27 June 2015

The dangers of Christianity, in 8 easy steps!--step one: rebuke her privately

Yesterday was awesome.

And in the aftermath of that awesomeness of rainbow marriage, I'm talking today about how Christians* view their own marriages. Kind of a weird contrast, but maybe that will highlight the absurdity of it all.

For those who haven't read them, here are the previous posts:

  1. The dangers of Christianity, in 8 easy steps!: part one of so much wrong
  2. The dangers of Christianity, in 8 easy steps!: part two of so much wrong
After a "Good Christian Husband" has realized the need to address his wife's willful, sinful habit of not giving it up for him whenever and wherever he wants, and has prayed on it (because that's what you do for everything: pray on it), it's time to start the "tough love" process of fixing her problem.

Step one of this process, which the poster bases on Matthew 18:15, is to "rebuke her privately." The post says (emphasis mine):
Rebuke your wife's sin to her in private. This assumes you have already on several occasions tried to speaking [sic] gently to her about this issue. You have tried time and time again to find out if there is anything you can help her with, and anything you can do different. This assumes you have ruled out health problems, and or [sic] other mental problems and she simply has a stubborn and willful attitude toward sex in marriage and she does not think she needs to change.
So the message here is that a husband has talked to his wife "on several occasions" about her lack of desire for sex. And since the husband has decided that her decision is not based on physical or mental illness (since those are the only valid reasons to say no, if you remember), that means she's being "willful," Which, in this case, is kind of the good Christian way of saying, "Dude, you're being a bitch."

I want to pause here to talk about that word "willful."

When I was actively participating in the brainwashing lifestyle known as the conservative Baptist faith, I heard that word a lot. But typically, it was directed toward me as a child/adolescent rather than as an adult. Children who are willful toward their parents are "corrected," which often takes the form of interventions designed by the church and pastor.

That means the terminology being used here is what is used for parents about their children. And wives who don't kowtow to their husbands' desires are put on par with a child who won't clear the table or say "Yes, sir" in response to a father. And that's the kind of relationship that so many of these young men and women strive for.

Is that really the kind of relationship that is loving and healthy for women? Is that the kind of relationship that parents want to model for their children?

In conservative Christianity, it seems so.

There is something I agree with in this step. (I know.) It's the "privately" part. Because the thing is, a physical relationship is a personal thing, and should be discussed between the two (or more, in the case of polyamory) people involved. No one else.

But to rebuke?

To rebuke is to express criticism and disapproval. The best way to understand it, which aligns with the imagery created with "willful," is to examine it as a parent-child conversation. The husband expresses his disapproval at his wife's disobedience.

Privately, but still.

As step one, this really sets the stage for the rest of the instructions. And next time, we get to talk about a husband rebuking his wife in front of witnesses.


*In this and most posts dealing with religion, I'm talking about the conservative, fundamental brands of Christianity. Think Duggars and similar.

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