Blaming The Victim

Fundamentalists shine brightest when they are ministering to the pain of hurting people. For there is no greater moment than when a Christian with a heart full of love and compassion, gently leans over a wounded soul and informs them that everything that has happened to them is their own fault.

Indeed if that brazen hussy had not been wearing that provocative pair of jeans she would not have inspired men to lust and might not have been assaulted. (As a point of inquiry, if a man is sexually assaulted by another man can we also blame the victim’s provocative clothing or is that reserved only for women?) Every car crash, house fire, murder, or robbery that happens  outside the gates that protect the holy provides a perfect time to moralize about the sins that inspired the event.

Yes, victims of the world, what you all really need is light and salt — rubbed directly into your wounds. Think ye that these were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? Yup. Pretty much.

37 thoughts on “Blaming The Victim”

  1. One Wednesday night, during church hours, a friend of mine was beat by her husband in their home. When their pastor came over later that evening he told the wife that if she was at church where she should have been, this would never have happened!

  2. I’ve had two fundamentalist pastors “share” my personal matters with others without my knowledge nor consent. I trusted these men and considered them my friends and my brothers. I’ve learned to trust only in the Lord and no one else. It’s a shame when you can’t even confide in a fundy pastor. As a former Catholic, I could confide in a priest and was sure my conversation would end with him. Something’s wrong here in fundyland!

  3. so true! not only are they theologically bankrupt, socially awkward, and historically clueluss, they’re also really MEAN!

    (do i have to include a stupid disclaimer that i’m not seriously calling every fundamentalist mean? no? ok good.)

  4. They are the meanest folks I have ever met! I grew up around extended family that were not saved, were drunks and lived rough lives. They had better personal relations with others then many of the IFB folks I know.
    The lack of basic human compassion runs rampant in the churches I attended.

  5. Ron Comfort once preached at the fundy church I used to attend and said that if a women is scantily dressed and gets raped, she shares in the blame. That was just one of the many things that opened my family’s eyes about IFB’s twisted theology.

    1. I’m one of those people who generally goes out of her way to avoid confrontation, but if someone had the gall to say that in front of me, 👿 I don’t care who he is, I’d probably jump up, scream a few obscenities, call him for the liar that he is, and walk out before he could catch his breath (and, just for image’s sake, I’m a soft-spoken, 5’0″ ‘schoolma’am,’ so that’d probably be a sight to behold).

  6. @Richard Sullivan

    You can’t trust fundy people in general. At my ex-church, those women would share the most intimate things about people because they were “concerned” or they considered it a prayer request to share with the rest of the prayer chain.

    Pastors share a lot of personal info in their “anonymous” stories. They say things like “there was a man I men who had troubles with X, but if he only stopped quenching the spirit, he would have been a whole man. And that’s what I would like to talk about today folks, so that you will not become like this man.”

    In my sermon notes I started taking a tally of how many anonymous stories the pastor used and sometimes it could be up to a dozen.

    One of the many reasons I left.

    (And like Reader Mo, I’m going to cover my butt and say that not all Fundies are like this.)

  7. Then there is the Fundy Pro-active approach with their tract about women dressing immodestly:
    “You may have been given this leaflet because of the way you are dressed,” it begins. “Have you thought about standing before the true and living God to be judged?”

    It continues with one essential theme: The sins of men are, in part, the fault of women, specifically women in tight-fitting clothing. Yates was annoyed. Then she got to a section on page two:

    “Scripture tells us that when a man looks on a woman to lust for her he has already committed adultery in his heart. If you are dressed in a way that tempts a men to do this secret (or not so secret) sin, you are a participant in the sin,” the leaflet states. “By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?”

    The hand-out is signed “anonymous.”

    taken from:

    http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/blame_the_victim_religious_leaflet_claims_ungodly_dressed_women_provoke_rap/42253/

  8. Why is it that, generally, when something terrible happens to an outsider it is because of sin. BUT – when it happens to “one of the flock” it is a test of their faith?

  9. @Larry I think a lot of times in IFB even “one of the flock” it’s due to some sin, and time to start accusing if you don’t already have ammo of what sins you think someone is committing.

  10. I am suffering from terminal cancer. A few months ago I went with a friend to a non-denominational “healing service” at a local church. The pastor laid his hands on me and told me that I would be healed if only I confessed my unconfessed sin. What???!!!!

    I think I stick with Catholicism, thank you very much. At least we have a well thought-out theology of suffering.

  11. “They are the meanest folks I have ever met! I grew up around extended family that were not saved, were drunks and lived rough lives. They had better personal relations with others then many of the IFB folks I know.
    The lack of basic human compassion runs rampant in the churches I attended.”

