Author Archives: mrsmcmommy

About mrsmcmommy

I ask questions.

I Will Not Be Silent

I’ve done some hinting about abuse I’ve experienced in my life and that I don’t feel free to name anybody, because my story doesn’t just involve me. It also involves my “abuser.”

True, some would say it’s not the victim’s job to protect the feelings of an abuser. But the Holy Spirit just won’t stop reminding me that ALL of us have been “the abuser” at times.  That’s why I believe I still have an obligation to treat others the way I would want to be treated, regardless of the wrong they’ve done.

It’s complicated trying to balance mercy and justice.

(Note: I was going to link to a post about mercy vs. justice by James Watkins, but it appears he took it down.  Perhaps the Facebook comments might explain why it was removed.) 

For now, I’ve decided not to give details about my wounds, because I’m still Arguing With Myself until I feel more peace.  But the scandal at my Alma Mater has brought up another complication.

What if we suspect someone else is being abused and inaction could make it worse?

What if a potential abuser turns out to be an actual abuser, and the silence allowed him to continue?


 

Taylor University is being criticized for “covering up” abuse by one of their professors, because they didn’t share when accusations were made.  Some have claimed the school is partially responsible for the assaults carried out over 14 years, because they didn’t speak about the complaints from the very beginning.

When we don’t speak, it comes across as hiding something.

When we don’t speak, we appear to be sweeping dirt under the rug.

And that is why I’ve decided to speak up about a case of suspected abuse happening RIGHT NOW.

It has come to my attention that an Anti-Christian group is using one of the victim’s stories for a private purpose: attacking religion in general.

 

7.16.18 Being Abused By Atheists

 

The group is called “The Life After,” referring to the “life after religion,” because internet Atheists often pretend they they’re no longer blinded by fundamentalism–in order to avoid the same criticism they levy against pretty much everyone.

Ex-Christians running groups similar to “The Life After” are the most hypocritical judges I’ve ever met.

7.16.18 Being Abused By Atheists (2)

They tend to wait with gleeful anticipation for the next pastor to fall. They almost celebrate when people get abused in church, because it serves to validate the enormous chips on their shoulder.

They collect stories of abuse like trophies in their admitted quest to “empty the pews.”

 

7.16.18 Being Abused by Atheists (3)

 

But there’s a problem. Atheists can’t make moral judgements against hypocrites without being hypocrites themselves.

Naturalism can’t explain why a male member of the herd “shouldn’t” put his hands on a female before being invited, because their feelings about sexual morality are nothing but chemical reactions.

Science doesn’t tell us what’s right and wrong.

Here’s William Provine, to back me up. (He was an Atheist before he died.)

“No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there any absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life…”

Also, you can listen to  Fredrich Nietzsche:

“When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. For the latter is not self-evident… Christianity is a system.”

Or how about Julian Baggini?  (Also an Atheist.)

“If there is no single moral authority we have to ‘create’ values for ourselves… that means that moral claims are not true or false in the same way as factual claims are…  you may disagree with me but you cannot say I have made a factual error.”

Therefore, to claim you have no religious beliefs AND claim that a Christian or church group has done something “shameful” is to lie.

Anti-Religion Nuts who wag their fingers at abusers are lying, both to themselves and to others. On one hand, they demand that churches stop “judging” people; but on the other they demand vengeance when a church DOESN’T judge a potential predator fast enough.

That makes them classic religious hypocrites!

Thus, we have to ask ourselves:   do they really care when someone tells a story about being abused in the church setting?   Or are they just using those people, to make themselves look caring?

Well–I’m sure the chemicals in their head swirl in such a way that they feel something.  I’m not denying that Atheists experience “sadness” and “rage” and…smugness.

But mostly I believe they’re just stalking hashtags like #MeToo, so they can promote their own platform when a Christian fails.

They are USING the stories of victims, for their own purpose and power. 

Which is the definition of abuse.

