240 thoughts on “Blaming The Victim Video Version 2.0”

  1. And yes, I shot this video right after doing the KJV reading from the last post. I just took off the jacket and put on a hat.

    I’m also working with a cheap camera with no stand so I have it propped up against my monitor using a contraption that I rigged up with a bag clip and a pen. That’s why I look a little crooked at times.

      1. It’s so Indiana Jones.

        Darrell, the hat makes you look like you know something that we don’t. It adds a layer of mystique. Actually, it makes you very handsome in a non-gay internet way.

      2. It reminds me of Uncle Buck. Don’t take that the wrong way. You don’t look like John Candy in ANY way. But the hat is very Uncle Buck. Or Rocky.

  2. I think, after watching this in its entirety, the thing that bothered right away was (not that a lot about it didn’t bother me!). .if you’re going to talk “forgiveness”, shouldn’t the abuser need forgiveness, not the victim? Is it really wrong for her to be angry that he abused her for 2 years?? Weird stuff.

      1. OK, don’t get me wrong but he has a point, poorly made but a point. Unforgiveness is a poison and bitterness is like cancer. Unforgiveness is like trying to cause the other person pain by taking a hammer to your own foot. Now, to have her go and ask forgiveness of those people was idiocy but to release herself from the ties of bitterness to talk to her about fogiveness might have been in order. Accusing her of sin and calling for repentance was indeed a bit extreeme.

        1. And that’s the scary thing about fundies.

          It’s truth that has been changed. They put their own spin on truth, mixing truth and error. So it usually sounds good, but it can be so, so wrong.

        2. He was making a good point but using two very poor examples. (Maybe he should have borrowed a page from Gothard and talked about stolen pineapples.) Worse, he did this in front of a group of future preachers and Christian workers.

  3. Physical liberties – what the crap is that? Last I knew it was called rape. I sure if he was talking about a gay person he would refer to them as a sodomite though.

    Oh BTW Darrell, I love the Matt Drudge look.

    1. Yeah, i was cringing at the “physical liberties” part too. . .To the girl: “You SINNER!”. About the rapist: “He took ‘physical liberties’ with her.”

      1. The church I attended as a youth was about this bad… A friend of mine got molested by a staff member’s husband. It broke on TV due to all sorts of scandal at the church during that time.
        The pastor said that it was only a case of a man “being overly friendly” with a student.
        Really? Overly friendly?

    2. That’s a great point. He says the first girl “slept with” a bunch of the guys and the second girl had “physical liberties” taken.

      What’s wrong with using the word rape? Unless of course, you think that turns the person into a legitimate victim instead of someone who is a guilty participant.

      1. It seems that he thinks it’s OK to tell these stories from the pulpit, but not to use grown-up words for what he means. “She slept with a couple of guys”? No, the way he tells the story, some guys sexually assaulted her while she was either fully or semi-unconscious from the drugs they slipped in her drink. (How he figures that was her fault is beyond me.) The stepfather “took physical liberties”? No, he didn’t, he raped a child repeatedly over a period of years. If you’re going to bring up these subjects, use correct language to talk about them– don’t suddenly pretend you’re Queen Victoria on an especially prissy day.

        1. I’ve heard him tell this story in person when he came to my school in seventh grade- except I don’t remeber the drink being drugged part. I just remember the getting drunk and sleeping with some of the guy’s(I think he left the being drugged part out) so I think he may use this story alot as a sermon illustration.

        2. Yep, it sounds like he’s dining out on that story all over the country. Must be lovely for the girl in question (assuming any of it is true) to have her privacy constantly violated that way.

        3. Also, am I being too conservative here, or is that not age-appropriate material for a talk to seventh-graders?

        4. Gee, there’s got to be some age-appropriate way to discuss this kind of thing. Some seventh-graders have been sexually abused, and pretending like it doesn’t exist hurts everyone. Maybe be careful about the way it’s presented–put the responsibility firmly (and only) where it belongs and do it in a way that lets children know they can be safe (don’t make it a scary warning to never leave their house or never report abuse for fear of being made to go back to an angry abuser). It’s not like they don’t know drugs and alcohol exist and that people have sex. At that age, they need to be getting pretty strong messages about boundaries and consent, and be told that at least some adults in their life will take any abuse they report very seriously.

        5. Naomi, it sounds age-appropriate for 7th grade the way you talk about it. It didn’t (to me) the way Hummel talked about it.

    3. Does anybody here know the person involved? Does anyone know for sure it was rape? There are lots of other “physical liberties” that can be taken that definitely qualify as sexual abuse. Perhaps we shouldn’t be making assumptions.

      1. I have to go back and listen to the section again, but it sounded to me like she was raped. I don’t have the time right now, but will later.

        That said, no matter the “type” of sexual abuse, why was it called “physical liberties”???? Why not say, he “SEXUALLY ABUSED HER”? Here’s why. . .because that just doesn’t sound “nice”. . .On the other hand, “physical liberties” sounds a little more sterile and brushes the issue over. It almost plays down the fact that this MAN WAS A CRIMINAL.

      2. Is there a reason why it would be a problem if we assumed that it was rape rather than some other form of sexual abuse? Is the actual forcible insertion of a penis into a vagina what makes it a horrible offense or is it the violation of a young woman’s trust, of touching her without her permission, of using your position of authority to gratify yourself sexually by harming someone else?

