to God; however, when actions defy all logic and when others are hurt by the deeds or words of one who proclaims himself to be guided by God, then I feel they need to be categorized as dangerous—dangerous to themselves and dangerous to others. There are numerous stories of parents who have put their own children to death because they “heard a voice.”

I have met a number of people whose personal life is a mess but who fully believe God has reached out to them with some divine message, which nobody except themselves can understand or know. They feel they have a mission to minister to and correct others. It is interesting to note how many of these types often seek ministers to impress and correct with their divine message.

Hallmarks of Christian fanatics

Religious nuts have ideas that are preposterous and meaningless to all but them. They carry a Bible (or other supposed authority) in their hands to proclaim their authenticity and are an embarrassment to the very words of that holy book.

Paul had much to say about some he met who were far from Christ. In Titus 1:15-16, he wrote, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good” (New International Version throughout). In Colossians 2:18, Paul states, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.”

What God desires instead

Paul exhorts us in Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Humility of the greatest degree is what we need before God. The Bible informs us that we have nothing to offer and our very best is as filthy rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6). With that in mind, a person ought to fear to step forward and serve God without being invited. That invitation should be stronger than just a dream in the night.

The book of Luke records the advice on humility given to one who was invited to a wedding (Luke 14:8-11). Verse 11 states that he who exalts himself will be humbled. Men like Gideon wanted God to show them that He really meant what He said. Many of the men God chose as prophets and messengers resisted that call and even went the other way. Humility will cause a converted person to be very slow to think that God would choose him.

False prophets will always surround us—so says Peter (2 Peter 2:1-3). He wrote that these people will exploit you with stories they have made up. In verse 10, Peter claims that they are bold and arrogant, which becomes obvious the moment you question their credentials. A person who is truly confident will have no concern that someone is questioning him, and even if someone wonders if he has “lost it.” A person who has a false confidence built on his own stories will always react strongly and defensively. The bottom line is that God has given us a book, the Bible, for a guide to show us who speaks the truth and who is just another nut.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Culture Wars

Yesterday I was in the car listening to the writer Ibram X. Kendi discuss his new book, How to be an Anti Racist.  He made salient points that for years the subjugated have taken the words and acts on by the oppressor to bring harm to oneself and one's own cultural affinity and identity and in turn do little to change the dialogue and instead maintain the status quo as it exists.  He spoke of his own experience as a youth in high school mocking and debasing a young Ghanian immigrant in his school in the same way white youth did towards American blacks.  Yes I have heard that first hand and recognize that for many African Americans just the reference of Africa denigrates their identity as they were "born" here.  Of course I loathe hyphenated names and just the idea of having to be a split identity is not something I want to be a part of.  I am who I am and I choose it.  Thanks I don't need a hyphen or an acronym in which to explain myself.  Get to know me and you will.

But to many that identity is the core of their beliefs and in turn something that matters to further the discussion, what said discussion is I have no clue and Mr. Kendi has said repeatedly that few listen and in turn hear anything in order to do anything to change the structures set into place that do just this.  It is called active listening and in turn acting upon it which won't be happening in my lifetime for that I am sure.

Last night I listened to John Oliver and his story on Medical Bias and how it affects how Women and People of Color are treated medically.  This I know for a fact as a woman and what has happened to me in the past and of late when it comes to care.   I have never been so angry over the the past seven years with regards to this bullshit than I have ever been.  As I prepare to leave Nashville in some ways having to come back for medical treatment will be a better thing than me staying here and wallowing in my anger.  I will have a specific agenda and in turn a time frame that is locked in which to complete the process and in turn allow me to leave Nashville for good in a better place. The dark cloud that brought me here needs to stay here.

But one thing I have never understood here is the embrace to the point of obsession over Religion.  The young man I befriended who seems so confused because of it to the many who seem to embrace it as a source of teaching and counseling, neither of which it is qualified or should be doing.  The Bible is literature not sacred screed as we all can read one passage and without the Author or his/her notes to interpret the meaning from which again we have no way of knowing intent.  Add to this since the language it was written in and the time and translations affect said text means we can all read whatever we want into it as those who have handled said text add their own notes and meanings.  Of course all are men and largely men seem to dominate and control the dialogue so the purpose is what exactly?  Control, dominate and maintain the status quo.

I want nothing to do with religion and frankly the less said about the subject the better as those who believe do so with such fervor and recalcitrance I feel little to nothing can be accomplished.  And yes I feel the same about Racism. But living in the South the strong pull of history and legacy rule here and despite all the cranes that dot the sky of Nashville the people drawn here are young, lowly educated, still vested in the Church and are very much products of their history.  I come from the schools here and I want no part of them and that too is another reason why I chose to not find a long term sublet and ride out the time here I need to go and just come back on business trips as that will enable me to have the time and distance I need to clear my head and heart from this hideous place.

The Bible was used to justify slavery. Then Africans made it their path to freedom.

The Washington Post
By Julie Zauzmer
April 30 2019

When the Rev. Jaymes Robert Mooney takes his pulpit to preach, sometimes he pictures the graveyard — that is where his congregation was born.

It was called Georgia Cemetery, named, he has been told, for the place the enslaved were stolen from before being sent to work the fields in Huntsville, Ala.

The graveyard was where they buried their loved ones. It was there they could gather in private. It was there where they could worship a God who offered not only salvation, but the thing they sought most — the promise of freedom.

That graveyard, and those who founded what is now St. Bartley Primitive Baptist Church in 1820, weighs heavy on the young minister who now leads the congregation. It is not lost on him that the Gospel he preaches, the Gospel so many African Americans embraced to sustain them through the horrors of beatings and rapes, separations and lynchings, separate and unequal, is the same Gospel used to enslave them.

“That’s the history of the black church,” said Mooney, who at 29 leads a congregation of 2,000 members that will celebrate 200 years in existence next year.

He makes sure every new member goes through a church orientation to learn that history — all of it. He preaches about the ways slaveholders claimed the Bible was on their side, citing passages that commanded servants to obey. And he talks about the ways African Americans have reclaimed the Bible and its message of liberation.

As America commemorates the 400th anniversary of the creation of representative government in what would become the United States, and the first documented recording of captive Africans being brought to its shores, it is also grappling with the ways the country justified slavery. Nowhere is that discussion more fraught than in its churches.

“Christianity was proslavery,” said Yolanda Pierce, the dean of the divinity school at Howard University. “So much of early American Christian identity is predicated on a proslavery theology. From the naming of the slave ships, to who sponsored some of these journeys including some churches, to the fact that so much of early American religious rhetoric is deeply intertwined . . . with slaveholding: It is proslavery.” Some Christian institutions, notably Georgetown University in the District, are engaged in a reckoning about what it means that their past was rooted in slaveholding. But others have not confronted the topic. “In a certain sense, we’ve never completely come to terms with that in this nation,” Pierce said.

Bible of oppression and liberation

The Africans who were brought to America from 1619 onward carried with them diverse religious traditions. About 20 to 30 percent were Muslim, Pierce said. Some had learned of Christianity before coming to America, but many practiced African spiritual traditions.

Early on, many slaveholders were not concerned with the spiritual well-being of Africans. But few had qualms about using Christianity to justify slavery.

Some theologians said it was providence that had brought Africans to America as slaves, since their enslavement would allow them to encounter the Christian message and thus their eternal souls would be saved, said Mark Noll, a historian of American Christianity.

Some preachers encouraged slave owners to allow their slaves to attend worship services — though only in separate gatherings led by white proslavery preachers. They had to be seated in the back or the balcony of a segregated church. Those men of God argued that the sermons on the injunction in Ephesians and Colossians, “slaves, obey your earthly master,” would promote docility among enslaved workers.

Washington’s Museum of the Bible displays a “slave Bible,” published in 1807, which removed portions of Scripture including the Exodus story that could inspire rebellious thinking.

Some ministers promoted the idea that Africans were the descendants of Ham, cursed in the book of Genesis, and thus their enslavement was fitting.

“That biblical interpretation is made up of whole cloth in the 15th century,” Noll said. “There’s just no historical record of any seriousness to back it up. It’s made up, at a time when Europeans are beginning to colonize Africa.”

Slaveholders frequently noted that the Israelites of the Old Testament owned slaves.

Abolitionists tried to make arguments against using the Bible to justify slavery, but they were in the minority.

“They were considered to be radical,” Noll said. “And often they were considered to be infidels, because how could they say God was opposed to slavery if it was so obvious in the Bible that he was not?”

The foremost objectors, of course, were African Americans themselves. Large numbers adopted the faith, and they quickly began remaking it into their own.