    True, now that I think about it, most of the “unsaved” people I knew growing up were actually more socially well-adjusted, and generally happier.

  12. @mounty I don’t know about you, but I found it HILARIOUS that this got posted on “boob quake” day. Although I neither felt an earthquake or saw that much cleavage, so maybe people in my area weren’t participating just to be safe.

  13. @Reader Mo it is what you think it is. @mounty linked to the story about the iranian cleric who blamed earthquakes on provocative women’s dress so yest was “boobquake” exposing some cleavage to see if it causes earthquake(s). I’m in favor of running the experiment pretty often, you can’t prove with just 1 test run! 🙂

  14. “They are the meanest folks I have ever met! I grew up around extended family that were not saved, were drunks and lived rough lives. They had better personal relations with others then many of the IFB folks I know.
    The lack of basic human compassion runs rampant in the churches I attended.”

    You’re right – overall they are. I was in a fundy church where good manners were an anomaly. Rude, crude, mean. Evidently someone complained to the pastor about this, and the next thing that happened was that he wrote a pamphlet where he said, “Just because people you meet in other churches are kind and nice doesn’t mean that they are believers.” And people in the church were amening that pamphlet like you would not believe. How do they manage the cognitive dissonance?

  15. Aha! Another unexpected benefit of the KJV-only position: they don’t have to confront the fact that “doth not behave itself unseemly” in I Cor. 13 actually means “is not rude”!!!! (@ Susan, I’m guessing: was that church KJV-only?)

  16. I have found this to be true, particularly among the KJV-only, no women wearing pants, etc. . crowd. Meanwhile many of those same pastors are committing sexual sin. . but, oh wait. . it’s probably the way the women were dressing. 😉

    Thankfully, there is also compassion to be found among many churches that are not so extreme.

  17. Rape aside,

    do you all SERIOUSLY think that a scantily clad woman showing her stuff all over town should not effect the minds of the men she encounters?

    Thats just silly. Christian women should dress modestly. While men should be held responsible for their own lusts, women should not be out there giving unneeded temptations.

  18. do you all SERIOUSLY think that a scantily clad woman showing her stuff all over town should not effect the minds of the men she encounters?

    effect? no.

    affect? perhaps.

    Either way, you’re missing the point.

  19. My grandmother passed away this last January. It was kind of sudden, but she was over 80 and her health was alreadyd going down hill. The mothers day after her death, my step grandmother on the other side of the family told me that her death was my fault becasue god was trying to get my attention becuase i had strayed dso far from his will. As if she could possibly know the will of god for my life, but yea…not a big fan of the concept, it kinda sucks…a lot. ANd btw, if God is the kind of god that would kill someone just to get me to do what he wants, i really have no desire to worship him at all.

  20. @Emily–Apparently no one you know has ever been raped or else you wouldn’t be saying that. I don’t care how “modestly” or “temptingly” a woman dresses (and I’d be interested in hearing how you define “modestly” by the way), if a man decides to commit rape then it’s HIS fault and NO amount of clothing is going to stop him! And any woman who says otherwise is part of the reason why these abusive “godly” men keep getting away with it!

  21. Recent news story from Detroit: 90 year old woman raped by three teens who broke into her house. http://www.detroitnews.net/story/678382

    It had nothing to do with how she was dressed. I believe in modesty, but I also believe in accountability and responsibility. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the man who looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Jesus sees the heart where sin lies. (And, praise Him, He died to cleanse us of sin and to give us a new heart!!!)

  22. @Emily
    I shall disagree with Darrell for once. Sorry 😉
    “While men should be held responsible for their own lusts, women should not be out there giving unneeded temptations.”
    Amen. Though yes, I realize that what makes up “modest” differs from generation and the style of the time: as in the Jane Austen time period. Cleavage was ok, ankle was SCANdalous.

    The Bible tells women to dress modestly. The problem is when people try to put their modesty rules on everyone else.

  23. Not directly connected to the issue of assault but more connected to that other great treasure of fundy-ism – keeping the Sabbath (but still an example of blaming the victim I know a couple, Joe and Evelyn, who are Christians of a particularly pious type. Their daughter Elizabeth used you work part-time for my mother in her ladies’ clothes shop. He came into shop one monday morning looking very upset. Her fiance liked to go sailing with three of his friends and the had gone out the previous day, Sunday. The boat has gotten into severe difficulties and sunk. Elizabeth’s fiance was the only one of the four who had survived. Joe’s response when he heard what had happened? “Well, they shouldn’t have been out sailing on the Sabbath!” For some reason, Elizabeth did not want to go back to church…. miserable, rebellious sinner…

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