        Whether she was “just” molested or actually suffered genital rape is hardly the issue. The issue is that she was harmed and the words he uses to describe it aren’t just sanitized; they also minimize and trivialize. The Catholic Church did the same thing when its priest abused children, calling anal rape “inappropriate touching.”

        Even if we have made an assumption and called it rape when it was technically not, that is hardly a problem. The problem would be if we did not challenge someone who is using a euphemism to down-play a crime but in the same breath is criticizing the victim for not being forgiving enough.

  4. Another thing. . Am I supposed to believe that all the problems this girl has are “solved” in one pseudo-counseling session at camp (well pending her begging her rapist for forgiveness)??? Really??? I mean, really?!??!

    1. I keep wondering how that conversation was supposed to go.
      “Stepdaddy, please forgive me for being angry that you raped me 400 times when I was too young and powerless to stop you.”
      “Hmm, let me think about it. Take off your pants and sit on the couch with me here, and we’ll discuss it.”

      I don’t say this often, but WTF ❓ 😯

      1. You know I actually thought that this man has a point in that grace is available for trials. That is true. I feel that the message carries a certain spirit in it however. Also, I thought the messenger conveys himself with a very bound up spirit. I can pretty much discern spirits well, and the guy who is talking sounds very boxed up and packaged. There is a flow missing to this. Call me crazy, but I am not feeling it.

  5. Have no way of know whether Rand gave the girls the pat, imo, simplistic answers he gave in this message, however having actually counselled with people like Freemont and Jim Berg from BJU, this is pretty much how they handle a rape victim. In my case, my molestation occurred when I was much younger, but I was told also, that I needed to repent of my sin. That PTSD and it’s resulting depression were the sin of pride (never quite understood that one.) That I needed to repent of my sin of wanting control. (No, I am not exaggerating.)PTSD and Depression are not real, just sin problems from bitterness and wanting to keep control. Actually, what Rand said in this message was mild compared to the counseling Jim Berg gave me. Jim actually told me that his “good counseling” was going to be like doing surgery without anesthesia. He laughed when he said that and gave me that grin of his. How funny! NOT!

    Freemont? Oh he just wanted to know about whether I took part in the sin of masturbation. 😯

    1. Kitty, I can testify to this totally messed up mentality from enduring 4 years at the BOB. This is what led to my eventual turning from fundy land. Your situation sounds horrid…if I were you I probably would have walked out on the counseling session – although when you’re stuck there and really just want to get your degree and get out you don’t have much choice. All the dorm counselors and little ‘mini Dr. bergs’ are taught to counsel the same way. My situation (which pales in comparison to yours…but demonstrates the same mentality) involved going to the dorm counselor to let her know about some pretty nasty things that were going on in our dorm room. She in turn invited all my room mates down to tell what it was that they didn’t like about me and what I had done to offend them and I had to go around and ask them all forgiveness because my bitterness was the root of the problem in our room…when all I really wanted was for my room mate to do her laundry and be hygenic. I was totally dumbfounded. And this was just one incident. I’m sure there are hundreds who could testify.

      1. If you went to BJU you know that if I had walked out of the counseling with Berg, I would have been labeled a rebel. Not long after, they would have found a reason to “ship me.” I did not make “progress” fast enough for him. Berg actually told one of the pastors from the church I was a member of at the time, that Berg had gone way over his usual *6* visits and I had “refused to better.” The pastor thought Berg was kind to me and “patient” too. How warped was that? Had been abused for years, but God help me if I needed more than 6 counseling appointments to get all better! At the time, I did not know what was happening to me. I did not know why I was having these images of my past abuse (flashbacks). Berg kept telling me the reason was because I was dwelling on it too much and was bitter. Just needed to forgive. He did not like it when I told him that no, I was terrified of what was happening and did not want to have these, what I found out later were flashbacks because I have PTSD from being abducted, burned over 61% of my body from my kidnapper throwing boiling water on me, and raped! I thought I was going schizophrenic because of the flashbacks. Scared me a lot. Jim Berg finally actually told me that he couldn’t help me, no one could help me, not even god could help me.

        Berg was right about the first part, but fortunately wrong about the last. God did have someone that could help me. She was a “evil” licensed therapist that specialized in trauma.

        I was then told I could not return to BJU and sent a very cruel letter from Jim Berg himself. It was really a blessing that Berg kicked me out, because I went to a licensed therapist. Finally got competent, caring therapy.

        1. WOW. Thank Jesus you finally got out of there and got real help! I was about to go to Berg to repent of something after a guilt-trip chapel message but I backed out. I was then warned by the dorm sup that “it is very dangerous to resist the Holy Spirit.” (i.e. not go to Jim Berg) I too got secular help many years later, and thank GOD, the “wicked” actually will care about you and help you!!!

        2. Of course, he didn’t break the confidentiality of the therapist/patient relationship when he spoke to your pastor about it.

        3. green eggs,

          I wish it were ‘only’ the pastor that Berg broke mine (and others) confidentiality. Berg blabbed my business to the pastors of the church that I attended at the time, family members, friends, enemies, even told a teacher I had a BJU not to have contact with me anymore, because “he was handling things” after he told her things I had ONLY told him in counseling. Berg has used examples from those he had counselled in his books. Berg in some cases, gave enough details of those whom he wrote about the situation that family members and others reading the book knew exactly whom he wrote about! Nothing hurts more, that thinking you have finally put all of it behind you, than getting a angry call from a family member 700+ miles away, demanding to know why you had given permission for Berg to write and air some of the family dirty laundry in Berg’s latest book, when indeed you never knew, until that phone call, Berg had done so! This has caused a rift for family members that has not healed. It has been a number of years since that book came out, however, I am not sure that even now my family members actually believe that Berg would write those things in his book with permission. Berg has not offered an apology either. Know Berg has used examples in his other books as well from *real* situations without asking permission to do so.