“As soon as enslaved people learned to read English, they immediately began to read the Bible, and they immediately began to protest this idea of a biblical justification for slavery,” Pierce said. “Literally as soon as black people took pen to paper, we are arguing for our own liberation.”

Those books and broadsides challenging prevailing biblical interpretations were savvy: “They very quickly learned that the only way we can be heard is to speak the language of our slaveholders, to speak to them about the text that they love, that they believe in,” Pierce said.

In the generations since — including during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well as a present-day movement spurring new interest in African religions — some African Americans have rejected Christianity as the religion of the oppressor. Many have embraced Islam or have explored African traditions; young adults today include complaints about the church not doing enough to address racial injustice on their long list of reasons for leaving church.

But for vast numbers, both centuries ago and now, Christianity motivated and uplifted with the promise of heavenly rewards and the possibility that their reward might come on earth, too. Christianity brought enslaved Africans “this powerful and profound sense of hope. That Jesus would return. That there is a life and world after this life. That what is going on with the human body, the mortal realm, is just temporary. That there is eternity. That you will be rewarded, you will experience joy and peace and comfort. . . . That this God is a God of transformation,” Pierce said. “No wonder it was embraced.”

That conversion did not come without questioning the faith that brought both oppression and liberation.

“More than anything, this challenged them the most: The challenge of believing in a God that at the time was used to intend to pacify, but still believing in the God that could provide freedom,” Mooney said.

Confronting history

The religion of African American Christians and white Christians is constructed on the same tenets — the belief in an almighty God, Jesus Christ as savior and the Holy Spirit as comforter. But the divide that began with such wildly divergent interpretations of the Bible’s message about slavery would only expand. As of 2014, 80 percent of American churchgoers attended churches where at least 80 percent of the congregation is of only one race, according to Pew Research Center.

“The church gave spiritual sanction [to racism], both overtly by the things that it taught and covertly by the critique that it did not raise,” said Bishop Claude Alexander, who leads Park Church in Charlotte.

Political priorities vary widely. White evangelicals tend to be more focused on issues such as abortion and sexuality, while many black Christians rate issues of economic and racial inequality and criminal justice higher, Alexander said. “How does one account for that difference in priority when these groups basically believe the same thing?” he asked. “If I’ve never experienced oppression or marginalization outside of the womb, then it’s easy for me to make what happens inside the womb a priority,” he theorized.

“There’s no quote-unquote ‘theology’ that’s not shaped by context,” he said. And racialized violence is the context that has always shaped America, and the American church, Alexander said. “It was the amniotic fluid out of which our nation was born,” he said.

But he’s looking to change the context. He is working on putting together groups of leaders — such as the presidents of predominantly white evangelical colleges and the presidents of historically black colleges; the pastors of influential white churches and influential black churches — who will travel together on what Alexander terms “pilgrimages.”

They will travel together to the sites of America’s unhealed racial wounds. To the lynching memorial in Montgomery, Ala. To Charleston harbor, where so many enslaved people were transported that, to this day, 60 percent of African Americans can trace their history back to that bloody port. To Virginia, where the first enslaved Africans set foot on this soil in 1619.

Perhaps, he hopes, they will leave their pilgrimage ready to face the fifth century since then with a bit more grace.

Monday, August 19, 2019

God Sick

In the last month I have come to describe my former friend as Mentally Ill.  I do believe he has an Anxiety Disorder, Anger Impulse Issues and a Mania about Christ in a manner that is both disturbing and off putting to the extent I believe could be violent.   So while many rant about extremists in Islam I suggest they do a reality check as terrorism begins at home. 

Now Americans are obsessive about Religion to the point even Atheists have some type of spiritual practice to assauge the overwhelming pressure to possess a dogma and hierarchy of belief.  Sorry but again it sames male dominated and of course bullshit as I identify as Wiccan and people actually believe that is the same as Atheism and or Witchcraft.  Yes call me Samantha.

I am faking my fondness for Ethan (with some denial that I can somehow reach him) right now and with about 40 some days left here it is easier than just going fuck you you whack job.  I want to be better than this but seriously the boy has so many problems frankly I cannot wait to get out and away from them.    And I believe it all began and ends with religion. 

How Do You Distinguish between Religious Fervor and Mental Illness?

It's not meant as insult to believers; the two states of mind can share many similar characteristics

By Nathaniel P. Morris on December 22, 2016
Scientific American

Last year, a news column circulated the web, announcing the American Psychological Association had decided to classify strong religious beliefs as mental illness. According to the article, a five-year study by the APA concluded that devout belief in a deity could hinder “one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters.” Refusals by Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept life-saving treatments, such as blood transfusions, were given as an example.

Of course, this turned out to be a fake news story. But it still drew legitimate media coverage and outrage from readers. Fact-checking websites like Snopes had to point out the column was satirical.

To many, this was a ridiculous stunt. But for me, a physician specializing in mental health, the satire hits home in many ways. My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness.

Part of this is because the classification of mental illness often relies on subjective criteria. We can’t diagnose many mental health conditions with brain scans or blood tests. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us.

Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia.

But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues? If he could hear Jesus speaking to him? He might also insist nothing were wrong with him. After all, he’s practicing his faith.

It’s not just the ambiguities of mental health diagnoses that create this problem—the vague nature of how we define religion further complicates matters. For example, the Church of Scientology argued with the Internal Revenue Service for years to be classified as a charitable religious organization and to qualify for tax-exempt status. The Church eventually won this battle in 1993, a major step towards becoming a mainstream American religion.

According to Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, Scientologists believe in alien spirits inhabiting human bodies. Many believe they have special powers, like telekinesis and telepathy.

This puts mental health professionals in a tricky, cultural bind. Before 1993, should mental health professionals have treated patients expressing these beliefs as psychotic? After 1993, as faithful adherents?

These distinctions carry profound medical and legal implications. In his book Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, journalist Jon Krakauer chronicled the case of Utah v. Lafferty, which addressed the 1984 killings of a woman and a child by two Mormon fundamentalists, Ron and Dan Lafferty. Over the last several decades, the question of Ron Lafferty’s mental health has played a key role in the case, as both sides have battled over his competency to stand trial.

The defense has argued that Ron is mentally ill and therefore should not be put to death. In interviews, Ron has claimed to be a prophet, endorsed hearing the voice of Christ, and expressed fears about “an evil homosexual spirit trying to invade his body through his anus.” Psychiatric experts have testified that Ron appeared to suffer from a psychotic illness, such as schizoaffective disorder.

The prosecution has sought to uphold his competency to stand trial, relating his bizarre ideas to religious practices worldwide. In the words of Dr. Noel Gardner, a psychiatrist who testified for the prosecution, “the majority of people in our country believe in God. Most people in our country say they pray to God. It’s a common experience. And while the labels that Mr. Lafferty uses are certainly unusual, the thought forms themselves are really very common…to all of us.”

A local news column from 2013 summed up the complexities of this ongoing case—“Where is the line between faith and delusion? Between malice and mental illness?”

These are tough questions. The practices of Scientology and Mormon fundamentalism are far from the only examples of this oft-blurred line between religion and mental health care. Virtually every religion has unusual beliefs and rituals, from consuming the flesh and blood of Christ in Catholicism to fasting as a way of atoning for sins in Judaism.

Some have gone so far as to argue religion may actually be a form of mental illness. In 2006, biologist Richard Dawkins published his book The God Delusion, in which he characterizes belief in God as delusional. Dawkins cites the definition of a delusion as “a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric disorder.”

Dawkins’ book has been wildly controversial, prompting academic rebuttals, hate mail, and even threats to jail his publishers. Still, as of 2014, The God Delusion has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

As a mental health provider, I don’t believe it’s my job to cast judgment on patients’ religious beliefs. It’s my job to use medical evidence to evaluate and treat mental illness so as to alleviate suffering among my patients. Today, we have some objective medical tests to diagnose mental illness, as in neurosyphilis or B12 deficiency. But we need more to help guide us through the difficult circumstances in which mental health care and religion collide.

In time though, perhaps we will. I have faith.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Say a Little Prayer

Today is Sunday when the masses go to mass and pray for forgiveness and then promptly go to brunch to absolve themselves with bad food and drink.

I like to skip both and in turn will go to Yoga where I will work on community and wellness in an attempt to find peace and grace in another way.

But again the news takes a turn for the bizarre when it comes to faith and to how the religious and pious practice said faith.

First up: Exercise ones demons. Yes this is a new way.

