Category Archives: Religion

Of Ogres and Onions, Part 2

File:Mixed onions.jpg

Red and brown onions, Author Colin © User:Colin /Wikimedia Commons /CC BY-SA 3.0

Self-hatred is not productive in the pursuit of change.  Self-forgiveness (as hard for abuse victims to accept as moderation) actually shortens the recovery time from what we may view as “failures” and backsliding.

But self-forgiveness is not a skill abuse victims are taught as children.  We must acquire it on our own.

Here are a few suggestions [1][2][3]:

  1.  Define the infraction, and identify the injured party.

In the context of attempts to move beyond our abusive past, victims are, for the most part, the injured parties [4].  We fail ourselves, and experience overwhelming shame.

The inner dialog goes something like this:

“How stupid of me not to speak up.  That saleswoman must have thought I was an idiot.  I’m sure she could tell I didn’t want the sweater.  I already have a nice sweater.   Besides, the new one is hideous.  If I wasn’t able to speak up in a department store, how am I ever going to speak up in class?  It’s too late for me anyhow.  It was ridiculous to think I could go back to school at my age.”

  2.  Put things in perspective.

Have you started World War III?  No.  Have you abused any children?  Again, the answer is no.  You have bought a sweater which can be returned, given as a gift, worn to an “ugly sweater” party, donated, or discarded outright.

  3.  Tease out the negative feelings.

You have, in a single instance, been less assertive than desired.  That can be remedied the next time.  You can visualize returning the sweater; can even memorize and practice a script.  You can buy sweaters to your heart’s content, and return them all.

And if a saleswoman is unimpressed with your taste, your demeanor, or your credit, what on earth does it matter?  The episode has nothing do with your school performance.  You simply projected your fears forward.

  4.  Be kind to yourself.

Ask yourself whether you would hold anyone else to the high standards you hold yourself, or criticize anyone else as harshly.  Chances are you are kinder to others than to yourself.

If you don’t feel “deserving” of kindness, try it anyway.  Encouragement produces far better results with abuse victims than rebuke. Continue reading

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Cover Up

New Bill Goes After Institutions That Cover Up Child Sexual Abuse, Giving Survivors Chance For Justice - Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Image courtesy of CBS News.

The following is excerpted from a post by Gabrielle Guthrie.  Gabrielle discusses the cover up of child sexual abuse by religious and other institutions, most particularly the Church of England [1].

The full post can be found at her blog See, there’s this thing called biologyhttps://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/he-fell-where/.

Colorado is among the states that have passed legislation extending the Statute of Limitations on sexual abuse, while targeting those individuals and institutions who knew (or should have known) about the abuse but did not stop it [2][3].

“…it’s the cover up that is so evil, it’s circling the wagons and protecting the power structure, that really rankles.  That’s what lurks behind those deep rooted feelings of powerlessness and injustice.  Sometimes that is even more emotionally painful then the initial assault.

Sexual abuse is evidence that you have no human value, no worth in someone’s eyes.  Those who look at the crime with apathy or complacency, and ignore it, validate that lie and amplify it.  It’s still a lie, but lies are a lot harder to dig out when they are deeply rooted due to other people’s complicity.” Continue reading

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Jellyfish

File:Jelly cc11.jpg

Pacific Sea Nettle, Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA, Source  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dan90266/37269957/, Author Dan Parsons Dan90266 (CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Jellyfish are equipped with stinging tentacles used to paralyze, capture, and kill their prey.  The largest known specimen, the lion’s mane or giant jelly, has tentacles which can reach 120 feet in length.  That is longer than a blue whale.

The sting of a jellyfish can be agony.  In humans, that sting can cause burning and blistering of the skin, difficulty breathing, changes in heart rate, chest pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting, muscle spasms, numbness, weakness, and collapse.

The tentacles can sting, even after a jellyfish has died.

The Tentacles of Abuse

Like jellyfish, abuse has long tentacles.  Rather than extending into deep water, those tentacles extend across the years.  But their sting can still be agony.  Like the tentacles of jellyfish, the tentacles of abuse can paralyze, capture, and in some cases kill.

