Author Topic: Christian Domestic Discipline  (Read 78852 times)

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2011, 08:08:20 am »
Good point.

Also, I have to wonder how many Western women are raised in THAT extreme of an environment these days. Fifty years ago, sure. Nowadays, for an American woman to have grown up with no exposure to other, more secular, viewpoints would mean really unusual isolation -- not just homeschooling but no TV, no computer, etc. Even if their parents hold those views, most women would be familiar with the idea that other people hold other views and as adults they can make their own choices. Many children of religiously conservative parents DO, in fact, go on to make different choices. Even the children of immigrants whose parents hold strict traditionalist views and expect their children to follow them go in different directions once they're old enough to do so.

Among fundamentalist Christians, this sort of cultural isolation would be extremely unusual (outside of, say, the Amish community). Most of the people in those huge evangelistic churches, for example, are reasonably sophisticated about the culture around them. Look at Michele Bachmann, for example.

You would think, but then why are there so many women who stay in abusive relationships?  They see other options, they have other options, they know there are other options, yet they stay with abusive men.  Why is that?  

Mental conditioning.

Same with the strict Christian marriage thing.

If these women were raised with the attitude I suggested, then they don't think they have other choices that agree with their belief system.  They'll burn in hell you see, if they get it wrong.  They've been raised that they should put everyone  else's well-being ahead of their own.  So they're the first to cave should everyone else's desires go against her own.

I had a friend in college - 10 years ago now - and she wasn't raised in a very Christian household, but she was raised with a dominating father and submissive mother and raised to be completely dependent.  Then she turned 18 and her father cut her loose.  What do you think happened?  She couldn't function very well on her own.  She didn't know anything about finances, about getting a higher education, having healthy relationships with boyfriends (her mother having told her she was nothing without a man), so she kept having abusive boyfriends, bouncing checks, having to move back home where her father could tell her how useless and worthless she was.

It still happens, even in this day and age in our society and in this particular case, in a very liberal college town when she was in no way isolated from others.

Mental conditioning is very hard to break.

"Sound" and "healthy" are highly subjective, and not ours to determine for others.

No, incorrect.  There is a standard and society determines it all the time, hence the justice system, Social Services, homes for abused wives and domestic violence counseling and powers of attorney.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2011, 09:05:35 am »
You would think, but then why are there so many women who stay in abusive relationships?  They see other options, they have other options, they know there are other options, yet they stay with abusive men.  Why is that?  

Mental conditioning.

Same with the strict Christian marriage thing.

If these women were raised with the attitude I suggested, then they don't think they have other choices that agree with their belief system.  They'll burn in hell you see, if they get it wrong.  They've been raised that they should put everyone  else's well-being ahead of their own.  So they're the first to cave should everyone else's desires go against her own.

I had a friend in college - 10 years ago now - and she wasn't raised in a very Christian household, but she was raised with a dominating father and submissive mother and raised to be completely dependent.  Then she turned 18 and her father cut her loose.  What do you think happened?  She couldn't function very well on her own.  She didn't know anything about finances, about getting a higher education, having healthy relationships with boyfriends (her mother having told her she was nothing without a man), so she kept having abusive boyfriends, bouncing checks, having to move back home where her father could tell her how useless and worthless she was.

Sure, of course there are women like that. There's everything under the sun out there. And yes, I'm sure there are women in Christian domestic discipline marriages who resemble women in non-Christian abusive relationships. That is, they develop a combination of fear of their husbands, learned helplessness and actual inability to support themselves and/or their children and are convinced they have no other options.

But the fact that your example from college is someone who was NOT raised in a very Christian household is telling.

What I'm saying is that I think the number of American families who are such strict conservative Christians that they raise their daughters to be totally convinced that they have to submit to their husbands' physical punishment ... I think that population is infinitesimal, at this point. Does it ever, ever happen? Sure, probably. But the average American conservative Christian is a long way from that. Many of them didn't even grow up in particularly strictly religious families; they were born again as adults.

I think we liberals tend to demonize conservative Christians to the point that many of us would believe just about any kind of 19th-century-style behavior is still prevalent. It's not. I think Michele Bachmann is a good example of what modern conservative Christians are like: their political views are very different from mine on issues like religion in schools, health care, marriage equality, etc. But as far as women go they're reasonably modern. That's why conservative Christians readily support figures like Bachmann or Sarah Palin; they are OK with women being successful and authoritative as long as they share their other political views.

If Michele and her husband practice Christian domestic discipline -- and obviously I have no idea whether they do or not -- I'm sure it's for their own amusement.