Pastor accused of sexually assaulting parishioners said he was ‘sucking’ demons out of them

Rev Dr William Weaver allegedly told victims he needed to exorcise their evil spirits - through their semen

Colin Drury
UK Independent
Friday 19 July 201

A pastor accused of sexually assaulting three male parishioners told them he needed to “suck” the demons out of their bodies, according to court documents.

Rev Dr William Weaver, a Presbyterian minister working in Linden, New Jersey, is said to have performed sex acts on the men under the guise of exorcising evil spirits.

The 69-year-old ordered his victims to place “angel coins” on their head and balance stones on their hands before he got to work extracting demons through their semen, it is said.

All of them had gone to him for private counselling.

The alleged assaults came to light after the men, as well as one woman, came forward to report Dr Weaver to the church’s governing body.

A subsequent investigation by ecclesiastical authorities found credible evidence of “multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct”.

The four accusers have now filed a civil lawsuit at Middlesex County Superior Court. In addition to Rev Weaver, they are suing the Linden Presbyterian Church where he worked for 39 years and the wider Presbyterian Church authorities.

“I refuse to stay silent any longer,” one wrote in a statement. “I need to make sure that this never happens to anyone else ever again.”

Another added how Dr Weaver had “lifted my head up and looked into my eyes, and said, ‘You don’t have to be afraid any more, I’m your protector now’.” He had then kissed the man.

Audrey Pereira, a representative for the chapter, described Dr Weaver as a “a Jekyll and Hyde” character, according to American news magazine Newsweek.

“He did good on one hand,” she said. “On the other hand, he did this evil.”
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The pastor himself renounced the Presbytery on 25 January a day before a church trial was due to start and moved to a gated retirement community in the nearby town of Lakewood.

I am going to just move on past any commentary at this time and go onto the next.

Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, comes out as gay

Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY
Aug. 16, 2019

Ed Smart, the father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, came out as gay in a letter for family and friends posted to Facebook and said he and his wife are separating, local media in Utah reported.

Smart confirmed to the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune that he wrote the letter but declined to comment further. The Tribune reported that the post published Thursday has since been deleted.

Elizabeth Smart told the newspapers that she was "deeply saddened" by her parents' separation, but didn't comment on her father's sexuality.

In 2002, then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City and held captive for nine months. Smart was repeatedly raped and drugged by her captors Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. She has since become an advocate for kidnapping and sexual assault survivors.

In his letter, Ed Smart, 64, acknowledged it was "one of the hardest letters I have ever written."

"I have recently acknowledged to myself and my family that I am gay," the letter states, per the Deseret News.

"The decision to be honest and truthful about my orientation comes with its own set of challenges, but at the same time it is a huge relief," he continued. "Living with the pain and guilt I have for so many years, not willing to accept the truth about my orientation has at times brought me to the point where I questioned whether life was still worth living."

Smart also called his wife, Lois, "loyal" and said she is an "extraordinary mother."

"I deeply regret the excruciating pain this has caused her. Hurting her was never my intent. While our marriage will end, my love for Lois and everyone in my family is eternal," the newspaper reported he wrote.

According to the Deseret News and the Tribune, court records show Lois Smart filed for divorce July 5.

In her statement to the newspaper, Elizabeth Smart said she still loves and admires her parents.

"Their decisions are very personal. As such, I will not pass judgment and rather am focusing on loving and supporting them and the other members of my family," she said.

Ed Smart said his announcement came along with a change in beliefs. While he doesn't "find solace any longer" within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Smart said his faith is still strong.

The church recently changed its teaching on same-sex couples, saying that gay marriage will no longer be considered a sin worthy of expulsion and that LGBTQ parents can have their children baptized.

The reversal came in April 2019, four years after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said those in same-sex relationships were “apostates’’ who must be banished from the religion.

The church's change in doctrine, however, did not reverse its opposition to gay marriage and still regards same-sex relationships as a “serious transgression."

Smart wrote in his letter that "it is not my responsibility to tell the church, its members or its leadership what to believe about the rightness or wrongness of being LGBTQ,” according to the Deseret News.

He added: "In the end, people are free to say what they will, and believe what they want, but there is one voice more important than any other, that of my Savior, who wants each of us to love one another, to be honest and joyful and find a meaningful life."

And this all follows my interesting discussion with a lovely young woman named Allie, who is from Alabama which we now know is ground zero for crazy share with me her Church teachings and how progressive they are.   Her Pastor has shared with here and the congregation that while he must teach against pre-marital sex and homosexual sex, according to the Gospel, he feels that he is not in the place to condemn such sins as he himself had pre-marital sex and that he knows homosexuals. From this knowledge he realizes that individuals must find peace with God and the Lord by recognizing their sins,  so he feels that they are to find that same recognition with Christ upon salvation.  Which in  turn that is the individuals decision to reconcile their faith with the teachings of Christ with their own values and in turn life.   I am not fully quoting her but it was basically an absolving the Preacher from dealing with the conservative view points that the Evangelical Southern Baptists teach while trying to be somewhat more progressive.  In other words: Pick a Side dude!  Well during this conversation it was revealed that her best friend is married to this Pastor's son.  And when he was young and this is a direct quote:  "He had homosexual sex with men."  

Where do we go from here? Well we know that the son is either Gay or fluid. And in turn he is now in a marriage where at least his wife knows and that in the next few years he will suppress said urges and later seek them out in a clandestine or down low manner or wait until years of marriage and do the Ed Smart.  None of this is good as it is ostensibly living a lie so preach that.

What I find distressing is how religion is almost always the biggest predator of all of this from oppressing sexuality to exploiting it.   I am not sure why other than it is about power and again access and availability.   You have immense access to information about families, in turn you have all the time to pursue and exploit the confusion of individuals and in turn the use of ignorance of how scripture is basically just bullshit fiction and that few to many of these active in religion are that well educated.  When I read the book Educated, by Tara Westover,  it was the primary reason many in her family remained abused and in turn abusing as they knew little to nothing else and that her father who was clearly mentally ill knew as much that with education his control over the family would lessen. She was raised in a cult and it took decades and strong interventions from educated professionals including some who were strong religious leaders in their own right to enable her to see how damaged she was as a result.  She is the exception not the rule when it comes to the power of religion.

I feel that with my former friend Ethan whom I offered last night to have online access to my New York Times account.    He inquired about it but I have not heard back as clearly his again contemplating what it would mean to actually read the news daily and be informed about the world.  I am sure he is discussing this with his father and by father I mean his biological dad whom I am sure is a verbal abuser if not physical (under the guise that corporal punishment for one's children falls under acceptable parenting) which explains the rages and temper tantrums he has under stress.  Not a day goes by where as the abused spouse I feel like where I somehow want to save this kid from the demons that chase him and I suspect once I leave here that compulsion will die as distance and time has that affect on situations like this,  But it is so distressing to believe how you can watch a life fall away and simply walk away without any sense of loss.

I cannot imagine living a lie for decades and in turn feeling that I am serving the Lord by being dishonest and in turn serving my community by condemning others who are living out  loud and being themselves and not doing damage to people via rape, assault and exploitation.  But then again forgiveness is dish served at communion. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Women's Work

This is why we can't have nice things said the Mother to the Child when they broke something.  Ah yes the role of Father's in this country as bread winners has given way to men being angry Trump supporters, Women taking on Education and work roles while still maintaining homes and care giving and their sons taking to guns to shoot women under the guise of being Heroes and Martyrs for society.

As I have spent the better part of three years in the buckle of the Bible belt the reality that education, domestic violence and drug abuse tops out in these parts of the country where gender roles are defined by scripture and tradition.   Yes it clearly is working out well. 

But look at the article below it is in the liberal states where there is a highly educated workforce and the concept of progressive politics that show it is all not what it seems.  In reality that across the board women are doing most of the heavy lifting and that in turn leaves their children in the hands of others.  For working women of a certain economic class they are able to find providers who are better surrogate parents, while other women rely on a piecemeal of people to care for children, often in fact relying on older siblings to take on that responsibility.  This is also is why schools are taking on larger roles and the reality is that they are already busting at the seams with problems that are beyond their job. 

Then we have the lack of training, the lack of required skills and of course the lack of pay that puts many of these child care gigs as third rate options when their are few family members to step in.  It explains the behavioral and academic issues that many children face and in turn the endless confusion about who is responsible and what are they responsible for when it comes to care.

We are still a sexist society and the current Presidential campaign with its record number of women candidates aside shows we are still debating what it would mean to have a woman as President in the same way having a Black man was and what happened after he left office.   We are a nation of haters, I got nothing else here.  Men here are still confused deranged sexually frustrated boys that never grow up past 16.  I fear for us all and am exhausted by it all. 