Real Wounds

Whether we suffer with physical ailments and visible scars or with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, the wounds stemming from our abuse are severe and real.  We are not weak.  We are not malingering.

It is, in some ways, easier when our wounds can be seen by the naked eye.  Burns are recognizable as such.  By contrast, the wounds of many abuse victims cannot be bandaged or sutured.  Invisible, those wounds can yet be deadly.

Long-Term Damage

Because it was inflicted early in our lives, while we were most vulnerable, the damage done by abuse is long-lasting and multi-faceted.  Victims must endure it for decades, across the full range of life activities.  This can be exhausting.

Eventually, we may feel overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, as if we were drowning; may feel trapped by our past, despite our best efforts; may feel wrongly that ending our lives is the only way out. Continue reading

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Rest

There is much in the world to disturb us.  We can read and watch the news obsessively, can lose sleep focusing on the pain and sorrow.  In fact, with a history of abuse, we may be drawn to distressing subjects.

But our souls, also, need rest.  Rest and peace are necessary to our healing.  The God who made us knows this.  The Bible speaks of there being a time for all things (Eccl. 3: 1-8).

Our most profound rest is in Christ.  He is our defense against the world.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11: 28).

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Mirrors

File:Mirror MET ES5394.jpg

18th Century German Mirror, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession No. 1990.329), Author/Source https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/207941 (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

In this political season, there is a great deal of emphasis on image. Candidates craft their images with care, choosing just the right setting, just the right music, just the right wording for political ads, campaign photos, and sound bites.

These carefully crafted images are not necessarily a true reflection of the candidate’s character – more like a carnival house of mirrors, with everything distorted.

What about the images abuse victims have of themselves? How accurate are those?

One crucial distinction between the images politicians design for themselves, and those abuse victims carry over from childhood, is that victims do not get to choose their images. In large part, those are crafted by the adults around them.

However, when the mirror is cracked, twisted, and deformed, so is the image reflected in it. Continue reading

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Narcan

File:Narcan product.jpg

Narcan, Author Evilleavenger
(CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

The Los Angeles school district will be distributing narcan (naloxone) at all levels, from kindergarten through high school [1].  Staff training in the drug’s use is slated to start in October [2].

The rate of overdoses in Los Angeles county (believed related to fentanyl) has increased by 1700% since 2016 [3].  At least seven teens overdosed this past month alone.  Narcan temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose.

The administration of a narcotic antidote is yet another task unrelated to education we are assigning our teachers.  However necessary such intervention may be, it does nothing to address the underlying problems. Continue reading

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MAPs – Normalizing Pedophilia

boy with hands on his shoulders Painting by Rian Lemaire Smulders | Saatchi Art

“Boy with Hands on His Shoulders” by Rian Lemaire Smulders c/o Saatchi Art

The El Paso School District has begun the termination of Amber Parker, an English teacher at Franklin High School, for instructing her students to refer to pedophiles as MAPs or “minor-attracted persons” in a viral video which her supporters maintain was taken out of context [1].  Parker is purported to have said, “So don’t judge people just because they want to have sex with a 5 y.o.”

Dr. Allyn Walker, a professor at Virginia’s Old Dominion University, resigned after having stressed at a panel the importance of pedophiles being treated with “dignity” [2][6].

These are not isolated incidents.  There are pedophile advocacy organizations worldwide [3].

The acronym MAP is apparently preferred by pedophiles over the label “child molester”.  It represents an attempt to normalize pedophilia, and is increasingly being adopted as politically correct, particularly in the LGBT context.

Seeking to remove any negative connotation from the term pederast, there are even pedophiles now characterizing themselves as virtuous [4].  Such individuals view their twisted desires as mere symptoms of a fallen world — somewhere along the spectrum of normal human sexuality (neither aberrant, nor evil). Continue reading

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Trafficking, Abuse, and the Disabled

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een gehandicapte bedelaar langs de kant van de straat TMnr 20000047.jpg

Disabled child begging in the street, Source Tropenmuseum part of the National Museum of World Cultures, Author H.W. (Henk) van Rinsum (Photographer), (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

There are nearly 240 million children with mental or physical disabilities worldwide [1].