I don’t know how to handle these situations delicately.  I don’t know whether I’m doing the right thing, or if I should quietly pray for the anti-religion predators at “The Life After.”  I realize there are Christians who will shame me for calling out Atheist immorality so directly.

But, if the news breaks 14 years from now that someone affiliated with their organization has been charged with serious misconduct, at least I will be able to say I spoke early and plainly.

I will point out abuse WHEREVER I see it, and not just when it generates traffic on my Twitter page.   I will call out hypocrisy BOTH in the Church and in the hundreds of places online where Atheistic Fundies take advantage of suffering Christians.

If God is immoral and the Bible is trash, then Atheists must explain where their sense of justice comes from before they can stand up for it.

And, since they won’t be able to define justice without constructing a new religion…

…well, I’m afraid the only thing they’re doing is STEALING righteous outrage from Christian victims, just so they can fill their worthless, meaningless Twitter feed with content.

That’s abusive behavior which I refuse to cover up.

Advertisements

Updated Response to the Sexual Assault Allegations

Two days ago I wrote about the (former) professor at Taylor University resigning over charges of “serious misconduct.”

Since then, I’ve learned the names of two accusers–and that each of them is claiming that Dr. Hensley went beyond coarse joking or awkward hugs and actively sought sexual contact with women other than his wife.

In the broader culture, the line between “making a pass” at someone and “assaulting” her can be blurry. But, by Christian moral standards, there is absolutely no excuse for seeking sex outside of marriage. Inviting women to sin with you, whether they consent to join or not, is absolutely wrong. And I believe Hensley knows that, regardless of the social awkwardness I mentioned in the last post.

My heart is grieved for the women who believed they were in a safe space in church settings, and that they wouldn’t need to fend off the advances of a practicing Christian.

But I also feel encouraged by the responses from brothers and sisters who have rallied around the whistleblowers and agreed that there IS a time to demand justice.

I’m thrilled not to have seen ANY warnings that it’s “not our place to judge” when it comes to a man using his platform to lure women into bed. It’s my hope that we can use this situation to reacquaint ourselves with the practice of Church discipline, which has gone out of vogue in the age of “nobody’s perfect.”

A more detailed account of Hensley’s sins from one of the women can be found here:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10100513241638415&id=197401568

Note: I don’t agree with all of the tactics employed by Ms. Redding. (I’m not convinced she was motivated by a desire to protect others so much as by the satisfaction of watching the “mask come off.”) But hopefully this can lead to a discussion about restoring sinners vs trying to get even. And, again, now that the Church is being invited to judge the Hensley matter, I’m hopeful the various victims will be open to light criticisms about their own conduct as well.

———

Updating again on 7/15/18. Hensley still denies any wrongdoing. (In this interview he doesn’t address the accusation that he “tried to touch the breast” of Ms. Redding.)

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/16/prominent-taylor-university-professor-leaves-amid-sexual-harassment-allegation

It Wasn’t Me

The news broke yesterday that one of the professors who taught at my Alma Mater has resigned over allegations of “serious misconduct.”

According to a statement made by Taylor University:

Fourteen years ago (2004), a complaint was filed against Dr. Dennis Hensley by a student. Although the investigation at that time yielded conflicting stories, Hensley was disciplined and cautioned. During the next 14 years, two potential conduct concerns came to the university’s attention, neither of which involved students…

Recently we were made aware of significant and credible allegations of serious misconduct by Hensley. Although these allegations did not involve Taylor students or employees, we promptly commenced an investigation… On the same day that he was notified of his suspension, Hensley offered an unsolicited and unconditional resignation from Taylor University, which we accepted.

I don’t know what this means…

But I DO know what people are hearing.

They’re hearing, “A male teacher was allowed to prey upon his students over the course of 14 years because no one believed the girl who filed the complaint in 2004…”

Any maybe that’s true.  Maybe he left a trail of abuse victims wherever he went.