FYI, Bachmann has said she follows the Bible's teachings to be "submissive" to her husband. It's not totally clear what that entails, but it supposedly involves mutual respect, not a domestic discipline type of relationship. Here's an article that explores the topic of Bachmann's marriage, if anyone is interested:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michele-bachmann-submissive-wife-belief-matter-interpretation/story?id=14292494


« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 10:50:53 am by serious crayons »

Offline milomorris

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 10:57:00 am »
No, incorrect.  There is a standard and society determines it all the time, hence the justice system, Social Services, homes for abused wives and domestic violence counseling and powers of attorney.

But you're assuming that what goes on in these households meets those standards. If a husband punches his wife in the eye and kicks her in the ribs after she hits the floor, then that is clearly within the standards set by the State. If he gives her a smack on the hand, or spanks her bottom, you and I might find it distasteful, but the State isn't likely to find any wrong-doing.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2011, 06:28:36 pm »
But you're assuming that what goes on in these households meets those standards. If a husband punches his wife in the eye and kicks her in the ribs after she hits the floor, then that is clearly within the standards set by the State. If he gives her a smack on the hand, or spanks her bottom, you and I might find it distasteful, but the State isn't likely to find any wrong-doing.

Someone liking a light smack on the bottom or hand doesn't equate to someone wanting a spouse to dominate their entire lives.

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What I'm saying is that I think the number of American families who are such strict conservative Christians that they raise their daughters to be totally convinced that they have to submit to their husbands' physical punishment ... I think that population is infinitesimal, at this point.

Perhaps, but most abuse situations don't start like that.  Ask many women how violence started in their domestic situation and many will tell you that he "wasn't like that" when they met.  He was just insecure and jealous to begin with (few men aren't), then it started getting worse in degrees.  All women brought up in these radical Christian families have to be taught is that the man is their entire lives.  So they will happily marry a man who is automatically dominant...and it all goes downhill from there.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2011, 06:42:08 pm »
Someone liking a light smack on the bottom or hand doesn't equate to someone wanting a spouse to dominate their entire lives.

I didn't say that it did. The point I was trying to make is that neither the smack on the ass, nor the dominant husband is un-sound, or unhealthy in and of themselves. Especially from the POV of the Christian.

All women brought up in these radical Christian families have to be taught is that the man is their entire lives.  So they will happily marry a man who is automatically dominant...and it all goes downhill from there.

It doesn't go downhill from there in most of the Fundamentalist families that we've been discussing. You're saying that this Christian dominance/submissiveness leads to actual abuse, and that is not what I've seen. I have seen plenty of it among secular couples.

And let's not forget that there is a HUGE difference between a man who abuses because of some internal, violent pathology; and a man who uses physical discipline on his wife because he's been taught that's what a Christian man is supposed to do. The former comes from a place of anger and dysfunction. The latter comes from a sense of duty and doing the right thing.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2011, 12:04:46 am »
I didn't say that it did. The point I was trying to make is that neither the smack on the ass, nor the dominant husband is un-sound, or unhealthy in and of themselves. Especially from the POV of the Christian.

Neither does society.  ???

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It doesn't go downhill from there in most of the Fundamentalist families that we've been discussing. You're saying that this Christian dominance/submissiveness leads to actual abuse, and that is not what I've seen. I have seen plenty of it among secular couples.

No, I'm saying that in situations where there is abuse, the reason it exists is that of the two, one has the issues, the other has been brought up - somehow, someway - to think so little of themselves, that they will put up with it.

Fundamentalist upbringing for women is a perfect seed for such relationships to form.  Not that they all do or will.

Many of such upbringing leads to women simply being dominated by their husbands because they don't believe they have a choice.

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And let's not forget that there is a HUGE difference between a man who abuses because of some internal, violent pathology; and a man who uses physical discipline on his wife because he's been taught that's what a Christian man is supposed to do. The former comes from a place of anger and dysfunction. The latter comes from a sense of duty and doing the right thing.

That's assuming you think the latter is right as well.  Describing his acts nicely as "duty" and the "right thing" doesn't convince me that guy is blameless.  Hitting another adult whose only crime in a marriage is...

What could cause a man to strike his wife?  As something she deserves?  Unless she's coming at him with a knife, gun or her fists, I can't thing of a single thing that would make it 'right'.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2011, 12:21:32 am »
Sure, of course there are women like that. There's everything under the sun out there. And yes, I'm sure there are women in Christian domestic discipline marriages who resemble women in non-Christian abusive relationships. That is, they develop a combination of fear of their husbands, learned helplessness and actual inability to support themselves and/or their children and are convinced they have no other options.