          That is why I tend to believe that Hummell’s illustrations may have in fact been real people. Hummell and Berg are buds. IF these are real people, I doubt that Hummell asked permission either. The reasoning I was given after Berg used part of my story (his slant of it too, btw) God uses these kinds of things to help others. I should not have been angry, but thankful that others could be helped. 👿

        4. It’s accepted practice to use actual case histories in writing, but only if you change all names and enough identifying information that any real people are unrecognizable– UNLESS you have the subject’s permission to publish his/her story. The best practice is to both get the subject’s permission AND change identifying details– both out of respect for the subject and as a hedge against litigation.

          By the way, it’s a bit different if the subject is deceased. The dead are not presumed to have the same right of privacy as the living. Libel laws are also held not to apply to dead subjects in most cases.

        5. The last time I checked I still had a pulse, let me check again…..yep it is still there. lol :mrgreen:

          Seriously, tho’ he never used my name but he used to many identifying characteristics that my family and friends knew who he was writing about. He never asked myself or my family member for our permission. Did not even know about it, because I had no interest in reading Jim Bergs books, until I received that phone call. Went and got a copy. Was absolutely devastated. Some of what he wrote was HIS view too, but he made it appear that I had that view.

        6. I didn’t meant to imply that you might be dead, Kitty. I just didn’t know where else to put that footnote.

        7. Oh Honey. A curse on him! No words, I just feel a lot of Anger -righteous anger towards a pompous windbag who dabbles in counseling but really has no idea how to handle horendous situations that have left deep scars.

          God Love you. I am so glad you had the courage to go somewhere else to get some real help. Praise God.

        8. Have you thought of suing him for breach of confidentiality? I know that this might do nothing more than tear open old wounds, and solve nothing for you.

          I cannot write what I think of this man, because that kind of language would be filtered by the site. My lap top might even meltdown. 👿

          Hang in there.

      1. Not that he had any justification at all for asking, but the correct answer would be, “No, because there is no ‘sin of masturbation.’ Masturbation is not a sin. Raping young girls (or anybody else) is both a sin and a crime.”

        1. The correct answer would be: “of course I maturbate – just like you. Only I don’t feel guilty about it”.

    2. I’m not a fan of Fremont’s teaching on sexuality. To be bluntly honest, he came across as a bit of a pervert and a control freak in that department. Through taking his “child psychology” class (translation for non-Bojos: yet another way for him to sell more copies of that bleeping book “Formula for Family Unity”), I went from having a normal interest about sex to being completely turned off by his teachings about it. Ugh! Talk about going from thinking sex would be fun to completely ruining the mood… good thing I got away from that kind of teaching.

  6. I was waiting for him to tell the girl who was raped that “all things work together for good”…*gag* Crazy, just crazy. I listened to this the first time it was posted and it makes me even more upset listening for the second time. I’d love for somebody to do a little digging into his *proof texts*…not sure they really line up either.

  7. I apologized to someone who harmed me in a similar way. It BROKE them. Sick pleasure galore. ABSOLUTELY it was SICK of him to tell her to do this, but sometimes humility CAN be a good weapon.

      1. I’m envisioning someone in the admin building watching the video over and over trying to jot down as many of the names as they can whenever that screen passes. 😉

        1. I did, too, Naomi, until I realized they could try to pause it… “try” being the operative word considering how fast that screen went by.

  8. Another problem with fundie culture is that fundies are told that they should seek their pastor’s advice on almost everything from financial planning, car repair to mental health issues. This is a mistake. Many fundie pastors I grew up with knew little outside what they are told in Bible College. (One pastor thought Led Zeppelin was Len Zeppelin, an actual person).
    I sought consoling from my former pastor. His “advice” consisted of this, “Anything short of burning in hell you’re getting off easy” , I should read Joni Eriksson’s biography and that I should call the people (other fundies) who mentally abused me and ask them for MY forgiveness. I could not bring myself to do that. I can remember feeling humiliated as a child, when I was force to shake hands with the bully who just beat me up on the playground. Victims should never have to ask for forgiveness from their victimizers. Forgiveness is overrated, it’s better to just get the a**holes out of your life.
    Even after losing my religion, I did not seek professional help for another 13 years, in part because of the lies and misinformation the church had given me about psychology. Getting professional help was one of the best things I did for managing my depression. But I also know I will never be cared of it.
    Even if you are still a fundie, you wouldn’t go to your pastor you heal your broken leg, why go to him to heal your broken mind? And not a “fundie” psychologist either.
    Another problem with Mr. BJU’s “logic”. If we have to ask for forgiven to the people we are angry with, does bible god need to ask the human race for forgiveness, because it seems the fundie god is always angry at the human race for something. Does America need to ask Osama Bin Laden for forgiveness?

