Tag Archives: hypocrisy

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Image courtesy of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in 1891, Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles is now considered a masterpiece [1].  In its day, however, the book was seen as shocking.


An early examination of rape and domestic abuse, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is the story of Tess Derbeyfield, a simple country girl.

After a series of misfortunes, Tess is hired by the wealthy D’Urberville family but raped by their son Alec.  The following summer she delivers a sickly infant who dies shortly after.

Tess later finds employment as a milkmaid.  She falls in love with a farmer, Angel Clare, who is unaware of her past.

Since Angel confesses on their wedding night that he once had a brief affair, Tess tells him about the rape.  This does not go over well.  Angel views her as “impure”, and abandons her to try farming overseas. Continue reading


Filed under domestic abuse, domestic violence, Rape, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women


“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”

O, Holy Night

The victims of abuse do not, for the most part, think of themselves as nice. Not “really” nice. Not white glove, blue hair nice. Not church twice a week nice. Not first tier, upper crust, silver tea tray nice.

We know what goes on behind the lace curtains. We have seen the underbelly of life, the face of evil hidden from public view.  We have been told we are worthless, and treated as if we were. Beaten, spit upon, handled in ways that left us feeling dirty.

But good manners are not the measure of our humanity, whether we have or lack them. Salvation does not require good breeding and a sterling reputation. The silver tea trays and white gloves are irrelevant.

It was not “nice” for Jesus Christ to associate with tax collectors. It was not “nice” for Him to heal lepers or hemorrhaging women. Lepers (Lev. 13: 45) and bleeding women (Lev. 15: 19) were, in fact, considered ritually unclean. It was certainly not “nice” for Jesus to pardon prostitutes.

It may have been compassionate, even merciful.  But it was not “nice”.

What Christ offered these desperate people was redemption, transformation beyond anything that could be accomplished through worldly means alone. For that He was castigated, and ultimately crucified. Continue reading


Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Prostitution, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women