I just feel it’s necessary to go on record saying: Dr. Hensley never behaved inappropriately toward me.  At least, I don’t think he did.

Maybe it would be helpful to explain what the University means by “serious misconduct,” so I can be sure.


 

In all of my memories of Hensley, he was….simply… odd.  He talked too loud.  He repeated the same stories over and over.  And he seemed to lack the social awareness which tells most of us how we’re being received.

Most of the time, I got the impression that Dr. Hensley learned how to interact with people the way I learned to do math: relying heavily on formulas explained to me by others.

All of Hensleys “relationships” with his favorite students (and–yes–he definitely played favorites) seemed awkward and unnatural to me. 

Did some of those “relationships” cross a line into “serious misconduct?”

Perhaps.  I wish I knew what qualifies as “serious.”

I remember when Dr. Hensley found out I was engaged to marry Luke.  Hensley wasn’t very happy about it.  The exact quote has faded over the years, but I recall being told something like, “Girls often get married and then slack off in their studies.”

For a couple months after warning me that I shouldn’t let marriage become a distraction, my arbitrarily-assigned A’s and B’s started slipping into arbitrarily-assigned C’s.

Until one day after chapel, when Dr. Hensley rushed up to me and presented a magazine he’d taken straight from his mailbox.  He called over his shoulder, “I saw it and thought of you!” as he continued flying down the sidewalk at roughly 100 mph. (That was average Hensley speed.)

For a second I was confused, before realizing the magazine said “bride” in the corner.  “Good!” I thought, assuming this strange offering meant he was beginning to accept my future status as a married woman.

Sure enough, my grades improved again after that day.

Is it wrong to allow your disapproval of a student’s personal life to influence the way you grade her writing?   Yeah–probably.

Is it “serious misconduct”?

Meh, I never thought so.


 

Anyway, all of this to say, I don’t know how many female students will be coming forward in the next few weeks to testify that Dr. Hensley shared inappropriate jokes, or stood too close while whispering something that didn’t need to be whispered, or generally made them feel uncomfortable.

I’m not sure how many women will come forward and testify things even more “serious” than any of that.

But, I know how gossip works, and I know there will be students from the past 14 years playing their own sordid game of “Guess Who” with big question marks over all the girls’ faces, including my own.

So, in the spirit of #MeToo, I want to make a public declaration by saying #NotMe. 

From my perspective, Dr. Hensley wasn’t a life-changing mentor. He was more of a salesman than a writer… and more of a quirky acquaintance than a father figure.  But, in my experience, being weird never crossed into being evil.

And being weird isn’t “serious misconduct.”

Boy–it sure would be nice to know what that means…

I’m Sorry!!!!

We sure love stories of Christians hugging gay people, don’t we?

Don’t we???

Well, clearly somebody gets a kick out of them, because “news” articles about Christians going to pride parades and carrying apology signs keep popping up all over the internet.

Here’s an example.

“Members of the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries stood at the main entrance of the parade holding signs that offered apologies for how the LGBT community has been treated by Christians.”

Their signs said things like, “I’m sorry I have looked down on you instead of honoring your humanity” and “I’m sorry for judging you.”  (Note: They mean “Sorry for judging you in a way you didn’t like.” But when you judge someone as a good, honorable human, that’s okay…)

One of the signs said, “Can I hug you?”

Now, I want to concede that some of the homosexuals at the pride parade found this gesture touching. (No pun intended.) One man interviewed by CNN was quoted saying:

“It was so genuine and most of us got teary eyed when we saw [the Christians]…It was just so empowering to have that kind of support from the very people who shunned us away.” –Kohlin Lallabban, a Gay Man at the Pride Parade

However, I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog reminding people that one person cannot speak for an entire “identity group,” and I’m not going to stop now.

*clears throat dramatically*

Mr. Lallabban doesn’t speak for homosexuals everywhere. His feelings and opinions are his feelings and opinions, but they don’t represent what every homosexual thinks and feels about Christians at Pride Parades.