Why the U.S. Has Long Resisted Universal Child Care
Americans still aren’t in agreement that mothers should work at all.

By Claire Cain Miller
The New York Times
Aug. 15, 2019

Most Americans say it’s not ideal for a child to be raised by two working parents. Yet in two-thirds of American families, both parents work.

This disconnect between ideals and reality helps explain why the United States has been so resistant to universal public child care. Even as child care is setting up to be an issue in the presidential campaign, a more basic question has recently resurfaced: whether mothers should work in the first place.

In many ways, it has already been settled: 93 percent of fathers and 72 percent of mothers with children at home are in the labor force. It helps the economy when women work, research shows, and it’s often economically beneficial for their families, too — 40 percent of women are their families’ breadwinners. Significant evidence demonstrates that when there’s high-quality, affordable, easy-to-find child care, more women work.

Some form of early childhood care and learning is part of the campaign platform of most of the Democratic presidential candidates. President Trump has not supported universal child care, but has bolstered existing child care policies, including approving a record increase to the Child Care and Development Fund for low-income families and a child tax credit increase.

Yet there has also been a revived discussion over whether mothers should outsource child care at all. Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, earlier this year denounced what he called the belief that “it’s more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.”

One-third of Democrats surveyed by the Pew Research Center said it was ideal for one parent to stay home. (Half said it didn’t matter if it was the mother or the father, but in most opposite-sex couples, it’s the mother.)

The debate persists because in the United States, the resistance to public child care has never been mainly about economics. It has been rooted in a moral argument — that the proper place for mothers (at least certain ones) is at home with their children.

“In the United States, child care is still at the political level viewed symbolically and not economically,” said Leah Ruppanner, a sociologist at the University of Melbourne. “All of the discussions are around the sanctity of motherhood, preserving the traditional family. Women and families are living very different lives from that.”

She is an author of a study published this month in the journal Socius that found that in states where child care is more affordable and school days are longer, more mothers work than in states where it’s expensive and school days are short. It used American Time Use Survey data from 30,000 working-age mothers with school-age children at home, from 2005 to 2014, and state data on the average school day length and the cost of full-time child care.

California, Oregon and Washington, for instance, have among the lowest shares of women working, and some of the most expensive child care and shortest school days. North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska have higher shares of women in the work force, more affordable child care and longer school days.

Research has shown that in industrialized countries, subsidized child care and education had the single biggest effect on women’s employment. In Washington, D.C., public pre-K increased the labor force participation of women with young children by 10 percentage points. The lack of subsidized child care was a major reason the share of women working in the United States unexpectedly stalled in the 1990s. The economic benefits of good, affordable child care for low-income children extend for generations, research has shown, and some studies indicate spending on it more than pays for itself.

“As child care costs increase over the decade, what happens is we see mothers are spending more time in child care,” said Ms. Ruppanner, who conducted the study with Stephanie Moller at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Liana Sayer at the University of Maryland. “You’re boxing women out of the labor market.”

But in the United States, people have long had conflicted feelings about whether society and government should make it easier for mothers to work outside the home, and these are complicated by attitudes about race and poverty.

In the 19th century, people thought it was fitting for women to use child care and to work for pay only if their husbands were unable to support them because of death, disability, divorce or drunkenness, said Sonya Michel, professor emerita of history at the University of Maryland. A network of day nurseries started, mostly financed by philanthropy. By the turn of the century, though, they’d been replaced by so-called widows’ or mothers’ pensions. The idea was that if a woman didn’t have a husband to support her, it was still best that she stay home.

The expectation was different for black mothers, beginning with enslaved Africans. Later, poor black mothers were often denied the pensions that white mothers got. Today, most families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are required to work — and receive some government help with child care to do so.

“The country has been so traditional in the persistence of the idea that women did not belong in the work force,” Ms. Michel said, “but the idea that poor women, especially black women, should work has persisted.”

Just 18 percent of Americans told Pew that it’s best if both parents work full time, and nearly half said one parent should stay home. Today, Americans are more likely to believe in gender equality in work and politics than in the home, a large study found. Certain scholars and far-right politicians around the world have also been using arguments about preserving traditional gender roles and family structure to frame issues like abortion rights and fertility declines.

The only time the United States had something close to universal public child care was during World War II, when in 1941 the Lanham Act directed federal funding to high-quality, government-run child care centers so women of all incomes could work as part of the war effort. But lawmakers were careful to say that it was an emergency measure, and that the centers would not become permanent. (The children who went to these centers, particularly from low-income families, performed better educationally and economically throughout their lives, compared with children who were too young to be eligible for the care, research found.)

Universal child care had strong bipartisan support when it was proposed in the Comprehensive Childhood Development Act of 1972, but President Richard Nixon vetoed it over its “family-weakening implications.”

Since then, the government has provided some child care assistance to low-income families. There is also a child care tax credit for working parents. But half of Americans live in places where there is no licensed child care provider or where there are three times as many children as child care slots. Child care costs a typical family about a third of its income. Just 10 percent of providers are considered to be high quality. At the same time, work for many Americans has become more inflexible and time intensive, and part-time or flexible jobs can be hard to find.

The result is a divided system, in which good child care is accessible only to affluent families, and many mothers in the United States can’t afford to work, said Taryn Morrissey, who teaches public policy at American University and was an adviser to the Obama administration on its early-learning initiative. “Instead of investing in a tool we know would help inequality,” she said, “we’re exacerbating it.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

Wings and Nuts

 When I realized my "friend" Ethan was insane I became afraid, very afraid.  I had experienced his anxiety about dating, his confusion about sex and his own lack of education that had clouded his world view.   What I did not know was his dedication to dead Pastors and an obsession on religion and religious leaders long dead who espoused what is akin to hate speech - heavily veiled racism, misogyny and hate towards the LGBQT community. 

My first sign was the history I found on my computer that I discounted and in turn realize that it was the tip of the iceberg.   Then one night reading me the scripture of him being a warrior for Christ willing to take arms and leave family to advocate for the Lord.  Okay then.

Then the final straw was the video of the crazy dead minister Adrian Rogers whose even Dr. name was of course via honorariums that varying religious institutes bestowed upon him. Even dead decades later the man's followers veer on obsessive.   Ethan is just one example who when questioned on this takes on a rage that is neither normal or rational when talking about a Dead Minister.  His face when confronted with any fact contrary to his belief's is disturbing at least but in all honesty are terrifying.  His rages have come many times over issues with girls and of course sex and in turn launches into misdirected anger and confusion about what is normal and biologically expected for a boy of 22.  But this is neither rational nor intellectual as it is all emotional, highly charged responses to gender and interpersonal relationships with the living.

I have also suspected that there was past trauma that led to his evangelical declaration at age eight several years sooner than many and I believe due to a Teacher who may have issues of her own and in turn may have also seen a boy so deeply troubled that she led him to religion as a way of comforting him.    Again his Father was a Preacher and had a church so there seems to be an issue with that which I am unclear.   But regardless today the boy of this piety and faith finds excuses or explanations as to why NONE of the Churches in Nashville practice the way he likes.  How many of these he has gone to and what specifically is the issue again unclear but it is clear that he is unaffiliated to any tether that would ground and build his community.

We have too many young men of this country lost, confused and utterly without tethers to ground them.  They may have family but this family may be lost as well and this along with the long failure of education to provide sufficient training, career options and sufficient socialization skills that build community we have an over reliance on varying Churches and other organizations that have taken advantage and in turn exploited these children - see the Boy Scouts, Catholics and Southern Baptists for example.  So I disagree with the Author that Church is the solution no it is part of the problem.

The Religious Hunger of the Radical Right
Until we understand what really drives extremists, we will not be able to stop them.

By Tara Isabella Burton
Ms. Burton is a contributing editor at The American Interest and a columnist at Religion News Service.

Aug. 13, 2019
The New York Times

Domestic right-wing terrorists, like the man accused of the shooting last weekend in El Paso, are not so different from their radical Islamist counterparts across the globe — and not only in their tactics for spreading terror or in their internet-based recruiting. Indeed, it is impossible to understand America’s resurgence of reactionary extremism without understanding it as a fundamentally religious phenomenon.

Unlike Islamist jihadists, the online communities of incels, white supremacists and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists make no metaphysical truth claims, do not focus on God and offer no promise of an afterlife or reward. But they fulfill the functions that sociologists generally attribute to a religion: They give their members a meaningful account of why the world is the way it is. They provide them with a sense of purpose and the possibility of sainthood. They offer a sense of community. And they establish clear roles and rituals that allow adherents to feel and act as part of a whole. These aren’t just subcultures; they are churches. And until we recognize the religious hunger alongside the destructive hatred, we have little chance of stopping these terrorists.