    1. I’ve gone to (and still do) go to an IFB church (don’t ask why). I’ve asked for advice from my Pastor just once, from what I can recall. I was 19 and it was because I disagreed about something that one of the ministries were doing and I asked that something be changed. I guess it wasn’t advice, then. Nevertheless, the change didn’t go in my favor.

      There’s nothing in my life that I need my pastor’s counsel on. I don’t know whether to go to secular college or a Bible college? I’m pretty sure I can figure that one out on my own.

      Also, I get really angry when people give the biggest vote of their decision to their pastor, and do whatever he says. Like 10 people advise person X to do Choice A, but your pastor advises Choice B, and person X ends up doing Choice B. Why do people give a pastor so much spiritual authority in their lives???

  9. Does anyone really believe this story? I’m assuming this is just another old evangelists’ tale (kind of like old wives’ tales but with less credibility).

    1. Let’s hope Dr. Hummel didn’t really give such terrible advice to two unfortunate young women. He did, however, give the same advice by implication to a chapel full of young people.

      1. Let’s hope also, as Greg brought up below, that someone really wouldn’t stoop to using someone’s rape experience as a fundy sermon illustration. But, I’m sure it happens all the time. 😥

    2. I’m of this mind set. This story probably has a single grain of truth to it and as grown into this amazing tale where the fundy pastor saves the day. I’ve heard it a million times with countless different themes. Fundy mogs MAKE THINGS UP and LIE to make their sermon illustrations more intesting, always making themselves the spiritual heros.

      Truth or fiction: Anyway you slice it the whole thing comes out smelling bad…real bad.

  10. First – How would anyone like for their “rape” to be a topic for a sermon illustration, how about some confidentiality.

    My calvinists friends will like this next one, Hummell, apparently counsels folks like he saves them, a,b,c, repeat after me, follow this 3-step program and presto, you’re all better. How simplistic. Folks that are hurting, especially christians don’t need verses slammed down on them, they already know them, they are hurting they need love with “skin” on, as one little boy put it. Can’t you see Jesus, especially on the second illutsration, grabbing that girl up in his arms and just loving her, probably even shedding some tears with her.

    The idea that this guy (Hummell) is training up an army of these robots is frightening.

  11. I’ve actually encountered this ‘blaming the victim’ in my own experience.

    A former pastoral care worker I know wanted to talk to me about some of the things I’d been writing about on my blog, things which concerned her. So, for 3 hours in a coffee shop she tried to tell me it was my fault I was struggling under depression, doubt and anxiety.

    It was my fault for not really believing in Jesus, for not having enough faith and not being thankful enough.

  12. Did anyone else notice that the sister who was gang raped KEPT her baby? She didn’t abort – she chose to bring life out of an awful, traumatic experience.

    1. I don’t want to start a debate over abortion here, but assuming that this whole thing actually happened (who knows?), I hold that it was the pregnant young woman’s decision to make, and no one else’s. It no doubt helped that she apparently had a (mostly) supportive family. I would have respected whatever she decided (keep the baby, give it for adoption, have an abortion). No one should be forced to bear and raise the child of her rapist.

  13. Thanks, Darrell. I watched it the first time, but I didn’t remember how bad it actually was. I needed the reminder that after paying 41 years of tuition to this place for my 4+ children’s schooling, that my decision to not send any more of my children there was indeed the correct one. All I did was pay a high price for a whole bunch of problems. Public schools are a far better bet. Any situations are dealt with fairly and professionally. Not so at Bob Jones Academy. Also, I thank God he never gave me peace about sending the children to the Wilds Camp. Thank you, thank you, thank you, God!

  14. I’m very greatful for this post. Having grown up in an IFB culture, I’ve seen many people deal with really tough problems only to get this explanation and seemingly easy plan. I’ve seen too many people pushed away from God and it only angers me. Maybe I need to ask forgiveness for my bitterness, but didn’t Christ also become angry at the temple? Did he ask for forgiveness?

    1. There is good anger. I’d call the anger that comes when there is egregious personal boundary crossing like in sexual abuse and rape the right kind of anger. Do people not think God would be outraged, even livid, at this? Emotions are there to tell us something important; they’re neither good nor evil. Actions can be, but not the emotions themselves.

  15. This very topic was preached at me a lot when I was at BJU, and it always troubled me very deeply. Jesus said, if you don’t forgive people, I won’t forgive you. So if He doesn’t forgive me, does that make me lost? Just one of the reasons I was chronically unhappy as a student of biblical counseling at BJU.

  16. I wrote my final year project on forgiveness. This, as far as I’m working out thus far, is not what it looks like.

    Also, not to belittle the situations that were mentioned in the video, or the situations mentioned in this thread (and kudos to those who have opened up), BUT aside from being stupid/Bible inconsistent and potentially making stuff up, this video doesn’t seem like that big a deal. I mean, not ‘we must get this off the internet’ big deal. Stupid people say stupid things. That is pretty much the definition of the internet, present company excluded.

    BJU, from the impression I get, have made it a heap worse for themselves by trying to take it down. If they had just let it lie, this wouldn’t have happened. Sucks to be them, I guess.

  17. Those creepers should be in jail. The girl in the first illustration got drunk, I get it. Christians are supposed to refuse the control of alcohol. But she was gangbanged! I believe absolutely in the psychological power of forgiveness–she should visit them in jail and let them know that God had helped her forgive them! But this, this is garbage.