Therefore, I feel it’s my duty to offer a few more apologies, which the Christians in that story didn’t cover. 

To the homosexuals who don’t appreciate having their rear-ends kissed by peppy strangers, allow me to say–truly!–I’m sorry for what happened at that parade.

I’m sorry there are many Christians who think “love” means plastering on a smile and saying nice-sounding things.

I’m sorry interacting with Church People is almost exactly like meeting a car salesman. 

My family and I watch the Netflix version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”  Maybe you’ve seen it.   In Season 2, the children in the story meet a group of candy stripers called the VFD’s (the “Volunteers Fighting Disease”), and I can’t get their song out of my head.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

“We visit people who are sick
And try to make them smile
Even if their noses bleed
Or if they cough up bile”

Tra la la, Fiddle dee dee
Hope you get well soon
Ho ho ho, hee hee hee
Have a heart-shaped balloon”

The words sound pleasant enough, don’t they?

Maybe certain patients in a hospital really would feel encouraged by the happy little tune.   I certainly can’t speak for everyone.

But, personally, I feel a little creeped out when I watch the video clip:

 

To the homosexuals who didn’t ask for a heart-shaped balloon (or a hug), I’m sorry.

Not everyone wants to hear shallow platitudes from people they’ve never met before.

In fact, I wrote a post several months ago called “People who don’t judge me aren’t ‘friends'” which was one of the most popular to date.   So maybe I’m on to something here?

Maybe MOST of us are tired of the fake smiles and the worthless singing that happens when Christians try building relationships without any judgment…?

I don’t know.

I can’t speak for everyone.

I’m just saying, if you don’t want to be “friends” with people who only say what you want to hear, I totally get it.  And I’m sorry that’s the only thing being offered by many churches.

If you’re ever looking to make contact with someone who WON’T sing or dance or sugar coat everything so she can sell Jesus to you, please reach out to me.

Sincerely,

-A Judgmental Christian in Indiana

 

 

Fly High, Self-Murderer!

Christians say some pretty stupid things sometimes.

On my old blog, I wrote a short series about the cliches we like to abuse, such as “God wants to bless you!”  and  “I’ll pray about that!”     I called them Cutsey Christian Mottoes, which is a category that might also include:

-It’s not my place to judge…

-God’s got this!…

-When God closes a door, He opens a window…

-I’m just a sinner, standing on grace…

I think you get the idea.

Platitudes need to be criticized because they oversimplify a complicated subject.   People tend to throw them around, in order to feel like they’re being supportive, even when they haven’t actually helped anyone.  At all.

(Luckily, “God helps those who help themselves,” amiright?    *cough*)

Anyway,  I’ve called these sayings “cutesy” to speak to their small-mindedness. They are shallow and bland and worthless.  But today I want to talk about that line where Christian Platitudes cross from merely unhelpful into downright evil.

There’s nothing “cute” about how we handle the topic of suicide. 

It’s dangerous.

When someone kills himself, suddenly all of those people who feel it’s “not their place to judge” start doing a whole lot of it!

“He’s resting in Heaven!”

“He’s walking with Angels!”

“Fly High, Old Friend!”

To be fully transparent, I’m struggling with anger for these people right now.

Hey–Christians–stop being “nice” for a second and think about how your words are affecting someone who is contemplating suicide today.

I know we really enjoy writing public letters to the person who’s gone. But he can’t hear us.  (And that’s his fault.)

Telling the dead guy he’s “not suffering anymore” doesn’t do any good.   And even more importantly: YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. 

You’re not the judge, remember?  You’re not God.

You don’t know where the soul of your self-murdering friend is spending eternity, so stop speaking like you do.

Stop referring to suicide as a “peaceful rest,” and talking about how the Dearly Departed is having a great time “flying” around with [insert favorite dead celebrity].   (Note: You don’t know where the soul of that dead celebrity lies, either.)

Does any of this sound harsh?