Now more than ever, the promises religion has traditionally made — a meaningful world, a viable place within it, a community to share it with, rituals to render ordinary life sacred — are absent from the public sphere. More and more Americans are joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated. There are more religious “nones” than Catholics or evangelicals, and 36 percent of those born after 1981 don’t identify with any religion. These new reactionary movements, with their power to offer answers at once mollifying and vituperative to the chaos of existence, is one of many ways that Americans are filling that gap.

Not all of the extremists who carried out massacres in recent years — the 2014 University of California Santa Barbara killings, the 2018 Toronto van attack, the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shootings, to name just a few — shared the same politics. While most expressed some combination of avowedly white supremacist, anti-Semitic or misogynist views, few were part of specific, organized movements or even had coherent political outlooks. But what nearly all of these perpetrators shared was a cosmic-level worldview that fetishizes violence as a kind of purifying fire: a destruction necessary to “reset” the world from its current broken state. This atavistic worldview idealizes an imagined past, one that predates the afflictions of, say, feminism and multiculturalism.

On far-right message boards, these men discover — or are indoctrinated with — intoxicatingly simplistic etiologies that claim to explain the apparent chaos of contemporary life. Instead of cosmic battles between God and the devil to explain the problem of evil, they find conspiracy theories: The world is secretly run by a network of Jews planning to wipe out the white race; oppressive feminazis are planning to make men obsolete.

At the same time, these groups promise their members a sense of purpose within that chaotic world: a chance to participate in a cleansing fire. They are called to take up the mantle of warriors for the cause. No longer are these men “betas” (a common insult in alt-right circles) — they are would-be heroes. Just look at the language used in the manifesto written by the man accused of the shooting in El Paso: He cast himself as a hero “honored to head the fight to reclaim my country from destruction.” His language, like that of the jihadist, is a form of mythic self-making: He recasts himself as someone with a vital role to play in a cosmic war.

But the social and communal appeal of these groups is nearly as important to understand as their ideological, world-shaping ones. Like nearly all religious groups, they use shared languages and shared rituals. By posting or retweeting a racist or sexist meme or by using highly specific in-group jargon — incels deploring attractive, sexually desirable “Chads” and “Staceys,” or white supremacists crowing about being “based” (short for supporting “race-based” science) — members of these groups reiterate, and reify, the narratives of hate around them.

Perhaps most important, these groups give their adherents, many of whom perceive themselves as socially isolated, a sense of community. Online message boards become disembodied Knights Templar. When men (and it is usually men) post about their frustrations with dating (blaming choosy “Staceys” and feminists) or the job market (blaming immigrants), there are thousands of like-minded posters waiting in the wings to comfort them. They provide the sense of social place that the outside world cannot. Fellow posters on Reddit become not merely names on a screen but sources of reassurance, brothers-in-arms.

This brotherhood has its own hierarchy and its own hagiography. Those who have committed mass murders are often venerated as martyrs for their causes: Elliot Rodger, the misogynist gunman behind the killings in Santa Barbara, is lauded across the incel internet as the “Supreme Gentleman;” within hours of the El Paso shooting, the gunman was deemed a “saint” on white nationalist forums. To commit an act of terrorism may not yield the same metaphysical reward promised by radical Islam to its martyrs, but it nevertheless assures practitioners a certain kind of in-group status. So long as there is an internet, their chosen brothers will remember them.

It is necessary to condemn these hate groups and their atrocities. But it is simplistic, — and ineffectual — to do so in a vacuum. To characterize these killers as lonely, disaffected, disenchanted men, rebels in search of a cause, is not to ameliorate the atrocity of their actions, nor to excuse them as merely “misunderstood.” Rather, it is to envision a productive way forward — a chance to de-radicalize some of them before they commit acts of violence, to provide people with a different form of “lifefuel.”

The very trappings of interconnected, meaning-rich social life — lost in an increasingly fractured age, with a presidential administration that stokes further division — are very real human needs. Theistic or civic, institutional or grass roots, online or off, we all need to foster churches. Certainly, we can see in the concurrent rise of the “spiritual but not religious” and its own host of modern-day movements — from the cult of wellness to the rise of modern occultism — a cornucopia of new, varyingly successful efforts to fill our spiritual gaps without violence or hate.

When we ignore the religious aspect of extremist groups, we allow them to claim the monopoly on meaning. That’s not ground I, at least, am willing to cede.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Uh Yeah

I really have nothing to add here but after my verbal abuse session by Ethan last Saturday I am just digging in the dirt here to validate my loathing of him.

Sexism has long been part of the culture of Southern Baptists

March 6, 2019
The Conversation
Susan M. Shaw
Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Oregon State University

Recent media reports have revealed decades of abuse by Southern Baptist pastors.

Denominational leaders are offering apologies and calling the sexual abuse “evil,” “unjust” and a “barbarity of unrestrained sinful patterns.” Many Southern Baptist leaders are considering action.

As a scholar who has written a book on Southern Baptist women and the church, I’d argue that this scandal has its origins in how Southern Baptists have long and purposefully pushed back against women’s progress.

The ‘woman question’

Since the Southern Baptist Convention’s founding in 1845, Southern Baptists have had a complicated history with women.

Historian Elizabeth Flowers explains that questions of women’s roles as preachers, teachers and deacons were frequent subjects of disagreement among Baptists.

Women were not allowed to serve as messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention until 1918. A messenger is a member of a local Southern Baptist church who is appointed by the congregation to attend the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention and vote on Southern Baptist Convention business. The church doesn’t instruct the messenger how to vote, nor does the messenger represent the church. Messengers attend as individuals who vote based on their own conscience.

When Southern Baptist women formed a national organization to support missionary work in 1888, they had to hold their first meeting in a Methodist church down the street from the Baptist church where the Southern Baptist Convention was meeting. Until the 20th century, only men gave the organization’s report to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Indeed, women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote at this time. The Southern Baptist Convention’s practices certainly reflected larger social norms around gender, but its reasoning was also theological. These beliefs formed a basis for gender hierarchy that ultimately triumphed in the late 20th century.

Southern Baptist controversy

In the 1970s, greater numbers of women entered the six Southern Baptist seminaries, many professing a calling to the pastorate, even though most churches still refused to ordain them.

I grew up Southern Baptist and was a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1980s. By that time, women were about a third of the student body, although very few women were professors.

The idea that the Bible is without error in history, science or theology was used as a test for theological faithfulness by Southern Baptist fundamentalist leaders. claire.whetton/, CC BY-NC-ND

This was also a time when fundamentalists took charge of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention owns six seminaries and numerous publishing and missionary agencies worth billions of dollars.

Fundamentalists used biblical inerrancy, the idea that the Bible is without error in history, science or theology, as a test for theological faithfulness.

Beginning with the denomination’s annual conference in 1979, these fundamentalists were able to inspire voters to elect fundamentalist leaders. They claimed that moderate Baptists who did not accept inerrancy were also the ones who did not believe the Bible.

The new leaders purged the moderates from Southern Baptist Convention employment and leadership.

While fundamentalists claimed this takeover was about biblical inerrancy, in reality, it was as much, if not more, about women. As historian Barry Hankins also concludes, the “gender issue” eventually became a central issue for Southern Baptist fundamentalists as their takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention proceeded.

So even as these Baptist leaders claimed their movement was about the Bible, they specifically targeted women and worked to reverse women’s progress in church and home.
First in the Edenic fall

In 1984, as fundamentalists gained greater control, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution against women’s ordination. The resolution reasoned that women are excluded from ordained ministry to “preserve a submission God requires because the man was first in creation and the woman was first in the Edenic fall.”

In other words, because Eve was the first to eat the fruit that led to the humans’ expulsion from Eden, they argued, God compels all women to submit to men.

Furthermore, the resolution argued for the preservation of “God’s delegated order of authority” – “God the head of Christ, Christ the head of man, man the head of woman.”

In Baptist polity, local churches are autonomous and free to ordain and call as pastor whom they will. The Southern Baptist Convention has no official control over local churches.

As, however, local churches did ordain and call women to the pastorate, local Baptist associations “disfellowshipped” these congregations, excluding them from participating in the local association.

Fundamentalists appointed a president of Southern Seminary in 1993 who forced Molly Marshall, the first woman to teach theology at a Southern Baptist seminary, to resign in 1994, primarily over her support for women in ministry.