But the fact that your example from college is someone who was NOT raised in a very Christian household is telling.

I think it's extremely telling.  That sort of upbringing leads to that kind of mental state.  Regardless of what a woman sees around her, who her friends are, what her education level is, if she's been raised to think so little of herself, she will put up with all sorts of dominating behavior because she thinks she has no choice.

Quote
What I'm saying is that I think the number of American families who are such strict conservative Christians that they raise their daughters to be totally convinced that they have to submit to their husbands' physical punishment ... I think that population is infinitesimal, at this point. Does it ever, ever happen? Sure, probably. But the average American conservative Christian is a long way from that. Many of them didn't even grow up in particularly strictly religious families; they were born again as adults.

As I said in my post, what is rare I think is families raising daughters to expect physical punishment.  I doubt they do.  What they are raised with is the idea that the man is the leader, the shepherd, the one to whom she must cling, the one who is closer to god, the one who is in control.  With that sort of idea about a marriage spouse, when/if the abuse starts, it's unlikely she's going to think anything is wrong with HIM.

The stats are only stats of those who REPORT the abuse.  If a woman doesn't think the husband is doing anything wrong, or that she somehow deserves her treatment, and he reinforces this idea along with her family and social network, she's not going to report it.  There could be a lot more of it than we know about.

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I think we liberals tend to demonize conservative Christians to the point that many of us would believe just about any kind of 19th-century-style behavior is still prevalent. It's not. I think Michele Bachmann is a good example of what modern conservative Christians are like: their political views are very different from mine on issues like religion in schools, health care, marriage equality, etc. But as far as women go they're reasonably modern. That's why conservative Christians readily support figures like Bachmann or Sarah Palin; they are OK with women being successful and authoritative as long as they share their other political views.

Ummmm, maybe they give verbal lip-service to approving of them, but it's unlikely with the male dominated society that they subscribe to that they'd actually vote for them.  A friend of mine were just talking about this very subject just this weekend and this was our conclusion.  :)

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FYI, Bachmann has said she follows the Bible's teachings to be "submissive" to her husband. It's not totally clear what that entails, but it supposedly involves mutual respect, not a domestic discipline type of relationship. Here's an article that explores the topic of Bachmann's marriage, if anyone is interested

 :laugh: :laugh:

It also entails Bachman lying about being submissive to her husband.  If she was following the bible teachings as she claims, she'd also have her head covered while speaking in public and be silent in church and her husband should be either with her at all times, or be discouraging her to speak in public.

If such women were truly as bible following as they claim to be, we wouldn't be hearing from them.  Bachman is a typical fundamentalist hypocrite like all the others.

The novel The Handmaid's Tale was pretty amusing when it described a similar situation.  In that novel, the US has become a theocracy that harkens to Hebrew Bible teachings.  A woman politician much like Bachman or professional like Schlafly - before the move to the theocratic form of government - used to go on public speech jags about a Christian woman's proper place, blah blah blah... then when the country actually went to a theocratic government, women were silenced in public.  Just like the bible says.  The main character of the book notices that this ex-politico/professional woman is not happy about being put in her proper place.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2011, 02:14:32 am »
I think it's extremely telling.  That sort of upbringing leads to that kind of mental state.  Regardless of what a woman sees around her, who her friends are, what her education level is, if she's been raised to think so little of herself, she will put up with all sorts of dominating behavior because she thinks she has no choice.

Well, I'm more of a believer in nature than nurture. But let's say it's all about upbringing. Even so, by your description is valid but not specific to the Christian community. That was my point.

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As I said in my post, what is rare I think is families raising daughters to expect physical punishment.  I doubt they do.  What they are raised with is the idea that the man is the leader, the shepherd, the one to whom she must cling, the one who is closer to god, the one who is in control.  With that sort of idea about a marriage spouse, when/if the abuse starts, it's unlikely she's going to think anything is wrong with HIM.

What I'm saying is that I think families that teach that the man is "the leader, the shepherd" etc. -- in other words, families who advocate that the woman should be totally subordinate and submissive to the man -- are in 2011 very few and far between. Again, I'm sure they exist out there, but they are not mainstream, so to speak, conservative Christians. Don't believe me? Let's take a look. The conservative Christians I know in RL don't say that. The conservatives I've gotten to know on BetterMost don't say that. Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh don't say that. I've never heard Pat Robertson and his ilk say that.