I’m really not trying to be.

It just bothers me when humans tell pretty lies to each other.   

Yes, I understand suicidal people think the world would be better off without them. I understand that depression and anxiety are classified as mental illnesses and that every day existence can feel like a walk through Hell.  Yes–I know, first hand, the type of psychological torment that causes people to crave death rather than stay and continue fighting the lies in their own minds.

People suffer when their mental illness tells them lies.

Christians need to realize they can’t beat lies with more of them. 


 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post challenging Atheists to come up with a reason kids shouldn’t shoot their peers at school. You can read the post here.

When an Atheist denies the existence of God, it is the Ultimate Lie, which leads to ultimate suffering.   I believe the reason both suicides and homocides are on the rise is because our culture is swallowing the lie that we’re the products of nothing, for no reason.  And, when humans suffer with those existential questions, the Atheists cannot offer anything except more lies.  (And drugs.)

Now–Theists (especially Christians), it’s your turn.  What would YOU tell someone who confessed they are thinking of harming themselves? And what sort of things are you saying when you learn that a fellow believer has taken his/her own life?

Here are some screenshots for discussion:

 

 

Why I Laugh at My Kids

While helping teach a Sunday school class for preschoolers, I asked the group of kids a participation question:

“What does a frog say?”

Easy, right? I was expecting “Ribbit, Ribbit.”

Instead, when I called on a little boy in the front row, he responded with a deep, croaking: “RrrrrrrroooooooOOOOOOOOAGH!”

It was so unexpected, and so remarkably accurate, that my co-teacher and I cracked up laughing.

…and then the little boy burst into tears.

Oops.

I had forgotten that not all children are used to be laughed at. 

My children certainly are.

Whenever they say something cute or profound or even remotely funny, I don’t hesitate to giggle.  (And, half the time, one of them will ask, “Can you share that on Facebook now?”  😉 )

I completely understand WHY a child would cry, if adults are laughing and it gets interpreted as making fun of him.  But that’s where the adults should say something like:

“I’m sorry that hurt your feelings. But we’re actually impressed with your frog noise! It was so good that it made me laugh!”

Children simply need time and experience to learn how to tell the difference between friendly laughter and malicious mocking.

What I don’t understand is how a person might grow all the way into adulthood and still be so sensitive that they can’t tolerate laughter about many, many things. 

Now, I think it’s important to mention that literally everyone thinks they have a sense of humor…  (I mean, can you remember the last time someone said, “I’m not much of a ‘laughter’ person”?)

People never come right out and admit they are extremely easily offended. So, you have to watch for certain phrases:

“I have a sense of humor, but…”

There are some things you shouldn’t joke about…”

“Not everybody will get it…”

These are tell-tale indications that the person who is speaking blames you for your response (laughing), instead of blaming the crying person for misunderstanding.

They may not be crying over a frog noise, but there are many people who blame others for “hurting” them.

However, it’s important to remember when someone is laughing, there are only two options:

  1.  That person is an evil, bully/jerk who WANTS to hurt others.   OR
  2.   That person is NOT an evil bully/jerk who DOES NOT want to hurt others.

 

If the person isn’t an evil bully-jerk, then your hurt feelings are lying to you. They’re telling you to cry, even though there’s nothing to cry about.   

You’re missing the opportunity to be joyful and to laugh along with them, simply because you are misinterpreting the motivation behind it.

And THAT is why I laugh at my children whenever I get the chance.

I want them to know that laughing isn’t something only bully-jerks do.

Laughing (and even teasing!) are things people do when they love you.

At least, that’s how it works in this family.

When you say a word wrong, we laugh.

When you trip and fall down, we laugh.

When you make a surprisingly realistic frog noise and catch us off guard, we laugh.

As a result, our home is filled with the sounds of giggling from both adults and children who are secure enough to laugh at themselves.

If someone is trying to hurt your feelings, then go ahead and be offended by their ugly heart attitude.