    Also, I’m in their “fundamentals of counseling” class right now with Dr. Mazak. I hate it. I’ve maxed out on absences in the class; if I am absent one more time I’ll be withdrawn from the class even though I have an A. It’s wicked, the things he is saying. It should be called “fundamentalist counseling” instead, or, “ironically we don’t believe in counseling 101.”

    1. I don’t know if you mean the rapists and the child molestor should be in jail, or the quack “counselors” at BJU, but you’re definitely right in the first case, and possibly in the second, as well.

        1. Wish it were that easy to prosecute Berg and Mazak, et al. These dudes don’t believe in Licensed therapists. Even tell people it is sin to go to a licensed therapist. I found out to late, there is absolutely no oversight as to what these people say when the person get’s hurt, or even attempts suicide or has some other major issue as a result. Pretty smart of them, eh? I am a medical professional. Have a license to practice. If I ever came in a told someone to stop taking their psych meds and that person attempted suicide, etc. my licensing board would be the least of my problems. License would be pulled. Criminal charges would be filed. Jail time could and very well, may be in my future.

          It never ceased to amaze me that Berg, would berate people for taking antidepressants, etc. but never had a issue taking his heart medications. I think that in order to be consistent, he should stop taking his heart meds as well.

        2. Your apt post begs the question: Where are the state medical and psychiatric boards that should be overseeing these clowns?

          Fundies sure do like separation of church and state on this issue.

        3. Kitty: why’s he taking heart meds? He clearly doesn’t have one for the meds to have any use.

    2. I am so proud of you for calling this wicked while you are still a part of the school. I would encourage you to say that in class rather than just be absent. But I fear they may reinstitute biblical stoning.

      For what it is worth, this godless heathen is praying for you that you will have strength and courage for the rest of the time that you must endure.

  18. “Quack ‘counselors'” says it! It is frightening how willing some Christian “leaders” are to play fast and loose with people’s (especially young people’s) thoughts and emotions, let alone their relationship with God! I have been a pastor for 30 years; I have always begged God to guide me when someone asks for counsel, and even in my first ministry I refused to follow the senior pastor’s counseling methodology, which I found appallingly careless with people’s trust. These “counselors” should fear to be doing this to people in the name of God.

  19. Once I went to my pastor for help, and he repeated some of my interaction with him in a sermon illustration (no name mentioned). What he said was not exactly what happened. This pastor is someone I like very much, but still, what he said in the sermon was more exaggerated than what I actually said in his office.

    1. Whoa! 😯 Aside from him not telling the truth, what on earth happened to confidentiality? That is incredibly unprofessional, not to mention a power play. Pastors who do that are letting you know that they don’t respect your privacy, and can scuttle your reputation anytime they like. Better stay in line!

    2. Very good point! This man broke confidentiality and that is horrible. It is yet another way of making sure that everyone knows that it is not safe to talk about sexual assault and abuse.

  20. I think of Joseph….he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Surely he was traumatized(though it was not sexual). In the end, he did forgive and show love to his brothers. It’s not recorded that he asked them to forgive him for anything….but maybe he was never angry? ?????????

    1. Joseph made them jump through a whole bunch of hoops before he forgave them. He was angry.
      And, of course, by then the tables had turned. In Egypt, it was Joseph who was in a position of power over them. He could have destroyed them, but that would have also destroyed the rest of the family (such as Joseph’s father and younger brother), who had not harmed him. I guess my point is that it was easier (and more appropriate) to forgive from his position of safety and power than to forgive in a situation where it could put the forgiver back in jeopardy.

      1. I admit, I’ve always thought of Joseph and his brothers less in terms of forgiveness than a kind of “How do you like me now?” rubbing their noses in his success.

        1. I always thought he was testing his brothers to see if they had really changed.

    2. Joseph then turned around and used the famines as a means of turning all the Egyptians into slaves. Sounds to me like he didn’t learn his lesson at all.

      1. Good point.
        The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it leaves most of the moral complexity and ambiguity in the stories. As a younger person, I objected to that ambiguity, but as an older person, I admire it and find it fascinating.

  21. Well done!!! I suppose they’ll have to learn the definition of “fair use.” (They’ll also have to learn they can’t completely control the dissemination of information anymore, but that’s another lesson for another time.)

  22. Now, That’s Massive!
    This “Fair Use” commentary “R-A-W-K-S!
    You’ve done yourself and SFL proud here today!

    I’m thankful you allow me to be a part of this wonderful institution: SFL! 😎

      1. 😆 … and I think it’s wonderful here at Arkham, why just the other day I was telling the Joker how much we love it here, *wasn’t I george?* Yes, I told the Joker we really enjoy it here. I did. I thing geogre is a bit intimidated by the Joker, since he was traumatized by a clown athe the circus and all. Yes, I really do fancy this institution, much better than Shutter Island.
        When’s lunch? 😯

  23. Fight the Powah!

    And Darrell, you are too kind in your analysis of what he said. He is either telling a fundy legend or he is committing therapeutic malpractice.

      1. That’s weird. I could swear I heard this exact thing when I was a Bojo, late 80’s and into early 90’s. But I see other people are saying that they heard this story at other times and places too.

        1. A good story just gets better with retelling.

          Which reminds me, did I ever tell you about the time my friend’s sister’s neighbor’s maid put her poodle in the microwave oven?