‘Gracious submission’

In 2000, reinforcing fundamentalist beliefs about women, the Southern Baptist Convention changed its statement of faith, noting that women and men “are of equal worth before God” while insisting “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.”

In 2003, an administrator at Southern Seminary explained that in response to women’s desire to rule over men men must exercise their rightful “rulership” over women. What this administrator interpreted as a desire to “rule over” was actually a simple demand for equality in the home and the ability to serve as pastors and leaders in church and society.

For Southern Baptists, the statement of faith is not a creed but rather a set of largely agreed-upon beliefs. The statement is not binding on any individual or local church. Seminaries and denominational agencies, such as the International Mission Board, however, must work within the guidelines of the statement.

The 2000 statement of faith also asserts, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” In response, in 2004, Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board stopped endorsing women as chaplains. Prior to the controversy, more moderate Southern Baptists had supported women in ordained ministry, including chaplaincy.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary then used this statement in 2007 to remove Sheri Klouda from its faculty, where she taught Hebrew, simply because she was a woman. Klouda was not ordained and did not support the ordination of women. In their thinking, however, she was teaching men the Bible, which they forbid women to do.

They were able to remove her on the basis of gender because religious institutions are exempt from gender-based nondiscrimination laws for positions that have an explicit religious function, such as pastor or seminary professor, if their beliefs sanction such discrimination.
Sexual abuse among Southern Baptists

As early as the 1980s, Dee Ann Miller, who had survived sexual assault by a Southern Baptist missionary, tried to call attention to the problem of sexual abuse but found a denomination unwilling to address it.

Similarly, in 2009 another survivor, Christa Brown, critiqued the denomination’s minimizing and enabling of abuse. Southern Baptist churches often allowed abusers to move onto a new and unwitting congregation without reporting abuse, and the Southern Baptist Convention refused to create a registry of abusers for churches to consult.

A scandal at Baylor University brought Baptists’ inaction on sexual assault to the fore. A 2016 report on the university’s handling of sexual assault found a “fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX.” The report noted “that Baylor’s efforts to implement Title IX were slow, ad hoc, and hindered by a lack of institutional support and engagement by senior leadership.” The report was specifically in response to the sexual assault problems in athletics.
Paige Patterson. AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser

Baylor was not alone in institutional mishandling of abuse. In 2018, trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary fired President Paige Patterson, an architect of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC, over statements he had made encouraging abused wives to return to abusive husbands and discouraging seminary students from reporting rapes to police.

Sexism and rape myths

Research suggests that sexist beliefs affect men’s attitudes toward sexual coercion. In particular, men who hold sexist beliefs are more likely to accept the myths that “women ask for it” or “if a woman is wearing provocative clothes, she wants sex” or “lots of women lie about being raped.”

Most significantly, research also suggests that fundamentalist and sexist clergy also tend to have more negative attitudes toward rape victims.

Apologies will not be enough

In my view, Southern Baptists’ history in relation to women provides important context for the current moment and helps explain the denomination’s inaction on sexual abuse by pastors.

The Southern Baptist Convention has fostered a culture in which sexual abuse and inadequate responses are not at all surprising. Apologies will likely do little to change that culture as long as beliefs about women’s submission stay in place.

Monday, August 12, 2019

What Jesus Wore

 As I have come to learn that here in the Bible Belt the belt is a powerful sword in which to cut a wide swath of pain and disbelief.   The Bible here is not a tool but a weapon in which to destroy lives and condemn others to a sense of social isolation as they are not worthy of respect or acknowledgement.  I know this first hand from my former friend Ethan who has finally raised his sword when he shared with me he was a Warrior for Christ and that he would put aside family and loved ones in the pursuit of faith.  As I do not share the same faith I am not worthy of his time which is apparently precious and limited for those who are not the same.  Of course as long as you share his belief systems and wants to get into your pants or get some type of gift or free shit then fuck that shit that Bible stays firmly attached to his magical 3x5 card he endlessly checks for messages from God or whoever else has been deigned acceptable under the checklist of criteria he needs to have in which to determine worthiness.  In other words he is batshit crazy religious kook.

Read the book by Tara Westover, Educated, I cannot stress enough how essential it is to understand the effects of what extreme devout obsession about religion and false edicts do to children and adults for decades.  It is a trauma I have personally now seen and experienced in this boy of 22 and he frightens me.   I cannot stress enough what that means as I know fear is not rational but then again I have been in his company neither is he when it comes to religion.   The boy has suffered serious trauma and his religion has made him so damaged he is unable to see the forest for the trees. That said I am out and I can't wait to be out of Nashville away from him. Do I think he is a threat to himself or others.  Yes but what kind remains to be seen.

So when you read the stories of those victimized by this obsessive religiosity understand that may be why this particular SECT of faith is declining.  This does not mean there is a decline in Evangelical faiths they, however, still exist and are running or ruining lives in the same way they just are less organized as we know that they have no central organization and dogma and for that we can say THANK JESUS!

It’s ruined me.’ Former independent fundamental Baptists describe life in the church
Dec. 9, 2018

Former members of independent fundamental Baptist churches describe a culture and teachings that affect the rest of their lives. The following quotes are taken from interviews.
Getting in

Independent fundamental Baptist church members are either born into the movement and grow up knowing nothing else or are brought into the churches through evangelism. The tight-knit community of motivated people is appealing, especially to vulnerable people.

“I was an adult, I was in my early 20s. Our lives were a dysfunctional mess, and we needed support. We didn’t have family in town so we started attending a church because someone my husband worked with invited us. The strict boundaries helped for a while, but over time it seemed pointless: no matter how strict the rules got we couldn’t please anybody.”

— Lisa Bertolini, California

“I liked the sense of belonging I felt, the caring feeling of the community, because I didn’t have that before.”

— Karen Rice, Pennsylvania

“There was a lot of positive energy going on. We went to the church, there was a lot going on, a lot of activities, great music program — the people just seemed to be, quote-unquote, ‘on fire for the Lord.’”

— Sindye Banko Alexander, Colorado
At Church

Life in an independent fundamental Baptist church can quickly become insular. Members are held to “standards” both inside and outside the church: modest dress for women and a ban on movies and secular music in the stricter churches. The pastor becomes the ultimate authority, followed by the man of the house. Members are taught to look at the world with suspicion.

“My dad asked me if I were allowed to wear pants, if I would do it. I said, ‘I don’t know’ — as a kid you’re terrified — I don’t know. He said, ‘Because you can’t tell me right now, that means you are not a Christian. You are not going to heaven because a Christian would never hesitate at that question.’ ”

— Leah Elliott, Indiana

“I told her that I was raped and how violent it was and how I was terrified it would happen again. She gave me a five-minute counseling session and told me she would have to tell Pastor Schaap and the nurse, inform the doctor. And not to tell anyone. Anyway, we had our meeting, and they told me my rape was God’s will because it sent me there.”

— Amber McMorrow, Colorado. Former pastor Jack Schaap is serving a federal prison sentence for sexually abusing a 16-year-old congregant at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. He did not respond to requests for comment via a letter sent to him in prison.

“It was a fire. I don’t remember anything about it. I just remember they told us to bring our pants, and we burned our pants. I remember thinking when I did it, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ My dad’s the pastor. Yeah, so we did it. I was probably 12.”

— Mindy Woosley, North Carolina

“We were told, ‘You can either forgive him like Jesus would or call the police, and they can take you away and put you in foster care like you were before.’ OK, I don’t want to go to hell, so I do what Jesus would do.’’

— Sara Means, Oklahoma, on her alleged abuser

“I was nursing, but the pastor outlawed nursing. No women were allowed to nurse because it kept them from church. I went to the bathroom to cry, and I’m getting engorged — you have to nurse, you get in a lot of pain if you don’t. I’m in the bathroom, and the nursery worker came into the stall with me. I think I was just grabbing toilet paper to blow my nose, she barged in and said, ‘The devil wants you to miss this sermon that’s happening right now. You get back in there.’ “

— Kara Blocker, Oregon

“You have a system of belief where what the pastor says is true, and you cannot disagree, the deacon boards don’t disagree, you don’t go against what the pastor says because the ingrained thinking is he’s God’s man, and you don’t lift a hand against God’s anointed.”

— Jo McGuire, Indiana

“I started dating a boy at 15. Pastor had a meeting with him and his mom, and told them I couldn’t marry him because he didn’t come from a broken home and didn’t know how to take care of me. And I wasn’t clean. Meaning I was violated.”

— Sarah Mullins, California, on how she was treated because she had divorced parents.