But, if someone is laughing, join them!   There are enough people crying about things.

Wanna Be on American Idol?

If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to stand in front of a panel of frowning judges, trying to win their approval, then perhaps Online Apologetics is for you!

Seriously–if you’re going to “defend the faith” on the internet (whether you’re starting a blog, or simply re-posting memes on Facebook to “be a witness”) then you need to understand the similarities between what you’re trying to do…and appearing on American Idol.

Why?

Because many, many Atheists think they’re Simon Cowell. 

 

Simon

When you hear warnings such as, “Your tone won’t convert me to your way of thinking…” or “I don’t think Jesus would act like that…” coming from the mouths of people who claim to believe there is no God, then…

you’re probably talking to a Simon Cowell wannabe.

That Atheist wants to be the judge–and he/she wants to make you into a dancing monkey.

 

Do THIS in order to impress me.

No, not like that, Christian!  Do it NICER! With more love!

Hm….I’m not feeling like going to church, yet… Keep dancing! Be more like Jesus!

(Dancing Christian: “But I thought you said Jesus was a myth?”)

DON’T TALK BACK TO ME, MONKEY!  Now SING this time!

Atheists have become more like Simon Cowell because they have encountered a LOT of Christians on the internet who are desperate to please.

We think it’s our job to make a good impression with non-believers–therefore, we’ve allowed the Atheists to believe they’re the judges of our performance for way, way, way too long.

So what happens when (gasp!) someone finally tells the Judges, “I’m not interested in singing or dancing for you. I want to test whether you can sing/dance yourself…”?

I’ll tell you:

The Atheist Judge gets pretty offended when you won’t let him control what happens on “his show.”

Often, in a panicked move, he will start quoting Scripture to explain why you HAVE to perform for him like Jesus said.   (Yes–the same Jesus they aren’t interested in serving either way.)

If you’re going to discuss with unbelievers online, then you have to understand this!

You need to be forewarned about the dynamics here, so you don’t fall into the trap.

Realize that most internet Atheists are VERY interested in the Bible and Christian “rules”…but only insofar as it allows them to control the conversation. 

Simon Cowells want to know the rules, not so he can follow them, but so they can enforce them.

The judges aren’t interested in singing with you… only in cheering or booing depending on whether they approve of your routine.

Again, this is totally our fault, Christians. We’re the ones to blame for continuing to allow this to happen.  We’re the ones putting Atheists in the judge’s seat by constantly using phrases like “be a good witness” and “win people over.”

The Church has spent decades turning Lost Souls into “prizes” to be earned by singing and dancing the correct way.

We’ve given the Atheists all the power to decide how we’re performing, and they’re taking that role very seriously.

Don’t believe me?  Trudge through the comments under this post, where an Atheist Judge (Scottie) wrote approximately 50 different comments complaining to the blog-owner (Mel) just for associating with a Christian whom Scottie has judged “rude”…

See if you can spot all the manipulative phrases Scottie uses to imply Mel is going to lose the contest if he doesn’t perform better:

“…you will turn off more people than you attract. Your message may be sound and good, but your delivery will be poison.”

“Did not your deity say turn the other cheek?”

“I am not a biblical scholar so please how many times did Jesus say to forgive those who trespass against us?”

“I can not pass judgement on your relationship with your diety. I won’t do that. But I also will let you know that agreeing with John’s rude and insulting behavior soils your representation of your god’s ways, in my eyes. It lessens you and makes me question what your standards are for treating your fellow man.”

“Mel…there are ‘lurkers,’ [who] read and they think on what is said. It is like doing a play to an audience you can not see.”

Be a better Christian!

People are watching!

Scottie Cowell is watching, and he does NOT like what he sees!

Thumbs down

 

Who wants to be the next contestant on Atheist Idol?


 

(Here’s the comment I left after reading through the entire thread and wanting to pluck out my eyeballs.)  🙂

6.13.18 Scottie Is The Carrot