      2. I just stumbled on this as a “random post” suggestion, and I completely disgusted. Kudos on not keeping quiet regarding this dangerous way of teaching going on in far too many right-wing churches across the country. Knowledge is power 🙂

  24. Re: the first illustration — The victim:

    (1) went to a party
    (2) where there was alcohol
    (3) she partook
    (4) there were guys there
    (5) she wasn’t wearing her chastity belt (if she had, even getting roofie’d wouldn’t have mattered)

    In the eyes of the average fundy, she committed 4-5 sins there, so she “deserved” to get pregnant, and so she’s not a victim at all. No really, think about it — isn’t that how the average fundy would see her?

    It is to barf.

    1. I’m tired of fighting that battle. So I just call anybody “Doctor” who wants to be called that: Dr. John, Dr. Rock, Dr. Laura, Dr. Scholl’s, Doc Martins.
      However, it’s generally true that the more someone insists on being called “Doctor,” the less likely it is that he or she has a real, earned PhD.

  25. Funny how in the fundy circles, women are automatically cast as “bitter” when they bring up issues to the pastor — especially issues that involve the men in the church!

  26. Great job with the interpretation btw…i hope your video posts find their way to many hard and arrogant fundy hearts out there and for once OPEN THEIR EYES!!!

  27. You know I actually thought that this man has a point in that grace is available for trials. That is true. I feel that the message carries a certain spirit in it however. Also, I thought the messenger conveys himself with a very bound up spirit. I can pretty much discern spirits well, and the guy who is talking sounds very boxed up and packaged. There is a flow missing to this. Call me crazy, but I am not feeling it.
    (This was posted in the wrong place as a reply to a previous comment.)

  28. First of all, good for you for standing up to them. I am a BIG fan of this site, and I admire your forbearance. But you went WAY too easy on this. So, let me help you with the things you left out:

    1. Don’t we find it odd that when he wanted to illustrate how we ought to forgive he went straight to two women, not men or pastors who stand bang their pulpits and scream about those godless fill-in-the-blanks who are ruining this nation or the hate-radio that his congregation drinks up like so much cheap booze? He is reinforcing the fundie rule that WOMEN – who by everyone’s account have less power in these churches and situations than men – should not be angry and especially should not experience sustained anger.

    2. Don’t we find it alarming that both stories were about a woman being sexually assaulted? Don’t we think that this might have something to do with him wanting to hush women up on this particular subject? Think about it, if you are a college student in that audience and you have been sexually assaulted, how likely are you to come forward with it after it has been made very clear that if they cannot find a way to directly blame you they will at least find a way for you to be wrong for not offering immediate forgiveness? The message is abundantly clear here: do not tell us that you have been raped or molested; we will find a way of making you suffer for it.

    3. We should notice that he is not concerned about the young woman’s mental health or happiness. He is concerned that she makes the right OUTWARD display of happiness, the smile. As many women who have spent time in fundie circles know, the smile is a sign of compliance. It is a way of sweetly submitting to authority, in other words, making it easier for men to ignore the suffering of women.

    4. We should be deeply concerned that he does not take to task the church who shamed the family of the rape-conceived child.

    5. It is abundantly clear from this sermon that this is not a man who is even slightly concerned with protecting women from sexual assault; he is very concerned with protecting men from women’s anger at being sexually assaulted. We must be clear in saying that the way he spoke is a grievous sin against God, women and compassionate men.

    I have more to say, but I promised myself that I would stick to just five points and then move on.

    1. I wrote my response after watching the rather measured video but before reading all of you guys’ responses. Your readers hit just about everything and with more passion than even I had.

      1. I think you made these five points better than any of us did, and I emphatically agree with all five.
        It is very disturbing that he seems to be more concerned with protecting men from women’s anger than with increasing the safety (and equality, for that matter) of women.
        In my mind, I had glossed over (as Mr. Hummel did in his talk) the fact that he said the church was shunning the rape victim’s whole family. It may be normal for a teenager to blame her sister for that, but as an adult and a churchman, Hummel should denounce the fact that the church, instead of striving to be a channel for God’s unconditional love, was further victimizing a family simply because a crime had been committed against one of them.

    2. Well said, Christine. In my years as a pastor I’ve known many sexual abuse survivors (women AND men). It is one of the most traumatic, identity-shaping experiences one can have. They need grace, grace, and more grace.

      I wonder what BASSENCO would say about this one?

        1. Sorry, Christine. BASSENCO is the SFL screen name of Jeri (see Naomi’s link just below). Jeri is a fierce and knowledgeable defender of those who have been abused in fundamentalist groups. Check out her link. She has also commented on many of these SFL posts.

      1. My mother just passed away, and my time is not my own right now. For the record, I think it’s safer for me to have other people call me BASS/BASSENCO, if not that then Jeri, but please not my full name. I can’t always avoid it, but the goofiness of these people just gets worse. Sorry I’m not participating more.

        1. I’m sorry about your mother, Bassenco.
          No wonder we haven’t heard from you much lately.
          May God help you in dealing with the loss.

    3. Christine,

      I think it is obvious why he chose the stories he did.

      His point is simple: forgiveness is mandatory. Jesus makes this point very clear in his parable of the unforgiving servant (Matt 18). I do not believe there can be any argument on this point (although I’m sure someone will try). Our basis for forgiveness is not the goodness or merit of the one being forgiven; it is Christ (Col 3:13). In other words, we must forgive regardless of the sin that was committed.