“I have so few memories of my cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles that it scares me. We were allowed to see them about once a year, until the church decided that the ‘good church members’ shouldn’t fellowship with their non-believing relatives. We were pretty much cut off after that. My grandparents still don’t understand why we were withheld from them.”

— Anonymous, Ohio

“They teach us there’s no such thing as mental illness. They say it’s all just not trusting in Jesus enough.”

— Barbra Lanzisera, California

“There’s a secret glee in thinking people you don’t like are burning in hell.”

— James McGrail, West Virginia

“One of my parents got upset and threw a paddle at my younger sister. It gave her a black eye, she was 6 or 7. The pastor saw it and asked what happened, and the pastor told my sister, ‘If you have anyone that is not a church member ask you what happened, you don’t tell them because if you do you’ll get taken away from your family.’”

— Anonymous, Oklahoma

“When I was 15, I tried to have the right attitude. It just never happened. I remember one time a teacher prayed with me that God would do whatever — God would do something drastic, even a car accident or a death or anything it took to get me right with God.”

— Anonymous, Wisconsin

“God has a killer surveillance system and is disappointed in you. There’s nothing you can do to please him.”

— Frederick Feeley Jr., Michigan

“There was a prevailing belief that it was always the girl’s fault, even a child. Because if a girl was being modest and obeying God nothing bad would happen. And boys and men were simply unable to control themselves, so it was up to the girls and women.”

— Denise Kodi, Alabama

“I remember just being so scared to think a negative thought against the man of God, a pastor. If a thought would go through my mind in the fleet of the moment, not meaning it to, about a pastor, I would start praying and be terrified something bad was gonna happen to me.”

— Bethany Leonard, Georgia

“My late mother, not long after we had started going to church, my stepfather had asked her to spend no more than $50 at the grocery store. Unfortunately, the bill totaled $52. Rather than put something back to get the bill under $50, she gave the cashier a weak smile and explained apologetically, ‘I’m so sorry, but I’m going to have to call my husband about this. You see, we’re a Christian family, and I believe in submitting to my husband.’ So off she went to the other end of the store to use the phone and call my stepfather at work while my brother and I waited at the counter. I could feel my face turning red, and my brother didn’t really understand what was going on, either. Our mother came back with a satisfied smile and informed the cashier, ‘I’m so sorry for holding up the line, but my husband said it was fine. I just had to ask him first because we’re a Christian family.’”

— Natasha Latham, Texas

“One of my classmates saw me riding one of my horses, and she reported me to the principal for wearing pants.”

— Susan Wisecarver, Indiana
Hear them speak
They were terrorized, trapped and even sexually abused. Now, these former members of independent fundamental Baptist churches share how their experiences will affect the rest of their lives. Click to hear their stories.

When members leave the church, they may lose almost all of their friends and even their family. They realize their degrees from unaccredited Bible colleges don’t mean anything in the outside world. They suddenly have to learn to navigate a world they learned was evil. And for many, it takes years of therapy to overcome the fear-based teachings of the church.

“I’ve been in therapy for a couple years now trying to figure out who I am outside of fundamentalism.”

— Anonymous, North Carolina

“I’ve been away from there for 30-plus years, I still have those feelings. I still — if something bad happens to me, my immediate go-to in my brain is God’s punishing me, and I have to talk myself through it.”

— Linda Murphrey, who requested her location be withheld because she’s received death threats for speaking out in the past.

“It wasn’t even until I was 21, and I was telling my future fiancé. I was explaining to him about the situation, and he was the one that like brought it to my head that it’s like, ‘No stupid, it’s not your fault, that was a terrible man and you were raped.’ That word never even came to my mind. I didn’t hear of anyone else getting raped, I didn’t know it was a thing.”

— Brianna Kenyon, Michigan, who says she was abused by a church employee. He did not respond to requests for comment.

“I have had to go through years of therapy and numerous medications for my panic attacks and depression, and I have tried to commit suicide twice — once while still attending there and another time shortly after. I feel like I can never be normal or live a normal life — so many years were ruined and taken away from me. I was stripped of a normal childhood and having actual parents or any real friends. It has given me severe social anxiety. Until this day, it’s so hard to meet people and make new friends because I am such a basket case.”

— Melissa Winter, Tennessee, via Facebook messenger

“Do I wish he was in jail? Yes. But vengeance isn’t mine. It’s not mine to give to him. It’s not mine to keep pursuing. I’ve done what I could. But he’s got three kids. My abuser has three kids. What has it done to those children of his?”

— Amie Brown, South Carolina, on her alleged abuse by a church employee. He did not respond to requests for comment.

“I remember my first pair of pants, it was 11th grade. I started crying when I put them on, I was like, ‘I’m going to get in trouble.’ I wore them to public school, I couldn’t eat my lunch. I was shaking. I kept looking around thinking there’d be a spy. He always said, no matter how far you went, his reach went farther.”

— Michelle Myers, Arizona, on her fear of her former pastor

“I never went to see a movie till I was 35 years old. It was “Armageddon.” To be honest I was shaking and scared in the movie theater when I was 35 years old, because you’ve been pumped your whole life that movies are evil and wrong.”

— Mat Cannon, Texas

“If I can be candid, it’s ruined me.”

— Anonymous, California

“One thing I absolutely know is that God is true, and the word of God is perfect. So if people had been saying that they’re applying the word of God but turning into this fiasco, they missed something.”

— Stephen Meister, Illinois

“It’s made me very very sensitive to the fact that there’s evil, evil perpetrators and to the fact that people do not recover from this. This whole crime, this whole issue, it damages generations.”

— Susan Richardson, Tennessee, on sexual abuse

“You get ostracized. Your family won’t have anything to do with you, you won’t admit you’re part of the family. You lose your identity. You lose every single label you were given. It’s stripped away. It’s as painful as peeling the first layer of skin off your whole body.”

— Trisha LaCroix, Nevada, on leaving the church

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Girl Crazy

This phrase is often thought of boys obsessed with girls and chasing skirts in a fun sort of sexual puberty phase that boys grow out of.  Sorry but I think it is a much more cynical term about boys or men who cannot be satiated enough in a monogamous relationship and has an insatiable need to pursue and exploit women for sexual and emotional gratification.   I believe Jeffrey Epstein the insane nut who died in prison managed to understand the prurient natures of men and use young girls to satisfy his own sexual perversity while using the same bait to lure powerful men into whatever financial arrangements and political allegiances that enabled him to carry on for decades with a slight bump in the road that barely dented the bank account.  But he is a special kind of lunatic but the average man/boy has no access and availability to that level so they have to rely on internet dating and other more conventional means to date and meet women. And given that these fuckwits have issues that include social disorders, intellectual challenges and of course families who have shoved either religion and/or neglect to ignore the emerging sociopath we get shooters.

I have said repeatedly that men are walking trigger warnings when it comes to sex. They are obsessed with it and the Oedipal complex is alive and well as again Women raise them, they raise them as the men they wish them to be rather that being the children they need to be.  I still use my former friend Ethan who in a rage of Christian insanity blasted me away with nasty words and judgments to further push me out of his life.  Hey dude I just wanted to admit you were crazy and thanks you did and now that little crazy is out of the closet I am firmly sure that whatever friendship we had is packed in a box in the back to donate to Goodwill when I leave town.   The parallels cannot be lost, the obsession with girls, the sexual frustration coupled with religious guilt and the going home to mommy every week to have her do laundry and feed him is pretty much a profile in not courage.

So when I read this article this morning I was of course shaking as it was a little too close for comfort and what was disturbing is I had to actually look up some of them as there have been that many even I can't keep count.   I had a long conversation about the Ohio shooter and his band and their  music and the collateral damage was not his sister and his friend (who did not die) but those who were in target range as I suspect she was the target all along. The Sandy Hook shooter had killed his Mother first and the Waffle House shooter had stalked and obsessed over Taylor Swift so again what you cannot have you will make sure no one has.  Misdirected anger and rage along with guilt over having sexual fantasies and desires makes Johnny a bad and dangerous boy.

Boys are not men they are boys and they need to be raised to be men by learning from women and men how to be just boys who know how to do whatever they need to be independent adults, confident, secure and happy.  They can learn to cook and to mend socks and to do laundry and play sports. They need to learn how to make friends and lose them and how to talk to anyone regardless of their gender or age or any other quality or characteristic that makes people different but it teaches one how to get along with with others and find the commonalities versus the differences.   As for dating and sex education is essential and the ability to have an open dialogue about those without fear of judgment is also critical.  And yes that includes masturbation. 