Across the globe, the majority of these children have meager access to clean water and sanitation; adequate nutrition; and necessary healthcare, including immunization.

  • 53% are likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections, the leading cause of death in children under five [2].
  • 42% are likely to be “wasted” which is to say emaciated, with muscle mass far below normal.
  • 34% are likely to be stunted in growth.

Disabled children are often denied education.

  • 49% are likely never to have attended school.
  • 42% are likely to lack basic reading and arithmetic skills.

Children with disabilities are at higher risk of abuse (including sexual abuse) and neglect [3][4].  In the United States, that risk is 300% higher than for children without disabilities [5]. Continue reading

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Fierce

Amazon.com: Canvas Art Print Poster- angry grizzly bear 16x24 inches unframed: Posters & Prints

Angry Mama Bear (Image courtesy of Big_Grin Brand Posters)

“How and why are we being looked at as bigots because we want our children to learn how to read and write and do math so that they can function in society and make a living for themselves, and that we be the bastions of their emotional and social welfare and well-being?  We’re their parents.  That’s our job.  It’s not the school’s job, and it’s not no politician’s job neither [1A].”

-Gabrielle Clark

Gabrielle Clark is determined to safeguard her son and daughter against what she views as the woke indoctrination of young children with critical race theory (CRT) and gender ideology [1B].

Legal Challenge to Critical Race Theory

Clark (who describes herself as an “atheist, bisexual, bi-racial, homeless person”) brought suit in Nevada in what is believed to be the first case in the United States challenging critical race theory [1C][2].  Clark urges parents who agree with her to do likewise, across the country. Continue reading

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The Upper Hand – False Allegations of Abuse in Child Custody Cases

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Dependency_docket_bench_cards_for_juvenile_and_family_court_judges_and_magistrates._-_DPLA_-_e9eeb7b58aac3e0d3630ac5760aa3e99.jpg/360px-Dependency_docket_bench_cards_for_juvenile_and_family_court_judges_and_magistrates._-_DPLA_-_e9eeb7b58aac3e0d3630ac5760aa3e99.jpg

Dependency Docket Bench Card, Ohio State Supreme Court, Source Digital Public Library of America (https://dp.la/item/e9eeb7b58aac3e0d3630ac5760aa3e99) (PD)

You are a divorced mother of three, working part-time to make ends meet.  You have custody of the children your husband expressed no interest in, even before the marriage ended.  You receive no alimony and little child support since he, also, managed to hide assets at the time of the divorce. 

Your ex and his new wife now feel custody would be cheaper.  Their ploy for gaining custody is to accuse you of neglect.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  But you have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself, and wind up putting the $10,000 retainer on your credit card.

  • Although there are times divorce is the best option, divorced women are more likely than men to receive public assistance, live without health insurance, and have less earning potential [1A].
  • 29% of custodial mothers live in poverty, as compared with 16.7% of custodial fathers [1B].
  • Only 43.5% of custodial parents receive the full amount of child support [1C]. The aggregate amount of child support due in 2015 was $33.7 billion.
  • Children of divorced parents are 1.5 – 2 times more likely to end up living in poverty than children still living with both parents [2].

The lengths to which a good and loving parent may be forced to go, in order to defend against false allegations of abuse are troubling [3A].

A lack of financial resources will exacerbate such a situation.  An attorney is not likely to continue with representation in the absence of payment.  Necessary psychological evaluation of a child in such a case can cost money, as well.

Unfortunately, the better funded (and less scrupulous) parent often has the upper hand.  The falsely accused parent with fewer resources may find herself or himself attempting to prove a negative not only in a custody case, but a simultaneous Dept. of Human Services investigation and criminal action. Continue reading

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