      With that in mind, now try to construct the perfect illustration to go with that point (for I do believe Hummel’s illustrations were just that: fabrications). To really drive home the importance of forgiveness, the sins in the illustrations must be horrendous (shock and awe, people!). However, we can’t risk ostracizing grandma and grandpa by using taboo words like “rape” or the like. Next, the time factor. This was a chapel hour so he had to condense. No time to include things like love and healing (even though he should have made time). Add in a few standard fundyisms, and you get pretty much exactly what Hummel serves up to us: an illustration of someone benefiting from forgiving an absolutely gut-wrenching sin without being too graphic so as to offend the elderly among us and fitting within his allotted time (probably plus 15 minutes. We wouldn’t want those with 12 o’clock classes to actually have time for a bite to eat).

      Am I excusing this sermon? God forbid! The example it is setting for future counselors is miserable and inexcusable. However, to say that he is excusing rape, belittling women, and encouraging the shunning of an abused person is, quite frankly, out of order. Is it possible that every last one of those thoughts was going through Hummel’s mind? Unfortunately, yes. He is a depraved human capable of every conceivable sin. But it is just as possible that this sermon came from a misguided attempt to drive home a point about forgiveness in a chapel message.

      I know Rand Hummel. Do I agree with most of his teaching? Not in the slightest, but I know he loves those he counsels. I know this from first-hand experience. Unfortunately, his methods, as we can see in this video, too often cloud his love and he ends up saying things like he did in this sermon. Again, I am not excusing his actions in the least.
      My point is that, instead of this being an intentionally malicious attack on the abused and helpless, it could have been an unfortunate and awful choice of illustrations. A horrible, regrettable, miserable, pitiful (etc …) choice of illustrations.

      I cannot say this alternative is absolutely the truth behind what went on here. However, it is, in my opinion, a valid alternative that should not be ignored. In my experience with fundamentalism – and 22 years at Bob Jones University and surrounding Greenville area churches has not left me with little of that, and no mistake – speakers choose dumb illustrations and, more often than not, end up shooting themselves in the foot with them. This isn’t the first time a fundy evangelist has given a poorly constructed illustration and it, unfortunately, won’t be the last. I can only pray that the truth of God’s word will show it’s supernatural power in surmounting the mountainous terrain of poor delivery and horrendous illustration and fulfill God’s promise that it will never return without accomplishing the goal He has for it.

      +2 cents.

      1. Fabrications are lies…you basically said Rand Hummel is a liar. I’m not OK with lying preachers…Why should anyone listen to anything else he has to say if he lies from the pulpit?

        1. The illustrations being fictional is just a guess of mine. They may have been real life stories that were inexpertly truncated to fit the time slot. Either way, my point remains the same. He used shock and awe illustrations to prove his point without taking the time to consider the (possibly inadvertent) implications he was making to his audience.

        2. Yes, I’m guessing they are lies also. I was lied to my whole childhood and most of my adult life by preachers doing this sort of thing….using shocking illustrations to make themselves look really important… also simplifying Bible verses to prove their doctrinal stances about salvation. I’m not “drinking the kool-aid” anymore.

          If he’s not lying, let him bring forth evidence…like that supposed letter from the girl with the smile.

        3. Saying you’re not excusing something doesn’t mean you’re not actually excusing it. You don’t mean to, and you might not want to, but inadvertently, you are excusing Hummel for his victim-blaming.

          What you (or I, or Hummel) intended to do doesn’t matter when you have hurt someone. Most child molesters didn’t intend to permanently injure their victims, either. Hummel is saying exactly what child abusers and rapists want to hear–not condemning their sin more loudly (or at all) than he ‘corrects’ survivors!

          At the very best, you’re saying Hummel doesn’t care about survivors enough to avoid hurting them and empowering abusers. Do you think that’s OK?

        4. And yes, this may be a compilation and not two accurate stories, but the pattern of events has happened. We might not know whether these two stories are entirely factual until the people concerned confirm them, but I know that other things very similar to this have happened. Horrific, but true. This isn’t implausible–the gist is true. Girls forced to forgive and/or ask forgiveness from their abusers – yup! Women told being raped was their fault – yes! Victims taunted until they commit suicide – that, too! It’s sickening, but this happens, and if a pastor/church is not explicit and upfront about handling this the right way (putting the responsibility on the rapists ONLY, fulfilling mandatory reporting requirements, encouraging real counseling by professionally trained counselors), I would guess they’re messing it up. Like Rand above, no matter how many good intentions he has.

        5. I think the blaming the victim is more or less unconscious on Hummel’s part, but it’s still there. I suspect that he does love the people he counsels (only he can know for sure), but, if these examples are any indication, he gives them awful advice that could harm them.

          I also agree that forgiveness is necessary– for the sake of the victim, not that of the abuser. That is, it is necessary at some point in the healing process to let go of the fear, anger and bitterness that have been poisoning your life. However, as Darrell said well, for a young girl to go back to an abusive parent or stepparent and beg forgiveness is to hand power back to the abuser. This is never a good idea.

          Probably every preacher uses fictional and apocryphal stories as illustrations. Did Jesus’ Parables really happen? Probably not, but that’s completely beside the point.
          Using a fictional or unverifiable story is only deceptive if you claim or imply that the story is factual, and especially if you pretend it happened to you personally. Did these incidents happen in Rand Hummel’s real-life experience? I don’t know, but I’m more concerned about the bad messages he gave to a roomful of students:
          1. Sexual abuse victims are at least partly to blame for their abuse.
          2. It’s bad to be angry when you have been wronged.
          3. (Worst of all) A young woman who was sexually abused as a child should ask the abuser to forgive her for her anger.