Sitting with Ethan the RK (for religious kook) I listened to varying verbal diatribes then giddily talk about his "liking" his co-worker another in a long line of casualties in this field that eventually one of them will finally stay with him as they are equally nuts.   The purity and perfection contract will be violated and if she ever says or does anything that upsets him expect the verbal abuse to begin.  I was not fucking the boy and to hear the judgment and abuse was enough for me to think wow just wow when will throw a temper tantrum another one of his expressions after binge drinking.

There needs to be a concept that domestic terrorism includes domestic violence and the flag laws that are being debated need to be done regardless as it is start to gun control.   Then we need the reality that our mental health issues in schools is insufficient and the reality is that we are doing little to implement family counseling as a tool to assist in resolving conflict and issues that often occur in families with their own issues.  Church is hardly a substitute - case in point - Ethan.  He is batshit and the Preachers and biblical scripts he quotes are batfuckingshit crazy. When he demanded the link that showed his beloved crazy fuck Dead Preacher's quote about how slavery kept Black people employed I said I will do it at home.  I really wanted to say Google it yourself Bitch.   Again the child is so coddled and so fucked up I hope to his beloved Jesus he doesn't have a gun.  And I am sure many a friend, family member or authority figure felt the same about those in the story below.  And the results were grim.

A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women

By Julie Bosman, Kate Taylor and Tim Arango
The New York Times
Aug. 10, 2019

The man who shot nine people to death last weekend in Dayton, Ohio, seethed at female classmates and threatened them with violence.

The man who massacred 49 people in an Orlando nightclub in 2016 beat his wife while she was pregnant, she told authorities.

The man who killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., in 2017 had been convicted of domestic violence. His ex-wife said he once told her that he could bury her body where no one would ever find it.

The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often muddled, complex or unknown. But one common thread that connects many of them — other than access to powerful firearms — is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say.

As the nation grapples with last weekend’s mass shootings and debates new red-flag laws and tighter background checks, some gun control advocates say the role of misogyny in these attacks should be considered in efforts to prevent them.

The fact that mass shootings are almost exclusively perpetrated by men is “missing from the national conversation,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Monday. “Why does it have to be, why is it men, dominantly, always?”

While a possible motive for the gunman who killed 22 people in El Paso has emerged — he posted a racist manifesto online saying the attack was in response to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” — the authorities are still trying to determine what drove Connor Betts, 24, to murder nine people in Dayton, including his own sister.

Investigators are looking closely at his history of antagonism and threats toward women, and whether they may have played a role in the attacks.

Since the killings, people who knew Mr. Betts described a man who was offbeat and awkward; others recalled his dark rages and obsession with guns.

Those rages were frequently directed at female acquaintances. In high school, Mr. Betts made a list threatening violence or sexual violence against its targets, most of whom were girls, classmates have said. His threats were frightening enough that some girls altered their behavior: Try not to attract his attention, but don’t antagonize him, either.

“I remember we were all distant, like maybe we should just shy away from him,” said Shelby Emmert, 24, a former classmate. “My mom wanted me to just not associate. She said to stay away from Connor Betts.”

‘An Important Red Flag’

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, cited a statistic that belies the sense that mass shootings are usually random: In more than half of all mass shootings in the United States from 2009 to 2017, an intimate partner or family member of the perpetrator was among the victims.

(The study, by the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, defined mass shootings as those in which four or more people died, not including the gunman.)

“Most mass shootings are rooted in domestic violence,” Ms. Watts said. “Most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background. It’s an important red flag.”

Federal law prohibits people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes, and some abusers who are subject to protective orders, from buying or owning guns. But there are many loopholes, and women in relationships who are not married to, do not live with, or have children with their abusers receive no protection. Federal law also does not provide a mechanism for actually removing guns from abusers, and only some states have enacted such procedures

Judges can consider an individual’s history of domestic abuse, for example, under red-flag laws adopted in at least 17 states. Such laws allow courts to issue a special type of protective order under which the police can take guns, temporarily, from people deemed dangerous.

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobby, has opposed efforts to expand the situations in which individuals accused of abuse can lose the right to own guns, saying that doing so would deny people due process and punish people for behavior that is not violent.

But Allison Anderman, senior counsel at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said measures that facilitate the removal of guns from abusers “are a critical step in saving the lives of abuse survivors.” And given the link between domestic abuse and mass shootings, she said, these laws may also help prevent massacres.

The plagues of domestic violence and mass shootings in the United States are closely intertwined. The University of Texas tower massacre in 1966, generally considered to be the beginning of the era of modern mass shootings in America, began with the gunman killing his mother and wife the night before.

Devin P. Kelley, who opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service in Sutherland Springs, on Nov. 5, 2017, had been convicted of domestic violence by an Air Force general court-martial, for repeatedly beating his first wife and breaking the skull of his infant stepson. That conviction should have kept him from buying or owning guns, but the Air Force failed to enter the court-martial into a federal database.

In attacking the church, Mr. Kelley appeared to be targeting the family of his second wife.

In a case that highlights the so-called boyfriend loophole, in 2016, a man who had been convicted of stalking a girlfriend and had been arrested on a charge of battery against a household member shot Cheryl Mascareñas, whom he had briefly dated, and her three children, killing the children. Because the man had not been married to or had children with the woman he was convicted of stalking, his conviction did not prevent him from having or purchasing guns.

A professed hatred of women is frequent among suspects in the long history of mass shootings in America.

There was the massacre in 1991, when a man walked into Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Tex., and fatally shot 22 people in what at the time was the worst mass shooting in modern United States history. The gunman had recently written a letter to his neighbors calling women in the area “vipers,” and eyewitnesses said he had passed over men in the cafeteria to shoot women at point blank range.

“Even some of the incidents that people don’t know about or aren’t really familiar with now or don’t come to mind, there definitely is a thread of this anger, and misogyny,” said James M. Silver, a professor of criminal justice at Worcester State University who has worked with the F.B.I. to study the motivations of mass gunmen.

In recent years, a number of these men have identified as so-called incels, short for involuntary celibates, an online subculture of men who express rage at women for denying them sex, and who frequently fantasize about violence and celebrate mass shooters in their online discussion groups.

Special reverence is reserved on these websites for Elliot O. Rodger, who killed six people in 2014 in Isla Vista, Calif., a day after posting a video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.” In it, he describes himself as being tortured by sexual deprivation and promises to punish women for rejecting him. Men on these sites often refer to him by his initials and joke about “going ER” — or a murderous rampage against “normies,” or non-incels.

Several mass killers have cited Mr. Rodger as an inspiration.

Alek Minassian, who drove a van onto a sidewalk in Toronto in 2018, killing 10 people, had posted a message on Facebook minutes before the attack praising Mr. Rodger. “The Incel rebellion has already begun!” he wrote. “All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

And Scott P. Beierle, who last year shot two women to death in a yoga studio in Tallahassee, had also expressed sympathy with Mr. Rodger in online videos in which he railed against women and minorities and told stories of romantic rejection. Mr. Beierle had twice been charged with battery after women accused him of groping them.

Federal law enforcement officials said the F.B.I. was looking at whether the gunman in Dayton had connections with incel groups, and considered incels a threat.

Experts say the same patterns that lead to the radicalization of white supremacists and other terrorists can apply to misogynists who turn to mass violence: a lonely, troubled individual who finds a community of like-minded individuals online, and an outlet for their anger.

“They’re angry and they’re suicidal and they’ve had traumatic childhoods and these hard lives, and they get to a point and they find something or someone to blame,” said Jillian Peterson, a psychologist and a founder of the Violence Project, a research organization that studies mass shootings. “For some people, that is women, and we are seeing that kind of take off.”

David Futrelle, a journalist who for years has tracked incel websites and other misogynistic online subcultures on a blog called “We Hunted the Mammoth,” described incel websites as a kind of echo chamber of despair, where anyone who says anything remotely hopeful quickly gets ostracized.

“You get a bunch of these guys who are just very angry and bitter, and feel helpless and in some cases suicidal, and that’s just absolutely a combination that’s going to produce more shooters in the future,” Mr. Futrelle said.

Psychiatrists, however, say that the attention on mental health generated by mass shootings, and the common argument that mental illness is the explanation for these massacres, cannot explain the link between misogyny and mass shootings. Misogyny — or other types of hatred — is not necessarily a diagnosable mental illness.

Instead, said Amy Barnhorst, the vice chair of community psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, who has studied mass shootings, what ties together many of the perpetrators is “this entitlement, this envy of others, this feeling that they deserve something that the world is not giving them. And they are angry at others that they see are getting it.”