Are there some backwoods, backwards, old-school Christians who still teach their daughters that sort of thing? No doubt. Heck, I've met backwoods types who's families have been in the United States since the 18th century yet they don't speak English (only French). My point is that people like that are rare outliers, not what you'd expect from some average conservative Christian family.

As far as average Christian families go, they and I probably wouldn't see eye to eye on lots and lots of issues, including women's roles. But do they think that men are totally the boss of women and that women have to do whatever men say? No, not often.

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The stats are only stats of those who REPORT the abuse.  If a woman doesn't think the husband is doing anything wrong, or that she somehow deserves her treatment, and he reinforces this idea along with her family and social network, she's not going to report it.  There could be a lot more of it than we know about.

The stats are definitely under-reported, although in this day and age it's less because the woman doesn't think the husband is doing anything wrong -- women who think like that are extremely are -- as that she feels helpless, scared and/or loves him and is trying to protect him.

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Ummmm, maybe they give verbal lip-service to approving of them, but it's unlikely with the male dominated society that they subscribe to that they'd actually vote for them.  A friend of mine were just talking about this very subject just this weekend and this was our conclusion.  :)

If those candidates were the most conservative candidates around, you can bet they'd vote for them. I think that, for instance, if the GOP race were between Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, Bachmann would win easily with the far-right conservative Christians. Though not among the more reasonable moderate Republicans, so in the end Bachmann probably wouldn't get the nomination.

Masses of people don't usually "give lip service" to some candidate and then vote otherwise. Except when it comes to black candidates, in which case there's an actual phenomenon called the Wilder Effect (after Gov. Douglas Wilder of Virginia) about people telling pollsters they're likely to vote for a black candidate but then not actually doing it. You could argue that Bachmann, Palin, etc., would be the subjects of their own personal Wilder effect. But I disagree, and unless we have numbers we won't resolve that easily.

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It also entails Bachman lying about being submissive to her husband.  If she was following the bible teachings as she claims, she'd also have her head covered while speaking in public and be silent in church and her husband should be either with her at all times, or be discouraging her to speak in public.

Well, exactly. I think Bachmann saying she's submissive is sort of a PC statement for that community and doesn't really mean much. If she were following Bible teachings, she would leave/have left the house when she has/had her period, spend the time in isolation and avoid touching anything that others touched.

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If such women were truly as bible following as they claim to be, we wouldn't be hearing from them.  Bachman is a typical fundamentalist hypocrite like all the others.

Sure. They pick and choose just like most Jews and Christians do. Just at a more fundamentalist level.

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The novel The Handmaid's Tale was pretty amusing when it described a similar situation.  In that novel, the US has become a theocracy that harkens to Hebrew Bible teachings.  A woman politician much like Bachman or professional like Schlafly - before the move to the theocratic form of government - used to go on public speech jags about a Christian woman's proper place, blah blah blah... then when the country actually went to a theocratic government, women were silenced in public.  Just like the bible says.  The main character of the book notices that this ex-politico/professional woman is not happy about being put in her proper place.

I've read it. It was published in 1985, and very topical in respect to the Iranian revolutio -- that is, with only slight exaggeration, what happened to Iranian women. As for North America, it wasn't, and isn't, as good a fit. It's dystopian, for sure, but we were nowhere close to that sort of society 26 years ago and we're much further away from it today.


Offline milomorris

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2011, 10:07:28 am »
Fundamentalist upbringing for women is a perfect seed for such relationships to form.  Not that they all do or will.

Fair enough. It certainly could turn abusive.


That's assuming you think the latter is right as well.  Describing his acts nicely as "duty" and the "right thing" doesn't convince me that guy is blameless.  Hitting another adult whose only crime in a marriage is...

What could cause a man to strike his wife?  As something she deserves?  Unless she's coming at him with a knife, gun or her fists, I can't thing of a single thing that would make it 'right'.

But that's my point. They do think its right, and so do their wives. This isn't about the husband's anger, or the wife's self-worth. This is about both husband and wife following the prescribed "biblical" roles in marriage. Remember, as Katherine pointed out a few posts back, most of these people don't grow up in these traditions, they adopt them after they are born-again as adults. They are trained to understand that husbands and wives have some very specific duties and roles. So from their POV behaving this way fulfills part of those duties, and that this is the right way to manage a marriage.

You have to understand that we're talking about a different set of moral codes than in the secular world.
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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Christian Domestic Discipline
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2011, 11:14:38 am »
Religion, another way to control people......
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."