          Also, what he didn’t say:
          Rape is a crime and should be dealt with as a crime.
          If you are trying to help an abuse victim, her safety must take precedence over everything else.
          You can’t make everything all better again in one or a few counseling sessions. Nor will forgiveness make all the hurt go away.

        6. I would agree that horrible abuse is real as Naomi states. I know this very well personally. But when Rand tied everything up very nicely (as Darrell comments) with the girl’s smile after advising her to pray and forgive her abuser I figured someone was not being truthful. That’s not how it works as Big Gary states. The pain does not just go away.

          Sometimes the old feelings come back and I cry. Then I remember what it was like to feel like trash all day every day for years.

          For all you preachers out there reading this….please don’t tell the victim….”All things work together for good” or “You can do all things through Christ.”

      2. To come up with one illustration about rape might be excused as just poor thinking. But it cannot be excused as just poor thinking or planning when you make both of them about it and not say… a child being murdered or having a Wall-street gazillionaire swindle you out of the little bit of retirement you have. There are TONS of good forgiveness illustrations to use without dipping twice into the well of women being sexually battered and must forgive.

        Whether conscious or unconscious this is a message to fundie women – don’t complain about sexual abuse.

        That this might not have been a conscious message, but an unconscious one is actually much more disturbing. It speaks to a latent resentment or mistrust of women that is frightening.

        1. You know, I’m hardly a feminist, but from everything I’ve read, it seems that putting down women is a major, perhaps primary, goal of the Fundamentalist movement.

          Try a thought experiment: Let’s say a male administrator at the school came to Hummel and told him that a big guy with a knife took him (the MOG into an alley and raped him. Would Hummel be preaching forgiveness then? Or would he use the story as a springboard to condemn homosexuality? 😈

        2. Jewish Reader: I am feminist, and I agree with you. Fundamentalism is anti-woman at its core.

          AFA your thought experiment: You know your audience quite well 😈

      3. I would wonder where one could demonstrate from the Bible that forgiveness is required when the offender hasn’t apologized. The passages on forgiveness in the Bible generally describe forgiveness as something that comes after confession of sin. To my knowledge, Jesus yelling “Father forgive them” is as close at it gets in the Biblical text, but even that was grounded in “they know not what they do.” Rapists, on the other hand, do know what they do.

        Denial is a basic human defense mechanism. It is not easy for the human mind and conscience to bear something like rape. It is easier to paint the victim as a liar. The slightly less sinister version of Denial is Minimilization. Painting rape as something that should be forgiven without apology, and therefore being like eating the last bagel in the fridge, its a form of minimilization, imo. Neither of these defense mechanisms are healthy in the long term. Implicit in both is a form of dishonesty. Neither should be formalized and presented as good counsel.

        1. The latter is why I objected to the euphemisms he used. If you eat the last cupcake in the kitchen, that’s “taking liberties.” Raping a child is something else entirely.

      4. Tim White,

        Aren’t you just a recent graduate of Bob Jones? 2010 to be exact? If this is the same Tim White that graduated with my nephew, your 22 years at Bob Jones University involves you growing up there. Right? Don’t you think you should get some more experience before you come out and tell people who have been abused and subjected to this kind of counseling how to take a sermon illustration from Rand Hummell? Forgiveness is the destination, not where a counselor should start.

        Another thing. Hummell was preaching in CHAPEL at BJU. Not to many grandpa’s and grandma’s (other than faculty/staff) but a whole bunch of future pastors (teacher, nurses, law enforcement, ect) that go out and think this is the way to handle a person that comes to them, reporting Child molestation and rape. Lived it.

      5. Tim, you say these illustrations are probably fabrications. Rand Hummel is painting them as factual.

        If he really “loved” those he counsels, then he wouldn’t be using them as sermon illustrations.

      6. This is about holding someone accountable for the words they say and the teaching that happens from these words. I like a lot of people. That doesn’t stop me from saying what I think when a friend misspeaks.

  29. Great post. In my experience, going to the pastor for help in a case of sexual abuse would have been the direct route to the source of the problem!!!

  30. Rand is out of line, insensitive, and rushes the process but…there is no healing from pain like that without Christ, which will ultimately lead to forgiveness. “Father, forgive them…” There can be no extending of grace without experiencing grace.

  31. Great analysis and stylish hat. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting and forgiveness doesn’t undo the wrongs done to victims. Fundies try to use forgiveness as a broom to sweep a lot of stuff under the rug but that doesn’t do anything to actually clean up the mess.

  32. My two cents about the hat: I understand wanting to distinguish yourself visually from all the other bloggers out there. But I think a bigger brim would be more flattering.

    1. You’ll also get a more flattering picture if you put the camera higher up, about level with your nose or eyes, instead of having it below your face, looking up at your chin.

        1. I think we should take up a love offering to get Darrell a good cam and tripod. Do I have a motion?

        2. Yes, I saw that you don’t have a camera stand, but couldn’t you still put it on a pile of books or a windowsill, or anything else that’s at the right height?

        3. I had it sitting on a couple of books. I guess I’ll try using a couple more next time. If there is a next time. Which is anybody’s guess.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.